Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Puerto Rico is back and ready to start getting tourists in to help support their economy. Many hotels are working on re-opening or already have, like the perfect Dorado Beach. Many people ask, “How can they help?”. The best way you can make sure the people of Puerto Rico are employed and able to rebuild is to go visit. We can help get tourism back to where it was before the hurricane. Run! Now! To Dorado Beach!!!
I have to admit, I wasn’t totally sure about Puerto Rico, I’d been once in the past and was feeling a little “meh” about it. Well I sure was totally wrong! I was blown away by my weekend spent on this beautiful island. Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve is about 35 minutes from the San Juan airport, and while the scenery on the ride isn’t much to look at, once you get on the property it’s like you’ve stepped into a whole new paradise. They were SO lucky and didn’t really have any structural damage during the hurricane but there was a total renovation done anyways and they planted over 300,000 new plants and trees. Everything is lush, beautiful and new!
Hospitality: Being greeted by name with a cool lemongrass towel is a pretty nice way to start your stay at Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve. The arrival pavilion is open air with direct views of the crashing waves that makes you almost feel like your floating in the ocean. Each room comes with it’s very own “Embajador” (your personal assistant) who is there for your every need during your stay. We exchanged phone numbers so I could text him anytime I needed anything or had a question. He was on hand for golf cart rides, drink delivery and even as amateur photographer.
TIP: Too relaxed to get out of your plunge pool? Text your Embajador and they’ll deliver a cold beverage right to your hand or even a snack on a cute floating tray.
Pool & Beach: So much to choose from! There is the Positivo pool, almost up against the waves of the ocean, which is an oasis to relax. You can also snag a cabana to enjoy lunch by the pool. Encanto Beach Club, on the other side of West Beach, is a family centered area with a zero entry side of the pool as well as calm ocean waters for littles to hop into. Both sides of West beach are swimmable though the area closer to Encanto is more of a gradual entry. You can order food and drinks from pretty much anywhere and the menus have lots to choose from and they’ll even try to help with special requests.
TIP: There’s a water park!! Hop a golf cart and head over to check out The Water Mill with slides and a lazy river.
Rooms: If you’re just looking at their website the room choices could be confusing. Here’s the info you need to know!
West Beach Rooms: In between Positivo and Encanto these rooms are right on the sand with swimmable waters. Good for families with kids who want easy access, it’s also closer to Encanto which is more of a family pool.
East Beach Rooms: These rooms are located on the other side of Positivo and are all ocean front but the beach is not swimmable and not that walkable either. These rooms are perfect for the people who like to see the beach and ocean but don’t have any interest in a toe in the water.
The best part about EVERY room is that they are all ocean front, every single one! And EVERY ground floor room has it’s own plunge pool! Roof top rooms get a beautiful terrace and if you go for the Roof Top 1-Bedroom suite you’ll get a second terrace with plunge pool on your roof!
TIP: Enjoy your outdoor shower after dinner and listen to the songs of the Coqui frog to lull you to relaxation.
Family: Bring them, definitely. The property is large and there’s lots to do for all ages. The zero entry pool is perfect for your little ones and the water park has lots to do for the older ones. The very best part is the Ambassador’s of the Environment program. This wonderful educational experience was developed by Jean-Michael Cousteau and Dr. Richard Murphy where kids (and adults!) can experience and learn about the local ecological system. All the naturalists in the program are either Marine Biologists or Environmental Scientists so they really know their stuff. They have a whole science center for learning and they go out to the ocean or the rainforest to learn and explore.
TIP: Kids eat free under 5years old off the kids menu, yay!
Activities: Puerto Rico is full of great activities, at Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve and out and about around the island. We already know the property contains a water park, 2 pools, lots of beach access, the Ambassadors of the Environment, but it also has 3 golf courses and multiple shops as well as the - to die for - spa (read about Spa Botanico below).
But you CAN leave the property, and it’s easy. We went to Old San Juan where we were treated to a private gallery tour by the son of artist Angel Botello. It was such a special experience, and concierge has a ton more up their sleeves for every interest. The town was bustling with people and shops, the buildings were charming and colorful and we felt super safe. We had dinner at a charming restaurant called Mesa Verde, and the food was delicious.
For the more adventurous there is El Yunque National Forest which has many trails back open after the hurricane. You can also visit the bioluminescent bay and kayak through the complete darkness to get to it’s mystifying light….a once in a lifetime cool experience.
And for the history buffs, there’s San Cristobal Fort and the San Juan National Historic sites with lots to learn about the islands past. Dorado Beach Ritz knows the best guides to get you all the information you need.
Spa: Spa Botanico is 5 acres, that’s right, 5 acres! The entry way is filled with dried herbs and flowers giving off wonderful aromas that put you in the mood to totally indulge. There are only 10 treatment rooms so be sure to book in advance. And when I say rooms, I mean private high ceilinged cabanas surrounded by jungle vegetation. Warm up…and then cool off….in the plunge pools before heading to your treatment and then steam yourself before heading to the outdoor showers full of luxurious Spa Botanico products.
TIP: You’ll get a choice of which custom herbs you want to use for your massage. I chose the revitalizing scent with cinnamon and it was totally perfect.
Dining: There are 7 restaurants on property and while I didn’t get to try all of them I am confident based on the food I did eat that all of it will be delicious! Positivo airs more towards the lite fare and asian cuisine. Lots of fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables. Soon they are opening a tiny and exclusive Omakase Bar with a chef from Japan that’s sure to be perfect. Encanto Beach Club has more comfort food like burgers and fish tacos. I had a hard time choosing what I wanted each meal. Service at each establishment was seamless and friendly. I even ordered food from the beach and really wanted the tuna tartare from Positivo, no problem.
There is also a great little store near Encanto where you can just grab some easy things to go like a sandwich or snacks. They have beer and wine, and everything is very reasonably priced.
TIP: Try to pineapple appetizer….it might sound unexciting but it was incredible! Chili salt on fruit? YES!