Puerto Rico’s newest resort is earning superstar status in the ultra-luxury honeymoon sphere. The debut of Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve—a 1,400-acre seaside playground of extravagance—has revived Golden Age glamour along the island’s historic Dorado coast.
In 1958, Laurence Rockefeller developed the property, originally a private plantation belonging to the prominent Livingston family, as one of the first RockResorts. Today, Puerto Rico’s most coveted slice of beachfront has been reincarnated as the second Reserve property in the Ritz-Carlton portfolio.
Flanked by two shores, Dorado Beach includes 115 rooms divided among 11 clean-lined, bi-level masterpieces, each unit perched on or over sand and sea. Second-story guest rooms deliver dreamy Caribbean vistas via elegantly appointed balconies, while the private plunge pools of the ground-level units segue between modish interiors and unspoiled natural surroundings. In both, floor-to-ceiling glass doors make up the entire outward-facing wall, opening completely to merge indoors and outdoors.
At the resort’s nucleus sits an Asian-inspired pavilion, fortified by porous stone walls and enveloped by dramatic fountains and lily pad-strewn reflection ponds. Many of the resort’s common areas branch from this core, including the oceanfront pool (lined with floating cabanas), the Livingston Gallery (a library and intellectual space dedicated to the property’s history) and Mi Casa by José Andrés (the celebrity chef’s tasty foray into Spanish-Puerto Rican cuisine).
Farther afield on the sprawling grounds, the resort’s alfresco Spa Botánico wows across its five-acre excess. Guests enter through the “Apothecary Portal,” an open-air tower of aromatic hanging gardens, before heading to a hydrotherapy circuit constructed from plantation artifacts and tree-house gazebos, where treatments, steeped in indigenous knowledge and local botanicals, are performed at canopy level.
Following in the footsteps of the esteemed Phulay Bay in Thailand, The Ritz-Carlton’s sophomore Reserve property raises the bar on beachfront luxury, residing in a league of its own on Puerto Rico’s shorelines and swiftly achieving status as one of the world’s finest—and most romantic—resorts. ( (787-626-1100, ritzcarlton.com)