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“Almost Paradise...almost” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

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Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 Dorado Beach Drive, Dorado 00646-2000, Puerto Rico   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
$100 Credit + Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Dorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Almost Paradise...almost”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

My family spent the New Year's week at this beautiful resort. It is absolutely breathtaking. The rooms open up to the ocean and, if you're on the first floor your own private pool which my 7 year olds loved! Every day we would see hermit crabs, frogs and other fun creatures outside our door, and sometimes in the outdoor shower. The "Ambassadors of the Environment" program for the kids program was almost painfully perfect right down the the dashing Australian who runs it. and the Watermill is hours of fun for the kids and us without being a crowded insanity like some water parks. The staff are friendly and assure you that your every request is their "pleasure" to attend to, but... they seem to forget themselves a bit here. The first couple of days were a bit painful, simply due to the disorganized nature of their service. First, it would have been helpful for the hotel to let you know that it is better for them to arrange transportation for you from the hotel, rather than taking a taxi. Ordered items are simply forgotten, I had to ask multiple times for ice, towels, and turndown for our children. Room service ordered might show up or not. We were supposed to have an "Ambacador" or butler - I have no idea - they left notes asking if I needed any help, but when I called they never answered. It took almost a full day for room services dishes to be picked up from the day before. It could be tough just to get some coffee in the morning. But , during our stay, clearly something changed... the Positivo - the sand bar, became great - possibly due to the bar manager who seemed to be always be there regardless of the time of day, but the service was very attentive, the food really good and the drinks great. Dinner at Mi Casa is was very akin to Jaleo here and the service was great! Attention to our service requests also got much better, still a little left hand not knowing what the right was doing - but dramatically better than our first two days when I contemplated leaving because I was just so frustrated by the difficulty in obtaining the simplest things. It is clear there are some folks new to the hospitality industry, and certainly the Ritz, working here who need some more training, but it is also clear that they are learning. By the end of our stay, none of us wanted to leave, and we're already contemplating our return trip.

Room Tip: Go with a first floor room for the private pool!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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267 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Our family spent the Christmas holiday week at the new Dorado, Ritz Reserve. It is a spectacular property with incredible facilities. The sheer beauty of the setting--with the hotel entrance with it's huge infinity pool and every hotel room located right on the beach-is breathtaking. My 18-year old son and I enjoyed the three golf courses and new tennis facility. My wife and 21-year old daughter enjoyed the gorgeous spa with it's open air massage treatment rooms. The restaurants offered a variey of choices--from the funky Spanish oriented Mi Casa by Jose' Andres, to the more casual Encanto Grill directly on the beach at the hotel's Beach Club (which also has a huge family-oriented pool), and the food was excellent. The hotel has a special beach area, with its own bar and grill, for water sports like wind surfing and even a huge waterpark on the grounds-- which is great for families with younger children. The hotel is very spread out--so none of the facilities ever felt busy. Although the hotel is brand new--the lush landscaping and palm trees look like they've been there forever.
This is really a special resort--can't wait to go back--which is an easy nonstop flight to San Juan from our home in Boston..

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

While vacationing in PR decided to try the new RC Reserve. I must say that the hotel and its facilities are beautiful. A 10+ for facilities and amenities. Unfortunately, that were all the complements or positive comments stop! First of all the service is nothing like a RC. It is actually more in line with any 3 star hotel. You can tell that all employees are trying very hard to provide the best service possible but do come up short at the moment of truth. Words like "No, We can't , sorry, we don't have any, we just ran out " are part of the everyday lingo. I would not recommend visiting this property for at least a year to see if the management team can lead its employees to deliver as a RC. I bet that this will be another property in PR that has over promise and will always under deliver. Places like Mexico, Santo Domingo and many other Caribbean islands provide a much higher level of service while matching the facilities

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philadelphia,pa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

Living in PHiladelphia, we are always on the lookout for that extraordinary destination reachable by one flight. So we took the plunge and plunked down an obscene amount of money for 2 nights at this brand new resort. Was it perfect? it could be. the property is sprawling and exquisite. the first thing i did upon arrival is request a couple bikes to get around. though i was assured they would be forthcoming they never arrived. we never did get the uber high tech tv to work so either it was excessively complicated for my husband and i to figure out (unlikely) or it was non-operable. Keep in mind the resort had only been opened 3 weeks upon our arrival. the dinner at encanto, the asian fusion offering, the first night was good not great. however, the tapas tasting menu dinner at micasa the second night was amazing. the breakfast buffet was worthy of a very high end 5 star resort and was relatively reasonably priced. so would i return? probably. they need to work out some kinks and really determine more clearly what their mission is. it seems to be primarily a golfers' destination thus far.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, Connecticut
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I recently stayed at the new Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve hotel in Dorado Puerto Rico with my wife and two kids. I understand they spent nearly $400,000,000 building/renovating the place and I believe it. Everything was first class from the architecture, to the landscaping, to the service.

The General Manager, Alejandro met us as we arrived on property and went out of his way to make our family feel welcome and his staff, while new (the resort was only a couple of days old) was accommodating of any and all requests.

There are four Robert Trent Jones golf courses, a water park, beautiful beaches, a Jose Andreas Mi Casa Restaurant, two fitness facilities, tons of stuff to keep you busy or just sit by the gorgeous infinity pool.

Is this place expensive? Yes. Do they care if you are a Platinum elite member, yes, but it won’t get you an upgrade so don’t sweat it and just enjoy yourself.

I have stayed at many resorts in the Caribbean and there is no question that this will be at the top of every “Gold List” out there.

If you are looking for a place to get away from it all you cannot do much better than this resort.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

My wife, two kids and I recently stayed at the new Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton Reserve hotel in Dorado Puerto Rico. I must say that this is an exceptional resort in an incredible setting.

Dorado is a small very clean town about 30 minutes west of San Juan. Getting there is very easy on the highway. Once you get there, you are taken into a Avatar type exotic beautiful landscape of a beach front manicured tropical forest. As strange as this may sound, it is more beautiful than any mental picture you may have of a tropical paradise. Something like fantasy island on steroids. The landscape architects went out of their way to create this beauty. As you drive towards the hotel inside the private property, you will see the golf courses on both sides of the road, behind the tall bushy trees.

Hotel:

The architecture of the hotel is high-end, modern, tropical, very classy and unique. The hotel integrates with perfection into nature without disrupting it. It seems as if the plants and trees walk in and out of the open areas because every day you notice some plants you have never seen. Once you arrive to the main driveway, you see a beautiful huge reflection pool with tropical floating large plants. Then you walk up the open stairs to the reception area, you will be astonished with the view of the open hotel with the infinity pool and beach as a backdrop looking west. The view of the sunset is gorgeous. The place is quiet and all you can hear are the Coquis at night "a local unique frog that makes bird like sounds", quite a treat.

The staff is Ritz Carlton quality with few exceptions particularly at the bar areas. I am sure this will get worked out soon as the place matures.

Rooms:

The rooms are separate from the main hotel and you get there either walking or on a golf cart. Not far at all. The rooms are spacious, beautiful and right on the beach. The beach is second to none you see in the caribbean. Crystal waters, no waves or currents, palm trees, warm powder like beige sand etc. Everything is new and well thought out. For example, the glass doors facing the beach hide on the walls giving you the impression that you are in your own private beach front property. We stayed on a first floor room which has its own private small infinity pool. The room amenities are second to none including the bathroom which includes an outdoor private shower area, perfectly integrated into the rest of the bathroom. Room service is good.

SPA.

OH wow!!! This is what you here when you enter this open spa from other guests and what I was thinking. If it sounds too good to be true, it is is more that surreal. It is perfection. There is even more attention to detail to this spa than the hotel itself. The architects created this spa within the forest and I would not hesitate to give them the Spa Oscar. They grow their own aromatic plants which you can later select for your treatments; they have grotto style chilled and hot pools open to the sky, a beauty salon with Thailand furniture, resting areas, store, reflection pools etc. The spa is divided in two wings; his and hers and a third area for couples treatments. I counted about fifteen buildings hidden in the landscape. You feel outdoors all the time even though there is complete privacy. Masterful. I will not comment anymore on the spa because it will make this review too long. Just make sure you get a massage in one of the tree houses overlooking the gardens.

Dining:

The main restaurant is called Su Casa which is operated by chef Jose Andres from Spain. He is known for his inventive fusion of tastes and styles. I must say that the food at the restaurant is good yet the portions are rather small, like a tasting menu. I personally cannot rave about the food or restaurant service when compared to other top restaurants in the US but some commented that it was terrific. A matter of taste and opinion, I guess.

Breakfast is also served at Su Casa and could be better. Lunch is served at the open restaurant next to the infinity pool. The food here is good. Service could be faster, more polished, and more synchronized. They need someone to run the show in this regard. Things you would expect for a hotel in this price range.

Amenities:

There are many many things to do. Top golf courses along the beach, tennis, pool, beach, gym, basketball, sailing, snorkeling etc. The resort has an area called Plantation which is just amazing. It has a large river pool called The Watermill which is like a fusion of roman baths with a tropical river. Very unique, large, well maintained and definitely entertaining for the kids and family. It has its own cafe, spiral like huge water slides hidden behind a large plantation like wall, jacuzzi areas, cascades, waterfalls, kids areas, toddler areas, you name it. In front of this pool, there is the most amazingly designed gym you can imagine. It looks like a sugar cane rancho house with two story high glass walls overlooking the golf course, river pool, and tennis center. It has all the amenities; sauna, steam room, free weights, machines, treadmills, yoga room, attentive staff, etc. etc. A must see by its own.

Beach:

A+

Conclusion:

The Ritz Carlton Reserve at Dorado Beach is definitely a world class prime property and resort worth seeing and close to the mainland. The attention to detail in design, landscaping and service is everywhere. We will return to this place again in the near future. Hope this review helps...

Room Tip: get the room with the pool!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

My family, my parents and my 17 year old younger sister, and I, stayed at the hotel over the Christmas holiday. We originally were booked to stay at the Ritz in San Juan but, upon arrival, quickly decided that the crowded beach and casino were not our scene, so we quickly looked at our other options in the area and found out that the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton had opened just a week earlier and made reservations. Given that we were one of the first groups of guests to stay at this new resort, we experienced a few glitches and teething problems, but we loved our time there and plan to return soon.

The minute we arrived it was evident that service is one of their highest priorities. We were greeted by the hotel manager, cold towels and drinks and a slew of smiling staff eager to help us to our room. A unique feature of the hotel are the "Ambajadors", or ambassadors, who are there to help with reservations and any questions that you may have during your stay. We were given a brief tour of the main area of the hotel and taken to our room.

The rooms are immaculate, partly because of the newness of the property, but the quality was very apparent. The beds were extremely comfortable, and the decor was tasteful. We were on an upper floor, the lower floors have plunge pools and direct beach access, but loved the unobstructed view of the ocean. The rooms are directly on the beach and you feel just inches from the clear water.

There are three restaurants on the property. Mi Casa which is open for breakfast and dinner and Encanto and Positivo which are poolside restaurants open for lunch and dinner and Barlovento, which we did not eat at, which has a limited menu and is located near the unopened water sports area. Breakfast as a whole needed some work. Jose Andres, the chef, obviously put much thought into the spectacular menu and offerings, but the portions were very small and the buffet was more aesthetic than functional. For what it offered the breakfast prices were too high. Lunch and dinner at Positivo and Encanto were always great. The service was attentive, and though there were some timing problems at both of these establishments, the servers were apologetic and considerate. The food was fresh and indicative of the area using local ingredients and flavors. Our favorites were the Caribbean Cobb and Shrimp Ceviche. Dinner at Mi Casa was wonderful and Jose Andres' playful spirit was evident in the creative menu. Portions are small which is nice because you can order an appetizer, entree and dessert and not feel completely stuffed afterwards, and our favorites were the Pork Belly and the Tuna Ceviche.

The fitness facilities weren’t open the first couple of days that we were there, but the hotel allowed us to use the facilities of the Plantation which is a separate beach club nearby. The Plantation also has a water park called The Watermill which is free for all hotel guests, and my family, even my parents, enjoyed this very much. My dad played tennis many of the days that he was there and they had a great facility and superb instructors. Though we did not do this, it is also possible to rent bikes during your stay and there are many nature paths around the hotel to either walk or bike through, including the Rockefeller Trail.

During the day we stayed by the pool and beach and enjoyed it very much. The pool staff were accommodating, and the chairs and towels were always clean and comfortable. My parents and sister had treatments at the Spa which they raved about. We went into the town of Dorado a couple of times which is quaint and has a nice square with benches and plenty of trees. We ate at Grappa, an Italian restaurant, for dinner one night which I would definitely recommend.

Overall our trip was amazing. The hotel was new but was dealing with all of it’s minor glitches very well. Puerto Rico’s natural beauty was not shrouded by this resort, but rather it was embraced. The aquamarine ocean and light sand beaches were framed like a photograph by the architecture of the hotel and the attention to detail was evident in every corner of the property. We did not want to leave and will be returning as soon as our schedule allows it.

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor have wonderful, unobstructed views.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Address: 100 Dorado Beach Drive, Dorado 00646-2000, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Dorado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Dorado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will usher in a new level of luxury travel. This intimate resort retreat will be the first of its kind in the Americas, with its secluded location, intimate accommodations, exclusive amenities, and private butler service. ... more   less 
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