We just stayed almost a week at the Dorado beach Ritz Carlton - which is a totally new and upscale concept for the RC. We've stayed at a lot of their hotels, the most recent long stay being their new Hong Kong hotel, which is still probably the best city hotel I've ever stayed in.
But Dorado is a completely different offering. The location is perfection. It's 35 minutes from San Juan on an ideal beach that couldn't exist anymore (the Rockerfellers used to own the property and they lined it with huge boulders so the waves crash about 40 feet from the shore and give you a beautiful clear bay to swim in).
The suites are all beautifully appointed with the most incredible outdoor shower, looking out onto what feels like a completely private beach. The price difference for a plunge pool is minuscule so unless you have a small child (as we do) I'd be 110% on board to get a room with a pool.
But swimming in your own pool can get boring, and the two main pools they have on the property are truly magnificent. My favourite was the main pool. And because the property is so large but the number of rooms is still only about 100, it never feels full even when it's at 100% capacity.
They have a second pool called Encanto, which is also a club that other members can come to on the weekends. Great for kids, but not as relaxed as the main pool when the members come in. The food at the Encanto restaurant however is fantastic. And the beach club in front is beautiful too.
It's also easy to miss the sports beach, which is windy and largely used for water sports but has a magnificent bar, if you can bike over there in the evening and have a cocktail and some shrimp tacos. Bliss.
The Jose Andreas restaurant MiCasa was our one mistake - only because we waited until the last night to go. It is incredible. If you're there for a few nights I would go every night and try new dishes, if you're only there one or two I would get the extended tasting menu. I thought I'd had enough molecular gastronomy and I didn't love Bazaar (his LA restaurant) as much as I thought I would - but this one is HEAVEN.
The rest of the food wasn't amazing as suggested in other reviews but Micasa made up for it.
The hotel is wildly expensive but for a couple of days you'll feel it was worth every penny. I came back more refreshed than I think I've felt in years.
The service is, for the most part, solid. Not the level of their Hong Kong hotel and obviously given how much this costs it needs to be, but I'm sure it will get there - and it's certainly not a reason not to go. And go often.
- 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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