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“Extraordinary property in a beautiful location” 5 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   |  
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Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Dorado
New York City, New York
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Extraordinary property in a beautiful location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

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.

Room Tip: Get a room with a plunge pool, so indulgent and not much more expensive. But they're all amazing...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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322 reviews from our community

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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 (144)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Had three different treatments at different times with different therapists. Every single one was perfection. Therapists were friendly but not obtrusive, thoroughly professional and deserving of the 20% gratuity (automatically added to the cost). The grounds are absolutely stunning and cover 5 acres! The privacy and serenity is bliss. Run, don't walk, (then relax) to this jewel in the Ritz crown.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, Virginia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

Pulling up to this resort (about 25 min outside of SanJuan) takes our breath away. The lush jungle and tropical feel wows. You drive through some suburban sprawl to get here but once you arrive- every room faces the ocean and you are literally a stones throw from crashing waves. Ask for a room with an infiniti pool on the lower level and you will get workers walking by your "private" area all day. Ask for a second floor suite and you will get a pool on your deck with complete privacy. Jose Andres restaurant Mi Casa was to die for. Lots of celebrity sightings. 3 golf courses on property. Very secluded and private (other than workers walking by). I will say that overall the service is not equal to other Ritz Carlton properties. Do NOT miss the spa. Ask for Daniel for a massage and you will not regret.

Room Tip: All rooms face the ocean- lower levels less private because workers constantly walking by, further f...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

My husband and I are shocked at all these good reviews! We had a seven night vacation planned and fled after just three nights. We left this horrendous property to return to 10 degree weather...that's how bad it was. We are worldwide travelers and stay at only high end establishments. We know how a five star resort should be run! This was a complete failure.

Check in was quick, nice. No "tropical drink" was offered as noted on other reviews. Driven to our room in a cart with faulty transmission. Our "ambassador" said "Hold on!" She asked us when we wanted our beach chairs set up in the morning. Nice. We said 9am. Never done.
In the room was our "welcome snack" of 5 one inch bananas and 1 dead orchid flower. Dead! We are accustomed to a bowl of fruit or a bottle of wine or flowers. The ambassador never was to be seen again. Walking up to our ground floor room was a pile of old bird poop, paper on the path and cigarette butts in the back. Classy!

The room was large. I just remember it being brown with awful artwork. The bathroom has a large tub floating in the room. Nowhere to put your products for bathing. I had to slide on over the dirty clothes hamper. Lovely. And the bath products they offer are scented strongly of ginger/lemongrass. Like a bowl of Tom Yum soup. I called for an alternative. I was told "either people love it or hate it" but no other options are available. Not even from the spa. Really?! I had to be driven to Walgreens to buy myself alternative products. Waste of my time.

The food is awful. Just a few of the examples: Burger, like everything else, was way over salted. It arrived with no condiments. I had to get up to find my server chatting in a group by the kitchen in order to get some ketchup! Caesar salad was too salty, completely covered with Parmesan cheese. Couldn't even see the lettuce. Guacamole looked like puréed pea soup, gazpacho came with lobster that was barely cooked. No way could I eat it. Pork belly...a teaspoon of meat. All fat.
Breakfast is a joke. Terrible service. Special egg dish was deep fried eggs...deep fried eggs! Yuck.
I ordered English Breakfast tea, green tea arrived. One day there was nothing on the table as far as sugar, salt (which you don't need!), pepper, jams. Voila, the next day they are there! No consistency. The outdoor eating area for breakfast is covered with a tacky, filthy piece of canvas. An obvious addition poorly done. Chairs, with cushions, out from under the canvas were always wet! Can't someone bring the cushions at night to keep them dry?! No attention to detail.

The pool is not heated! It's cold! I'm an avid swimmer and could not swim. The lounge chairs have no cushions. They are hard and uncomfortable. The beach slants down. If you sit there you slide off your lounge chair! No beach service. That's a shame.

You must be aware that this property has residences as well. Those home owners can join the "Beach Club". So after school and on the weekends the neighborhood kids come to play in the pools. They are loud and boisterous. They are the only ones who can tolerate the cold water.

All of this for $2,000 a night! What an awful experience. The Ritz should be ashamed.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Don't go! Save your money and sanity.

The one star is for the beauty of the property. It is lush. If only the gardener hadn't used the noisy leaf blower at 7:30 in the morning.....

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014 via mobile

I was very disappointed by the Ritz Reserve at Dorado. As a frequent Ritz guest, I expected the same high level of service (even higher given this is much more expensive and one of only two Reserve hotels worldwide) While the property is beautiful and new, the service was quality was quite poor. Each day, it took hours to get beach chairs set up outside our room on the beach. The food quality was not very good and it took very long for waiters to serve the table. The "ambassadors" they assign you to help you book your day, etc were really unresponsive and apathetic. Lastly, the property seemed to nickel and dime you wherever possible. For nearly 2k a night, I would have expected complimentary water sport activities like at most resorts. Here, nothing was complimentary other than snorkel gear. Even taking a kayak into the beach was over $100 a person. While the beach is stunning and the property is gorgeous, I would Not recommend this property to anyone looking for excellent, high-end service.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

I do not usually write reviews but I wanted to write one for this magnificent resort. I went once with my wife last Spring and returned again with my wife and kids (age 6/4) over New Year’s week. I've been to many resorts worldwide under many brands to include Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, and many others. I've also been to what I consider to be the most beautiful leisure destinations in the world to include Tahiti, Hawaii, all over the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Greece, and south of France. I have to say that the Dorado Beach area and associated Ritz Carlton Hotel make up what may be the best the best resort experience in the world.

I was stunned by the absolute beauty of Dorado, super impressed with the hotel itself, and extremely pleased with the great service that is optimized with a personal butler assigned to every room. As an example of the service, I called the concierge to ask if I could get four bikes for us to ride on the great trails at the resort and was impressed when four perfect bikes (nicer than the ones I own at home) showed up outside my room ready for use five minutes later.

The architecture of the hotel is awesome (2 story frank loydish buildings along the beach vs your typical high rise). The room quality is the best I've ever been in (top of the line materials, fixtures, and features, outdoor showers built as part of the room, and a personal plunge pool). There are also several restaurants to include one run by a chef who many believe is the best chef in the world (José Andrea's), and four others located in various areas that were all great (almost impossible to find this quality of food in the Caribbean from my experiences).

The grounds of the resort and extended Dorado Beach are amazing and totally safe with a gated and guarded community that includes: tropical rain forests, several golf courses (I don't golf but people say these courses are great – they were definitely pretty to look at), an amazing work out facility (it even had a it's own Pilates room/equipment that my wife likes), a spa laid out over 5 acres (seriously? my wife went crazy on that one), bike trails (imagine riding for 10 miles through the jungle and along the beach), a water park with lazy river and slide for the kids (located 5 minutes by golf cart from the hotel with stunning architecture and stone walls – not cheesy like every other one I have seen), and stunning beaches with waves crashing on an outside reef and calm water on the inside of the reef for swimming. The separate beach club also has wonderful walk in pool, great service, and one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. Another nice touch for us (actually myself and my son)'was football games playing on big screen tv's on a tent covered lawn with the ocean waves in the background with bar and food service (it doesn't get much better than that). The kids also liked the outdoor movies at night. There is also a beach activity center which has just about every activity you can imagine: boating, sailboarding, surfing, and even kite surfing with great instructors. They located the activities on a separate beach (5 min golf cart ride) and figured out a way to present these activities in an incredibly elegant manner and so much different than other beach activity scenes that I have seen at other resorts. They also have a Cousteau aquatic center which provided some interesting learning and snorkeling opportunities for my whole family. (Even my 4 yo daughter).

If you are still reading, everything is spread out but convenient by golf cart making it feel like it is its own lush island. I was there when the hotel was 100% sold out and the place felt very comfortable, quiet, and I never once had to make a reservation or wait for anything.

Words are hard to describe the experience here and I surely don't have enough time or ability to do this place justice under my own pen. I would just look at the website and the pictures to get a good sense of what I'm trying to convey. I lived in California many years (now living on east coast) and thought that going to Hawaii in five hours was one of the greatest benefits. But now with the Dorado Beach Ritz Carlton, I don't have to dream about going to Hawaii anymore. I have it all with a direct 3 hr flight followed by a 35 minutes can ride from San Juan Airport making it super convenient. My highest rating ever for this resort.

Now that I have written this, I am hesitant to publish this as I don't want the hotel sold out next time I go. But I will anyway because this place and staff earned it my eyes. .

Room Tip: They are all superb. Doesn't matter which one you get from what i can tell.
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  • Stayed December 2013, 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 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

After literally having the perfect honeymoon in Dominica at Sunset and then in Anguilla at Meads Bay, we finished with two days in Puerto Rico (we had to stop there on our way home anyway)… My husband is in the hotel industry and The Ritz Reserve is one of the hottest properties. We splurged and stayed for two nights on the mega-exclusive and ritzy property. Upon arriving I was turned off (yes, do I sound like a snob?)… it was mostly because of the expansive manicured lawns and the dozen people who are there to hand you a drink, or help with luggage, etc… We usually travel to small boutique hotels where we can have personal relationships with the people. While I would say that the Ritz was glorious in terms of its amenities… the indoor/outdoor showers (although, I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t in the same bathroom, so you could just see each other, but not shower together)… the glass door opening to the water with a plunge pool was particularly luxurious.

The restaurants were really nice and my husband enjoyed the breadbaskets… We ate seafood both nights. We played golf on the beautiful course and actually ran into Chichi Rodriguez, which was cool (we got his autograph).

The reason why I’d go to the Reserve is because of the spa. I’m not a spa person…. I’ve had spinal and hip surgery and so I get really nervous with massage therapists. My husband called ahead to let them know that I had spinal surgery and needed a therapist who was educated beyond the relaxation of spas. We had a couples massage and first, the room was beautiful. It was a glass room surrounded by vegetation and flowers. The masseuse was knowledgeable and I felt completely at ease and able to relax.

I also had a manicure… I wish I could remember the name of the woman, but we talked about her marriage and hiking, etc.… she was hilarious telling me about her wedding day and was simply kind and friendly.

The pre/post spa areas are beautifully appointed with multiple hot/cold baths, steam rooms, bucket showers… etc. It is the most beautiful and relaxing spa. We talked at length with the Spa Director afterward complimenting her on how professional and relaxing the spa felt… it was the most expensive splurge on our honeymoon, but worth every penny.

Also, we visited Mi casa on our last night... we requested a tour of the famous, historic home... it was stunning and truly majestic. If you go all the way there it is worth learning the famous history and seeing the architecture and furniture yourself.

Room Tip: I would get a room on the bottom with a plunge pool... also really think about the east or the west...
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  • Stayed October 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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 ( WiFi ) 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*
Number of rooms: 114
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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