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“Disappointing service”

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Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Dorado
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Service throughout the hotel needs work. Despite the beautiful location the lack of service ruins the trip. The staff seems willing to help but untrained, confused and overwhelmed. Perhaps they should get a lesson from the manager at the Ritz in Cancun - that hotel has superb service.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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15  Thank Spring201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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835 - 841 of 893 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

3 night into our Spring Break vacation and we're having a blast. The property is spectacular in every way. The beach is incredible and very well groomed. The pools and rooms are also world class. All rooms have beautiful oceanfront views and our room includes a wonderful pool and patio. The food has been wonderful from room service, Encanto, Positivo and the Mi Casa restaurants. We've stayed at many world class resorts and this property is by far the best in terms of location, scenery and relaxation. All that said, the staff is in desperate need of training. They seem nice and well meaning but they struggle to deliver 5 star level service. On our arrival, we were greeted with towel service and welcome drinks. Service went downhill soon after as follows:

1. On arrival, the requested crib was missing.
2. Phone was not operational (it took 2 more complaints and 1 day before it was fixed)
3. Bed was not turned down (silly me to expect it when I'm paying $2,600 a night)
4. Room service food is great but service is awkward (again, training would help) they don't know how to greet you formally and the servers seem confused on process.
5. The bedroom thermostat stopped working on the second night. It started working again today.

Beach side service is well meaning but not very attentive. You could park yourself on the beach near service staff and nobody will ask if you need towels or drinks. I know, they didn't ask once. We had to chase down someone to ask for drinks. We ordered lunch from Positivo near beach and when the two ladies arrived with our food they went into panic mode when they realized they had no table to set down the food. My wife stepped in to help them setup. They had this dear in headlight look when they realized their mistake.

Tonight we ordered room service (1 appetizer, 1 entree, 2 desserts, iced water and a Mojito). After 50 minutes we got all our food with only one set of silverware and no glasses or ice for water. We did get the watered down version of their Mojito. On our evening visit to Positivo they were slow (40% occupancy they say this week) and we were 1 of 3 tables being served. However, it still felt like we were abandoned. Slow service and not very attentive.

Very disappointing for what should be world class service in a world class property. They just need to give their staff better training and their manager needs to step up.

Room Tip: Don't order mixed drinks from room service. They are crappy watered down versions of what is se...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank PhillWC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Took a three night holiday to the brand new Ritz Carlton Reserve in Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico.
Had the most amazing time !!!!! Fantastic Room, Workout facility and Spa beyond great. Food was delicious and the beach and pools a scandal so fabulous !!!!
Going back with family as soon as possible .

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Monica G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

We visited Jumby Bay in November. We fell in love with the resort and thought that nothing could ever compare. I was hesitant to book the new Ritz Carton Reserve before they were in business for at least a year to give them some time to iron out the wrinkles. I am so happy that we did not wait. We visited the first week of March, 2013. The resort accommodations and grounds were breathtaking. The service was also equal to, or better than any resort we have been to in the Caribbean, or the world.

We booked a car to pick us up through the reservation team at the Ritz Carlton. The driver was waiting for us when we arrived at the airport and we were whisked away in a matter of minutes. It is about a 30 minute drive to the hotel and as soon as we arrived, staff was waiting to take our luggage, offer us a welcoming drink and give us a brief tour of the facilities.

The rooms are spectacular. The beds are facing floor to ceiling sliding glass doors (that fully open). These doors open up to a view of the beach and ocean that is unsurpassed. The bathroom with huge soaking tub and outdoor shower were to die for. If only I could pack up that bathroom and take it home. The toiletries provided were sumptuous and refilled daily.

I was hoping that the food would be at least adequate based on some reviews. We found that all 3 dining venues were outstanding. We are foodies and enjoy trying new dishes. If you are looking for simple fare, I would imagine that one might not be happy with the dining choices. Travelers that are a bit adventurous will not find any fault with the food or wait staff. On the contrary, we were raving about both. Our favorite was Mi Casa. It was a true fine dining experience. Many of our favorite employees would greet us for breakfast and again for dinner. They remembered our preferences in beverages, etc.

As is often the case, it is the hotel staff that can make or break a vacation experience. We found every person we encountered to be pleasant, informative and very proud to be members of the hotel. They were all well versed with the history of the hotel grounds, which we found fascinating.

We played golf twice during our week. The first outing, we played the Pineapple course. It was acceptable, but not truly a resort course. The next time we played the East Course, which was outstanding. The conditions and course layout were excellent and challenging.

We toured the spa which is over the top! We didn’t partake this time because golf, beach, pool, eating and drinking kept us fully occupied. We will definitely go the next time since the tree house massage rooms called out my name every time we walked passed them!

There were some minor issues that we encountered, but they did not distract from our trip. We asked for bicycles on our first and second days there, but they were never delivered to us. We also had some issues with the air conditioning but a service team came each time we contacted the front desk. We ultimately learned that we should keep our blinds closed during the day when we weren’t in the room so that it would stay cooler during the evening hours.

On a positive note, one of our friends had a problem with his tooth one evening. He called the front desk to ask if they could get him something to relieve the pain. Within 15 minutes, an employee went to the town, picked up the item requested and delivered it to his room. That is service that is truly commendable.

We are always on the hunt for new boutique style resorts and this one more than fit the bill. Overall, this is now one of our top three favorite Caribbean resorts and we know we will return soon. Being so new, it can only continue to improve as time goes on.

Room Tip: I don't think there are any bad rooms in this resort. The second floor rooms are missing a plun...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank karenr58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

From the moment we were personally greeted and given a tour of the property by the General Manager to the minute we left, we were blown away by this property. The stunning view as you walk up the steps of the entrance pavilion, I can't remember anything quite like it. The design of the property - easily navigable via bike - is exquisite, with every square inch landscaped to perfection. Our room was intelligently designed to make the most of the view, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls that open completely, creating an open-air unit from which to enjoy the ocean scenery. Even the bathrooms, with the outdoor shower option, were well-thought out and enjoyable to use.

We started each morning with a bike ride along the Rockefeller Trail, appreciating the views of the ocean, the lush forest, the exotic wildlife and the beautiful golf course. One day we stopped along the trail to visit the Watermill water park. Like all other common structures in this Dorado Beach community, it was impressive. It was large enough to accommodate hundreds of guests yet private enough that there were fewer than 50 people on this particular Saturday. While we didn't play any of the golf courses, we did spot Chi Chi Rodriguez as we rode the trail as he welcomed golfers to his corner of the world.

Although we had planned to venture into San Juan at least once during our visit, we immediately ruled side trips out once we saw how impressive Dorado Beach was. We left the grounds one night for dinner - but we'd recommend forgetting that option and dining on-site. The food was good at each restaurant...bettered only by the service and the views. We like good simple/plain food - and the restaurant options did not disappoint (we only tried Mi Casa for dessert). Dinner at Encanto at a table overlooking the beach - I can't imagine life getting much better than that. We strongly recommend planning meals around sunset - not only do you get a great meal but you can't beat the scenery.

We enjoyed every aspect of this vacation. Until this trip, I never had that vision of the perfect beach spot in my head when I close my eyes like you see in movies. From now on, that image will be Dorado Beach.

Room Tip: Although many people suggest buildings 1-5, we were in building 7 and enjoyed the view of the rocks...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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7  Thank Brad G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

This property is absolutely beautiful but not worth $1740 per night, the least expensive room after tax and "resort fee." The technology in the rooms is not understood by the staff, for example lights randomly turn on in the middle of the night and the TV needs to be rebooted daily. The staff often forgets items, for example OJ was forgotten three of the five days we ordered breakfast from room service, despite specifically confirming the last time. It took three days of calls to confirm transportation and location of golf bags. The housekeeping was lacking in cleanliness; there were dried drops of urine on the toilet seat when we arrived at our room the first day. The manager is charming and did comp a night plus a full day and night of meals which we appreciated but it didn't make up for the constant lack of service which must be due to poorly trained staff, lack of leadership or care. It was never explained that the "cabanas" can be reserved for a $300 guarantee; for the price of the room there should be no cabana fee, just an example of the nickel and diming that also takes place and takes a toll on one's relaxation.

The kicker was the three "embajadors," the manager, and the driver knew that we checked out early to visit Old San Juan before our flight home but they did not mention that 200,000 people were rallying in Old San Juan for family day. So instead of a nice end to our trip, we sat in traffic for two hours and almost missed our plane. How could none of them have known? Typical of the lack of communication and care towards guests and very frustrating.

Ironically, before going we did check this site and found that the previous comments, good and bad, were accurate. I mentioned this to the manager and he said "I must take TripAdvisor with a grain of salt."

The bottom line is they should not charge those rates unless they can deliver perfection or something close to it.

Room Tip: One of the things we read and didn't listen to is to request building 1 through 5 for great beac...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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18  Thank FDD123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

My husband and I had a wonderful 4 days at Dorado beach- it is a special place and we hope to return someday. The grounds are gorgeous. The rooms overlooking the ocean are the best part. Overall the restaurants were very good- Mi Casa was our least favorite. We asked if they could do a fish/vegetarian version of their tasting menu and they said no even though there were many options on the menu. The "room service" on the beach was great. We did a snorkling "expedition" off the beach. The guides were fantastic- extremely knowledgeable and very friendly, but the snorkeling itself was so so and the price was very high. That being said they were very accommodating to our schedules. The service, except for at Mi Casa was absolutely the top. Overall this is a wonderful and very relaxing place

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ZZcircus
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 00646-2058, Puerto Rico
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: $918 - $2,597 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 114
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Somewhere between idyllic and perfection sits a Puerto Rico resort of such intimate luxury and rare character, it calls to those who believe every journey should be a voyage of discovery. Once a 1,400-acre sugar plantation owned by the Livingston family, Dorado Beach caught the eye of conservationist visionary Laurance S. Rockefeller, who in the 1950s transformed the lush landscape into one of Puerto Rico’s most exclusive luxury resorts. With its serene coastline, private residences, spa sanctuary, golf courses and a harmonious sense of place that blends masterfully into the natural surroundings, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve invites guests to arrive spellbound – and depart speechless. ... more   less 
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