North Coast

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Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

PlusPicksIndagare Index

Vast, ecofriendly, paradise

100 Dorado Beach Dr. Dorado 787-626-1100

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At a Glance

After Laurance S. Rockefeller built the mid-century property in 1958, it quickly became the stomping grounds of Amelia Earhart, Elizabeth Taylor and such presidents as John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Today, the same gorgeous three-mile stretch of sand and sea is the backdrop for Dorado Beach Ritz-Carlton Reserve and spans 11 two-story structures: buildings one through five have direct access to West Beach; six to 11, the rockier eastern waterfront area. And the property now includes two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom residences with butlers (embajadores) for longer-term rentals. With activities for all ages and a kids’ club, a water park and sophisticated programming (including photography and snorkeling), the resort is an ideal place for family getaways. Guests have fun exploring the property by bike or golf cart. Posi+Ivo Sand Bar serves up Asian-inspired and Latin fusion dishes on the beach, while Coa has a farm-to-table menu and Puerto Rico’s largest wine cellar.

The Standout: The five-acre botanical spa, surrounded by nature and with tree-house treatment rooms

Don’t Miss: Moments of Discovery program, where guests can connect with the land and culture through excursions with passionate guides

Indagare Loves

  • The property’s two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom private residences, which are available for weekly rentals and all beachfront accommodations
  • The engaging kids’ club and ample activities on site
  • The Community Footprint Project that assists schools, communities and organizations near the exotic sanctuary

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Review

Dorado’s famed history began in the Golden Era of the 1920s when Clara Livingston was running the coconut plantation from the grand Su Casa house. (Today, the 6,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial home facing the ocean is available for rent through the hotel.) Pictures line the walls of Livingston and fellow airplane fanatic and close friend, Amelia Earhart, who was a frequent visitor. When Laurence S. Rockefeller bought the property in 1958 and built the mid-century hotel Dorado Beach, it became a hot spot for celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Crawford, as well as such presidents as John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Clara’s one rule for Rockefeller was that no building could be taller than the palm trees, and this rule has remained in place.)

Staying true to its rich history, Ritz-Carlton spared no expense rebuilding the property to include 100 guest rooms and 14 one-bedroom suites that are spread across 11 two-story buildings. Outdoor showers and panoramic ocean views add to every room’s extravagance. The property has expanded by adding two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom private residences, which are available for weekly rentals and are ideal for families traveling with kids.

While the beautiful blue sea is visible from every room, location is key, depending upon your preference: Buildings one through five are located on the West Beach, and all have direct access to the beach where a jetty protects the turquoise waters, making it ideal for swimming. East Beach buildings six through 11 have access to the waterfront area, but the beach is rocky and the water is not swimmable. However, these accommodations are a great option for honeymooners looking to escape to a more remote area of the resort.

Activities on-property are abundant for all ages. The kids’ club offers an array of options during morning and afternoon sessions, and highlights include underwater photography, snorkeling and nighttime bug-hunting hikes through the tropical forest. There is even an on-site water park for kids. Adults can enjoy several tennis courts, two gyms, two golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones and an open-air museum. Guests can explore all that Dorado has to offer via complimentary bike rentals. The signature restaurant, Coa, serves upscale farm-to-table fare and is home to the largest wine cellar in Puerto Rico.

After sunset, the spa lights up its enchanting 1,000-year-old Banyan Tree with lanterns. Past the ancient wonder and through a set of oversized wooden doors is the five-acre botanical oasis spa. Surrounded by nature, the 22 treatment rooms are encased in floor-to-ceiling glass windows surrounded by gardens with standing outdoor tubs. Many guests opt for their treatments in one of the two open-air treehouses.

Special touches are scattered throughout the property to make the guest experience unique. On a daily basis, guests can enjoy freshly opened coconuts or homemade guava popsicles, while lounging on the beach. Golf cart pick-ups and room service are a quick call away, and the warm and attentive Ambassadors can assist with all aspects of your stay.

Who Should Stay

Spa fanatics and couples or families looking for a resort getaway with over-the-top luxury.

Comments (2) OpenClose


  1. Indagare
    8:31 pm | January 23, 2015

    From Indagare member A.K.: “Our room was lovely, and we were glad we booked on the East Beach as it is more private than the other one. We especially enjoyed the plunge pool and ocean views. The spa is beautiful and we enjoyed our massages. While the beach is not picture-perfect (with dark sand and water instead of the turquoise color one might expect), it is really fun, with lots of waves. The beach area is limited so it can get crowded. The ‘nature trail’ is part nature-part golf course and local community tour. The latter is not that much fun if looking for a ‘natural’ experience.

    The scuba diving isn’t great because the hotel is not set up for it. An outside company does it and it doesn’t feel seamless. Plus, you have to drive out of the resort to go diving. The water sports center is also independent and things which ought to be free (like the use of non-motorized toys) are not. Breakfast leaves a lot to be desired. Guests get the basic continental meal—everything else needs to be ordered and costs extra.”

  2. Indagare
    11:01 pm | February 11, 2016

    From an Indagare client: “We absolutely loved the Ritz Carlton Dorado Beach. We don’t usually go to the same place twice, but we would definitely return here. The resort is beautiful. We played on two different golf courses, took surfing and sailing lessons and I went for a lovely run every morning. The food at the resort was excellent and we only ate off property one night, at a fantastic restaurant called Santella. It was local, but very chic.

    The staff at the hotel could not have been nicer. I think it helped that we were not there during a peak school vacation week. The spa almost felt like it was in Indonesia – very transportive.”

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