Financier and famed conservationist, Laurance S. Rockefeller wrote, “In the midst of the complexities of modern life, with all its pressures, the spirit of man needs to refresh itself by communion with unspoiled nature.” If you’re finding this particularly poignant, there is perhaps no better place for your spiritual invigoration than Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort.
Nestled on the northern shore of Puerto Rico, Dorado Beach opened in 1958 as the Caribbean’s first eco-resort and a love letter to nature. This sprawling, 1,400 acre retreat, envisioned and opened by Rockefeller himself, seamlessly integrates the lush vibrance of the island of Puerto Rico with modern amenities and art. Buildings never exceed the height of a palm tree and are interspersed amongst more than 300,000 native plants. Suites and residences offer outdoor living space and nature-inspired artwork, in full view of the roaring ocean. The resulting tranquility amongst beauty cannot help but encourage communion with the environment.
The property’s crown jewel, the luxury Four-Bedroom Penthouse brilliantly typifies this connection of indoor amenities to outdoor aesthetics. Overlooking the incredible sparkling waters from the top floor and surrounded by lush scenery, this impeccable space ensures guests a constant connection to the outdoors. An incredible rooftop lounge, deep soaking tub, and a golf cart for personal transportation around the resort solidifies this 6,960 square foot space as the definition of paradise. Enjoy this spectacular accommodation with a group of any size, with a variety of rooms, cozy den and gourmet kitchen this space is utter perfection.
Dorado Beach deepens connections to the surrounding environment and culture through its experiences. Most notably, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment turns a day spent snorkeling the reefs or walking the resort’s 11 mile Rockefeller Nature Trail, into a thought-provoking consideration of our role in the world. Further excursions including explorations of the architecture of San Juan, tours of booming coffee plants and rum distilleries, and hikes to sacred archaeological sites, continue your journey into the rich culture of Puerto Rico. Each is just a phone call away, thanks to your assigned embajador, the cornerstone of Ritz-Carlton Reserve’s legendary service program.
Resplendent with purification gardens teeming with warm and cool pools, waterfall showers, and steam pavilions, the resort’s luxurious Spa Botanico bestows relaxation and restoration after a day spent exploring nature. Treehouse treatment rooms overlooking a pineapple garden provide the perfect backdrop for restorative, locally inspired, and botanically driven treatments. No matter your preference, it promises to be a transformative experience.
Fine dining opportunities abound at the resort, and continue the theme of connection. Coa, Dorado Beach’s flagship restaurant, is named after a tool the native Taino people use, and draws its inspiration from the surrounding culture. Here, locally sourced ingredients are transformed into memorable meals via a traditional Spanish wood-burning oven, while guests choose wine from their 3,200 bottle cellar, the largest in the Caribbean. Elsewhere around the property, guests can enjoy beachside dining at both Post + Ivo Sand Bar and Encanto Beach Club, and prepared local delicacies from La Cocina Gourmet market. For those looking to take Puerto Rico’s culinary traditions home with them, cooking classes at their on-site culinary center will expertly prepare you.
No matter the experience one prefers, Dorado Beach masterfully achieves “that kind of physical and spiritual renewal that comes alone from the wonder of the natural world,” that Rockefeller touted so often.
Words by Russ Martonis