A day ahead of the first scheduled walk-through of the property, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. announced Monday the official launch of the Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the first of its kind in the Americas and the second under the luxury brand in Puerto Rico.
The resort, which will bring the Dorado Beach hotel back to life five years after it was shuttered, will be the second in the exclusive portfolio worldwide, joining Phulay Bay in Krabi, Southern Thailand.
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, a 115-key oceanfront hotel and residences, will be the centerpiece of the renovation of the Dorado Beach Resort set to open in December 2012, at an estimated investment of $340 million.
The investment also includes developing the luxury West Beach and East Beach Ritz-Carlton Reserve branded residences. The initial phase of 13 beachfront condominiums at West Beach is already sold out and under construction. The developers are currently accepting reservations for a second phase of 14 additional West Beach units, plus 18 villas and townhomes at East Beach.
“With world-class golf, a lush forest environment, and some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Dorado Beach is the perfect setting to debut the first Reserve experience in the Americas,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
“Blending serenity, a secluded landscape and a wealth of recreational options, the resort will reflect the original developer Laurance Rockefeller’s vision more than 50 years ago of a natural sanctuary in one of the Caribbean’s most pristine island locations,” Humler added.
The sprawling Dorado Ritz-Carlton Reserve property is located on 1,400 acres in Dorado, and features 100 guestrooms and 14 one-bedroom suites, all directly on the beach, plus Su Casa, the original plantation hacienda renovated back to its original 1920s style to serve as a five-bedroom beachfront VIP villa, perfect for weddings and private parties.
Dorado Beach will also include a five-acre, ‘botanical’ spa; a new Beach Club; and a Wind and Waves center featuring Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment, a celebrated program that will provide innovative, hands-on eco-adventures for adults, teens and children using Dorado Beach as a natural classroom. The new Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel was ‘grandfathered’ to be built on the footprint of the original hotel, so every guestroom, residence, and the restaurant is directly on the beach, only steps from sea, developers said.
“Since 1958, Dorado Beach has lured generations of discerning families, celebrities and dignitaries to its rare tropical paradise, and we are thrilled to work closely with The Ritz-Carlton to bring this legendary resort back to the forefront of Caribbean destinations,” said Mark Lipschutz, principal and CEO, Caribbean Property Group, developer of Dorado Beach Resort along with the PRISA Group.
“Dorado Beach today is already an amazing resort with four Robert Trent Jones Sr. golf courses, three miles of magnificent beaches, an 11-mile Rockefeller nature trail, The Watermill water park, and a new 8,000-square-foot Dorado Beach Fitness and Wellness Center. Now, with the new Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel and spa and Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residences, Dorado Beach will again take its place as one of the finest resorts in the world,” he said.
The project secured construction financing one year ago with a guarantee from the Tourism Development Fund of the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico. The Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel and spa, and the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residences, are under construction and scheduled to open in December 2012.
The hotel property developers and government officials are slated to walk members of the media and guests through the new property Tuesday.