Soon there will be a new reason to be enchanted by Puerto Rico. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announced that it will open its second-ever Reserve property—one built to LEED Silver standards—in Dorado Beach. The luxury island destination first grabbed travelers' attention when Laurance S. Rockefeller opened one of his eco-friendly RockResorts in the area more than 50 years ago. In December 2012, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve hopes to boost interest in the tropical sanctuary with a 115-room oceanfront hotel and residences and a renovation of the original Dorado Beach Resort.
The brand's exclusive Reserve extension features "low-density" boutique resorts in exotic corners of the world, with more indigenous materials, as well as local products and traditions. At this time, the only other Reserve location is Phulay Bay in Krabi, Thailand.
Set on three miles of coastline and 1,400 acres of palm trees and lush forest, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will include 100 guest rooms and 14 one-bedroom suites all along the Caribbean beach—many with private plunge pools and seaside terraces. In addition, Su Casa, the original plantation hacienda, will be renovated to its 1920's style and serve as a five-bedroom villa. Guests will also have access to a five-acre botanical spa, a new Beach Club and a Wind and Waves center featuring Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment program with hands-on eco-adventures around the reserve.
The first 13 beachfront condominiums at West Beach are still under construction, but have already sold out. Reservations are still available for West Beach's second set of 14 units as well as the 18 villas and townhouses that will be built at East Beach.
Dorado Beach might be the Ritz-Carlton's second Reserve, but the collection will soon grow with plans to bring the luxury extension to Costa Rica, Turks & Caicos, United Arab Emirates, and Similan Beach, Thailand.
Dorkys Ramos is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter at @dorkysramos.