Developer talks new Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. is bringing its second Reserve branded resort to a 1,400 acre resort on the Caribbean coastline. The Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is slated to open in December 2012 and follows in the footsteps of Ritz-Carlton’s first Reserve, the Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Resort, in Thailand.

The Dorado property will feature 100 guestrooms along with 14 one-bedroom suites, all situated directly on Dorado Beach.

“This is a low density project with a lot of room to breathe which gives it that private feel,” said Clayton Ruebensaal, VP of marketing for Ritz-Carlton. The resort will offer a golf course along with a five-acre spa. “For us it’s a way to bring our service excellence into the category of secluded and private resorts.”

The resort is being developed by Caribbean Property Group and PRISA, after years of delays in securing financing.

“The resort was previously owned by the Pritzker family and operated as a yacht resort; it was purchased by Caribbean Property Group at the end of 2007,” said Eric Christensen, CEO of Dorado Beach Resort Development. “For the first year or two we worked on design, the owners put in their equity and we also signed with Ritz-Carlton, so there was a lot of legwork. It was hard to get construction financing in 2009 so the Puerto Rican government asked them to wait a year.”

Christensen believes loan support from the Puerto Rican government was essential to the development of the hotel.

“We always wanted to do a job when construction costs are low and open when times are good,” he said. “I think we’re very lucky, high-end luxury resorts take such a long period from conception to delivery of the project.”

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