Renovations to Dorado Beach Resort & Club in Puerto Rico are continuing with the recent announcement that the resort will be home to a new Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
The 130-room property, the first phase of a planned $1.2 billion project, will fill a void left since the 2006 closing of the Hyatt Dorado Beach. Twenty of the Ritz-Reserve rooms will be offered for purchase. The hotel is expected to be open by late 2012.
Dorado Beach, owned since 2007 by the Caribbean Property Group, is a 962-acre resort and residential property with four golf courses and 2.5 miles of beachfront. It is located west of San Juan, on the island’s north shore.
The government of Puerto Rico has thrown its weight behind the project, pledging a $231 million loan for the first phase. That loan is backed by the Government Development Bank, the Tourism Development Fund and several financial firms.
Long-term plans call for construction of a $600 million hotel with 400 rooms, but that financing has not been secured.
Dorado Beach is one of Puerto Rico’s most historic properties. Laurence Rockefeller opened the resort in 1958 with one course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., and it became a popular playground for celebrities. An additional 18 holes opened in 1966, and two more 18-hole courses were later added. Chi Chi Rodriguez used to be an assistant pro at Dorado Beach, which has hosted eight Champions Tour events.
Robert Trent Jones Jr. currently is overseeing renovations to the East Course, Dorado Beach’s tournament course, which is scheduled to reopen in October.