(Image courtesy of PR Newsire)
It looks like Ritz-Carlton is going to be expanding their “Reserve” line of properties with an addition on Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico. According to a manager at the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay, The Reserve line is designed to be a complete luxury resort getaway experience, where people should feel fully immersed in their surroundings and secluded from the worries of everyday life. We stayed at the Phulay Bay Ritz-Carlton Reserve @ Krabi last year, and it was outstanding. It was the nicest resort I have ever been at my entire life. In fact, I believe the Krabi Reserve is the only Reserve that is currently open right now.
There is the Molasses Reef property, but this thing has been in construction delays for years now. It was scheduled to open a couple years ago, but I think construction was delayed when the economy got bad in 2008. According to their website, there will be a construction update in Winter 2012. Right… so… we’ll see when that opens up.
Anyhow, the one thing the Krabi and the Molasses Reef (theoretically) properties have in common is that they are totally secluded properties. The most recent addition will be on Dorado Beach. How can something be secluded and private on Dorado Beach? There is already a Hyatt, an Embassy Suites, four legendary golf courses, and plenty of tourist traffic on that beach so I’ll be curious to see how they create the “reserve” feel there.
Another concern of mine will be whether or not they open this property up to Marriott / Ritz-Carlton Rewards Members. I was fortunate enough to be able to use Marriott Rewards Points at the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Krabi, but in September of 2010, Marriott made a change, excluding Reserve properties from Marriott Rewards. I really hope they re-consider, especially as they add more properties. While I still maintain Marriott Platinum status and will next year as well, one of the main reasons I switched most of my stays over to Starwood are for their ultra high-end, aspirational redemption options. Marriott is severely lacking in this category. Keeping the Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties out of the program makes the problem even worse. Anyhow, if things change, you can bet I’ll mention it here.
(Thanks to Kalboz @ MilePoint for the link)
(Here is my trip report of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay)