DORADO, Puerto Rico -- A few miles past the last strip mall in this north coast town, a discreet sign beckons the privileged .01 percent down a lush ginger- and palm-frocked lane. It ends at a rushing wall of water flanked by a lily pond, a sleek, open-air pavilion, and a personal valet who greets new arrivals with a cold drink and whisks them via golf cart to spacious seaside digs.
If this isn't perfection, it's close. And it should be, considering that high-season rates at the new Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve start at $1,499 a night. The resort, which opened in December, is the second in the chain's new ultra-luxury Reserve brand. (The first is in Thailand; more are in the works in Mexico, Morocco and beyond.)