Before I arrived
at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, I’d decided that I couldn’t leave
without having its Island Cobb Salad. A friend had asked me, as I was planning
my trip, what I most look forward to when I travel and I admitted it was the
culinary escape. Without even realizing that was top of mind for me, I’d
already browsed the resort’s fare between its five options for dining.
A serene sanctuary tucked away on the Puerto Rico Caribbean
coast, Dorado Beach is one of those dwellings where your mood adjusts as soon
as the sound of the ocean welcomes you on property. Nothing about what you’ll
experience has been left to chance.
From the reception area, a wide-open airy corridor, you are
immediately tranquilized by a concoction of what you see and hear. The
stimulation of senses is key here. While waiting for my room, I idled for lunch
in a very modern, chill Encanto Beach Club Bar and Grill where the sand, breeze
and view taunt you just steps from the shoreline. The Island Cobb Salad, I was
assured, was an excellent choice. Medleyed corn, egg, cheese, avocado and
plantain chips aside skewered grilled lobster and mango dressing – essentially,
perfection. In the background, a subtle hum of good music which would shift to
an ambient thump for evening diners. I was with it.
I had settled in, prepared to spend a bit of the afternoon
on a sofa between the pool and Grill when my “Embajador” or butler, who would
attend to my every need on-property, arrived to escort me through the carved out
jungle. As we walked along the curvy path to a vista overlooking the eastern
side of the beach, I shed all consideration of time in the balmy breeze. In my
room, I straightaway opened the sliding doors to extend the space outside in
from the terrace and stretched out on the chaise. I’d seen people below but
somehow it was quiet; the resort’s take on guest individuality was
Dorado Beach, with its private residences, spa sanctuary,
and harmonious sense of place that flows uninterrupted into the natural
surroundings, is where you go to overload on relaxation. An intimate retreat
blending Laurance Rockefeller’s novel environmental design philosophies and
modern, yet minimal décor, this resort blurs the boundaries between outside and
in, creating an open-air enclave that embraces the natural splendor and diverse
culture of an unspoiled corner of the world. From the dedicated butler
appointed to create an experience tailored to your needs to the lush indulgent
spas, dining experiences and adventurous recreational prospects, the resort is
clearly designed to allure the world’s most discerning travelers. It's not
often you’re treated to the option of an indoor or outdoor shower. The choice
Hands On:Spa Botánico, its five-acre spa set within a fragrant
pineapple garden, could almost singularly define the experience of being away
here. Inspired by nature to impart a holistic sense of well-being, the refuge
pairs local Puerto Rican ingredients with indigenous soothing traditions performed
in the most unique of spa settings for a full sensory experience. Body scrubs
are blended in the spa’s kitchen, combining Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and
healing ingredients indigenous to the island. This integration with the natural
world is reflected in its fresh and unique offerings which take place entirely
outdoors within a lush, private garden setting. For me, the Coffee and Clove
Scrub – a revitalizing treatment using caffeine, sugar and the essential oils
found in cloves to exfoliate, remove impurities and leave the skin feeling
soft, refined and moisturized.
Beyond the usual:Though I wouldn’t peg myself as adventurous, the lure to get
out on the water of its swimmable beachfront is almost inescapable. And so I
ventured out in a combo-kayak with a guide stopping to explain the geology of
the surrounding mountains, the sea grass beds and marine life below. My
first-time kayaking nerves were for nothing as the water was calm for quite a
relaxing hour spent paddling out from the shore. If in fact you crave
adventure, however, there are options like kitesurfing, paddle boarding,
windsurfing and sailing.
In the early evening, when the air is soothing and the sun
has set, you will note movement throughout the pathways where you’ve felt
almost completely secluded in other moments. You see families and couples alike
heading to dinner at Mi Casa by José Andrés for a menu of tapas and featured
meals that focus on Puerto Rico farm-fresh ingredients, flavorful unions and a
novel signature style; and you very well may meet them on your stroll back in
for the night. And the next day, in this retreat where time stands still, it is
your pleasure to do it all again. - Katrice L. Mines
For the past two years, walking has been my life. I imagine that sounds over-the-top, but it is actually more accurate than I'm sure it could possibly seem. When my cousin suggested us moving a minimum of 10,000 steps a day as a part of our family wellness challenge in 2015, I thought I'd never reach that number. But, I found my rhythm and realized that getting to 10K required a much more dedicated approach to not sitting around, and something clicked for me. I started walking the mall at lunch, getting up and walking around my office more often throughout the day and even strolling our parking lot while reading. But, what changed most was my workout habits which generally included yoga and workouts six days a week via the Coach.me app. I always worked up a good sweat but I was so focused on getting through the hour that it was like a chore. I started walking my neighborhood, first doing about five times around which took just 30 minutes. That would give me a little over 4,000 steps ... Not enough. So, I increased to an hour and would come back to the house with nearly 9,000 steps on my Fitbit; soon, I was averaging 18,000 steps a day easily. I was happy about that alone [because I'm competitive and it had become quite a competition in my family to see who could log the most steps each day]. It took me a couple of months to realize that walking had turned into an emotional and mental outlet for me, and that my sleep and digestion had improved notably. When I walk, I think things through so thoroughly that by the end, my mind is clear ... problems are worked out and the stress of the day has faded. I couldn't remember a time when I felt better. This year during the family challenge, I decided to switch up my workout at the end of the spring because I was losing weight so quickly; and more than that, got tired of hearing about how thin I was looking. It excited me to realize that I'd found my sweet spot for dropping pounds and that my appetite was the best it's ever been but it started to be a bit counter productive as I was not noticing any remarkable changes in my upper leg muscles. So I thought, I'd just go back to my exercising -- focusing on different sections of my body each day. Fail. I did maintain my weight and fitness, but everything else was out of whack. And at the same time, I was juggling some projects that I definitely needed to be able to step away from. My sleep was no longer restful. I told a friend that I was in the midst of a 90-day PMS mood swing ... definitely not good for those around me ... lol. And heartburn had become a nuisance. Yesterday, I started back walking. A couple of lessons here for me: Know what's best for you and do that, despite what others think or say. And when you find the formula to wholistic wellness for yourself, stay with it. As the widely regarded saying goes, take time to do what makes your soul happy. xMVL
Each week, in partnership with Leff’s Atlanta Media, Atlanta Daybook presents a "Journalist Spotlight" in which Mitch Leff converses with a journalist in the Atlanta market, asking them four questions that'll help you learn more about local Atlanta media. What makes them tick? What's new at their media outlet? What drives them?
This week he chatted with me about my 10 years as editor of Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine. Here's a snippet below, but be sure to follow the link to the whole interview.
The best thing is absolutely doing what I love in terms of writing and research, and community empowerment. I am able to use my mind in a way that I believe will allow me to contribute something that will outlive me.
Hello, I'm Katrice. If we were perfect strangers and you started talking about anything lifestyle, you'd have me at "hello." I'm passionate about travel, writing, talking about God, home decor and style, and lifting people up. This blog is where I share everything that I love.