Puerto RicoÂ’s historic Dorado Beach Resort welcomes the AmericasÂ’ first Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel and residences.

More than 50 years ago, Laurance S. Rockefeller introduced the world to the “luxury island resort” by opening his eco-friendly RockResorts, including Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico. Now, the Dorado Beach Resort will be the first property in the Americas to have a Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel and residences.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will be a luxurious 115-key beachfront resort. West Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residence, will be an exclusive enclave of beachfront vacation homes. Both are set to open in December 2012.

In addition to West Beach, Dorado Beach is introducing East Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residence. West Beach and East Beach, the first-ever Reserve-branded residences, will bring a new level of luxury and sustainability for Ritz-Carlton-managed vacation homes. The initial phase of 13 beachfront condos under construction at West Beach is already sold out. The second phase of 14 additional West Beach units, plus 18 villas and townhomes at East Beach, are now accepting reservations.

The Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residences at West Beach and East Beach include two- to four-bedroom designs priced from $2.5 million to $5.3 million. Ground-floor residences have private pools, while upper-floor abodes have infinity-edge plunge pools. Top-floor penthouses include furnished roof decks with views of the sea. All Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residences at Dorado Beach are designed according to LEED Silver standards.

Situated on three miles of Caribbean coastline, Dorado Beach will include a botanical spa, a Beach Club, and a Wind and Waves center featuring Jean-Michel Cousteau’s “Ambassadors of the Environment” program for adults, teens, and kids. doradobeach.com.

South Beach Chic Thompson Hotels, an international collection of luxury hotels in major urban centers, will add Hotel Victor in Miami Beach to its elite portfolio. Thompson Hotels will rebrand the historic hotel, located in Miami’s South Beach, as Thompson Ocean Drive. A multi-million-dollar renovation to both guest rooms and public spaces  will be completed in early 2012. Thompson Hotels’ management of the property is effective immediately, introducing the group’s renowned sophistication and service while maintaining the landmark’s legacy as the most desirable hotel in South Beach. The celebrated hotel, located in the heart of Miami Beach’s famed Art Deco District, features 90 stylish guestrooms, most with ocean views; a stunning infinity pool; a 6,000-square-foot Spa V; the fine Northern Italian BICE Ristorante and BICE Café; three lounges and bars; and 6,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces. thompsonhotels.com.

At the OceanÂ’s Edge Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway on FloridaÂ’s Gold Coast, 4001 North Ocean is underway. The 34 residences at 4001 North Ocean offer a minimum of three bedrooms and range in size from 2,800 square feet to 5,000 square feet, not including their expansive outdoor terraces. The property also includes floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the beach, spacious great room floor plans, and technologically advanced design, engineering, and green building practices. Owners can call this exclusive address home in December 2012; residences are priced from $1.7 million. 4001ocean.com.