by Michael J. Shapiro | October 09, 2013
Ritz-Carlton will open a luxury resort on Pearl Island, a 3,500-acre private island 45 miles south of Panama City, Panama, the company announced this week. The 80-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve, which will include private residences, is scheduled to debut in 2016. The open-air resort will feature a spa with outdoor treatment villas and separate tree-top villas; a private beach club; three swimming pools, and three restaurants. Guests also will have access to a marina and equestrian center. A 1,800-square-foot event pavilion and boardroom will be on-site. The largely undeveloped island, which is owned by two international investment groups, is accessible by boat, helicopter or plane via private airstrip. It is among approximately 250 small islands in the archipelago, many inhabited by small fishing communities. Pearl Island also is home to a 150-species bird sanctuary, as well as 700 species of fish, 15 kinds of coral and 16 mammal species. To preserve the ecosystem and natural beauty of the location, approximately 70 percent of the island will remain undisturbed.