Carlos Salazar Architects

Luxury Eco-Resort
& Spa, Luquillo

Luxury Eco-Resort & Spa @ Luquillo
Client: Global First Financial Partners, Inc.
Location: Carr. 992, Luquillo, PR
Phase: Conceptual Design
Year: 2017
Size: 50 acres
Cost: $22M
Program: An Eco-Resort & Spa inserted into 50 acres of natural landscape. The program consists of 156 Deluxe Suites arranged into 13 individual Villas with ocean and El Yunque Rainforest views. The hotel also has a Spa, Fitness Center, Pool, Gardens, trails, restaurants and meeting spaces.
Description: The relationship of the Eco-Resort to its contextual landscape has the objective of optimizing the connection between architecture and nature, addressing the views looking north to the ocean and south to the rainforest El Yunque. The project is organized by a series of individual structures connected by elevated walkways, ramps & trails. As guests arrive at The Main Building, a large oversized terrace connects them to the views of the ocean and the landscape. The Main Bldg. has a lobby, a restaurant, a Casino and meeting spaces on the upper level. The resort has 156 suites which are organized in 13 individual Villa Clusters. The suites have their own private large balconies and plunge pools. The Spa & Pool Building is centered among the Villa Clusters. The sequence of spaces is designed to enhance the visitor’s experience of the natural landscape and the built elements. As the guest enters the suite, the incidence of sunlight is captured through light wells and interior patios with natural vegetation, making the experience a seamless one.


The proposed structures are elevated from the natural terrain, making it appear as built into the topography & allowing for better views while preserving the existing landscape. Furthermore, the positioning of the proposed structures on the site obeyed the previously open areas in the vegetation and engages with existing trees. The contact elements between the slope and the construction were shaped to respect the existing land, thereby creating an organic interaction between nature and the architectural elements. The Eco-Resort includes over 130,000 sq. ft. of areas dedicated to Organic Farming / Growing Gardens connected by a 2-mile trail that allows guests and visitors to learn & experience the local agriculture industry. The Growing Garden Building located on the south end of the property, will allow chefs of restaurants in the hotel & around Puerto Rico to utilize produce grown on the property.


The architecture of the built forms considers the use of exposed concrete and wood, as much in the interior spaces as well as the exterior. The individual structures are designed to be built off-site in order to facilitate construction and reduce impact on the site. The building footprint occupies less than 20% of the overall site. All structures are lifted off the ground on concrete walls, recycled wood is proposed for flooring material, bamboo is considered for internal structural elements and all roofs are considered in heavy-duty galvanized steel to reduce the overall weight of the building. There are over 45,000 sq. ft. of roof area dedicated to solar energy & two large planted living roofs to reduce solar gain in the interiors. The design of the Eco-Resort emphasizes the longevity of the sustainable natural materials.