Let me start by saying this is going to be a very in depth review. My boyfriend and I just got back from our 3rd trip to Mexico. Last year we stayed at the Dreams in Cancun. I will review this hotel, as well as how it compares to the Dreams Cancun.
One word: impeccable. From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, you are treated like royalty. Same as the Dreams Cancun.
The layout of the hotel was interesting. They divided it into an adults only side, which has a big pool, a hot tub, a swim up bar, and a restaurant (Oceana), as well as a family side, with another big pool, hot tub, swim up bar, and all the other restaurants. Additionally, the beach is on the family side. While the adult side is very quiet, the family side is where all the entertainment happens, and there are a TON of kids running around by the pool. On the beach it wasn't as bad. At Dreams Cancun, the hotel was not divided into adult/family sides, but there didn't seem to be many children anyway.
The beach here is protected by rocks/coral and is shared by another neighboring resort; however, the Dreams beach is big enough. The water is that gorgeous tropical color. The sand does have some rocks, so watch out, but most of them seemed to be on the "upper" beach by the pavilion on the water. There are a ton of fish that live in this protected area, and you can borrow snorkel equipment from the dive shop behind Seaside Grill. Make sure you take some bread from the buffet in the morning and feed the fish, either from the "upper" beach (there is a small set of concrete steps near the bridge) or while you are in the water and watch how the fish flock to you. It was awesome! You can feed them by hand, but while the fish don't have teeth, they may accidentally nibble your finger. The one slight downside was that it seemed to be hard to find a chair in the shade if you didn't get to the beach early. The same was true for the pool areas. We didn't really run into this problem at Dreams Cancun. The beach there is also protected, but I think it's slightly bigger. The water there is a prettier color, but there's no reef for snorkeling.
As mentioned above, the snorkeling on the beach is pretty cool, especially for kids. In addition, there is a small protected pond of sorts on the far side of the resort, past Portifino and Patio restaurants. This is another great place for snorkeling as the water is extremely calm and there are a surprising number of fish here. Great for kids, and again, bring bread! The fish will love you. As compared to the snorkeling on sight at Dreams Cancun, this location is better.
The room was nice and very clean. The balcony has 2 chairs and a small table/ottoman, great for lounging and watching the goings on of the resort. The bathroom has a walk in shower and 2 sinks. This bathroom is better than Dreams Cancun because the shower there wasn't very big, so water would overflow from the shower. We didn't have this problem here at all. I will, however, warn you not to open your balcony door at night while there are lights on in the room. One time we did this and a roach flew in. Obviously that has nothing to do with the hotel itself as roaches live in warm, tropical climates, but just watch out for that. The tv was pretty good- we even had 2 channels of HBO, so that was cool. I think the tv service is better here than in Cancun. Additionally, there was a mini fridge that was refilled daily at no charge and included water, soda, and beer (same as Dreams Cancun).
The food is pretty good. Breakfast at the buffet was awesome. Also for breakfast, the Barefoot Grill just outside the buffet has smoothies and specialty waffles. We ate mostly at the Seaside Grill for lunch and dinner, which is located on the other side of the family pool, near the bar. The food here is really really good. The buffet was ok for dinner, but not the best. We also ate at Portifino for dinner twice. This restaurant requires long pants for men, but it's well worth the effort. Food here was great! There was also the Patio, which served Mexican food, Oceana on the adult side, and the Sushi place. We didn't eat at any of these restaurants, so I can't comment on the food quality. All I can say is that nothing really interested me on Oceana's menu, and the sushi menu was also pretty small. However, I am extremely cautious about my seafood as I can get sick from food pretty easily, so I wasn't willing to take any chances. The Barefoot Grill serves hamburgers and the like for lunch, but I didn't eat lunch there either. We did room service several times because it's included and we can never get that in the States for free. The food on the room service menu was pretty good, and it usually arrives sooner than they tell you on the phone.
Drinks at the resort are awesome. Every day they have 2 specialty drinks: one alcoholic, and one virgin (for the kids). They make the best mojitos! They certainly don't stiff you on the amount of liquor they use, unlike some other resorts I've been to. Both food and drinks are pretty much the same at both Dreams, but the menus differ (ex: at Oceana in Cancun, they served lobster bisque, but not at the Oceana in PA). There are 2 outdoor bars here, versus only one at Dreams Cancun. Both locations include a bar with swings, which is really neat and different. Both locations also feature an indoor bar/club area called Desires. At Dreams PA, it was pretty small. It's bigger at Dreams Cancun. Also, Dreams Cancun has a lobby bar which we went to a lot, while Dreams PA does not have one. We went to the outdoor bar near Seaside Grill for the most part at this location. Subtle differences, but worth noting.
Activities, along with service, are the main reasons my boyfriend and I love Dreams so much. Every day there is a schedule of activities from roughly 9am until 10pm that's posted in the elevators and the activity board on the family side. I think you can also get a copy in the lobby. It's impossible to be bored at Dreams. The Entertainment Team does an outstanding job of making you feel welcome and getting you to participate in the events and contests throughout the day. They have activities such as snorkeling, scuba demos, kayaking, catamaran trips, cocktail lessons, Spanish lessons, learning to make guacamole, beach/pool volleyball, ping pong tournaments, Zumba, etc. They have something for everyone. They also have a cart of books set up so you can borrow a book while laying on the beach or at the pool. There's a kids club that does its own activities with the kids. Additionally, they have an alternate rainy day schedule of activities, so you're never left without something to do. If activities aren't your thing, though, it's easy to get away from them by being at the beach or on the adult side. The activities are the same as Dreams Cancun.
I highly recommend scuba diving here if you are a beginner. It was my first time diving and I'm a bit scared of the ocean (I've almost drowned twice at home in Jersey). Pro Dive, located at the Dreams behind Seaside Grill, is a great place. They offer tons of snorkeling/scuba excursions, and Brian is a great instructor for beginners. Please see my review for Pro Dive Mexico for details.
Dreams PA is located in a small village of sorts that includes several different resorts, some condos, a few restaurants, a dolphin exhibit, a marina, and a couple of small shops. The entire area is what is referred to as Puerto Aventuras. Although you can walk around the area, my boyfriend and I were a bit worried doing so. More than likely, it's entirely safe, but there aren't a ton of people in the village off the resort, which seemed a little more worrisome than the crowds that line the street in Cancun. We were told that Playa del Carmen has great shopping, but it's about 30 min north of PA, and taking a cab in Mexico is not something either of us really wants to do after some of the stories I've heard. Needless to say, we didn't leave the resort much unless we were on an excursion. This facet of the hotel is where the Dreams Cancun wins, in my opinion. In Cancun, the resort is well within an easy walking distance to a lot of shopping, and it's safe. This was not the case at Dreams PA. However, the hotel itself is very safe, and we talked to other people who got a massage for $30 each in the village. As I said, the village is probably fine, but we are cautious.
About twice a week, local vendors come to the resort to sell their wares. Since this was my third time to Mexico, I wasn't interested in a lot of the stuff since I already have souvenirs. Just be careful and make sure you haggle your price. I looked at one bracelet that matched a necklace I made, and the vendor wanted 500 pesos (roughly $40-$45 USD), saying that it was made from real coral, turquoise, and silver. This was a complete lie as I have nearly identical beads at home, so again, just know what you're buying. Some of the craftsmen are very talented, though, and it's interesting to watch them work. This also happened at Dreams Cancun.
The bugs also seemed to be a bit worse here than in Cancun, and it might be because Cancun is located between the Caribbean and a big bay of sorts, while Dreams PA is located right on the mainland and thus has a more tropical/humid air. I mentioned the roach earlier, and the mosquitoes leave big bumps that itch a lot. However, it's not like we were swarmed with bugs. It wasn't even bad enough to use bug spray (which we brought just in case), but it was a bit annoying. If you attract bugs, as I tend to, I'd bring bug spray in case you need it.
Well I know this was a ridiculously long review, but I hope it helped. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa is a getaway with near infinite pleasures. Guests of all ages experience Unlimited-Luxury(R), remarkable amenities led by spacious rooms and suites with lovely views, gourmet dining options, limitless top-shelf spirits and 24-hour concierge service - all wristband-free. Guests are entertained by miniature golf, complimentary greens fees at a nearby golf course, a PADI certified diving center and Dolphin Dreams by Dolphin Discovery, one of the largest dolphinariums in the Riviera Maya resort region. To unwind, Dream Spa by Pevonia(R) offers a generous pampering menu. For couples, the resort presents wedding, honeymoon and anniversary packages, and for business, facilities begin with the 1,646 square foot Playa Ballroom. It's all of this and more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Dreams Puerto Aventuras Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Dreams Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Dreams Resort Puerto Aventuras
- Sunscape Puerto Aventuras Riviera
- Sunscape Puerto Adventuras
- Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa Riviera Maya, Mexico