Dreams...more like A NIghtmare
Frankly, we expected more from a Dreams resort. Let me being my review by saying I have traveled much and am very easy going when it comes to resorts, especially those in foreign countries. I have a realistic outlook on what I am aiming to expect, but customer service from a 'luxury' resort is one of them. Dreams Puerto Aventuras fell short within our first 5 minutes. We had read reviews on the resort, as it has only been a Dreams since December, but Dreams is a world-recognized brand that is supposed to be a leader in luxury and vacation getaways. THIS Dreams truly was a nightmare. We had read reviews prior to departure, 95% of which were negative, and went into the experience as positive as we could be. Regretfully, the other travelers' complaints and issues immediately became ours. The front desk and concierge staff all operate under total chaos, each member of the staff telling or promising you something different, but you'll never see the end result. Overall, at this Dreams the guests pay the ultimate price for clear lack of management and disorganization. For the $1800 we paid for 4/nights, that's just unacceptable in my book.
We ran into trouble immediately at the front desk. Other guests were complaining as we waited in line, before we ever even checked in. Not a good sign, but unfortunately a realistic experience at this hotel. We were guaranteed a 3pm checkin time, Guaranteed Room Upgrade and $50 hotel credit. The front desk staff, including a manager, lied to us telling us we booked a Marina View Room---even though we had a confirmation in hand that we PAID for Ocean View. At 3:45 our room wasn't ready, so we were told to come back in 45 minutes. They took our confirmation and Front Desk Worker #1 assured me we would be upgraded from the ocean view room we paid for. Upon returning an hour later, we now had to deal with Front Desk Worker #2 at the front desk. He indicated we were being put in a 2nd floor Oceanview room. Listen people, 2nd floor is NOT Ocean View. I even asked him about reviews I had read on the resort that floors 4 and higher were ocean view, and the rest were deemed Garden View. HE CONCURRED. Why then would someone who paid for Ocean View be placed in Garden View? He then told me that's what we booked. When we pulled out our SECOND confirmation, they looked shocked we had another copy of our booking details. And what about the upgrade? A THIRD front desk worked indicated 'there were no rooms to upgrade us to, so he didn’t know what I expected him to do". Unacceptable. Only after indicating I was calling my travel agent did we get results...all of a sudden a Honeymoon Upgrade Suite was available (mind you, we WERE booked as a Honeymoon couple). The front desk staff is just plain rude. Don't waste your time thinking they are sincerley trying to help...they aren't. Their system is to have someone else talk with you if you won't back down...they simply walk away and let someone else deal with you with hopes you'll eventually get frustrated and give up and go away.
The interior of the room was nice, the views HORRIFIC. We were above the disco so the room shook until 1am and our balcony directly faced where employees were bussed in and took their breaks. How romantic, right? If this is what Dreams considers an Ocean View Honeymoon suite, they should be embarrassed. The jacuzzi was filthy and ran yellow water, even after a full hour of running it.
Overall, there were some good aspects of the hotel. The beach was pretty and the restaurant staff tried their best to please. The food itself was Average. The restaurants do not accept reservations, so timing is key to getting a table. If you know you don't want to wait or are traveling with a big group, my advice would be to be at your restaurant of choice by 6:30 when the doors open. Service is slow and portions are small, so always plan to order a salad/appetizer with dinner or you'll go hungry.
Unfortnately, many other travelers were in the same boat as us. Some of the guest complaints we overheard at the front desk could have easily been relieved, yet the staff's approaches were truly alarming. One guest had yellow water in his shower, the manager's response "ahhh.. just let it run for 20 minutes.". Or a Honeymoon couple who paid to receive flowers in their room and never did, the concierge told them 'oh yea, we get them shipped here by a company and they didn't show up today so you wouldn't have gotten any". Seriously?!
We did end up moving to Secrets Maroma Beach halfway through our stay--which was amazing. The Dreams staff also made this transfer process an absolute nightmare, as they were clueless as to what was going on. We moved, as the hotel had a 'booking error' and was seeking volunteers to move resorts. I could write another review itself on the inconvenience Dreams caused us--and many other couples--during this transfer process; we we were trying to do them a favor. And again, we paid paid the price with a loss of our morning at the beach, as we left Dreams an hour later than we were promised.
If you are seeking a relaxing, romantic getaway seriously consider Secrets Maroma Beach. They were professional, organized and gave us the vacation we paid for.
My recommendation is unless you get a great deal or have a very high level of patience, find another resort.
Wait till hotel is all renovated
Just got back from Dreams PA, spent Xmas with my parents, beautiful resort with really nice stylish rooms. Upon our arrival, the rooms waren't ready so they upgraded our rooms to the 7th floor (preffered floor) since we waited 2 hours, staff was great and friendly, the adult pool was perfect for a nice nap in the afternoon. the sad part is that not all restaurants were open therefore we had to get in line before the restaurant opened to get a chance to eat before 8pm. Overall the food was good.
The Beach wasnt really nice, no place to swim, so if you are someone that likes to spend lots of time swimming in the Ocean i wouldnt recommend this place at all but beside the beach the pools were great and clean (make sure to bring some watershoes for the beach)
Loved it!!Would recommend to anybody!!!
I have recently returned from my Holiday at Dreams. I had the most fantastic time, and im a little upset that there are bad reviews on here.
When we arrived on the 15/12/08, there had been a mistake through our travel company which was that we were not on the hotel's system. The front desk staff were extremly helpful and offered us food and drink while they tried to sort it out for us, bear in mind this is at 10:00 at night.
We returned half an hour later to find they had sorted it and had our rooms ready and waiting. The bus boy named Hector was soooo helpful, he dropped our suitcases off at our lovley room and then proceeded to show us round the hotel which is beautiful by the way.
The rooms are large and they have everythibg that you would need. My other friends that came with us had a room a few corridors up from us and they had a problemn with their water but it was sorted.
The beach is a little small, buyt it is a small hotel so what can you expect really, it still accomadated for the sunbathing and the dip in the sea which is all that is needed.
The resturants are brillianrt, World Cafe is great for breakfast and lunch, SeaSide Grill is great for lunch too, the food is very good in both of these. I recommend the Nacho's!!!Yum!!!! All the other places to eat are magnificent!! I espacially liked Oceana, where the head waitor David was fantastic, we never had to wait more than 20mins to be seated, which was fine for us for we liked to have one of there long list of delicious cocktails!!
The Adult pool is glorious, so peaceful and not near where the kids hang out, by the beach at the pools that are located there, which can get a little noisy if you are not with kids, which we weren't.
The staff are amazing there, they can never do enough for you. The entertainment staff are brilliant especially Ceser and Orlando, they will get you off your feet and do some great activitys.
The desire bar although small had a great atmosphere and even more coctails to try. The kareoke night that was coincidently on Christmas Day was terrific, had one of the best nights in there. So funny, and again the staff are brilliant.
Yes there was a little construction going on, but you coulod rarley hear it and they worked really hard.They did DEFINATLY not work til late at night, more like 5pm, and throughout the day we were either by pool or beach sop you couldnbt hear what was going on in the hotel anyway.
The only thing i would suggest is to have another excursions company there. At the present time it is Amstar and we booked to go on a Cataman to Tulum. When we arrived at the destination we were told that Amstar had cancelled our trip. When we got back to the hotel Amstar could not explain to us why it had been cancelled and why we wern't told. They gave us a refund but nothing else. We were very dissapointed and we felt like they just did not care really. That was all we would suggest.
You must go around the Marina and see what they have to offer, and especially the Dolphins. A must see!!!
Overall we had a fantastic holiday. We have never been made so welcome before and all the staff were wonderful and we have made many friends.
Thanks for such a amazing holiday Dreams
3 star at best
We are experienced travellers to all inclusive resorts and this is by far the worst we have ever been to. As we pulled up to the main entrance I could tell it was not going to be a great resort. There was no "wow" factor that you usually get at most resorts. Just the same we tried to keep an open mind. Our rooms were not what we had booked and ended up changing rooms a couple of times. Lots of issues with rooms such as mirror falling off the wal,l TV remote not working, bar fridge not working, no garbage can etc..etc.
What bothered me most was they told us the renovations were done which they were not..you could here them doing work early in the morning. So much for sleeping in on holidays.
You did not require a bracelet to get drinks or food so there was no stopping people from walking in off the street and helping themselves( this resort is surrounded by Peurto Aventuras neighborhood) and I did observe people just walking in and having a good laugh.
They do not make reservations for the a'la carte' restaurants so when we tried to get into them at night there was usually an hour or more wait and when we went to another one it was closed. Nice.
The night entertainment was lame and one night the entertainment didn't show so they had the kids dance on stage..very exciting stuff.
They were doing photo shoots around the hotel (why?) and one day they had the adult pool closed for a couple of hours. i thought we were the paying customers.
OK that's all the negative stuff..not to sound like a winer there were some positive things.
The people working there were very friendly and I found the food was mostly very good (except the desserts).
Other than that i have no reason to go back and I won't..oh yeah they played the same Christmas cd for 5 days...really enjoyed that.
If this is your first all-inclusive you might enjoy it but I would look around.
Hope this helps
Best Beach for Young Children in Riviera Maya
Its funny--because we experienced a number of the inconveniences that others have written below and I would still say this is far and away the best resort for young children I have found in Mexico. We had a wonderful time, and delays at check in (we went and ate great food) intermittent room cleaning (we made our own bed a couple of times--esp when our 3 yr old was napping) and the occasional long wait for sushi (grabbed some food at the buffet) did not bother us.
What we will remember and appreciate about this resort was:
1. Even on red flag days the beach was safe for our 2 kids (age 3 and 6). We have been to Cancun and Playa del Carmen and both places had red flag days 6 out of 7 days we were there and our kids could not swim. Here the reef protects the swimming beach so the waves are just fun and gentle. The snorkeling was also the best I have experienced in the Cancun area without going to an island, and the water trampoline was great fun.
2. The great food--especially at the Sea Side Grill which is open air, casual and very good. Great kid options too and they accomodate kids at all the restaurants--even the adult only one--but they don't have the kids menu there.
3. The zero entry pool and toddler swim area--perfect for a three year old--as well as the swim up bar area where they paid as much attention to the kids orders from their great list of kid-friendly slushy drinks
4. The small size of the resort. I am not sure how close they were to capacity they were when we were there over Christmas. It was a good size and not too busy, but it would get crowded if they could fit even more people in.
5. The beds! Heavenly! As comfortable as any expensive hotel up here.
6. The staff, especially Elena at the kids club. My kids are pretty shy and tentative and even though they only visited her a short time she remembered their names every time she saw them around the resort. She also organized great Christmas activities for all the kids.
Some things to be aware of if you go:
There is about 5-10 feet where the entry into the ocean is coarse sand and rocky. Our kids didn't mind it, but you might want water shoes. If you go in on the North end of the beach it is only about 5 feet and then it is all soft sand.
The restaurants, even the buffet, want shoes, bottoms and a top. A bathing suit is not enough, so carry a cover up for you and your kids. The Sea Side Grill was not as strict on this (get the grilled grouper there--ummm!)
We requested and got a marina view room--it was peaceful and quieter than the ocean side would have been and we thought the view of the marina was great. The elevators were quirky though and we were glad to be on a lower floor.
There is not much shopping to be had at the resort or in PA. Walking into the marina town is worth it to see the dolphins and other animals, but don't go to shop.
Bottom line--if you want to spend lots of quality time with young kids at the beach, this is the place to go!
Riviera Maya "things to do with a small family" and Best Dive operation
anyone have any info on good family activities in the area
the 3 kids are ages 4 to 9?
I am also looking for a good dive operation in the area. i have about 15 dives so nothing too techinical i guess.
we will be staying at the sunscape puerto aventuras.
thanks a bunch.
Re: Riviera Maya "things to do with a small family" and Best Dive operation
thanks a bundle,
the cenotes look really good.
Re: Riviera Maya "things to do with a small family" and Best Dive operation
Hey Grymmskull. Check out Hidden Worlds Cenote Park - this was such a find - we had a great family day out and it was good value for money. We did their whole day package but I think you can also just do snorkeling and cavern diving tours.
On the package we did they take you into the jungle on a sort of home-made truck where you get to do 2 really cool ziplines as many times as you want. One zipline lands you in a beautiful cenote and the other is high up over the jungle – this one really takes your breath away and my kids wanted to do it over and over again! There's also a rappel through the ground into this dream-like cave below where the cenote is. Then you go snorkeling through the cavern with a guide through all these astounding natural rock formations – stalactites, stalagmites and columns and you can see the roots of the trees above. The kids were fascinated and have since got really into geology - that's what I call education! On the downside it was really cold in the water after a while but we soon warmed up again in the sun and it the incredible experience was well worth a few goosepimples!
Then they have a skycycle which they say is the only one in the world - It's like little individual bikes suspended from a cable over the jungle so you get to see the most stunning views, wildlife, flowers etc. You cycle along the trail to another cavern with more amazing natural rock formations and another cenote where you can go snorkeling. Then you get back on the bike and it takes you through caves and then back up over the jungle.
I was traveling with my extended family (all ages and tastes!) and it was the one excursion that we all gave a big overall thumbs-up to. We visited various beautiful cenotes (you really can’t not if you’re going to that part of the world!) and the ones there at the Hidden Worlds Park were by far the most amazing we found.