Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Reviews

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Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA  

Playas Uvero Alto, Provincia La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

A great place to go - healthy food, good beach, staff and nice room
Posted by: Teresa on Mar 4, 2013
see all reviews

Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Reviews
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Pictures and Information
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Punta Cana-Bavaro Dominican Republic

#8 of 80 Hotels in Punta Cana-Bavaro

user rating 3.9

based on 52 review(s)

Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Information

Get away from it all with Unlimited-Fun in the sun at Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa. Has it all, and it’s all included. Sunny beaches. Shady palm groves. Wild water sports. Awesome entertainment. Clubs and activities for kids of all ages. Spectacular dining… and best of all, no worries, no reservations, no wristbands!

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Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Reviews

Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 3.9 of 5 52 review(s)
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Over-rated and overpriced
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Louise  on Dec 2, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
960 people found this review helpful

I like to check hotel reviews before I go somewhere and every time I read a negative review, I try to take it with a grain of salt. I realize that you can't please everyone every time. I'm also pretty easygoing when I travel and up until now, I've always had a positive experience so I was really surprised by the service we received at this resort and the resort itself. We were traveling in a group (mostly family), to attend my niece's wedding. This resort is rated 4.5 - 5 stars and with that kind of rating, there are certain expectations. Let me just say this - if you're a beach person, i.e. you enjoy swimming in the ocean (not just laying out in the sun), then this is not the place for you!

Our experience at the airport and during transit to the resort was fine - we didn't have to wait very long and we only made one other stop before arriving at Dreams. The ride from the airport to the resort takes a good hour, however, on very bumpy roads, so if you are prone to car-sickness, you're going to find the ride long.

Checking in at the hotel was not so pleasant. For the first time in my many years of traveling, we arrived at the resort, proceeded to the check-in desk and were told that two of our reservations had been cancelled! We tried to explain that this was impossible and that we had booked way back in February and had purchased a package deal (flight AND hotel) so that if we had cancelled anything, we would not have been able to even get on the plane. They were not very sympathetic and they refused to give us a room until they could confirm that they were going to be paid. This meant that they made us stay in their lobby for over two hours, while they figured it out, and all this time, they kept blaming our travel agency - they never accepted responsibility for anything. Luckily, the bride and groom had no problem checking in but they were really upset that we were being treated this way. After repeating for over two hours that they didn't have any free rooms, they finally found some but we were told that only one had two double beds - two of us would have to share a bed for the night but they promised to change our room the following day.

The room we were given with the one bed (building 4, 2nd floor) was far from being 5-star quality, to say the least. It was dirty, full of bugs and there were holes in the bathroom ceiling. Also, the fridge was warm, the TV didn't work and neither did the safe (this meant we had to keep our valuables with us the entire time). It was also very dated and it hasn't been renovated in years. Thinking that it was only going to be for the one night, we sucked it up and settled into bed only to be rudely awakened at 2 a.m. by our arguing neighbours. Alot of the bedrooms have adjoining doors, which we discovered are paper thin. We were kept awake for over three hours while the couple next door were having "words".

In order to get moved to another room (with two beds) the next day, our Air Canada Vacations rep had to intervene and had she not done so, we would have had to stay in the dirty room. I listened to her and the reception clerk argue back and forth and although I'm not fluent in Spanish, I understood enough to get that they did not want to move us. They finally agreed and the second room we were given (building 5, 3rd floor) was much better - still pretty outdated with the decor, but it was clean, everything worked and being on the 3rd floor, it was fairy quiet.

I was still pretty upset that we had had to fight to get this room and they never apologized or offered any compensation - even after our Air Canada Vacations rep confirmed that all their records were fine - it was the resort's mistake about the cancellation.

Restaurants and Bars:
One good thing to say about this resort is that you don't have to make reservations for the à-la-carte restaurants and you can go as many times as you like. Our experience at the French, Japanese, Chinese and Seaside Grill were very nice. The food was delicious and the staff delightful. The main buffet was fine and there were always plenty of options.

Like I said earlier, this resort is not for beach-lovers. In fact, it is very dangerous to swim in the ocean - the current is very strong and the water is murky so you can't see the bottom, which is covered in rocks and coral. I attempted to venture in (carefully) and left 15 minutes later with a bloody knee. Even if some reviewers recommend going a bit to the left of the resort, we didn't find an area completely clear of any rocks - you thought you were fine and then the current would pull you into a rocky area.

The one thing I did enjoy about the beach was that there were plenty of chairs, palapas and palm trees so if you need to take cover from the sun, there is plenty of room to go. The beds on the beach are also fun, if you can get one.

The pool is probably the best part of the resort and it is huge so you never feel crowded. There are also plenty of chairs all around and plenty of shady areas if needed. It is a struggle to get in, however, if you are vertically-challenged like myself as there are very few stairs - only a few areas with a ledge you can lower yourself onto before dropping to the pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
A few us of took a catamaran ride, which was nice but it was not ideal for snorkeling - the water was very murky so it was hard to see anything and the coral isn't as colorful as in other Caribbean countries. Also, the current was so strong, I was exhausted after a few minutes and had a hard time getting back to the boat.

Other family members went horseback riding and had a great time.

Other Comments:
Had it not been for the beautiful wedding we attended and spending some quality time with family and friends, I would have been extremely disappointed with this vacation. I would not return to this resort and would not recommend it to anyone. I prefer staying at a resort on Bavaro beach - it may be crowded in some areas, but the water is divine for swimming. I may sound fussy, but for my hard-earned money, I prefer clear, turquoise waters and white sand when I go on vacation!

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Amazing resort!!
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Tom  on Nov 26, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Wedding | With Spouse/Partner
930 people found this review helpful

We have just returned from an eight-day stay at this resort. We loved every minute of it. This was our first visit to the Dominican Republic and were very impressed with everything - the flight on Sunwing Airlines, the Punta Cana airport, the Dreams Resort and all of the employees. We would go back there in a heartbeat!

We were quite surprised to receive champagne, a hot breakfast, refreshments and snacks on the Sunwing flight - and a hot lunch on the return trip. Very nice. The Punta Cana Airport was very efficient and we were on our way to the resort in very little time after disembarking from the plane. The coach that took us to the resort was very comfortable and the 45-50 minute trip flew by quickly. Checking into the resort was also very efficient with no hassles whatsoever.

Our room was in building #5, ground floor, and was excellent! Robes and slippers were waiting for us, the refrigerator was fully stocked (& replenished whenever we used something out of it), the room was spotless and was maintained that way daily, and the service was second to none. We noticed that our room was missing the alarm clock. A phone call to the reception desk took care of that right away. The room temperature was perfect and the bed was comfortable. NO PESTS! We could leave the patio door open to go in & out to our patio and there were no bugs or pests - except one day when I left the door open, a peacock stuck its head into the room to have a look. We sat out on the patio often and also used the provided hammock chair - very nice!

Restaurants and Bars:
We made good use of the restaurants - my waist can prove that, hahaha. The World Cafe provided so much selection that it was difficult to select what to eat without over-eating. As on a cruise ship, the food on the resort ranged from completely casual burgers, hot dogs & pizza, to upscale dining as well. Our least favourite was the Chinese restaurant, and I think that our favourite was the seafood at the Oceana Restaurant. We were tempted to try the 24hour room service, but were always too full at the end of the day to even think of trying to eat more. Without a single exception, all staff at all restaurants were very friendly and tried their best to please us. Even though it is an 'all-inclusive' resort, tips were greatly appreciated and well-deserved. The roving musicians in the restaurants(a trio that we saw at least three times) greatly added to the overall experience as well. WARNING-if you order wine with a meal, they ensure that your glass never empties! Food is available EVERYWHERE! -restaurants, pool, beach, room service.

The pool was excellent. Very clean, very nice temperature, and lots of room for everyone. It is the largest pool that we have ever seen, as it meanders from building to building. Swim-up pool bar, pool-side bar, and food outlets were available. Whether on the beach or at the pool, beverage servers were always eager to get a drink for you, so you didn't even have to leave your lounge chair. There were rocks/coral in the ocean. I fell and scraped my leg on one. There are warning signs posted, but I didn't take notice of them until later. Lots of chairs, lounges, towels and cabanas at the beach & pool. The weather was perfect for us, which made the vacation there that much more enjoyable. I know that is an uncontrolable factor, but it did add to the overall experience. It did sprinkle rain a couple of times while were there, but it always passed over quickly and the blue skies and bright sun always prevailed.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We were at the resort for a relative's 'destination wedding' It was held on the beach and was absolutely beautiful. The resort's wedding planner did a wonderful job and everything looked perfect and went off without a hitch from start to finish.
We also took an excursion - the 'Country Adventure'. We went into a few towns to shop, went to a mountain school & village, a sugar cane plantation, a mountain home, went horseback riding, and had a local fare lunch. It was well worth it and we highly recommend it. The nightly entertainment was good, with the same people interacting with the guests throughout the resort during the day for activities, games and contests. We could have been as lazy or as busy as we desired each day.

Other Comments:
It is very difficult to think of any negatives associated with this resort. We were very pleased with the entire experience and would not hesitate to go back there.

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Mainly because of the beach
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Angie  on Oct 11, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
933 people found this review helpful

This was our first trip to the DR. I had heard all good things about Dreams and so we chose this based on word of mouth and that it was a 5 star resort.

Flew on Sunwing. Pleased to have a real meal, free headsets, and on the return, comp wine with dinner. Fun kits for the children on board, hot towels, chocolates.. Seats were comfortable and even without paying a premium, I believe more room in between rows than on Air Transat.

We were in building #3, 2nd floor. Deluxe VIP room with Sunwing. King size bed but it was on the very firm side. Three very soft pillows but you can call up and order different pillows to your liking. Little love seat, coffee table, desk which was more of a drop zone, since there wasn't a mirror or telephone on the desk. Clock radio, DVD player and TV with DirectTV so we got all the U.S. networks plus CNN. The bathroom was adequate. However the tub... it was very high, so a little stool to get in and out or a safety bar would have been nice. Plus, no shower curtain. Only a very small plexiglass partition so my bathroom floor got wet each and every time. Use bottle water to brush your teeth as the tap water is unsafe.
Closet with lots of hangers, iron, ironing board and shelves for your clothing.
You can also store your clothes in the cabinet under the television. There really are no drawers except for the small one in the night stand.

The mini safe was great to have and we used it. We were actually warned by staff at the hotel, not to leave your valuables laying around your room as he said "many people can go in and out of your room during the day". I'm assuming he means maintenance and housekeeping.

The fridge did not keep anything cold. When I asked at the front desk, they advised the fridge is not to keep things cold, just fresh. um ok.

Restaurants and Bars:
Can't complain when you don't have to wear a wristband AND you don't need to waste a morning booking your a la carte meals for the week!!
Our favourite restaurant was the French. (no kids permitted and men must wear pants) Our least favourite was the Japanese (pants for men) They have three seatings for the cooking tables which you do have to prebook at 6pm the night you want to have dinner. But they also have a sushi bar here, and an a la carte Chinese restaurant also. We opted for the cooking tables. The salad had a mystery dressing, shrimps with tails still on them. The soup tasted like chicken gravy, and unfortunately the food was over cooked. PLUS.. the chef seemed a little young and inexperienced. He dropped utensils while cooking.. used the serving fork from the raw chicken to cut up the beef and then later for the mahi mahi.
The bars... a bar is a bar is a bar. The swim up pool bar was popular.
And on the opposite side, the "ground" bar also had a popcorn machine, soft ice cream machine and capuccino machine ! don't drink too many coconut milk based drinks or you will get the runs !

The staff at all the restaurants and bars were awesome. They are always happy to serve. A nice treat was the fruit lady.. She had a stand set up near the pool and you could get an assortment of fresh pineapple, melon, mango, papaya, coconut .. yummmy !

The grounds were clean.

The pool is supposed to be the biggest one in the DR. Our problem was access.
Although it's only 3 feet deep, you can't always jump in and jump out. There are very little stairs and so access was an issue. Especially around the pool bar. There was one ladder(not stairs ) to get out AND in. And the bathroom was at the pool bar (for those that used it, otherwise I kept hearing people were just doing it in the pool !!) This pool is definitely not accessible to the elderly or disabled. They have floaties but bring your own if you want to be sure to get one everyday. The pool closes at 6pm daily.

The actual beach was fine. Lots and lots of chairs and palapas.. You really don't need to go and reserve in advance by throwing your towel on a chair.
However, THE OCEAN in front of the hotel is useless. You cannot swim as there is a huge coral reef right there. The water keeps churning up sand so you cannot see your feet or the ocean floor. Had I known this in advance, I would never have booked Dreams PC as we love to swim in the ocean . I would book a hotel on the Caribbean rather than the Atlantic.

If you stay to the left, past the boat rentals, you can use the beach but you're no longer on resort property. The hotel does not own the beach, it's owned by the gov't. So, they assume no responsibility for injuries.. and there were a number of people cut up from the coral.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Internet.. if you're not in Preferred Club, you can use the Internet Cafe in the main lobby . They have various rates depending on time needed.
We paid $4.00USD for 15 minutes.

Shopping ... we didn't buy anything at the resort. And the vendors that set up their tables twice a week are very aggressive and bothersome and I hated to walk by the Plaza en route to the lobby because they were there.

Beach Towels.. always available.

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Perfect Wedding, Perfect Vacation
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Becky  on Mar 14, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2010 | Wedding | With Group
954 people found this review helpful

This resort was by far the best vacation experience I've had so far. I've been to the Dominican before, but Punta Cana is incredible. I went there for my wedding in October. Surprised to find that I had the best weather that time of year than I've ever had before. It was beautiful every single day of the week. Dreams is a whole other world. The photos are a clear indicator of what you're getting. Out of 16 travelers, not one of us had a complaint and would gladly return.

Room Number:

The bus ride was approximately 45 minutes, which actually wasn't too bad with great company and taking the time to enjoy the sights along the way. Check-in didn't take long, considering how many people we had to check-in. The staff were helpful and pleasant at all times. We tried tipping as much as we could. They work so hard to please you!

I decided to choose a standard room, even being the bride and all. We were on the pool front and I thought the room was fabulous. I could go out the patio door and hop in the pool or relax in the hammock seat with a beer while others swam. I can't imagine how impressive the upgrades must be. It was clean and we honestly didn't spend a lot of time there - what a vacation is all about!

Restaurants and Bars:
The bars were great... spent most of the time at the swim-up, pool or lobby bar, but also enjoyed the disco later in the evening. Always entertainment you can join in up on stage, such as a bellydance competition, or just dance with your friends. We loved the music and even made our own requests. Ladies, please do yourself a favour and drink a "Banana Mama"!

The buffet was always delicious. There are so many options that you can be sure to always find something that you like. Also ate at Oceana, which was good, but had some people in the group that weren't big seafood fans (not me - I did like it). The Seaside Grill was my favorite. I come from an island of fishermen and actually had the best salmon of my life at this restaurant! Highly recommend you eat there! We chose only the casual restaurants, just for personal preferences.

The grounds were well-kept. Our wedding took place at the gazebo. Everything is so beautiful that there is a photo opportunity literally everywhere. We never had a problem finding enough beach chairs for everyone. The water was great. I personally loved the pool better... swim-up bar & so refreshing! And it's huge so you can always find a spot for you and your friends.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Lots of activities and off-resort excursions that some in the group went on and enjoyed (such as swimming with the sting rays or horseback riding). I wasn't on an excursion, but we took the opportunity to have fun in the sand with the resort photographers that you can find walking along the beach area. We had a couples photoshoot for free, and were able to view and pick any that we wanted to purchase from the front of the hotel later that day. I loved them all! You can do this with iguanas, snakes, parrots, or whatever creature is featured on the grounds that day.

Other Comments:
Anyone with a bad review on this resort has lost their mind in my opinion! I know that the culture and lifestyle in the Dominican is not the same as my own, but the resort exceeded all expectations. Dreams Punta Cana is beautiful!

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Awesome all the way! 2nd time visiting
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Darlene  on Oct 5, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
900 people found this review helpful

I really don't understand why there are so many negative comments.???? The place is beautiful, clean, great food and employees so polite. Helps to know some Spanish. We stayed from Friday to Friday and cost approx $2400 from NY. ..with upgraded swim out room.

No problems. 1 hour drive from airport in air conditioned van/bus. Goes quickly. Roads improved from our 2008 visit. Pass through towns of their culture and poverty.

Stayed both times in Unit 1 with the swim out pool upgrade. Room has own patio with table and 2 chairs, 2 lounge chairs few feet away from patio and right in front of wonderful pool. Rooms have king size bed, 2 night stands, desk, small love seat, TV armoir, large closet. Had no problems with any bugs, or non working items. Air conditioning worked great. Rooms were clean and maid visits daily. Floors are slipper when wet, but ask maid for floor mats to avoid slipping.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food always available. World Cafe is extra large buffet with everything, including carving stations, pizza, pasta stations, etc. But our favorite for dinner is the French restaurant-- it has the best appetizers and entrees...from shrimp, snails, lobster, steaks, lamb chops. We ate there 4 nights. Each restaurant, except for the World Cafe, is not open every night, so plan ahead. The French is never open for lunch and does require dress code- pants for men. Also, it is upstairs- no elevator. Great view and there is a bar upstairs too.

Well maintained and clean. Love their pool. It flows through out the whole facility. Swim up bar right near Unit 1.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Spent the week lounging and laughing. Swim up bar right near Unit 1. Bring your own blow up rafts if you are a pool person, like us.

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More like "NIGHTMARE"
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Elizabeth  on Sep 22, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Sep, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
934 people found this review helpful

The rooms were your typical hotel room. The bathrooms were a little run down. The bath tubs very high (be careful getting out). The safe box didn't work. They didn't have robe and slippers as promised on web site. They didn't have decaf coffee.
The doctor on resort will charge for any kind of treatment. I wanted a band aid and maybe some peroxide and she told me $125.00. UNREAL!!!!!!
The grounds...TARANTULA'S all over at night. VERY SCARY!!!!
The pool area was nice if you like people having sex in the pool. They were escorted and the man jumped in the pool and they wrapped a towel around him because he was naked. SO DISGUSTING!!!!!!!! Children were in the pool when this happened (WELL IT IS A FAMILY RESORT).
THE NIGHT CLUB (DESIRES) ...They have porn on the TV and they have strippers that actually show their privates and no one does a thing about it. WE TRIED TELLING THE GUARD AT THE DOOR AND HE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND ENGLISH. Fights broke out in disco, glasses and bottles being broke right outside the disco and people drunk. This place was so out of control.
THE SECURITY WALKS AROUND WITH SHOTGUNS. OMG!!!!! I thought this was all a nightmare and would wake soon and be in my bed, but it wasn't. THE MANAGEMENT DOESN’T HELP AT ALL AND ARE VERY NASTY. RANDOLF DECENA is a nasty manager and said he is the owner, but i don't know how true that is. HE DID NOTHING ABOUT THE SITUATIONS. MANUEL CARBAJO also acts like a manager and Juan Liberato Almanzar said he is the general manager. SO I ASKED "WILL THE REAL GENERAL MANAGER PLEASE STAND" because they all say "OH YOU SHOULD HAVE COME TO ME", BUT WHEN YOU DO THEY SEND YOU TO SOMEONE ELSE. Regional manager was...JAVIER STERICH and he was no where to be found for a week. THIS PLACE IS RUN BY A BUNCH OF WANNA BE'S AND DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT ANYTHING.
THE DOCTOR...DR DE LUNA- Well, i don't even know what to say, but if you are going to dreams (nightmare) with your children please think twice because if your child gets hurt you may have a hard time getting treated unless you have a lot of cash to cough-up. PLEASE BE AWARE of this place. it is the most horrific place I’ve ever been to and i travel a lot. I never had to write reviews on any place i have ever been...even days inns are better than this place. I WAS NEVER SO HAPPY TO SEE USA!!!! IF swapping, sex in the pool and sex in discos is your thing then this is the place for you.

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Dreams Punta Cana - Paradise!
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Ken  on Sep 2, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
907 people found this review helpful

We just returned from our 7th visit to Dreams Punta Cana. We have previously been to Superclubs Breezes Puerto Plata, Beaches Negril (Jamaica), Victoria Resort (Puerto Plata), Occidental Allegra Playa Dorada (Puerto Plata), Gran Bahia Principe Samana, Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Punta Cana, GBP Punta Cana, Sol Rio de Luna y Mares (Cuba) and a number of others. Dreams is the only resort we have come back to even once - let alone 6 return visits!

I put the names of some of our resorts above because I find reviews where people criticize a resort mercilessly and yet fail to name a better resort frustrating. If you've been to better people, tell us! We're dying to know!!! In this case though, I can only say the best of things about Dreams.

Drive to the resort
Roads get better every visit. Freshly paved. They are getting very similar to typical North American highways. It used to be a common complaint about the distance to the resort, but with the improved highways, the trip isn't bad at all. The drive itself is a form of adventure / entertainment as tailgating and beeping are normal behavior in the DR. We notice that the entire region looks better every time we visit - less overt poverty, more cattle in the fields, constant construction - just better all around.

I read a reviewer who said "Dreams just gets it". That sums it up really. All the DR resorts offer excellent service in my opinion, but Dreams out does every other one we've been to.

Upon arrival we discovered we had received a fantastic upgrade as a reward for our many return visits. Thanks Aida and Mr. Marcus Castillo! A great way to start our vacation. We arrived at our room and there was a banner strung across the door identifying us as return guests! How great is this resort?

Some of the many features we love at Dreams:
1. No wristbands
2. No reservations for a la cartes dinners.
3. No limit to a la carte dinners
4. Free electronic in room safe
5. No towel cards - if you need a towel just ask

People if you think about the above 5 points, how many resorts offer those features in this price range? We haven't found one and we've looked at a lot.

We stayed in a Preferred Club Honeymoon and it was terrific! The rooms are generally smaller at Dreams PC than many resorts, so if you like a spacious feeling, definitely upgrade to a Honeymoon Suite or Junior Suite. The standard rooms at GBP Ambar Punta Cana or GBP Cayacoa are all quite a bit larger than Dreams for example. However, the rooms at Dreams - even the smallest, are still fine.

The room was spotless; the fridge regularly restocked without requesting it, maid service was great.

Dated rooms?
How is it that people sometimes complain about this resort that their rooms were dated when this place is just a few years old? We went when it was a month old just a few years back and I think people said it was dated before it was finished construction! We think Dreams PC is wonderful, but will concede that there are resorts such as Gran Bahia Principe Ambar and Cayacoa that have nicer rooms. However, these ones do just fine, and if you upgrade to a Honeymoon Suite, your room will have two TV's, a couch, a loveseat, walk in shower, jacuzzi tub on the balcony, double vanity, walk in closet, hall closet, two ceiling fans, 4 poster king bed, etc. If you can't make do with that on vacation, you need an attitude adjustment. By the way, these people who say rooms are musty? Well, 7 visits and we haven't found a musty room yet. . . I wonder if people are just vying for free upgrades when they switch because a room is allegedly musty. . .

People ask if it is worth it to upgrade to the Preferred Club. You will have a great time with or without it. If you like the little extras (daily newspaper, separate club house, private area of beach, etc. - go for it!). If money is tight, skip it, and you will still have a great time.

Margolis in the Preferred Lounge was great, and truly did everything she could to make the stay enjoyable. The bonuses from the Preferred Club included a private area of the beach; and a private bartender in the lounge that was always ready to make a nice drink and we never had to wait except for the time it took him to mix it. They have free DVD borrowing as well as free internet access in the Preferred Club area (for the Preferred members) so you don't need to bring your laptop.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was excellent with plenty of variety. The steaks were significantly improved over previous visits. We had nice steaks at the Bordeaux during two visits there and a nice tender loin at the "Tex Mex" as I call it. (I forget their proper name). We had another steak at the Tex Mex but that one wasn't a tender loin and wasn't good. One thing about Dreams we have noticed over these visits is that if you don't like it this visit, it will almost certainly be better next visit. Every trip we find little improvements to an already great experience. Steaks before weren't very good, but this time 3 of 4 were very good to excellent.

We had skipped the Mexican restaurant (El Patio) on a previous vacation, and this time we visited and the menu had improved, and we loved a tightly wrapped chicken in a soft shell served with melted cheese. They always serve a nice platter of nachos which if you ask for sour cream is definitely enjoyable!

Menus for the a la cartes are on display at the main buffet entrance area. I think this is new. We looked at the menus and noticed they had changed (even better) from previous visits for every restaurant. This place just keeps getting better!

Our First Dinner!
Rather than describing every restaurant, let's just say we arrived late our first day, went straight to dinner at the Oceana since NO RESERVATION IS REQUIRED! (overlooking the beach and ocean) and had wine, beer, mamajuana, frozen mango daiquiris, a basket of multi flavored fresh buns, delicious salads, grilled chicken and vegetables with beautiful presentation, cheese cake and peach and other deserts, coffee, and a live music trio (Trio los Alegres) who played requests as they toured the restaurant. (We bought their CD from them - and we had to ask if they had one, they weren’t trying to sell anything). Oceana offers a flaming coffee which is a fantastic form of live entertainment as "Mr. Coffee Time" dances and entertains as he mixes and pours flaming coffee. The service from beginning to end was outstanding - as always. Glass waters refilled constantly. Candle light dinner with an ocean breeze. The friendliest staff on earth. The bill came to NOTTA. Not a dollar. In Canada that dinner would have been $100 plus including taxes and gratuities. We gave them a tip of course, but what a deal! That was our first meal, and we almost felt like our vacation should be over, so great an experience that single meal was.

Luis (El Capitan Mamajuana), Carlos, Humberto, Sanchez, Happy Nestor, etc at Oceana were all great! Jubelkis at the World Buffet and Yosida and Cristo and everyone else are superb too. Part of the greatness of this resort is the charming friendliness the Domincan staff exude. Their joyfulness is truly infectious, and there is staff everywhere.

The beach has rocks in the water, so wear foot protection!

Palapas, Loungers, Sunbeds & Floaties
The resort has a lot of loungers and palapas and even sunbeds but still there are problems at this resort as with any, with people reserving loungers and palapas etc. that they don't use. I met one couple who proudly mentioned they had loungers reserved at another location of the pool so they could go back and forth. Why? Overall, this resort has more and better loungers and palapas than most - in spite of those people who are so discourteous to others. We bring our own floatie so we have no stress over that anymore.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
A quick example of service at this resort. At the buffet one evening for dinner I was looking to have a vegetarian pizza and the pizzeria section was sort of in a different area. I asked a server at the counter if it was open to the buffet area people or just for the al a cartes section at that time. He told me it was for the a la carte people so I said okay and started to leave. A manager (Cristo) overhead the conversation and immediately jumped in. He insisted I go sit down at my area (a fair distance away) and he would bring me the pizza personally. He came by smiling with the pizza a few minutes later. Where do you get service like that?

At the Oceana I asked about steak as there wasn't one on the menu, but there had been on previous visits. The waiter told me if I wanted steak he would get me one - no problem! I decided to stick with the menu rather than make his life harder but again, where do you get service like that?

Vendors on the Sidewalk
The vendors are almost all too pushy and ask ridiculous amounts of money for the smallest of trinkets. I believe they were there two nights. I do wish the resort would do something about this, as my wife always hates this part of the experience and dreads running the gauntlet of sales people.

If you ask for your drink frozen will get a nice frozen ice drink of whatever you order, which goes a long way in the heat. Pool side and beach drink delivery service was top notch. You don't have to give tips to get great service, but tips are naturally appreciated by the staff. I actually had to call back one server 3 times on different occasions to give her a tip - it was almost like she was so focused on her job the idea of a tip never entered her head.

My son one year did the Outback Safari and absolutely loved it. He was exhausted when he got back, but definitely recommended it, and noted the truck though it looks like a rough ride, was quite gentle on the back. If you want to be extra safe, sit behind the cab where the ride is a little smoother. "Sammy Davis" was the tour guide and a very capable stand-up comic as well.

They have a batting cage, mechanical bull, archery, billiards, fooseball, and an endless list of stuff for the athletic types and teens. They had a nicely lit basketball court too, as well as a dance floor area.

Rooms have MP3 players with FM radio and White Noise settings, so you can turn on the ocean wave sound, a gentle rainfall, etc. to sleep to. We bring our own IPOD and docking station and just leave it out all day on a bachata / salsa playlist for the maid to listen to. People complain about theft at every resort but we just introduce ourselves to the maid, show her how to operate the volume on the docking station, and we never have a problem.

Other Comments:
When I do see a negative review for this resort, it is quite often something like "this is not a 6 apple resort". I finally went to Apple Vacations to find out who is 6 apples. I see 6 Apples is the highest you go, and Zoetry Agua (also run by the people who run Dreams) is a 6 Apple. Zoetry is almost twice the price of Dreams! Another was Iberostar Hotel (again almost twice the price). Clearly there is a problem with the expectation of Apple guests expecting Zoetry quality (visit their website and you will see they are off the charts!) or Apple Vacations needs to adopt a 7 Apple rating system for the super, super all inclusive resorts such as Zoetry.

Who is this resort for?
The guests at this resort are pretty much all honeymooners, couples, and families. If you are looking for a party type / spring break kind of resort, this isn't the right choice for you. The resort attitude is very conservative, family oriented and fairly quiet. We've only met one person who had been to Dreams and preferred another resort in the price range and it was specifically because they were single and wanted to meet people. At Dreams everyone is already hooked up so it is dull for singles unless they really just want peace and quiet.

I believe for the money this resort is the best value in the Caribbean. I cannot imagine how anyone could not have a great vacation at this resort!

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Rain Rain go away
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Diane  on Mar 21, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
796 people found this review helpful

We have stayed at several resorts in Punta Cana. This was our least favorite. Although my husband and I had a wonderful time together and we enjoyed ourselves I would have been very upset if we would have paid more. The resort is well kept and clean except for the rooms and beach. The water and beach is the main reason we choose DR. The area in front of the hotel has coral and sea urchins. TO the left of the property is the only place you can swim. Every day but one the red flag was up, no fault of the resort. But with the water so turbulent you could not see the rocks. Snorkling was really not fun either. There was no life guard on duty however there is a guard that sits on the edge of the property. People are slobs, there were cigerate butts, bottle caps and trash everywhere. The towel situation is out of hand also. What really upsets me is when people "save" chairs and never show up. There was a limited supply of chairs, forget the beds. Unless you want to get up very early and "save one".
We were unfotunate to be there when it rained almost every day, so there were not as many things to do with many activites held in doors.

Our first room was on the ground level and in the family side. It was dirty, the comforter had stains on it and the comforter pillows had a strong smell of perfume. I had breathing problems and we were moved to a second floor room over on the adult side. Less noise and our own balcony and clean. Some rooms had robes, some did not.

This is definitely a family resort and it looked like they were having fun. We enjoyed the resturant down by the sea the most and room service. We were told what was expected in tips and that was a down side for us.

Your Arrival:
At the airport. The expected. We knew they would be taking our picture and we look forward to buying that. As you walk into building from the plane they snap your picture. I think Apple is very organized at the airport. A air conditioned bus waits for you and your luggage is loaded. Arrival at the resort was pleasant, but we were shocked when we were not given a 2nd floor room and was instead told we could upgrade to the second floor with hot tub. Of course for a considerable fee. We declined. When we were taken to our room and I really found it unacceptable we were told it was "impossible" to change us. The next day out Apple agent made the arrangements and we were given a airy clean room second floor.

On the family side first floor, small dark, damp. Dirty. We changed to the other side building three and it was airy. Smaller than we are used to. Refrigator is a joke. Bathroom was clean and free of mold. However I am very short and it was a struggle to get into the tub/shower. Of which it does not function as a tub. It was overal clean and we had a neat balcony we could sit on, In this room we had a king size bed and small table. It was light enough to read. Even with the constant raining it was nice

Restaurants and Bars:
We tried the Old WOrld Cafe, it was okay but the noise level was unacceptable, plus it was indoors....we like to be able to see and hear the water. The Oceania was wonderful. It was not until the third day we discovered it was also open for breakfast. We tried the French and the steak place. Not impressed. Room service was neat, once we was able to get a menu.I was not impressed with any of the drinks I tried. But I enjoyed the mamajana. It settles the stomach. That being said I was impressed that everyone was asked to use hand cleaner when entering for meals. We ate everything we wanted and only started having stomach problems on the 5 day after swimming.

Pools are too shallow and close at 6 pm every day. Plus it was cold, rainy and miserable most of the days to enjoy. But they are well kept and clean. The bridges that go over them to the rooms on the north side are in bad need of repair as the hand rails are pulling off.
The beach was not clean, and water in front of the resort is difficult due to rocks, coral and sea urchins. When we swam we walked in to the left of the resort. We truly enjoyed the water when it was safe to swim in.
Best part, later at night we took towels and laid down on the beds in the dark and listened to the water and looked at the stars.
Ground themselves are clean and in general look good

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We walked to the right of the resort to check out the mini mart for coffee and vanilla. Don't bother was out findings. There is a tour that takes you to a farm in the moutains where they make vanilla, etc. Make a pont of going on that one and picking up the clear vanilla. If you can't do that you can buy coffee and vanilla at airport cheaper than the resort.

Other Comments:
This is NOT A PLACE for those with disabilites. There is alot of walking. There no elevators except in the main lobby. That is 2 stories and has a huge stairway. We did find a covered walkway that connects the buildings which helps but if not on the ground floor it would be difficult.
IF you have CPAPs, you may need to bring an extension cord. I also recommend good walking shoes.
Bathtubs are very difficult to get into. And if you have asthma and can handle the stairs I would make sure you take a second floor room.
Dress for men seemed to be walking shorts except the French resturant. But we noted most men wore slacks to all except the Cafe. Women, tended to dress up more. It was hard to know what to pack as we left snow behind. It was cool and rainy for most of the days then very humid. I was very glad we packed light weight jackets. You have to ask for umbrellas

Even with the rain we had a good time and met some really nice people.

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Perfect Family Escape
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Russell  on Mar 14, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
854 people found this review helpful

Just returned from a fantastic trip to Dreams Punta Cana.
We are already talking about when to go back next year.
We were a family of 3–My wife and I age 38 and son age 5 ½
On the plane home we tried to find bad things we did not like.
The only thing we came up with was that the resort was 50 Min from the airport.
But it was worth it.

Your Arrival:
Punta Cana airport is quick and efficient. Walking off the plane, on the tarmac, we quickly went through the airport and got our bags. We avoided the baggage handler guys, found our rep, there was a small glich with our name snot being on the list, but he quickly fixed it afer we showed him our papers, and we boarded the bus for the 50 Min drive to the airport.
Once at the resort, we were quickly brought to the Preferred Club where they checked us in. We upgraded to the Preferred Club - we found the expense worth it..
This gives you a better room location on the resort -more central to everything, a Jacuzzi Tub on your porch, a small section of beach that is reserved for Club members, and access to the Preferred Club Building.
Here they have a TV, free Internet, someone always on staff to answer questions or get you anything you might need, and a bar with better drinks – e.g. Johnny Walker Green, Macallan’s 12 yr, Grey Goose, Belvedere, Corona, US and import beers – and a lot more.
Also, if there had been a line when we arrived – the preferred club reception would have been a whole lot faster.

We had a third floor suite facing the ocean. I really appreciated the extra room.
Our room initially smelled musty, but after the AC was on for a bit, it quickly went away.
We easily controlled the cold/heat of the room – so it was never too cold or too hot.
It was clean, the bed was soft, we had a great view.
Everything worked as it should – including the Jacuzzi.
I was initially dubious that we would have enough hot water to fill it – but when I did fill it – it was actually too hot to get into.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was fantastic. The buffet was expansive, changed themes daily, and great quality.
The restaurants were also great. I had steak a number of times – ordered medium, got medium rare, but tasty and tender. Also – no reservation for sittings at the restaurants. So you are not on a schedule. We never had to wait as were eating @ 7:00ish. Their might have been a 15 min wait for the later seatings, but they ensured you had a drink in your had the whole time. Service in the restaurants was great. Always friendly and efficient. We tipped between $1-$5 USD when service warranted it – and it was always greatly appreciated.
Bar was a typical southern bar - lots of rum drinks. But they did have some good name brands if you asked. And like I mentioned, the Preferred Club Bar was more expansive

The layout of the resort is fantastic. The two large pools snake through the centre of the resort giving lots of places to lay and to swim. The entire pool is only ~1M deep – so no problems of kids to touch and enough water to keep you cool. But there is no place to dive deep.
The beach is clean and pure sand. No shells to speak of. No need for shoes of any kind.
There were a fair amount of waves – so no “swimming” but I’m not sure if this is the norm or not. But the waves were fun for splashing around in.
We did not do any excursions – but the people we spoke to said they had a great time.
The grounds themselves - green, clean, very well maintained.
They have resident peacocks, parrots, fish, and flamingo's.
They are all very cool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The entertainment team is fantastic. They are friendly and engaging, but not pushy.
There was always something going on if you wanted to participate. But if you didn’t – no problems. The evening shows were fund and entertaining.
We were in bed by 10:30 – 11:00 after the shows due to our son, so I cannot comment on the disco/nightlife. But Dreams is not the place for 20 something’s going to party and pick up. It is much more family/couple oriented. That being said – there are not a bunch of little kids running around bothering you. They tend to stay to one end of the pool where the climbing floating iceberg is, or they are in the kids club.
On that note – the Kids Club is fantastic. The give you a phone when you drop off your
Child. So if the child wants to leave anytime – they can call you. But chances are, your
kid will want to stay for the day. They are very entertained with lots of choices of activities.

Other Comments:
We all look forward to going back next year to Dreams Punta Cana.
I would recommend it to anyone.

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Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA

User Rating:  Dreams Punta Cana Resort & SPA Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Sandi and Jeff  on Mar 14, 2010  >  2 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
759 people found this review helpful

Your Arrival:
The landing was pretty scary, it felt like the plane was going to roll on its side, but we all survived and everything else at the airport went quite smoothly

The room was typical of most resorts, although, we did have small ants in the bathroom and I also think getting into the bathtub/shower were very difficult, I honestly don't think an older person that has problems getting around would ever be able to get over the side.
The bathroom door would not stay open and the main door to the room always stuck. But pretty much just minor problems.

Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurants were very good, (try the steaks at Sea Side, they are the best I have ever had. I wasn't thrilled with the buffet so we didn't go there much.
Mainly just for breakfast

We were here 5 years ago and the pool area was beautiful but now there are so many of the little huts all around that most of the pool area is shaded and we like the sun.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
did not participate

Other Comments:
We would probably not go back to this resort again, but the Dreams Resorts are beautiful and the people that work there are great they would really do anything for you. We were at Dreams in LaRomana in January and we are definitely going back there next year.

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