Myself and my partner firstly booked Dreams Tulum through Virgin Holidays and then swiftly changed our booking to Dreams Riviera Cancun, right now it was definitely the correct decision. I have to say that This establishment offers first class service and accommodation, i have no doubt about this having stayed in established 5* hotels in the UK and other countries as well as eating in michelin starred restaurants. The service is excellent and the staff really do go out of their way to make your stay as relaxing as possible.
You may wonder why I am not recommending 5 stars then? Well, there were a few things that I feel were missing/lacking and it's purely down to the direction this hotel has taken in terms of the clientele they wish to attract. Anything less than 4 stars would be unfair but 5 stars would assume that this hotel was perfect for my needs without me having to try.
Check In - We checked in after a very long day travelling (trip from airport to hotel was nice, only 25 minutes). We waited about 35 minutes for our room when they then offered us a free upgrade to a 'preferred' room on the condition that we stayed in one room for one night then move to another on day 2 - we accepted this offer. Preferred gave us complimentary WiFi and access to the really nice 'Preferred Lounge'. Once checked in we were promptly shown to our first room with no reported sales blurb or stalling, when we arrived in the room our bags were already there.
Room 1 (2401) - This was a great room on the 4th floor with an excellent view of the ocean and the beach. The room was fitted to a high standard and large with a big kingsize bed, 2 full size jacuzzis, 2 wash basins and a large 32" LCD TV. The bathroom was also large with the standard walk in shower and separate toilet room. The A/C in this room was not as effective as it was in the second room - the smell was not as pleasant, a bit musty. The room was spotless though. One negative, we needed to sleep by about 9pm after a 10 hour flight and we had to wear our ear plugs as a wedding party on the beach was loud and went on till 11pm! The patio doors do not block out noise.
On day two we needed to move to another preferred room which was totally painless and arranged properly to ensure we didn't need to do anything. Our bags were moved from the first room to the new room and then the staff came to find us around the pool to issue us with the new room keys. The second room was even better. Smelt fresh and a bit cooler (room 2304 which has been mentioned in previous reviews). This room is excellent actually, excellent view of the ocean and the pool area, large and equally well equipped. The room has a coded safe which we used every day, nice touches such as a DVD player, decent iron and board, 2 bath robes, hair dryer, complimentary bath/washing products and a good supply of different sized towels replenished every day. Dreams hotels offer 'unlimited luxury' which means that the mini-bar is also free and whatever you eat/drink is replenished daily - this was a great facility! The mini bar stocks at least 4 bottles of Corona, Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, orange juices, 5 bottles of water, M&Ms, Pringles etc. The preferred rooms are cleaned every morning and turned down every evening to a high standard. The Bath/Jacuzzi/Showers are great. Clean and all worked well. This was an interconnecting room and as a result we could hear the kids next door when they cried.
I think at this stage I must say that myself and my partner originally wanted a peaceful, relaxing break preferably minus lots of children and teenagers (especially myself being a teacher!). If you also want this, this is not the hotel for you. This is now a family resort and is gradually becoming more and more so. Originally, this resort was not designed as a family resort, it was designed as a resort for weddings, honeymoons, couples and adult groups. There were a lot of parents with babies here, young children etc, not many couples at all and unfortunately children/babies just over-ran the 'adult' infinity pool and the other pools from 8am to 8pm. The swim-up bar even has a 'kids corner'. Another harsh result of this was probably the worst trait of this hotel - availability of sun loungers/Cabana beds. According to the rules you are not allowed to 'reserve' beds but this was happening every day, people were out at 6am reserving spots by the pool, cabanas etc by throwing towels and belongings on them. This actually froze us out initially until we had no choice but to 'play the game' too! We managed to get a Cabana on day 3 and stayed under it for most of the day. People had put belongings on Cabana beds to our left and right and we NEVER saw them all day!! This is totally unfair, uncalled for and must be stopped - it happened every day. Another rather sinister practice going on is people tipping the pool staff to reserve loungers daily, not good and not fair. The hotel has two large outdoor Jacuzzis which clearly state on signs that no under 16s are to use it, guess what? children were in it every evening. If only Dreams staff would ensure rules are followed but having thought about this further i don't think they care as if they did then maybe families would not come back - not what the hotel wants.
Staff are constantly working on the grounds of the hotel and the beach to ensure it remains spotlessly clean and tidy. They checked and cleaned pools, washed floors, mowed grass, cleared seaweed, cut palm trees etc. so dedicated and hard working.
Bars have a full range of branded drinks, no substitutes and the service was always fast and friendly, especially in the Rendezvous bar in the lobby. The barmen there are excellent!
The service at the beach/swim up bar was also very good.
The restaurants were excellent with fantastic, well presented food. The French restaurant 'Bordeaux' was the best, it also has a 14 yrs and over age restriction. Angel is a fantastic waiter and a credit to his employers. El Patio is also great for a fun, authentic Mexican themed evening. The 'World Cafe' Buffet is great at breakfast with a fab choice and good service. At lunch and dinner it is a decent place for a quick meal centred more towards families with young children. We booked the Himitsu live cooking table which we shared with 3 incredibly lovely, friendly and welcoming American couples. It was a great experience with quality food and service. The Portofino Italian is a very nicely themed restaurant with nice italian offerings. Snacks and food served at the pool areas was great and available for most of the day, they would regularly serve paella and BBQs too which we loved.
The hotel has a great concierge service if you need a taxi - we used it and they were helpful and got us a taxi very quickly!
Public toilets all over this hotel are great. Clean, air conditioned and very well decorated.
The Spa is a MUST if you are a couple, honeymoon or just want a day away from the madness of the pool area. We booked a day in the hydrotherapy pool for $40 and it was soooo good. Tranquil, peaceful, relaxing and high quality. The changing rooms are excellently equipped, brilliantly decorated and full of complimentary toiletries. The pool is luxury with a gorgeous sauna and jacuzzi. The hydrotherapy circuit was so good, kind of like a lazy river. We also had access to a juice bar with tea/coffee whilst there (complimentary).
Beach was actually OK. Seaweed is present but they do clean it every morning and its much better than the beach for the excellence hotel. Sea water is warm but beware of Jellyfish!
The preferred lounge is also great. Air conditioned, TVs showing the olympics, snacks on offer, sofas and a fully stocked bar.
There is an on-site coffee shop offering take away cakes, hot and cold coffees and drinks open all day.. Its excellent.
Finally, our stay was an excellent one once we knew where to go for a bit of tranquility and how to 'play the pool dash'. The quality of the food and bars made it for us as well as the excellent service and wonderful room. Its not excellent because it simply was not aimed at people like us.
Rooms on the 3rd floors and up will ensure a good view of the sea. The 'preferred' rooms ha...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC