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“Enjoyable but def. not 5 stars”

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Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Ranked #20 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 10 September 2012

I recently returned from a week long stay at Dreams. I was traveling solo, not my first solo trip but it was my first time to the D.R. or at a Dreams. Overall I had a good time and enjoyed my stay, but there are definitely some things standing in the way of the Dreams being a 5 star (or even really a 4 star) resort. The grounds themselves, as numerous others have said, are gorgeous and the pool is excellent. I had no issues with the beach either, I knew when I booked that this was on the Atlantic not Carribean side (so no crystal clear water). The "preferred club" area on the beach was pretty deserted so I often lounged there (there was no real effort by the staff to restrict access). I didn't really participate in any of the pool games, but it seemed like the typical AI entertainment fare. They give out play money and hold auctions a few times a week if you participate in the games. I went to some of the evening entertainment shows, which I thought were good quality. I also enjoyed how they had a big screen set up for NFL kickoff.

Food was pretty decent for an AI. I liked that the a la carte options didn't require reservations. However, service at the top restaurant (Portofino) moved at a glacial pace. I think I waited over 30 minutes for a table and then much longer for my food. The wait staff seem to be overwhelmed, they were all moving as fast as possible but couldn't keep up. The buffet was okay, not much variety during lunch but a different theme for dinner each night. The seating for the buffet area is kinda silly and disorganized, I had my designated table given away on a couple of occassions by the time I got back with my food (the buffett area is pretty spread out). Also- it was very dimly lit in there, even during the day. Kinda strange vibe. I really wished there were a spot to easily pick up some snacks during the day, as going to the buffet was not convenient or quick. The grill area on the beach has a few things, but I literally could not choke down the burger I tried from there, it was terrible (reminded me of school cafeteria food).

Rooms are tiny for a resort like this. I was kinda disappointed b/c I have a pretty small apartment in the city and look forward to having some space on vacation. Also, maid service is the worst I've experienced at a resort. For 2 days they simply did not come and I finally had to call the concierge to complain. And when they did come they could not have spent more than 5 minutes cleaning the place. Towels were infrequently restocked. Bath products (very poor quality) were only restocked 1 time. Walls are incredibly thin and voices echo through the halls, so not a quiet or relaxing resort really. Bed was okay. TV has very poor reception and most channels are in Spanish, so I'd advise bringing along some DVDs as there is a DVD player. If there was internet, I never figured out how to access it (even for a fee).

There are some pretty persistent vendors and tour reps on site, but you can walk around them (or just keep saying no). Being a solo female traveler, I ran into the typical aggressive male behavior. I usually just lie and say I have a boyfriend, makes it easier to get away.

Other misc. I highly recommend the tennis activities. Both of the instructors (Wander and Omar) are great and very professional. Watch out for mosquitos at the open air restaurants at night, I got quite a few bites and even had to leave 1 time before finishing dessert to escape them. Overall staff was basically friendly, but not nearly as friendly as in Jamaica. Not sure I'd try another Dreams property, this was very so-so.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled solo
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10  Thank zephyrgirl13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,756 - 6,762 of 11,518 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2012

First of all, it's important for you to know this was our 2nd trip to this resort. My wife & I were here almost 4 years ago, so we had a certain level of expectancy in mind. Also important to know is that we're in our mid 50's & have been taking all inclusive resort trips 2 - 3 times per year for the past 10 years or so. Obviously, if you're going to an all-inclusive tropical resort for the first time, your expectations are quite different than ours. However, having said that, our barometer is fairly accurate considering our experience.

Dreams Punta Cana used to be a 6 Golden Apple resort (Apple Vacations rating system) but is more like a 41/2 or 5 RED apple resort now. There are certain things about this resort that remain very nice, like the size of the pool. However, other areas have become run-down & tired & the resort is simply not being maintained properly.

The biggest complaint we had, and heard from others, were the quality of the rooms. Most of them have been neglected & are in need of updating. I'm not just talking about the paintings on the walls. They're having electrical issues, air conditioners don't work properly, door key problems, plumbing problems, and maid service issues. Again, the resort is just not being kept up.

When we first arrived this time, the resort in general appeared to be great. But after the first day or two, we started noticing a lot of things that were not right.

Hand rails missing on pool steps, or real wobbly, which can be very dangerous.

Some grass areas looked like it had not been cut or trimmed in weeks.

Sloppy concrete patch work in places with sharp edges.

Scraped up walls in hallways, needing to be painted.

A lot of cold, dried out food at the Buffet.



Again......these are things that may not bother a lot of people. But, when you're a discerning traveler & you know the difference between a true 5 star & 3 star resort, and you have the option to go to the better resort for around the same amount of money, or a little more......what would you prefer? Trust me.....the "excellent" reviews you read about this resort are most likely from people in their 20's, or people that have not been to many all-inclusive resorts.


One final note: If you're going to this resort primarily for relaxation, keep in mind there's no designated "Adult pool" or "quiet area". So, the pounding, pulsating, electronic beat from the activity pool & obnoxious DJ on the microphone throughout most of the day can be very frustrating. We moved to several areas at the pool & the beach, but could never get completely away from it.

Room Tip: NEVER upgrade on-line. ALWAYS negotiate your room upgrade after you get to the resort. Most people...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank djcardsfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2012

The trip was for a friends wedding. We were treated extremely well. The entire staff was great. Everyone was friendly and was there for you. The hotel was excellent. There were always activities to join, and the entertainment staff (Wilson, Richardson, Felix, Felipe) were fantastic!
A great vacation, and a place I would recommend.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Mary Jane P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

I had a great experience at the Dreams Punta Cana. Went for a family wedding and it was absolutely beautiful. The only downside to this hotel is the beach which I understand is not the hotel's fault. I had already read the reviews and seen the pictures regarding the beach at this hotel so my expectations were not high. When I first arrived the beach looked beautiful and stunning. But as I got closer it did not look as nice. First of all there are a lot of rocks and seaweed. If you want to go to the beach you must wear watershoes or you can easily get hurt. There's only one area in the beach which is marked with ropes that has no rocks. With that being said let me tell you how they make up for the lack of beach:

- A Massive pool that runs throughout the resort. The largest at any resort in Punta Cana. You have pool access anywhere in the resort. The pool is never crowded even at 100% capacity which is how the resort was during my stay.
- Excellent service. Waiter service at the beach and pool area. Rooms were nice and clean daily. Staff is very helpful everywhere you go from the front desk to the cleaning ladies.
- No beach towel card needed!! Beach towels are unlimited at this resort. You don't have to worry about those stupid towel cards which some resorts will charge if you loose.
- Rooms looked great.The bed and pillows were very comfortable. Fridge was stocked every day.
- The food was great compared to most resorts I have visited before. I love Dominican food and found theirs to be very authentic. I went to the Oceana Restaurant which is their seafood restaurant on the beach. Had the most delicious and freshest fish you could imagine. The buffet also has lots a choices for everybody.
-Premium liquor.

Overall I would recommend this resort for anybody who wants a relaxing vacation with their family. If you don't mind the lack of beach you will not regret going to this resort.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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10  Thank rosemary z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2012

Food was great and you don't need to book for the speciality restaurants. Entertainers are excellent and will leave you alone if you dont want to join in. Because the pool is a lazy river, you can choose to be in the thick of it or pick a quiet spot. Evening shows are spectacular or you can watch an open air movie in the outdoor bar. Rooms were lovely, cream and designer style rather than the usual dark wood & bright colours you get in the Domican. Third time in the country for us and definitely the nicest hotel we've stayed in for the same kind of money. On the negative side the concierge at check in relentlessly gave us a sales pitch to visit a sister hotel and receive a free gift and also to upgrade our room to one with a jacuzzi in. We were tired and just wanted to get settled in. We were also a bit disappointed that standard guests can't go into the spa. We assumed this was for everyone but you would need to pay for treatments. Only upgraded guests were allowed in!! Staff were genuine and lovely, room fab, entertainment spot on and beautiful resort. The gardens are much more lush and tropical than the photos show.

Room Tip: The standard rooms are beautiful and spacious. Can't see why you would want to go to the expense...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Katy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2012

Arriving to the hotel we realized how big this place was. From the reception to our room was a good 10 minutes walk or so it seems, as we were tired and wanted to relax. We had no problem at the reception when we asked for a second or third floor room since they first gave us a room on the first floor. The room was not the 5 star type. The furniture needs updating. One of the bed was very saggy and uncomfortable. Overall it seemed clean. Each room had a spacious balcony but not much view of the ocean. We had the premium room and with that we took advantage of the club house and their snacks but not sure what else was advantageous with the premium booking. The grounds were beautiful, the pool was huge. The food was very good compared to all the other all inclusive that we've been. Lots of variety in the menus and in the buffet.
The staff in the premium club house very very nice, professional and extremely helpful. Loved the staff there!
This place had so much activities that we didn't even get to see! What i dislike was their room cleaning schedule or lack of! Coming back to the room at 6pm, we would realize that they cleaned the room but didn't replace towels or shampoos and bathroom stuff! So we would wait by the door and pay one of the cleaning people which did not speak English at all and get what we needed. The cleaning crew did not speak English nor they even wanted to. I understand that you can be proud of your language and heritage but in a country where the tourism is a major source of income, it may be a good idea to get few basic words out.
I was impressed and surprised by their security staff, as one night my parents who had a room on the first floor had left their balcony door open hence anyone could have walked in their room. The security contacted us and wanted us to check everything in the room and were told that we must lock the doors!
There were plenty of nightly activities and shows as well as Casino.Lots of activities by the pool and safe to say it's not boring there. The beach though, lots of seaweed and some part of the beach had seaweeds and sharp rocks. Again like other beaches we've been to, the mother nature's keeps the hotel management busy. They had their staff every day cleaning the seaweed from the water and bury them under the sand. Needless to say that make the pool area more popular.
Overall a nice place but the rooms got my "dislike" specially the bed! Also beware of the side walk sale from the local people as they are very pushy and if they see you with little kids, they will milk you.

Room Tip: The first floor room has a strong musty smell at first and after you start the fan and the AC it get...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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10  Thank Mishka008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2012

Facilities were impeccable. Beautiful resort, grounds, rooms, pool and beaches very well taken care of. Beach is a bit rocky in water, so be careful. Also a lot of seaweed, and kind of sandy, so it is not clear water...not good for snorkeling. But the resort offers plenty of other kids of water activities! Showtimes at night were quite amateur, especially the "choreographed" dances. The magic show and circus show were cool. They other shows were not really worth my time. The lipsynched, which was terrible!

I was dissapointed by the food. Although the bar service and variety and quality of drinks were excellent. About the food: I was less than impressed with the food...I was expecting better. The fruits, vegetables and potatoes/rice/noodles were good. The meat/fish/poultry was not well cooked. I wanted good fresh fish from the Caribbean, but instead, it was either overcooked/dry, or very salty. The desserts were less than appetizing. I tried again and again, and they were all the same! They tasted the same, even though they were described as different. I'm not sure if you guys make them, but they surely don't seem fresh or home-made from scratch. I would buy from a better source, they are not good! Plus, the ice cream was good, but always so soft b/c the freezer was being constantly opened/closed. Best meal was world cafe breakfast and the fruits were delicious. I loved the made-to-order smoothies.

Room Tip: Choose a room with a view to the pool or beach. The rooms come with balconies, so it's well wort...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Emily B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa

Address: Playas Uvero Alto, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £152 - £373 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 620
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secluded in a lush tropical paradise, Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa features one of the largest free-form swimming pools in the Dominican Republic, stretching from the lobby all the way down to the pristine beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dreams Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Sunscape Beach Punta Cana
Punta Cana Sunscape Beach
Dreams Resort Punta Cana
Dreams Punta Cana Resort
Dreams Dominican Republic

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