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.
- 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