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Reviewed 28 February 2014

This was our 1st time at a Dreams and in Puerto Vallarta. We chose it due to the small size and closeness to the beach and were NOT disappointed!

We upgraded to the Club Tower because we wanted the hot tub on the balcony, the free Wi-Fi and updated rooms. We used the hot tub twice - it was so relaxing to end the night in the hot tub, listening to the waves. The Wi-Fi was a little hit and miss - much better by the pool. We tried to Skype the kids but the connection wasn't quite fast enough so we stuck to emailing photos and videos.

The room was very spacious with a comfy king sized bed. We also had a dehumidifier which we were greatly appreciative of and learned to get up and dump it if it shut off in the middle of the night! :) And, the bathroom was huge!

We had robes and slippers which I used daily! The fridge was stocked with a good variety of sodas, water, juice and beer. We happened to be in the room one day when they were coming to restock and I commented how I love my Diet Coke and he started leaving me extra. AND, we had peanut M&Ms and Pringles that magically appeared twice a day.

The safe is a nice size to keep all passports, cash and other stuff in. We forgot to lock it one morning and the staff was nice and relocked for us and left a note so we didn't panic. We had to call management up to reset and they waited while hubby counted everything to make sure nothing was missing (which there wasn't).

The staff were all tremendously friendly - they would do anything for you even if it was out of their way. They found us no matter where we were and remembered our names. That's what I love about a small resort!

The food was good. Loved the variety and not having to make reservations.

We ventured off the resort almost daily to check out the local attractions and loved the gated community - having to check out when leaving and coming back. Makes you feel very safe.

A couple times we got back a little late and struggled to find chairs at the pool but were able to find some on the beach. The swim up bar and the little bar huts were great. Drinks were good and plentiful. It was fun trying new concoctions. :)

We didn't spend much time in the pool other than to cool off or to visit the swim up bar. If I were to complain about anything - it would be that they don't have a separate pool for the kids as the main pool is a bit on the small size. We were fortunate to not have many kids at the resort while there, and most of the kids were pretty respectful with splashing. They have an infinity pool which is the most beautiful place to sit at sunset. I didn't see a lot of people swimming in it though.

Our first day there, we were eating lunch ocean side and were able to watch the whales surface. It was surreal!

I really hope the Hyatt sticks with the charm this resort has. They have found a real gem.

Room Tip: The higher your room the better your view.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank ShellyinMN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

It's been a year since we came back from this resort but I wanted to make sure I didn't forget to write about our wonderful experience. The resort size, its proximity to the town of Puerto Vallarta and staff all make Dreams Puerto Vallarta a pleasurable experience!

Previously we had been to Dreams Riviera Cancun (and really enjoyed it) and expected a similar resort. Dreams Puerto Vallarta is a very different resort but equally enjoyable. Dreams Puerto Vallarta is an older, smaller resort but that does not retract from it. I loved that it wasn't so big the staff wouldn't remember you (they did!) but it was big enough for short strolls with our son.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank scout416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

I’m known for writing long reviews but let me cut to the chase and do the details later.

You’re reading this because you want to know if you should go to Dreams Puerto Vallarta. WELL, GO!

If you’ve read other reviews, you know this wonderful All-Inclusive is closing at the end of April which means you’ve only got a few more weeks for such a wonderful experience. You might think that they’re letting things go and it’s getting run down and the staff is getting preoccupied but they have every intention of it staying top-notch until the ship comes into port. They’re still maintaining things, including fresh paint somewhere daily and any needed repairs in various areas. The gardens and grounds are even better than last year. And the food is really terrific. We didn’t have one bad meal — not even a mediocre one — during our ten-day stay.

We stayed at Dreams Punta Cana in December 2013 and the food there was really second-rate in comparison to Dreams Puerto Vallarta.

Dreams P.V. has only one possible weakness to my way of thinking and that’s the main pool. By modern standards for resorts, it’s rather small and, to my taste, far too warm. It’s also a little crowded with people wandering around drinking and pre-schoolers yelling, “Daddy, watch me.”

BUT, we don’t use this pool very much because the beach is so wonderful! Even with a high occupancy rate, we never had trouble getting a palapa or lounge chairs on the beach. Often we’d get a glass of wine just before the beach bar closes around 6:00 and sit watching the sunset.

Dreams P.V. has become a staple for us. As snowbirds, we try to go to someplace we’ve never been before and take some chances but we know that for our second trip, Dreams P.V. will be there for us — 100% reliable, dependable and wonderful. Alas. So much for that plan.

We always stay in the basic deluxe room. We feel that there’s not much point in getting the upgrade to a room with a balcony because it just subtracts from the floor area of the room itself. And although the Junior Suites in the new tower (“Club Preferred”) are quite jazzy, we’d rather spend the extra money on a longer stay.

This is our sixth annual trip to Dreams P.V. and obviously our last in its current incarnation. Hyatt will be taking over the resort and is bound to put its own mark on the property but whether that will be for better or worse remains to be seen. By now, we have made a few very good friends among the staff and also a lot of happy acquaintances. For us, it’s seeing our old friends and the excellent personal service from people who recognize us that makes Dreams P.V. very special. If there is a significant change in staff next year, I doubt that we’ll be happy. Nor if Hyatt turns it into soulless white bread.

It’s impossible to get all the real facts behind this switch. What IS known is that the property is owned by a third party. What is very likely true is that Hyatt really wanted the property and put in a high bid. Whether Dreams (AM Resorts) deliberately didn’t match the bid or whether they totally fumbled the ball is unknown.

What is very likely is that Hyatt is NOT going to pull down either tower. It takes far too long to rebuild and I suspect they intend to be open for business by next November. But I am speculating that they may make significant changes to some of the restaurants; such a pity. “Don’t fix it is it ain’t broken.” That being said, you can tell that beneath the veneer there are some structural overhauls that must be done to fight back against time and the subtropical weather.

And I suspect that they're going to still have a fair number of restaurants within the complex since the location makes it completely impractical to go elsewhere for all or most of your meals. The road has no sidewalks, the closest restaurant is not really convenient and unless you go into town, all the other restaurants in the neighbourhood already belong to resorts.

(Funny aside: One evening, wandering in a crooked line, we ran into a middle-aged woman who could be the mother of Cecily Strong’s “The girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party” who informed us that she’d just found out about all this and that they were going to “doze” the place. Ah, gossip. Too funny!)

Okay, back to the here and now. Here’s a name to write down if you’re going to Dreams P.V. José Guerra is the chief concierge and the absolute “go-to” guy. You’ll usually find him standing at a small desk between the entrance steps and the check-in. Accept no substitutes! If there’s anything — anything about your stay that you’re not happy with or any special requests you may have, go see him! It’s probably even a good idea to seek him out on your first full day and introduce yourself. He’s a really first-rate guy and fluently bilingual. We’ve known him for a few years now and we drop by at some time most days to say, at least, “Hello.” We respect José for his professionalism and value him as a friend.

On this trip, José introduced us to Noe, the manager of catering, also an invaluable contact. We had a special menu request both last year and this and either José or Noe worked it out for us. See, THIS IS SERVICE and it’s what makes your visit here memorable and special! It’s also the distinct advantage of being repeat guests and of building relationships.

Next, let me mention David. a waiter at Seaside Grill. David is front and centre and comes into personal contact with so many guests and (see other reviews) never fails to impress. He's a real gem who always goes the extra mile. As repeat guests, for our final dinner, David pre-arranged with the chef to make us a beautiful (not on the menu) appetizer of a special shrimp dish as a surprise. Amazing! ¡Delicioso!

Finally, closest to our hearts, Lenny. We first met Lenny five years ago when he was a waiter at the buffet for breakfast and lunch. Once we experienced his level of personal attention, we just kept asking for one of his tables! Two years ago, he advanced to captain and you’ll find him at Oceana for breakfast and, later, for lunch at Seaside Grill making sure that everything is shipshape. And now, he’s taken on the additional job of banquet manager. If you have a wedding here, you’ll undoubtedly experience his highly personal service and organization. Everything he does, he puts his heart into — twice over. We’ve watched him and his young family grow. Being a captain now, he doesn’t have quite as much direct contact with guests but if you take the trouble to introduce yourself, tell him that Rick and Ed sent you! He just loves people!

José, Lenny and David have become so important to us that we keep in touch throughout the year. We don’t do that with staff from any other resort.

There are others, and I’d mention them all by name only I’m not good with names. But unforgettable are:

“Leonor”, the “egg lady” at the breakfast buffet. The BEST omelettes or sunny side or over-easy (“volteado”) or ranchero or just about anything.

Ismael vigorously trudging the beach sand to ferry you your drinks. A bit of a business-like exterior with a heart underneath. Jaime, waiter at Oceana. Fidel and Daniel at El Patio restaurant. Ricardo and others at Portofino.

Esekiel the bell captain. Also, the other bellmen and the bright and efficient staff at the front desk. I hate to mention just a few names because it suggests that others are lesser; it’s just that these are the staff with whom we’re most often thrown in contact.

All of the staff from managers to cooks to barmen to hostesses to housekeepers to gardeners and cleaners care about doing a great job and they all contribute to that feeling of being “well looked after”.

Which leads me to a point. YES, you SHOULD give tips. It’s rather classless to assume that “all inclusive” includes tips. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Write me for our guidelines if you wish.

Finally, suggestions for the various groups in this relationship:

Suggestion for AM Resorts: Learn to be grateful to those who are loyal to you. You don’t seem to appreciate either loyal guests or loyal employees. Your bean counters don't know the big picture. Give everyone (approximately 400 employees!) working at Dreams P.V. a really good severance package or ensure their future employment. If you don’t, you’re going to sink down to the level of the Barceló chain, IMO. (I wouldn’t even consider staying at any of THEIR resorts unless it’s free.) You’re destroying the jewel in your crown — almost on purpose. You need to have an appreciation for goodwill. The superior nature of Dreams P.V. is what could lead guests to use other hotels in your chain. But because you have walked away from Dreams P.V. you have accomplished just the opposite. I'm so fed up that I never want to stay at any of your other hotels again.

Suggestion for visitors: get your @ss down to Dreams P.V. and enjoy it while you can and get it tanned in the process. :-)

Suggestion for AM Resorts Employees and Staff: don’t wait for the axe to fall. Make up your résumé and start looking for another job NOW. As far as AM Resorts is concerned, you’re just a number, just an entry on a spreadsheet or database. Don’t bother being loyal to an employer who isn’t loyal to you.

Suggestion for Hyatt: well it doesn’t matter much since I doubt you’ll pay any attention. But if you mess this up, I’ll cast a spell on you that you’ll have no future employees but the Cornell Hotel School C and D students and similar. (And, yes, I do know that institution VERY well.)

Now stop reading this review, give me a “helpful vote” and start making your reservations!

Room Tip: Every room will get you the same great food and service.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank Rick_and_Ed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

My wife and I, along with 30 family members, attended our niece's wedding at Dreams on the week of January 18th-25th this year. We asked for a higher room and were placed in room 2022(the 10th floor). The floors are actually 2 through 10, but they call them floors 11 - 20. Only the Penthouse floor is above us. Both towers are built in an outward arc, so that all rooms have a magnificent view of the Bay of Banderas (Sidebar: 2nd largest bay in the world: The largest? Hudson's Bay). The hallway is outdoors and runs along the back of the towers with views of houses on the hillside above, and beyond to the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.
The room was large, comfortable and included a small table and chair set, as well as a lounge chair. We paid for the Ocean View w/balcony, so we had an actual balcony with a table and two chairs to chill on while watching the goings on in the bay ( dolphins, whales, etc.). The room was immaculately clean every day with the maid service and they always came at the right time. The fellow who restocked our fridge every day made sure it was stocked with what we actually wanted, not two of everything. The turn down service in the evening was great, she automatically turned on the A/C as well so it would be cool for us coming home that night. The only mild complaint I could make is that the lighting in the bathroom consisted of two MR16 halogen lights over the sink, and another over the shower, making it fairly dim for my wife to put on makeup, hair drying, etc. Also, the A/C was a bit on the louder side, but we were able to sleep through it for the most part.
The deal here was that you could eat anywhere you want, any time during opening hours. No reservations, just show up. There were signs saying that short periods of waiting might be necessary, but then they would give you a pager and send you over to the bar. The hotel was 95% full while we were there, and we never had to wait for any meal. We had the buffet on the first morning, but every morning after that, we had breakfast at Oceana (great eggs benedicts, and omelets!). All our meals were amazing with beautiful presentation on the plate, and everything cooked the way we wanted. Never had a bad meal! The waiters were very attentive, never letting your glass get more than 1/2 empty before refilling you. The service at all the restaurants was excellent, very quick and efficient. On our last night we ate at the Seaside Grill. I asked our waiter for a Southern Comfort and Sprite, and he went to the bar, came back and apologized, saying they didn't have it. I expressed a little sadness, and mentioned that it was available at the other bars, but ordered a Bacardi Anejo and Sprite instead. Not even two minutes later, our waiter came back and said that his manager had gone off to find a bottle for me, and sure enough, less than 10 minutes later the manager shows up at our table to let me know my drink is on its way...haha. Now that's service!! Oh, also, all the spirits used were premium spirits, not generic liquor!! The hotel entertainment team provided entertainment each night (magic show, dance performance, Caribbean night, Casino night, and the big fire show on our last night with fire dancers! There were lots of activities during the day around the pool area, so you could be active if you wanted, or there was tons of space for quiet relaxation and drinking!!
The resort itself was a good size with a huge private beach, so no problem getting a beach space each day, even with our big group. Lots of thatched cabanas to park under. The spot we picked for the week was conveniently located about 40' from a small bar (Marlin) and a small snack shack(Barefoot Grill), where we could get lunch each day (Quesadillas, tacos, hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries), so it was a perfect spot. The bartender and waiter were very attentive to our thirst, and made sure we were never empty...haha.
Overall, this resort was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend it. The resort is in great shape, and it's obvious that a lot of care and effort is put in to keep it spotless and beautiful each day, but it does look its age a little bit. There is a footnote however: Apparently AM Resorts has sold the property to the Hyatt chain, and rumour has it that the resort will be shut down for 5 months in April for upgrading and renovations. None of the staff I talked to were sure of what was going to happen to their jobs, so that's a bit worrisome for them.
So there you have it, I hope I was detailed enough to give you a good picture of this resort. We highly recommend it to anyone wanting a great accomodation experience in Puerto Vallarta.

Room Tip: Ask for a room higher than the 15th floor, and your ocean view will not be blocked by palm trees!
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2014

We have been visiting this resort annually for the past 6 years. Last visit was August 2013 with my wife 18 year old daughter and 21 year old son. The reason that we have continued to come back is the staff. I could single out many but just suffice to say that there is no need as all are the most warm, friendly and helpful people my family has ever had the pleasure of meeting. This includes management, all front line staff and the beach vendors.
Sure the resort itself is fantastic but without these people the rating would most likely go from a 5 star to a 4. I sincerely hope for everyones sake that these great people are all here (including the beach vendors) after the takeover and reopening. Not often do staff at a resort touch one's heart and make you feel like royalty but the staff here have seemed to do that over and over again.
Sadly we would find it extremely difficult to return without seeing and visiting with all of these caring, hardworking and legit terrific staff.

Room Tip: Doesn't really matter, you're at Dreams Puerto Valarta!
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bruce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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