We have been to Cancun/Riviera Maya 9 times in the past two years...after only a few visits we knew we loved AMResorts and decided to save money and join the UVC (Unlimited Vacation Club) that they offer...you know, that sales presentation people complain about and claim is a scam? Well, its not. We have been THRILLED with it and have ZERO regrets (but that's not the purpose of this review, so I'll move on)
We have been to Omni Cancun (hotel zone), Paradisus Cancun (Hotel zone), Secrets Capri, Secrets Silversands (several times), Dreams Riviera Cancun, Now Jade and finally Dreams Puerto Aventuras.
Let me start by saying, if you are an adult and only adults are traveling in your vacation, personally I think you should go to Secrets Silversands or Secrets Capri. Even though there are specific adult sections at the family resorts, they are not excluded enough. Children are still everywhere and sadly, there's no avoiding them... either because they are on vacation or because the parents don't believe in having well behaved kids. I have kids, so I'm not against them. But when I travel without my children, I don't want to see any and be reminded that I've left them out of the fun and I also want to be AWAY from children when I actually LEAVE mine (if you know what I mean).
All that being said, I am reviewing Dreams PA as a family resort, as that is how we used it.
1. Ocean - AMAZING! Wear water shoes though. Snorkeling right off the beach...not even knee deep in the water and there were big beautiful fish surrounding us! The "natural saltwater pool" had a fun ledge to jump off of (at lower tides young kids called it a "cliff"...but these were little children, so cute!) Ocean trampoline and floating climbing wall looked fun as well. Waves were beautiful to watch and looked big, but no strong current or undertow which was great. Water temperature was perfect.
2. Beach - Fantastic! Easy to be barefoot on, not hot to walk on and was soft. Beach volleyball was fun. Lots of beach chairs were always available. We opted to rent a bed on the beach and that was AMAZING
3. Location - PHENOMENAL! Seriously, what a location! First off, anyone who has travelled to Hilton Head Island, SC...it felt like Harbortown or Shelter Cove in Mexico. The resort is in a gated community type setting, marinas all around that you can walk to ... a very short walk and you are not only walking around beautiful boats docked, but if you time it right you can see what everyone caught while fishing that day (we saw a 240 pound Marlin!) but you can also see the dolphins and manatees there as well (the dolphin encounter program is located there). There are lots of shops and restaurants there as well. Lovely little walk to do that is free. Also, for only $50 round trip you can take a taxi to Akumal beach and snorkel with the sea turtles. The dive center is there and you can rent your snorkel gear there CHEAP! My two children and I went and the TOTAL spent (taxi plus snorkel gear) was $90...TOTAL, not per person! So, the location is perfect as that saved us a ton of money (the excursions charge $110 per person).
4. Activities - there was so much to do at this particular resort, either planned by the staff OR on your own (we did most on our own), that we all came home absolutely exhausted from doing so much! Though you can relax...if you want to DO things with your family and not spend a lot of extra money on top of the All Inclusive, this is definitely the place to go! We spent $95 (sea turtles) and that was literally all we spent extra aside from the actual resort price and tips.
5. Movies on the beach - this deserves a separate comment even though its considered an "activity". You are literally ON the beach...in the beach chairs...with the moon and stars above you...the ocean breeze blowing perfectly and keeping the mosquitos away plus keeping you cooled off. It was PERFECTION!
6. Food - The food was really good. Portofino and Oceana were our favorite. Every restaurant had something everyone liked and could order. The best part was that we were able to try things and they said if we didn't like them, they'd bring out something else. They never needed to , as we liked everything we tried.
7. Drinks - they have a "drink of the day", for both alcohol and non-alcohol. They were fun to try...it was wonderful having those listed on the day's "newspaper" (gives the times for all activities, etc.) because we aren't "drinkers" and no nothing about drinks and this gave us the opportunity to not only try new fruity beverages, but they didn't have to have alcohol in them either so YAY! Our favorite was the "virgin superman" - which was strawberry daiquiri and blue pina colada, Delicious!
1. Pool - TERRIBLE! It's your basic square/rectangular type pool, smaller in size than we expected and HOT water in it...like SUPER HOT water. I don't know if it was so hot because it was so small the Mexico heat warmed it up or if it was from so many kids peeing in it. But it was HOT. There are VERY few chairs around the pool, so if you come here, know that you will most likely have to sit on the beach. I would like to think that you came to Mexico FOR the beach so that shouldn't be a problem. But if you are "sit by the pool and look at the beach" people, that will NOT happen. Even if you are lucky enough to get a chair by the pool, it is set up to where you won't see the beach anyways. We love the ocean, so this is a con for those reading the review, but it had ZERO effect on us for our opinion of the resort.
2. Beach CHAIRS - though they were always available, if you had even a sensitive back, let alone actual back issues, they were very uncomfortable after a while. Even for my kids, their backs started hurting...we are a very tall family (I'm 6'2", son is 6'5", daughter is only 13 but already 5'9") so maybe that was the problem and not actually the chairs???
3. Room - if you are coming to Mexico for a "luxury" hotel room...look elsewhere. The room is dated. Very dated. The bathroom mirror was so old and had what looked like hard water stains on it so badly that you couldn't see your face to put on make up or do your hair. We had to do that out by the bed. The pull out mirror (magnifying mirror attached to the wall) LITERALLY pulled out, COMPLETELY, from the wall when we moved it. Again, this was a family FUN vacation...so this didn't effect our opinion of the resort either. But those who are all about the room appearance and "luxury" feel of it, pay attention to that. The bed and pillows however were fine. We all slept great.
4. World Café Buffet Restaurant - I had issues with this. The food was great. However, I suffered a LOT in there every morning for breakfast...it was VERY hot inside. VERY hot. On top of that the ceilings are very low. And there was absolutely NO air circulating (no ceiling fans, nothing). I am claustrophobic and very tall...I struggled and fought off panic attacks from the heat/low ceiling/no air ventilation situation. Which was a shame, because honestly the food in there probably would've been our absolute favorite - we just couldn't enjoy it due to everything else.
5. Spa - First off, please know that we didn't use the spa...I don't pay that high a price for spa services UNLESS I am going to use the hydrotherapy spa rooms along with it (to make it worth the money spent). We walked through the spa to see their hydrotherapy facility and it was horrible. It had one hot tub and one cold tub. That's it! We use the Secrets Silverands and Secrets Capri and Dreams Riviera Cancun spa every time we go...here it was not worth the price. At all. They may give the world's best massages, but I didn't chance it.
I came home with an intestinal parasite...I want people to know this for a specific reason...it was NOT from the food and water. I injested ocean water while having all my fun snorkeling and playing in the ocean. YOU CAN GET SICK when you swallow to much ocean water (or if you get it up your nose - it goes to your stomach that way too). So many people complain about getting sick from the food and water at resorts in Mexico. Please be aware that sometimes its from the FUN you have in Mexico and not the resort's fault. Look at all the reviews - if there are a large number of reviews claiming to "get sick", then consider it. If there is only a small few, don't sweat it. It could be something else, like what happened with me.
That being said...let me conclude with this. Even with all those "cons", my children declared Dreams Puerto Aventuras as their favorite vacation yet! (and one of my "kids" is 20, the other 13...they have plenty to compare to). If you are looking for family fun in the ocean...this is definitely the place to be. We will absolutely, positively go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa is a getaway with near infinite pleasures. Guests of all ages experience Unlimited-Luxury(R), remarkable amenities led by spacious rooms and suites with lovely views, gourmet dining options, limitless top-shelf spirits and 24-hour concierge service - all wristband-free. Guests are entertained by miniature golf, complimentary greens fees at a nearby golf course, a PADI certified diving center and Dolphin Dreams by Dolphin Discovery, one of the largest dolphinariums in the Riviera Maya resort region. To unwind, Dream Spa by Pevonia(R) offers a generous pampering menu. For couples, the resort presents wedding, honeymoon and anniversary packages, and for business, facilities begin with the 1,646 square foot Playa Ballroom. It's all of this and more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dreams Puerto Aventuras Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Dreams Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Dreams Resort Puerto Aventuras
- Sunscape Puerto Aventuras Riviera
- Sunscape Puerto Adventuras
- Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa Riviera Maya, Mexico