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“Dreams is more like a nightmare”

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Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa
Ranked #11 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 November 2010

Arrival: Our entire family went to Dreams for Thanksgiving, but the only thing we gave thanks for was the plane landing in Atlanta and being back in the U.S. To start with, we had reserved 4 double rooms (for 16 people) on the “Club” level. When we arrived, my family and my brother’s family were given king rooms on the Club level. 5 people in one bed didn’t seem real practical, but the front desk staff seems to think it was completely ok. After some discussion, my brother and I were given 2 double rooms on a lower level. Of course none the rooms were clean even though it was after check-in time. Once we got to our two rooms we were pleasantly surprised to find them to be large and very nice even though we were not with the rest of our family. My sister and her family were not so lucky on the Club level...the room was small and inadequate for their family. I spoke to the front desk about all the problems we had in the first hour of being on the resort and suggested that maybe some complimentary spa time or something for everyone to compensate the for the trouble would be nice…they basically refused to do anything. Unbelievable. As far as they were concerned, we all had rooms and it really didn’t matter that they were not what we reserved. Somewhere along the line they missed the whole concept of what a hotel reservation is…pathetic. Oh, by the way, none of the rooms have consistent hot water.

Customer service: In general there really isn’t any. Most of the staff seems to care less and the ones that do are incompetent. For example, our families are big college football fans and the Auburn Tigers in particular. The big rivalry game was the Friday after Thanksgiving so when we arrived on Wednesday I made sure that they could get the channel and gave them the time of game, etc. I was assured that it was all taken care of and it would be no problem. Game time came on Friday and when we arrived at the sports bar in the resort they had no idea what we were talking about and nothing had been set up. After a lot of complaining, they finally got 3-4 guys together and they got it to work after we missed most of the 1st quarter. In the long run they did accommodate us, but I don’t understand why they told us it was taken care of and then no one seemed to know what were talking about. Again, complete lack of customer service and an incredible about of incompetence.

Dining: Thanksgiving was another shinning example. They were having turkey, etc. in the World Buffett. We told them we needed seating for 16…no problem. After about 30-45 minutes we went to check on it again and they didn’t have the tables, but it would take just a minute. After waiting another 15-20 minutes they had seating for about 12, but then we were informed that they had run out of turkey while we were waiting on our table…too bad, tough luck. My family went to the Mexican restaurant and let’s just say it will be a Thanksgiving we will never forget or maybe we should try to forget…still not sure what we ate.

Overall: I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Frankly, I don’t understand some of the good comments posted…it’s like we were in an alternate universe for our stay. Bottom line, the facilities are very nice (if you get what you reserve). However, the customer service is so dismal and the food is so ordinary (except breakfast), that I would urge anyone reading this to stay far away from Dreams. We have been to 3 resorts in Jamaica and 1 in the Dominican Republic. In my opinion and 15 of my family members…got to Jamaica and feel all right.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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1  Thank tcundith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 November 2010

We just returned from a one week stay at the Dreams Puerto Aventuras Nov 21-28. We had a great room over looking the ocean. The room was a 4th floor Ocean View with a very comfortable king size bed. We have stayed at many hotels and the bed in this one was by the far the best we ever had. The room had one draw back. It had a very damp musty smell at times from all the humidity. Someone had suggetsed on trip advisor to purchase a damp rid bag from Home Depot and hang it in the closet. This might of helped, had we purchased one. If you left your patio door open to air out the room the air conditoner cut out. We however, left it open during the day and closed it later when we returned from the pool or beach to cool down the room. This seemed to help a bit. Our room fridge only had beer in it the first day we checked in and never again after that. The water and juice was replaced. Wasn't really a big deal, I just stopped by one of bars on the way back to room and re-stocked it myself. The rooms were not the most sound proof either. There were tons of kids at this resort while we were there, the hallways echoed, so we often got woken early (6 am - 7 am) as they passed by our room. We loved using the ocean side and staying by the water. However, we took refuge often on the Adults only side for a lttle break from the hustle and bustle of the ocean side. This is definitely a great hotel if you have kids and are bringing them along with you. There seemed to be lots for them to do in an orgranized environment. I was actually kind of surprised to see so many kids there at this time, it might of had something to do with the American Thanksgiving holidays. We usually ate breakfest at the World Cafe and chose one of the restaurants for dinner. We loved having civiche or the shrimp cocktail for a mid day snack. Our favorties were the Italian and the Seaside Grill. The portions at the Oceana were disappointing. They often would could up something special around the ocean side pool for lunch. This was very good as well. The Marina area which is just a short 10 minute walk has shops and more restaurants. We never went for a swim with the Dolphins in the marina, but we watched them a few times and I am sure that those who did were amazed at what they can do, as we sure were. We ate out away from the hotel at Gringo Dave's. The night we were there they had a steak and lobster dinner for $ 20 dollars or 4 lobster tails for the same price. It was a very delicious meal. Over all we were very pleased with the hotel and the service.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank RicardoSaskatchewan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2010

We returned just yesterday from a week's stay at Dreams Puerto Aventuras, and it was just what our family (2 adults, 13-yr old daughter, 9-yr old son) needed! We had booked a "Dreams Square Deal" through Apple Vacations (more on that later), so we did not know where we would be staying until we arrived in Mexico. Since our daughter was considered an "adult" for booking purposes, the Apple Vacations rep had suggested that we also pay the "adult" rate for our son and book 2 rooms. It was only about $500 more to get the second room for the week; it was ultimately worth it, but we did stress a bit during our planning over whether we would be able to get connecting rooms - something that was expressly NOT guaranteed.

Two things happened at the beginning of our trip that made a big difference: 1) we were upgraded at no charge to the Preferred Level (7th floor, at the top. Gorgeous views. Extra amenities, including free wi-fi Internet, a lounge with continental breakfast, snacks, and a staffed bar with premium liquors.); 2) after the first night when our two rooms were separated just a bit, the hotel staff was able to get us into connecting rooms (739-741) - one king, one with two double beds. PERFECT! We faced the marina side, which seemed to be the much quieter side, and we had plenty of space and privacy. Truly, we have very minimal complaints about our accommodations. While drawer space was limited, we had plenty of shelves and hanging space in the closets. The rooms and bathrooms were spacious, clean, and well appointed. On one night in particular, when there was a wedding party on our floor, the noise from the hallway was pretty loud throughout the night… but I attribute this more to inconsiderate guests and not to the hotel.

A word about the hot water, though: if you are looking to have a hot shower every day, you will need to have the precision of a professional safe-cracker, the patience of a saint, and plenty of luck, too. The temperature controls in both of our showers were super-sensitive and not very intuitive, which meant that the slightest adjustment of the dial could change the water from scalding hot to freezing cold. There were some times that no matter what we did, the water did not get better than lukewarm. We asked the staff about this a couple of times, but we never really got much insight from them. In talking with other guests, it sounded like it might have been an issue with water getting up to the 7th floor; the hotel was at 90%+ occupancy during our stay.

Other items of note:

FOOD: Our favorite restaurant for dinner was Portofino; we ate there twice – once seated inside, and once in the outdoor area. Excellent filet mignon, and the stuffed chicken breast was also outstanding! The Patio (Mexican restaurant) was charming and the food was delicious (especially the grouper)… but service was a little slower. The Seaside Grill was a nice option for lunch (loved the crab wontons), but we were disappointed in both the food and service for dinner. (They brought our kids their meals, but 25 minutes later, the meals my husband and I had ordered still hadn’t come, and we ended up just leaving.) World Café (buffet) had lots of variety and food was pretty good overall; that is where we ate on Thanksgiving Day, and they served traditional foods e.g., turkey, mashed potatoes. We never went to the Ocean (adults only) restaurant, so we can’t comment on that one. Room service was so-so in food quality and accuracy of the order.

BEACH/POOL: Even with the hotel near capacity, we were always able to get beach chairs, and we even got a palapa (umbrella) a few times. Overall the beach and pool areas were beautiful, and the hotel staff seemed to do their best to keep the areas clean, but they were by no means pristine. Some garbage ended up in and around the beach, and yes, there was seaweed floating around. The waves were great, but you will definitely want swim shoes to walk among the rocks to get out there. Our kids had a ton of fun on the climbing wall and trampoline in the water, and we also enjoyed snorkeling both on the main beach and in the protected beach area near the edge of the property. The Jacuzzi on the beach side was often packed with kids and adults eating and drinking… which started to gross us out later in the week when we saw people spill drinks or drop bits of mini cheeseburgers into the water.

ACTIVITIES: The activities staff was great… very warm and inviting. We did water aerobics a few times, participated in a “Turkey in the Sand” sculpture contest on Thanksgiving Day. Our son went to the Explorers Club one night for a dinner and movie on the beach and had a great time. We enjoyed the movies on the beach at night (great popcorn!) and the Fire & Water show was pretty good. On Thanksgiving Day, they had a band perform familiar rock songs right on the beach, which was a nice change of pace.

TIPPING: We did bring $1s and $5s for tipping as the staff worked very hard and did provide very good service. In particular, we tipped the housekeepers, bartenders who took care of us on the beach literally all day, and Oli – the bartender in the Preferred Floor lounge, who always made me a great frozen margarita at the end of the day.

Although I have booked trips through Apple Vacations before, there were two things that didn’t sit well with me. We were told by Apple that we would find out exactly where we would be staying when we checked in for our departure at Chicago O’Hare airport. Sure enough, the representative there handed us a sheet of paper that indicated we would be staying at Dreams Riviera Cancun. When we arrived into Cancun, however, and checked in with the ground transportation folks – we were advised that we would instead be staying at Dreams Puerto Aventuras. Not a big deal in the end, but just before we left Chicago, we had sent off an email to family giving them the address/phone number for the other property… and we also spent the hour-plus shuttle ride with a nagging feeling that there had been a mix-up.

The other issue we had with Apple Vacations came at the very end, when the shuttle was returning us to Cancun airport to fly home. Remember, even though we did tip throughout our stay, all gratuities were supposed to be included in our package price. Still, we had every intention of tipping the shuttle driver. Five minutes before the shuttle bus arrived at the airport, the Apple Vacations representative who was sitting at the front with the driver stood up and reminded us all that he and the driver were working for tips and that we should tip both of them as we disembarked. Huh? We thought this was very tacky and inappropriate, particularly coming from the Apple Vacations representative.

Overall, though, our stay at Dreams Puerto Aventuras was “excelente.” If you go, be sure to:

1. Bring water shoes and get out there to jump in the waves.
2. Book your free 20-minute catamaran ride, first thing in the morning.
3. Enjoy an afternoon of “grazing” on your beach chair, instead of sitting inside a restaurant. The beach menu is very limited if you order from one of the circulating servers, but you can go into World Café and bring out a plate, or enjoy some of the samples that the chefs walk around between 1-2pm. The mini-cheeseburgers from the grill were also awesome!
4. Snuggle up on a lounge chair after dinner with a couple of warm towels and take in a movie on the beach. Save room for popcorn.
5. Skip the structured tours, and get a taxi out to Tulum. For $60 USD round-trip, our driver Gregorio took the four of us – and waited there until we were ready to leave. For about $50 USD, we were admitted to the ruins and had the services of a private guide to take us around, and we could stay as long as we liked. Significantly cheaper than any of the tours Apple was running/

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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6  Thank msinglet68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2010

Just returned from a five-night stay with girlfriends (in our mid 30s - early 40s). After reading some negative reviews, we were a little hesitant and were not sure what to expect. Dreams P.A. definitely exceeded our expectations. We all loved it!

ROOMS: Spacious, clean, nice decor. Yes, the shower head does get the floor wet, but who cares. You're on vacation. Throw down a towel.

FOOD: Overall, we enjoyed the food. Our favorite evening dining was Portofino. The food was consistently great at this restaurant. We dined here 3 of our 5 evenings. Our favoirte lunch spot was Seaside Grille where you could sit down and order off a menu. It was a nice option to your typical buffet for lunch. The food was awesome here, especially the grouper. Delicious! The only complaint I have for dining was overcooked Ahi tuna one evening at the adults-only Oceana restaurant.

BEACH: The beach is small but appropriately proportioned to the size of the resort. The water was crystal clear, calm, and warm during our stay. We had no trouble finding lounge chairs every morning. If you want a more secluded, quiet beach, continue past the wedding gazebo toward the Baracuda Beach Bar. It's very quiet and relaxing on this side of the beach. The snorkeling right off the resort was AMAZING, the best I've experienced right off the shore of a resort! Be sure to take advantage of their complimentary snorkeling gear (allowed use is one hour per day.) Also be sure to reserve a free 20-minute catamaran ride. You must reserve early in the morning the same morning you'd like to sail. They fill up fast. It was very nice! The beach service was great. They were constantly walking the beach asking if we needed anything. Try the Mudslides! By late afternoon when the clouds rolled in and the sun was dropping a bit, we'd relocate to the adult pool. It was a nice change of scenery when the beach cooled off. You'll get a little more afternoon sun on this side of the resort.

SERVICE: Outstanding! You don't feel like a number in a herd, rather a person with a name. They not only remember your personal preferences but oftentimes even your name. Impressive!

Things not to miss:

1) Snorkel at the resort
2) Take a complimentary catamaran ride
3) Have a drink on the swings at Baracuda
4) Watch the Fire & Rain show on the beach
5) Order grouper for lunch at Seaside Grille
6) Dine at Portofino
7) Eat nachos for breakfast (yes, it's allowed!)
8) Walk to the marina and watch the dolphins
9) Order room service

GO AND ENJOY!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank CarlaB1022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2010

We did not actually stay at Dreams, because we have a condo in the town of Puerto Aventuras. We did however go there twice in the week that we where at the condo on day passes. I highly suggest that anyone planning on going to Dreams take the time to go out and explore PA. The pueblo is small, but there is alot to see including but not limiting to Dolphin Discovery. Now about the resort. We showed up the first day and had a quick tour before we started at the breakfast buffet. It had literally every kind of food that you can image. All was wonderful, including the drinks. The staff was very attentive and the drinks kept coming. We really took the time to get to know some of the staff personally and they were very eager to learn about us. We then hit the beach area and claimed our chairs. We partook in volleyball, catamaran rides, free massages (on Thursdays with limited times), snorkeling and drinking. While laying out on the chairs watching weddings or the beautiful ocean view, there was no shortage of staff to accommodate our every wish. The standard for tipping in Mexico is about 10%, but a little extra goes along way. Everything including the bathrooms were very clean. The restaurant by the pool was very good. Beautiful presentation. We also took advantage of the adult pool. The main pool and bar is very nice but at times can get a little noisy. Between pool aerobics and volleyball and the photos with the monkeys, the adult pool was very relaxing alternative. It does not face the ocean, but is right on the marina. There is a hot tub, which was never used due to the humidity and 90 degree weather. One really cool area is the ocean pool. For people who are not comfortable with swimming in the ocean, it is a great way to see lots of fish. We also really enjoyed the bar with the swings right over the water. All and all we would go back in a heart beat and will make it a priority each time we go to our condo.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Christine-Oregon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2010

If you are looking for somewhere to vacation with young kids or teenagers, this is an excellent choice. If you are looking for a quiet romantic getaway for two, this may not be it. The resort is very nice. That being said, it is a little older and refurbished. The rooms were not as much of a wow factor as Secrets Maroma where we stayed (just the two of us) a couple of years ago.

Just about the only complaint, the hallway/corridor outside the elevator and the rooms themselves was noisy. This wasn't a deal breaker but did get annoying.

What made up for it? Awesome service! From the wait staff in the restaurants to the pool side waiter who brought our daughter handscooped ice cream to the pool, it couldn't be better.

Read the other reviews, they are pretty much spot on. Don't worry about the water in the bathrooms, yes it gets on the floor but there is a drain in the floor and you can get as many towels as you want so it is a non-issue. Also, we did not get the musty smell others complained about. The rooms (and everything else at the resort) were kept clean.

Food - typical (but good) buffet at World Cafe. Decent food at Sea Side Grill. Great food and wine at Portofino. We splurged on the wine a bit and paid extra but the house wine is good too. Portofino was our favorite, ate there twice. Salmon was some of the best I've ever had. Even our 12 year old liked it! A side note about the room service, again not a deal breaker for us but it was a very limited menu and unlike other resorts we have been to, if it wasn't on the menu dont ask for it...and no coconut ice cream unless you went to the restaurants.

Overall, we have stayed at lots of resorts and hotels from Las Vegas to Hawaii. This was not the best but it was a great vacation, good value, good food, and great service. No regrets and if traveling with kids again, we would definitely consider staying here again.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank us3inthesun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2010

The hotel was small, clean, and the food was great whether it was in the restaurants or the buffet we never had one complaint, except if you're really hungry you will leave the restaurants needing a little more to eat, but you can just go into the buffet to top off. The staff was great here, they always had a smile and all could speak very good English. The beach was small and secluded so there were no people walking through from other resorts and there was never a problem getting a chair no matter what time of day it was. The water was nice and calm with schools of fish coming in and you can get some bread from the cafe and feed them. The only negative experience we had was that we stayed in the preferred club which is on the top floor and we had an ocean view which was awesome and there was a private lounge with all the top brand liquors and snacks, and our own waiter, but the problem I had was that I think this level should be an adults only level like 30+ as when I pay extra for the comfort and all i here is screaming kids and people partying in their rooms when i'm trying to sleep I really don't feel like I'm getting my moneys worth. Besides the resort we found Mexico great, the only problems we had were everyone was trying to get you to go to a time share presentation or they will say it's not a time share it's something different. We got stopped in the airport and conned into going to one, but I got some free scuba diving out of it, but if your not interested in it just say no as it is time consuming and they will try anything to get you to buy. When you arrive in the airport there is no one inside there to help you get where you are going they are just trying to sell you on something, but soon as you go out the front doors that is were you will find all the taxis and hotel transfers, so just pass on by the people in the airport.
One last thing I will comment on which was my biggest disappointment was the amount of dolphin parks there were and the amount of people going to them, this is extremely wrong and sad these animals are not meant to be in captivity and if you care about dolphins don't go because everyone they bring in for your amusement 100 are probably being slaughtered, so the only advice I can give you if you want to see them is to take up scuba diving or surfing and see them how they were meant to be FREE.
and check out the movie The Cove.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank tompy430
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa

Address: Km 269.5 Carretera Chetumal, Puerto Aventuras 77500, Mexico (Formerly Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa All Inclusive)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: £149 - £409 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 305
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

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