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“Was this Dream really a nightmare? Bad overshadows good.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

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Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Cabeza de Toro - Provincia La Altagracia, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #22 of 100 Hotels in Punta Cana
Boston, MA
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Was this Dream really a nightmare? Bad overshadows good.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

My wife and I stayed at Dreams Palm Beach for our honeymoon November 17-24.

THE GOOD

-The grounds and the pool were generally pretty clean. Each pool was fairly large and had ample seating and umbrellas. We woke up early each morning to snag good poolside seats near the swim-up bar.

-The decor in the restaurants and common areas is modern.

-Dreams PB has a wonderful in-house entertainment team that coordinates all resort activities. We attended several of the comedy shows and concerts. My wife even suckered me into water aerobics each morning, which was surprisingly a blast. The entertainment team is absolutely hilarious and does a fine job. They dance and mingle around the property all day and are a big hit with the ladies – including my wife! By far, the highlight of Dreams PB.

-Aside from the restaurant workers, the staff is very friendly and attentive. I especially enjoyed seeing Vladimir at the fitness center (even though calling it that is being generous, as it’s nothing more than four cardio machines and some free weights in two small rooms).

-The beach was nice and has plenty of seating. There is also a water sports facility where guests can kayak, windsurf, scuba dive and snorkel. Our only qualms were the piles of seaweed and the aggressive peddlers who walk the beach each day.

-Punta Cana International Airport is only 15-20 minutes by car from Dreams PB.

THE BAD

Dreams Palm Beach’s food sucks. I am a vegan – no meat or dairy – and was assured by staffers prior to booking our reservation that my dietary needs would gladly be met. Dreams PB has five restaurants and a buffet. Aside from salad and fruit, there are very limited vegetarian/vegan options. Thank goodness for the all-you-can-eat fruit bar at the buffet to save me from going home hungry!

At El Patio (Mexican), they made me a vegetable fajita on a sizzle plate. The veggies were cooked in butter even though I clearly told the server – in both English and Spanish - I didn’t eat meat, fish or dairy. My wife, who eats butter, took a bite and agreed there was butter in my meal. Hers was terrible, too, so we decided to simply leave and hit the buffet. The manager rushed to our table as soon as he saw us getting up and literally cornered me. He insisted there was no butter in my dish – I’ve been a vegan almost 20 years and know what food cooked in butter tastes like! – and even took my fork and tasted my dish. I was completely shocked at his unprofessionalism and unwillingness to acknowledge the chef’s mistake.

Himitsu (Asian) offers three group hibachi grills and regular seating. The hibachi was booked every night, so we never got to try it. Meals off the menu were very disappointing. My favorite dishes were the veggie spring roll and the white rice (doctored it myself with soy and hot sauce!). My wife’s meat dishes were also unimpressive. She told me “this tastes like frozen TV dinner food.”

Portofino (Italian) is the only restaurant where we had a halfway decent meal. They made me vegetarian ratatouille and pasta. However, Portofino falls way short of even the mid-tier Italian joints we’ve eaten at in the United States. It simply tasted better in comparison to the other crappy restaurants at Dreams PB.

Like the food, the service at all the restaurants is awful. Without fail, we waited 10-15 minutes after being seated to even have our water glasses filled, then another 10 minutes to place our orders. We both sipped our drinks very slowly because we knew getting a timely refill was a crapshoot. By Day Three, we brought our own water bottles to dinner. Dreams PB should send all the wait staff to a customer service course.

All the restaurants don’t accept reservations. Some nights we got right in; others we had to wait about 30 minutes.

Our room appeared clean on the surface, but it had a very, very strong musty smell (other reviewers also complained of this). It was so bad our clothes still carried the odor once we got home and washed them. There was incense on the nightstand – but no matches to light it with – when we arrived, which shows me management is aware of the stench. Other than that, our room was spacious and met our needs.

Couples looking for an “adults-only” retreat beware: Dreams PB is not for you. Screaming children regularly overran the pools and splashed other guests. We are certainly not anti-kiddie, but the constant noise pollution gnaws at you while you’re trying to relax. There were many large families staying at Dreams PB while we were there.

We paid extra for the “Preferred Club.” It’s a waste of money. The free in-room Internet and special pool towels were the only perks we truly appreciated. Members also gain access to the “Preferred Lounge,” “private” clubhouse bathrooms that were unlocked and accessible to anyone, and a club pool that was dominated by screaming kids. Sounds like a gimmick to me.

We had a couple’s massage on the beach. The atmosphere – smells and sounds of the sea – were delightful. However, the massages were lackluster. Both our masseuses used too much oil and rubbed very, very lightly.

Bring bug spray. We both returned home with many bites. The mosquitoes are especially pesky during the evening. Daytime wasn’t bad.

There really isn’t much for shopping or nightlife outside the resort. With exception to private excursions, guests are pretty much confined to the resort for the entirety of their stay (not necessarily a bad thing).

Periodically, Dreams PB allows local vendors to sell their wares on-site. These guys are very pushy and won’t take “no” for an answer. They usually come during the evening in the courtyard between the pools and the restaurants.

The resort was without power and water for an entire day. Even worse, there was a wedding (one of at least a dozen at Dreams PB during our stay) scheduled that afternoon.

THE VERDICT

It’s not all bad. Dreams PB has a lot going for it: the convenient location, sandy beach, large pools and tidy grounds. However, some very glaring weaknesses – bad, flavorless food, lack of vegetarian/vegan offerings, shaky restaurant service, musty rooms and hordes of loud children – greatly detract from the resort’s potential. My rating would have been significantly higher if not for these cons. If visiting Punta Cana again, we would probably consider another resort that catered to adults and had better dining.

Room Tip: Musty smelling room. "Preferred Club" is an overpriced gimmick - not worth the extra cash...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management-Palmbeach, Public Relations Manager at Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Dear Guest,

Receive a warm greeting from Dreams Palm Beach. We would like to thank you for sharing along your comments and experiences regarding your recent stay with us and at the same time apologize for not being able to fully satisfy you, as our main goal is to deliver excellent service and make your stay enjoyable.

Food is subject to each individual’s perception. We cater to thousands of travelers each year and most of our guests leave completely satisfied. It is unfortunate our cuisine was not to your liking; we would have appreciated to have learned this while you were on site, in order for us to be able to change your perception by taking care of any special requests. Rest assured that all this issues have already been addressed to our F & B manager and supervisors and action is taking place/

We are sorry to read you didn’t find the rooms. The musty smell you speak of is due to the high humidity levels present in tropical countries like ours. Please know our staff works really hard to maintain all guest rooms clean as you mention following international quality standards, for which we have been multiple types recognized. However, these observations you make are also subject to each individual’s perception.

This is a family friendly resort and all children are welcomed in all areas, including the Preferred Club if they are Preferred members. All Preferred Club members are welcomed to Preferred areas regardless if they are adults or children.

It is a shame you didn’t enjoy your massage and that you didn’t mention you dissatisfaction while on site as we would have managed to resolve the issue.

Nevertheless, we are glad that you enjoyed the pools, activities and our vibrant entertainment staff.

We are very sorry for not meeting your expectations, we will work on the areas of opportunity that may surge from your valuable comments and take full action. We hope to welcome you back in the future and restore your trust in our prestigious brand.

Best regards,

Vangie Severino
Management Assistant
Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
Cabeza de Toro, La Altagracia Dominican Republic
Tel:(809)552-6000 Ext. 1606
operaciones.drepb@dreamsresorts.com
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Bergen County, NJ
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We just returned from Dreams Palm Beach. I am an avid reader of trip advisor and plan our vacations through a combination of the hotels reviews and price comparisons between resorts for specific weeks. Our week at Dreams Palm Beach was very nice. Here is a breakdown.
1.Transportation from the airport went smoothly. Arrived at the resort shortly after 3 pm and had to wait for 1 3/4 hours in the lobby to wait for a room. They sent us to VIP services where a man tried selling us advanced vacations at other hotels. He was quite insistent and we were not happy with this beginning of our vacation.
2. Room- room 6301 (building 6, third floor overlooking both the pool and the ocean). Nice room, clean, beautiful view. Wish they had a larger dresser with more than 2 drawers. Luckily, there were only the two of us and we pack lightly.The room remained warm, the guests can not adjust the coolness. We did ask at the office for someone to set the temp. cooler but it never happened. Be prepared to remain warm at night.
* note- the two young ladies who cleaned our room (Delfine during the day, and Glynis at night) were excellent. These women work long, hard hours, are always super polite, and clean the rooms meticulously.
3. Food- very good as most all inclusives are. We love the fact that there is no reservation system at Dreams resorts. We enjoyed every restaurant but especially the Italian and French ones because they provide very cool air conditioning. We ate at the World cafe for all of our breakfasts and lunches and they have wonderful buffets, everything one could imagine, all cooked well. The soups each day at lunch were the best I have ever tasted ! Great job chefs and cooking staff!
4. Beach and pool- Wonderful! We love Punta Cana beaches, white sand, no rocks in the water, beautiful settings with plenty of lovely palm trees lining the beaches.
5. Children- I was amazed at the number of children and infants at this resort. Had never seen so many at any resort before. I personally love watching the smiling babies, the little ones dancing to the music, and all the children's happiness with the ocean. To me, seeing all the little ones was a plus, they provided fun entertainment!
6. Entertainment- each day, if you wished to participate, there were activities during the day and during the nights. We are not spa people so we did not use the spa.
Each day we viewed multiple wedding on the beach, that provided entertainment too!
All in all, the resort is very nice. The workers and staff try very hard to please. Maybe not "excellente" at all times but close to it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haverfordwest, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

We were a little concerned after reading some of the reviews and having to save for your holiday all year to be then disappointed...well worry not ! Palm Beach offers great rooms (we were in room 8119) with 24hr room service and we used it every morning for coffees and was pleasantly met with a happy waiter delivering.
Our favorite eating places were the French,Italian and chinese restaraunts, the world caf'e was great for lunches and breakfast but did lack a little something in the evenings, but you had plenty of choices.
Entertainment was good with a crazy character called Gasoline and his crew but we did feel Palm Beach could add an extra entertainment choice after 9.30 pm, nothing was going on after this time - this is my only moan.
We had a wonderful, wonderful rep called Sandrew who works for First choice, he was fanatastic! if F/C are reading these reviews then he should have a bonus thats for sure.
The weather was perfect ( we were there from 29/10 - 13/11/12) beautiful sunny days.
The beach is a bit seeweedy however the hotels workers work non stop to keep the beach clean, again, they do a great job. You must take a walk across the beach, its heaven with very happy and not pushy gift sellers ( like the sellers as was mentioned before within the hotel grounds, they are a bit of a pain) along the beach selling beautiful shells and wooden gifts for a fraction of the price and being very gratful for the sale!

Would we go back ? oh yes!!! we are hoping for next year and would love to stay in the same room ! Hope this helps and enjoy your holiday......

Room Tip: We were in 8119 - very near all ameneties
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012 via mobile

We just got back from dreams palm beach and we were so impressed!! Everything was awesome... from the rooms to the staff and food! This was my perfect dream vacation!!! So relaxing and romantic! We loved how the resort had something for everyone. There was nightly entertainment for families and football on the big screen on the beach for the sports lovers. If you wanted to just sit and have a glass of wine and listen to music, you could do that. This resort is great for anyone looking for a getaway!!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochinver, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

I will start with the positives

staff - excellent special thanks to german, angel, Ray at the beach front restaraunt and santa at
the main buffee.

Food - very good apart from the mexican

Rooms appearance of very clean but see cons below.

cons

BITES at first we thought that it was Mossies however after many many years travelling abroad my husband who has never been bitten was covered in red bites. we have since decided that it could have been bed bug bites? There are also ants at the pool every day

Preferred Club pool - very dirty on a least half of our holiday. I think that it could have been due to the storm and the pumps were flooded. No entertainment round the preferred pool - had to join the main part of the hotel .

Have travelled extensively in the Dom Rep - the staff alone gave this rating a 3 but the hotel could have some lessons in cleanliness especially keeping the pool in a clean condition- it is the main way to keep cool in a hot country but with weeping wounds from bites it was not recommended going into an unclean pool - very disappointing

Room Tip: do not pick ground floor friends said that it was damp and musty
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management-Palmbeach, Public Relations Manager at Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear Helen,

Receive a warm greeting from Dreams Palm Beach and thank you for sharing your feedbacks on your recent stay. We apologize for not being able to meet your expectations, as being a service oriented company that is our main purpose; however there are a few things we would like to clarify.

It is surprising to read that you did not find cleanliness in our rooms, as our housekeeping and quality and hygiene department staff is in charge of maintaining all rooms spotless clean twice a day, according to international standards, which in many occasions we have been awarded for. Furthermore, all bed spreads, covers are changed daily and rooms fumigated weekly or upon a guest’s request. Nevertheless all these will be addressed to our House keeping manager.

We apologize the pools were not to your standards and as you say we did have a few rainy days due to a tropical storm which, however that was no obstacle for the pools undergoing its daily rigorous cleaning.

We are glad that you did find the food to your liking and the staff very serviceable.

Please know that it was never our intention to disappoint you and again we apologize we were not able to satisfy all your expectations. We hope to have the opportunity to be able to serve you in the future and be able to regain your trust in the Dreams brand.

Regards,

Vangie Severino
Management Assistant
Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
Cabeza de Toro, La Altagracia Dominican Republic
Tel:(809)552-6000 Ext. 1719
operaciones.drepb@dreamsresorts.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

My sister was getting married so 45 people booked at The Dreams Resort. I have been traveling for 16 years to different countries and was very excited to stay here. Upon check in the employees were very friendly. I checked into my room and began my stay. The next morning I woke up with a lot of bug bites but figured it must be mosquitos. The second morning I woke up and had over 50 bites. I immediately stripped the sheets and found hundreds of bed bugs in the seams. I went to the front desk and started crying. The gentleman at the front (although friendly) told me bed bugs are harmless and it could be cockroaches instead. (Not comforting.) Fortunately they switched my room and I was not bitten the rest of the week. When I spoke with the front desk manager he also told me they were cockroaches. I actually work in management for a five star hotel and know what bed bugs look like as well as the bites (I also have pictures showing the bugs.) Instead of offering a refund, they submitted the information to insurance stating they couldn't offer me a rebate.
In addition, we had a beatiful reception with lobster, steak, etc the second to last day. When I cut my salad, a small cockroach crawled out. Surpringsly enough, this didn't bother me as much as the bed bugs.
Last, the resort was gracious enough to dry clean my clothes so I wouldn't be the bugs back to the states. When I flew back home and got to my car in the airport, my car/house keys were removed from my jacket by the dry cleaning. So I was stuck at the airport with no access to my car or house b/c my keys were at the dry cleaners at the resort. The resort mailed them back to my house a week later.
All aside, I can say the weather was beautiful and the resort was gorgeous. The staff were some of the friendliest and hardest working staff I have ever come across. If it not for the friendliness of the line employees, the hotel would have been terrible. However, I can say I will not be returning, even if a free trip was offered to me.

Room Tip: Ask for a high room and away from the open floors. The rain causes flooding in the rooms.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Outstanding staff - friendly and wonderful attention to detail. The rooms are very nicely appointed, beautiful property, the food is very good - something for everyone - definitely a return favorite. My family and I have been back twice already, and we already have reservations to return before the end of the year! Since we live here we try to get away at least once a month - out of the city of Santo Domingo - and this is now our home away from home.

Room Tip: Stay at the Priority Club - it's definitely worth the slight increase in cost ... and when you...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

Address: Cabeza de Toro - Provincia La Altagracia, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana 4*
Number of rooms: 500
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facing the Caribbean Sea, white sand beach and lush gardens, Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana boasts 500 spacious rooms and ample suites surrounded by swaying palm trees and views of endless blue waters stretching to the horizon - the perfect setting in paradise. Take advantage of all the unlimited luxury activities Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana has to offer. Swim, sail, snorkel or windsurf in the turquoise Caribbean, enjoy fine a-la-cart dining, sip favorite cocktails at one of our bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Occidental Punta Cana
Occidental Allegro Punta Cana
Punta Cana Occidental
Sunscape Punta Cana
Punta Cana Dreams Palm Beach
Punta Cana Allegro

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