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