My boyfriend and I went to Dreams Palm Beach Feb 13-20 as part of a 6 Apple Square Deal. We didn't know where we were staying until we got to the airport, but had suspicions it would be one of the Dreams resorts based on what I've heard. I have stayed at two other all inclusives in Mexico, one 4 star(apple), one 5 star(apple), so was eager to see what a "6 apple" resort would be like.
OVERALL: Got for a good deal through "square deal" but would never pay the full price. This is not a 6 star resort- 5 star at best. Had a great time but expected more from a "6 Apple"- should be the best of the best.
Pros: Friendly staff, beautiful buildings/landscaping, nice rooms, spacious beach, close to shops
Cons: Long waits sometimes for restaurants, poor top shelf alcohol selection, not much area to walk down beach, mediocre room service/concierge, unfinished theater/tennis courts, average nightly entertainment
AIRPORT: Check in went smoothly. Airport is very cute- thatched roof, you get out of the plane right on the tarmac, take pics with Dominican costumed women (which will be ready to purchase at the airport when you depart home for 9 or 10 bucks I think). You are immediately enveloped in the Dominican vibe. I always take my own luggage right to the Apple bus myself- give to a luggage boy and you may never see your bags again- and the walk is so short it's not worth paying someone for.
LOCATION: Dreams is about 15-20 minutes away from the airport in a grouping of three or so other resorts. The rest of the big resorts are further north up the coast (about 20-30 minute car ride). If you like shopping there are rows of shops about a 2 minute walk from the resort (see on left when you are driving in) where all tourists go and you can haggle for good deals on T-shirts, art, clothes, etc etc. We asked our Apple rep about it first because we weren't sure if it was safe, etc, but she said many people go there and once you go it's obviously touristy. We spent about 60 bucks there for 2 shirts, a bottle of rum and a large piece of artwork. Beware, however, that vendors aggressively try to get you to visit the shops. Try to start at the back and work your way up for maybe better deals.
BUILDINGS: The resort itself is beautiful. The lobby is stunning, perfect mix of modern and Caribbean feel. It's the major hangout place at night too. We got in before 1400 and check in is at 1500 so our luggage was stowed and we went to lunch, had a drink, wandered around a bit. Right at 1500 we checked back and got a room right away. We had some miscommunication about our luggage because the front desk told us it would be in our room but it wasn't so later we had to go back and ask the bellboy about it and found it was still downstairs. No big deal. The resort has a very cozy, intimate feel with all the buildings grouped around the center pool area.
ROOM: Very echo-y- buildings are tiled and you can hear people talking, walking, etc (we were on the second floor-heard third was better). Very nice and clean inside, bathroom a bit outdated, no tub, average shower (worse than the 5 star I went to). Biggest issue we had was the so called "mini bar" which had two beers, soda, juice, water and was not restocked the first night and then subsequently only restocked partway with one beer, two if we were lucky. Also meager supply of bottled water which we hoarded every day to have enough. Odd time management too; they clean rooms in AM then restock mini bar at 3-4 PM then turn down service in evening. Maid service good. Nice balcony which blocked wind very well. Really noisy air conditioner, but does provide white noise against the hallway noises at night. No bugs in sight, nice decor, beautiful. Comes with only mini iron board.
BEACH: Beach is very beautiful. Powdery white sand, many palm trees. Some competition for chairs but we were able to always find two within a couple minutes. It pays to ask people if they're using them instead of wandering aimlessly. Some seaweed on the shore which they cleaned every morning. No need for water shoes going into the water either. Lots of motorized activity nearby- you can see a marina down a bit to the south and boats are continually zipping back and forth. You couldn't swim out too far for risk of being in the way of the water traffic, but there was a clearly marked swimming area where boats couldn't go. Nice active beach feel though- something always going on. Only negative is for walkers: there is a resort and then wild beach to the north so you can walk about 10-15 minutes before you hit a sign that says it's no longer a "safe area" for tourists. There are no resorts that way and we saw a Dominican family once or twice so I think the locals use that area too. To the south there was a resort and then the marina which was fenced off so that was an even shorter walk. So those hoping for endless walking for hours should probably look at the resorts more to the north because there are so many of them you can just walk and walk and walk.
FOOD: No reservations needed here which was a nice departure from the usual. You could actually decide what you were in the mood for instead of booking the week's worth on your first day. Food and service was good, not amazing. We liked the Mexican place. Had to wait unless we went right at 1830. Longest wait was about 90 minutes. Didn't bother us too much though because you could go have a drink, take a walk. Just anticipate a wait. Good beachside grill with burgers, hot dogs. Buffet was ok- no theme nights that we saw so it could get old quickly if you go there often. Very nice decor at all places though. Most people dressed up too so bring plenty of dresses/pants/etc.
DRINKS: There are two bars open at night- lobby and then poolside, which was nice because the poolside one was usually dead after seven or so. Also a bar at the "disco". Was disappointed by the variety of "top shelf" alcohol. Best were Johnny Walker Black, Stoli vodka, Absolut, Tanguerey gin, Jack Daniels but we couldn't find them every night and there seemed to be only one bottle a night when they were there. Everyone bombarded the lobby bar but you could get service relatively quickly and the drinks were strong.
ENTERTAINMENT: Nightly shows were average. Themes about what you'd expect. Theater is being built so a stage by the pool was used. Chairs were put out every night (less than 100). Reminded me of the 4 star resort I've been to. Many daytime activities which I don't really participate in but there always seemed to be something going on. We brought our tennis racquets and were very disappointed to find that despite tennis courts being listed on the resort map and in the info binder in the room the courts are in fact still being built. Seems like false advertisement to me and not 6 star at all. Went on two excursions: Outback Safari and Bavaro Splash both of which I would recommend. The casino is laughable. The nightclub had nice decor but was full of young kids when we went even though it opens at 2200.
SERVICE: Great service in the restaurants and bars, poor front desk, fair concierge. We had minor issues with our room- alarm clock didn't work, none of the buttons (ie spa, concierge, front desk) worked on the phone so we dialed the operator each time, mini bar wasn't restocked, which were taken care of... eventually. We spent too much time looking for the tennis courts which didn't exist and then asked the front desk about it. The guy tried to be helpful and take us to where they were on the map but it took a security guard to let him and us know they weren't yet finished. The front desk guy obviously did not even know what was going on at the resort and then instead of acknowledging his mistake he started talking about how everyone on the resort makes it a practice to say "Hola" to everyone else..?!?! A couple of days later I happened to mention it to the Apple rep who told me you can make a reservation with the concierge and they will take you somewhere to play. Not worth the effort but at least she knew! Basically ask your Apple rep anything you want to know because individual employees seem uninformed and unreliable.
I had a lot of fun at this resort and would return to Punta Cana again. I would recommend this resort if they rated and priced it appropriately. If you can get a good deal it's worth it, if not I would go to one of the resorts up the beach and get more for your dollar.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, HotelTravel.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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