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“This resort is a wonderful secluded oasis” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

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Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Barra de Navidad S/N Km. 3.5 | Zona Hotelera Sur, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa)   |  
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Ranked #6 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
North Olmsted, Ohio
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“This resort is a wonderful secluded oasis”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2011

My wife and I have been to this resort at least 23 times in the last 18 years. The beach is as close to private as you can get .This resort is very family friendly. Everyone, from the maids to management is very helpful and go out of their way to please.There is a waiter on the beach by the name of Salizar who, in 91 degree weather never let my glass go empty. And then there was Veronica who spent a couple of hours helping me get my ipad hooked up to wifi Or Ramundo who I saw in every restaurant at one time or another ( he is in management)filling in when they needed help. The food , drinks, entertainment and atmosphere are why we go back year after year.

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean view. Second floor or above.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2011

***My husband and I read many reviews on TripAdvisor before booking Dreams PV for our wedding and vacation. A 90% approval for an all inclusive resort is very good! I have stayed at 4 other all inclusive resorts and I had the highest expectations for Dreams. Nearly all of those expectations were met.
***We stayed at Dreams PV from 5/25/11 to 6/4/11. We booked through Cheap Caribbean and upgraded to the preferred tower. The only reason we did upgrade was because it was a special vacation and we wanted the bigger room. We were on the 15th (5th) floor. They tried to upgrade us to a room on the 18th(8th) floor with a Jacuzzi for $80/night. Not worth it, so we declined. We wouldn’t have used the Jacuzzi anyway after being in the pools all day. Most of our 13 guest stayed in the old tower and it was fine too.. the only complaint from the old tower was a leaky ac and toilet. They were later switched to a different room.The rooms were very clean. Our room was cleaned daily and turned down every night except 2 and that was because we were in the room when they came by. Towels toiletries, and drinks were restocked daily. Some reviews have mentioned bed bugs, but there are none.. maybe some sand fleas, and nearly no mosquitoes.
***Our wedding was perfect! Every detail was as I had requested! Over an 8 month period I had 3 different wedding coordinators. But no detail or conversation was lost. We were married on 6/1 in the gazebo that over looks the beach and the ocean! We had a legal ceremony. I noticed that a lot of the weddings that were going on at the resort were not legal ceremonies. There was a lot of extra things and steps we had to go through to have the legal ceremony. It would have been much easier and cheaper to go to the court house at home 1st then have the ceremony at the beach. But the wedding was perfect and we were all so pleased with how it turned out. We just went with the complimentary wedding package because we couldn't see spending $2000+ on a dinner reception when everyone had paid for the all inclusive and food is free. So after the wedding we all went and ate together at the sea side grill. The dinner reception may be more fitting with a larger wedding but not for 15 people.
***There are 5 different restaurants to eat at. Not every one of them are open every night, but they tell you the night before so you can plan accordingly. The Portofino was my favorite. It is the adults only Italian restaurant. We ate there 2 times and it was better the 1st time. They have a piano player that plays while you eat. Very nice! Sea Side Grill was also another good restaurant. They have 5 or so different steaks and some seafood and chicken dishes. El Patio is the Mexican theme restaurant. Also very good. The Oceana is the seafood restaurant. World Café is the buffet that is open daily for breakfast and lunch and some nights for dinner. Good food for a buffet. Try the nachos at lunch! There is 24hr room service available and we used it a few time. Also pretty good for room service at an all inclusive. The best server and employee at this resort is Pastor! He worked in the World Café. He always kept our drinks full and was very pleasant, even with a larger group.
***Service was excellent when there is a small group. Before our wedding guests arrived my husband and I had the best service we had ever had at an all inclusive resort. The service was still good with a party of 5 people. But anything larger than 5 diners is when the service went down hill.
***Dreams PV has 3 pools. The main large family pool, the smaller quiet pool, and an adult infinity pool. The adult pool is where we spent most of our time. And we would also go to the family pool. The quiet pool was a little too cold. At other all inclusive resorts the adult pool has been strictly for adults. Dreams wasn’t as strict. There were multiple occasions where there were some children in the adult pool. The staff does nothing about this. One afternoon a man brought his 6 children to the adult pool while he sat at the bar. The children proceeded to splash all the people in the pool. Very annoying. We have a 12 yr old boy and we do not allow him over at the adult pool and neither should other parents. Nothing was done about the 6 children until a guest called the concierge and security came.
***There are 5 bars at this resort. One swim-up bar at the family pool (should be at the adult pool), one near the adult pool, one on the beach in front of the old tower, the sports bar, and the lobby bar. They do have decent liquor, but you have to ask for it or you will get the well brand. Drinks are not watered down. If it isn’t strong enough for you (not an issue most of the time) just ask for more next time. There are servers who come around and take drink orders, but it was so sporadic that we just got our own drinks a lot of the time. Which wasn't a problem. Everyday there is a different specialty drink to try.. an alcoholic and nonalcoholic one.
***The beach is very nice. It is secluded so non-guest cant wonder onto the beach. The beach was raked every morning and all the seaweed that washed up over night was removed. Plenty of palpas to sit under. The water was rough, but fun. You could sit and watch the manta-rays in the waves. Very fun!
***There are plenty of activities to do through out the day through the resort. And then you can also jetski and parasail (not through the resort). The jet skis were $65 for 1/2hr, we got them for $110 for an hr. And the parasailing was $50.
The resort allows a few venders onto the beach and they and generally not pushy. But you can find whatever they are selling much cheaper in town. They were selling blankets for $30 each and we found the same ones in town for $5 each.
***Downtown Puerto Vallarta was ok. We never felt threatened. The Boardwalk is going through some remodeling right now. The vendors are a little pushy and come up to you to show you their stuff. Once you have went into 2 of the shops, you have pretty much seen everything. DT was a $5 taxi ride, we took a large taxi for 8 people once day and it was $10. Not a bad price.
***We booked a few activities through our travel rep. Olympus Tours (Jose). 4 of us did the Swim with the Dolphins/Dolphin Discovery at Aquaventuras Park. It was so much fun! We did the Dolphin Encounter for $130/person. We were in the water with the dolphins and we also got the Sea Lion encounter with it. This price also allowed you entrance into the water park. The water park was small but we all had a great time. Somehow, we even got 4 food vouchers. 5 guys in our group also went fishing. They rented out the boat for 4hrs for $230. They said it was the worst fishing trip they had ever been on. They caught 4 small fish that were later used for bait.
***There are no towel cards at this resort which was nice, just take a towel when you need one. No reservations for dinner, another nice thing. They have theme nights a few times a week. We went to the Mexican fiesta night and the Carribean night. Both fun and decent food. The entertainment at night was ok.. some was a bit cheesy. The fire show was good! There isn’t much of a night life past 10pm at the resort, but you could always go to the clubs in town. We never did. The grounds is gated and when you leave the resort they take your room # down and the name of the taxi driver and when you come back in they make note that you have returned.
***The resort coupons we were given were sort of a joke. We received $200 worth of coupons but you can not use these how you please. They are divided up into $amounts and items that they can be used on. For example, $40 off the spa, $10 off a bottle of wine. There were 3 for the spa but you could only use one at a time. I think they just give these coupons so you will spend the $ in the spas and for the romantic dinners.
***There are time share people. But all you have to do is tell them one time that you are not interested and they will leave you alone for the rest of your trip.
***We would definitely return to Dreams PV and maybe try another Dreams some day. Neither my husband or I wanted to leave after our 11 days. I would recommend this resort to my friends and to anyone wanting to have a destination wedding.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2011

I just got married at the dreams on 4/29/11 and it was perfect. Esman did an incredible job. The flowers were beautiful, the decorations were great...everything was more than I expected. I also got my hair and makeup done in the salon and I was very happy with their work. We also stayed at the dreams for our honeymoon and we had a great time. They go above and beyond with keeping the grounds clean and the service was impeccable. Anyone who is considering this place should trust all the good reviews. And I would also recommend staying in the preferred tower. It's a little more money but definitely worth it. The main tower is fine but it's nice to be in an upgraded room.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dreamspv, Quality Control at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, responded to this review, June 8, 2011
Thank you for your comments regarding your wedding and Honeymoon at Dreams Puerto Vallarta. It is always nice to have positive feedback from our guests and to know that we have met or exceeded their expectations. Our goal at Dreams Puerto Vallarta is to assure that our guests receive total satisfaction during their stay with us.

Be sure we will express your compliments to Esman.

Once again thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you, and hope to have the pleasure to serve you again in this your home away from home in the near future.

It is a pleasure!
Esmeralda Alcala
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2011

I used to adore this hotel. I have stayed here three times in the past year, my family has relocated to Vallarta from the States - we visit a lot!
DAY 1 - My 11 year old daughter, My 78 year old mother and myslef booked a pre-paid holiday through an outside vendor that we always use and love. I booked a package that was good for 2 Adults and 2 Children a Junior Suite in the Preferred Club. On Arrival I was told that the package was only good for 2 and that I would have to pay for the child ($150 per day) - I got out my computer and showed the desk clerk what I had booked, she finally agreed that I was right, but since I had an extra person, our room wouldn't be "as nice" - OKAY?? so we were put on a ground floor unit, not as nice as previously - but OK.
DAY 2 - Sun is shining, beach is warm - we're excited to go enjoy our day. I get a phone call (about 16 hours after I checked in) from the girl at the desk telling me that they needed my credit card again for room charges. Room Charges? I ask, I had pre-paid for the trip. She said she knew that, but that the outside company didn't pay them and accounting was bugging her to get payment (This was Sunday before Memorial Day)
So basically we needed to take care of payment and get re-paid by the travel company. I say no because it will turn into a nightmare and it's really between the travel company and the hotel (why would they check you in if it wasn't paid?) - Before I walk out to the beach, she tells me I need to come back at noon if they can't get a hold of the company and pay or leave. So nice to be threatened. - I told them the company wouldn't be back until Tuesday, because Monday was a holiday - Basically this back and forth went on for two more days - They threatening me, and truly ruining the time I had with my family.
Finally on Day 4 - (Tuesday) I call Luxury Link and they tell me they paid Dreams on May 25 (3 days before I checked in) BUT apparently the lovely accounting department coded the payment incorrectly and threfore felt the need to ruin my holiday.
So bottom line is they are unorganized - I understand mistakes happen - but I should have never been harassed. The concerge contacted me to apologize - and offered the "nicer" room to us we were supposed to have originally (I said no) - then manicures (again no) then at check out I was offered some day passes to enjoy the grounds after I had checked out (again NO thanks!)
What I wanted was a refund or credit, certificate, etc... for the two days they destroyed of my holiday (it was really 2.5 - but I'll compromise for 2). I thought that would be fair.
I wrote letters to the Manager, CEO and my Luxury Link - I've gotten no response from Dreams Puerto Vallarta (There is a Dreams in Nuevo Vallarta for the future) - Luxury Link has sent me several apologies and a $100 credit to use on another vacation - no necessary (they didn't make the mistake) but appreciated -
This was a case of really bad customer service and a situation that was handled poorly.

It's unfortunate because most of the staff is fantastic! Love the bartender Jesus - Nice people. It's the "higher-ups" that do the damage (the people you never see) I understand why the resort was nearly empty. The beach is nice, the pools are great - the food is good for an AI - there is always a bartender or server waiting to help you. Giovanni in the Preferred lounge was friendly and fantastic (great cauppicinos) Again some terrific people, I am sorry the management doesn't use the service staff as an example of how to treat guests.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2011

This was our third annual visit to Dreams and it’s as good as ever. A few of the staff are starting to remember us and greet us with a, “Welcome home.”

Dreams suits us in the areas we care most about: Food/Wine, Service, Beach/Pool and Comfort. Of course, cleanliness and professionalism go without saying. We like the location on its own secluded cove yet only a short taxi ride to the downtown. Unlike some all-inclusive resorts, we find that we can start unwinding early on our first full day there.

You’ll pay a little more than economy-level to stay at Dreams. It’s luxurious but not stuffy. Complete but not so big that you feel like an intruder. And it’s fenced and gated with high security. You don’t even need an ID bracelet; if you got in, you belong there. The beach is accessible only by boat or the resort.

Since last year, the lounges at the beach and pool have been replaced and upgraded and there are lots more umbrellas on the pool deck — a former failing. Also new is the Café Coco, a pristine little hole-in-the wall just off the lobby that serves take-out finger foods even when the proper restaurants are on break or setting up for the next meal; nice!

However, we do have a few qualifications and they’re disturbing enough to downgrade our rating to “Average”.

First, the west elevator in the main tower has been in and out of service for the LAST THREE VISITS. Come on, guys — please get it fixed once and for all. As a result, there was often a fair wait time.

Second and worse, check-in was slow and confused. Even once we got to the counter, the clerk didn’t read the notes on our reservation that we were repeat guests and wanted a quiet room. It must have taken 10–15 minutes to find a suitable room. Not what you need after a long flight. On the plus side, we did get a somewhat appropriate room although it could easily have been quieter.

Third, and very annoying, they have started flogging time-sharing. The moment you turn around from checking in, someone intercepts you offering you “this package”, “that discount” and “such-and-such free”. And they go on and on when all you want is to get to your room. Don’t be fooled unless you want to give up 2-plus hours at a presentation sometime during your week. There is no such thing as a free lunch except for the ones already included in your all-inclusive package. (Good grief, you get enough aggressive locals pushing time-sharing right in the airport. You’d like to think you’ve escaped all that once you get to your resort.)

Finally, the overload of wedding groups. Dreams has, I suppose out of necessity to survive, started booking more wedding groups. Now, any wedding is made up of guests from many walks of life and, shall we say, social classes. It wouldn’t be right of me to criticize other guests. But Dreams needs to do its best to keep wedding groups away from those who are “paying retail” to be there.

There was even one wedding group party around a bonfire on the beach a few yards from where we were trying to have a pleasant dinner. The party guests finished up by throwing food at each other. That speaks for itself.

Fortunately, for most of the guests, Dreams quickly casts its spell, getting people into a cheerful “vacation mode” that’s contagious. You end up actually talking with happy strangers while waiting for that one working elevator.

Other mentionables:

We’re delighted to see that our favourite waiter, Lenny, is still there and has been given a well-deserved promotion to a head waiter! Lenny is probably the happiest man I have ever met and is absolutely a good-will ambassador for Dreams. As a regular waiter, Lenny used to be in the buffet for breakfast and lunch but you’ll now find him in Oceana at breakfast (see picture) and the Seaside Grill (the second picture, of two guys we don’t know—ahem) for lunch.

Both of these à la carte restaurants are included for unlimited visits in your package. The breakfast in Oceana is lovely with full service and your own toaster at your table but, alas, you can’t beat the selection at the main buffet for breakfast. Still, Oceana will serve you tea in a proper teapot.

El Patio is the third specialty restaurant. Great room; great service; Mexican food. I must admit that I’m not into any food that’s hot enough to damage my sinuses or that’s wrapped in corn husks. But there are some really delicious appetizers and entrées that are neither; (try the duck). I wish I had taken pictures of the various menus so I could remember the choices. And speaking of menus, take your reading glasses to dinner. You end up trying to read florid script in low light in all the à la carte restaurants. If you are given a menu in a language you don’t understand, you can always ask for the English version.

Portofino is the fourth specialty restaurant. Italian with an authentic leaning. For example, bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Alas the fake red Venetian glass gives it overtones of a bordello (from the Italian word, “bordello”—how appropriate). Those lighting fixtures remind me of a few of the things I’ve seen in the lighting section at Home Depot. But the food is great, the service is high-class, the ambience is lovely and, this year—now wait for it—they’ve actually tuned the piano. But beware! There are no kids allowed in Portofino. And it’s definitely not handicapped-accessible. Women secretly like it because it gives them a chance to wear the heels and good frock they’ve packed but men will be turned away if they’re not wearing at least long pants. Just go with the program and you’ll enjoy it.

Both Portofino and El Patio are air-conditioned. The main buffet, Oceana and The Seaside Grill are open-air but shaded.

After the first two days of gluttony, you realize that you don’t need a big breakfast AND a big lunch AND a big dinner even though it’s beckoning to your taste buds and it’s all included.

While, in March, we often had to wait for a table at a specialty restaurant for dinner, in May, that happened only once. And to excess! Until I found out that our pager was a dud! “En el mar” with it! Oh well, while we were in wait-mode at the outdoor bar next to the Seaside Grill, our bartender was a real showman making mixed drinks with supersonic speed and tossing ice cubes over his shoulder into a glass behind his back. His nickname should be Don Blender! If he can catch his breath, upon request and a description of the taste you’re looking for, he will mix up yet-unnamed drinks of his own invention.

Almost all the staff at Dreams are great! There are one or two who haven’t quite realized they’re not people persons or maybe they’ve just been stiffed a few times too often. And while I’m at it, a big thank you to the staff whom everybody overlooks: the gardeners and other grounds maintenance people. The walkways, pools and decks don’t clean themselves, the ash stands don’t tidy up and sprout red hibiscus flowers spontaneously, the beach doesn’t rake itself and the lounge chairs don’t line themselves up like a platoon at West Point by divine intervention.

Our other trips to P.V. were in early March. It’s even hotter and just as humid in May. And be warned: June/July is their rainy season. After that, so we understand, the humidity gets even higher and it’s unbearably hot and humid in July through September.

Except when the surf was a little rough, there were ray fish (no, not STINGrays, other rays) feeding almost at the shoreline; cavorting in the breakers. Often in pairs, sometimes alone or in groups up to 15; about 12 to 18 inches across and generally innocuous. Just avoid confronting them and they won’t bother you although they can seem a bit creepy until you get used to them. So, guys, if you need to tinkle in the ocean, just keep it in your trunks and they won’t consider your body parts to be nibblies.

In May, many of the guests were couples in their 20’s through 40’s, a few with pre-schoolers in tow. Even a few LG(B) couples—all socially remote. Singles aren’t plentiful, for those in cruise control. There were all sorts of types from a few women and more men with vast collections of tattoos to a bleached-blond steroid muscle guy, and from the fashion-conscious to the usually shirtless. The only languages you’re likely to hear are English and Spanish. And just in case you’re wondering, topless women are almost non-existent except, rarely, on a beach lounge chair.

And speaking of exposed skin and the beach, make sure you pack a variety of sunscreens and a hat or two. Use SPF 10,000 on your first day and 1,000 on your second or you can get a bit crispy and ruin all your remaining days. Also, if you plan certain excursions, take bug repellent. The towel shack has plenty of beach towels and you don’t have to sign away your first-born’s soul to get a replacement or extras. Flip-flops on the beach are a virtual necessity as the sand can get really hot just walking from your palapa to the surf.

Airlines: Our first flight on WestJet. Normally, I’d choose Air Canada (good to tropical destinations) but they don’t fly to PVR from YYZ in this season. (You have to laugh because if you try to book an AC vacation to P.V. in May, you’ll get a message saying there are no rooms available no matter what hotel you choose.) In May, only WestJet has direct flights and only on Fridays. Service was very good although you’ll pay extra for food; not a big deal, IMO. And the flight times were totally civilized! Consequently, we just breezed through airport clearance and Canada Customs in Toronto both going and coming. (Kudos to Immigration Canada on this one.) Our flights had individual TV’s featuring a neat channel visually showing our current map position, speed, altitude and bearing; also satellite TV, except in Mexican airspace. And our local P.V. WestJet representative, Felipe, was a real pro! We can’t comment on any airline with the first syllable “Sun”. As for AirT-----t, you couldn’t pay me to repeat those experiences—to anywhere!

We did go into town for an afternoon and, on this trip, ventured a few blocks away from the malecon (boardwalk). It was interesting to see more of the local culture but I suspect we were still in a fairly affluent area of town. We had lunch at a well known up-scale eatery but we won’t mention the name since it may have been where one of us started our tummy troubles.

Excursions: In the past, we’ve done whale-watching where we were the only group EVER to see virtually NO whales. And, BTW, whale-watching is out of season in May. Last year, we did an excursion to the nature-preserve bay-edge islands for snorkelling. We’ve never done the zip line—just not our thing. This time, we considered a private charter to local islands (well, big rocks, actually) near Dreams but we’ll leave that for next time.

Instead, we took a day-long trip into the southern hills. Our first stop was a visit to a botanical gardens; perhaps an hour and lots of photos there. A half-hour later, we were in an old town now famous for its fresh cheese where we had a guided walking tour and were served really delicious appetizers. Next, a brief visit to a rock: a big boulder out in the middle of nowhere with ancient carvings of hieroglyphic symbols; not very interesting since the description is short on facts and long on conjecture. From there to a hacienda where they make a distilled drink that’s a first-cousin to tequila except made from the green agave. Our guide describes the traditional method of making tequila and there’s a short walking tour again. You get to taste.

Now, Lenny tells me that if I really want to improve my Spanish, I have to drink two or three bottles of tequila. IMHO, the only people who really like the stuff neat are those who had it given to them during weaning. To the rest of us, it tastes like turpentine.

Back to the taste test: to describe it, whereas regular tequila tastes like turpentine, this stuff tastes and smells more like turpentine with overtones of oven cleaner. But that’s my opinion.

But also at the hacienda, for lunch, you also get some much-needed soft drinks or a light, refreshing cerveza from the truck’s coolers and a hot hacienda-cooked meal in a lovely and comfortable setting. Fajitas—either chicken or beef; (having had the beef which was tasty but tough, I suggest you choose the chicken); served with dynamite guacamole and the best refries in the world!

The ride is in the back of an open Mercedes truck over bumpy, winding, hilly roads. Only a tractor or a tank could have worse suspension. Often you have to hang on to the overhead straps not to fall off your bench and the driver seems to spend most of his time in a whining second gear. Still, praises to him and especially to our amiable, informative and language-skilled guide, Chuy. You get a real first-hand idea of the topography of the region that you wouldn’t normally get by just being in town. All-in-all probably the most fun day of the trip! There were some really nice compatible people in our group of about eleven.

Tipping: (just in case you’re wondering): a lot of people don’t tip but we do. Minimum wage standards aren’t the same in Mexico as in the rest of North America. Many people in the service industry may make only $12–15 (U.S.) a DAY but the cost of living isn’t low. As comparison, it still costs them $50 to fill the gas tank of a small car. I’m not suggesting you drop as much money as you would feel obliged to do for surly service in a Manhattan grill; that could really add up over a week!

So, besides the ad hoc tips for shuttle driver baggage handling, bellmen, accompanying notes to the young señor who refills your room mini-bar because you’d like, say, extra juice boxes, for your excursion guides or for the towel shack if there’s someone there, here’s what we think is appropriate for daily tipping for two people: (all in MXN pesos or divide by 10 or 11 to equal U.S. or Canadian dollars): breakfast or lunch buffet: 20-30; chambermaid: 50-60 (or more if you’ve left a mess); lunch or dinner at an à la carte restaurant: 50-60 (more if you order flaming drinks and a floorshow to make them); service at a bar or drinks brought to your palapa at the beach or table at the pool: 5 pesos per drink.

Compared to the cost of your trip, it costs so little for us to feel magnanimous and they need it to live on something better than just rice and bananas. Your gracious servants don’t ask for it nor expect it but they do hope for it and if most guests did it, the staff still wouldn’t do as well as your typical store clerk in Canada. All-in-all, allow about 150–200 bucks or more for tips for a week.


Would I suggest Dreams to others? Generally, yes. Will we go back? For sure.

But if your command of Spanish is decent or you’re lucky enough to get someone with really good English (like Jose) on the front desk, phone the day before you fly which is when they allocate the rooms for the reservations.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2011

I have very few, if any, complaints about my stay at Dreams Puerto Vallarta from 5/29 - 6/2.

Right off the bat, there is absolutely no reason to stay in the Preferred Tower. Basically the only difference is that you have access to the "Preferred Lounge", which I walked through and didn't seem anywhere near the extra money.

Room: Nothing extraordinary, but great. Everything clean, bed comfortable, mini-fridge stocked full of goodness. We just got the base room (Jr. Suite I think?). It technically had no balcony, but had huge patio doors so we basically just opened those and pulled chairs up. EVERY room faces the ocean!

Drinks/Bars: Dreams made better and stronger drinks than any all-inclusive we've stayed at. One bar even had a list of about 50 special martini's. Great quality liquor was also available and not hidden like other places. Bartenders we knowledgeable.

Food: Really, really good. Breakfast buffet was very good - pretty typical to what we've seen at other all-inclusives, but we liked that they had a section for traditional Mexican breakfast. Lunch buffet was similar, and good. Our food at dinner was the best I've had at an all-inclusive. The only meal we were slightly disappointed with was the Seaside Grill (steak place). The room service menu (also free) was much larger than other places we've stayed. We got it once, and it was decent as well.

Service: Everyone was friendly and the service was outstanding, especially the waiters at the restaurants. No complaints.

My big complaint is this: when we booked with them, they told us they were giving us coupons to use at the spa for a massage and for a private romantic dinner on the beach. This was actually one of the tipping points for booking with Dreams. However, we got there and went to the spa, and even WITH the coupon, the massage was almost $100. Same with the private beach dinner...the coupon brought it down to about $120. Needless to say, we didn't get it.

We'll be back, without hesitation.

Room Tip: No need to get a preferred room!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guadalajara, Mexico
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4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2011

My lovely Friend Lynn booked her trip to Puerto Vallarta, she &her husband loves the resort, so she invited me to the resort, as usual everything was EXCELLENT. Me & boyfriend have been there several times, resort is an excellent option for couples, or families. All staff is incredible, as soon as you cross the lobby Concierge & Relation Public staff, you will love them, If you are looking for a big smile, and huge hug, You will love Pawy! She rocks, I love her philosophy, she says that Dreams resort is “mi casa lejos de casa”(Home Away From Home), she is a great person, she has a helpful soul. Bravo Pawy!!. We loved the wonderful welcome by the reception staff, we truly feel like we are treated "first class" by everyone
The accommodations were very good; they They got new tables and chairs!
Food is superb, all restaurants has delicious food for all occasion, Special Thanks to Salazar (one of the servers at the pool)he is so kind, thanks you for your kindness!
At any rate, I highly recommend Dreams Resort Puerto Vallarta, its employees and management.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

Address: Carretera Barra de Navidad S/N Km. 3.5 | Zona Hotelera Sur, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 337
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dreams Resort Puerto Vallarta
Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort Spa
Dreams Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Dreams Puerto Vallarta Hotel
Dreams Puerta Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Dreams Hotel

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