My wife and I are finishing up our 4th trip to Mexico (all of them all-inclusive). We have been to Cancun twice and Puerto Vallarta twice (now). We were here for a wedding (at Las Caletas, not at Dreams) with about 25 other people. The group was diverse in its experience with all-inclusive trips. Most had almost universally positive things to say about the resort, and the trip was an overall success.
First, a quick list of pros and cons:
-Most comfortable bed my wife and I have slept in (not only in Mexico but the US/Canada included)
-Attentive (if overworked) staff
-Nice beach (the best of the 4 we have experienced)
-Room service food and service were very good
-Overall good value. Expected less for the price
-Only 3 pools. All seemed overcrowded most of the time
-Food was average in most cases with some standouts
-WiFi is not free for non-preferred members
-Beach vendors are somewhat pushy and annoying
As you can see, there were more Pros than Cons, and the Cons were relatively minor.
We stayed in a "standard" room in the "regular" tower. Some of the reviews have mentioned the Preferred Club. These types of upgrades hardly seem worth it to us, as most of the time is spent outside of the room for us. The rooms in this tower were obviously older, but have been well maintained for the most part. As others have mentioned, all of the rooms face the ocean. We were in the 18th floor, which afforded us a pretty nice view of the beach/ocean. The extra cost to have a balcony didn't really seem worth the money to us, as we didn't think we would use it. The rooms without the balconies are actually a little larger and include a small sofa/sitting area. As I mentioned above, the beds were very comfortable. I am a weekly business traveler, and I've stayed at many midrange Hilton and Holiday Inn properties in the US and Canada, as well as a few nicer ones. The bed in our room was the most comfortable bed I've slept in. The pillows were also very nice. There is a fridge in room that is stocked with Coke, Diet Coke, Corona (small ones), mineral water, Sprite, Fanta, and bottled water. If you run out of anything, the staff will fill it up at any time. Other resorts we have stayed at have liquor in the room, but it's understandable that is lacking here, being a family friendly place. Overall, the rooms were nice and comfortable. My wife and I both agree that this probably is not the ideal resort for honeymooners, mainly due to the fact it allows kids. The rooms are not as nice as some other resorts we have stayed at, but still nice overall.
The staff were very pleasant and friendly. There was zero pressure to tip from anyone (including room service). We tipped as we felt appropriate and all of the staff were appreciative. Some of them remembered us from previous nights, which seemed surprising, considering the number of people at the resort. There did seem to be a slight shortage of staff at some restaurants. The waiters seemed very busy and overworked on high volume nights. One of our dinners took 2 hours. This isn't really the fault of the staff themselves. They seemed understaffed on busy nights, but were overall very friendly. On our last night, the kitchen made us a dessert that was decorated in chocolate sauce with the words "Have a nice trip!" These small details were definitely appreciated.
Overall, we would give the food a B-. There were some highlights and some low points. Food is always interesting with all-inclusive places. Of the 4 places we have stayed, this ranked somewhere in the middle. If you look at the "newsletter" provided by the staff, it will let you know which places are open for each meal. My favorite restaurant was Oceania (Seafood). The wife's was El Patio (Mexican). Overall, the food was good. The seafood dishes seemed to be better in our opinion(s). We ate breakfast mainly at the World Cafe (buffet). The omelettes cooked to order were tasty and fresh.
Overall, the alcohol selection was on par with the other all-inclusives we've stayed at. There were a few top-shelf selections available if you asked. Beer choices seemed to be Negra Modelo, Corona, and Modelo Light. We aren't the kind to drink the whole trip, but the selections available were good. One note is that they don't go out of their way to stock the top shelf brands. Once they're out, they're out.
Overall, our experience here was very good. We were not expecting the level of service and food quality for the price we paid. A few miscellaneous notes:
-The bride and groom we were with had no special treatment. They were putting peoples' names in the newsletter that got married, but they weren't in it. They were a little let down by this. They did have their wedding off-site at Las Caletas, which might have added to this. Still, it didn't seem like a lot of effort to make them feel special.
-There was a wedding on one of the nights we were there. They played music loud enough to hear the words in the room until 10pm. The loud music was followed by fireworks until 10:30pm. Something to make note of it you or your kids are light sleepers and like to go to bed "early"
-Others have mentioned a 90-minute time-share-esque presentation upon checkin. We did not experience this, so this might have been scrapped
-Some people in our party went into town and enjoyed themselves. They went to the shops in town and mentioned the prices on cigard and tequila were much less than the resort. My wife and I never leave the resort when we go to Mexico.
We were skeptical about Puerto Vallarta over Cancun in general because a previous trip did not go well. We are happy to say that Dreams Puerto Vallarta changed our opinion back! We would consider coming back here, especially when we have kids.
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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