We stayed 3/29-4/5/2005 at Dreams. We booked "blind" through Hotwire and paid $1,825 including taxes for 7 nights 2 adults all inclusive "beach view" room hotel only. We arrived as spring break waned. MTV had been taping from a quarter mile from Dreams Resort and Spa two weeks prior to our arrival. I'm not sure how that affected our rate.
The Dreams front desk calls the lagoon side of the pyramid the “beach” side. True, you can see the Bay-side beach from the lagoon-facing rooms. The ocean side faces the Caribbean Sea. There are beaches are on the two short sides of the pyramid. Dreams Club is the newer tower. We stayed in room 4117, fourth floor, middle of the long pyramid. The view was of the lagoon/pool area, several very large hotels in the middle distance, the Isla Mujere-facing beach (bay side). Facing the lagoon and looking left, you see the long line of resorts stretching from Dreams to the far side of the hotel zone that you passed as you rode in from the Cancun airport. I enjoyed sitting on the balcony and viewing the goings-on of this family-oriented resort below. People were generally having a great time. Kids especially seemed pleasantly engrossed by the many safe and fun activities. At mid-day, there were always a gaggle of kids warming up in the bath-like-temp spa tub between the lagoon and the Bay overseen by their happy parents or on their own.
Nearly all the guests were from North American. Adults easily outnumbered children. A small percentage of guests were African-American; a very small percentage were same-sex couples; there were just a few single people, and a few Spanish-speaking families. There were a small smattering of Europeans and folks from Asia. There were a few senior couples, but mainly people enjoying Dreams are American and Canadian adults in their 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s. March madness wound up during our trip, and there were many college hoops fans watching the madness on the big screen in the ballroom.
The best aspect of dreams is the friendly service. The worst staff person I interacted with was just kind of absent-gruff in his demeanor but still working hard and providing service. He was probably just having a bad day. The best people, and these were in the great majority, gave me the impression that serving our needs made them very happy. THAT is the essential factor to creating a dream vacation resort, however challenging to achieve. Nearly every staff member gave smiles and friendly greetings in my presence. Bravo to Dreams management for assembling good hardworking people to staff Dreams.
I loved the retro 1960's architecture of the main buildings (pyramid, pool, lobby, buffet restaurant, and ballroom). The architect had a unique vision of a modern building, and it still works well with an optimistic Mexican large scale modern feel. Beware of the slippery concrete in the stairwell however! I slipped in my haste to get to the beach the first morning and used the elevator thereafter to spare a slightly bruised knee. The public spaces are clean and deluxe, even the heavily used bathrooms near the pool and snack bar were clean and tidy at peak times. Expect spotless white cloth hand towels and upscale décor in all public rest rooms at Dreams.
I was at first quite disappointed by the food. By week's end, we ate exclusively at the buffet (Word Cafe) where we found quick, satisfying meals. The food is only 3-star throughout the resort, so don't expect 4- or 5-star food and you'll be happier. “Food is fuel” became my mantra. I made my perfect deluxe bagel concoction each morning. I actually looked forward to eating once I found my buffet favorites. For lunch and dinner, the buffet Mexican food is better than the other offerings. The steak offerings were good, particularly at the Mexican and Caribbean buffet fiestas on the lagoon.
The restaurants each have outstanding beach-facing settings and characteristic good service, my favorite being Himitsu, which feels like a romantic retreat on an exotic tropical island. But, the food was, as above, just ok. Once experienced for their very appealing settings, we felt there was no compelling reason to return to the restaurants. The buffet was fine and left more time for other things. Remember at Dreams food is fuel. If you want gourmet, you'll have to stay somewhere else and probably pay much more. It's not consistently bad; but, it's not great. My companion probably described it best: “The food is much better than Sizzler.”
We used the spa services (50 minute massage is $75), including the private outdoor tub spa there. Great! Ramses, the afternoon desk person at the spa, found his way into my dreams with his sultry deep accented voice, studious movie-star good looks, and impeccable Latin manners. Yowsa! Girls and gay guys: keep your eyes peeled for Ramses. He's the dreamiest at Dreams.
Ok, back to the family portion of this review….
We rented a jet ski for 40 minutes ($55) and had a blast jumping the waves and generally scaring ourselves. It was too windy for kayak and hobie cat unfortunately. Snorkel is not exciting compared to other spots, but nice for beginners.
We mainly relaxed on the beach, under the palapas, in the beautiful sea, or on the white sand. Drink service to your lounger starts around 10:30 am and continues until about 4 pm. Both beaches are nice but smallish, the Dreams Club side has padded lounge chairs. The bay side has no pads, for some unknown reason. Get to the beach early as mentioned in other reviews as the best chairs are claimed by 7 or 8 am during peak weeks. You can drop off your book, hat, whatever, to make your claim, then go the buffet for the morning meal, change into your bathing attire, then return to enjoy your claim. As a morning person, I looked forward to the peace of this beautiful setting at that hour. If you don't rise early, hopefully your room mate does, and he/she can take care of the chair-claiming requirement while you continue dreaming.
Yes, the wind was strong throughout the week. But you're surrounded by the sea, and the temps are tropical, so it's not a huge deal. Adjust your expectations. This is a very welcoming hotel; you'll be fine.
We avoided the pool due to too a few boisterous kids (we had none of our own on this trip). I agree with the other reviews, the pool is only 2- or 3-star mainly due to its small size. The nightly entertainment, which we also skipped, we saw from our balcony. The din continued until about 10 pm. We didn't sense that anything special was missed.
We enjoyed Dreams and feel we received good value for our vacation dollar. I rated it 3 orange dots because of some really disappointing food and a so-so pool area, which are both really important aspects to a vacation resort; otherwise I would have given Dreams four orange dots for its great friendly service, very good location, and general comfort. Our next all inclusive Yucatan lazy-traveler vacation will likely be well out of the heart of Cancun, as proximity to nightclubs holds zero appeal to us, and we feel we might achieve a bit more perfection and value elsewhere in the area. Still, we had a relaxing vacation at Dreams, and you probably will too.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.