This was a last minute booking at a great price for my husband and I. In previous trips we have stayed at the Royal Cancun and the Valentin Imperial Maya. We did not walk into this resort with the expectation that Dreams PA would be in previous trip categories. Any negatives I have, unless I say otherwise aren't terrible awful deal breaking run screaming from the resort issues. I'm simply telling what we experienced.
We stopped for beers on the way and in total it took about an hour and 15 minutes. During the week we heard stories of transfers taking HOURS. If you are heading that far south of Cancun I strongly suggest booking a non stop transfer if you can afford it.
We arrived and checked in at about 2.30. We knew this was before the official check in time of 3.00 PM so we were not upset that our room wasn't ready. We had lunch at the SeaSide Grill. We hadn't eaten much of anything except coffee many many hours ago so I would have eaten fried cardboard at that point. The food was okay. I had the cesar salad and something else. Husband had the club sandwich and the fish tacos. Took quite a while to get beverages and the apps and mains came at the same time. A little odd. This happened when we ate there again a few days later. *shrug*
Our room was ready about 4 or so and it was lovely. We were on the preferred club floor. No towel art throughout our stay (I say this not to complain in any way, we could care less about towel art. But I know some people get disappointed not having it. Again *shrug*) We had flowers, a fruit plate and champagne in the room. A great ocean view. The bed was comfortable, not too hard and we never had a problem sleeping. We ordered room service and fell asleep waiting for it to arrive. They finally arrived 2 HOURS later. And the food was cold. The chicken wings didn't have a crispy skin and the blue cheese dressing was mayo with blue cheese crumbles. It's not blue cheese dressing.
The next day was Sunday. An early rise for us since we were asleep so early. We ordered coffee at 5.30 AM and at 7 we simply gave up and went to breakfast. It never actually arrived. World Cafe is okay. Linens were clean, service was prompt. I have to say, yes, the buiffet is small, but it's adequate. You won't starve. They do have the best hash browns we've had at any resort. Actually CRISPY! Eggs were cooked fine. I asked for cream and milk for my coffee and this wasn't a problem for the first week. More on this later.
We laid like logs through the day. Had prompt and friendly drink service. The resort wasn't overly crowded so no need on this frist Sunday to play the towel game. (This changes later on.) We sat to the right of the volleyball net, less children there, easy access to bathrooms (go up the stairs next to El Patio) and the Baracudda bar is a few steps away. I think we did World Cafe for lunch. I don't remember much about it, which to me says that it was fine. Not overly wonderful, but not bad. Dinner at El Patio. Service was slow and food was okay.
When we returned to our room at some point it had been made up. We also always got a little snack before dinner, which ranged from really really yummy to some things that I didn't like. But that's personal taste. Then we would get a little dessert sometime during dinner. Same range.
We got turn down service each night except one when I was napping during that time, so completely understandable.
On Monday afternoon the weather turned and became COLD, rainy and windy. Let me say this again, COLD COLD COLD! lol This lasted for four days, with the sun finally returning on Saturday. The staff did an okay job trying to keep people entertained.
We ate at all of the restaurants. The filet at Portofino was excellent, but there is a dish of scallops and shrimp that when served as a main course consists of a scallop and two shrimp in a sauce. The food was excellent and we do order an appetizer, main and dessert knowing protions tend to be smaller at AIs but this was laughable. If you order it, ask for two, even if you are a tiny woman. My husband was definately not satisfied. It would be better served as an appetizer. The pasta, OTOH, is heavy. Not the sauces, but the pasta itself. Also, if you order the veal satlabuco be prepared. It's not filled with the cheese and spinach as the menu states. It took me a while to figure out WHAT was in it but I finally did. COCONUT. I only wish they would have said that on the menu as I would have chosen something else. The praline almond dessert is really really yummy though. Enough so that I suggest going to Portofino if only for dessert! We did Oceana once due to the weather it was usually just too cold to eat outside. I had the lpobster (not on any of the menus, you have to ask for it) and it was the best lobster I've had in Mexico simply for the fact that it wasn't overcooked. It was grilled and if your are squeemish don't order it as they simply split a FULL lobter in half and grill it. Growing up in New England I have no problem seeing the insides of a lobster, but if you are expecting some kind of artfully presented, cleaned up lobster meat, that isn't what you are going to get. :) But it IS yummy! We never made it to the Seaside grill for dinner but we heard raves about the flank steak there and this is from farmers. So take that for what it's worth.
Sunday Sunday SUNDAY! (Said in that Al Roker football voice..lol) Yeah! The sun has returned!!!! It's warm again! It's HOT! Oh, and did I mention that the resort now has a HUGE number of people? Droves of them arrived on Saturday and throughout the day on Sunday. The towel game is now being played in full force. We are the type who are early risers, eat breakfast early and are in our chairs by 7.30-maybe 8 at the latest. There were numerous chairs with towels and a paperback reserved for entire mornings and well into the afternoon before the owners showed up. So sad to see this change. :(
Drink service continued to be wonderful in our area (the the right of the volleyball net and to the left of the Baracudda bar). Liz at the Baracudda bar always has a smile and is cheerful.
I did book a swedish massage at the Spa one morning for that afternoon. No problems bookings or using the resort credit. The massage was good, the setting calming. My only complaint would be that there was no music played during the massage. You know, that new age, tinkling bells, or tropical jungle sounds, or waterfalls or what have you. So it was silence. I enjoy the music as it helps me to clear my mind and fully enjoy the treatment.
Oh, our toilet broke 4 times in the 11 days we were there. It never overflowed, simply drained slowly without any suction to pull things down. Each time we notified someone, it was fixed by the time we got back to our room. No big deal really.
The Preferred club bar really made our stay. Higher end alcohol, Grey Goose, Kettle one, etc. Oligario works there Monday-Saturday 3PM -11PM. He MAKES that place! Always happy and always a smile on his face. We met a grreat group of people there. It's the perfect place to get a drink before dinner and sit and chat with people after dinner. Also, key for us, in the morning there is coffee. After our room service debaucle the first morning, we needed it and didn't want to wait until 7 AM to get some. :)
Oh, another note about the World Cafe. For an entire week I was able to get both cream and milk for my coffee. The last three days they were out of the heavy cream. I can understand one day but three in a row? This was a bit confusing. And a note about the coffee. It's hit and miss. Sometimes it's good, sometimes weak and watery. *shrug*
Gohan, the sushi place, doesn't have a menu but the sushi is okay. Not all of it is raw, we were able to get tempura. It's not mind blowing sushi but it's good. Also, Gohan is listed under the bars section, not the resturant section of the Sundial each day. And it was open each night.
We did see a wedding and it looked beautiful. The wedding gazebo isn't in exactly a private section. During your ceremony, you will hear children playing, you will hear the techno music from the main/children's pool. It will not be the quiet secluded wedding that you are imagining.
As for the resort credit, here's the deal. You get 4 $40 credits and 2 $20 credits. I used them for the following: $40 towards a massage, $40 towards lobster, $20 for two shots of tequila. I have one of them saved so here is what the terms and conditions are on the back of the credit:
This Resort Credit is applicable towards the following services:
Spa Services- Massages, Facials and Body Treatments (Body Wraps)
Bottles of Wine
Room Upgrades (Subject to availability)
Romantic Dinners (Please contact the Concierge for further information)
Not refundable not accumulative (one coupon per charge/service)
Resort Credit may be used as follows:
A maximun of $40 USD per treatment or service is applicable
Not applicable upon any other discount promotion
Not refundable nor accumulative; no cash value
The Resort Credit Promotion is not applicable for the following concessions:
Beauty Salon, Spa Products and/or any other service different than the above mentioned are not included in this promotion
Marina Services and Dive Shop
Overall, this resort was ok. Not blow my mind amazing, but not terrible. The water is swimmable, the food is acceptable, the staff is what makes this resort. Always a smile, always a with pleasure senora. Don't go with high expectations. Don't think that you will be getting high end luxery. but you are getting a smaller AI resort that is easy to navigate. If you are a couple looking for a romantic time, this isn't for you. But my husband and I just wanted to sit on the beach and relax. We were able to do that. Rest, relax and recharge. For the price we paid, it was fine. But we wouldn't pay the full price to go back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.