We went to Dreams Puerto Aventuras on a 4 1/2 star Go Travel Direct Wild Card vacation. We were pleased to find out we would be staying at a 5 star, but not so pleased when we arrived.
Puerto Aventuras is a gated community about 30 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen. It is obviously a yachtie paradise; the marina has many arms reaching into the community, surrounded by condos and time shares overlooking the moored vessels. There is a golf course in the community, and a village center with a dolphin park and some tourist stores and restaurants less than 1 km from the hotel.
The hotel is more like a Cancun resort - very urban - and does not have the natural feel you would expect from Riviera Maya. The beach attached to the resort is very small and rocky, and generally unappealing. The grounds are pie shaped, with the point facing the beach, so that the waterfront feels very compressed with the huge numbers of chairs. The pools were also small, and did not inspire us to spend leisurely days floating around. The beachfront pool is for everyone, and on the back side of the hotel is a pleasant adult-only pool where they often played light music. We have been on many all-inclusive vacations in both 4 and 5 stars, and we did the least swimming here compared to all the others. We hunted around Puerto Aventuras and finally found access to the larger beach near the dolphin park, but this beach was also so crowded that it was unappealing.
The rooms themselves are completely new and pleasant, with stone floors and a modern brown and ivory colour scheme. The rooms have nice bathrooms and tile showers, but no bathtubs. The rooms are not soundproofed at all. We were unlucky at first to be placed in a room beside the kichen on the ground level, facing the pool and the main exit to the beach area. We were simply surrounded by noise on all sides. It turns out the front desk staff have a rule where they won't move guests until they have stayed in their room for two days. Two days later, we were finally moved to a quieter room, but only after many arguments with hotel staff in which they wanted to send us to another ground level room facing the bar. In our new room, we had the pleasure of listening to the neighboring couple scream at their children at bedtime.
We did enjoy the restaurants at this hotel. Although one couple we met found the food weak compared to Iberostar hotels, we thought we had excellent value for the money. The restaurants are beautifully decorated, and those with outdoor patios are very romantic. The service was friendly and attentive. One of the service restaurants is open for breakfast, allowing for leisurely morning meals. We also enjoyed the unlimited room service; many guests had snacks delivered to them poolside. The food selection in the buffet is limited compared to many other resorts, and beans, legumes, and otherwise standard salad items were only occasionally on offer.
We were disappointed that the hotel has no tennis court. The tennis court at the local golf course costs about $30 US /hour. Because it is in a gated community, running is easy and many guests of the different resorts run or walk the loop in the community which we estimate to be 2 km. The hotel gym has new equipment, a view on the adult pool, but is cramped.
The watersports booth is run by a separate concessionaire. We found the staff there arrogant and their system convoluted; they expect guests to carry around a check sheet documenting their use of equipement. We quickly decided kayaking or sailing wasn't worth the hassle of dealing with them.
We only saw a few of the hotel shows, and they were pleasant but not exceptional. Friday nights the hotel runs a beach party with a rock band which plays well, and many guests had fun dancing in the sand.
Overall, we were surprised that Dreams bought this hotel. The quality of grounds don't match what we had associated with the brand. Nice rooms and food can't make up for a cramped property and a tiny, rocky beach, and small pools.
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- Also Known As:
- Dreams Puerto Aventuras Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Dreams Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Dreams Resort Puerto Aventuras
- Sunscape Puerto Aventuras Riviera
- Sunscape Puerto Adventuras
- Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa All Inclusive Riviera Maya, Mexico