This is long. Tried to address all the questions/concerns/etc. that I've read on the forum. Activity review will follow. The resort deserved this post as soon as I could put it together.
We just returned from a week in Cabo, July 19-26. Our vacation was booked through Apple Vacations and we stayed at Dreams.
Hard to know where to start, so guess I’ll start at the very beginning.
We had no problems getting through Customs. We filled out the tourist form provided during the last leg of our flight. Thanks to a young man in the seat next to me, I had the forms filled out completely. Not everyone on the flight was as fortunate and they had to stop inside the building to complete the bottom part of their form. We were one of the first ones through the first line. Our luggage was in the first few bags coming through, grabbed that and walked to the next line. They gave us a green light and waved us through. Whole process time from the moment we walked off the plane until we were out waiting for our transportation was approximately 15 minutes.
Apple Vacations had our transportation waiting for our arrival as promised. We had to wait for 3 other couples, so took advantage of our first few minutes of vacation by buying a beer from the vendor set up out by the taxi and transportation vans. We had to wait no longer than 30 minutes for the other couples. Then we were on our way. There was some communication glitch between the rep and our driver, we were taken to the Riu along with the other couples. When he realized the mistake, he immediately turned around and took us back to Dreams. No big deal, took us an extra 20 minutes or so to reach our destination.
When we arrived at Dreams, three employees hurried to the curb to open the van door, offered hands of assistance for us to step out of the van, got our luggage, and graciously welcomed us “home.” We were then offered warm towels as we stepped out, a gesture to welcome the weary traveler home and to freshen up. We were escorted to the front desk to check in and immediately offered a flute of champagne as we took care of business. The huge plate of fresh chocolate chip cookies on the counter was a welcome sight. We were then taken to our suite.
We had a junior suite and the suite number was 520. The rooms were absolutely gorgeous, sparkling clean, marble and tile, open, airy, and spacious. We had a large bathroom, kitchenette, 2 double beds in the sleeping area, a sitting area with a loveseat, coffee table and desk, and the patio. The patio had a table and two chairs. Our room was located direct center of the resort facing directly over the main pool and out to the ocean. There were no other rooms angled towards our balcony. It was totally private. There was a tall palm that partially blocked about one-third of the view. We contemplated taking another suite, but decided the extra privacy was welcome. We really hated to give up the view that we had, so we kept that room. Our balcony also had a partial wall with wrought iron at the top. It was perfect for sitting on and leaning against the wall. That quickly became my morning perch. Mike took the chair on that side. It enabled us to be close and for both of us to have a perfect ocean view. Each night we left the patio doors open and the sound of the ocean was so loud, so perfect for sleeping.
Upon arrival in our room, we were shown how to program and use the safe. It worked during the demonstration. I’m not sure what I did when I first tried to use it, but somehow got it jammed. I called the front desk and there was someone there to fix it within 10 minutes. Mike had also noticed that the stopper in the bathroom sink was stuck down. The gentleman that fixed the safe could not fix that. A second gentleman was up to look at and fix that within 10 minutes of the first man leaving. In other words, we had very fast and prompt service. We were very pleased with how quickly and efficiently our problems were dealt with.
During our stay we tried all 5 available restaurants. The food ranged from good to excellent. The service was always excellent. I was extremely impressed with the fact that two of the waiters ask and remembered our names the very next time they waited on us. Little things like that leave a strong impression in my mind. Reservations were not needed for any of the restaurants. We never had to wait for a table. If we had a preference to table location, it was always honored. Our food always arrived quickly and was hot and delicious. The waiters were attentive. Dress code varied for the restaurants. Some were casual and two required long pants and no T-shirts for the men. I did see men in dress (non denim) shorts in one of the restaurants that was posted long pants only. The dressy silk T-shirts were fine or a button down shirt for the men. Some people really “dressed” for dinner, others dressed more casual. It was nice to have the option. The bartenders were fabulous. Our drinks were served quickly. The first night I requested a “bartenders choice” evening and they were very creative in the drinks they provided. Our beer was always cold, the shots of Jack were very generous, and the Pina Colada’s were just perfect for the hot afternoons. We tipped and tipped well. In return, we were served well. Whether it was the bartender putting down the bottle of Bacardi rum and pulling out a top, top shelf replacement rum, or the special appetizers they would create and give to us, we were treated extremely well. I’ve read some reviews where there were some complainants about bees at the bar. On a couple of occasions, I did see bees. Not surprising in an open air bar with people requesting a lot of sweet drinks. I’m not sure exactly what it is the resort could do to prevent that. You want open air and ocean view, I suppose you’ll have to put up with the wildlife on occasion. They weren’t there all the time, just occasionally. I don’t like bees, but they didn’t bother me and I didn’t bother them. Eventually, they went away.
The maid service was incredible. Our room was always spotless. The patio was spotless. I don’t know exactly what times they cleaned, but if we left for a few hours, our room was always clean upon our return. When the maid returned for turndown service, if anything had been left lying about, it would be picked up or straightened up. I loved the towel creations, the flowers that were left, the incense, and the candy. There was always some little special something to bring a smile. The refrigerator and coffee was always stocked. The second night we started stealing pillows from the second bed, we both like two pillows. The first night we were just too worn out to bother. From that point on, when they showed up for turndown service, all four pillows were plumped up and waiting on the bed we always slept in. Again, one of those small little things that they paid attention to that meant a lot .
We did use room service for coffee. There is a coffee maker in the room. We just preferred their fresh brewed over the Mr. Coffee. We ordered 4 mornings out of 6. The times ranging from 4:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. It never took longer than 10 minutes for the coffee and a basket full of fresh danish or muffins to arrive. I always watched the time because I’ve read so many complaints about room service at the various resorts. I was totally impressed to have ours delivered so quickly each time. We did not try ordering any other meals. The restaurants were just too lovely to pass up and sit in the room.
I loved the pools. My favorite was the main pool. The view was so incredible. There were kids there, but they tended to stick to one area and their laughter was fun to listen to. If you’re a late riser, you probably won’t get a front row lounger and float. But there seemed to be plenty of loungers available between the two pools. I didn’t hear anyone complaining about not able to find one, only not able to get front row. And yes, I think people do save chairs and floats. The flip side of that is that if you sit back and watch, most of those people are in and about the pool the majority of the day. I know we would be in the pool for hours at a time and I’m sure our chairs looked like they had been saved and then abandoned. That wasn’t the case. We would get in the pool, chatting with others, floating around, drinking at the swim up bar, not necessarily in the chair all the time. I did notice that some people brought their own floats, I was told they actually sold them in the resort gift shop. So, that’s an option.
One of my surprises for the week was a twilight massage on the beach. That was the best massage I’ve ever had. It was daylight when I went out and dusk when it was finished. 55 minutes of bliss. I’m told that when I stood up to walk afterwards my eyes were glazed and I stumbled a little. She did an incredible job. There’s something about lying out there hearing the water, getting a massage, it is something I will always remember. There was a slight problem with the original reservation. There was someone covering for the young woman that usually takes care of the bookings. The reservation did not get into the system. So, we were booked for the next evening. We didn’t have a problem with that. Putting off a massage for one evening was the biggest problem I encountered, to me it wasn’t a problem. I just wanted that massage and I was on vacation, schedules were not important.
We did use the hotel transport a couple of times to get into Cabo. The return transfers were booked for the times we needed. We ended up using the local bus service more than the hotel service. For a $1 per person, it couldn’t be beat cost wise. The bus picked up directly across from the resort and dropped off directly in front. We never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes for a bus to pick us up in front of the resort or in Cabo for our return trip. Very regular, very dependable. The ride from Dreams was approximately 15 minutes.
We did not take a laptop with us, so I’m not sure if there is an internet charge in the rooms. The resort did offer a business center and you could hook up for $10 per hour. That is not prorated, $10 the clock goes on and stays on. It was convenient for us the two days we hung out exclusively at the resort.
If you purchase calling cards, you may want to use them at a local pay phone. The resort did charge a $7.00 connection fee to use the cards. I ask and knew that up front, so it wasn’t a surprise. There are good pay phones in the mall by the marina if you are in town.
As far as activities at the resort, there was always something going on. We did not participate in any, but observed a few. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. Every day there is a list of activities posted in the elevator. There was something for everyone. An adult list and a kids club list. I do know they have an incredible male singer. He was down on the patio below our window a couple of nights. He had a beautiful voice and the guests were enjoying his show. We did go and watch one of the movies on the beach. They put up a full size screen and three nights out of six they had a newer release movie showing. That was over and above other scheduled evening activities.
I can’t say enough about the resort. We were treated so well. Everyone was so courteous and professional. If I looked at someone and smiled, it brought an immediate reaction. It didn’t matter if it was someone working on the grounds, in the restaurant, or in the resort. It was done with class and dignity at every level. The resort itself was beautiful. I miss the view, the sound of the ocean, the laughter and the good times. This resort has top ranking in my book. We do plan on returning as soon as possible.