Just returned from a 7-night stay at Dreams Punta Cana. We were a group of 40+ attending a family wedding. There were a couple of children on the trip, but the majority were in the 20-35 age group.
Like many others have said - you cannot equate a 5-star in the DR to what you would find in a developed country. So you need to put things in perspective given the price you're paying. My wife and I have been to the DR 4 times and have had good experiences (Sirenis Tropical in Punta Cana) and some bad experiences (Coral Hamaca in La Romana). But it has been about 8 years since we last did an all-inclusive so we were looking forward to not having to fend for ourselves for a week.
Before I begin - we don't have children so I can't comment on the family aspect of this resort. Also, we aren't big into the entertainment staff, shows, etc. We aren't pool people - we just like to stay on the beach and lounge all day, have a good dinner at night and drinks afterwards.
Whether it was the front desk staff, bartenders, servers, etc. I found the service to be very good. The staff was friendly, courteous and would always acknowledge you with a friendly 'hola'. We didn't have the opportunity to meet a lot of staff, but our server at the beach, Miguelina, was fantastic.
What also stood out was the above-average selection at the bar. As Italian-Canadians, we were impressed that we could have a Campari & Soda before dinner - this was a pleasant surprise. Also had a choice of scotches, import beers, etc.
Room service was very efficient as well.
I was extremely disappointed with the rooms (we were building 4, 2nd floor). The rooms were small, but that's not a big deal since you really don't spend too much time in them. They were slightly outdated, which also isn't a big deal - again, we're not at a boutique hotel in Manhattan - this is the DR. The big issue for me was the noise levels. Literally, we only had 1 night of uninterrupted sleep.
Maybe it's a function of the design of the resort (people walk need to walk through each building to get to another); or, maybe it's just the fact that the walls were thin or noise would echo through the halls. But almost every night we would be kept awake hearing people heading back to their rooms after a night of partying. Keep in mind - we were out late too...so we were part of the problem. But there were a few instances where people would be partying in their rooms down the hall from us, doors closed, and we would hear every word of their conversation. I actually called security two nights in a row - once because a group wouldn't stop screaming (which I know is beyond the control of the hotel) and once because there was a FIST FIGHT outside of our room. I expect that in Cancun, not in DR. Again, not necessarily the hotel's fault, but just wanted to highlight this. We didn't bother changing rooms since the rest of our group was in that building. If we were solo, I would have demanded a room change to a quieter building.
So, my tip would be to be in Buildings 1 or 2 (which have the least traffic) and definitely avoid the main level as that is the loudest.
The food was average. Breakfast buffet was decent, the Italian was surprisingly ok (linguini pesto was good). The Mexican was a bit disappointing (I had higher expectations based on my other DR experiences). We had a good time at the Asian restaurant as well. For party goers, the buffet has late-night pizza which was fantastic. My recommendation would be to do the Seaside Grill for lunch - burritos and skewers were very good. Dinner buffet wasn't good (although I find this is always the case at all-inclusives).
Like I said, we're beach people. As others have said, this stretch of beach isn't as nice as other areas around Punta Cana. The sand isn't as white, and there was a ton of sea weed. So, if you're looking for an immaculate beach, this is not the place to go. With that said, we spent at least 9-10 hours a day at the beach so it wasn't all that bad!
Overall, a decent vacation but I would definitely not return to this hotel based on the price we paid. I believe there are better options in Punta Cana.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Secluded in a lush tropical paradise, Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa features one of the largest free-form swimming pools in the Dominican Republic, stretching from the lobby all the way down to the pristine beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dreams Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Sunscape Beach Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Sunscape Beach
- Dreams Resort Punta Cana
- Dreams Punta Cana Resort
- Dreams Dominican Republic