This was my 2nd visit to this hotel. I'd read recent reviews and noticed people thought the standards were slipping. Knowing how much I loved the place the first time, I really wanted to give it a 5 star review, but I can't. A few things have slipped since my first visit 3 years ago. There were 2 major reasons I couldn't give it a 5 star review:
1) Hotel check-in - we arrived at around 1:30pm and the room wasn't ready. Fine, the posted check in time is 3pm, so I can tollerate waiting until then. We were invited to take advantage of the buffet restaurant and have lunch while we waited. It wasn't until near 4:30pm when we could finally get into our room. If you post that check in is at 3pm, you need to make sure the rooms for your newly arriving guests are ready at 3pm. The housekeeping staff needs to make those rooms a priority.
2) The buffet restaurant selection has decreased, and at times became a bit repetitive. Don't get me wrong, there's still lots of choice, just not quite as much choice as there was before. And after 2 weeks, the choices were getting a bit monotonous. Also of note is the buffet "theme" nights. A theme night is always posted, but this time it was hard to notice where that theme was in the food. For example, Asian night featured lamb chops and roast beef. I didn't notice much Asian inspired food to choose from. Side note - Rufio does the best omletes in the morning!
The rest of the 2 week vacation was splendid.
The room was clean and well taken care of by the housekeeping staff. We tipped the maid each day and had no problems with anything disappearing from the room, and things like cameras, iPads and cell phones were left in plain sight.
The air conditioning in the room was a little gutless, keeping the room on the warm side of comfortable and hardly noticeable sometimes when we walked into the room.
We only ate a one al-a-carte restaurant, and mosquitos did visit us.
Kudos to the entertainment staff who work long hours and put on some incredible dance routines at the evening shows.
Something for everyone when it comes to water - huge pool if that's your thing, great beach, lots of shade or sun-baking. The beach area for swimming was roped off and I saw very few rocks in that area. I went to far rockier beaches elsewhere on this trip (Macao and Catalina Island were both less desireable beaches to attend).
Vendors are invited about twice a week. Best way to deal with this is to look the first time and see what you're interested in. Then look in the gift shop to get an idea at what their prices are, then go back and do your batering later. We got burned, buying 2 figurines for what ended up being half the price in the gift shop, although we only paid 1/3 of what his first asking price was.
Also, a note about cigars. We did a lot of research here. Most of the cigars you will find are either way over-priced, or not made from tobacco. There are 2 cigar factories in Punta Cana that you can call. They will pick you up from your hotel and drop you back off for free. You can buy them there and they are the real thing, and reasonably priced. Don't even trust duty free stores! This was a shock to us. 80% of the cigars there are also fake. The cigar vendor at the hotel wanted twice as much for the same cigars we got from the factory. One of the companies is Don Lucas Cigars.
Anyway, awesome trip, very relaxing, lots of snoozing on the beach with that awesome ocean breeze! Just not up to your usual standards. I still recommend this hotel!
- 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