We have just returned to the UK from the most amazing resort we have ever stayed in. On the last day I said to my partner "we have to think of some negatives" and we genuinely couldn't.
The flight with Thomson from Newcastle was excellent - the extra legroom and individual TVs really helped make the flight enjoyable. I was worried about taking my 2 yr old on a 9 hour flight but he was great. We arrived into gorgeous sunshine which lasted our whole stay. The airport at punta cana is mainly open air which means it's wise to take light clothing to change into as it's pretty warm. We were through the airport and onto the bus quickly, our bags came straight through. The transfer took almost an hour, and whilst it was quite bumpy it was nothing like some of the reviewers on this site have implied!
On arrival we were given a glass of champagne and a cold washcloth and checked in quickly. Our room was in block 2 looking out over the main pool bar area and the beach. The room was beautifully decorated and contained everything we could want, even a set of bathroom scales! With the extra bed and the pushchair in, the room was a little cramped but still perfectly adequate. The fridge full of cold drinks was very welcome. The bellboys delivered our bags within a few minutes and we headed straight down to the pool. We had no noise at all from our neighbours during our stay, a welcome change from the paper thin walls of the med!
The pool is the crowning glory of this hotel, it's absolutely huge and the most gorgeous temperature. We never had any problem at all getting a bed, at the top end most of the beds didn't get taken all day. The iceberg was a great hit with the little one, as was the toddlers area at the beach. This really made our lives easy as he could play happily whilst we chilled out on sunbeds, it gave us a bit of a break whilst still being with him. The area has a shaded sandpit, climbing frame with swings, indoor play room and a pool shallow enough for babies to sit in. It is right on the beach but fenced in with a lock so only adults can open the gate.
The towel service is briliant - you can take as many towels as you want, and get new ones when you wet them. This was really wonderful as we were able to make a lovely comfy bed for our son to have a nap which meant we didn't have to go back to the room.
The beach is also gorgeous - the sea was rough the first few days but the second half of the week was calm and I even managed to persuade my 2 yr old to swim on his own in the ocean. There are rocks straight ahead of the hotel but go about 50 feet to the left where the trampoline is and it's fine. I'm not sure how anyone manages to cut themselves as you can see the rocks clearly. We took fins and snorkels and had some great times communing with the many fish! The trampoline is great fun but be warned it's meant to be just for kids - my partner got told off for jumping off it! There are kayaks and sailboats available on the beach although we didn't use them.
The food was hit and miss. We found the buffet in the world cafe always hit the right spot, their breakfasts were excellent and the roast meats at night were superb. The italian was also tasty. We tried Himitsu, Oceana and the Seaside grill also (once each) but found the food was quite bland there so we mainly stuck to the world cafe. For lunch we went to the beach BBQ and had burgers and nachos.
A couple of other things that made this a brilliant holiday: the self-service soft drinks and ice at the barracuda bar, the unlimited ice cream in the afternoon, the floats in the pool (tip: if anyone is hording them just ask them "are you using this?" - they can't exactly refuse to let you have it), the activities during the day (spanish lessons, ping pong, crossbow etc) and the sheer hard work by all the staff. We were amazed by the number of staff who all work so hard to keep the hotel spotless and the guests happy. It made us ashamed of the (lack of) work ethic back home. These people are probably working for peanuts but do it with a smile of their face and to a really high standard. The grounds are beautiful, the flamingoes were a great hit with our son. The photographers (based in the lobby by the world cafe) are amazing - we got a couple of photos taken by the wandering photographer - there is no pressure at all to buy, you just go and browse the pictures on the computer, if you do want to buy they are $10 per print or on CD. You can also book an hour long session with a minimum spend of $150 (15 prints). If our little one hadn't been so camera shy we would have done this. The pictures we did see of other guests were beautiful.
We saw a few weddings while we were there and you couldn't have asked for a more spectacular setting. If/when we ever take the plunge I would happily go to Dreams to do it!
I had a massage in the spa while we were there, it seemed expensive to me at $110 for a 50-minute aromatherapy massage, but the spa is gorgeous and it was a lovely relaxing break away from toddler-world!
Overall this was an amazing holiday and for once I can honestly say I would go back tomorrow!
- 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