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Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
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Reviewed September 24, 2013

SUMMARY:

WOW! Out of all the several all-inclusives we have been to, Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa stands easily at the top of the list. The location was great and so was the secluded beach. The staff were simply outstanding taking customer service to a very high level. They were also so friendly and kind. We found the food in all restaurants to be excellent (with the exception of El Patio which was OK). Our room in the Dreams Tower was certainly comfortable without any concerns. We were going to come with our 1 year old baby boy, though left him with grandma at home the last minute. The weather was cloudy with sun and rain on some days for a little while. We stayed here one week and it was not quite enough time! We never really come back to the same place as we always love going to new places. In this case we would come back to Dreams Puerto Vallarta! I am a man of detail, so if you care to wish more about this place, read on………

AIRPORT:

I concur with many other travellers coming to Puerto Vallarta that there are a heap of time share people trying to grab your attention when you leave the airport. You had to pass a myriad of time share people standing in two parallel lines when you exited the airport. My wife and I knew somewhat about this before we left home on our vacation, but we have never seen such a dominating set up as this. We told ourselves not to make any eye contact and march out quickly. They were all yelling things at us, the best one being ‘you need to check your luggage here to get to your hotel!’ We took no notice.

BUS/TAXI

We booked our holiday with Sun Wing and when we came across one of the reps outside, I asked how long it would take on the bus to get to Dreams. He said we would be last on the stop of hotels. I did not hesitate to take a cab with my wife. It was a fixed rate of $26. We actually arrived at the hotel at least 90 minutes earlier than the people that took the bus. On the way back to the airport from Dreams, the cab ride is only $15.

CHECK IN:

We were greeted with cold face towels when we came out of the cab with a refreshing drink. We were helped by Carlos at the front desk and he made our check in as smooth as possible. Before we arrived I emailed the front desk manager, Felix, to let him know we would like a room high up, away from elevators and nice and quiet. We got exactly what I asked for! After check in we were handed over to Hector to give more information about the resort along with vouchers. This I believe takes 90 minutes of your time. My wife was tired and simply said we need to go to our room and will check with him later. We never did and they never hassled us afterwards. The lobby was smaller than other hotels we have been to, though I found it very cosy and inviting. There are also no doors or windows to enclose it.

BARS:

We went to the lobby bar soon after our luggage came to us in our room. It was very cosy being open air and partially covered. The cocktail menu was like I have never seen before in an all-inclusive, being very extensive along with great choices. The lobby bar was adults only after 9pm. There are five bars in total, all open at various hours and different locations throughout the hotel. A great cocktail to try is a dirty banana/monkey! Luisa was a very nice server here.

RESTAURANTS:

Portofino: We decided to dine at Portofino, the Italian restaurant on our first night here. There is a dress code here, especially for men and that is you need long pants and no tank tops. I believe shirts with collars are required too. It is also adults only. Dress sandals are OK.
The menu at Portofino was big with lots of variety. For our appetizers we shared the beef carpaccio and mussels. Both were very nice, though the carpaccio more so. Beef tenderloin for both my wife and myself for main course which was also good. The tiramisu for dessert was superb!

Buffet/World Cafe: For breakfast this was open from 7am – 11.30 giving you plenty of flexibility when to wake up and eat. There is an open air, covered restaurant and one that is inside with A/C. We really liked the open air part of the buffet and we sat every morning right at the edge so we could see the beach. It was very busy for the weekend of Sept 13-16 as it was Mexican Independence Day on Sept 15. For breakfast over their Independence weekend one had to line up from 9.30am onwards. We were lucky we ate before then! For dinner on Sept 15 they had a big buffet next to their ballroom where entertainment was going on. This was not so appealing though as it was just overcrowded and the food was not that great. There was an exodus of 180 check outs on Monday, Sept 16! Lunch in the regular buffet was served from 12pm – 4.30pm. The staff at the buffet were also very good. Particular mention goes out to Miguel, Arturo and Raul who gave us excellent service. I liked how you could choose the beer you wanted, especially as one of them was Negra Modelo.

Seaside Grill: Fantastic setting, right next to the beach being open air and partially covered. This place was open for lunch and dinner. Lunch was served from 12pm – 4.30pm also and dinner from 6.30pm – 11pm. We had lunch here 3 times during our one week stay. The lunches here were fantastic and there was a great selection of healthy salads. Burgers were available too. For dinner we had a nice shrimp cocktail and crab cake. What I really liked here was their thin, chargrilled steaks. Even though my steak was so thin, it was still cooked to medium rare with a choice of your spices from the menu.

El Patio: This was our least favourite of the Dream’s restaurants. The food was OK, though being Mexican in Mexico it was rather disappointing. Dinner served on some days from 5.30pm – 10.30pm in an enclosed restaurant.

Oceana: We ate here twice at dinner time during our stay. The snails for appetizer were delicious, the spring roll OK. Sea bass for main course and the mahi-mahi. Crème brulee for dessert was good too, though rather soft in texture at the top.

POOLS:

There were three pools in total. The two in between Dreams Tower and the Preferred one were not that big. One had a swim up bar where we often saw people smoking. Adults and children were in this pool throughout the whole day. There was one small adult pool next to the Preferred Tower. It had a rather dead atmosphere to it. We avoided all the pools and went to the beach every day.

BEACH:

The beach was totally secluded by big rocks on either side. They say it is 500m in length though I would say no more than 250-300m. We got towels near the pool and you did not need a card to get them. You could also take as many towels out as you needed and leave them where you are at the end of the day. The sand was soft and too hot to walk on bare foot on sunny days. Make sure you bring flip-flops! The ocean was wavy and very warm. I would definitely caution parents bringing their young children into the sea as the waves could be strong on some days and there was a weak rip tide pulling you too. I did see many older children going into the sea though. There were ample sun loungers for everyone and many shaded huts you could lie under. There was also very regular drink service on the beach every day. My favourite staff member in the whole hotel was Salazar. He rarely let our drinks go empty on us. He was so friendly, polite and charming.

TIPPING:

We gave small tips to practically everyone that served us, including the maid. We gave anywhere from $2 - $5 per person. The staff really do not expect you to tip them and when they do receive some cash from you, they are every so grateful. They do not even look at the amount you give them as they thank you and put it straight in their pockets.

ROOMS:

We found our room to be very comfortable. The bed and pillows felt like they were made of memory foam; it was that nice! The mini bar was also full every day, but not with spirits; beer was in there though. The maid, Lupita, always did a good job of cleaning our room every day. Our room was on floor 20; however, their ground level is 11. It is a bit confusing really, as our room should be on the 10th floor. We were actually one level below the penthouse one. Our room was not obstructed by trees so we could see clearly. We did not have a balcony as we had initially booked to come with our baby. Your children need to be at least 13 or older to occupy a room with a balcony, most likely because of safety concerns. Every evening we had turn down service. On one occasion we had fruit delivered to our room along with a note to call room service to get a complimentary bottle of fizzy white wine; they called it champagne though. It was such a nice touch and soon after we called our bottle was delivered to our room.
We did not opt to go for the Preferred Tower as we never really found out about it. We also declined to talk with Hector when we checked in. This could well have been about upgrading your room. When we are on holiday all we need the room for is to sleep and clean up. I feel you really do not need to spend more on your room as you want to be out of it to enjoy the facilities and surroundings.

Security: We left $2 on our bed one day for our maid to take. Other days we left $5 and she would not take it! We had to give it to her in person! I know in other places where we have stayed that they will grab whatever cash is available to them. One another day we left our room and I forgot to hide my new SLR camera and Movado watch. In fact I left them on the table in bare sight! They had not moved when I got back, even though I normally kept it in the digitally coded safe. This told me that the staff must really have to respect customers and not steal from them.

CHILDREN:

This hotel was ideal for kids with activities for them from 9am all the way to 10pm! The turtle release we saw at 8pm was also so much fun for them. There is the Explorer’s Club which is at the end of the right section of Dreams. This place had all their activities from trampoline to dance and more! We would definitely come back with our baby; toddler in the near future!

Room Tip: Make sure your room in the Dreams Tower is high so your nice beach view does not get obstructed by trees.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank GoWithoutBorders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

We had a thoroughly lovely time at PV Dreams. People seemed to know us by name after the first few days. We enjoyed the restaurants, though we would have like to go to El Patio more than once. We should have checked the restaurant schedule at the beginning of the trip. Norma, Ismael and Javier were our favorites. The hostess, adult pool and breakfast buffet waiters were very accommodating. They were aware of our preferences and did all they could to make our trip enjoyable. The rooms are comfortable, the adult pool enjoyable, the food delicious and the service outstanding. It even rained a few days, but we stayed cozy under our umbrellas. The ocean was comfortable and that is saying a lot since I am deathly afraid of waves. We met many nice people who helped make our trip a special treat. The views are breathtaking and, alone, worth the trip. Hope we can return.

Room Tip: We asked for a room on an upper floor and were accommodated. We were on the 20th.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Sher70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

I was lucky to enjoy a week at the Dreams PV in May with my Mom.

It was her first all inclusive and my second (previously Riviera Maya) and needless to say we were both blown away.

The piece of land that Dreams is situated on is stunning! We never tired of breakfast by the ocean or dinner with a view. The resort is designed really well. Its small and everything faces the water, so enjoyable.

The staff were incredibly accommodating, we had done a lot of research prior to booking yet once we arrived we were unsure if we waned the old tower or the new. The staff quickly organized for us to have a viewing of the different suites available, with no push for the more expensive options. We went with the "old" tower and it was beautiful, we could not have asked for anything more. Very clean and had obviously been newly renovated.

Room service was lovely, quick, delicious and included! It was so nice to have breakfast brought up on those early morning excursion days!

My only complaint was the internet was spotty and costly. Also, there were only two pay phones on the property that were quite out of the way. I personally am not a fan of extra charges (phone/internet) upon checkout so I did find it was a hassle to contact my family at home. However if you don't mind extra fees or are able to be disconnected (understandably) this would be a non issue for you.

  • Stayed: May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank A_FALCON_BROWN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013

My wife and I just spent a week at dreams. The rooms are first class with great views. Get an upper floor if possible. The staff were fantastic, best I have ever seen. The food is five star. My favorite was the seaside grill and el patio was also great my least favorite was oceana,it had a good view of the water but the service was somewhat hit or miss and the food is better prepared at the others. I would go back in a heartbeat to Dreams.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank BigTex62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013

My husband and I stayed there from Sept 9th-13th. This was my husbands first time traveling outside the United States so he was a bit apprehensive about it. But from the time we we arrived in PV he was very calm. We arrived at Dreams around 2:30 and our room was already ready. Krizia checked us in very quickly then we were met by Martin who talked to us about the loyalty program. We were then taken to our room. When we got there it wasn't the room we had booked so our bellboy called the front desk and we were promptly moved. They had fresh fruit in our room waiting on us. With a note for a bottle of champagne which we never redeemed, as we are not champagne drinkers. But it was a nice touch anyways. It began to rain about an hour after we arrived, but we didn't mind as we had decided to take a nap because we had been up since 4AM. We had room service and it was prompt and still very hot when it arrived. The next day was spent in old town shopping. That was a fun experience. We met a lot of lovely people. Thanks to Edwin for helping us find a place to exchange our money. Wednesday was our anniversary so we planned our meal at Portofino and it was beautiful and they made us feel special. We had the moon and stars massage which was well worth the money. My husband especially needed that as he is a police officer and carries a lot of stress. It was the first he had ever had and love it. Thursday we went to the botanical gardens and Arturo was our driver he was awesome. He showed us where night of the Iguana was filmed and Predator. We hired him again and he took us to the town where he lived just north of PV and showed us around so we could shop some more. We had a blast on this trip and everyone was so nice. We tried all of the restaurants except for El Patio and the were all exceptional. Our favorite was World Cafe for breakfast, as we are big breakfast eaters. We did participate in the Loyalty program presentation. However we did not purchase as we are owners of a timeshare. Wish we would have known about this place sooner, would have bought here instead as the one we own has been a nightmare. I could go on but you just need to experience it for yourself. Yes the Dreams tower is older. But it has an awesome history and the only con I have is that we went at a very hot time and our A/C didn't keep the room as cool as we are used to, but if you kept the big drapes closed in the evening it was very tolerable. Everything else was fabulous. Another shout out to Bethy for added touches to our stay. Such as the anniversary surprises and banners. She took my statements and Facebook and figured out our anniversary date and did those special things. We hope to return again soon and we HIGHLY recommend this property. It is a beautiful location which feels secluded yet close enough to town for anything else you may want to do. Thanks to all of the staff( too many to mention) for an amazing stay. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

Room Tip: Stayed in 1904 had a beautiful view
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Christy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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