My then fiancé and I travelled to Dreams Tulum from Nov 5-12th for our wedding with 20 family & friends. We had a wonderful time – being our 1st stay at an all-inclusive and our 1st time in Mexico, it far surpassed all expectations that we ever had. Here are some of the areas where the resort was amazing, and a couple of helpful recommendations for future travelers (and brides!).
Overall our wedding-cation was incredible and we are so grateful to have found such a quaint and easy going place to become husband and wife. I would highly recommend that you choose Dreams Tulum for your wedding too – you will not be disappointed!
Junior Suite – Oceanview
Arrival: Wedding – 10 out of 10. The resort planners that I worked with (primarily Aurora via email, and then Anabel when we got there) were nothing short of incredible. We decided to do a customized wedding and they were able to cater to our every request. I always receive responses to emails within 2-3 days; and often times they sent photos and detailed explanations of our options. I think that I explored every option that Dreams offered for weddings – and ultimately we picked the ones that reflect us best. We chose this resort because of the gorgeous chapel; which is where we had our ceremony. This was the timeline for our wedding day: 4 – Ceremony in the chapel 4:30-5:15 – photos w/ professional photographer 5:30-6:15 – champagne toast, first dances, dances in the courtyard (this was an awesome location b/c the bar was right next to the courtyard!) 6:30-9:30 – reception at Seaside Grille 10-midnightish – dancing and drinks at the Disco Desire! We did a custom wedding since there were certain things that we didn’t need in all of the wedding packages – so we opted to pay for just what we needed and it worked out to $2100. Our planner also comp’d us a groom’s room for the night before the wedding since it was included in all of the wedding packages. We met with Anabel (our wedding planner) just before lunch on Monday (we arrived Saturday night and the wedding was Wed) to review all of our selections and finalized payment on the Tuesday. We were also able to give Anabel all of the décor items that we brought for the reception along with a drawing (yes, I’m a little Type A!) of where things were to go. We paid to have the reception set up since it only ended up being only $65 and we had brought lots of decorations. They allowed my moh and me to set up our own ceremony décor which included candles, pew decos and flowers. I only bought real flower bouquets for my moh and I, and I brought silk flowers from home since they were a lot less expensive. The bouquets that we did buy were exactly as expected and Anabel even arranged for us to use ribbon that I’d brought from home.
The minister, Kiko was easy going, and we pretty much wrote our own ceremony. This was great b/c we really wanted to include 3 guest readings. I was actually able to email our ceremony to the minister in advance too – to get his feedback. We didn’t meet the minister though until we were at the wedding – come to think of it, I really didn’t even talk to him other than saying “thanks” afterwards! We also rented the sound system for the church so that we had a mic for the service and good music for our processional and recessional – definitely worth it.
Rooms: We used the onsite photographers (Ficello Patroni from Il Gruppo Digitale) and he was great. We only bought 50 photos since we actually had 2 guests that were photographers too; but he took 300 in 2 hours and they were all great. He knew where the best places for photos were at the resort, and wasn’t on taking only traditional wedding pose pics. I would definitely recommend that brides assign someone (a bossy bm maybe?) to be responsible for organization people in and out of photos (especially if you want specific shots w/ family etc) – the photographer doesn’t know who’s who, so be sure to give a list of the kind of photos that you want to an assertive guest to organize. Other services that we used were steaming (for my dress, moh dress, my veil, and 2 guy’s suits) and they did an awesome job! Definitely not costly at all – we paid $70 for everything to be steamed – well worth it! My moh also ordered my husband and I wedding night treats – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries; both delicious and were easy to request through our planner.
Restaurants and Bars: Rooms – 9 out of 10. The rooms were really nice and well maintained. I would definitely encourage anyone staying at the resort to choose at least the junior suite w/ gardenview. Some of our guests chose the hacienda (regular rooms) and said that the beds weren’t very comfy; and their walk to the beach/pools/restaurants was a good 5 minutes. We stayed in a preferred suite w/ oceanview – it was on the 3rd floor (#6315) and it was incredible – we slept with the patio door open and woke up hearing the waves every morning. The only recommendations that I have is to bring socks! The marble floors get cold at night and to turn the A/C unit off in the evening or it gets quite cool in the room at night. Otherwise, our fridge wasn’t super cold – which we reported, but no one ever came to fix it. That being said, we never really followed up – since we weren’t really in our room at all anyways! Food & Drinks –9.5 out of 10. The resorts restaurants were diverse and all of our guests absolutely loved the options, portions, and presentation. The quality was excellent and again exceeded expectations. I especially liked that you could order off the menu too – if there wasn’t something that you wanted, you could essentially customize your order. We tried all of the restaurants and at each one the service was prompt, polite, and pleasurable. There were lots of options, and you could plan ahead since the entertainment team sends out a “what’s happening tomorrow” newsletter every night. Highlights from our wining/dining experience at Dreams Tulum include: a custom birthday cake (asked for it on a whim) at El Patio. And the Coco Café’s iced expressos and cappuccinos were delightful! One great thing about all the restaurants was that we never had to make reservations – you just go when you’re ready and they’ll seat you – we often were 22 people, so we opted to split up into a few tables and we never had to wait more than 5 minutes. At all of the bars, the bartenders were generous with drinks and didn’t mind that we brought our own travel mugs to fill up. I would definitely recommend the mojitos; banana mama’s; and margaritas! The resort even had a tequila tasting event – amazingly put on by the entertainment team. As for the room service. It was just as great as the restaurants – you could pre-order breakfast for the next morning AND it was open until midnight. Again, the portions were great and the room service menu had a little of everything to meet any taste – I mean who doesn’t need cheesecake just before bed?!? And I’m not sure if this is in the right category; but the club (Disco Desire) was a disappointing. The music was a little too old school for me and we couldn’t request songs to the DJ. The disco bartender was great though! That being said, we chose this resort because we knew that it wouldn’t have a “spring break” (i.e. wild party) vibe.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Overall Service – 9 out of 10 All of the service that we received from all of the staff at Dreams was above expectation. The servers, check in staff, concierge, Amstar reps, everyone was extremely polite and responded to any request “with pleasure”. And it seemed that the genuinely wanted to ensure that each guest was happy and enjoying their experience. The response time with housekeeping was a little slow a couple of times when we requested towels, but I was just persistent and called back again. Another great thing was that we never had to wear bracelets or get stamps. We just needed to report your room # every time we went into a restaurant, and if we decided to leave the grounds. Everyone was so courteous; all of my friends and family felt very welcomed and valued during our stay. Resort Facilities – 9 out of 10 for the resort (3 out of 10 for the spa services) The 2 pools at the resort were wonderful – the water was kept refreshingly cool and very clean. There were always lots of towels, and plenty of loungers (though they filled up by 10am) and the entertainment team came to where guests were. The only strange thing was that you weren’t allowed to swim late at night – I think it was after 10pm they shut off all the pool lights. The beach was also really nice – not rocky at all (as some previous posts have indicated). If you stay in front of the resort, it’s well groomed and cleaned every morning. At the beach the entertainment team offered kayak lessons, volleyball, and (my fav) paella cooking lessons! And there were always several waiters walking around the beach and pools taking drink orders throughout the day. I also went to the gym (ya, I know it’s a vacation, but I like working out!) and it was decent for a resort. There were 3 treadmills, a stationary bike; several pull weights and free weights, 2 pilates machines, and a stairmaster. The equipment was all new except the stairmaster, and in good condition with the exception of a couple of missing barpads on a few of the weight machines. One thing that was a little disappointing was that there was never anyone to help with the pilates machines – but hey, who really goes to the gym while on vacation!?
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: I did use the spa at the resort and was REALLY disappointed. My moh and I went for manicures/pedicures on the day of the wedding and were taken aback at how unorganized everything was. We had to wait 15 minutes, even though we had a confirmed appointment, because there were only 2 mani/pedi chairs. Then the mani/pedis are done in the same area as hairstyling – so it was impossible to hold a conversation b/c of blowdryer noise. And, the spa allowed children – which several other guests did not enjoy since they were throwing tantrums over hairstyles. So, I guess the spa is partially to blame, and partially the parents’ fault for giving their kids ice cream, donuts, and frozen cappuccinos (!) while getting their hair curled! I also found that the prices were really high for the quality of services we got. In the end our nails looked “okay”, but our experience was less than desirable! So, if you’re going for a wedding – bring a moh or guest that knows hair and makeup (which is what I did) and maybe get your nails done before you leave for Mexico! Entertainment – 10 out of 10 for in-house entertainment (7 out of 10 for the external talent) The Dreams Tulum entertainment team (as I previously mentioned) was FABULOUS!!! The in-house events by the entertainment team (like American Idol, Perfect Couple etc) were cute and comedic – everybody had fun and didn’t take themselves too seriously. And the special theme nights were great too – we went to Mexican night and the Beach Party – the food was great and the shows and games were lots of fun. Definitely worth closing a couple restaurants for! I thought that the shows put on by “outside talent” in the evening (on the Patio) were either hit or miss – one magician was horrible, but the rest were all good! The nice thing about being there for 1 week is that we never saw the same shows or entertainment twice the only thing that we saw everyday was the entertainment team dance to Don Omar’s “Danza Kuduro” at 3pm pool side! This was awesome! Guest Services – 8 out of 10 It was a little difficult at first to figure out how to get around outside of the resort. I was sure that they just didn’t really want people leaving the resort unless it’s was with an Amstar tour! We ended up taking comdi’s (locals’ van service that goes up and down the highway) to and from the 5th Ave markets in Playa to shop one afternoon. The 1 major downfall of the resort was that the wireless internet in the rooms wasn’t working – we were told that it was b/c Rina (the tropical storm) had passed through 1 week prior, but I got the sense that it was like that always. We were able to get wireless access in the Lobby (from the check in desk) and get a login for the Coco Café computers (from the Perferred Lounge Concierge) at no charge b/c wireless was supposed to be included in our “preferred” accommodations package. That being said, not having internet access wasn’t all that bad!
Other Comments: Transportation & Excursions – 7 out of 10 (but this is more of a locale issue than a resort issue) With our vacation provider, we were able to take a big shuttle bus free of charge to/from the airport. But from the airport to the resort, we ended up renting 3 private shuttles through Cancun shuttle – which was AMAZING!! Since we were arriving late at night and it was at least a 1 ¼ hr drive, we wanted to save ourselves from having to stop at every other resort along the way. Dreams Tulum is the LAST resort along that stretch….. that being said the transportation from the resort back to the airport was fine – once we figured out where exactly we had to go to find out what time the bus was coming! Finally, there were plenty of excursions from the resort (mostly through Amstar) but (as expected) they were way overpriced. We did a day trip to Chichen Itza and both my husband and I wished we had skipped it. It was a LONG bus ride and the tour guide was not helpful at all – there were times when we couldn’t even find him and our group was all separated. That, and lunch was terrible at Mayaland. The only good thing about this trip was swimming in the Cenote – other than that, it was a waste. I would suggest going to the Tulum ruins instead, that way when you’re done sightseeing, you can explore the town too.