Old Reviews – Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

  Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa   J & P ~ Montreal

January 2009

Arrival: December 18th-25th  Great flight with Air Canada as usual. Abnormal larger than usual crowd at the Cancun airport but managed to get out of there in reasonable time. Dreams Tulum being at the end of the line for drop-off we decided to book a private transfer with USA Transfer beforehand. They were there waiting with a sign with our name on it and we got under way in a minibus by ourselves within minutes. It took exactly 1.5 hours to get to the resort. Once there we were greeted there with a glass of champagne and towels.

Check-in was fast.

Rooms: We had contacted the head concierge Javier with a specific room location and sure enough we got the room we requested. Room was very nice and very clean.

Room was cleaned everyday in the morning and the minibar was filled everyday.

Restaurants and Bars:
Portofino (Italian) – Great food and great service. We went there for dinner twice and loved it.
Himitsu (Chinese/Thai) – Good, not exceptional but good!
Seaside (Grill) – Went there a few times for lunch and a couple of times for breakfast. Food was very good, the service was spotty however.
Patio (Mexican) – Excellent! Went there a few times for lunch and once for supper. We really enjoyed this outdoor restaurant.
Bordeaux (French) – Good, not outstanding but good.
Gohan (sushi) – Never got to it as we were a group of 8 people and it is almost impossible to accomodate such group in this small restaurant.
World Cafe (buffet) – Excellent buffet, great place for breakfast. Went there the first night for supper and it was also very good. Bars – Great service at all bars. The drinks are a little diluted but very good. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is very nice but the swimming area is VERY rocky. There’s only one small part of the water where you can enter it safely (by the kids’ water trampoline). We knew this ahead of time so we weren’t disappointed but I can see how it could be a downer for some people. If you walk West for about 200 yards you’ll get to an abandonned beach house that has a pristine swimmable beach in front of it. We had a great time there. The bar service at the pool and at the beach was very good. Other Comments:
We a group of eight people who wanted to spend part of Christmas time in Mexico. We usualy go to adults-only resorts but this time since one of us was just 12 years old we opted for this resort. Are we ever glad we did! We loved this resort and it was a great vacation thanks mostly to the resort staff. We had fantastic prompt and polite service everywhere on the resort!
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  Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa   Glen ~ Canada

December 2008 Arrival: December 2008
We arrived at Dreams at 11:00 p.m. We were not greeted by anyone, not a single person to be found. The front desk staff were joking and laughing in the back office. When we got there attention we were checked in right away. They told us to wait a minute and someone would help us with our luggage. Ten minutes later a man who looked like a half asllep janitor showed up and brought us to our room. Rooms:
We were shown to our first room that had two double beds and not the King Size with sofa bed we requested. We finally got our King Size room on day 3. Our rooms were in the "new" section and we would rate them to be a 3.5 or 4 star at best. They are not as nice as other 5 star resorts we have been to. Restaurants and Bars:
The quality of the food was good at all restaurants. We did not have a bad meal, however the selection compared to other resorts is minimalistic. There is also very litte selection for kids to pick from. Staff was pleasant and helpful. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was nice and sandy with lots of coral just off shore. The pools are okay but not up to par compared to others. Considering this is a family resort the kids pool area is a joke. Maybe 5 kids can safely be in it at any one time. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We have been to the region 6 previous times and have seen most tourist attractions. We decided to visit the Town of Tulum and see what it has to offer. The hotel staff told us it was like a smaller version of Playa Del Carmen. We left the hotel at 9:30 a.m. and were back at 10:25 a.m. There is absolutely nothing there except may three little shops. Other Comments:
The best part of the resort is the Explorer’s Club. Our children loved the activities that were planned everyday. They would usually go daily for a few hours just after lunch. We enjoyed our annual family holiday, however the resort simply was not a 5 star as described. First time AI travellers won’t know any better, but having been to 12 AI resorts in the last 8 years I would rank this one at the bottom of our list. Well at least we’ll see how we make out at Eldorado Seaside Suites in February 2009.
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  Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa   Alana ~ London, Ontario

November 2008 Arrival and Flight – Sunwing: Arrived at hotel and was greated by cold towels and champagne with cherries in it, great lobby, beautiful. Fast check-in, brought to room however it was not the room we had asked for (wanted double beds on 2nd floor and got a king on 1st floor ), also room smelled because of pond outside of room. Went back to lobby and they told us there was no way to have a double bed in that room. They said they would try to fix it for us. Ended up getting upgraded to ocean view room . It was AMAZING. Rooms- Ocean view room was fantastic, great views, seconds from beach and restaurants, some problems with room but they were fixed immediately. (Safe wasn’t locking, toilet wouldn’t flush) . Rooms were very clean, maid service was great. Restaurants – Restaurants were excellent. Great service. I cannot say enough about the staff. They were incredible. The food was quite good, much to choose from such as Asian, mexican, italian, buffet Bars – My favourite part of the trip haha, bartenders were so friendly, drinks were great, they had pool service and we became great friends with the woman that was helping us she was there almost everyday and was so friendly. There were many bars which was great. Beach and Pools – 2 pools, one more geared for family and then there was a quiet one, which we were at everyday. Beach was nice, water had a lot of coral in it so you couldn’t really swim there however just down the road were the Tulum Ruins which is the most beautiful place i have ever seen. There was a great beach and water was fantastic! Grounds – Very clean, well kept, beautiful. Our first room had the problem with the smell however that was the only place we noticed. Activities and Entertainment – Had night shows however we did not go to any of them, had a very nice spa aswell. Tours – We loved the tours we went on. First we went to the Tulum Ruins, it was absolutely amazing and would recommend to everyone going there. We didn’t know there would be a place to swim so we ended up going back there again that week haha. the views are gorgeous and we took many pictures. We also went to Xel-ha natural park. This was also any amazing experience. Great snorkeling, great views. We went on a lazy river ride that was so relaxing and was great to see the park. Food was also very good there and ice cream hit the spot. Departure and Check Out – Flight was delayed going home so got to spend more time at the resort. Check out was fast and no problems with anything. Conclusion – This was my first big trip. It was just my mom and I so it was very nice. We had quite an experience as I had my luggage lost and we also left our camera in one of the cabs ..however the cab driver did return our camera to the resort (thanks to the VERY friendly staff at the resort) and my luggage arrived a day later. Thank goodness i had put my bathing suit in my carry on! I miss this resort very much and am going to go back as soon as I can.
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  Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa   Stephanie

April 2008 Here is my review of my wedding and vacation at Dreams Tulum resort. It’s very long so feel free to skip parts. I’ve divided it into 3 parts: Part 1 is about the planning, Part 2 is a review of the resort, Part 3 is a review of the wedding. PART 1 BASIC INFORMATION :
I went to this resort with my immediate family for my wedding March 27th – April 3rd 2007. We booked only 2 ½ months before the wedding (early January) through itravel2000.com and paid a price of 1500$ per person from Ottawa and 1600$ per person from Halifax (this was not a group rate, it was a regular “last minute” rate). When I checked the price closer to our departure date it was I think almost 2500$! PLANNING:
I did a lot of research to choose the right resort for my wedding, using the forums on Weddingbells, Canadian Bride, and bestdestinationwedding. I contacted many hotels for information on their wedding packages. Not very many offered a free wedding package, and so this was a big perk for me about Dreams Tulum. When I contacted Dreams Tulum during my planning they had lots of availability for the different dates I was asking for, even though I was in touch with them only 2 ½ months before my wedding. The wedding coordinators sometimes answered my emails right away, sometimes it took a few days. On the day I booked, I wanted to confirm my wedding with them before booking our trip so I phoned them as I knew this would be faster to get an answer. In the beginning, the resort’s wedding coordinators were pretty good at answering my questions about availability and other – I usually received a reply within 1-3 days. However in the 2 months leading up to my wedding they became really awful at answering my emails. I probably sent about 15 very short emails in the last 2 months with various questions but did not receive any reply at all to a few of my questions, and those that I did receive a reply, it took 2-4 weeks, and even then it was usually only a half answer so I had to write back for clarification. I was annoyed at this, especially in the last month when I really wanted to get a few details in order, but I had heard from others that this is always the way it is with any resort in terms of emailing the wedding coordinators. I can only imagine how many people must be emailing them at once, not only those who have already booked their weddings for the next year or so, but also those who are considering the resort as an option for their wedding. WEDDING REQUIREMENTS & COSTS:
For a civil (legal) wedding in Mexico you need to be in the area for 4 business days before getting married, not counting the day you arrive, but counting the day of the wedding. For me they made an exception and counted the day I arrive, because I arrived Thursday and got married Tuesday, and if they had counted 4 full days I wouldn’t have been able to get married till Wednesday, the night before we left. As a side note, the best day to arrive if you are doing a civil wedding is Monday, so that you can get married Friday, and have 2 full days after your wedding to relax. For a civil ceremony only, you have to get a blood test done (person comes to the resort) which costs 150$ per couple. You don’t need the blood test if it’s a symbolic ceremony (i.e. where you do the paperwork at home). For the civil ceremony, all you need is your passport and the tourist card they give you at the airport, as long as you haven’t been divorced. If you’ve been divorced then you need additional paperwork. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to get anything translated or certified, so there were no additional costs there. The only required costs if you are taking the free wedding package is the 150$ for the blood test (civil wedding only) and 50$ for the transportation of the judge (both civil and symbolic). So it’s possible for the wedding to cost you only 200$!!! You have the option of paying 100$ to have the marriage certificate apostilled, which some countries require. Then they mail it to you in 1-4 months. You can also do this once you get home (with the embassy) if you prefer. For Canada, there is no need to do this (I called Government of Ontario and this is what they told me) because there is no national marriage registry, each province only registers weddings that took place in that province, and there is no place to register weddings that took place out of province. So the wedding is legal, there is just no place and no need to register it. TOUR OPERATOR – AIR CANADA VACATIONS
I almost always travel Air Canada Vacations, I personally think they are the best tour operator, as their planes are more roomy and most importantly, their luggage allowance is very generous – each person can bring 2 suitcases weighing 50 lbs each, so 100lbs total per person! Most other charter flights only allow 44lbs total per person. This was a huge bonus for us because we had lots of luggage (our normal travel stuff and one golf bag plus 2 suitcases of wedding stuff). I didn’t have to pay anything extra since my parents only had one large suitcase each, so I was able to check-in two of the pieces under their names. We got a private transfer (10 passenger van) from the airport to the hotel which was also an unexpected bonus (when I have travelled with ACV in the past we always get a bus) – I guess there was nobody else from our flight going to the area. It was great that we didn’t have to stop anywhere along the way. It took us 1.5 hours exactly from the airport to the resort both times. The only bad thing is that the van only had room for approx 8-10 large pieces of luggage and maybe 10-15 smaller carry-ons. They had to pile the luggage in the trunk all the way to the roof, and this was VERY DANGEROUS because the luggage at the top was not held back at all, if we had been in an accident or if the driver had breaked really hard, all the luggage at the top would have flown forward and taken our heads off. Not only was luggage pilled to the roof but also we had to have 4 pieces in the passenger part with us (along the sides) which was quite crowded. So while the private transfer was a bonus, really that van does not have space for 10 passengers and their luggage. In total our group of 10 people had 14 large pieces, nowhere near the allowed limit of 2 large pieces each (i.e. we could have had 20 pieces, what would they have done then???) PART 2 – The resort 9/10
The resort was fabulous – the service was amazing, the food was great and everything was very clean. My only complaints about the resort, and these are important enough that if I was able to go back in time I might re-consider my choice, are the bad beach and the location. Don’t get me wrong though the resort is fabulous, I would only re-consider if I was sure we could find another place with equivalent food and service but a better location and beach. LOCATION (6/10)
Although everyone on trip advisor complains that the trip from the airport to the resort is long, it didn’t bother us at all. Sure it took 1.5 hours without stops but it didn’t bother us, many people slept. There is not much to see out the windows since you are on a highway with no nice view. The highway is fairly smooth except the speedbumbs every once in a while, I don’t know why people on trip advisor complained of a bumpy ride. The thing that did bother me about the location is the fact that we were so far from a city, like either Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Some people in my group would have liked to go into a city/town to do some shopping (especially since they got sunburnt badly on day 1 and then wanted to stay out of the sun for a few days). The only things nearby are the tulum ruins (5 minutes, 7$ taxi), Xel-Ha (10 minutes, 10$ taxi), and a few cenotes. Playa del Carmen is about 45 minutes and a 45$ cab ride away (you can go by collective for 2$, but I imagine it would take quite a bit longer than 45 minutes). In the future, I would choose a resort that is no more than 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen or at least a large town with shopping. My in-laws went to Tulum for shopping but they said there was very little in town and the prices were expensive (more expensive than in the 4 stores on the resort). But that is just their experience, I didn’t go myself and maybe they didn’t try hard enough to bargain. ROOMS (Hacienda rooms 6/10, Dreams suites 9/10, Honeymoon suite 9.5/10 but based on my expectations of what a honeymoon suite should be 8/10) I had requested upgrades for my group but was told that only the bride and groom are upgraded for free. We had booked hacienda gardenview so they said they would upgrade us to Dreams gardenview. I was told my family could upgrade to a Dreams suite for half price since we were a wedding group (i.e. 20$ per night for Dreams gardenview instead of 40$ per night, and 30$ per night for Dreams oceanview instead of 60$ per night. No discount on superior rooms, i.e. oceanfront, honeymoon suite or presidential suite). When we checked in I asked for oceanview instead and in the end was upgraded to a honeymoon suite! I was really excited but when I saw it I didn’t find the honeymoon suite to be that much better than a regular Dreams Suite (honeymoon suite has double jacuzzi instead of single, bigger living room area, two balconies instead of one, a walk-in closet and then the fact that it was oceanfront rather than just oceanview). Although it was oceanfront, the seaside grill was actually a large part of the view (why I rated it 9.5 instead of 10) I was very impressed that they upgraded us all the way from a hacienda gardenview to a honeymoon suite, definitely unexpected! I probably would have been disappointed though if I had paid for the honeymoon suite instead of the Dreams suite since I didn’t find the difference to be all that important (why my second rating of it is 8/10). The Jacuzzi was in the bathroom, not on the balcony as I have seen at other resorts (and as is the case for the presidential suite at Dreams Tulum). None of my family got free upgrades (although we overheard other guests getting them) and one person chose to pay the fee to upgrade to a dreams gardenview. The rest of my family thought that the hacienda rooms were fine and decided not to pay the upgrade even though they definitely could have afforded it. The hacienda rooms are definitely not deluxe (more like what I would expect at a 3.5 star or 4 star resort) but nothing wrong with them at all (I don’t understand how people on trip advisor say they are awful). The hacienda rooms are next to and behind the lobby, so about a 3-6 minute walk (depending on the building) from the beach and restaurants, versus the dreams rooms which run along both sides of the walkway from the lobby to the beach, so 0-3 minute walk to the beach depending on the building. Paying for an upgrade directly to the resort is much cheaper than doing so in advance (at least with Air Canada Vacations). Air Canada Vacations was charging an extra 350$ PER PERSON (i.e 700$ PER ROOM!!!) to upgrade from the Deluxe rooms (the label “deluxe” is a bit misleading since it is the hacienda room) to the Dreams Junior Suite Gardenview whereas the resort charges 40$ per night per room, so a total cost of 280$ PER ROOM for a week. You can arrange the upgrade in advance by email (one of my guests did) to ensure availability, or wait until you get there and see if you get the free upgrade and if not pay for it. Some people had a few problems with their rooms, the people who upgraded to the Dreams suite had a patio door that didn’t lock and an air-conditioner that didn’t work (promptly fixed). My parents hacienda room had a patio door that didn’t lock and they just moved them next door right away (with a bell boy to move the luggage, even though it was just a few feet over!). My parents said they thought their air-conditioner wasn’t quite strong enough – it’s quite hot in the hacienda section since it doesn’t have the wind from the ocean, so probably just the air-conditioner couldn’t keep up. They figure it was about 75 degrees in their room all week. In our honeymoon suite the air-conditioning was perfect (I’m gonna guess 72), except on the wedding day when we had the blinds open and there were 5 people in the room for a few hours, then it got a bit hot, especially in the bathroom. The safe worked fine and was just large enough to fit my 15 inch laptop. I think one of my guests had a 17 inch laptop and said it fit but with some difficulty. We actually left our laptop out of the safe twice (while the room was cleaned) and it didn’t get stolen. I don’t think a laptop would fit in the hacienda room safe but I didn’t try so I’m not sure. BEACH 6/10
I was very disappointed about the beach, it was very rocky, both along the shoreline and also in the water. I had read on trip advisor that the area around the trampoline was great but I thought this wasn’t true, you still had to walk around big rocks to get the trampoline area, although directly around the trampoline and climbing rocks it was clear. I think actually that the best part of the beach is in front of the gazebo (just to the right of the trampoline). The trampoline and the wall climbing structure were pretty fun. We only went swimming once (in part because of the bad beach, in part because we were busy doing other stuff) and we had fun playing on these two things for almost an hour. The sand is also rough. It’s made up of finely broken coral, so it’s not powder soft. It actually hurt the feet to walk on! The closer you are to the water the better it is (right at the shoreline the sand is nice) but walking around the beach chair area without flipflops was a bit uncomfortable. I had never felt rough sand like this when I was in Cancun, Punta Cana or Varadero. I had heard there was great snorkelling so we brought our equipment and went once and saw nothing! We swam out a small ways past the trampoline and over to the left but saw nothing. There was a guy right next to us who saw a sting ray, I don’t know how we missed it. The water was quite cloudy too which isn’t fun for snorkelling. FOOD / RESTAURANTS 9.5/10
The food everywhere was great and the service was awesome. Even at the buffet they were good about refilling our orange juice and bringing us cutlery (we often joined some people from our group that already had a table and were eating, so the extra cutlery had been taken away but we always got some within a minute or two of sitting down). One night we had supper at the buffet as a group (10 people) and we were off to the side in a section with nobody else, and it felt like eating at a nice a-la-carte because it was candle-lit and not too loud and we got great service from our waiter (drink orders, clearing plates, etc). The service at the a-la cartes was very very good. I had heard that other groups had trouble getting large tables but we were successful at getting a table for 10 people 3 times (Bordeau, Portofino and Seaside Grill). The first day my dad went over to Seaside grill when they opened at 6:30pm to ask for a table and they said they could accommodate us (putting 2 tables together) right away at 6:30pm. When we asked if we could go shower and come back in half an hour they said no, that it would be too busy, so we just ate right then at 6:30pm. On night 2 at 7 or 7:30pm we tried to get a table for 10 at Portofino but were told it was an hour and a half wait, same thing for Bordeau, so that was the night we just went to the buffet. After that every night we would get our table at 6:30pm and never had a problem or had to wait at all. We never tried again to get a table later than that so I don’t know if it would have been a long wait or not. I personally prefer eating later but some people in my group prefer earlier and since we knew there was no problem getting tables for our large group at 6:30pm we just did that. Almost everywhere you eat there is chips, salsa and guacamole which is something we really enjoyed, it was so delicious and a nice thing to have while waiting for your meal. We also ordered plates of this from the beach waiters. We also ordered club sandwiches and fries from the beach waiter too! I thought this was great. There is also a bbq set-up next to the Sugar Reef bar every day for lunch – I never tried it but others did and said it was good. They had burgers one day, pork chops and flank steaks another (those steaks were good!). We ordered room service twice and it came very quickly, maybe 15-20 minutes and was nice and hot. My review of the restaurants one by one: The buffet was pretty good as far as buffets go, i.e. it wasn’t fabulous, but there were many delicious items as well as some bland or cold items (it didn’t help that we always went for breakfast right as they closed at 11am). Breakfast was the same everyday but supper obviously changed. I never ate here for lunch so I don’t know what it was. One night after eating at the a-la-carte I went to the buffet (later at night, during the show in the plaza) and got a big plate of dessert and brought it outside to the plaza, they didn’t mind letting me leave with the plate. They had a white chocolate fondue with marshmellows to dip that night and it was delicious. As I already said I found the service very good for a buffet restaurant. Seaside grill was very good, between our group everybody ordered different stuff and no complaints. I loved the chicken fillet mignon. The salmon was also very good but so small (only 3 bites!). Some people had steaks and said they were very good but not amazing (then again, our family eats only exceptionally good steak at home). I only ate at El Patio for lunch, it was very good although service was a little slow for lunch but not that bad (maybe half an hour to get our meals). Portofino was also very very good. We had a table in the wine cellar part of the restaurant, so we were all alone until much later when another table of people were seated there. I had the fettucine alfredo and I thought it was kinda bland and didn’t have chicken in it. Somebody had the stuffed chicken and it was delicious, I should have taken that instead. Everybody else was also very happy with their meal. I had the double chocolate dessert (I think mousse) and it was delicious. The tiramisu was probably the best I had ever tasted. The service here was fabulous. Bordeau was also very very good, except a few of us didn’t like our appetizers that much (the salmon and the crab ones). But the meals were fabulous. The service here was exceptionally good, a step above all the other restaurants – our meals arrived on silver platters with dome covers and we had a wait a minute or two for our waiter to gather up 4 more staff members so there were enough hands to pull all the domes off our plates (we were a table of 10 people) at the exact same time, revealing our dinners. We felt like we were eating at a restaurant that would normally cost 100-200$ per person. I didn’t eat at Himitsu but some people did and said it was very good. Himitsu and Gohan are in the same restaurant, in different sections, but you can’t order food from one when eating at the other, they keep it completely separate. I don’t really like sushi but I still enjoyed our supper at Gohan. The sushis with cream cheese are a good choice for non-sushi eaters. My sister and another guest who eat sushi regularly said it was the best sushi they ever had. The service here was probably the poorest we had all week. It was quite slow (i.e. 15 minutes to get our drinks). The waiter seemed flustered (in the beginning he was the only one around, but there were only 3 small tables) and also had a slight problem communicating in english (I asked if I could get bread, since I’m not much of sushi problem, and there was a bit of a problem understanding if they had bread or not, but I ended up getting it). It wasn’t that bad at all, but just not as good as the other restaurants. BAR SERVICE
The bar service was always good. We usually got our drinks from the beach waiters who come around frequently and are only too happy to serve you (they actually were disappointed the times we didn’t order anything. Probably because we tipped them 1$ for almost every round of drinks they brought). My family was talking about it and we figure they don’t make the drinks very strong because even after a few nobody felt any effect. A few times thought I did get a drink that was too strong, undrinkable for me. If you like your drinks strong just ask, and they will gladly make them stronger. HOUSEKEEPING
Our room was well cleaned every day. Some days we got turn down service, some days not, I didn’t really care. MONEY
You can exchange travellers checks at the lobby (you need your passport). You can only get pesos for them, and they gave me 10.3 pesos per american dollar. The exchange rate was 10.3 whether you gave them american travellers cheques or cash (at banks it’s a slightly worse rate for travellers cheques). The current rate right now (I just googled it) is 10.6, but that’s the official rate, not the bank rate (which is always worse) so 10.3 is actually a fair rate I think. You can pay for stuff everywhere with US dollars, but the rate stores and even taxis use is exactly 10 pesos, so you are better off exchanging your money at the hotel and paying for stuff in pesos, although the difference is so minor it’s not worth it, everyone just pays with US dollars. (i.e. shirt in store costs 120 pesos or 12 dollars, so you are actually better off taking your 12 dollars to the hotel lobby, and exchanging it at the rate of 10.3 you will get 123.6 pesos, then go pay for the shirt in pesos, and you have 3.6 pesos left. Totally not worth the hassle though). One time I had a taxi give me a very unfair rate, (taxis have set rates to go everywhere, but the set rate is in pesos, most of them us a 10 exchange rate to convert to US dollars if you want to pay US), the set rate to Tulum Ruins is 70 pesos, so should be 7$ and although we and our family all paid our taxis 7$ to get there, another taxi wanted 10$ to bring us back, so luckily I had pesos with me and just paid the 70 pesos instead. Once I wanted change for a 20$ American bill and they didn’t have enough small bills at the lobby counter to do it for me. I asked the bell boy (I had read elsewhere they are the ones to go to for change) but he didn’t have any either. It wasn’t a big problem, only happened to me once. Everybody in our group had brought lots of small bills (and lots of 1$ for tipping). I definitely recommend doing this (as a side note, at my bank I had to call 2 days before hand to order 100 1$ bills, they don’t normally have that many on hand). At other resorts I have always been able to exchange large American bills for 1$ American bills at the lobby counter, but this is obviously not the case here (you may be able to do it sometimes, but I wouldn’t count on it). ENTERTAINMENT / THINGS TO DO: 8/10
Every night there are movies on a big screen on the beach (they set-up beach chairs and have popcorn and the sound quality is good) as well as a show in the plaza, one night it was American Idol, one night the musical Greece, one night Mayan dancers, one night an “ideal couple” contest. Sometimes they have shows in the disco, one night it was a hypnotist (I found him very annoying and the show not very good at all, so disappointed to have stayed up an hour later on the night before my wedding just to see it!) and another night a magician (either I missed it or it was cancelled, not sure). One night there was a big Mexican fiesta, they had a mechanical bull (they also had the bull another night too) and a buffet outside (the world café was closed for the event). All in all, the entertainment was the best I’ve seen at any of the 4 resorts I’ve been to. That being said I was still bored and thought it could have been better (maybe I’m just difficult to please). Desire, the disco, is very lame, there is never anyone there. My sister went Saturday night and it was empty (on a Saturday night!) she was pretty much the only one there with the staff (one of the staff told her that they are required to go there on Saturday and Wednesday evenings). My family went on the night of my wedding and it was also empty, we actually ended up leaving right away (more on that in the wedding section). The disco is set up with lots of comfortable chairs and small tables, with a fairly small elevated dance floor in one corner. If you have a large group, I can see that it would be fun because you could make your own party. Nobody in our family did any of the daytime activities, except 2 people did the water aerobics and found it to be a good workout. The pool bar was sometimes loud but not non-stop all day. If you are on the beach in front of the pool bar it’s obviously loud at the same times, but if you are a bit down the beach then you are fine and it’s nice and quiet. The staff comes around before each activity trying to gather people to participate but they are not annoying about it at all and don’t really try to convince you if you say no. In terms of what to do off the resort, like I mentioned the only stuff that is close and a cheap cab ride is the Tulum Ruins, Xel Ha and some cenotes. TULUM RUINS
We went to Tulum Ruins on Saturday morning at 8am. Taxi is 7$ (well 70 pesos, most drivers will convert that to 7$ American, but one wanted 8$ and another 10$!) and entrance is 48 pesos (I’m pretty sure you need to pay in pesos, not American dollars). The ruins are open every day from 8am-5pm. There is no extra fee for professional camera but there is for videocamera. A guide costs 400 pesos (this is for 1-6 people, then slightlight higher for more people, for example 450 pesos for 7-9 people, etc). We didn’t bother getting a guide since it would have been 45$ for our group of 8 people. It was already quite hot at 8am. We walked around half an hour to an hour then hit the beach. There is no washroom near the beach, so where your suit under your clothes, otherwise you can change behind a big rock with the help of a towel. As said many times before the beach here is absolutely stunning. There are no rocks in the water, the water is crystal clear and the waves are large. Everybody had a blast swimming, the half hour in the water is one of the highlights of our trip (especially getting our parents out there with us!). Everybody started getting ready to leave at 9:45am and my fiance and I were going to stay behind and enjoy the beach for a few hours, but within 10 minutes throngs of people were filling the beach and so we ended up leaving with our family. Really, it’s insane how this place fills up at 10am when the tour buses arrive. There must have been a 500-1000 people dropped off there right at 9:45 or 10am. You cannot take wedding pictures at the ruins (more on this below). If you walk in wearing your dress they make you take it off and put it in your locker. XEL-HA
Xel-Ha (pronounced Shell – Ha) is a 10 minute, 10$ taxi ride from the hotel. Entrance is 75$ all inclusive (food, snorkelling equipment included, but does not include snuba, scuba or dolphin swim). They used to have a simple admission (no food or equipement) for approx half the price but they got rid of that. You can also buy your admission ticket at Tulum Ruins for 10% less (67,50$). We had been before 3 years ago, and I don’t know if it’s because it was our 2nd time or because there was really less fish but I was a bit disappointed about the snorkelling. The water is very cloudy (I’m told from the salt-water mixing with the fresh water) and the only place where we saw lots and lots of fish was near the little bridge where people can throw food in. There was also lots of really big fish near the big bridge separating the park from the ocean. We saw fish elsewhere but not huge groups of them. For people who haven’t snorkelled much you’ll probably love it but for people who have snorkelled lots you may not find it that great. The lazy river is really really slow, takes half an hour to go down the river part but then you are still far from the main part of the park and it can take another hour or so to get back! I pushed my mom in her tube back to the main part because we wanted to go eat, it must have taken almost half an hour of swimming and pushing! So don’t bother unless you have lots of time. The tarzan rope is awful, it’s actually quite dangerous as the rope is in a small area so not much room to swing around and jump off. There are 2 other cliffs (which you go by when doing the lazy river) to jump off and these are much better than the tarzan rope. There is no beach, if you walk all the way to the ocean it is a beautiful view of dark blue water with huge waves crashing on the rocks on the shore, and there are some hammocks to relax and have a nap. What a great way to end our day. Overall the park is really beautiful and a definite must if you’ve never been. I still enjoyed it the second time, but not nearly as much as the first so I don’t really think it was worth going back but we still had a really fun day with the 3 family members who came with us (none of them had been). Oh yeah, lastly, I bought a skirt from a store in Xel-Ha, it was marked at 30$ and I offered the lady 25$ (unsure whether they bargain or not at these stores) and she took my 25$ without a word and gave me the skirt, so obviously they do bargain a bit. Made me wish I had offered 20$!!! And finally for the sunscreen, as most people know you need biodegreadable sunscreen. I had brought the Hawaiin Tropic one but had heard that they don’t accept it. I could have used it anyways since there was nobody checking bottles. But since I had heard they didn’t accept it I asked and sure enough they said it’s not acceptable because it takes over a year to degrade whereas their brand degrades much faster. So they took my bottle for the day and asked how many people we were, I said 5 so they gave 5 samples of SPF 30 (you probably need 2 samples to do one adult’s full body). At the end of the day you can go back and pick up your bottle, but I forgot mine there. Their sunscreen goes on very white and is hard to rub in. In works very well but should still be re-applied regularly. We didn’t reapply (we had none left) because I had read from other people that it worked amazingly well, and some of us burnt our shoulders a little (well we were in the water and sun from noon to 5pm). DOS OJOS
Dos Ojos is a Cenote (pronounced SEE-NOTE-A) 5 minutes from Dreams Tulum, the taxi cost 15$ to get there (obviously ripped me off, even though I paid in pesos!) and 10$ to get back. This place is the same as “Hidden World” theme park. When I had asked the concierge about it she warned me that it’s the same place, but if you enter through the theme park (owned by American company) you pay 75$, if you enter through the Dos Ojos entrance (locally operated) you pay 10$ (basic admission) or 30$ (equipment, guide and ride from entrance to the cenote). The entrances are about 1-2 minutes apart on the highway. We brought our own equipment expecting to pay the cheap price (the concierge said it was 5$ but it was actually 10$) but it’s a 2km walk to the actual Cenote from the entrance. You can take your taxi, but ours left as we were talking to the guy at the entrance and there was no others there (although we could have waited since they show up regularly). So you would have to tell your taxi to wait while you pay your 10$ entrance fee, then the taxi can drive you close to the cenote. Maybe the reason the taxi charged us more on the way there was because he thought he was brining us the whole way, I don’t know. We decided to pay the 30$ per person to have a guide go with us, this includes getting a ride to the cenote, snorkelling equipment, and flashlights. The more expensive admission was definitely worth it. The flashlights are needed it you want to go a little deeper in the cave rather than stay at the entrance where there is daylight. We tried to bargain a bit on the price since we are 3 people sharing one guide and since we brought our own equipment but they wouldn’t bargain, they said during busy season it’s actually 40$ per person with equipment or 35$ without snorkelling equipement but that during less busy season it’s 30$ with or without equipment. We found the whole experience really cool. The water is fresh water (not salt water) and is a bit cold (75 degrees), the guy offered us wetsuits tops but we declined. You don’t go that deep into the cave (it’s not like a river which I hear some of the other cenotes are) but it’s still really cool. We were there about an hour or two and definitely thought it was worth the 30$ per person. PART 3: WEDDING 9.5/10
There were 2 other weddings during the week I was there, so 3 weddings in total in 7 days. I was surprised there weren’t more, when I asked Landy she said November and December are very busy, January a bit less, February and March are pretty slow (I was shocked, this is when all the spring breaks are, February for universities and March for elementary/high school in Canda) and then April, May and June are very busy. The rest of the summer and the fall are not very busy she said. The wedding was amazing. Although I had had some trouble getting answers to my questions by email, once I was so there Landy was great, she had a long list of questions to ask and took notes of all my answers and all my special requests. We used the free package, and yet I was made to feel that we paid thousands of dollars to them because they worked so so hard to make things right. Landy worked really hard to get the gazebo decorated the way I wanted (a bit different than the normal way) and to get me flowers I liked (talked to the florist for like half an hour while I stood there saying what I wanted and didn’t want based on the florists’ ideas). My family were all completely blown away by the service and how beautiful the wedding site was. Where I put less than a 10/10 I am really just being overly critical because I don’t want to say everything was perfect. COST 10+/10
All I paid was 150$ for the blood test and 50$ judge’s transportation. Both paid in cash with the proper change. The only other things I paid for was getting everyone’s hair done (45$ each). Also Landy asked me for 5$ tip to pay the guy who set-up the speaker system and played our songs at the ceremony (no charge, just this 5$ "mandatory" tip). When I went to pick up my marriage certificate I tipped Landy for her services and the two men who set up the ceremony site. Even though we had some substitutes (no boutonnier for the groom, no flower arch on the gazebo, but we got two bags of petals and also flower arrangements for the aisle; and smaller flowers on the gazebo) and even though I asked for a more complicated gazebo decoration (I brought my own tulle for them to do this) they didn’t charge me anything for the substitutes or the for the extra work to decorate the gazebo! They also didn’t charge for me to change from vanilla or chocolate cake (included free) to Tres Leche, nor to have a small two tier cake (my request) instead of the small one tiered one I was suppose to get in the package. I got a flower bouquet different than the ones shown in the flower document Landy had sent me and didn’t get charged extra for that either. I also requested that they have the beach cleaned around the gazebo (they always pick up garbage like straws in the sand, but I wanted the seaweed/coral raked up) and said I would pay the guys to clean it but Landy said I didn’t have to pay. I couldn’t believe they didn’t charge me for any of this. FLOWERS 8/10
I was really concerned about not getting flowers I liked so I ended up ordering natural touch silk flowers from Angel’s Accents. The natural touch flowers look very real, my family were all shocked at how nice and real looking they were. Since the bouquet and boutonnier were free in the package, I decided to take the bouquet anyways hoping it would be better than my silk one or to use as a centerpiece. I didn’t like any of the bouquets in the book so I wanted something different. I really wanted hibiscus, Landy said she’d talk to the florist. Landy got back to me the day before my wedding and said the florist said hibiscus wilt very quickly so they couldn’t do that. I requested birds of paradise and bromeliads. The bouquet was beautiful but it was only delivered (by Landy) one hour before the ceremony, and by then my photographer had taken a ton of pictures with my fake bouquet, so I didn’t want to change bouquets half way though my photos, so I used the real bouquet as a centerpiece for the dinner table. I definitely recommend asking for your bouquet to come earlier! I know Landy gets them in the morning, she told me so and I saw the ones from another wedding when I was there at 1pm. I don’t know why they wait so long to bring them to you. I didn’t want the flower arch that they normally do on the gazebo (this comes free even with the free package), I thought it was too much. I gave Landy a picture I saw where there was just a small palm leaf with a few flowers on each side of the gazebo, so that is what she did. I also requested some palm leaf/flower arrangements for the aisle and they were beautiful. MUSIC 9/10
I had booked the Caribbean Trio, but Landy said that was something more appropriate for after the ceremony, not during (i.e. it’s not really walking down the aisle music) and since we only had 10 guests who would all be doing photos after the ceremony, I didn’t want to pay 350$ for the Caribbean Trio (for 45 minutes) after the ceremony. She said we could get the “Romantic Trio” instead, this is not in the info booklet, it’s the same people but different style of music and instruments, she said it’s more like serenading music and more appropriate for walking down the aisle. So we agreed to that for during the ceremony and a little bit after. But then we saw another wedding and they used the speaker system with Canon in D playing and the music was very beautiful and very clear so we cancelled the band (no charge, it’s always booked last minute anyways). We didn’t have to pay for the speaker system, just a 5$ tip (requested by Landy) to the guy doing it. PHOTO AND VIDEO
We didn’t use the resort photographer or videographer. My photographer was one of my guests, and for a videographer we used Paul Schrank from playaweddings. We didn’t get charged anything for using outside vendors. HAIR 9/10
Me and my 2 bridesmaids went to the salon to have our hair done at 9am. We had 3 different stylists and it took 45 minutes total for us to be done and out of there! The appointments started right on time. We had planned 1.5-2 hours for the hair in case they were late and in case it took a long time (I’ve had updos before that take over an hour). My two bridesmaids had shorter hair so their updos were smaller but I have long hair so lots to curl and still only 45 minutes. I told them to put lots of hairspray and it held up pretty good all day. The only problem is my veil wasn’t back from being steamed so I couldn’t get her to put it in. I slipped it in myself later and it didn’t stay well at all, it stayed for the ceremony but fell out like 20 times during pictures so I eventually gave up and took it out. Would have maybe been better if the hairstylist had put it in. I was very happy with my hair even though it wasn’t quite the same as my inspiration picture I had brought, it was close (as a side note, they have a bunch of hair books if you don’t bring your own picture). My bridesmaids were satisfied with theirs but not overly happy, probably because their hair is so short (less than shoulder length). CLOTHES STEAMING / IRONING 8/10
The resort steamed my veil and dress and irnoned my husband’s suit and shirt for free as part of our package. They picked the stuff up around noon the day before our wedding and brought it back at 11am the day of the wedding. I called Landy at 10am the day of the wedding when we didn’t have it because I was ready to get dressed soon, but they came shortly after. As mentioned it would have been better to get the veil back sooner so that the hair stylist coud have put it in. Also when our clothes weren’t there by 10am, I was a little bit worried. TIMING OF THE DAY 10/10
I originally booked my ceremony time at 4pm based on the sun setting at 7pm (as it did last year on the same date) as I wanted 2 hours of good light after the ceremony for photos. But I found out 2 weeks before that sun set would be at 6pm because daylight savings time was only starting a few days later (it starts on the first Sunday in April, whereas in Canada and US it now starts on the 3rd Sunday in March). When I met with Landy she was able to change it to 3pm. The ceremony started only a few minutes late, I think like maybe 5-10 minutes. 3pm was a perfect ceremony time (based on 6pm sunset) because it gave us sufficient time for photos (we had taken photos separately with our families for a couple hours before the ceremony since I didn’t want to see the groom before the wedding). Another good thing about 3pm is that it wasn’t too hot. The hottest time of day at the resort is from about 10am – 2pm. The sun cools down a lot around 3pm as it’s farther down in the sky. I’m really happy that I made my hair appointment for 9am and that left a lot of time for photos, I couldn’t believe how fast the time went by and how long it took to get all the shots I wanted. Having my hair appointment so early also made the whole day relaxing since we weren’t rushed at all. CEREMONY 10/10
The judge spoke Spanish and Landy translated and there was a microphone so everybody could hear. The ceremony only lasted about 15-20 minutes (even though Landy had said 30). The only thing we added to the regular ceremony was our vows. DINNER 10/10
We scheduled our dinner for the seaside grill at 6pm. I chose this restaurant since it was open air and near the beach. There are a few mosquitoes around but not that bothersome. We didn’t have a private reception and it didn’t matter, we had one long beautiful rectangular table for the 10 of us and it was perfect. They brought the chairs from the ceremony site (still decorated with bows) over to the restaurant. They meticulously set-up the table lining up each piece of silverware (my parents were so impressed as they watched them do this). They set up a small table next to it with the cake. The dinner and service was wonderful. Everybody was allowed to order from the regular menu since we were only 10 people. We got lots of champagne (they were very generous with this, we had gotten a bottle in our room the day we arrived, a bottle in our room the wedding day, a bottle for the toast and then more for dinner!). For dessert they asked if we wanted to order dessert on top of the wedding cake but we stuck with just the cake. It was tres leche and very delicious. There was way more than enough for 10 people, we only ate half of it. I asked Landy to clarify the new policy related to renting out restaurants now that they have the ballrooms (Convention Center), and she said from now on the only restaurants than can be rented for a private reception are the seaside grill and El Patio. You can no longer do a private reception at the other a-la-cartes (Portofino, Bordeau, Himitsu, Gohan). The cost for the private reception at these two places is 700$ or 750$ (can’t remember). If you have the Ultimate Wedding package you can also have your reception on the beach at no additional cost. The only free option for groups larger than 10 is the buffet, otherwise you pay a 18$ per person set-up & service fee to have dinner in any other restaurant (less than 10 people is free at any restaurant). In my opinion the buffet is actually not a bad option, our whole group ate at the buffet the second night and we had a large table off to the side and it didn’t feel like we were at the buffet at all, it was all candlelit and we got excellent service from the waiter for drinks and clearing plates. DANCING
For the 1st dance, we planned on going to the Disco but we got there and there was not one person, and we were only 10 people, so not enough to get a good crowd, and it was very dark and they had a disco ball going and it wasn’t really a nice atmosphere for a first dance so since I could tell the parents were uncomfortable we just left and went to bed (I didn’t care as we will dance at our reception at home in a few weeks). What I wish we had planned instead was just to take the ipod dock station from our room (you would require batteries to do this) and do our dance next to the pool, or even right in front of the lobby. Both locations would have been beautiful for a first dance. PHOTOS AT TULUM RUINS
So it turns out you can’t take wedding pictures at the Tulum ruins! I arrived at the ruins at 8am in my dress (the day after our wedding since we didn’t have time on the wedding day) and they wouldn’t let us in! They told me to change so I put on my bathing suit (there is a washroom at the entrance) and then when I got to the 2nd gate where they stamp your ticket they told me to put my dress in a locker! (it was in my beach bag, but they knew, all the employees saw me walk in wearing my dress) so we just got a refund and left. The employees were nice and polite about it but very firm about not letting me in with my dress on (even though we were practically the only ones there since they had just opened) I was so disappointed because the beach is so amazing and pictures from the look-out point near the beach and on the beach would have been spectacular. CONCLUSION
I think it’s pretty clear that I was very happy with the resort and especially the wedding. Like I mention the only 2 big problems were the beach and the fact that the resort is far away a lot of things. I was really impressed at how hard the staff (Landy, the two men who did the gazebo set-up, the dinner waiter..) worked to make my wedding day perfect.
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  Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa   Canada – Maritimes

March 2008 Rooms: We traveled with two other couples and our rooms were located in the older section of the resort. I don’t know why people complained about the older rooms. We found all three rooms we bright and clean with no moldy smell at all. Our first room had two double beds, we requested a room with t king size bed and were moved the next day to a junior suite. (Best of all we didn’t have to hang around for the move we packed out bags in the morning and turned in our room key and at 3:00 we went and picked up our new key and found our bags waiting for us.) the rooms were not only cleaned everyday but at night the turn down service would refresh our towels, make the bed and re-stock the mini bar. Restaurants: The food at this resort really was wonderful. We ate breakfast at the main buffet each morning; not my favorite meal of the day but I can say that they appeared to have everything you could think of covered. We generally ate lunch in one of two places; either the outdoor Mexican restaurant which was wonderful but slow or at the BBQ on the beach in front of the bar. That was our favorite especially since every day there was something different pork chops, steak, chicken, not just the usual burgers and fries you see at a lot of the beach side BBQ’s. We ate at several of the a la carte restaurants. One of our favorites was the Steak House on the beach. They had great charbroiled steaks with all the fixings and it was an open air restaurant right on the beach. The moon was full during our stay and sitting there watching it on the water eating a great meal is a wonderful memory. We also ate at the Italian restaurant and were really impressed. If you are like our group and don’t spoil yourself with a lot of dinner out at home this resort is a real treat. The Asian restaurant was equally as good. We were sorry we didn’t take the time to try the French restaurant as well since I’m sure it would not disappoint. Bars: We mainly stuck to the bar located near the pools as we spent 90% of our time at the beach. Serve was fast and friendly and it was all top shelf liquor. (Our favorite part was the bar service on the beach!) Beach and Pools The beach itself was beautiful and everything you imagine for a tropical resort. We were however disappointed with the swimming. The coral has grown right up to the water’s edge in most of the area in front of the resort. We a strictly beach people and would normally spend most of our time in the water but the small area you could enter without beach shoes wasn’t large enough or deep enough to hang out in for long. The water might have been better closer to the newer portion of the resort but that was where the water trampoline was so we generally stayed on the quieter side of the beach. The rectangular pool in the older section of the resort was nice and clean and quiet. We never went into the newer pool. It is a strange combination of swim up bar and kiddy pool. Not a combination I wanted to try. Grounds: Clean and well kept. Departure and Check Out Went fine. Only complaint here is that Dreams is the furthest resort away from the airport so you are the first to be picked up. That meant we were on the bus at 7:20 for a 12:00 flight. Conclusion: We loved this resort and would return in a heartbeat.
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  Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa   Mark ~ Maryland

February 2008 Not only do the rooms smell. The mgmt is horrible. Our room had no air conditioning for 3 days. We spoke to the mgmt each day and it wasn’t until we called our travel agent that they moved us to another room. The hotel mgr would not even come out of his office to speak to us in person. When they did finally agree to move us to another room, they got annoyed at us because we would not move immediately which would have meant missing our excursion. The room they moved us to ended up being across the hall from the cleaning staff’s storage room which was in use by 6AM each day which woke us up each morning. We tried working with the front desk, the concierge and the apple vacations staff on site and none of them helped us. Upon returning from our 10 day trip in June, we wrote a letter to Apple Vacations (the owner of Dreams Tulum) and they just responded this week (November 2007) offering us a 3 day stay in the same resort for our troubles. I would not stay in that resort again if they gave me air, transportation and another 10 day stay for free. I must say that the staff (waiters, bar tenders, etc) we very nice and mostly attentive. Unfortunately, that does not overcome the other issues. Its also interesting that all of the entertainment offered is done by the same group of 7 or 8 people. Whether it was the evening shows, the pool games, volleyball, club events, etc. These same people performed them all and it became very boring after the first couple of days. There are a lot of better places to stay at similar or better pricing. Don’t take the risk at Dreams Tulum or you will regret it.
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  Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa   Aaron ~ Toronto, Ontraio, Canada

January 2008 Arrival – We arrived at Dreams Tulum on Friday May 25, 2007 for a seven night stay (May 25th – Jun 1st). We had chosen Dreams as our Honeymoon location on the recommendation of 3 people, 2 of which were employees at my company who lived in this area in the previous few years. They were indeed correct that this property would not disappoint. Upon arriving at the hotel at 10:00pm, we were greeted with a smile and then driven to our room which was exactly what we had anticipated. Rooms – The room was a deluxe oceanview suite, 20 feet from the beach. The door was wrapped in a "Honeymooners" banner for all to see. Upon entering the room we noticed that it was very clean, and had a welcome gift as we had expected. The fun towel animals we received nightly were also very fun. Overall the room was a 9 out of 10. The only downfall was the slight sulfur odour. This comes as a result of the numerous ‘cenotes’ on and neighbouring the property. You should not expect anything else on a true Mayan Resort. This is part of the charm. The odour is not overbearing as some claim. Also, the old part of the resort is not as bad as everyone claims.Restaurants – Our food was fantastic all through the week. We had no sickness, no lines (except for the Bordeaux restaurant). Portofino was our absolute favourite. The world cafe main restaurant offered lots of choice, but was a bit ‘American’ for my tastes. But then again, that’s my tastes. I’d give the resort 10 for 10 on food.Bars – As we’re not big drinkers, we didn’t hit the bars too much. When I was there, however, I had no issue getting a drink, and something fun at that. Tip well the first few times up and you’ll never wait again. Beach and Pools – The pools were great, but could get crowded around pool volleyball time. If you want a prime spot on the beach, get your towels out there early under the palapa of your choice. Don’t be worried though as there are always seats for everyone. WARNING: Do NOT dive on the beach volleyball court. I was warned, but forgot. I now have a nice scar on my foot to show for my stupidity. Under the court is a concrete slab. Its the only downfall I have of the beach. The sand is a bit course as its a true coral beach. If you are going strictly for nice white sand, skip the Tulum area altogether. Overall 9 out of 10Grounds – The grounds were extremely well kept, and fun to explore. We saw lizards everywhere as well as some other little creatures. The crew is fantastic at keeping everything swept up. 10 out of 10Activities – On our own we travelled to Xel ha which is 5 miles away and to Playa Del Carmen (1 hour). Each time we simply walked to the resort entrance and awaited the "Collectivo" or city vans. At first we were worried as this is local transit, but once you get on, its is the simplest way to get around the Mayan and Cancun corridor. It’s dirt cheap as well with rides to Playa Del Carmen being about $20 return for two people. Don’t rent a car unless you absolutely think you need it. You’ll experience more of the true Mexico by taking the "Collectivo". 9 out of 10Tours – We did a lot of self-guided tours to Playa Del Carmen and Xel Ha, but also did go on some tours from the resort. Go early morning for all tours so you get the afternoon on the beach! We took the bike tour to Tulum which was an absolute blast as it rained the entire time. The group was fantastic. We all stuck together and made fun of each others muddy backsides. best part, its free except for the $10 or so to get into Tulum ruins. We also took the ATV/Cenotes tour. This is a must do! Its about $125. you and your parner leave on ATVs with the group and head into the backwoods where you go swimming in Dos Ojos cenote. On the way back, you get to play with a spider monkey and another mxeican animal resembling a raccoon. It is all videotaped and photographed. Our group had a blast yet again! Conclusion – I would highly recommend this resort to any looking for a great vacation at a good price. I’d say this is a 4.5 star, and a solid value for your money. The staff were extremely friendly and responsive (many are Canadian by the way). Our room was well maintained and the bar was always full. The resort feels like a resort and not a big hotel on a beach like many of the others. The only downfall is the number of Americans there. I’m sorry, but it is true. I don’t mean to offend an entire country. We were often taken back by the cursing, poolside smoking and the screaming at those who asked them to be mindful of the others. Many were calling the staff ‘Pablo or Tacos’ to be disrespctful. We actually watched one party at dinner completely skip out on the tip at the end of the meal. The group leader walked away from the table boasting to his friends "if I give them money, they may try to buy a ticket to the United States, and we don’t need no more of them there." (his grammar, not mine). Folks, please be respectful of the staff at this fine resort; they work extremely hard to please you. Please keep in mind as well that this is not Park Place in Manhatten so the ‘5 stars’ can’t be compared.
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Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa Philip

November 2007

Not only do the rooms smell. The mgmt is horrible. Our room had no air conditioning for 3 days. We spoke to the mgmt each day and it wasn’t until we called our travel agent that they moved us to another room. The hotel mgr would not even come out of his office to speak to us in person. When they did finally agree to move us to another room, they got annoyed at us because we would not move immediately which would have meant missing our excursion. The room they moved us to ended up being across the hall from the cleaning staff’s storage room which was in use by 6AM each day which woke us up each morning. We tried working with the front desk, the concierge and the apple vacations staff on site and none of them helped us. Upon returning from our 10 day trip in June, we wrote a letter to Apple Vacations (the owner of Dreams Tulum) and they just responded this week (November 2007) offering us a 3 day stay in the same resort for our troubles. I would not stay in that resort again if they gave me air, transportation and another 10 day stay for free. I must say that the staff (waiters, bar tenders, etc) we very nice and mostly attentive. Unfortunately, that does not overcome the other issues. Its also interesting that all of the entertainment offered is done by the same group of 7 or 8 people. Whether it was the evening shows, the pool games, volleyball, club events, etc. These same people performed them all and it became very boring after the first couple of days.
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Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa Wendy ~ USA

October 2007 We just returned from a week at Dreams Tulum. This was our first trip to this resort, our third year in a row to the Riviera Maya and our fifth All-Inclusive vacation (previously have stayed at Barcelo Palace, Punta Cana and Barcelo Maya Beach, RM). Overall we enjoyed our stay very much. This will be a long review to help you decide if you want to choose this resort or not: if you’re bored, skip to the end where I’ll try to summarize. Booked through Apple Vacations on their 6 Apple Square deal: for a slightly reduced price you let them pick the hotel for you from among the 6 Apple (highest rating) properties (there are11 of them). You don’t find out until you reach your departure airport that morning at which hotel you’ll be staying. I had read here that most people end up at Dreams, so I was expecting it. Given that the first page of the USA3000 (Apple’s charter planes) in-flight magazine is sponsored by Dreams and that the PLANES THEMSELVES have the Dreams logo painted on them, I suspect EVERY PERSON who does the 6-Apple Deal ends up there due to sponsorship. I also have my doubts about the accuracy of the 6-Apple rating for the Dreams Tulum…I suspect there may be some sponsorship padding going on there to put Dreams in this category. Flight on USA 3000 was uneventful, though they ran out of breakfast sandwiches before they got to our row, so no food on flight (this also happened on the way home, though we were lucky in the front on that flight). Plan ahead and take snacks. We avoided the time-share people in the airport (having been warned by the flight crew) and found our Apple bus with no problem. NOTE that this hotel is the farthest away from the airport of all the RM hotels! We dropped folks off at 4 other hotels on the way (which I enjoy….like to see other hotels to help pick for next year), and it was a full 2 hours before we got to Dreams. Makes the welcome Champagne and cookies taste a whole lot better! You are greeted with "Welcome Home" upon entering and the people are extremely friendly. Our room was not ready yet (check in is at 3,we got there around 1), so we took a quick tour and had some lunch. Our room was still not ready, so we wandered around a bit more. They finally gave us our key around 3:20, but when we got to the room, the maid was still cleaning it, so we stood in the hall for another half an hour in the heat while we waited for her to finish, since we didn’t want to leave all our things unprotected. The room itself was lovely, free upgrade to Jr. Suite. We asked for the third floor (quieter) away from the pool and beach (quieter) and were in the middle of the hotel’s main walkway with a view of the fountains. There is a strange open window between the jacuzzi tub and the bed, but there are shutters for privacy. Glass doors on the toilet alcove and shower do a decent job for privacy and water control, respectively. Double sinks are a plus, the safe worked fine, hairdryer was a bit flakey but I didn’t use it much. There is an ironing board with iron provided; also an umbrella which we needed. The balcony is small and not very private, and note that on the third floor they are not roofed, so you can’t sit out and read there if it is raining (which it did a lot last week). The floors are lovely marble…very pretty but also very slippery when wet. We saw a few people fall in the hallways due to slick floors. The TV worked most of the time, and we only lost water and power once each (I wonder if this is due to being so far from the sources, so far South on the map). Maid service was good. She cleans every morning and turns-down at night (unless you forget and leave on your "do not disturb" light, found near the bed). Turn down includes the "Sundial," the daily paper about which restaurants are open (mostly accurate) and inexplicably, one single chocolate candy. Too bad, husband. The hotel was 60-70% full the whole time we were there, and filled to 90% with a convention the day we left. This is unusual for this time of year and this area, but this hotel caters to Americans, specifically honeymooners and destination weddings and this accounted for a lot of the people there. We prefer to have lower occupancy; it’s one of the reasons we travel in hurricaine season. There are two swimming pools: a large one with a swim up bar where they have the activities (crazy games, volleyball, pool aerobics) and a "quiet pool" which is supposed to be, well, quiet. Not everyone apparently reads that little memo because a lot of the time it was NOT quiet; not the hotel’s fault, but the rowdy guests. There are floaties, but not enough; bring your own if you like to float. The pools were not as clean as we are used to at Barcelo, this may be somewhat due to Hurricaine Dean about 6 weeks ago. There are lots of sunbeds and not very many shadebeds…come down early and stake one out if you want shade. Wait service by the beach and pool is good. The beach is wonderful, you can walk forever (though only the part right outside the hotel is cleaned, so take water shoes). The water is calm and clear but there are rocks in the shallows; again, water shoes. There are kayaks and sailboats for free use, which very few people took advantage of. You can snorkel right off the beach, but note that the best part of the reef is a long swim out. The food was outstanding. We travelled with friends who are avid luxury cruisers and they agreed that the food here was better than any of their fancy cruises and all of our all-inclusives. There are no wristbands here and no dinner reservations, so if you show up for the a-la-cartes (buffet dinner not open every night), then put your name in and go to the bar to wait. Timing on this is quite random; they might say 30 minutes and it might be 15 or an hour. Portofino (Italian) was superior, the risotto is outstanding. The sushi bar was amazing, asian restuarant very good, Mexican (open air, not air cond) also very good, French was a disappointment in service and in food. When you check in you will get a little slip of paper telling which restaurants are open which lunches and dinners….it LIES. Trust the Sundial. High season everything is open all the time, low season it rotates, so plan ahead. Breakfast buffet was great, lunch buffet was above average. The Patio was very good for lunch, but only open 2 days we were there. There is also 24 hour room service included, which is great. We pre-ordered breakfast for check-out day since we had to leave on our bus before official breakfast opened. Overall the food was much more catered to American taste and very, very good. Bars were all fine, we are not huge drinkers but everything was good. Try the local Mayan liquor Xtabentun…licorice flavored and very smooth. We did not take any excursions but did 7 scuba dives with Maya Diving. Contact me if you want details on that operation; we were quite happy with our dives which included a night dive. SO…..overall impressions for those of you who have skipped ahead: Plusses: Food is way above average Service is excellent, everyone is very nice and appreciates if you try to speak a few phrases in Spanish Beautiful room and buildings Plenty of bars Great beach and water

Geared toward Americans

Minuses: Geared toward Americans (let’s face it, amigos…we’re loud and obnoxious in large numbers, especially when the booze is free) More full during off-season Pools small and not so clean Not enough shade around pools and beach

Needs some work on check-in readiness

Overall we liked this resort a lot. I do not think it is truly a 6-Apple property compared to other places we’ve been and facilities offered, but it is a lovely setting. I think it is best suited to a younger American crowd and families with kids, since that’s what is there, mostly. If the price were lower, we would happily go back here, but compared to the Barcelo Maya (a 4-Apple property which is just as nice and a lot bigger, but more European in food and style), it just isn’t a bargain. Feel free to contact me if you want more specifics (though I think I’ve told you just about everything here!). Happy Travels!
osuvet@fuse.net
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Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa Dale and Deb

March 2007

We just returned from Dreams Tulum and this is our interpretation of the resort. First off the food was great! Service was also great and you never felt you had to tip, although we always did and tripped $5- $8 on the ala cartes. The only problem that we had was the rooms. We had read other forums and reviews on being in the older part of the hotel and never felt it was an issue……….it’s an issue. We were at the front desk within 5 mins of being escorted to our room asking for an up-grade. We had initially emailed the hotel asking about up-grades and they said it would not be a problem and sent us the cost. When we went to the front desk explaining our concerns of the mildew/mold smell and wished to up-grade, we were took that we could not be accommodated as there were no rooms available. We explained that upon entering the room the smell and the effect on our breathing was not acceptable nor healthy. Within minutes I (Debbie’s) chest and throat seemed to close up. I had a breathing problem, which was quiet noticeable. The next morning I had almost lost my voice and felt horrible, including my husband. We both approached the front desk willing to pay but they were over booked. We did find out in the next couple of days from others who were also complaining, that it all depended on how bad of situation it was in your room, which would determine if you got moved or not. I have to say that 95% of the people at the resort that we met were having similar problems and it was apparent each time we were at the front desk. It should have been an apparent embarrassment to the resort. We will never return to this resort, unfortunately as they have outstanding staff but healthy concerns must come first. If you were the lucky tourist who were put in the “new part of the resort” you may not understand our complaints, although we did meet others who were also applaud by the condition of their rooms ie” toilets, water, secured doors

We spoke with our Air Canada Rep “Ceaser” who was great. He urged us to write a letter to Air Canada on our concerns, which we did and he also contacted the resort to ask to have us moved. We were moved after 4 days to a room that was better, but still was not up to par. These are my concerns with the room only! The food as I said was awesome and we had no other complaints. This hotel should not be considered 5* if they cannot live up to it.

First room: Mold/mildew smell was overwhelming; electric shock from the iron; fridge was left empty and never stocked for two days.

Second room on fourth day: Ceiling fan broken, air conditioner only reached 70-75 degrees; smelled of javex the first day but became worse throughout the following days; no room cleaning or fridge stocking a couple of days (remember that you cannot drink the water. You must use bottled water); light in bathroom flickered off an on constantly, which was very annoying; lights in both room were 20 watt and extremely hard to see anything – no wonder, they didn’t want you to see the mold and mildew! Ironed white pants and the metal came off on the pants – in both rooms!!!! No hot water on the last day in the room. If you have small children, the wiring seemed to be “hard wired”. This meant that you couldn’t use most of the outlets and the wires were running down the wall and exposed and our “FAVORITE” we walked into our room late afternoon one day, after along excursion and it was full of smoke and smelled!!! I called the front desk and they said they were fumigating for misquotes. How healthy is that!? All in all, we loved the resort if we didn’t have to sleep there. Read the reviews and believe them. We had and thought that we would never be put in this situation. We are not complainers but we only want to feel and be healthy and feel healthy in our environment. Our Air Canada rep confirmed that they had numerous similar complaints and that they needed to know and have these complaints in writing. Our rep for Air Canada was concerned and treated us with the utmost respect and was willing to relocate us to another hotel if we wished. After travelling, several times, I know I will only travel with Air Canada and found their service very comfortable.

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Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa Allan ~ Canada

March 2007

Photos After 9 trips to the DR and 2 to Cuba we decided to try something different and after some research we chose Dreams Tulum in the Mayan Riviera. We could not have made a better choice- the place met a lot of our expectations and exceeded others. The short version of this review is that the place was great. A lovely room in the new section, great resort layout, great food with lots of dining options, a nice beach and some outstanding service all made for a great vacation. Overall rating 9.5/10

Now if you want a bit more details- read on!

Arrival – We booked our trip through Air Canada Vacations with a direct flight out of Halifax to Cancun. We took great pains with researching dates and times so we could arrange this direct flight. However the morning of the 6th we arrived at the Airport at 3:45 am only to find out there had been a last minute change and we were being routed through Toronto with a 3 hour hold-over. Once in Cancun though getting through the airport was no problem although the Air Canada reps seemed a little disorganized at sorting out who goes on which bus. Finally after a 90 mins drive we arrived at Dreams Tulum and after the day we had it was a sight for weary eyes.

Check-in – The entrance to the resort is very nice and will be even nicer given more time for the new growth. The new lobby was very impressive. We were given a nice greeting and offered champagne and cookies. Check-in took little time. I had e-mailed the resort before hand with certain room requests and we ended up in a centrally located Junior Suite (#8225) in the new section.

Room – Our room was a nice size and lay out. As you entered, the bathroom was to the left and a nice size closet to the right. Straight ahead was the bedroom area and a couple stairs down from that a sitting area with a daybed. The balcony was quite large but offered little privacy from the neighbours. There was always lots of hot water and pressure, except for one morning when there was no water at all. There was plenty of good lighting throughout the room. The room had a big TV, with a DVD/CD player a combination safe, and a mini bar all included. There also was a nightly turndown service. The only draw back to our room was our cleaner. 4 days we returned to our room late in the afternoon to find our room not done. In fact one day it was not done until 7pm. 9/10

Grounds and Layout – The grounds were very nice. The old section of the resort looked like a little Mexican village with courtyards and arched pathways, while the newer section was more modern especially the Lobby building. Both sections were very easy to navigate with everything running down central pathways running from the back of the resort to the pool and beach. The newer section was in a u shape with the Lobby building at the back and the pool/beach at the front with fountains running down the centre of the walkway. The grounds were constantly being worked on while we were there. 10/10

Food – There are lots of dining choices at Dreams – which is one of the things we look for in a resort and Dreams did not let us down. In fact I’d say it was the best dining experience we’ve had overall at a resort.

The World Café- The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and lunch were great. We only ate dinner there once (due to so many other choices) and it was alright. We had to brief wait a few mornings for a table but for lunch the place was quite empty when we would go between 1:30-2ish. Tables were nicely set with nice dishware and cloth napkins, even for breakfast. Service here was usually very good. Glasses hardly ever were empty, dirty dishes were cleaned away quickly, and service was usually with a smile. There was a good variety of food that constantly was being checked and replenished and everything was well labelled. There was even a lady making sushi at the lunch buffet everyday that we were there. There were not the long lines at the egg or carving or pasta stations that we have had at other resorts. Over all we enjoyed the buffet. Rating 9/10

Breakfast A La Carte– The Seaside Grill opened at 8ish for an a la carte breakfast that was very nice. You could set right on the beach, watch the sun sparkling on the water and feel the ocean breeze while you had your breakfast served to you! Although not the selection you could get at the buffet the menu was not bad and it was nice to have this option available. We took turns between here and the buffet to change things up. The manager here was right on top of things and checked the orders as they came out of the kitchen. 9/10

Lunch A La Cartes – There were two restaurants which served a la carte lunches; El Patio and the Seaside Grill. Both had good food but we found the service at El Patio to be hit and miss. We also found the menus at both to be limited so we mostly lunched at the Buffet. 8/10 Wait service was also available by the Pool and on the beach. As well the last few days we were there they sat up a lunch time grill on the beach in front of the Sugar Reef Bar. They had various things on various days such as fajitas, burgers, chicken, and wieners.

Dinner A La Cartes – The A La Cartes for dinner is where Dreams really stands out of all the resorts we’ve been to. With no reservations the options were great. You could head to dinner whenever you got ready and you could choose on the spot where you wanted to eat. The A La Cartes do however take turns being closed certain nights.

In order of our preference:

Portofino (Italian) –The sitting, presentation, service and food were all topnotch. There is even a bar (not just for Portofino dinners) as you enter where you can sit, have a drink and wait for a table (if necessary). We ate here 3 times (tried for 4 but it was quite busy one night and closed another) and only had to wait for about 30 mins our 3rd visit. Overall we enjoyed all 3 dining experiences at Portofino which was as good as some better restaurants we have been to locally. 9.5/10

Himitsu (Asian) – We ate here 3 times as well and each time we got right in. Again the sitting, presentation, service and food were all topnotch. Some of the dishes were a little spicy but still good. The 3rd time back we had the same server as the 1st and he remembered us even though it was over a week later. Although Sushi was not on the menu a table next to us one night asked for some and the server brought a plate from the Sushi Bar next door. Now that’s good service! 9.5/10

We would visit either of these two restaurants if in our local area. The staff at both were topnotch and saw to it that tables were quickly cleared and reset so wait times were kept short. At the same time we never felt rushed through our meals and were always offered after dinner drinks to sit and enjoy.

Seaside Grill – An open air restaurant located beside the pool and right on the beach. This was a nice sitting but it can be a little windy and chilly. We ate here twice and both times were very good. Ricardo was our server the 1st time and he was so outstanding that we requested to be seated in this section on the 2nd visit. My friend even made special meal requests and it was no problem. Although what we had was very good there was not a lot on the menu that appealed to us or else we would have visited more often. The pool bar is open so you can order before and after drinks if you so wish. Another great dining evening. 9/10

Gohan – This is a small sushi bar where the sushi is made on site as orders are placed. There is only seating for about 30 people but we got right in the night we went and there were empty tables a couple other evenings that we noticed on the way by. We enjoyed our meal very much once our great server explained how to order from the menu. He let us know that we could place an order and if we wanted more it was no problem. We only ate here the once because we tried everything we wanted to the 1st time and as I mentioned sushi was available at the lunch buffet. Overall we enjoyed our dinner at Gohan. 9/10

Bordeaux (French) –We went to this Adult only restaurant twice. The 1st time we went we were told it would be a 30 mins wait but it turned out to be only 10 mins. The sitting, presentation and food were great but the service was off. We did go back a 2nd time which turned out to be a mistake. We had to wait over an hour even though there were empty tables that were taking over 30 plus mins to reset. The whole restaurant seemed disorganized with the host and manager just standing around. Service was very poor and although the food again was good the experience left a bad taste so we never went back. 7/10

El Patio (Mexican) – This is another open air restaurant, a little more rustic than the others, situated next to the beach. We ended up only eating here once because the service (for us) was terrible. Although it was raining off and on the host sat us at a table on the outside edge of the restaurant even though there were inside ones available. Our glasses were never refilled even though our server walked past our table several times. Our plates were delivered to us without a word. Although the food was good we left right after we finished our main courses and never went back. 5/10 The Gohan, Himitsu and Bordeaux are in the same area with a shared well stocked courtyard bar. It was a very nice spot to sit and have a drink if you had to wait for a table at any one of these restaurants.

Food to try– Calamari at El Patio at lunch and the Seaside Grill at dinner. Lime soup at El Patio or sometimes at the buffet. Onion soup at Bordeaux or also sometimes at the buffet. Seafood Omelette or French Toast at Seaside for breakfast. Thousands leaf of salmon and black mussel at Bordeaux. Spare´ribs flambé, Red snapper, Cantonese style tenderloin and Chocolate Mousse at Himitsu. Almost anything at Portofino since everything we had was very good and even what we saw others eating looked good.

Beach & Pool – The beach is long and wide with no other resorts close by. The marked off area for swimming although small, was very nice. The sand was a little more coarse than in Punta Cana (due to Coral) but still very nice. There were 2 pools one with a swim-up bar. This was the pool where the activities took place from 10-1 and 3-5 daily. Both pools are right off the beach and near the lunch time restaurants. 9/10

Weather – The weather generally was very good. There were a few chilly days and only a couple rainy periods. But overall we found the weather here a bit cooler than the DR especially in the early morning and evenings. Quite a few nights people were wearing sweaters or even light jackets.

Things of Note: -All the restaurants had different house wines, all of which we found quite good. -Dreams had the best selection of International drinks of any resort we’ve stayed at and unlike some they were all out on display. Clamato juice was available here and they even knew how to make a ‘Caesar’. -The daily resort news ‘Sundial’ is great. Most nights it was left in your room with the turndown service. It tells you everything you need to know for the next day; activity schedule, restaurant times and closures, weather, etc. -No wristbands and No towel cards – this however meant people took more towels then they needed and would just leave them lying around. -If a table is not available at an A La Carte you are given a beeper to let you know when one becomes available. -Even though the resort was close to full it never seemed crowded. -Internet is available at $5 for 30 mins. This is purchased at the lobby. -There was music playing all over the place, but was never intrusive. -Take–out morning coffee is available at the lobby bar or at the entrance of the buffet. -Shade huts were hard to come by and were reserved early. -There is a Tequila bar off the side of the buffet with various Tequilas to be tried. Afternoon tea/coffee is also available here some days.

-The Air Conditioned lobby bar was a nice relaxing spot in the evenings, and had an outside patio which over looked the central walkway in the new section.

One of the best parts to our 2 week stay at Dreams Tulum was the staff. They were very good and made you really feel like, as they would say, it was a pleasure to serve us! English never was a problem with any of the staff. They really seemed to go that extra mile to assure we had a great holiday. There never was a shortage of staff at any of the bars or restaurants. The Activity staff were very friendly but not in your face. Outstanding staff (although most were very good): Lidia at the Lobby bar was very cute and she quickly got to know our drinks, and was always checking to see if we needed refills or anything else. Oscar and Filo at the pool bar were good at remembering drinks even a special drink my friend had them make for him. Gasbar and Rafeal at the Goham. Israel at Himitsu.

Overall we had a great 2 weeks and would rate Dreams Tulum as one of the best resorts we’ve stayed at. It is a possible repeat resort even though we usually like to try different ones.

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Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa Alan ~ USA

July 2006

I read the reviews and I was surprised that people gave such good reviews and made comments like it was better than super 8, hot water is not needed in Mexico, and the sewage smell is not that bad if you have a candle. I guess I expect more from an all inclusive vacation like, hot water, air conditioning, and a room that does not smell like raw sewage. If you have ever been to a nice all inclusive resort before, you will be disappointed in this one. If this is your first all inclusive, then you will probably not realize what you are missing. When I pay for an all inclusive, I expect some level of comfort and service.

We arrived and found that our room was not available but we were being offered a new room and were actually the first guests to stay in that room. We soon discovered that was because the room was still being built. We had to enter our room through the sliding glass patio door and the bell boy dropped our bags and was on his way. On initial inspection we found there were no curtains on the patio so everyone had a clear view of our room, the front door was screwed shut because there was construction on the other side of the door. There was no safe, radio, or soap, and the toilet was not fastened to the ground so water spewed out from the base when you flushed. We immediately went to the assistant manager since the general manager had already left for the day. She informed us that there were no rooms available and that the hotel was overbooked. We were offered a transfer to Dreams Cancun and a few free nights. That was not acceptable as we were with a 26 member wedding party at the resort. We were offered a bottle of Champaign and told that they would speak with the GM and fix everything in the morning. The next morning we spoke with the GM and found he was still unaware of our problem. Finally transferred us to a nicer room with an upgrade across from our original room. Still no hot water, lost power several times, and the view was construction all around. During our stay we watched as the hotel checked new guests into our old room, acted totally surprised that the room was unfinished, and transferred them to a new room the next day. They used that unfinished room as a buffer to place new guests while they waited for others to check out.

Service is not good compared to other all inclusives. I have been to Beaches and Sandals resorts which are more expensive but so much better. At Beaches and Sandals tipping is not allowed which is my idea of all inclusive. I don’t want to carry cash or a wallet in my swim suit, just a plastic room key. At Dreams tipping is expected and will determine the level of service you receive. I don’t think they pay the staff very well because the service was poor in most areas. I was skipped a few times in line at the bar while they serviced someone with cash in hand. Another complaint is that some menu items like lobster, are not included in the all inclusive and you have to pay for those items. I have never heard of an all inclusive charging more for any food item. The dining areas were also some of the hottest areas in the resort. No air, just fans with little circulation.

Of the 26 members in the wedding party, half had to switch rooms due to terrible accommodations (we were not the only one to get an unfinished room), unbearable smell, no air, or lack of power. Everyone I spoke with did not have hot water the entire time we were there. They constantly ran out of towels at the pool and we had to wait for them to wash more. If you got up before 8 a.m. and walked the beach, you would find the bars still covered in dishes from the night before and that general clean up was finished around 9. Most other resorts I have been to were spotless the next morning so you did not have to witness or wait for tables to be bused.

This is the first resort I have been to that closes the pools at night (7:00 PM). The reason we were given is because they dump so many chemicals in there each night that it is not really safe to swim. You always have the beach but if you don’t have some sort of water shoes you won’t make it more than a few feet out. I stayed a few miles up the road on another trip (El Dorado) and the beach was perfect for snorkeling or swimming. Here you could not really do either because the water was too rough or the bottom was covered in rocks.

I would not recommend this resort unless you are looking for a discount all inclusive and you have never stayed in a decent place before. El Dorado is just up the road, a little more expensive initially, but after you factor in paying extra for food and tipping, it comes out about the same except you will receive much better service and accommodations.

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Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa LakerDad ~ USA

July 2006

Spent our 26th anniversary at Dreams and had a wonderful time! The new room we were in (6106) was great, still some minor fix-ups are needed, but nice room anyhow. The pools were nice and always clean. The areas for showering the sea/sand off needs to be fixed to prevent all of the sand from being tracked into the pools and sidewalks. The food was above average. I think we had only a few items that we did not care for. The red snapper, mahi mahi were above great. Most other places we have stay at only have hamburgers/hot dogs at lunch, we would always eat the fish at the El Patio at lunch, wow!!! The breakfast were pretty good too, the omelette’s and French toast were great. The breads and desserts were always wonderful. I’m not a Corona beer person, but the dark XX on tap was great! Most all the drinks were good and strong. It was fun trying the different tequila’s in the La Hacienda. The bar tenders were always fast and ready. The workers were as nice as any place we have stayed! I met the GM, Erick, who was always walking his "rounds" checking up on things and I saw him as well as all of the others going that "extra mile’ cleaning/picking up/straightening up/asking if anything was needed,etc… 2 thumbs up to the people who work at Dreams!!! The weather was beautiful, some rain/showers, not for any lengths. The AC worked okay, the mini bar had a hard time cooling things off—maybe chill the sodas/waters/beers off before loading into the mini bar??? We travel to Cancun for a day trip = okay if you like shopping and long trips. [I knew it would be a long day We did the Coba ruins, pretty cool trip. Would we go back? Absolutely!!!

The resort will be great when all of the building catches up. [no problem with any noise]

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Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa Wayne & Kathy ~ USA

April 2006

Transportation – USA3000 once again scored a hit with us. If you are in the Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland area I highly recommend them. Apple – Still a good choice. As we were one of the last resorts we were lucky enough to get a van instead of the bus. We only had to make two stops. It is a long trip (anywhere from 2-3 hours) so go to the bathroom and get a drink before you board.

Hotel – On arrival we were greeted with champagne and cool/scented hand towels. The first greeting we received: “welcome home”. Check-in was smooth and efficient. Our upgraded room was not quite ready. We were directed to The Patio for lunch and asked to return in one hour. Our room was ready and we were escorted by a member of the bell staff who pointed out all the facilities, welcomed us to our room and pointed out the amenities in the room. Excellent service.

Room – Our room was beautiful. Upon entering I could smell the oil used to clean and polish all the wood. Floors were marble and spotless. King size bed with faux mosquito netting giving a very tropical feel. There were two very nice robes laid out for us on the bed. TV, DVD player, alarm clock, fully stocked fridge, very large closet. Sitting area with two love seats. Patio is rather large with hammock and tea table and chairs. There is a gate that opens from the patio directly into the garden. Bathroom was very large, double sink, shower was huge with mosaic tile. Lots of shelving for storage. Full length mirror.

Pools – we did not spend

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