I just returned from 4 nights at Dreams Punta Cana (February 2014). As a professional travel agent, this was also an inspection trip for me so in addition to this resort I toured 8 other quality resorts in Punta Cana.
The Dreams Punta Cana resort is definitely one of the better values for families and adults looking for a relaxed, casual, all-inclusive vacation. While the resort touts a 5* rating, having looked at the competition I think this resort is a solid 4*. Overall the rates reflect that (avg. nightly rate is $200-300 p/nt for All Inclusive double occupancy compared to $300-500 for similarly rated hotels).
The buildings are older and starting to show a bit of wear. However because it is an older (comparatively) resort it has a wonderful location on a wide stretch of beach and the grounds are just beautiful. Very lush and mature gardens which adds to the tropical atmosphere. The property is very long and narrow built back from the beach. So if you book the lowest room category, you will be closer to the lobby which includes several bars & restaurants but farther away from the beach. None of the rooms really offer an ocean view although some offer a pool view or “swim out”. The pools are long and wind their way through the center of the resort which is actually one of the better features because no matter which building you are assigned, you have very easy access to the pool.
For families there is the “explorers club” which at this resort includes a great playground and daily activities for the kiddos.
For couples, I highly recommend booking a room with “Preferred Club” amenities. This will give you access to the Preferred Club lounge, a room in one of the buildings closer to the beach, private access to one of the specialty restaurants for breakfast & lunch (vs. the main buffet only), and a private section of the beach roped off just for PC guests which includes beach beds, service from the bar and overall a quieter, relaxing area to enjoy the beach. It’s definitely worth the extra cost if you are looking to elevate your experience for not that much more money.
Food & Service – I found the staff to be very warm and welcoming. Always with a smile and eager to assist. The meals in the main buffet were average and typical for a buffet. Dinner in the specialty restaurants were quite good (exception being the Asian fusion restaurant which I thought was well below average) and the room service menu while available 24hrs was quite limited (think salad, pizza, burgers etc). Overall, I found the service to be very slow. That being said, being gracious goes a lot farther than being impatient. I was rather embarrassed to see many travelers (mostly American) becoming disgruntled and downright rude because they had to wait 10-15min for something. This is island life and these people are worked hard.
It’s all about expectations. Be aware of how much you paid and realistic about what you should get for your money. If you are looking for a comfortable, casual, beachfront resort – Dreams Punta Cana is a very good value. If you are looking for more luxurious accommodations, gourmet ala carte dining and a smaller resort where you do not have to walk as far to get to different sections of the resort, then I have several other properties to recommend.
I also talked to several travelers as I always find it interesting to hear how people book their vacations and I was happy to hear that many used a travel agent. Those that didn’t had trouble with their ground transportation to the resort and were not educated on the amenities available at the property and so were the ones that experienced more disappointment than others.
I hope that helps! Feel free to contact me with any questions or if I can assist you with your next vacation.