Pros: beautiful resort, cozy intimate wedding chapel, great food and drinks
Cons: anything 'additional' is extremely overpriced (ex: $350 for a couples massage at the spa)
We had our ceremony at Dreams Tulum on October 16, 2016. We had the ceremony in the chapel and reception on the beach. Overall it was a great experience. Here are my reviews.
The resort is beautiful and well maintained. Even the most basic grade rooms (garden view) are very nice. The layout of the buildings is a bit confusing; the way the buildings are labeled and identified doesn't correspond with room numbers so some of our guests had a hard time finding their rooms. Check in was a fairly smooth process. They upgraded our room upon check in so we had an oceanfront room instead of ocean view like we had booked. It faced the beach and was much closer to the pool and restaurants than the basic garden-view rooms our guests were in. However our room had a permanent funky smell which I wasn't too thrilled with; we asked our housekeeper for something to make the room smell better and he gave us some incense but it didn't help much. Also the shower door didn't close all the way which allowed water to pool up on the bathroom floor. We also mentioned this to the housekeeper but it was never fixed. I didn't feel like dealing with the hassle of changing rooms so we just dealt with it. The great location and view were worth it.
The food was very good at all the restaurants, much better than some other all-inclusives in Mexico we've been to. The World Café was a great place to meet everyone for breakfast; tons of choices and plenty of room to accommodate a large group. I hadn't scheduled a rehearsal dinner because I didn't want to pay $400 for a large group event that the brochure indicates, but at the last minute I stopped by the world café and asked if they could reserve a table for 15 for dinner the first night and they accommodated us. Lunch at the Seaside Grill and/or Barefoot Grill was good. We had dinner at the Mexican place, the Asian place, the World Café, and the Seaside Grill. All very good. I suppose the only less-than-stellar meal was the surf and turf we chose for our reception meal. We paid $20 per person to upgrade to the gold menu, and all the items we chose were very good but the steaks were all served well done.
Every worker, server, and employee we encountered was very friendly and helpful. I'd say the service at this resort is one of its strongest qualities. The people are fantastic. From the bell boys, to the housekeepers, to the restaurant servers, to the spa staff- they all try their best to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
Wedding Planning: B
Overall the planning experience was very good. I sent a lot of emails, questions, and requests for pricing and although I sometimes had to wait a week or so for a response, they always responded with pretty good communication. The wedding planning department gets my excellent endorsement for their hard working staff- I have no idea how those girls do it all! My wedding coordinator told me the weekend before my wedding they had 7 weddings in 3 days!! I cannot imagine all the logistics of dealing with 7 brides and 7 ceremonies/receptions in 3 days!! Hats off to their staff for excellent management. My only regret about their services is that their pricing for additional items is absolutely outrageous. Paying $200 for slightly nicer chairs and $700 for market lights and $9 per LED votive candle is highway robbery. The prices they quoted me for the floral design I wanted nearly made me faint. I ended up outsourcing as many things as I could. I hired an external DJ, external florist, and external photographer. The external vendor fees are ridiculous ($350 each!!) but I wanted to be sure my exact specifications and vision were fulfilled. The other thing I was not happy about was the misleading information I received about the resort photographer that was included in our package. We bought the Dreams of Love package, which included the resort photographer and a disc of images. During our meeting with the coordinator 2 days before the wedding, we explained that we'd hired an external photographer to shoot the ceremony and beginning of the reception, but his contract ended at 7:30 and we wanted to use the included resort photographer to shoot the rest of the reception. Either she didn't understand clearly what I was requesting, or she gave me wrong information, but either way she led me to believe this was an acceptable plan. However, at 7:15 during our reception she told me our photographer was about to leave so we needed to get our final pictures taken. I explained that we had asked for the resort photographer to shoot the rest of the reception. She then told me the resort photographer was only for the ceremony, not the reception. It was too late to do anything about it, so as a result I have no photos of the last 2 hours of our reception. This is one important item where miscommunication caused a serious problem. Thankfully it was the only item that went astray during our wedding; everything else was wonderful.
Hair and Makeup: A+
My hair and makeup was included in the Dreams of Love Package, and I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out. But I read great reviews for the spa staff and brought pictures of exactly the hairstyle and makeup I wanted, and Rosalie did everything perfectly. My mom, sister, and daughter also had their hair done and everyone looked great. I purchased the bridal suite package for $165 and it was a wonderful relaxing environment for getting ready. Definitely worth it.
Flowers (from Maya Floral): A+
The quote I got from the wedding planner for the flowers I wanted was absolutely ridiculous...around $800 just for the pew flowers!! I contacted a local vendor and he gave me a quote of $300 for the same flowers! Even with the hefty $350 'external vendor' fee included, I still saved several hundred dollars by using Maya Floral. Marvin did a wonderful job; he went above and beyond my expectations. Highly recommend using him, especially after reading mixed reviews from other brides who used the resort photographer.
Dreams of Love Wedding Package: C
If you want a very basic easy wedding for 20 people, it's a great choice. It includes all the basics you need, and offers a nice variety of items to choose from (flowers, menu, etc.) However, if you're like most brides and want the full beautiful wedding ceremony, it will cost an arm and a leg in upgrades. They offer tons of 'upgrade' items for everything you can imagine and everything is horribly overpriced. We paid $2500 for the package, but our final bill to Dreams was around $5000 and that's not including all the services of the external vendors (DJ, florist, photographer). Our total wedding expenses ended up being around $10,000.