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Dreams Riviera Cancun


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#1 1elephant

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    Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:00 AM

    it's not a wedding review, but i know that there are several people looking into this resort. feel free to ask any questions, i'll try my best to answer. i have no pics b/c we never do anything with them anyway, so we don't even bother...sorry!

    Before reading on, please know that dh and I had a wonderful experience when were married at Dreams in PV. We knew that nothing would live up to having our closest friends and family on vacation with us, but also chose Dreams based on the amazing reputation AND our previous experiences.

    We got a great deal through Cheap Caribbean - less than $2k for air, all inclusive for 5 nights, transfers, and travel insurance. The deal gave us an upgrade to either an ocean view or a plunge pool. As most of you know, there is a huge difference between the “regular” guests and the “preferred” guests. We did not go with the preferred club because it would have meant an extra $1k+ and we wanted a great vacation for the least amount of money. Well, not being preferred meant waiting 2 hours for our room once we checked in. It was not a big deal because we were there early, but we do know that if we were preferred guests, we would have been up to the room within minutes. Note: we were told that the hotel was 50% full.

    Since we arrived on a Sunday, it was important for dh to watch the Eagles bash the Giants. We waited for our room in Desires, the music/sports bar. We were the only people in there, with the exception of a woman mopping the floor from the night before. Dh asked the woman to help him change the channel – she handed him a remote and said she didn’t know. When the bartender arrived, he yelled at dh for attempting to change the channel and basically told him that maybe someone would come help him change it. Then he disappeared. After waiting for 10 minutes, dh went to the front desk to find out if there was anyone who could help, as the man in the bar was unwilling to be of assistance. Finally, someone came, and changed it (of course, the Eagles game was the only game that they did not get in English, so we watched in Spanish – but a touchdown is a touchdown!). Eventually they turned the air conditioning on and brought us drinks. Immediately, we were unsure of the quality of the staff and their willingness to please (their “motto” – “it is a pleasure”).

    We had a good meal at the pool that night. I don’t remember what the show was, but there was some kind of fiesta in the pool area. We were exhausted and were in bed by 8:30 that night though.

    For the rest of the trip, we often felt invisible. We’d sit at an uncrowded bar and no one would come to us. We’d sit at a table and no staff would come greet us.

    I’ll break it down by restaurant. Note: we’re foodies and again, chose Dreams because they usually have good food.
    Himitsu (Asian-fusion) – the food was good. The service was awful. We sat outside and were later joined by 5 other tables. We ordered first and were the last ones to get our food because the waiter served our stuff to another table – and then willingly admitted it, smiled, said sorry and walked away. I asked for more wine, it took 20 minutes. More water never came. What should have been a 40 minute meal was almost 2 hours. We learned that the kitchen for Himitsu, World Caf©, Portofino, El Patio, and Bordeaux are the same. One kitchen – 5 restaurants……We also learned that the sake is not included - $20+ for a bottle. Also, you have to specifically ask for the sushi menu, as it is separate from the regular menu.

    Portofino – was ok. Service was alright, food was alright. Nothing memorable.

    Bordeaux – our favorite. We went twice. The first time, the service was atrocious. We never received our salads, and after waiting 45 minutes, we had another 2 hour meal. When we left, we walked around, did some other stuff, and came back to the bar. We discovered that the couple that walked in right after us had waited about 60 minutes to sit and were STILL waiting for their main course 2+ hours after sitting. That being said, this is the quietest restaurant (no kids) and the food is the best.

    Seaside/Oceana – I have to lump these two together because we only ate at either place for lunch. The menu is exactly the same (different shape menus) because they share a kitchen. We did not go to either for dinner, and Seaside was not open for breakfast. The service, again, was awful. The first time, dh ordered crab wontons and instead of telling us they didn’t have any, the waiter came out with shrimp cocktail and said sorry. Add that to no water, no drinks, very long waiting time, etc. The second time we went, he ordered them again and they were delicious.

    World Caf© – definitely lots of variety. Breakfast was good. Each morning, I got a crepe with peanut butter and chocolate, and omelet, and other assorted fattening goodies. Lunch there was varied as well – pasta/pizza station, Asian station, etc. They really tried for the “World” part of the World Caf©.

    We did not eat at El Patio.

    Desserts everywhere are disappointing. This seems to be common at all Dreams resorts.

    We sat at the poolside bar for 20 minutes holding money in our hands before ever getting a drink. Remember tipping is included? It still didn’t help. At the barracuda bar (down on the beach), I would get one drink for every two that other people got. I’m not a quiet person, but I did not want to be rude either. By the end of the vacation, I was exhausted from feeling invisible.

    The spa – don’t have your dh get a haircut. Their men’s haircuts are awful, but dh needed one and they told me that he’d be able to come in for hydrotherapy with me before my massage. Hydrotherapy is a cold tub, a chilled pool, and a hot tub. They bring you into the locker room and tell you to wait outside, but don’t turn anything on for you. I was the only person out there for 20 minutes alone because dh was told that he was NOT allowed to come in because he was just getting a haircut instead of a massage. (Um, then why were we told to show up 30 min early?) His “50 minute” haircut was 15 minutes and it was terrible. My 50 min neck, back and shoulder massage was ok. I wanted the 25 minute one, but we got some credits to use toward the spa, and the credits couldn’t be used on a 25 minute massage. The spa prices are ridiculous, so know that ahead of time.

    The rooms were stupidly designed, but aesthetically pleasing. There are no towel hooks, so you had to maneuver your towel during your shower. The doors to the shower and toilet are glass – mostly frosted, but partly see-through, so if you and dh aren’t all that familiar with each other’s bodily functions, you will be by the end of the visit. If you open the door to hear the ocean, the air conditioning shuts off, so no falling asleep to the sound of the waves. The plunge pools have NO privacy, as they are on the first floor of either building. Anyone can stand on their balcony and see people in the plunge pools. We chose ocean view, which wasn’t really ocean view. It faced the ocean, and sometimes we could see a glimmer of the ocean, but it was not an ocean view. If we had upgraded and were preferred guests, you can bet that we would actually be able to see the ocean from our balcony.

    There are several pools, but one of them is less than 1 foot deep, another is less than 3 feet deep. The former is set up with ping pong tables in it, and the latter is probably filled with pee from the little kids. Actually, I’m not sure how much chlorine is in the water, so they are all probably filled with pee. If there was an adults only pool, I didn’t see it. The infinity pool is gorgeous. Go down early and get a raft from behind the entertainment booth. Then bring your raft to the end and just chill.

    I did see the set up for two weddings. One on the beach and one at the gazebo. Both are in the middle of the resort. Literally – the beach wedding is in the middle of the beach, and the gazebo is next to the infinity pool (where people were swimming until 6-7pm). There is NO privacy for either place. I knew that a beachfront wedding at a resort would not be private, but in my opinion, accommodations should be made to make the wedding as private as possible. If my wedding was in the middle of the resort, I’d be upset.

    While we considered excursions, we did not go on any because we weren’t there that long, and are glad that we didn’t fork over the insane amount that they charge to go to Tulum or Xel-ha because it rained the days that we were thinking about going. There is currently a tropical storm heading toward Cancun, so the beginning/middle of November is still considered hurricane season. It rained for 2 of the 5 days, but was HUMID everyday. We also have mosquito bites in places that no one should ever be bit, so bring a lot of OFF because they charge $11+ for it in the gift shop.

    We had a good time. Would we recommend the resort? We still don’t know. It’s nice, it’s beautiful, but we think they still need to work a whole bunch of kinks out.

    #2 DanielleNDerek

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      Posted 09 November 2009 - 12:20 PM

      Thanks for the honest review. Hopefully Dreams works all this stuff out soon. I have a couple of questions, not that im planning on going but just wondering. Were they still doing construction on the resort? How were the grounds?
      ***Married November 6, 2008***Gavin Born February 28th, 2010***
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      #3 *Nadine*

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        Posted 09 November 2009 - 12:25 PM

        Thanks for the review. I think this is a pretty typical review for a new resort. It was the same way when we were at Dreams Punta Cana after it first opened and also at Dreams Huatulco when it first opened. The kinks get worked out tho!

        #4 1elephant

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          Posted 09 November 2009 - 09:58 PM

          no visible construction, but lots of workers traveling to and fro. the grounds were beautiful, but looked more like florida rather than mexico. when you don't leave the resort, you get the "disneyfied" version of mexico...
          i'm sure everything is related to being a new resort. i wouldn't go out of my way to recommend to friends and family JUST YET, so why would i recommend here, ya know? give it a few months....

          #5 1elephant

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            Posted 09 November 2009 - 09:59 PM

            no visible construction, but lots of workers traveling to and fro. the grounds were beautiful, but looked more like florida rather than mexico. when you don't leave the resort, you get the "disneyfied" version of mexico...
            i'm sure everything is related to being a new resort. i wouldn't go out of my way to recommend to friends and family JUST YET, so why would i recommend here, ya know? give it a few months....

            #6 ACDCDCAC

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            Posted 10 November 2009 - 06:31 PM

            great review lauren, honest is what we need :)

            exactly how new is it?

            even with all the negative things you encountered, im still sad i wasnt there with you! i would love to have been there, rain, wind, skeeters, bad service and all! :)

            #7 *JillD*

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              Posted 10 November 2009 - 08:08 PM

              Thanks for the honest review Lauren, I'm sure the kinks will get worked out over the next few months, hope you still have a good time!

              Abbie, they opened October 1st, so still pretty new!

              #8 mc5363

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                Posted 14 November 2009 - 01:12 PM

                This is disappointing to hear. I got married at Dreams Cancun last week and I can't say enough about the staff. They really aimed to please and we waited for nothing! Hopefully, they'll get more efficient as time goes on.

                #9 xoHeavenSentxo

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                  Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:58 PM

                  Thank you for your review. It was very helpful!! I am especially concerned (and turned-off I might add) about the location of the wedding ceremonies. This may sway my decision to choose this resort.

                  Thanks again.




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