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Dreams Puerta Vallarta Review~ 11/06


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#1 TammyWright

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 02:27 PM

this was on tripadvisors:

Quote:
Just got back from 9 days at Dreams on my honeymoon and it was nothing short of fabulous. I think I read over 2000 reviews of Dreams and every other resort on many websites, and concluded this was the best. I wasn't wrong. It is the best in PV, hands down.

When we arrived, we were met with cold towels for your neck and a glass of champagne. Nice touch. Check in was a breeze and the front desk staff was helpful, friendly and respectful all week. Most staff, except for housekeeping, speaks English. We booked a jacuzzi suite in the Club tower with a king bed, and it was ready upon check-in. No problems. The only way in the resort is the gated entrance, so no worries about security. And each time you leave the property, they ask your room number. Same when you return, to make sure all guest return. Nice touch.

The room was spacious, with an absolute KILLER view of the ocean. The patio door slide open, and you can sit out on the deck. Actually, the deck was more useful for drying your clothes than anything else. The beach is a better place to watch the sunset, and the jacuzzi is way too small for two people to do anything but soak. More on that later. There was a TV that got about 5 English speaking channels and 10 Spanish speaking channels. Thankfully ESPN was in English...YEA!! The minibar was always stocked with bottles of Corona, soda and bottled water. However, if you keep the patio doors closed all day, the room can smell musty. Just keep the A/C on with the doors open and you'll be fine. My pillows smelled nasty, very musty. Just ask for replacements. Room service was good, but the pizza sucked. Just get the American Club sandwich. Can't go wrong with that.

The resort itself is beautiful, and best of all its private. The beach is also bigger and longer than most in PV. Its also groomed every morning, and for the most part is free of stones and rocks. That was HUGE for me, as I'm a little kid when it comes to the ocean. The waves were great and sometimes challenging due to hurricane Paul. Spent all week body surfing, but the waves settled down the last two days . If you like to jog on the beach, you're in luck. The beach is about 200 yards from tip to tip. Nice for romantic walks, too. And like I said, no rocks. I saw other beaches from the water and nothing compared to Dreams. There are a few beach vendors to deal with, but a polite "no gracias" sends them on their way. There are plenty of papalas to be had before noon. They provide great shade all day, and if you're dumb and get sunburned the first day like me, they come in handy if you want to stay outside.

The staff was great. Very polite and eager to please. But they're like every human..treat them kindly and with respect, and that's what you'll get in return. But even more so in Mexico. Their culture is much warmer than ours in the States. We were always greeted with a smile and a kind word. Plus, they are the hardest workers I've ever seen.

The resort has five restaurants, but we only liked two. We had a romantic beach-side dinner served from Oceana and it was horrible. We were not given a menu, but served surf and turf. That bothered me, given it was $120. The steak, which I asked for to be cooked medium, was way over done, like a hockey puck. No flavor. The grilled shrimp was ok, but I've had better from my grocery store. While disappointed in the food, I got to sip complementary champagne on the beach at sunset with my new bride, so all was good. The experience was great, just not the food. We just walked over to the buffet and ate something else. We did eat at Oceana our last night and the food was excellent, especially the clam chowder. Just order off the menu, and have your romantic beach dinner from the Sea Side Grill.

The Sea Side grill was excellent every time out. Great seafood and steaks. Portafinos was the Italian restaurant and was excellent each time out too. Order the Mexican coffee. It's a show. Guys, you need to wear long pants here, so bring some chinos. The Mexican restaurant, El Patio, was ok. I've had better Mexican at our local joint, but the service and atmosphere was great. Watch out for the mandatory shot of tequila for dessert. The World Cafe is the buffet, and was very good. Ate breakfast there each day, with a good selection that did get a little old by the end of the week. But the quality was very good. No complaints. There's also a pool-side grill that starts serving burgers and dogs at 1:00pm. They also serve the world's best guacamole..I kid you not. It's that good. My wife was ready to leave me for that guac.

The swim up bar at the main pool was great. The pool got crowded at noon, but always plenty of room to soak and enjoy a maragarita. Get there early and reserve a lounge chair. They're gone by 11. The bartenders at each of the bars were great, but the waiters that bring you drinks was hit and miss. You gotta tip them, or they won't be back. The sports bar was alright the one time we went there with a few other honeymooners at night, but it's below ground, and who wants to sit in a dark sports bar playing crappy music on your honeymoon in Mexico? Not me. I'd rather sit outside with the waves in the background.

Drinks were good and strong. Top shelf is available for the asking. If you ask for a cerveza, you'll get a tap Corona. Too much of that stuff really got to my stomach. Do yourself a favor and order a "Pacifico." It's bottled, and twice as good a Corona.
Here's a few tips:

1) TIMESHARE SHARKS: When you get through immigration at the airport, you'll go through a pair of frosted glass sliding doors and into the terminial. The first people you encounter will be the timeshare sharks. Ignore each and every one of these bastards. Don't look at them. Don't speak to them. Don't acknowledge them. Don't return their questions. They're going to ask you if you need a taxi. They will try to lead you away to get a taxi. They will hold up signs that say "Dreams" and every other resort. They're lying to you. They have no intention of taking you to your resort. They will take you to a timeshare presentation, period. Just look straight ahead and head for a HUGE sign that says "TAXI". It will be at the end of the terminal, against the back wall, between two exits. This is where you you buy a ticket for the white federal taxis to take you to the resort. It's $40 to Dreams. Buy the ticket and follow her instructions. Twenty minutes later you're at the Dreams front gate. Like most of you, I read all about the timeshare traps on Trip Advisor before we got down here. But it isn't until you get down here and listen to the horror stories of the people that didn't know about these people and fell for their lies, thinking they are getting into a taxi only to be taken to a timeshare presentation where they are kept for hours under heavy sales pressure. It really bothers me why the Mexican government allows these people first crack at their tourists. Also, when walking on the Melacon, timeshare people are everywhere. Every fifty feet some creep pops out of a small storefront and asks you if you want free tequila, a free breakfast, free this, free that, or try to engage you in conversation. I even had one guy say "I won't sell you anything. I promise!!" As a salesman myself, that had to be the dumbest thing I ever heard. My wife was suprised at my rudeness with these people. But when you know what they put people through, you don't owe these bastards the time of day. Be rude, and don't lose any sleep over it. These people are crooks. When they approach you, just keep walking. Completely ignore them, no matter what they say or ask you. And the rule of thumb is, if someone initiates conversation with you, its safe to assume they are a timeshare dork. Don't take anything for free, because it's not.

2) TIPPING: Even though tips are included in the price of your all-inclusive, they shouldn't be. It is my understanding most workers at these resort make less than $10 per day in pay, so tips make all the difference to them. So, I gave a dollar for each drink, tipped what I thought would have been 15-20% at meals, and $2 on the pillow for housekeeping each morning. And, before my trip I had planned to tip in Pesos, so they wouldn't have to go to the bank to exchange dollars. But the resort does not give 10 peso coins ($1) in change. Just 20 peso bills ($2). I really couldn't afford to tip 20 pesos for every drink, so it became necessary to tip in dollars. Never heard a complaint. But I ran out of dollar bills and the resort doesn't give change in U.S.singles. My advice...Get $120 in singles before you leave and bring them with you. Then you're set.

3) SHOPPING. My wife claims I'm not qualified to speak on this subject, and she's right. But for price-conscious folk like me, here's the deal. Shopping on the Malecon is expensive. Nothing's cheap and there's no haggling. There are department stores in the states that are cheaper than on the Malecon. But go three or four streets away from the ocean, or even better to the flea market, and now you can haggle and prices are much cheaper. Same cheap junk, though. But at least you're not paying $20 for a t-shirt.
ATM's: There is an ATM at Dreams. It's in the aluminum utility building just in front to the gate, about 100 yard walk from the front desk. It pays out in pesos, and 1900 pesos is the limit, or $190. There's a $5 fee for every ATM transaction. There are other ATM's around the city, too. Try to buy everything in pesos to get the best exchange rate. Don't expect a vendor in the flea market to calculate exchange rates for your dollars. You'll get 10 to 1.
4) EXCURSIONS: Forget the "Rythmns of the Night" thing. We did it and it was dumb. The ride over and the ride back were the best parts of the whole thing. When you arrive at the spot, you're unloaded into a buffet dinner that wasn't that good. Then you've got to wait an hour for the show to start. Then you're herded into an ampitheater that is 15 degrees hotter than at the beach. I won't go into the show, just in case you're going. But we didn't care for it. We did however LOVE the snorkeling trip. WOW! How beautiful! We even saw a stingray. That was amazing. I'd do that again in a heartbeat. You also have to try parasailing. I'm freaked out by heights but it really was amazing. Not scared at all. It's so peaceful up there, you don't hear anything, and the view is unforgetable. It's $50 a pop from the beach, but it's so worth it. I wish I did it twice. We signed up to go on a canopy tour, but I got sick and couldn't go. Too bad.

ACCOMODATIONS: Stay in the Club tower, and skip the jacuzzi. The beach is much nicer in front of the club tower, the rooms are newer and in better shape. And everything is geared toward the club tower. The only restaurant that's close to the old tower is Oceana. Everything else is by the club tower. And skip the jacuzzi. It's so small, you can't move. Trust me guys, you and the wife are not going to be mixing it up in one of these things. It's really just a small bath tub, and it cost me an extra $800 for the week. Bad decision. Try to get a patio without the jacuzzi, but if you can't, it wasn't worth $800.
5) FOOTBALL: Yes, NFL football can be seen in PV. Even though my Packer game was a regional game and not available that week, we did catch the Bears game (sorry, have to puke......I'm ok now) at a nice place on the Malecon called "The No Name Cafe." Just a $4 cab ride from Dreams, he'll drop you off right at the door if you want. Or, try El Torito, which is even closer. For Monday Night Football...actually guys, you'll want to sit down for this. Dreams pulls down a 15x15 foot sheet screen and projects the game right on the pool patio, and pumps the play-by-play audio through their music system. It's not the greatest picture, but you sit in lounge chairs and watch the game with a snack buffet, margarita and the ocean in the background. I was in heaven. My wife said I was drooling.

That's about it. I'd highly recommend Dreams to anyone, and we plan to go back as soon as we can. We loved it, and you will too. It's clean, romantic, and...frankly....perfect.

I'll answer any questions if you have em. Adios.

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#2 LCBride2007

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    Posted 09 November 2006 - 02:40 PM

    AWESOME to hear, thanks for sharing - this is one of the resorts I have on my list.

    #3 gkashmira

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      Posted 09 November 2006 - 08:00 PM

      This resort also was ranked #8 in all of Mexico for best resort! Just one below Cabo's One & Only Palmilla... so I bet it's AMAZING!
      Kashmira & Dan
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      #4 TammyWright

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      Posted 09 November 2006 - 08:28 PM

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by gkashmira
      This resort also was ranked #8 in all of Mexico for best resort! Just one below Cabo's One & Only Palmilla... so I bet it's AMAZING!
      i am actually planning a family/group trip for 2007 and that is our number 1 choice...we loved staying at dreams los cabos so this should be great...our group really liked the AI feature.

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      Looking for a travel agency that specializes in Destination Weddings-CLICK HERE?  We are an award winning travel agency and you can read our reviews here.
       
      Awards and recognition: 
      Palace Resorts Winner "Top Travel Agent", "Top Homebased Travel Agency" PRO Platinum Agency (Top Award)     |    AMResorts Master Agent & Top Agency  
      Karisma Hotels Diamond Level 5 (highest production), Top 10 Azul Weddings, Top Wedding Coordinator | Wright Travel & Karisma GIVC Benefits
      Travel Impressions Best of the Best Globe Winner    |     Apple Vacations Golden Apple Winner  
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      #5 amyh

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        Posted 09 November 2006 - 10:03 PM

        yay... cant wait to go scouting!




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