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On this trip, I was escorting a group of 18 people to Cancun to celebrate a client & friend's 40th birthday. We stayed at DREAMS CANCUN.
Our group stayed at Dreams Cancun and the birthday girl chose this property out of a few options because of its location to downtown. There were 18 of us traveling for this celebration and overall the majority of the group was pleased with Dreams Cancun. Not everything was perfect and some of that I also think is due to a variety of expectation levels. We all have our own standards. So please always keep this in mind when reading my reviews. We all have an opinion and not everyone is going to agree.
Our check-in process was smooth and everyone spoke decent English. We arrived late in the afternoon, so our rooms were ready and we were escorted to our rooms, our luggage was already in the room waiting for us, so we unpacked and tidied up for dinner. It was nighttime, so we really didn't get to inspect the grounds until the next day.
We made our way to the Oceana Seafood restaurant to have dinner. Service was fine, but the food wasn't that great. I had a steak, the other 3 in our party ordered various seafood items and overall we just weren't impressed. This is not a great way to start off a vacation, but I am happy to say that things did turn around. That was just the restaurant to avoid. It happens.
We had dinner at the Seaside Grill three times and each time everyone was very pleased with their food choices. The rib-eye steak was out of this world and they also had a few pasta dishes that were wonderful. My husband ordered the seafood that the waiter would recommend and thought it was always fabulous. We always had great service at this venue as well and most times we dined as the group of 18 people. That can't be easy for a waiter.
We did have lunch twice at Oceana and they had wonderful burgers and fries. We had heard good things about lunch and decided to give it a shot and they were really great burgers.
We dined at the World Cafe every morning for breakfast and had a couple of lunches there as well. A very complete buffet restaurant with just about anything you could think of or want. There is also the Coco Cafe for coffees and pastries available throughout the day.
We never experienced the Sushi restaurant, mainly because the menu only listed Sushi and I don't eat Sushi, come to find out they had a complete menu with other choices, so I am bummed that we didn't try that and feel as though I kept others in our group from trying it.
Room Service was EXCELLENT! We ordered several times and it never disappointed.
We had great bar service on the beach. We made instant friends and brought dollar bills for tipping so that we would get the best service. The beach area is relatively small, but we never had trouble finding space and the sand is super soft and beautiful! There are kayaks & snorkeling equipment along with floating mats available for guest use at any time.
The water was beautiful and you could walk out for quite a ways and still have the water hit you waist deep.
The pool area was small & has a swim up bar. This resort also has a lagoon with its own beach. I never saw anyone in the lagoon and it's sort of gross because the water in the lagoon is spill over from the Dolphin pool. Yes, they have their own Dolphin experience on site. We did not partake in the event, although one guest in my group after a few too many drinks one night decided to jump into the Dolphin pool, he was quickly pulled out by security. There is one hot tub that is just across the walking path by the beach. Finally, there is one section for upgraded room types with their own small pool & hot tub. I never saw anyone using that pool or hot tub and each time we walked by it was windy in that area, so probably not the most ideal "private" place.
The Spa was beautiful and I did indulge in several spa services, each time taking advantage of the hot tub and steam room that is only accesible for spa guests. Very relaxing!
As for entertainment, there was the disco and we did go there a few nights. On Sunday, they had the football games on for us to watch and they offered some periodic entertainment/comedy and such that we never really went to go see. We were having enough fun with our group of friends that we didn't need entertainment. A few walked to the nearest discos, but felt "old" in comparison to those at the disco and returned back to the resort.
All in all, we had a good time. The resort is not quite like most Dreams resorts and that is in large part because this is a hotel that they bought and rebranded Dreams. So the layout of the property is not "Dream-like", but overall very good on service and very good on food.
You can view my pictures here:
****UPDATE: As of January 2016, this property has been completely renovated and rebranded as the new Hyatt Ziva Cancun, all-inclusive family resort*** Please see my new review here: 2016 Hyatt Ziva Cancun
RIU PALACE LAS AMERICA, CANCUN
We had friends who wanted to see the hotel located 3 places down the beach from Dreams, so I made a phone call and we went over there to see the hotel. We were not able to see any rooms, but I was told that the rooms were the same as the rooms that I saw at the RIU Riviera Maya.
The RIU LAS AMERICA is a very small layout. It felt crowded and this was the Friday before Thanksgiving week and they were not quite fully occupied. I didn't like the crowded feel, but I did like the lively atmosphere. Music playing and people playing in the pool, etc. This resort does not cater to kids, so not one of the more family-friendly RIU's and was not going to work for our next group going to Cancun. But it was good to see and to know that not all RIU's are created equal.
Here is the link to my pictures (not many):
Here is the link to the hotel website: