Having stayed at the Dreams Puerto Morelos Mexico for 2 years straight we adventured to a new country.... and were not disappointed!
We traveled with a group of 10. 2 seniors, 4 adults, and 4 children (ages 5-11).
We stayed in a preferred suite as our family had 2 adults and 2 children...
• Preferred in the Dominican is actually preferred.... There was no reserving chairs by 5:00 a.m. like Mexico, we were given yellow towels and access to the preferred club with preferred beverage choices, unlimited snacks, and sushi late afternoon. This was the only area the resort gave out bottled water. Yeah! Our rooms were perfect. I would recommend if traveling with kids, book preferred and try for a room in front of the pool. Preffered pool was never crowded and limited to preferred guests. In Mexico, we blended in and did not see the extra special treatment as we did in the Dominican. Our room was a suite.. But in general both rooms had more storage than Mexico. So much room, two bathrooms, One completely separte with a jacuzzi tub and walk in shower. The room service was always there, leaving bottles of absolute, red label and rum.... m&m and peanuts. ..... not like we needed it:) Also recommend ordering new pillows thru room service... they have a pillow menu:)
We did read reviews complaining about the musty smell in the rooms. Sure, when you first opened the door, it was musty, but as soon as you opened a door started the fans, we did not notice it again.... just so much more humid in the Dominican.
The Ocean, expecting less, we LOVED it, warmer, blue-er, wonderful ocean. They had a trampoline for the kids and the water was as warm as the pool. Loved it. I know others mentioned the seaweed, we did not notice it until our last day... and a full moon. It did rain a few times, maybe that blew it in... not sure, but we did prefer the Dominican beach over the Mexico beaches we have been too. They also offered a lot of activities (extra $$$... but very resonable) for banana boat rides and tubing. Which we did several times. The resort is located just a 10 minute beach walk to the "swim with the dolphin excursion" we did not do it this year, but every morning the hotel had a morning walk that would take you right into the area and have the dolphins jump for you etc. The tubing and banana boats always took the kids past them as well. So close! The land itself was more tropical, lush, full of fruits and VERY humid. No complaints, but even clothes hanging in the closet felt like they needed to be ringed out when you put them on. The nights were also very warm. NEVER needed a sweater, etc.
Pools: For those with small children, the main pools were also very nice.... one seperate zero depth, and 2 nice swim arounds with the fountains, swim up bars, volleyball and a rock climber (floaty thing) for the bigger kids. Just much more choas... but also fun for changing the pace. The preferred section was more intimate and secluded.
We did take one excursion called the Safari Outback. By far the best part of our trip. We had a wonderful guide and spent the day from 8-5 driving into the Dominican mountains, stopped at a school, had a typical lunch which was wonderful, stopped to see how they roll cigars another stop to see how they make cocoa and saw the sugar cane... and actually toured a real family home. The trip was beyond words, and ended at the most beautiful beach (makaw?) the kids have ever seen. All turquoise water with rolling waves. We spend an hour boogie boarding. If we had more time I would have cabbed it out there to do it over. Wonderful.They even surved the adults beer on the bus. A local beer that was better than the beer at the resort:)
Also took advantage of the spa.... here the prices seemed comparable or cheaper than the US. The kids had their hair braided at the spa and it cost just a bit more than bartering on the beach. Worth it!
The people. Maybe a bit less versed in English. But not an issue. Everyone was genuine. Always happy, always smiling... and just lovely. Beautiful people. The were wonderful to my Dad.... a tip goes a long way there, and they did not forget it.... we tipped often! Bring LOTS of singles. There is not a cash machine at the resort.
Shopping. We did not do much. Right outside of the resort where they had a small strip of vendors. The kids had more fun bartering than us.... we need nothing and there did not seem anything really unique. Besides rum, cigars, spices, vanilla.... but none the less fun to experience.
The guys also took a cab to the local cigar factory and seemed to enjoy that experience as well.
The food. Ok, Mexico wins this... but how can you complain when you are surrounded by 1,000 options. Just less seasoned, more bland, but I'm not complaining. But in Mexico it was a bit more comparable to a top American restaurant... Esp the french restaurant..... Oddly enough the beef and chicken in general were preferred over the seafood..... always plenty of options for the kids:)
The resort served one meal a week buffet style on the beach. That was awesome, tables set up as for a wedding. Very formal... not like a cheesy cruise ship buffet. More intimate. In general the resort seemed less chaotic than Mexico... but having the separate preferred section made a HUGE difference.
I'm sold, I would go back in a heart beat. For me.... done with the Rivera Maya..... I preferred the Dominican!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facing the Caribbean Sea, white sand beach and lush gardens, Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana boasts 500 spacious rooms and ample suites surrounded by swaying palm trees and views of endless blue waters stretching to the horizon - the perfect setting in paradise. Take advantage of all the unlimited luxury activities Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana has to offer. Swim, sail, snorkel or windsurf in the turquoise Caribbean, enjoy fine a-la-carte dining, sip favorite cocktails at one of our bars. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Occidental Punta Cana
- Occidental Allegro Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Occidental
- Sunscape Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Dreams Palm Beach
- Punta Cana Allegro