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Reviewed April 19, 2015

Just arrived home yesterday from the resort. There are some positives and some negatives about the week we spent there.

This is a resort that has only been open about 5 months. There is a lot of room for improvement. We were with a group of about 10 couples/families. We did enjoy our time there because we had a great group of people to spend a week with. There were no terrible experiences but a lot of little things that need to be addressed by the management of the resort staff.

Positives: Resort is beautiful and spacious in a nice setting; Staff was polite and friendly and pleasant; Free Wi-Fi all over the resort and free US calls from your room; food very good at all restaurant venues; cleanliness of all areas was constantly maintained.

Negatives: All service areas were very understaffed, Long waits for food in restaurants and drinks by the pool areas and bar areas; Service staff was terribly slow and seemingly untrained; language barrier was a challenge in communicating certain special requests (food allergies); ALL concrete areas around pool areas are extremely slippery when wet, the staff were constantly removing water, we witnessed a terrible fall with a serious head injury by someone not in our group that required hospitalization; We booked a reservation for the hibachi dinner at the Japanese restaurant, it took 45 minutes with the concierge desk staff to organize this hand-written (not computerized) and very cumbersome reservation process; Ran out of required ingredients for advertised "drink of the day" frequently and once never had it; the beach area was a lagoon, no long white sand beach to walk on, no clear blue water to swim in; very little entertainment in the evening; karaoke and a guest sign up talent show only that we saw; the drive in and out of the resort on a long series of bumpy unpaved roads was a turn off for any excursions, we did one with a two hour one way travel.

Based on our trip, if I formed my impression of the Dreams resort franchise, I would not visit again. We received a great promotional rate to visit, as we booked prior to the opening. If I had paid full price I would have been severely disappointed. We have been to other resorts run by different companies and had a superior experience.

Room Tip: Some of the buildings are a long walk up and down hills from the main pool and restaurant areas
  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Drelm E, E-Concierge at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2015

Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time and share with all the Tripadvisor community your recent stay with us.

We apologize for not having exceeded your expectations in every aspect of your stay here with us. Please rest assured that your comments have been shared with the pertinent departments in order to be addressed and where possible improved. As professionals in the service industry we know that our guests feedback is very valuable, and the key to allow the constant improvement in order to reach an enduring high quality level in services. All of your feedback will be shared with our operations team. They will be particularly pleased to know that they were able to assist you during your time here with us.

We truly hope you can give us the opportunity to host you again in the future so we can offer you the truly remarkable experience that you deserve. Please do not hesitate to contact us personally prior your arrival, we will be happy to assist you.

Best regards,

Maripaz Martínez
E-Concierge & Social Media Coordinator
econcierge.drelm@dreamsresorts.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 19, 2015

I'll start with a summary and then go into details. Costa Rica and its people are warm and wonderful but Dreams Las Mareas is a failure as a 5 star resort due to bad management and communication. It seemed each individual employee was friendly and good at their job description, The failures seemed to come anytime you wanted or needed something that wasn't in their specific job duties or required communication between employees.

My wife and I have previously stayed with Sandals in Jamaica and for the price and reputation of dreams expected an equivalent experience. When it comes to service Dreams is not in the same league ! For example at Sandals buffet after you fill your plate a server takes your plate walks it to your table pulls out your chair for you and sets your plate down, they then take your drink order and if you request something that is not readily available at the buffet area they run to the nearest bar and get your drink, dirty plates are always gone before you return from getting seconds. At Dreams Las Mareas unlimited luxury buffet you get none of that we sat as a group and had had a stack of plates build up before they were cleared. One morning myself wife and child were eating at a table when apparently it was mandatory sweeping time because they began sweeping under table we were eating at, I pulled my chair back and stood up so she could finish sweeping, Dennys employees know better then that.

Closed restaurants: We arrived and got checked in mid evening so just wanted something quick and easy so we headed to the buffet and found it closed for the night, I found it odd for an all inclusive not to have a buffet available but there are 3 other restaurants connected to the buffet so we tried to eat at them. The Mexican restaurant was full, and the Italian restaurant would not allow my daughter inside but would serve us outside so we ate outside in our clothes we flew out of Chicago in dripping in sweat.
Two nights later our wedding group wanted to eat together and then do a quick rehearsal at the wedding gazebo next to Oceana. we called for golf carts to take our group of 20 down to oceana at the far end of the resort. we arrived at 5:45 so we would have the best chance of sitting close to each other. We stood around the hostess stand with 2 other couples for 45 minutes while multiple employees and managers went passed us, at 6:30 when the dinner restrarunts open we were asked to come check in on the other side of the building, so we all followed the host and were taken to the sea side grill hostess stand where we asked why we were checking in over here for oceana and were told for the first time Oceana was closed. So while it was our fault for not knowing which restaurants at our all inclusive were open I couldn't believe no employees knew or cared to tell us from calling for the ride to and being dropped off at Oceana and 45 minutes standing at hostess desk they were not open. It then took asking the seaside host and manager 4 times to get a shuttle back up to the main building each time being assured he had called and they would be there in 5 minutes.

The best part of the trip was the excursions off the resort. We did 2 trips with ALEX ON THE BEACH who can be found on the beach in white shirts on the beach in front of the resort or at alex on the beach dot com. We had a group of 9 that wanted to go fishing and he set us up with 2 boats for $900.00 . The resort wanted $2000.00. We left right from the beach and each person caught at least 1 fish including a large grouper and white tuna we took back to the resort to have cooked.

We also did the Nicaragua all day tour with Alex on the beach and it was AMAZING!! We had more fun and learned more about Nicaragua in 1 day with our guide Rudolf then we did all week. when booking through Alex you can go in private groups and get soo much more attention and choice on where to spend time and stop anywhere you like. We seen the large tour groups on the mega busses and were so glad we had Rudolf and a small group. Rudolf took us on a private boat tour of lake Nicaragua and we went to a small island owned by an animal doctor with monkeys on it. A mother and baby monkey came onto our boat and was the highlight of my 5 year olds trip.

  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank subcool414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Drelm E, E-Concierge at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2015

Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time and share with all the Tripadvisor community your recent stay with us.

We apologize for not having exceeded your expectations in every aspect of your stay here with us. Please rest assured that your comments have been shared with the pertinent departments in order to be addressed and where possible improved. As professionals in the service industry we know that our guests feedback is very valuable, and the key to allow the constant improvement in order to reach an enduring high quality level in services. All of your feedback will be shared with our operations team.

Best regards,

Maripaz Martínez
E-Concierge & Social Media Coordinator
econcierge.drelm@dreamsresorts.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 19, 2015

Just returned from Dreams Las Mareas. We were very happy with this resort, it is beautiful!! The rooms are very well appointed, clean & comfortable. Every restaurant had great food! The staff always greeted us with a smile! This is the place to go to relax! We did one excursion close to the resort and had a great time!
If you choose this resort, I highly recommend investigating the details to see if it suits your needs.
The drive from the airport was on the long side,rough at times, not paved in most sections and some construction. In saying this though... I didn't mind the ride as I like to see the area and how the locals live. Guanacaste has a rugged charm:)
Check in was smooth. Have your luggage delivered to your room & scope out the resort!
Our room was in building 6- this is up a hill, not for anyone with mobility issues of any kind. At first we were concerned but in the end, it gave us lots of needed exercise after drinking and eating each day. We got to see both howler & white face monkeys at least a couple of times per day. Very fun to watch!
The pools are great! There are lots of places for quiet relaxing time and a couple of spots for a little more "party" atmosphere. We found pool service to be not bad but not great. Get to know the servers a little, ask questions & be polite, thats all it takes! Lots of chairs & umbrellas available. We encountered many demanding & rude guest that did not treat the staff well at all!

The beach is relatively small, but still very nice. It is not white sandy beach and the water is not crystal clear, the resort is in a bay on the Pacific side, so not Caribbean blue... Incredible sunset not to be missed!

The restaurants all have great food. Some seemed to have better service that others. At the Oceana the servers seemed to be a bit overwhelmed when asked questions. However, we were a large group & probably took them a bit by surprise. The little mix ups were nothing to be upset about. The Mexican was great, The Himitsu was fun and very popular. My favourite was the Portofino, great wine, great food. Even the Buffet was great.

I believe that this resort over time will be even more great! The wifi needs to be improved for sure, connectivity was intermittent & unreliable. We needed to stay connected for business reasons and it was difficult. If you are there simply to disconnect and relax it is not a problem!!
It seems to me that communication and consistency in service in general should be addressed. Room cleaning was well done but always at a different time of day-not a huge problem but I could see how guests would like to know approximately when it would be done.
Room service was good but slow with some errors with the orders-we can live without perfection.
We had been delivered by golf cart to a different building than intended-I can see this being frustrating to some but we had a light hearted laugh about it.

We attended two private functions with our group & observed 3 or 4 wedding parties. These were exceptional to say the least!!!

Overall, we were very happy with Dreams Las Mareas. Great atmosphere, clean, remote, great staff & great fun! We will go back!!
Thank you Dreams Las Mareas!!

  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank coryh330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Drelm E, E-Concierge at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded April 22, 2015

Dear valued guest,

Many thanks for taking the time and share your recent experience at Dreams Las Mareas with all the Tripadvisor community.

We're very glad to know you had a great time in our resort and enjoyed every activity we have to offer. We truly hope to have the opportunity to host you once again in a near future.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us for any information or assistance.

Best regards,

Maripaz Martinez
E-Concierge & Social Media Coordinator
econcierge.drelm@dreamsresorts.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 18, 2015

I know this is a new resort, opened in Nov of 2014, we (4 families) visited over spring break week of 4/5/15. The place is beautiful, the layout of the pools is great, rooms are spacious although not family friendly with the restroom and shower separated only by a see thru curtain. The service is the worst I have seen with 15 years of family vacations and the location is such that your 3 hours min from any excursion so your pretty much stuck there with very little to do but chill by the pool. The bad service...starts with extremely slow slow service bar&food followed by them just closing restaurants randomly without notice, one night it was the Italian then the next two the buffet... Most of the restaurants are no kids and pants for the men that they actually enforced. We paid extra for the VIP Lounge (this was the best place to go for service) but found that they let everyone into it. This place even though the resort is beautiful it is poorly managed, under staffed, and still trying to figure it out as they go...you'll quickly forget this is a Dreams resort.

Room Tip: The Swim Out Room was really different and worth the upgrade, The 200 building is centrally located to everything but that does come with a lot of traffic.
  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Ron R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Drelm E, E-Concierge at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2015

Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time and share with all the Tripadvisor community your recent stay with us.

We apologize for not having exceeded your expectations in every aspect of your stay here with us. Please rest assured that your comments have been shared with the pertinent departments in order to be addressed and where possible improved. As professionals in the service industry we know that our guests feedback is very valuable, and the key to allow the constant improvement in order to reach an enduring high quality level in services. All of your feedback will be shared with our operations team.

Best regards,

Maripaz Martínez
E-Concierge & Social Media Coordinator
econcierge.drelm@dreamsresorts.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 18, 2015 via mobile

I'm writing this review as a current customer at this resort. This is now our third day. I understand this resort is new, but personally, I would think that would give them motivation to go above and beyond to make a reputation for themselves. From the customers we have spoken to, they now have a reputation, and it's not a good one..

To start off, when we checked into the hotel, I wanted to confirm our massage appointment that I had made a week prior to our arrival via email. We were supposed to have it on our second day, but the resort messed up and had us scheduled for our 5th day. I was able to show them the email that confirmed the time and date. They didn't have any availability earlier in the week to accommodate. I didn't receive an apology. First annoyance. Second annoyance came with our golf driver taking us to our room. He stopped at 4 buildings trying to figure out where our room was. We finally were let out at a building close to the beach, which we thought was great.. Until we realized he dropped us off at the wrong building and we were at the opposite end of the resort, so we had to hike our bags up the hill to our room. Third annoyance came with our bags. We waited 45 minutes to receive them, which meant we couldn't go to the pool or beach yet. These were all just annoyances we experienced within the first hour of our arrival.. Now to move on to the issues..

1.) When we finally got to the pool, we learned it's nearly impossible to order a drink. It takes about 10-15 mins just to get the attention of the staff. They simply ignore you, not even a simple acknowledgement that you are waiting, such as "We will be with you shortly" or "I will get with you next". It's literally a free for all and whoever can be the loudest and aggressive, they will be served. It was extremely frustrating to see people that showed up 10 mins after you had been waiting and get served first. Also, don't expect to order drinks from your lounge chair. There are a lot of staff walking around, but they never ask you what you want.
2.) To expand on the staff.. There are a few that are friendly. The vast majority do not say hi, make eye contact, or even ask you how they could help. This could probably just be attributed to poor training, and it's the staff's way to avoid confusion on their part.
3.) The resort explains they do not take reservations for restaurants. This has its ups and downs. I don't mind waiting in line to give my name and wait. What I do mind, is having a line of customers where the hostess won't make eye contact or take our names. This went on for 15 minutes of no acknowledgement of anyone waiting. When we got seated, it took 3 hours from start to finish of our meal. We were practically falling asleep at the table waiting for our mediocre food. My husband's grouper was ok. My poor sea bass was cooked WAY too long and was extremely dry. We have yet to order food where they haven't messed up our order: never received our appetizers, my sunny side up eggs were completely cooked through and not runny, I've ordered the same cocktail 3 times and received a completely different version each time (they don't even keep their drink menus out.. Although, they do have them.. They just don't set them out).
4.) The absolutely biggest disappointment was the beach. I was prepared that it wasn't a white sand beach with crystal clear water. I still felt the cove, water, and actual beach were pretty. However, unlike the brochure picture, there are no nice lounge chairs or umbrellas on the beach. They don't even service drinks on the beach. Instead, you are required to drag out a plastic lounge chair on your own and walk up to the nearest bar (not close), wait 15 mins to order a drink, and return to the beach. The resort has great pools, and this is where 95% of the guests hang out. I don't understand why you would come all the way to Costa Rica and not enjoy the sound of the waves. I don't understand why the resort doesn't make the beach more of an experience. Also, less an issue for us, but they do have vendors on the beach that do approach you in hopes you will buy a something. Also, I thought we would at least be surrounded by luscious rainforest, however, there are only brown dead looking trees. In April, I thought we were part of the wet season, but I guess it's still the dry season in the region. Oh, also, make sure you bring enough sun screen. We ran out and had to buy more. A small bottle and aloe gel cost us $55. We figured there was a large mark up as a consequence for not being prepared, but thought that was extreme.
5.) The resort is not close to any of the good excursion destinations. If you want to go into the jungle, it's at least a two hour drive one way. There are probably other resorts better located to explore what Costa Rica has to offer.

From the reviews, we had thought the bad ones were just the difficult people. However, please take warning of these. They are accurate on our this resort operates. It is a 3 star resort disguised as a 5 star resort with 5 star prices. Take your money somewhere else.

Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Jessica L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Drelm E, Pre Arrival Concierge at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2016

Dear guest,

Many thanks for taking the time to write your comments regarding your recent stay in our Resort.

There seems to have been a number of deficiencies encountered which are very atypical and not reflective of our brand experience; we can only renew our apologies and assure you that we are working on a daily basis to exceed our guest’s expectations and would like to learn more about your experience, please contact us at econcierge.drelm@dreamsresorts.com.

We truly hope to have the opportunity to host you again in the near future to offer you a remarkable stay.

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