by Stephen Jermanok
It’s not until you exit the lobby to the back of Dreams Puerto Aventuras that you understand the allure. The soft white-sand beach slopes down to a sheltered bay where the gentle waves roll ashore. Families play volleyball on the beach, grab frozen drinks at the swim-up bar, and snorkel on the reef in the cove. A wedding takes place at the gazebo and, in the distance, past the kayakers and vast expanse of ocean, you can just make out the cruise ships docked at Cozumel.
Unlike Dreams Tulum, Dreams Puerto Aventuras is not a remote, isolated hotel. The terraced seven-story peach-colored structure with red gabled roof is located in the gated community of Puerto Aventuras, surrounded by condos, marinas and other hotels. Puerto Aventuras is just south of Playa del Carmen, a good day trip for shopping, and near the ecological theme park, Xcaret. Less than 45 minutes to the south are the ruins of Tulum and the Cancun International Airport is only an hour’s drive to the north.
Like all Dreams properties, there are no wristbands, necessary reservations for dinner, or towel cards. Yes, it’s an all-inclusive resort without the usual headaches associated with all-inclusive resorts. Simply wander into any of the restaurants and have dinner. The area where this resort really shines is the service, keeping you pampered from the moment you arrive to the time you leave.
Our Editor Loves
- Impeccable service
- Spacious rooms with ocean views
- Explorer's Kids' Club
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Rooms have a king-size or two double beds, balcony, some with views of Cozumel in the background, sunken tub and shower, two sinks, hairdryer, bathrobes and slippers, flat-screen television with HBO and DVD player, iPod docking station, high-speed Internet access, in-room safe, air conditioning, 24-hour room service, and a mini-bar refreshed daily with water, soda, and beer.
There was decent closet space for a family of four. If you choose a room in the Preferred Club section, expect a high-rise room with exquisite views of surf and sea, a free daily newspaper, and separate room at the end of the hall offering continental breakfast and snacks throughout the day. Complimentary Wi-Fi access can also be found in the Preferred Club rooms.
We have been to many resorts and some of the other UVC properties and by far the best entertainment team we have ever had the pleasure to deal with is Giovanni, Brenda and Maria. They are so incredible with amazing energy and continually engage everyone to have a better trip. The entire resort is fantastic but we would come back just to enjoy the fun the entertainment team provide. Giovanni, Brenda and Maria are such a wonderful team to be around. Thank you for making our trip amazing.
Hope to see you again in the near future.
Rob, Shauna and Keira Iwaschuk
by Nicole J
This resort is perfect for families. There are daily activities for the kids, they will not get bored! The ocean is barricaded off so you can easily swim in the ocean. The natural pool is great for snorkeling. The staff is amazing! There not many options for restaurants as they're not all open every night which was our only disappointment.
That gorgeous cove beckons. Go swimming, jump on the ocean trampoline, rent snorkeling equipment to see the kaleidoscopic fish, grab one of the kayaks for a paddle, or a Hobie cat for a sail. The water sports desk can also arrange scuba diving excursions, jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides.
There's non-stop activity around the pool, led by the staff of the Dreams Team. Play pool volleyball, learn the meringue, take part in the cooking demonstration, or improve your Spanish. On the front side of the hotel, there's a relaxing adults-only pool with popular hot tub.
The Explorer's Club is available every day for children ages 3 to 12 years old. Led by energetic counselors, children will see movies on the beach, make sandcastles, partake in arts and crafts projects that relate to Mayan culture, and act in their own productions in a small theater. At night, parents can grab dinner all by their lonesome since The Explorer's Club is open until 10 p.m. Also look into the opportunity for children to spend an overnight in a tent on the beach with counselors. You're never far from your kids, since a pager is handed to each parent in case a counselor needs to contact you.
Outside of the hotel, consider booking a trip to the family-favorite, Xcaret, an ecology theme park situated about five minutes away. A nature preserve, Xcaret features a lagoon, an underground river where you can bob like a cork though caves and inlets, dolphins you can swim with, even pony rides.
At night, weather permitting, there are movies and live shows on the beach. The weekly American Dreams Idol is always a favorite along with the Circus Show.
Start your day at the World Cafe, just outside the lobby door. For breakfast, there's a large selection of fresh fruit, including pineapples, papayas, passion fruit, and bananas, yogurt, cereal, eggs, omelets, French toast, pancakes, and heaping mounds of bacon, all washed down with strong coffee. The World Cafe is open for lunch and dinner, with different themes like Italian or Asian food, each night.
A popular venue for lunch is the shaded Seaside Grill, just off the pool, with menu and waiter service. Try the delicious fish tacos, salads, and burgers.
Another popular lunch spot is the barefoot grill, aptly named due to its beach location. There are more burgers and basics found here.
This is the resort's a la carte dinner spot serving Italian food.
This is the resort's a la carte restaurant serving Mexican fare nightly. El Patio had authentic Mexican fare, like chicken in a sweet and spicy mole sauce, shrimp ceviche, and tasty steaks wrapped around Mexican cheese.
This is the resort's sushi lounge.
Also consider the 24-hour room service. If your kids are having a twilight meltdown, those chicken or steak fajitas might come in handy.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
It's the service that makes Dreams Puerto Aventuras a special retreat. From that first "welcome home" uttered by bellhop Rodrigo (also known as Shrek), who drives daily from his home in Cancun because he loves the people at this resort so much, to the gracious hospitality of the waiters and pool attendants. If you want to be pampered, this is the place.
The Art of Smart Timing
While there still might be a nip in air in the Bahamas and Florida over Christmas break, temps on the Riviera Maya reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit daily. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, rates are reduced before the big winter crush. Also consider April when it still might be cool in much of North America and Europe, but prices are already reduced from the high season. Of course, if you venture here in the summer and brave the hurricane forecasts, the place is an incredible bargain.
Arrive to the area via flight to Cancun International Airport. The resort will arrange transportation at booking.
The resort is walkable.
For Mom and Dad
It's hard to resist the side-by-side massage tables in the outdoor hut, with the sounds of waves rolling ashore. Just make the sure the kids are far away from the hut so they won't interrupt that sacred moment of shared bliss. There is also an indoor spa with steam room and sauna.
With the kids' club keeping the little ones busy until 10 p.m., consider booking a table at the adult-only seafood restaurant, Oceana.
For a little more adult fun, the DJ Party starts at 10:30 p.m. at Desires Bar, so keep your dancing flip-flops on.