We don't doubt that everyone is sitting in their office right now dreaming of a hot beach vacay to somewhere in the Caribbean. The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide was doing the exact same thing, when we finally packed our bags and headed down to Dreams Palm Beach Resort, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic!
Choosing an all-inclusive for a group of people with different budgets and tastes in mind was tricky. The majority of all-inclusive resorts are for adults, 21+ and we had one child in our group. Dreams Palm Beach was the perfect blend of couples and families, which rated in the Top 20 on Tripadvisor for Punta Cana. It's usually a good idea to cross-reference an unbelievable vacation deal with the hotel's ranking online. Sometimes you get what you pay for. The price for Dreams Palm Beach was a reasonable $1400 CDN + $200 in taxes when flying from Toronto. It wasn't the cheapest deal out there, but everyone in the group agreed it was worth paying a little bit more for better food and facilities on our seven night trip.
Lucky for us, we were upgraded to the Honeymoon Suite in the Preferred Club of the resort. The huge room included a living room, dining area, patio with a hammock, large master bedroom and ensuite bathroom, plus a powder room. We felt pretty spoiled by the two TVs, daily turndown service and complimentary snacks and mini-bar. WiFi in the Preferred section is also included, so you can feed your internet addiction while on vacation. The decor is modern and fresh, with Dreams spending over $25 million in renovations back in 2007. The hotel opened as a Dreams Resort in 2008 with close to 500 guestrooms. During high season from January - April, Canadians make up 25% or more of the clientele looking to escape the cold. The rest are a mix of American and European guests.
The hotel stocks you up with lots of toiletries (left). It was nice to receive full-size bottles that lasted a full-week and more environmentally friendly too. Large double vanity (right). Follow the jump for more photos!
A lovely welcome fruit tray and a stocked mini-bar. Room service is also included and available 24 hours. Sort of hard to stick to your New Year's Resolutions when you're here!
The grounds and pathway down to the pools and beach
Elegant and modern lobby with lots of sofas for lounging and cocktail service. It was a great place to unwind and meet other people after a long day in the sun.
Keep patio season going in January! The bar can make you any drink that you can think of. The liquor is top-shelf and the staff are not shy about how much alcohol they put in your drink (which is lots). The Frozen Mudslide was blended fresh every time and was a favourite among guests.
The well-landscaped pools and grounds draws over 280 weddings a year! Dreams Palm Beach allows children, so it attracts large families and wedding parties.
Once a week, the resort offers a Paella Dinner on the beach. During our stay, a large outdoor TV with chairs, champagne and Vegas dancers were set-up for a viewing of the Golden Globe Awards. The entertainment staff does a great job keeping guests busy all day and with a fun interactive show in the evenings. Dance lessons in salsa and merengue are offered in the early evening, under the stars. You can choose to participate in as many or as few activities as you want. The resort also has a casino, disco, tennis courts, beach volleyball, free non-motorized water sports, exercise classes and nightly outdoor movies.
Check back with us early next week as we feature Part Two of our Hip Getaway to Punta Cana. Read more of our visit so far - here.