Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hip Getaways - Dreams Palms Beach, Punta Cana

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.


  1. Your trip looks great! We went to the Dreams Riviera Maya last April and had a good time. It wasn't exactly the adult's only experience we have become used to but it was still a good quality resort and the rooms were great.

  2. My daughter was married there in Sept, 2010 and they outdid themselves to make everything just right. Wonderful place for the kids and every age in between. 47 of us went and it was loved by all.

  3. The resort looks beautiful. You lucked out with an awesome upgraded suite!

    I never understand why people cheap out on spending money on their vacations. It's better to spend the money to stay at a 5 star resort and get great food and service.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your stay in Punta Cana. We might be going back in June for our five year anniversary. It just seems right to head back to the place where we got married.

  4. I heard that the Riviera Maya one is even better! We had friends who visited and loved every moment. Secrets is owned by the same hotel group and more of an Adult's Only experience - in case you are looking for that next time.

    The weddings there are beautiful! The beach is a bit windy, but you can't beat the backdrop.

  5. I am having my wedding here next August and was wondering if you had any more pictures of the resort and hotel. Above it says "Follow the jump for more photos" but I am unable to find the jump. Thank you so much for your help with this.

    Future Bride

  6. Hi there!

    There should be a read more button in pink to take you to the rest of the post :)