Hotel & Room
We stayed in a Deluxe Room which had two sizeable double beds. It was evident the room had been recently been refurbished and the use of bright colours helped create a fine, bright ambiance. The modern air conditioning unit had it’s own remote control which enabled us to set the room temperature to that which most suited us.
The amenities were typical of a 5* property and included satellite tv, CD/DVD player, i-pod docking station, coffee maker hairdryer etc. There we even bathrobes & slippers ! Room service is provided 24 hours per day
The mini-bar, which was re-stocked on a regular basis, contained beers, soft drinks and bottled water.
My wife was very pleased to find a hairdryer in the room. Even though she had taken her own with her, the low voltage in Dominican Republic meant it would not work to it’s full potential.
Having to entertain a 9 years old child meant that the DVD player was a god-send. He was able to select from a wide variety of DVD’s available from the hotel’s reception. Be aware however that DVD’s with a UK format will not work !
Facilities & Dining
The hotel has a good selection of restaurants, from a la carte to a very informal buffet service. The buffet restaurant offers a wide range of choice for everyone. There is a salad bar for those wishing to watch their figures (on holiday, I ask you !), a vegetarian section, kiddies corner etc. My favorite restaurant was El Patio which specialised in Mexican cuisine. The fajitas were magnificent ! My wife, Lisa’s favorite was the Oceana restaurant where freshly-caught fish was part of a comprehensive menu. The setting, close to the beach, helped create a stunning caribbean atmosphere. So far as my son Rhys was concerned, he loved the fact he was able to dine with his many new friends in the designated area for kids only, in the main buffet restaurant. From mine and Lisa’s perspective, we preferred the a la carte restaurants over the buffet restaurant as they provided a more relaxed atmosphere although we did make use of the main buffet restaurant when perhaps we did not feel like “making the effort” so to speak.
The main benefits offered by this hotel are that there are no restrictiions as to the number of visits you may make to a particular restaurant and you do not have to make reservations. I for one do not like the idea of deciding in advance what type of food I wish to eat, preferring instead to decide there and then.
The Exporers’ Club for the kids is the best I have ever come across. I recall at the Welcome Meeting, our Representative saying to us that we would need to re-aquaint ourselves with our son at the end of the holiday because once he had set foot into the Explorers’ Club, he would always be there. She was absolutely correct.
One day he would be horse-riding in the sea, another he would be on the huge ocean trampoline.There were films shown on the beach, treasure hunts and there are the all-important video games. On a weekly basis, the kids embark on a camping trip, albeit within the confines of the hotel grounds and all the time Rhys was with the highly experienced Club Staff, we had a pager with us in case they needed to contact us. This meant myself and my lovely wife were able to spend some relaxing, quality time together, although at times, I did envy the kids and the activities they were participating in.
Lisa loved the spa. Unfortunately, the treatments are not part of the all inclusive package but she tells me the prices were no more expensive than those in the UK. One thing to note is that the hotel had regular special offers for certain treatments, some were half the normal price. Lisa tells me the spa was beatiful inside and that the amenities & equipment were very modern and of a high standard
The beach at the hotel is beautiful. The turquoise waters of the caribbean sea and its shallow-sloping white sand makes the beach a very popular part of the hotel.Beach activities such as beach volleyball, beach football, the ocean trampoline and many others are readilly available as part of the all inclusive concept while motorised watersports are available at an extra cost.
Dominican Republic as a Destination
I had never visited Dominican Republic before but after having stayed at Dreams Punta Cana and enjoyed it immensely, I would not hesitate to take a holiday there again. The people are so friendly, the hotel itself provided everything a family could want. There is definite caribbean feel to the place.
For those wishing to work to a fixed budget, the Dominican Republic offers a fantastic option. The best hotels will provide everything a family will need.
For those wishing to sample local nightlife, do a little retail therapy etc, then the Dominican Republic will not suit as there is very little to do outside of the resort other than the organised excursions such as the famous Manati Dolphin Park, Quad-Biking Safaris, Jungle Safaris etc
AM Resorts and their Dreams Resorts brand of hotels offer the ultimate family holiday experience. The adults are afforded Premium Branded alcohal drinks, almost every food option is available, the entertainment is of a high standard, there is even a casino although this is not “all inclusive”. and of cause, for the kids, their is the Explorers’ Club, the swimming pools and the magnificent child-friendly beach.
Their Dreams Cancun & Dreams Tulum Resorts provide the same level of quaility & service in Mexico while the soon to be opened Dreams Puerto Aventuras resort in Mexico will increase the choice even further. Each has it’s own distinctive features which seperates it from the others and hence, offers a different holiday concept. Similarly, Dreams La Romana & Dreams Palm Beach will do likewise in Dominican Republic when they open at the end of 2008.