The 9 Best Dreams Resorts to Book in 2018

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Set in a variety of picturesque tropical beach locations throughout Mexico and Central America, the Dreams group has emerged as one of the leading all-inclusive companies for families and couples looking for the ideal beach vacation. Dreams Resorts are self-described ‘ultimate luxury’ getaways, with rooms, restaurants, and amenities displaying the finest in sophisticated furnishing, top-quality food and beverage, and impeccable service. Dreams' next-level service includes enviable perks such as a la carte dining without reservation, unlimited premium food and beverages, 24-hour room service, and wait service at the pool and beach. Dreams has built their reputation by providing consistent quality and services across the board, appealing to travelers who like to know exactly what to expect during their stay. Despite some features and amenities being standard across the board (signature restaurants, the Dreams Spa by Pevonia, and water sports activities), each resort has enough unique aspects to offer a tailor-made holiday experience. Here, our favorite Dreams Resorts from Mexico to Costa Rica.

01 of 09

Best Overall: Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa 

Located on a quiet stretch of coastline just a short drive from Cancun International Airport, Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is an ideal location for an all-inclusive beach holiday. Guestrooms are outfitted with modern but warm décor, including polished wood and bamboo accents which add tropical flair. Furnished balconies provide ocean or garden views, and upper-floor end rooms even come with private plunge pools. A variety of activities around the resort include soccer, biking, and beach volleyball. For a more relaxed afternoon, guests can play a game of billiards, attend a movie screening, or try a selection of premium wines or tequilas at one of the regular tasting sessions.

The Dreams Spa continues the tropical theme with thatch-roofed treatment huts lining a winding pool. Inside, guests can indulge in chocolate body wraps, sea salt exfoliations and aromatherapy, hot stone and wine therapy massages, or just relax in the steam room, dry sauna, or cascading whirlpool spa. With seven restaurants, two cafes, and six bars, there is a dining and drinking scene to suit all tastes, from fine-dining French cuisine at Bordeaux to fresh seafood meals on the alfresco terrace of Oceana. Other options include the Italian and Mediterranean dishes in Portofino, the pan-Asian creations of Himitsu, and the authentic Mexican fare of El Patio.

02 of 09

Best for Romance: Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

Surrounded only by blue Caribbean waters, white sandy beaches, and pristine jungle, Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa provides couples a secluded beach escape. To take full advantage of the relaxed atmosphere, book a room in the adults-only section of the resort, where comfortable swim-up rooms and elegant, ocean-view suites are set among peaceful gardens. Guests can enjoy marble bathrooms with showers, soaking tubs, and double vanities, furnished balconies with views over the gardens or ocean, and exclusive bar service at the heated swimming pool.

Fun activities for couples include dance and Spanish classes, lessons in cooking and cocktail creation, beach yoga, and water aerobics. Guests can explore the aquatic playground on their doorstep with kayaks and catamarans, while under the waves stunning coral reefs can be discovered with scuba tanks or snorkels. Dining options include the Renaissance-style French fine-dining Bordeaux, the traditional colonial villa ambiance of El Patio, or the spectacular elevated dining terrace at the Seaside Grill. Alternatively, guests can choose to receive their meals in the privacy of their suites, or in an intimate corner of the resort for a romantic dining experience. After dinner, guests can retire for drinks at the stylish Rendezvous Bar in the lobby, smoke from aromatic shisha water pipes in the sophisticated Sky Bar, or watch the moon shine on the rippling waves from the beachside Sugar Reef bar.

03 of 09

Best for Families: Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa

Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa

Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa

Laid out on a tranquil beach and surrounded by tropical vegetation, Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa is one of the Dominican Republic's most sought-after stays. Spacious, cheerful rooms can accommodate up to six guests and incorporate modern décor and furnished balconies facing over the hotel gardens, with some rooms enjoying swim-up access. A long, winding free-form pool, running almost the entire length of the property and surrounded by verdant bushes and flowers, makes for a stunning centerpiece to the resort.

The Explorer’s Club is a fully supervised adventure playground for young children, with a colorful outdoor playground, a water park with a pirate ship and waterslides, and a bunch of activities such as sandcastle competitions, treasure hunts, and arts and craft sessions. Children are encouraged to explore the great outdoors on nature hikes and weekly campouts on the beach. At the Core Zone Teen’s Club, older kids can master the rock climbing wall, test their aim at the archery and pistol ranges, play table games, and socialize at regular discos and parties. Other activity facilities include trampolines, tennis courts, and areas for beach football. With eight restaurants available, guests can choose from grilled hamburgers, wood-fired pizzas, and seafood extravaganzas, to be enjoyed at beachside grill shacks, in elegant dining rooms, and on scenic alfresco terraces.

04 of 09

Best for Golfers: Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort

Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort

Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort

Are you or your significant other a golf lover? Guests staying at Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort can enjoy complimentary green fees and transfers to the Playa Mujeres Golf Course, an 18-hole course designed by Greg Norman and recognized as one of the best courses in Mexico. Rolling green fairways filled with blue lakes and soft white sand traps wind between lush tropical foliage filled with flowers and birds. The hotel concierge is on hand to assist guests with arranging transportation and reserving tee times.

At the hotel, guestrooms come in a palette of tasteful gray, aqua, and natural wood tones, with comfortable modern furniture and large furnished balconies; upscale suites feature balcony pools and ocean views. Activities around the resort include beach and pool volleyball, tennis courts, and a lazy river ride, while on the water guests can snorkel, scuba dive, and water ski. There is also the Delphinus Dolphin Habitat, a socially-responsible center where guests can swim and interact with the friendly, intelligent creatures. A range of dining options include Brazilian steakhouse dishes at Gaucho Grill, Japanese creations at Fusion, and French cuisine at L’Etoile. Guest can enjoy sunset libations under the straw palapa of the beachfront Hideaway, at the social swim-up bar The Grotto, or relaxing in the elegant piano bar atmosphere of Interlude.

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05 of 09

Best for Sustainability: Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

Although the Dreams Resorts group implements environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible codes of practice across all its properties, this attitude of care and responsibility is most evident at Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana. Certified by the Rainforest Alliance, the resort participates in several environmental and social initiatives, from adhering to an efficient recycling program to engaging in monthly beach clean-ups, annual tree planting days, and a huge Earth Day celebration. The hotel takes its social responsibility seriously by ensuring the majority of hotel staff are local residents of the area, working closely with nearby educational institutions, and making regular donations of school supplies.

The resort has plenty of opportunities for exploring the nearby natural wonders its policies protect. The Laguna Bravo Wildlife Refuge — right behind the resort — is filled with freshwater lakes, trees, and wildlife, while the ocean contains waving seaweed forests and coral reefs teeming with brightly-colored fish and other sea life.

Inside the resort, guest rooms come in soothing white, blue, and gray schemes, with upscale rooms having ocean view balconies and Jacuzzi tubs. The full-service spa provides a range of therapies in its treatment rooms, steam rooms, and Swedish saunas. At the on-site casino, visitors can play the slot machines and roulette, poker, and blackjack tables. There are a variety of restaurants serving international buffets, Italian dishes, and seafood platters, and the lobby bar, cocktail bars, and swim-up pool bars dispense drinks to guests throughout the resort.

06 of 09

Best in Mexico: Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta

Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta

Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta

Situated in a beachfront location on the west coast of Mexico, Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta sits in the center of an up-and-coming destination filled with opportunities for relaxation and adventure. Guestrooms are large, open-plan affairs with deep soaking tubs, slick modern décor, and furnished balconies with private plunge tubs, many with ocean views. The beautiful free-form swimming pools are surrounded by cushioned sun loungers. Guests can play a round of golf on a nearby course, work up a sweat on the tennis courts, or explore the ocean on a kayak or snorkeling trip. The hotel offers guests the opportunity to participate in experiences such as tequila tastings, food and wine pairings at the Chef’s Table, or joining in guided bicycle tours of Vallarta.

At the on-site spa, treatments include seaweed body wraps, mud hydrotherapy sessions, and a range of healing massage techniques including Swedish, sports therapy, and deep tissue, as well as more relaxing options such as aromatherapy and hot stone massages. Salon treatments provide hair styling, manicures and pedicures, and make-up services. There are five hotel restaurants, including two adult-only venues: the casual-yet-elegant Portofino, which serves classic Italian cuisine, and the rooftop sushi lounge Gohan. There is also a beachside grill, an alfresco seafood terrace, and the international buffet in the calm and soothing surrounds of the World Café.

07 of 09

Best in Dominican Republic: Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa

Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa

Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa

Occupying a pristine stretch of sand on the south-east coast of the Dominican Republic, Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa offers a secluded atmosphere while being conveniently close to the town of Bayahibe. The large, sprawling resort is set among calm natural bays, rocky headlands, and intact coastal forest, and contains five swimming pools with swim-up bars and in-pool sun loungers laid out amid beautifully landscaped gardens. Dark, polished wood furnishings and a stark white palette create a striking contrast in guestrooms, some which feature ocean views, and others swim-up access.

Kayaking, windsurfing, catamarans, and motorized water sports can be enjoyed on the water, and there are several golf courses in close proximity to the resort. The large full-service spa has a wide variety of treatment areas, with alfresco massage palapas, Swedish saunas, whirlpool spas, and lounge areas spread over three distinct sections: the main spa, the tranquil garden spa, and the scenic seaside spa. As well as the usual Dreams resort restaurant selection, guests can dine on Dominican specialties on an intimate private deck over the beach at Jungle, enjoy Mediterranean cuisine at the adults-only Olio, or snack on wood-fired pizza at La Trattoria. An on-site casino has tables for roulette, poker, and blackjack, as well as slot machines.

08 of 09

Best in Costa Rica: Dreams Las Mareas

Dreams Las Mareas

Dreams Las Mareas

Set on the shores of an isolated bay far north in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province, Dreams Las Mareas immerses guests in an unspoiled paradise of forests, meadows, and creeks. Nature walks, snorkeling, and kayaking all allow guests to explore the natural world around the resort. They can also venture further afield on fishing trips, scuba diving expeditions, and surfing adventures — all of which can be arranged through the AMStar tour service.

At the resort, two winding free-form pools and a whirlpool hot tub feature islands, a swim-up bar, a water slide, and views over the ocean. Cooking and coffee brewing classes allow guests to create traditional Costa Rican dishes and grind a perfect cup of coffee from organic, locally-grown beans. Spacious guestrooms and suites come in soft beige and brown tones and are filled with natural light which filters in through floor-to-ceiling windows. Furnished balconies host private plunge pools and views of the forest, pools, or ocean, with some suites even offering swim-up access. Restaurants at the resort include the poolside Barefoot Grill, the richly decorated El Patio Mexican restaurant, the Oceana alfresco seafood experience, and the wine-cellar setting of Portofino.

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09 of 09

Best in Panama: Dreams Delight Playa Bonita

Dreams Delight Playa Bonita

Dreams Delight Playa Bonita

Despite being just a short half-hour drive from Panama City, Dreams Delight Playa Bonita places guests in a calm countryside setting. Eleven towers face over expansive grounds of lush green lawns, swaying palms and shady broadleaf trees, all the way to the pale sandy beach and sparkling blue waters of the Pacific. Ocean views are available through large sliding glass doors leading onto furnished balconies in all guestrooms, which feature modern furnishings in neutral shades.

Three hotel pools include an expansive infinity pool set directly on the beach, with a swim-up bar and a landscaped island reached by bridges and walkways. While the Barefoot Grill is situated on a casual wooden deck overlooking the beach, ocean, and surrounding jungle, the Bordeaux restaurant is an opulent affair filled with crystal chandeliers, red silk tablecloths and ornate, Renaissance-style furniture. As an added bonus, guests visiting between July and December have the chance to view turtles on the hotel beach, from the adults dragging themselves onto the beach to lay their eggs to the hatching babies crawling out of the sand to dash for the safety of the waves. 

Our Process

Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular Dreams resorts. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 13 different Dreams resorts and read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.