On a big white-sand beach, a 20-minute drive from the airport
Good all-inclusive plan without too many extra fees and no wristbands
Colonial-style rooms with jetted tubs, terraces, and free minibars
Suites have full-sized bottles of liquor and reserved beach palapas
Three lovely pools (two heated) and two adult-only whirlpools
Six a la carte restaurants, snack bars, and a main buffet
Six bars, including a swim-up bar and nightclub
Large wellness center with hydrotherapy circuit, fitness center, and spa
Chef's Garden with weekly cooking classes and wine tastings
Kids' club, baby playroom, and kiddy pool
Free Wi-Fi, plus free calls to the U.S. and Canada through the app
Beach is prone to seaweed
Loud atmosphere may not appeal to some travelers
Poolside loungers can be hard to secure
Not many true oceanfront rooms
Sofas do not convert to beds (except in the Master Suites)
The four-pearl Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is a family-friendly all-inclusive located on a white-sand beach a 20-minute drive south of the airport. The 486 rooms are spacious and come stocked with free minibars, TVs with satellite channels, whirlpool tubs, and furnished terraces -- some with plunge pools. Expect contemporary colonial decor, lots of open-air spaces, and a wristband-free all-inclusive program with good food and several places to grab a drink. The beach here is big, but prone to seaweed (common for the area), and there are three pools. The kids’ club and seasonally heated pool are popular with families, while couples often make use of the hydrotherapy spa, adult-only restaurant, and Preferred Club perks. Foodie-friendly pluses include a chef's garden, cooking classes, and extensive dining program. Couples wanting an adult-only option nearby should consider Excellence Riviera Cancun.
Large beachfront all-inclusive with a contemporary colonial look and family-friendly vibe
Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa was built in 2009, and features outdoor hallways and contemporary colonial-style wicker furniture and decor touches like woven rattan fan blades and log staircases. In 2017, all pool tiles were replaced and three restaurants received renovations. Guests here get a healthy dose of fresh air and ocean views, thanks to several open-air palapa buildings and plenty of outdoor seating options. The resort itself doesn't feel overly stylish or dated, but it's an elegant take on colonial design, with lots of warm earth tones throughout. Dreams Riviera primarily draws families with children and couples who are looking for a solid all-inclusive option away from the spring break crowds of Cancun. However, many guests have reported loud entertainment, restaurants, and music by the pool, which may hinder a relaxing, romantic vacation.
Beachfront setting close to the main highway and near Cancun
The Dreams Riviera Cancun is located in the former fishing village of Puerto Morelos, just off the main Highway 307. There's little within walking distance, but the resort's easy access to the freeway makes it a good base for those wanting to explore the Riviera Maya region. Playa del Carmen, Akumal, and Tulum are a 40-, 60-, and 90-minute drive south, respectively, while Cancun International Airport is around a 20-minute drive north. The ruins at Coba and several cenotes are within a two-hour drive.
Spacious rooms with free minibars and balconies, plus extra perks for suites
Dreams Riviera Cancun has 486 octagon-shaped rooms with a modern colonial look featuring creams, oak wood accents, and woven wicker fan blades. In the center, a large king-size or two double beds rest back-to-back against a dual vanity stocked with hairdryer, large mirror, and luxury brand toiletries. Toilets walled with frosted glass are not for the shy, while separate whirlpool tubs make for a romantic alternative to the walk-in shower. Expect free Corona and soft drinks in the minibar, DVD players, free 24-hour room service, iHome docks, furnished balconies, and at least 50-inch flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. Loveseats do not convert to sleeping spaces, though the Master Suite has a pullout sofa.
Premium Deluxe-level rooms have either second- and third-floor garden vistas, ocean views, or semi-private, dual-level plunge pools on the ground floor. Upgrades to Preferred rooms come with better ocean views, upgraded bath and minibar products, and Nespresso machines. All suites have one bedroom and come with fresh flowers, full-sized bottles of alcohol, and extra amenities, and guests in the Preferred Club Governor’s Suite and Preferred Club Presidential Suite Oceanfront also receive free reserved palapas down at the beach. It’s worth noting that the only true oceanfront rooms on the property are the Preferred Cub Master Suite Oceanfront.
Beautiful beach with white sand, plenty of loungers, and, sometimes, seaweed
Dreams Riviera Cancun is both gifted with a beautiful white-sand beach and cursed with a frequent collection of seaweed. Many guests find themselves disappointed with the resort's beach, though seaweed accumulation is common in this area of Mexico. Expect several rows of contemporary loungers set up in the sands, though minimal-to-no available shade. Palapa-shaded loungers and Bali beds are available on a first-come, first-served basis (or can be reserved for higher-level suite guests).
No wristbands, plus six a la carte restaurants, top-shelf liquor, and room service included
The Dreams brand has an “Unlimited Luxury” no-wristband, all-inclusive plan. Rates cover all buffet meals, a la carte restaurants, domestic and international top-shelf liquor, house wines, 24-hour room service, and daily refills of in-room minibars. Expect free Wi-Fi throughout, plus free calls to the U.S. and Canada when placed through the resort’s app. Guests can also eat dinner at any sister properties in the Dreams, Now, and Sunscape families, thanks to the free Sip and Savor program, though transportation is not included. All taxes and tips are also included.
Preferred Club guests have extra perks, from a Preferred Club Lounge with premium bar, business center, and snacks to upgraded in-room amenities, and session of hydrotherapy at the spa, and a private beach area with bar, private loungers, and cabanas.
Six a la carte restaurants, including an adult-only French restaurant
Dreams Riviera Cancun guests have a choice of six a la carte restaurants, including Mexican, Japanese, seafood, Italian, steakhouse, and an adult-only French restaurant. Preferred Club guests have the option to grab breakfast at the Seaside Grille or Oceana, along with the standard options of room service or the World Cafe buffet. All a la carte restaurants are open for dinner, but only two also open at lunchtime. During high season, the Japanese restaurant serves as an additional buffet during breakfast. Portofino’s wine cellar is a private dining option with a minimum spend. Food here is a favorite and the resort is able to cater to dietary restrictions. Restaurants have a casual dress code that prohibits beach attire, while the adult-only Bordeaux has a "Casual Elegance" dress code. Reservations are only required for the Japanese teppanyaki grill.
Additional food options include free, 24-hour room service, sandwiches and sweets at the Coco Cafe, and the lunch-only Barefoot Grille, a poolside snack shack with pizza, burgers, and live cooking station.
Huge beachfront pool area with three pools, including an infinity pool and kids' pool
The resort’s infinity pool is popular with adults, thanks to its panoramic views over the beach and swim-up bar, though claiming a padded lounger in the vicinity can be a challenge even with the resort’s “use it or lose it” policy. The entertainment pool is a bit rowdier, as it hosts the daily poolside activities and plays loud music. Unofficially, there are a handful of shallow decorative pools that are often commandeered by kids. The official kids' pool is long and narrow, with an initial depth starting at just under a foot. Both the kids’ pool and infinity pool are heated in winter.
Hydrotherapy spa, large fitness center, and kids' club, plus extras like free cooking classes
Dreams Riviera Cancun is stocked full of activities and features, ensuring guests are never at a loss for something to do. The hotel's spa is popular for its guided outdoor hydrotherapy circuit, and 13 treatment rooms, a fish spa, salon, and couples' room with chromotherapy. Guests can purchase an affordable daily pass to use the hydrotherapy, steam room, or sauna. LifeFitness, Precor, and Hoist exercise equipment fill the large but simple gym, and yoga and spinning classes are available, though they're infrequent. The Chef's Garden, which grows herbs for use in the resort's kitchens, has free weekly cooking classes and wine tastings, and guests are encouraged to stop by the Locked in Love Garden to decorate and leave a lock on the gate, similar to Paris' padlock bridge. There's no teen club here, though the Explorer Club organizes activities for kids ages 3 to 12 and features Red Cross-certified staff members, a small rock wall, theater, and crafts. Parents are given a pager and cannot leave the property. This is also the only AMResort to have a dedicated, though unsupervised, baby play area for parents.
A 24-hour medical service, hookah at the Rendezvous lobby bar, scuba diving, wine upgrades, and beach dinner have extra fees. Guests here are also able to participate in the resort's Sip, Savor and Sea program, which allows them to visit nearby Dreams and Now properties for dinner free of charge (transportation is not included). Other features include conference rooms, a wedding gazebo by the beach, and entertainment center with free games and books.
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