Located several miles north of the Tulum ruins, Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa is the last larger all-inclusive resort on the Riviera Maya and also the final stop on most Cancun cab routes. Traveling directly here from the airport takes approximately 90 min. (granted there are no other stops) and can be expensive in terms of cab fare or private transfer. Once arriving at the resort, however, guests are surrounded by classical Colonial, hacienda-style architecture set amidst beautifully landscaped grounds.
There are many public spaces and décor reminiscent of Colonial Mexico such as walkway fountains with surrounding gardens and benches, many building archways, and lovely wrought iron chandeliers. Although some of the architecture can be described as “Old World” in style, Dreams Tulum completed an extensive renovation several years ago on multiple areas of the resort which resulted in updated bathrooms in several room categories, the addition of swimout suites and several adults-only guest room suite categories. This resort has received many accolades over the years including AAA’s Four Diamond Award as well as various agency recognitions for its efforts to protect the environment.
Many guests book this resort for its excellent children’s program and child-related amenities. The Explorer’s Club is Mayan-inspired–from its Mayan Temple entrance to its tribal village look, kids ages 3-12 generally have a blast with the myriad of activities that are planned for them including beach camping adventures, sand castle contests, a rock climbing wall, and performing on the mini-stage. Teens also have their own dedicated space; however, their program is not as extensive as the Explorer’s Club. Children are not the only ones who have fun with planned activities–the resort celebrates major American holidays and special events (such as the Superbowl, Academy Awards night, etc.) with big-screen TV’s on the beach along with other activities specifically geared towards such events.
When children aren’t involved in the Explorer’s Club, respective families typically head for the beachfront pools or the beach. Dreams Tulum has two pools–the main activities pool with a swim-up bar and shallow children’s section, and the rectangular “quiet” pool located just beyond the adjacent Barefoot Grill restaurant. While the main pool’s pergola provides shade for sundeck loungers, the quiet pool offers shade umbrellas; Bali beds on the quiet pool’s sundeck can be rented out for the day. The resort also periodically hoists a zipline above the main pool for some daytime fun, while main pool foam parties are a weekly occurrence.
The beach is only a few steps away from the main pool area and is generally a stunner with white sand and turquoise water. There are occasional rocky outcroppings both at the shoreline and, with a coral reef just offshore, the ocean bottom makes wading difficult in certain spots, so bring water shoes. The beach itself is long and wide–plenty of room for activities and long walks (try south of the resort for the best beach area). Palapas and coconut trees provide needed shade, while hammocks and massage tables offer additional opportunities for relaxation.
There is no shortage of guest room categories at Dreams Tulum with 16 to choose from including an adults-only section, swimout rooms, and suites located close to pool and beach areas. Room décor is soothing with hues of brown, tan, and crème, with white linens and pops of orange; bathrooms are large and many include a tub which is a necessary amenity when traveling with young children. Balconies now include a hammock, and 24-hr. room service is complimentary.
The Dreams Spa by Pevonia provides some unique services including a traditional Temazcal ceremony and hut, glass wall jungle cabins, and couple’s treatment room. Even children and teens can receive some spa services–inquire at the spa as to which treatments are allowed for various age groups.
Although Dreams Tulum is a fairly popular destination wedding venue, the property layout is such that minimal disruption is caused by the many ceremonies and receptions it holds. Perhaps the only glitch caused by these celebrations is restaurant wait times since wedding parties have been known to overwhelm restaurant space.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly with some adults-only room sections
Pro: Kid’s Club activities, adults-only guest room section, free WiFi, close to the Tulum ruins
Con: Rocky beach and ocean bottom areas, 16 guest room categories can be confusing when deciding on a room to book.
Best Suited For: Families with children ages 5-9, destination weddings, couples who don’t mind vacationing around families with small children
No. of Rooms: 432
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace (most with hammocks), table and chair, ceiling fan, mini-bar, digital safe, flat screen TV, telephone, coffee maker, DVD player, radio alarm clock with iPod dock, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, shower, toiletries, complimentary 24-hr. room service, and free calls to the US, Canada, and Mexico with the mobile app. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
(Non-Preferred Club Rooms)
- Deluxe Garden View: King or two dbl beds.
- Jr. Suite Garden View: King bed, sitting area with sofa and coffee table, tub and shower.
- Premium Jr. Suite Garden View: King or two dbl beds, sunken sitting area with sofa, coffee table, desk and chair, dbl sinks, Jacuzzi tub, robes and slippers. These suites have a large wall opening which separates the bathroom from the bedroom; there are wooden shutters which can be closed for privacy.
- Deluxe Ocean View: King or two dbl beds, separate tub.
- Jr. Suite Ocean View: King bed, sitting area with sofa and coffee table, separate tub.
- Premium Jr. Suite Ocean View: King or two dbl beds, sunken sitting area with sofa, coffee table, desk and chair, dbl sinks, separate Jacuzzi tub, robes and slippers. These suites have a large wall opening which separates the bathroom from the bedroom; there are wooden shutters which can be closed for privacy.
- NOTE: The non-ocean view Deluxe rooms are typically located in Hacienda buildings in the middle of the resort, while Premium rooms are typically located closer to the pools. There are exceptions, so check the resort map on the Dreams website.
(Non-Preferred Club Adults-Only Rooms)
- Deluxe Garden View Adults-Only Section: King or two dbl beds, robes and slippers.
- Jr. Suite Garden View Adults-Only Section: King bed, sitting area with sofa and coffee table, robes and slippers, separate tub.
(Preferred Club Privileges)
- private check-in/out
- private concierge
- upgraded mini-bar with snacks and mini-bottles of liquor
- upgraded bathroom amenities
- pillow menu
- complimentary newspaper
- access to the Preferred Club Lounge with continental breakfast, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, top-shelf liquor, and use of computer and printer
- private beach section with wait service
- wait service to the swimout rooms
(Preferred Club Rooms)
- Preferred Club Deluxe Garden Swimout: King or two dbl beds, direct access to pool right off the terrace, dbl sinks, Jacuzzi tub.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Garden Swimout: King bed, separate sitting area with sofa, coffee table, armchair, direct access to pool right off the terrace, dbl sinks, Jacuzzi tub. This suite has a large wall opening which separates the bathroom from the bedroom; the wooden shutters can be closed for privacy.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Oceanfront: King or two dbl beds, separate sitting area with sofa, armchair, coffee table, armchair, room service box, dbl sinks, Jacuzzi tub.
- Preferred Club Honeymoon Suite Ocean View: King bed, separate sitting area with sofa, desk and chair, coffee table, room service box, dbl sinks, Jacuzzi tub, walk-in closet.
- Preferred Club Hacienda Suite: This suite is a combination bedroom/living room with a hardwood floor and a king bed, armoire, several armchairs, desk and chair, table and two chairs, while the bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub with a view, dbl vessel sinks, and large shower. Partial ocean and/or pool view.
- Preferred Club Hacienda Presidential Suite: Separate bedroom with king bed, armoire, armchair, desk and chair, flat screen TV, separate living room with sofa bed, armchairs, coffee table, flat screen TV and wood flooring, while the bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub with a view, dbl vessel sinks, and large shower. Partial ocean and pool view.
(Preferred Club Adults-Only Rooms)
- Preferred Club Deluxe Garden Swimout Adults-Only Section: King or two db beds, direct access to pool off the terrace, dbl sinks, Jacuzzi tub.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Garden Swimout Adults-Only Section: King bed, separate sitting area with sofa, coffee table, armchair, direct access to pool off the terrace, dbl sinks, Jacuzzi tub.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Two beachfront pools (activities pool with swim-up bar/shallow children’s section, and “quiet” pool), spa, Temazcal hut and ceremony, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts, shuffleboard, giant chess, trail for walking/jogging, non-motorized water sports, pool and beach wait service, Bali beds, beach massage tables, hammocks, sports bar, Catholic Chapel, Explorer’s Club (ages 3-12) with Euro-bungee, playground, rock climbing wall, splash pad, and basketball court, Core Zone teen club (ages 13-17), concierge, tour desk, gift shop, professional photographer, wedding showroom, business center, car rental, medical services, laundry/dry cleaning.
Restaurants/Bars: Eight restaurants including one buffet (World Café), a beachside grill (Barefoot Grill), Coco Café which serves coffees, deli snacks, and pastries, and six a la cartes including Italian (Portofino), Asian (Himitsu–teppanyaki show tables), Mexican (El Patio), Peruvian/sushi (Gohan), seafood (Seaside Grill), and French (Bordeaux–while adults-only, families are allowed on the terrace). Portofino restaurant has a wine cellar which can be booked for a more private dining experience; a wine purchase must be made, however. In addition, Himitsu teppanyaki show tables must be booked in advance; the remaining restaurants are first-come first-served. Seven bars are located throughout the property including the lobby bar, swim-up bar, beach bar, poolside bar with swing seats, smoothie bar, spa bar, and the Sky sports bar; upgraded guests also have access to the private Preferred Club bar.
Entertainment: Weekly beach parties, movies on the beach, live music, nightly shows, and a sports bar where guests may watch major sporting events.