I decided to do a separate post for the Dreams Tulum restaurants from my general hotel review, simply because there were just so many food options that were so good, they deserved their own! My Unlimited Luxury at Dreams Tulum post was also a mammoth post it was getting a bit long! The hotel advertises as having six a la carte restaurants as part of the resort and the all inclusive option, but this is by no means the limit of food choices available at the hotel.
Over the duration of our stay at Dreams Tulum, we ate at every restaurant at least once, and I can honestly say I was pretty gutted that we didn’t manage to get to them all twice. I did have my favourites, but every single restaurant was really delicious, with top quality food, a unique atmosphere, and we didn’t have one negative experience at any point.
The restaurants are all pretty close together in the resort, but are set out in a way that they blend in to the village style of the place. It was like going to a totally new place every night, rather than feeling like you were in a hotel. Once inside each restaurant took on a totally new vibe depending on what they were.
It’s worth noting at this point that the more casual restaurants, day cafes and poolside grill were open every day, but the a la carte restaurants were open on a rotating basis, with two closed every day. We visit in September which I don’t believe is their peak season, so that may have just been the case at the time we went. However, with so many restaurants available, even with two closed a day you were left with plenty other options and we never worried that we would miss one.
It took a few days for us to eat here as it was closed for the first two days we were there. El Patio served traditional Mexican food in an open air and under cover environment. I absolutely loved the character of the place, it was authentically Mexican in style, decor and food. The tequila cart outside was a highlight, as were the mosaic style tables and open fire kitchen.
We ate here for lunch, and I would probably say it is a bit more upscale than the seaside grill, yet wasn’t too far that you couldn’t go in your casual poolside attire and flip flops. You had to be covered up though, no bikinis allowed. What it did mean was that it was quite peaceful, with mainly couples choosing to dine here and very few families with children.
It made for a very nice break from the heat over lunchtime, and the food was everything I’d wanted from real Mexican dishes. We obviously had nachos to start nearly every lunchtime, and they came with guacamole and salsa.
Over all our visits to El Patio we tried the fajitas, chimichangas burritos and the nachos, and it was the best Mexican food I’ve ever tasted. The street food was pretty close actually, but the restaurant level food in El Patio was definitely another level of yum!
We ate at the Italian for our last evening meal, and I wish we had managed to get there earlier because it is definitely one that we would have gone back to. The restaurant itself is beautiful, with Italian art, glittering chandeliers, and a huge wine cellar.
The staff were really noticeably perfect in here, they were throughout the entire resort but they went that extra mile in here without being intrusive. There were private dining options available, and a lounge area by the bar for drinks as well. It really struck the right balance of relaxing holiday diners, with elegance of Italy.
The food again was excellent, with warm fresh bread, olives, as appetisers, and then a full Italian menu to choose from. The wine was also flowing, and you could hear each waiter happily explain the wine list to anyone who wasn’t really sure where to start.
For either an occasion or a more sophisticated evening, Portofino is definitely the restaurant to head to.
Another restaurant with a very sophisticated feel was the French restaurant, Bordeaux. A much more intimate setting than the grand Portofino, Bordeaux was small and cosy, with French doors, long drapes, little lamps and far fewer tables. The hotel states that you don’t require a reservation anywhere, but I couldn’t help but wonder if you might for this restaurant in peak season.
We had no problem getting in though, due to the jet lag and eating here our first night we were there pretty early. It was another classy restaurant with excellent service, and the food was very memorable.
We had soup to start, and we both had the beef for main which arrived under metal covers that were whipped off with a grand ‘voila!’ by the waiter. The food was excellent (getting a bit boring saying that all the time isn’t it – but it really was!) and I remember we both left feeling very content and full.
The French restaurant also has a cute little outdoor terrace area, but it was still so hot that we opted to sit inside in the air con. It would make for a lovely setting though.
This was the Asian restaurant, very well decorated and it transported you well away from Mexico for the evening. I do really like this type of cuisine, and it was delicious, but looking back I did prefer the other restaurants and their food. There was nothing wrong with it at all, it just wasn’t high up among my favourites compared to the others.
We had tempura prawns, noodles, and if I’m honest – I can’t remember what else! It definitely doesn’t stick in my mind like the others, but if you like this type of food I’m sure it would for you.
I loved this restaurant! Gohan served sushi, and only sushi, freshly prepared in front of you. It was a very small restaurant compared to the others, but it had plenty of tables for two, and a big centre table in the middle. Nearly everyone who ate here were couples, and they even sat us opposite your partner across the main table. It was a bit strange at first being so close to other diners, but it actually ended up being a lot of fun.
It was a good way to meet people and speak to them, but if you weren’t feeling particularly sociable there were tables all the way around for a more private experience. The sushi menu was huge, and the waiter was more than happy to explain it to anyone unfamiliar with sushi. There were a few people in this situation, and I think it actually was a great way to do it. You could just keep ordering!
They didn’t hurry you out, and there was no limit on how many bits of sushi you could order, the waiter just kept coming round, taking more orders and passing it to the sushi chef at the end to make up and pass back down.
It was some of the most fresh and flavourful (is that a word?) sushi I’ve ever had, and despite having to really be in the mood for sushi we only went the once. It was definitely one of those places that we wished we had gone to earlier so we could go back, but it was great on a night where we wanted to enjoy a few drinks after, and we weren’t too full to be put off.
The seaside grill was right by the beach, as you can probably gather by the name. It was open air and had incredible views along the sandy beach and through the palm trees across the sea. Specialising in seafood, which is always a winner for me, yet we didn’t actually eat here in the evening. We ate here most days for lunch instead, as it served lighter dishes, as well as some Mexican.
My favourite were the chimichangas, or the burrito, and I loved how every time you went they gave you a cone of nachos in a big banana leaf. It was more casual through the day, but you still did need to cover up, and was a good spot for families as it was slightly less upscale than El Patio in the day time.
We enjoyed some very nice lunches here, in the sea breeze with a lovely view.
At any all inclusive resort you’re going to get a general world buffet, with a huge range of food on offer for all tastes. The World Cafe is usually where this was held, but when we were there it was closed for renovations. The breakfast buffet was served in the building which housed Gohan, Himitsu and Bordeaux every morning instead, which actually worked out quite well as each room had different types of food in it.
I loved the little ‘egg window’, where you could order eggs any way you like them, or omelettes and they would make them for you while you wait. I also really liked the Bloody Mary bar, which was there for you to help yourself and make your own.
They did however get more creative with the evening buffet, on one night it was set up in the entertainment area at little shacks, and on another it was set up as a big street food festival through the streets of the resort and in the main square.
I really enjoyed the street food festival, as I like a good Mexican food stall anyway, and this was even better being in Mexico. They set up high tables to stand at, and were serving char grilled corn on the cob, wraps, meat skewers, and all sorts of rice and vegetable dishes.
By the activity/childrens pool there was a poolside grill open through the day. It served things like hot dogs, burgers, pizza and nachos throughout the day. This was where you could go if you didn’t want to leave your sun lounger all day to go into a restaurant for lunch. We had nachos a couple of times from there, and a hot dog one particularly hungover morning, just watch out for iguanas hiding under your sun lounger, they smell them a mile off!
Coco Cafe – cafe snacks
The Coco cafe was located among some of the shops, and was a great place to get a coffee or snack, with a full range of cakes available too. The Coco smoothie bar was at the back and open through the day too.
We ordered room service only once during our stay, in the early hours of the morning when we had the munchies after a few too many drinks. I can’t even remember what we got, I know it took us a while to decide as there was a lot to choose from, but that it came really quickly which obviously matters in situations like that!
Overall, the food and restaurants at Dreams Tulum were all incredible, the food was fresh, very tasty and served in some beautiful settings by very lovely waiters and waitresses. They were attentive and happy to help with anything, and as far as Mexican food goes really was the best I’ve ever tasted.
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