When we booked up to go to Tulum last year, we were looking for an all inclusive resort in the Tulum area, with a private beach, adults only pool area and total relaxing luxury. After searching for a few days, we finally decided on Dreams Tulum.
I know all inclusive resorts can be a turn off for some people, and when you can get to Mexico pretty easily/cheaply from the States I can see why you might rent a gorgeous little authentic shack right on the beach, or a private villa with friends.
But when you’re flying over from the UK, costs quickly add up. We had decided on Tulum rather than Cancun for the area, but also because the hotels are pretty new and aren’t outdated. Dreams Tulum looked like a little village, with a full range of cuisine and we got a pretty good package deal, including flights and the two hour transfer all in.
Dreams Tulum – Location
Tulum is located in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico, South of Cancun on the Caribbean coast where you’ll find unbeatable white sandy beaches and turquoise waters on one side, and the jungle on the other. Until last year I hadn’t even heard of it, but when I started to research the place, including geotags on Instagram (how else can you see exact real life photos?) and reading first hand experiences, it really seemed like exactly the sort of place we wanted. It took two hours transfer time to get there, after the ten hour flight, so it’s a bit of a hike, but completely worth it.
Once you get on to the motorway from Cancun, the road is literally completely straight, the entire way there. You pass the entrances of all the resorts from the motorway, but you get no real sense of what anything is like beyond the motorway. We arrived at the gates of Dreams Tulum and the taxi drove up the cobbled roads that sweep round to the grand entrance of the yellow main building.
For local activities the hotel is in a great spot, just a ten minute taxi ride from Tulum town itself, Akumal beach where you can easily spot sea turtles is also a ten minute taxi ride away, adventure parks such as Xel – ha are within five minutes, natural beauty sights such as the Tulum cenotes, Tulum beach, and the Mayan ruins are all within fifteen minutes away.
Welcome to Dreams Tulum
As you arrive at the hotel you’re immediately met with choruses of ‘Welcome home!’ from all the concierge, this is what they say every time you arrive at the hotel, wherever you’ve been. They view the hotel as your home for the week, albeit a very grand and luxurious one!
The lobby is huge, with bottles of water, snacks and champagne on hand for you to really kick start your holiday. We were also welcomed on the path outside by the biggest iguana I’ve ever seen, the first of many we saw our entire time there.
Check in was quick and painless, and we were confirmed an upgrade from a standard room to a swim out suite. Yessss! Our bags were loaded onto a golf buggy and we were transported round through the small paths, among the palm trees to our block.
Dreams Tulum Rooms & Suites
We had a front door, which led through to two of the suite doors, and the porter took us in, followed by a brief run down of the room, appliances, the unlimited mini bar, and threw open the curtains to our terrace, complete with hammock and steps down into the secluded pool running around all the suites of our block.
Our suite itself was lovely, all cream tiles and dark wood, with giant shutters through to the bathroom, complete with jacuzzi bath, walk in giant shower, double sinks and seperate toilet. The terrace was my favourite bit, with the tiny table and chairs, and hammock, but the swim out pool by far stole the show. While I was out there having a look, a waiter was walking across the gardens and asked if we needed anything. It’s very strange getting used to all inclusive!
There are a number of different rooms available at the hotel, but the balcony, terrace or gardens all have the hammock feature. Depending on the type of room/suite you have there are additional extras that come with it. Our swim out was a big bonus, as the gardens and sun loungers in this area were for our exclusive use too.
Free wifi was available throughout the whole resort.
The general gardens of the entire resort are grand and impressive, you could literally get lost wandering around them.
Dreams Tulum Pool area
There are two main pool areas, the more lively, activity filled children pool, and the beautifully calm and quiet adult pool. Both are surrounded by plenty sun loungers, tables and umbrellas. We never once had a problem finding a good spot by the adult pool, and both had waiters constantly wandering to bring you drinks or snacks. Benito was our favourite, every day he would chat away and ask how we were enjoying our stay, and bring me a different flavoured mojito to try.
The pools are surrounded by palm trees, and right next to the beach if you fancy a change of scenery. I loved how you could roam around and leave your stuff without worrying. There were also big four posters available to those with premium luxury stays, or available at a supplement charge.
Behind the adult pool, was a natural cenote, actually located within the hotel resort. Other than adding a fountain, the whole thing was completely natural, they just built the resort around it.
Dreams Tulum Beach
Like every single beach I saw in Tulum, the private beach of Dreams Tulum was pristine, white sands, turquoise seas, and shade available from leafy palm trees. The hotel supplied sun loungers and umbrellas too, and every morning we saw staff working hard to keep it clean and perfect. The Dreams Tulum beach is also a protected area for sea turtle nests, and as you walk along the bay you will find them fenced off.
The hotel gardens lead right onto the beach, and walking to the right is a gorgeous stretch of sand around a crescent bay, which we used to walk every day until we got to the rockpools at the far end before turning back.
To the left is the private beach for Preferred Club guests, which staying in the swim out suites we were. Here the sun loungers came with thatched umbrellas, there was a makeshift bar right on the beach, hammocks and more luxury double loungers. The watersports shack was at the far end of this area too.
Dreams Tulum Restaurants
There were nine eateries in the entire Dreams Tulum resort, ranging from six a la carte restaurants, and a poolside grill to a casual cafe and a buffet restaurant, however this was closed in September and the standard buffet changed location each day.
Over the course of our stay we ate in every restaurant, and it was honestly some of the best food I’ve tasted. In addition to all of the restaurants there were often themed nights in the ‘streets’ of the resort, where streetfood stalls were set up and traditional Mexican food was served up too.
There’s so much to say about all of the restaurants and food available at Dreams Tulum that I’ve never a separate post entirely on them. Here’s a general list and round up of each one but the full post on Dreams Tulum restaurants is here.
El Patio – serving traditional Mexican food
Portofino – a glamorous and delicious Italian
Bordeaux – sophisticated French restaurant
Himitsu – Thai food and theme
Gohan – sushi
Seaside Grill – seafood, fish and some Mexican dishes
World Cafe – this was the buffet restaurant that we didn’t eat in as it was closed for refurbishment.
Barefoot Grill – the poolside casual grill, serving hot dogs, burgers, nachos throughout the day
Coco Cafe – cafe snacks
Dreams Tulum Bars
There were four main bars of Dreams Tulum, the smallest being a tiny little smoothie bar open during the day from 11am, to an upscale lounge cocktail bar in the main hotel lobby building called Rendezvous.
Then there was the swim up pool bar, Manatees, with its seats in the pool, swinging seats, and full tropical cocktail menu. Lastly the Sugar Reef bar, among the restaurants and where we often spent the evening as it was more casual and entertaining, especially when the live music started at about 9pm.
All top shelf spirits, food and alcohol were included, and no wristbands or reservations were needed. It took some getting used to, but it was so nice not to need to worry about booking tables, money, or paying the bill. If you didn’t want to eat at any of the restaurants, there was also 24 hour room service available too. We ordered this late on after one too many drinks and a case of the midnight munchies on a couple of occasions.
Entertainment & Activities
We were there mainly to relax and enjoy the sun and food, but there were plenty activities available for those who wanted to take part. We didnt feel at any point like the activities intruded into our holiday, and we were never pressurised or approached to join in.
Every day on the beach there were a range of sports – football, cricket, volleyball. Fitness activities such as yoga and zumba were at both sunrise and sunset. A full range of watersports and diving, including lessons were available if that was your cup of tea too. There was art shack on the beach that was really popular, where you could sit and decorate porcelain figures/animals and masks.
In the activity pool there were foam parties, aquarobics and games, which were pretty funny to watch from afar.
Every evening a certain area of the hotel was designated to the entertainment team, and they held street food festivals, Mexican nights, dancing, and all sorts of themed nights. Again, even though this was available it didn’t take over the whole resort, you could easily not even be aware it was going on if it wasn’t really how you wanted to spend your evening.
We didn’t try the spa, which I’m actually a bit annoyed at myself for, but it was a fully equipped sanctuary with a large range of treatments that could be enjoyed at an additional cost. There were four or five shops on hand too, full of souvenirs, colourful scarves, essentials like suntan lotion, snorkels, and underwater cameras. It really felt like a village, with everything you needed including a little church in the central square.
Despite the never ending list of activities, we spent most of our holiday lying by the pool, going for walks on the beach, and enjoying all the food and drinks available to us.
The service from all of the staff at Dreams Tulum was exceptional, there was nothing they wouldn’t go out of their way to do for you, all were so polite and friendly even when just walking around the grounds. If I ever go back to Tulum I would definitely stay there again.
Other posts on Tulum
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