The Riviera Maya specialises in large all-inclusive resorts and Dreams Tulum Resort takes the concept to a new level. Forget about queuing up at the buffet, there are six a-la-carte restaurants where you don’t have to book and there’s also unlimited access to branded spirits and a choice of wines. It’s a high end hotel where everything is included.
The Dreams Tulum Resort is set on a two mile long sandy beach, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, about ten minutes’ drive from the historic ruins at Tulum and half an hour from Playa del Carmen. All 432 guest rooms and suites offer a private patio or balcony, marble bathrooms with bath and shower, king sized beds and tea and coffee making facilities. The minibar is filled daily with a range of soft drinks and beers and there’s 24 hour room service.
Pretty soon I settle into a routine where I wake up with the sun, take a dip in the Caribbean before picking up a fresh latte and pastry at the coffee shop. After showering, it’s then a trip to breakfast to sample the Mexican specialities. There are two large swimming pools here but the beach is a pleasant place to chill out and service is always attentive. If you want to get out of the resort, there’s a range of day trips to the historic Mayan sites or to nearby cenotes and underground rivers which offer unparalleled snorkelling experiences. I prefer to explore the beach on either side and this area of the Riviera Maya is surprisingly unspoilt with only a handful of hotels occupying the long stretch of sand.
For eating, there’s a choice of six à la carte restaurants, a buffet, café, and grill. The only place where you have to make a reservation is the Himitsu restaurant which offers Teppanyaki style grills, prepared in front of you. It’s certainly a piece of theatre and the food is pretty good too. The other restaurants can have queues for tables at peak time, but you can always relax with a drink and study the menu. On offer are French, Mexican, Italian and Asian cuisines and the standard is pretty high. Perhaps the Seaside Grill is the most romantic dinner location as it sits right on the edge of the ocean and serves high quality steaks and fish.
Everything works well here and my only complaint is the noise of the midday aerobic workouts by the pool, but apart from that all is calm. The all-inclusive wine list is limited to red, white or rose and if you want anything different you have to pay extra. Every night there’s entertainment of some sort which can range from comedy to rock and I particularly enjoyed a Beatles cover band. It’s all rather low key which makes it even more fun. Best of all, all tips are included, although if you feel the service is exceptional you can always make a contribution.
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