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“Best staff ever!”

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Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
Ranked #13 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 13 June 2009

We avoided Playa del Carmen this year because of the news reports on violence between the drug cartels, and i didnt want to be the first tourist to be kidnapped or accidentally involved as an innocent bystander. While quite concerned about the Dominican Republic's depiction in the media as dangerous off-resort, we decided to give it a try (we didnt go off-resort). This property is a refurbished Allegro property. How management accomplished it i dont know, but we found the staff more friendly than any resort we have ever experienced in 30 or more locations. They asked your name, and always remembered it; always cordial, always helpful, going out of their way, even though it is all-inclusive, not much tipping.
We did tip occasionally, maybe $10 after nice dinner service.
The rooms were quite nice and clean with good cold air, no cost mini-bar, and our teenagers ordered room service one night while Mom and i ate at the only restaurant that didnt allow kids (Bordeaux). MY wife enjoyed the many exercise classes on the beach, in the ocean, and in the pool. We liked the dancing lessons, and the kids liked the activities such as volleyball, and the gently organized olympics. The ftiness center is small but with new equipment and a helpful attendant. All of the food was great. Be sure to take 1 pair of long pants for the men, as they are required at the evening meal.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank spunkydad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 June 2009

My husband and I booked an Apple Vacation to Dreams Palm Beach (formerly Sunscape) in Punta Cana, one of our favorite destinations. We selected Dreams Palm Beach primarily for the restaurant variety and the location. The resort has been recently remodeled, and the staff was outstanding. it was obvious from check-in that their primary goal was to accommodate their guests. Unfortunately, the weather was not so accommodating--during our stay, the DR had one of the worst rain events in history (in fact, Haiti, on the other side of the island, suffered severe flooding). Again, the staff snapped into action, making sure that drains were working and hallways were safe. The highlight of our trip was my mid-week birthday. The management staff held a cocktail party for its Apple guest to solicit feedback about the resort. Resident manager, Linda Capelli, Food and Beverage Manager Ruben Moni and Chief Concierge Hilario Peralta listened to our comments and even took notes. When I mentioned that the next day was my birthday, they decided to make it extra special. We spent the day on an excursion and returned to find a chilled bottle of champagne and the world's best chocolate cake in our room. Ruben stopped by to find out when and where we would be eating dinner, and the wait staff sang and presented me with even more chocolate! it was a lovely day all around. The staff at this resort really focus on customer satisfaction from the housekeepers, the bartenders executing their own brand of "flair," the entertainment staff, the charming restaurant hosts and hostesses all the way up to top management staff. Their response to any request is always, "My pleasure!"

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Shipwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2009

Hubby & I were there May 30th-June 6th. We stayed at this hotel several times when it was Allegro by Occidental & Sunscape Punta Cana. Last year, due to the renovations, we were moved last minute to the Barcelo Premium. They gave us a 3 night comp stay due to the "inconvenience". Waiting a year to return to this location was well worth it! Airport: same as every other time - guys want to help with your luggage in hopes of a tip. If you're not interested just say "no gracias". We knew the ride to the hotel was only 20 min & we'd be on the beach before 2pm. It was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by Raul, a familiar face from previous visits, upon arrival to the hotel. Great guy to chat with! Despite the fact he's a Yankees fan from New York, he speaks fluent English, so that helps! If you get the pleasure to meet Raul, tell him his "repeat" friends from Boston say "hi"! Most other workers, as we were told, lost their jobs or were forced to find a new one. Check-in: We received a glass of something fruity along with a cold washcloth & thought it was nice. Both of us were hoping for an ice-cold Presidente. They would've brought some if we'd asked, but there'd be plenty of cervezas to come. Everyone at the front desk spoke English fluently. In fact, we found the majority of the employees here spoke English very well, among other languages, in comparison the prior resort staff.
Rooms: Huge improvement in overall room decor. The king bed was plush with lots of pillows & nice bedding. Didn't spend much time there, except showering & sleeping! The flatscreen t.v. was an updgrade from before. We rarely turned it on, but never had an issue with static/limited channels or finding one in our language. I saw someone complain about this in a previous review & feel it's ridiculous to squawk about. Read a book under a hut! Take a walk on the beach! The sink, mirrors, toilet & shower were unchanged. Be careful of the hot water from the sink - muy caliente! I refuse to comment, as others have, about water on the floor in the bathroom after showering - DUH! We had no issues with the in-room safe & the fridge was stocked daily. Ours was restocked twice a day - gracias, mi amigo, Samuel! The maids did a great job cleaning/restocking each day.
Restaurants/Service: We ate at Portofino 3 times, Seaside Grill 3 times, and the Himitsu once for dinner. The food was fantastic at all three (the rib-eye at the seaside was enormous). Aside from the breakfast buffet/World Cafe, we found the friendliest service at Portofino. Especially that received from Inoa and Kelvin. I can't recall which Octavio was in, (they all worked the buffet), but he's a genuinely great guy that should not go unmentioned. Also, Gregorrio at the Seaside. We ate breakfast each day at the World Cafe & were greeted by Elizabeth. Had good laughs & great service from Domingo (poached eggs & Barefoot Grill), Felix (omelettes & Barefoot Grill), Wilbert (happy eggs), Santa (she's a sweetheart) and Inoa (another sweetie). Just like anywhere, be friendly, you get friendly. We ate chicken & fries from the Barefoot Grill most days for lunch (Felix es el numero uno!). The World Cafe served lobsters one day - the spread there is plentiful and diverse. Try the fruits and vegetables - delicioso! You will not go hungry!
Bars: My one & only complaint is that there is no real "beach bar". Depending on where you sit on the beach you have to walk to the Sugar Reef/pool bar. If you're as fortunate as we were, you'll meet some great people on the way or gathered around there. Omar is one of the bartenders. Quiet, but if prompted will lively up (a "how's Omar, today?" will work). Perhaps he's just tired - I saw him mopping floors in the lobby one night after midnight. They all work very long hours, many work for weeks at a time without seeing their family. Tips are not required, but warmly accepted. here is a friendly server roaming the beach, Juan M. If you give him one or two dollars, he will come! Lobby Bar/Rendezvous: Vladmir & Ignacio were awesome! They've got some cool tricks to show off - ask them. Disco/Desires: Samuel bartends here & restocks the minifridge by day. We gave him $5.00 & our room # the first day, asked for mucho Presidente & agua - he delivered as requested, showing up twice a day all week. Now, that's service! Of course we left him a couple dollars each day, as well as for the maid. The service at the theater/Showtime bar wasn't over-the-top as in other bars. Reminded me of home, really minus paying for it. Order drink. Get drink. Walk away. No problemo for me! However, Rosalia is an amazing young lady who takes drinks orders here & throughout the theater! At 5 months pregnant I wasn't nearly as friendly and upbeat as she is...I have a 9-5 desk job!
The activities staff is terrific & really encourage everyone to have a good time. I especially liked Ratata - muy caliente! Milky way, Carlos, & Gasolina were "high octane" fun as well. The disco was entertaining & interesting; different cultures. A couple of nights the place was packed with people & things really heated up.
Pools: looked nice with new swim up bar and people there seemed to enjoy themselves. We're beach people.
Beach: We love this locale for a number of reasons or would not repeatedly return. The "seaweed" is NOT an issue as others commented on. First of all, it's seagrass. So anyone from the Atlantic, it's not the slimy gunky stuff you see on the east coast. The water is clear blue with a white sand bottom. The grass washes ashore primarily due to the current & neverending water activities. Workers rake it up off the sand each day - say "hola" to these guys & offer them an agua. They will truly appreciate your kindness! There's a small coral rock section where you can snorkel & see different fish. Beware of the lone barracuda! Say hi to our beach vendor friends: Pedro, Hiladio, and last but not certainly not least Olmi, nuestro amigo, neustra familia.
Overall, we thought the resort had improved in all areas: the food/restaurants were excellent and the staff phenomenal! Though the cost has gone up considerably since the rebranding, it is well worth the money spent & we will definitely return next year! Pic's will be posted soon!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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9  Thank Ten2ndDelay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2009

Let me start out by saying I was so worried but it ended up being the most relaxing and fun vacation I have ever had.. And I would love to thank the people who work there who really make your vacation a good one. It is just a place to relax, have fun, great food, and we will go back. The Explorer club for kids is great. Thank you Patricia and everyone who work with the kids. My 10 year old son really enjoyed it . He enjoyed swim time, ice cream time, videos, bungee jumping on the trampoline. Most of all he enjoyed the non-alcoholic drinks. And it was great getting to take your family with you where you went, to the restaurant, the nightly shows and just to have a night cap and sit in the big porch swing. The people who work at this hotel go out of there to make it a good time. So sit back and enjoy.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank sexyfamily10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2009

My boyfriend and I ventured down to Punta Cana to celebrate his 30th birthday. We had never been to the DR before but we both work as scuba instructors in the Bahamas so we are very familiar with resort life and the tourism industry as a whole. This was my first stay at a big all inclusive and I have to say, if they are all like this, it's a vacation style I could get used to.


We arrived at Punta Cana International and caught a taxi to the hotel, which was about a 20 minute drive. (Protip: We paid $30 for a cab for two of us.) Hector the Bellhop greeted us at the entrance, took charge of our bags and handed us off to Milagros at the front desk. He then brought our champagne and cool towels, which were a treat! Check in was breezy and when we were done, Hector took us on a mini tour on our way to our room.


We were in 7205 with a view of the pool. The room was clean, bright and looked exactly like the pictures. The bed is extremely comfy, if not overrun with decorative pillows (which are not a problem at night if you are out of the room long enough for the maids to come and turndown the bed.) The bathroom is well designed and the shower a little odd (bathmats were created for a reason...we didn't have much problem with water on the floor.) There were comfy robes in the closet and plenty of refreshment in the mini bar, that was stocked every day. One thing that I really like about the room, being the eco girl that I am, is that the A/C turns off when you open the slider. It's good for the environment! :) Housekeeping was impeccable.

We unpacked and headed down to the beach...


Beach and pool chairs were not hard to find, though I did notice people hogging the pool floats. That's a people and manners thing more than a hotel thing. The pool area was clean and well kept, with a person coming around and taking drink orders. The service wasn't fast but it's island time, baby! Frank at the swim up bar was awesome and kept the drinks coming all day long. I had fun on the water trampoline and we walked along the beach, which was gorgeous. We did notice some topless ladies and I'm kind of sad that I didn't work up the nerve to join them!


Gasolina and the entertainment crew were fun without being too pushy. Beach volleyball was awesome and competitive. Don't play water volleyball unless you are on Gasolina's team because he cheats (Security! Get Outta Here! Wooooooo!) My boyfriend did one of the afternoon scuba dives to the wreck and caverns, which he loved and we both did the morning dive to one of the sites (I don't remember the name), which was about 75 feet deep and BORING. There's no such thing as a bad dive as long as I am underwater but this was not a good one.

We did the bike tour, which was fun. They make you wear fluorescent vests and helmets and then take you through the streets to a little market on the beach. We bought souvenirs there and then we went back to the hotel. (Protip: They will start out SO high on the prices. They seriously started out at $130 for two necklaces. I ended up getting them for $20. HAGGLE and haggle hard. There are a bunch of stores selling the same thing and walking out will usually get you the price you want.)

We also went horseback riding for $40 a person. It's an hour drive one way to the ranch but the beach that they take you to is beautiful and the ride through the country is interesting. The horses were a little skinny but not emaciated. I asked for a fast horse since I know how to ride and I don't know whether it was because I knew how or if it was the horse but mine could RUN. Everyone else was kind of bunched up in a pack but my horse kept flying by them. (Protip: It may be hot but wear jeans. Less saddle sore that way. Also, galloping hurts less than trotting so go for it!)

Food & Drink:

The lobby bar is where everyone goes to mingle at night. We never had any trouble getting drinks or liquor.

El Patio (Mexican); Good food, good service and bottomless margaritas. What else could you want? I had the Stuffed Chiles, Tortilla Soup, Taco Combo and Creme Brulee. Yum.

Portofino (Italian): Great food and service. Iona was our waiter both times that we went here and he was fantastic. The Spaghetti Gamberoni was perfect. This was my favorite restaurant.

Himitsu (Japanese/Chinese): We went to the hibachi side one night and the Chinese the next. I was disappointed that there wasn't actually a sushi bar, just a little four piece appetizer. I think we got the new hibachi chef because he wasn't very fun. The other tables we clapping and laughing and our guy just cooked for us. The food was good, even if the show wasn't so I guess it was fine. Deep fried ice cream was yummy for dessert.

The Chinese was okay, nothing to write home about. My boyfriend liked his sweet and sour pork.

Seaside Grill: Service was meh. They ruined my steak by cooking it to death but the flavor was alright. Not my favorite restaurant by far.

French Restaurant: I honestly can't tell you because the night we were going to go there, the host physically BLOCKED my entrance to the restaurant. Apparently an island print halter dress and heels didn't meet his fashion requirements for the restaurant. I went to the front desk to get a more comprehensive reason of why I was kept out of the restaurant and the concierge said I looked fine and was going to escort me back to eat. I was pretty humiliated at that point (there was other people waiting to get in as the "bouncer" blocked me.) and we went elsewhere. (So PROTIP: The French restaurant is apparently VERY fashion conscious. Men cannot wear shorts or denim. If fact, men should bring slacks at least for dinner.)

World Cafe: The buffet was breakfast and lunch had lots of choices (including a cheese buffet! Yummy!) We had trouble getting drinks a couple of times but again, it's island time. Ramon and Iona took care of us in the buffet too. There were birdies flying around but I thought they were cute.

Barefoot Grill: Snacks and burgers on the beach. Nothing to write home about but nice if you don't want to put clothes on.


I got a Dreams Pedi done. This is not a state of the art spa at least in the mani/pedi department. My toes look nice but the "spa" in spa pedi was a Homedics foot bath that you can buy at Target. I used a voucher though so for $15, it was a great deal!

Disco/Casino/Shows: The disco was fun, with a good mix of music. The casino is small but I saw people winning. We went to one show and it was well done (the circus show).

Now the bad:

BRING ONES. I can't stress this enough. I was verrrry frustrated when no one would give us change. I thought it was manipulative because all the bartenders get tipped in ones and then they tell you they have no change. I know they like people having big bills because they eventually end up with them but I didn't like feeling manipulated. We ended up just tipping out our bartender at the end of the day/night and if they weren't there, it was their loss. I hate feeling like a bad tipper but they didn't help themselves in that aspect.

The hotel brings on street vendors a couple of times a week. The vendors are very aggressive. I believe in supporting local economies and craftsmen but these people were over the top. They even set up in front of the wedding gazebo when there was a wedding scheduled. I feel like the resort should have stepped in before the wedding party had to. Everything that these hawkers were selling is available at the boutique or at the shops outside the gates so if you don't want to be bothered on the way to dinner, just keep saying "No" and keep walking.

All in all, this was a fun and fabulous vacation. I don't know if we will come back because there are many other places to see around the world but if we decided to come back to the DR, it would be here.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank divebunny13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

Address: Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $228 - $816 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana 4*
Number of rooms: 500
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facing the Caribbean Sea, white sand beach and lush gardens, Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana boasts 500 spacious rooms and ample suites surrounded by swaying palm trees and views of endless blue waters stretching to the horizon - the perfect setting in paradise. Take advantage of all the unlimited luxury activities Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana has to offer. Swim, sail, snorkel or windsurf in the turquoise Caribbean, enjoy fine a-la-carte dining, sip favorite cocktails at one of our bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Occidental Punta Cana
Occidental Allegro Punta Cana
Punta Cana Occidental
Sunscape Punta Cana
Punta Cana Dreams Palm Beach
Punta Cana Allegro

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