For a week or so I obsessively checked the Weather Network, fearful that it would rain during my trip. I figured that constant check-ins would intimidate Mother Nature and convince her that I in fact deserve my trip to Mexico. Lo and behold, my boyfriend and I arrived at the Cancun Airport under pouring rain. Determined to stay optimistic, I reminded my obsessive-compulsive self over and over, that I’m on a vacation and that I need to stop fretting. From the airport, we took an hour and a half drive to our resort, Dreams Tulum.
As soon as we stepped out of our private transfer, we were welcomed with warm greetings, hot towel service, and glasses of champagne. At that point, I stopped worrying about the weather. We walked through the lobby and were immediately enamoured by its grandeur. With a warm colour palette, elegant furnishings and smiling faces catering to our every need, I came to my senses and found it silly to even let a hint of worry take over me.
I was home, and that’s all that mattered.
We spent 6 days in Dreams Tulum, soaking up the scenic beach, getting acquainted with the Mayan culture, and rediscovering our sense for adventure. It still rained during the first few days of our trip, but my prior disdain for it disappeared. In fact, it became more of a harmless companion; taking the not-so-pleasant weather as our chance to become familiar with the resort’s amenities, instead.
We spent afternoons at Coco Café, indulging in Frozen Baileys and Frozen Vanilla Lattes. Featuring comfy rattan seats and leather couches, a table full of Spanish books and board games, and access to the Unlimited Vacation Club, Coco Café was a haven of comfort. For a taste of the tropics, Smoothie Bar offered an inventive menu perfect for frozen fruit lovers. Make sure to try out Mr. Mango, a concoction of mango, fresa, leche light, yogurt, vanilla, and almond. After, take a refreshing dip in the pool and delight in a delicious alcoholic drink at the Manatee Swim-Up Pool Bar. With swing sets circling the bar, you are bound to have a relaxing time.
For the sports fanatic, Sky Bar provided daily viewings of hockey, soccer, and various sporting tournaments. I must say, watching the Ecuador vs. England soccer game while sipping on icy cold Corona beers felt enchanting at the Sky Bar. Maybe the idea of being in Mexico just heightened the experience, but it was very enjoyable to say the least.
The food here was great. With six a la carte restaurants, a buffet, and a grill, there was something different for every night. Their selection included a taste of Asia, Mexico, Italy and France. For a romantic dinner, make your way to either Portofino or Seaside Grill. Consider ordering a plate of calamari and Surf and Turf at Seaside Grill – while listening to the soothing sound of waves crashing onto the shore. At Portofino, opt for the breaded beef strips and a Sex on the Beach. Then for a real Mexican flair, head over to El Patio for some of the best tacos and beef fajitas. While you’re at it, why not top the night with some tequila shots? On the other hand, if you wish to enjoy some well-deserved alone-time with your partner, don’t hesitate to take advantage of their in-room service. We found this especially delightful during rainy nights.
As a family-friendly hotel, most of the activities were catered to all ages. During our stay, they had everything from beach volleyball and beach soccer to Spanish lessons. Dreams Tulum also featured an Explorer’s club, which had fully-supervised programmes designed for kids, a tennis court, a gym, a meeting space, and a top-notch spa facility. Imagine getting pampered with the tranquil view of the forest as your backdrop, you can do all that and more on your visit to Dreams Tulum.
As part of the Preferred Club, we also had access to a private lounge, special concierge service, upgraded mini-bar service, a pillow menu, upgraded bath amenities, and personalized check-in and checkout. If you wish to feel like royalty, upgrading to the Preferred Club is the way to go. Preferred Club guests also receive a $200 resort credit that can be used toward spa treatments, special bottles of wine, or a romantic dinner by the beach.
At night, the resort came alive with fire shows, comedy, disco, and Dreams Idol. If you wish to just savour its fresh scent and natural beauty, take a leisurely stroll along its colourfully lit gardens. Since our room was situated at the very top floor with views of the garden and ocean, I have to say that we were blessed with a whimsical and magical view of the resort.
Now, what did I like best about Dreams Tulum, you ask? I have to give it to the service. The Mayans are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. In the few days we were there, they managed to remember our names, help us out in any way they can, and give the warmest of smiles. One of the days, we took part in an excursion that offered the chance to visit a Mayan village. There we got the chance to taste authentic Mayan cuisine, and come face to face with their very modest living condition. It was a truly humbling experience. Do try to be as generous as possible – nothing compares to the feeling of seeing their very appreciative reactions.
Other highlights include climbing Cobá, which was roughly an hour from the resort, ziplining across a lake, kayaking, hiking through a jungle, swimming in a cenote, and rappelling down a forest. If you fancy shopping and a vibrant nightlife, Playa del Carmen is located just about an hour away. Meanwhile, for some culture and the best local beaches, visit the city of Tulum, which is just a few minutes from the property.
I came to Dreams Tulum expecting a week-worth of rain. Instead, I found paradise and got back to Canada with memories that will last a lifetime and a newfound love for Mexico. They say home is where the heart is. Well, I seem to have left mine in Dreams Tulum… Let’s just say that a revisit might be in order.