WOW Story of the Week from Dreams Punta Cana!

At Dreams® Resorts & Spas, we love sharing WOW stories with you! This week, our WOW story comes from Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa.

A WOW Story highlights a particular instance in which a resort went above and beyond for a guest or group.

Read on to learn how Dreams Punta Cana surprised Mr. C., a longtime guest of the resort!

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We are always excited to welcome Mr. C to Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa!

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A Typical Day for a Family of Four at Dreams Riviera Cancun

Written by Tara Berger

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my last two posts, Something for Everyone at Dreams Riviera Cancun and How Preferred Club can Enhance Your Trip. Today, I am going to share what a typical day is like for a family of four at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa.

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My favorite way to start the day was by watching the beautiful sunrise from our balcony. There is nothing quite like seeing the sun slowly emerge from the horizon while listening to the sounds of the ocean and feeling the warm breeze on your face.

Once everyone would wake up and get motivated, my husband and I would grab a latte from Coco Café on our way to the breakfast buffet at Word Café. The buffet had something for everyone and the kids especially loved the balloon animals that the wait staff would create for them at the end of the meal.

After breakfast, we’d usually take a morning stroll down around the property and take a moment to rest in a hammock or one of the private poolside cabanas. Around 10 am, we’d grab our chairs at the Preferred Club section of the beach where the waiters would bring the adults our first mango daiquiri of the day, while the kids splashed in the ocean and played with toys in the sand.

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Then we’d usually shower off and move over to the pool around 11:30 am. We’d split our time between the main pool with a swim up bar and the kiddie pool with a submerged ping pong table. By 1 pm, we’d be ready for lunch and would grab a table in the shade at either Seaside Grille or Oceana.  I seriously could not get enough of the fresh guacamole and pico de gallo. A few of our other favorite dishes included the buffalo wings, fish tacos, chicken burrito, cheeseburger and flank steak.

The rest of the afternoon would be spent in the pool with an occasional break for a fresh coconut drink, soft serve ice cream cone, Euro bungee activity for the kids or to grab a snack and mango daiquiri from our favorite bartender at the Preferred Club.

By 5 pm, we’d make our way back to the room and relax for a little bit before dinner. Our kids would get a bubble bath on our balcony overlooking the ocean, which I think may be the first time in history there were no complaints about bath time!

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And now for one of my favorite times of the day, Dinner! I loved having the opportunity to sit together as a family and to discuss our day over a great meal. Each restaurant is so unique with such a diverse menu that it’s almost hard to pick a favorite, but if I HAD to, I’d say our meal at Portofino with 4 courses of delicious Italian food was very memorable. The servers were so friendly every night and were incredibly accommodating of our family and keeping the kids happy during dinner.

On our way back to the room, we’d stop by the lobby to grab a family friendly movie from the concierge, followed by snuggles with our boys in their pullout bed while they fell asleep watching the movie. Once the kids were asleep, we would slide the door shut to their side of the room so we wouldn’t have to worry about waking the kids up. Then, my husband and I would get to finish out the day spending quality time on our balcony listening to the sounds of the ocean.

We were fortunate enough to repeat this daily schedule 5 times during our stay at Dreams Riviera Cancun. It was so nice to be on a vacation where we didn’t need to worry about logistics, reservations and activities and our toughest decision was where we’d like to eat dinner each night. Our stay at Dreams Riviera Cancun allowed us to disconnect from the stress of everyday life, enjoy Mexico’s beautiful weather and create memories as a family. We are already looking forward to planning our next trip back to Dreams Resorts & Spas in the future!

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Tara Berger is a stay-at-home mom of two young boys and a former “Travelista” for AMResorts. Prior to staying home with her children, she managed the social media program for Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets, Dreams, Now and Sunscape Resorts & Spas and had the opportunity to experience many of the properties in the AMResorts portfolio. She now spends her days managing logistics for preschool, tball, basketball and playdates and is often found playing referee to the occasional wrestling match between her two boys. Tara is also the owner of an online party boutique, One Stylish Party, which gives her an outlet for creativity in the midst of chaos.

How Preferred Club Can Enhance Your Trip at Dreams Riviera Cancun

Written by Tara Berger

If you’ve never stayed at a Dreams Resorts & Spas before, you might find yourself asking the question, “Is the upgrade to Preferred Club worth it?” My personal answer is a resounding YES. Now don’t get me wrong, every single guest will receive the same unparalleled Unlimited-Luxury ®privileges, but Preferred Club enhances the resort experience even more.

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From the moment my family stepped foot on property, we were whisked away to the Preferred Club lounge for a private, air-conditioned check-in while sipping on champagne and fruit juice (for the kids). The staff members were extremely friendly and helpful when explaining the ins and outs of the resort and getting us settled into our room. We were also told that we had the option to do a late check-out on the last day, which I thought was a nice benefit to guests who have later flights.

We stayed in an Ocean Front Master Suite, which included a jaw-dropping view of beach, wrap around balcony with Jacuzzi tub, separate sitting room with pull-out bed and a kitchenette with dining table. Typically the most premium rooms at the resort are Preferred Club status, so if you are interested in the most picturesque ocean view from your room or a larger family suite, then Preferred Club is for you.  Plus, along with the daily replenished in-room mini bar that comes standard with Unlimited-Luxury ® privileges, you also receive an array of mini liquor bottles, a can of pringles and peanut m&m’s each day too.

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Throughout our vacation, we found ourselves visiting the private Preferred Club lounge multiple times a day. The Preferred Club bar with top shelf liquor made the perfect mango daiquiri every time and we also enjoyed the variety of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres set-out and replenished throughout the day (my kids went crazy for the marshmallows dipped in the chocolate fountain!) It was also a great place to grab a glass of wine on the way to dinner or to get out of the sun for a few minutes during the day.

Although we spent most of our days at the pool, we enjoyed having access to the private beach area with wait service for Preferred Club members. It was an added luxury to have the beach towels brought over and set-up for us and we liked that we didn’t have to break away from playing with our kids to order our next round of drinks.

And last but not least, we enjoyed taking advantage of the complimentary access to the hydrotherapy circuit at the Dreams Spa by Pevonia. It is such a relaxing experience to move through the designated areas in the hydrotherapy circuit which includes waterfalls, a cold plunge pool, sauna, ice bucket, hot tub and more. The combination of each therapy helps relieve tension, improve circulation and leaves you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed once you are finished.

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I have no doubt that we would have loved our vacation at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa with or without Preferred Club status, but I am glad that we got to experience what a vacation with these privileges can offer. Without a hesitation, we’d opt for the upgrade on any future vacations within the Dreams Resorts & Spas brand.

Stay tuned…in my last post, I’ll be sharing what a typical day is like for a family of four at Dreams Riviera Cancun. And if you haven’t already, check out my other post, Something for Everyone at Dreams Riviera Cancun.

Tara Berger is a stay-at-home mom of two young boys and a former “Travelista” for AMResorts. Prior to staying home with her children, she managed the social media program for Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets, Dreams, Now and Sunscape Resorts & Spas and had the opportunity to experience many of the properties in the AMResorts portfolio. She now spends her days managing logistics for preschool, tball, basketball and playdates and is often found playing referee to the occasional wrestling match between her two boys. Tara is also the owner of an online party boutique, One Stylish Party, which gives her an outlet for creativity in the midst of chaos.

Something for Everyone at Dreams Riviera Cancun

Guest Blog Post by Tara Berger

One of my favorite parts about vacationing at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is that you don’t have to sacrifice luxury to gain access to family-friendly amenities and activities. As parents of two rambunctious boys (ages 5 and 3), our vacations tend to revolve more around the kids’ interests than our own, but this time our Unlimited-Luxury ® vacation at Dreams Riviera Cancun proved to have something for everyone. tara1 For starters, I’m pretty sure that the resort has the world’s largest kiddie pool. And if it’s not, then it’s surely the largest one I’ve ever seen! I’ve spent more vacations than I’d care to admit hovered around a small circular kiddie pool, which, although not ideal, was still the best alternative to having two toddlers latched on to me in a large swimming pool or holding my breath anytime the kids would get too close to the edge of the pool without me. The children’s pool at Dreams Riviera Cancun is a large, glorious semi-circle that is less than 2 feet at the deepest point.  My boys absolutely loved this pool and since they were completely self-sufficient, we could be more than an arm’s length away while watching them and relaxing in the sun. tara2 The resort staff members are very aware that by keeping the little ones happy, it naturally keeps the parents happy too. At breakfast every morning, our kids would look forward to a special balloon animal from the wait staff once they completed their meal. And at the pool, you can bet that the unlimited soft serve ice cream cones and “red slushies” (aka virgin strawberry daiquiris) were on repeat all day.  Meanwhile, my husband and I were able to indulge in a mango daiquiri from our favorite bartender and snacks from the Barefoot Grille or Preferred Club lounge. In the afternoon and evening, we’d break up the day with one of the many activities hosted by the event staff such as the Euro Bungee, magician show or movie night on the beach. And with so many restaurant choices on property, we looked forward to trying out a different cuisine every night.  The servers were able to keep a pace that kept the kids happy (think bottomless chocolate milk and kids meals served within 10 minutes of sitting down) which allowed my husband and I to relax and enjoy a gourmet meal. Stay tunedin my next blog I’ll be talking about some the ways that Preferred Club can enhance your trip to Dreams Riviera Cancun! tara3 Tara Berger is a stay-at-home mom of two young boys and a former “Travelista” for AMResorts. Prior to staying home with her children, she managed the social media program for Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets, Dreams, Now and Sunscape Resorts & Spas and had the opportunity to experience many of the properties in the AMResorts portfolio. She now spends her days managing logistics for preschool, t-ball, basketball and playdates and is often found playing referee to the occasional wrestling match between her two boys. Tara is also the owner of an online party boutique, One Stylish Party, which gives her an outlet for creativity in the midst of chaos.

Bring Your Sense of Adventure to Dreams Las Mareas!

We dreamt it – and it’s finally reality! Dreams Resorts & Spas is proud to announce that we are venturing into a brand new tropical destination: Costa Rica! Coming November 1, 2014, Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica will be a vibrant beach getaway for couples, families and singles to enjoy all the inclusions of an Unlimited-Luxury® escape in a privileged location.

Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica is a tropical paradise!

Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica is a tropical paradise!

Retreat to your luxury suite with a private balcony or terrace and sweeping views of the ocean, tropical jungle and mountain range. Dreams Las Mareas features 447 luxurious suites filled with amenities for your comfort and convenience.

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A Junior Suite King with terrace view at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica.

Located on sugar-white sand and surrounded by lush green mountains and jungles in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, Dreams Las Mareas is a destination sure to please everyone! Whether you prefer to spend your vacations lounging by the pool with a drink in hand or exploring all that the area has to offer, there’s something to suit every fancy. Do as much or as little as you like; after all, it’s your vacation!

One of Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica's sparkling pools.

One of Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica’s sparkling pools.

Land activities include euro-bungee, beach Olympics, big screen movies right on the beach, cooking, cocktail, dance and Spanish classes, and more. For those looking to take to the sea, a few available water activities include snorkeling, water polo, water tours and excursions and deep sea fishing*.

The stunning coast of Guanacaste at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica.

The stunning Guanacaste coast at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica.

Gourmet dining is available at eight specialty restaurants that serve up cuisine from Italy to Asia. Enjoy top-shelf spirits, fine wines and ice-cold beer in any of our five bars and lounges. All of your favorite drinks are served without limit or expected gratuities. Keep the party going with 24-hour room service and your own complimentary mini-bar!

El Patio serves up authentic Mexican cuisine at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica.

El Patio serves up authentic Mexican cuisine at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica.

Are you ready to follow your sense of adventure to Dreams Las Mareas? We’re offering you an exclusive introductory rate! Book your stay at Dreams Las Mareas today with rates starting at $159 per person/per night, OR like us on Facebook for your chance to win a 5-night stay for two, plus airfare!

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*Additional costs may apply

Five Tips to Taking Amazing Family Vacation Photos

Dreams Resorts & Spas provides the ultimate fun-in-the-sun escape for a family vacation beyond your wildest dreams. These precious moments spent are worthy of being remembered for many years to come so before you start snapping away, take a few seconds to refresh yourself with these five tips to take amazing family vacation photos!

1. Take a LOT of pictures: At the end of your vacation, you will never regret taking too many pictures. So, experiment with different angles and shutter speeds throughout your stay and snap photos of everywhere you explore. From long days on the beach to family dinners to exciting excursions, you’ll be happy with the variety of faces and moments you have to choose from.

Dara Denise Cain snapped this lovely family photo at Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa.

Dara C. snapped this lovely family photo at Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa.

2. Capture Candid Moments: Avoid staged photos, instead capturing things as they’re happening. Family vacations are about bonding and spending time with the people you love. Smiles, laughs, and silly faces will be frequent and you’ll want to remember them. These might not be the best quality or most flattering photos from vacation, but ones you will be happy you took.

Kid's playing in the fountain at the Explorer's Club at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa.

Kids playing in the fountain at the Explorer’s Club at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa.

3. Take a step back to capture the whole picture: The stunning views at Dreams Resorts & Spas are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. You’re likely to come across breathtaking sunsets that you’ll want to remember just as they were through your eyes. Try using a wide angle lens and take a step back to capture the full scene. Seize the moment to focus on all the beauty that’s around you.

The stunning landscape of Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa is certainly worthy of a photo!

The stunning landscape of Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa is certainly worthy of a photo!

4. Remember to include people (and yourself!) in the photos: When you’re out traveling to new and exciting places, it’s easy to get sidetracked and forget about the most important part of your trip: the people that came with you! Ask another guest to take a family shot on the beach or capture your kids’ faces as they leap into the pool. Landscape shots are beautiful, but these are the photos that will make you both laugh and cry years from now. Be sure to take lots of them!

A beautiful family photo posted by Leonie C. at Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa.

A beautiful family photo posted by Leonie C. at Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa.

5. Catch the “Golden Hour” of the Day: The hour before the sun sets in late afternoon is known as the “Golden Hour” in photography, during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the sun is higher in the sky. This hour provides the perfect lighting to capture precious moments as your day winds down. And if you’re an early bird, the hour right after the sun rises provides similar lighting to capture the gorgeous views of the beach before you start your day. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful, natural light that comes from these photos.

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A view during the “Golden Hour” of the ocean front infinity pool at Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa.

Follow these easy tips and your Dreams Resorts & Spas vacation photos are sure to shine!

Whale Shark Season at Dreams Cancun is Here!

Whale shark season is upon us!

During the summer months guests of Dreams Cancun Resorts & Spa have the opportunity to take part in a very special tour. The first whale shark snorkeling tour of the season will start today, May 9th, and continue throughout the summer.

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Humans swim with a massive whale shark.

The whale shark tour is provided by Solo Buceo, a reputable marina located right on our property. The tour departs at 7:00 am from the marina, the boat brings up to 10 people about 12 miles off the coast of Cancun in search of whale sharks to feed near the surface.  Guests can swim with the whale sharks while snorkeling with other sea creatures. Whale sharks are considered the world’s largest living fish and are friendly in nature towards humans.

A whale shark swims below snorklers.

Guests enjoy these friendly sea giants on the tour for about 7 hours, along with beverages and a light lunch. To learn more or book your own tour during your stay, please contact our eConcierge (Econcierge.drecu@dreamsresorts.com) or stop by the activity desk at Dreams Cancun!