Cancun is definitely not what it used to be. What was once known as the party capital of the Yucatán Peninsula, is now a vacation hot spot for families and couples a like.
I recently traveled to Cancun, Mexico to check out the family-friendly Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa. If you remember, last year I had the pleasure of staying at Secrets in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Both Secrets and Dreams Resorts are part of the AMResorts brand. The Dreams properties are geared towards families and couples, while Secrets is adults only.
As much as I loved Secrets, I was very excited to stay at one of the Dreams Resorts to check out the amenities for families.
The Location: Dreams Riviera Cancun is located approximately 25 minutes from Cancun International Airport. The resort is actually in between Cancun and Playa del Carmen—about 30 minutes each way. Dreams Riviera is right on the beach, giving you direct access from the hotel. I was told the beach in not private, but I did didn’t see any vendors or non-resort guests while I was there.
Unlimited-Luxury: Dream Riviera Cancun is not just an all-inclusive resort; it’s Unlimited-Luxury. This means practically everything is included with your stay— from meals, beverages and gratuities, to daily activities and the kids club. Unless you plan to take an excursion off-site or visit the spa, everything is covered when you arrive. Unlimited-Luxury also means you don’t have to wear a wristband at all times to use the resort amenities.
The Rooms: When I entered my room I was taken a little off-guard. Instead of a standard room with four corners, the rooms at Dreams Riviera are octagonal. It’s a very unique setup that gives off an even more luxe vibe. The bathroom is not separate, but simply flows behind the sleeping area. The shower and toilet have frosted glass doors, but the bathtub is in the open space with the sinks. My family is very close and we would have no problem with the arrangement. I personally loved it. Connecting rooms are available for families that need additional privacy.
My room featured two double beds that faced the balcony with an ocean view. On the balcony, I had my own personal hot tub. Many first floor rooms feature a personal plunge pool. I would suggest this upgrade to families traveling with children. The plunge pools are the perfect size and depth for kids to play.
The most exciting thing in the room for me was the mini-fridge which was restocked daily with bottled Coke products, Corona, juice and water. TIP: The bottle opener is in the bathroom above the trash can.
The Food: The thing about traditional all-inclusive resorts is that the food can be hit or miss, with limited dining options. When traveling to Mexico, the one thing I don’t want to chance is the food quality. Every single bite of food I had at Dreams Riviera Cancun was exceptional. I mean every single thing. There are six gourmet restaurants and a World Café, serving a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. The specialty restaurants feature Italian, Mexican, French and Pan-Asian cuisine, as well as steak and seafood. Reservations are not required at any of the dining options. Room service is available 24-hours with a menu for breakfast and lunch/dinner. A children’s menu is offered with “kid favorites”, like chicken fingers and hot dogs.
In addition to all your meals and snacks, beverages are included with your stay. This can be anything from a soft drink or juice, to a premium alcoholic beverage. I had my fair share of margaritas, and they were all perfectly prepared.
Activities: Every evening the Sundial is delivered to your room with a schedule of activities for the next day. Activities include: snorkeling; kayaking; beach volleyball; yoga; bicycle tours; and cooking, dance, cocktail and Spanish lessons.
Nighttime entertainment includes themed parties, dancing, live music, shows and movies on the beach.
The supervised Explorer’s Club is offered to children 3-12 years old. The club is open daily from 9:00am to 10:00pm and provides children with a large, secure play area as well as daily activities based on science, nature and exploration. Fun activities include: sand castle building, ocean trampoline, treasure hunts, arts & crafts, storytelling and music. There’s even a weekly campout on the beach!
The Spa: I didn’t get a chance to experience Dreams Spa by Pevonia firsthand, but it looked heavenly from the tour I took. In addition to massages, facials and mani-pedis, there is an outdoor hydrotherapy circuit that looks divine. I experienced the hydrotherapy pool at Secrets Wild Orchid and loved it!
Pros: Everything! I really enjoyed my stay at Dreams Riviera Cancun, and look forward to a time I can return with my family. The Resort is a great size. It’s actually relatively small and easy to navigate. Even with all of the activities, I found myself just wanting to lounge and soak in the Mexican sun. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, and the food was amazing. What is not to love?
Cons: Room service slow at times. Really, that’s all I’ve got.
Great for: Families, couples and friends.