After visiting 5 other "all inclusive" resorts, I can say emphatically, this is hands down the worst I have ever encountered. The resort is beautiful. However, the resort is under-staffed, overworked, and under trained. Wait times at the pool bar often exceeded 20 minutes. The bartenders were not trained to multi-task. There were no bar-backs. There was often ONE BARTENDER at each of the swim up pools. On TWO CONSECUTIVE days, they ran out of alcohol at the swim up bars before 3:00 pm. Since you can't make dinner reservations, the wait time and chaos at the front door of each dining choice rivaled a three stooges movie. On one occasion, we waited over two hours to be seated, then forty more minutes before the wait staff took our order. After calling room service multiple times. they failed to show up for three days. The piano bar often had 30-40 people waiting for dinner, and had one bartender. Plates and glasses left outside of guests doors, were still there the following night. When maid service came, it was a roll of the dice.. Sometimes you got new towels, sometimes you did not. Mini-bar may be restocked, maybe not. Our hot tub drain did not work, and wouldn't hold water. Our neighbors hot tub only delivered cold water. The buffet when compared to other all Inclusive chains was horrible. In all fairness, breakfast was excellent. The dinner buffet had limited choices and poor to fair quality. This resort needs a major management overhaul. Absolutely beautify place, that was ruined by absolutely horrible management.
The resort was lovely and clean - It is just one year old. Pro: the staff were accommodating and friendly. Con:service is island like in that wait staff are laid back but at times there didn't seem to be enough in the dining areas. Con: we were disappointed in the beach - in Costa Rica the beaches are public and even though the resort had lounge chairs for vacationers, overall it was an area neglected by the resort. it appeared dirty and unkempt (so if you are vacationing for the beach in your experience maybe think twice about this destination) Pro: on the other hand the facility pools were terrific. the lower pools appeared to have the most "action" and were filled with people. the upper pool which included the "kids" area was less populated. Pro: relaxing and easy resort Con: if you are looking for entertainment and action this resort seems to sleep after 10p Con: the drive from the airport is LONG: approximately 60K takes almost a full 2 hours drive due to the county maintained roads included in the trek. they are dirt and LARGE stone which means that the vehicle cannot go over 5-10mph and must zigzag the whole stretch to avoid large potholes and rocks. likewise, the excursion that we took to Arenal volcano and zip line (which by the way was fabulous! but check rates as another tour company was $50 cheaper than what we found through Cheap Caribbean) was 4.5 hours to get there. Pro: dining areas did not require a reservation - except for the Asian and only if you wanted to watch the performance
We stayed at this resort the first week in November, 2014, which was opening week. There were a few things that needed to be ironed out (for instance, not having an iron and ironing board in the room. Or trashcan. Or hair dryer.) That said, most negatives we had were simply due to the kinks that come with opening such an expansive resort. During our stay, each day continued to get better and better. Do keep in mind that excursions aren't nearby. So exploring the rest of what Costa Rica has to offer might prove to be trickier than you'd expect. And sure, the beach isn't powdery white sand like some islands and countries -- but it's a beautiful setting, and very secluded in its own cove. Guests are able to rent kayaks for free, which we enjoyed. We've been to other luxury all-inclusives and there was so much about Dreams Las Mareas that we loved. The setting was picturesque and secluded. The facilities and grounds were impeccable. The food was outstanding, especially the Italian restaurant, Portafino. And the staff were the friendliest people (look for the smiling faces of Issamara at the World Cafe, and Luis and Edual at the swim-up bar where they pour plenty of top-shelf liquors). All things considered, we would recommend this resort and honestly look forward to returning.
The resort was beautiful and the rooms were great. We stayed in a second floor room with a private balcony Jacuzzi overlooking the pool and ocean. The food was better than any other all-inclusive resort we have been to (when we received it all.) Unfortunately there were two major negatives: horrible service and location. Two nights of my five night stay, my food never came. We were there with 22 people and somehow they "forgot" two of our meals two nights in a row. Hopefully, as time goes on, the staff will be better trained. Also, there were empty bottles and plates lying on the ground all week and when we informed staff, they just walked away. As this is a new resort, there is not much to do close by. All of the excursions were a few hours away.
Stayed at Dreams from May 5th to the 9th and I had a wonderful time. Stayed in a swim out preferred suite with ocean front. The room is basically as one sees in the pictures. I will give details on what I found out but could not get answered before staying there. 1) The swim out rooms are not in any way attached to the public pools. So it is just a private little water way for the four or five rooms on the bottom floor which means that you only really have a little 10 foot by 5 foot section because who wants to go look in on other rooms. The beach is just okay. The water is cold. Not a lot of people hang out on the beach loungers. All beaches in Costa Rica are public. There are people on the beach selling wares but no one is intrusive. You go to them they don't come to you. The bars close down around 8pm. The food in the specialty restaurants was good but the portions are very small and it takes a while for your food to come. Not all staff speak English but they are usually able to figure out what you need. The pools are beautiful. The staff are efficient and respond quickly. I would definitely go back.
We flew into the airport in Liberia and got through customs quickly. Our transportation was waiting outside and they got on the road quickly. It was about two and a half hours from the airport to Dreams resort. The roads were pretty decent although fairly curvy, and a couple passengers were carsick from the drive. The first impression of the hotel is not overly impressive. We were given a warm, wet cloth upon arrival and a glass of champagne at check in. We were taken promptly to our room and were given a first floor room in building 3. The room smelled pretty strongly of mildew. It was a nice sized room and the bed was comfortable. The shower was large enough for two people, although we've had larger showers in other resorts. There was a jacuzzi tub on our patio which we didn't use. We looked in to changing to an upgraded room but decided that it wasn't worth it as there didn't seem to be a great view from any of the buildings. We definitely did not have a nice view from our room. The landscape and gardens at this resort are average. The beach is public and we were approached by vendors every day. The water is very cold and no one was spending time in the ocean, although you can take a nice walk along the beach. The pools are average compared to other similar resorts. There is one swim up bar and service was as expected. The restaurants do not require reservations and the dress code was more relaxed when compared to similar resorts, which is nice. Service in the restaurants was often very slow. There are monkeys at this resort, and a troupe of them were living in the trees behind building 5. They seem accustomed to being near people. We were able to get some great photos of a mother and baby monkey. Other guests that had rooms in buildings 4 and 5 told us the monkeys would get on their balcony in the morning and would go into their room if the balcony door was open. No one seemed to be bothered by them. We took two excursions and saw sloths and toucans, as well as more monkeys. We had massages in the spa and had great service. At check out, there was a long line of people and only one person available to help. Eventually other staff members arrived to assist in the process. Our transport back to the airport went well. Overall, this all inclusive resort was average compared to other resorts we've been to in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. We enjoyed Costa Rica and the people, and would like to explore another part of the country next time we go there. We felt very safe there.
I took this trip alone for 5 nights. Dreams Las Mareas is about an hour and a half from the Liberia airport. I did a shared shuttle to and from the hotel and it was great. Both drivers made a point to stop at local spots and point out wildlife and environmental highlights as we drove! Check in was quick and easy and you are warmly greeted when you arrive. The resort is large/spread out which I really enjoyed. I believe they offered golf cart rides if you need it/don't want to walk. The room was great, mini fridge is stocked with some drinks and the balcony tub was awesome. I loved the food! Breakfast was awesome and the Italian and Mexican restaurants were my favorite. I did not have a single meal I did not enjoy. The people who work there are incredibly kind and helpful. The gym is very small but good enough for a couple of vacation workouts. I did two excursions. Nicaragua was incredible and I highly recommend that as well as the mega combo tour.
After looking online on the Cheap Caribbean website and getting all the information we needed, I called and spoke to a live agent to help me book the vacation since there were eight of us going at different times, from different locations and different room types. The agent I spoke to was extremely easy to speak to and made it very easy to arrange and book our reservation. We wanted to vacation in Costa Rica and we chose the resort because of the affordable prices offered by Cheap Caribbean and the fact that the resort was built approximately three years ago. We knew it was a fairly modern resort. The resort is beautiful! We had read that the service was great. As it turns out, the service was amazing with most of the staff being very eager to provide a great experience for the guests. Although tipping on the property is optional, we always try to tip when we are waited on. A small tip goes a long way when you go to bars, restaurants and when the room staff provides daily service. My husband and I had a preferred swim out room while our grown adult children had a room with a tropical view. Our swim out did not have a jacuzzi but we did enjoy the swim out pool. It was great when we wanted to get away from the crowds. We also received individual size liquor bottles which are great when enjoying the swim out pool. These were replaced on a daily basis as were the waters and soft drinks. We all were pleased with the service we received. We ordered room service and again the service we received was great. With the exception of the Himitsu grill the remaining restaurants will seat you without any reservations. I recommend that if you are interested in eating at Himitsu, you make a reservation early the day before. The food quality and variety is what I expected at an all inclusive. It is good but I wouldn't say it will win a culinary award. We had a good experience with the wait staff at the restaurants. They are always very eager to serve you and wait on you. We also went to the Spa and got the Fish Spa Treatment and my husband got a massage. He would not stopped raving about the amazing experience he had!! The highlight of our trip was when we brought back a Mahi Mahi Dorado we caught on a fishing trip and the chef at the Seaside Grill cooked a whole meal for us. He asked us if it was okay if he could "surprise" us with a meal catered around our catch. He went above and beyond our expectations! It was delicious and the experience was amazing!!! NOW THAT WAS A GREAT SERVICE!!!
I start by saying the pool is nice the hotel is nice and service is OK . That being said the resort is in the middle of nowhere there is a very small town close by but that's it anything else it's two hours away , also an hour and a half drive from the airport $150 per person round-trip total of $300 for two just to get back-and-forth from the airport . All the restaurants we're good not excellent but good with the exception of the buffet , to be polite will call the food in the buffet average . Overall I guess we were a little disappointed compared to the resorts in Dominican republic ,Jamaica even the most recent one we went to in Cuba .
My review will probably echo others: Overall, it's a very nice resort. Relatively new, so everything is still clean and in good working order. The grounds are beautiful, the rooms are comfortable, and overall a nice resort for the money. Pros: * The resort is really nice. Beautiful landscaping. Several nice pools. * The alcohol selection was nice. I didn't notice all the brands, but I did see Crown Royal, so definitely some quality liquors. Champagne was also available. Imperial was on tap and Imperial Lite was available in cans. * The food was not spectacular, but definitely better than most AIs that I've stayed at. However, I usually go more mid-range on price, so I guess this is to be expected since this resort is a little more high-end. The Japanese restaurant had sushi, and I ate there two nights in a row because I enjoyed it so much. * It's not far from Nicaragua if you want to take an excursion there. * No wristbands, so no tan line. I'm not sure if this will change in the future, if other people (not hotel residents) start coming to the property and taking advantage. Cons: * It's far from the airport. That means shuttles are more expensive, transportation time is longer (about 1.5hrs), etc. * It's also pretty far from other excursions (Arenal, Tamarindo, etc). Though it is close to Nicaragua and Rincon de la Vieja. * The beach is not great. The sand is soft enough, but it's darker in color so it absorbs a lot of sunshine. It was impossible to walk across it barefoot without getting scalded after about 10am. * The water itself is also not that impressive. Plus, jellyfish really are an issue. Two girls that I met there went swimming at the beach and they both got stung. * My room was an 'ocean view' room, but all I could really see was a huge tree. * If you're sharing a room, there is no privacy. The shower & toilet have frosted-glass doors, but other than that, it's all one big room (no separate restroom). * Pool chair shortage. This was actually my biggest annoyance. I was generally up by 8am, and several days I still wasn't able to get a chair by the Adult Pool or the Lower Pool (where the pool bar is located). One morning, I was out by 5:45am, and still all of the chairs by those pools were already 'Reserved' with a towel on them. There were usually plenty of chairs by the upper pool, if you don't care where you sit, but that pool is a bit more active, so not as good for relaxing. * The resort is huge! I only put this in the negative column because it does take a while to get from A to B on the resort. The beach was pretty far from the main rooms, and even just walking down to some of the restaurants took a couple minutes. Not a big deal most of the time, but can be annoying if you are setup at the Lower Pool, but then realize you left your sunscreen back in your room. * The spa stuff is ridiculously expensive. My package included a spa coupon, but even with the coupon, a 50-minute massage would've cost more than 2x what it would cost back home. So, in summary, it was a nice resort and I think most people would enjoy it and feel that it's a good value for the money. My biggest complaint was that I was never able to get a chair by the Adult Pool, regardless of what time I got up. That's probably a minor issue for most people, but it's enough to keep me from going back.