Author: Laura Sutherland
Tags : Adventure Trip, Beach, Family-Friendly Hotels, Luxury Options, Mexico, North America, Spa & Wellness
Personal service and special touches make this Dreams Resort a standout among all-inclusive Cabo San Lucas resorts on Mexico's busy coast of Baja California.
We were seated at the al fresco Oceana seafood restaurant enjoying a drink on our first night at Dreams Los Cabos when a white rabbit hopped by. Dumbstruck, we watched it nibble at the lawn along the restaurant's edge before it hopped off to chew on some other leafy landscaping. We found out later it was one of three rabbits that use the Explorer's Kids' Club as headquarters but are free to hop around the resort at their leisure.
Later that evening we came upon a large pool above the main swimming complex that was filled with lively fresh water turtles. Signs indicated that guests were not permitted to feed them, but children in the Explorer's Club are often given the official task of feeding the bright-eyed turtles each morning.
Little extra touches like these add to the charm of Dreams Los Cabos for families, in addition to a wide variety of others –honeymooners, 20- and 30-somethings, destination wedding guests, retirees and groups of friends and families vacationing together.
Around the Dreams Los Cabos Resort: Pools & Beach
The stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline at the southern edge of the Baja peninsula is too rough to swim in most places. A few resorts, such as the Palmilla or the Melia, have a small, protected area that allows for some swimming, but most resorts, including Dreams, recommend that their guests avoid the ocean and concentrate instead on the pools.
Dreams has a large and lavish poolscape with a tall fountain guests can play in and plenty of pool floats and noodles to keep all ages entertained. The water at the broad infinity edge of the pool looks out across the beach to the ocean and spills over the edge into to a long narrow rectangle of a pool below. Luckily for kids, the top and bottom pools are connected by a twisty waterslide that sees a lot of action.
A “quiet pool” – also large but not as elaborate – on a different side of the resort isn't completely adults-only, as quieter children are welcome to enjoy it, too. Both pools have swim-up bars and plenty of icy blended drinks for kids and adults, and ice cream is available at the towel shack. We were there at 100% occupancy, and there were always available lounge chairs along the pools and cabanas at the beach.
Kids Only & Family Activities
Dreams' Explorer's Club for children 3-12 is based in a cute cottage with a separate fenced yard where kids can play on a climbing structure or sandbox, visit with parakeets, or play in the little kitchenette. Caregivers are all schooled in CPR and 1st Aid and a ratio of caregiver to child is kept at 1:6. Note, however, that parents cannot leave the property if their children are in program. Once a week, usually on a Saturday evening, there is a campout where the kids sleep in tents until 11pm on the Explorer Club grounds while parents enjoy a quiet dinner and evening. Babysitting is also available for a fee (from US$13/HR per child).
Three times a week at dusk, an enormous movie screen is set up outside and family movies are shown. We relaxed in the warm night on the lounge chairs and watched “Cars” for a while, while waiters took drink orders and brought popcorn. Later we wandered over to an outdoor stage near one of the restaurants that features nightly entertainment such as a Latin Dance Review, Mexican Fiesta and Karaoke Night.
A trampoline-bungee-jump set up is on the beach, and both kids and adults can try it during scheduled times. Other activities include tennis, horseshoes, ceramic painting, a putting green, and fun swings at one of the beachfront bars. An air-conditioned gym has a good selection of equipment and a full-service beauty salon and spa has special programs for teen girls and teen boys as well as mother-daughter and father-son specials.
There are some teenagers at the resort, especially during summers and holidays, but no specific teen programs. But a shuttle bus heads into the party-hearty/shop-till-you-drop town of Cabo San Lucas 15-20 minutes away several times a day and gives teens a chance to check out the teen scene in tourist-filled Cabo. Thankfully, the resort is too far to allow teens much time at the nightclubs – just as well since the drinking age in Mexico is 18 and many clubs in Cabo don't check IDs.
Certain teen-magnet activities are not included in the all-inclusive rates but can be arranged, such as jet skiing, boating, parasailing, kayaking and mountain biking. Eight championship golf courses are nearby and tee times can be booked through the concierge.
Accommodations & Dining Options
This suite-style hotel has a living room and a small kitchen in each unit with a refrigerator stocked with drinks. The bedrooms have either a king or two double beds and the living area has a pullout couch. Our family of four opted for the master king bed version, and the two teens slept in the foldout couch and a rollaway in the living room – a great option that allowed them privacy from the adults, and the adults' privacy from them. The units have all been renovated and are fresh and bright with safes that are large enough to accommodate a laptop or two, purses, iPods, cameras, etc.
All rooms have an expansive ocean view from their balcony or terrace. Ground floor rooms that open up onto the lawn and beach are no more expensive, but you must request them in advance. Most of the rooms have recently been renovated with new bedding, paint and furniture.
The buffet restaurant seems to be a staple in all-inclusives, and Dreams has two different ones that are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On several nights we had salads at one of the buffets and then headed to one of the other restaurants for our main course. Both buffets have plenty of selections for kids.
Unlike many all-inclusives, reservations are not required at the three a la carte dinner restaurants: the Asian-themed Himitsu, the Italian- themed Portofino and the seafood restaurant Oceana. Guests get beepers during crowded times to let them know their table is ready.
Resort Report Card
Name:Dreams Los CabosAddress:Carretera Transpeninsular CSL-SJC Km 18.5
Baja California Sur
www.dreamsloscabos.comPhone:866/DREAMSSeasonal Rates:$ - $Hotel Setting:A-Hotel Staff:A-Choice of Activities:B+Quality of Amenities:A-Bonus: Look for kids stay free deals in fall, and single parent specials in spring.Note:This all-inclusive definitely has an upscale feel.