Dreams Sapphire Riviera Cancun – A Comprehensive Review – 2023

Grade 4.1 out of 5 stars 

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Dreams Sapphire is a 4-star all-inclusive resort that is a very strong offering for its price point. It balances a premium experience for a really decent price. Located in Puerto Morelos the resort is just a short drive to Cancun, but the location does feel very remote.

Previously named the “Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun” The resort went through a rebrand and renovations in October 2021. The full resort wasn’t renovated, but most of the main communal area, new room categories, all of the rooms, and the gym were focused on in the facelift. The new design and aesthetic of the resort bring a minimalist vibe to the offering, which really adds to the luxury feel. 

The resort is definitely in the bigger size with 488 rooms on offer. At first glance, the amenities don’t sound like they are enough to support the size of the resort, but as we delve into the review, we are pleasantly surprised at how they work. 


Located just a 20-minute drive from Cancun International Airport, Riviera Cancun is a very convenient vacation destination. The area is south of the town of Cancun so it’s a little bit more secluded. You also get a little less of a party atmosphere compared to staying in resorts in the main hotel zone. 

Puerto Moreles is actually the closest town to the resort. It’s a 12-minute taxi ride away. Each morning there is a guided bike tour that brings you down to the town. We would highly recommend checking this out. The town is a lovely seaside spot and is great for a stroll along the beach and a peruse around the shops. The town also has the Crococun Crocodile Zoo and Botanical Gardens. So, it’s a spot to spend a few hours. 

Top Tips 

  • There are a number of Dreams, Secrets, and Zoëtry resorts that are within a 20-minute drive of the resort. The Dreams Riviera Cancun is literally right next to the Sapphire Resort and you can walk there if needed.  All of the hotel brands above are part of the AM Resorts brand.  Meaning that you can leverage them with the “Sip, Savour, and See” feature. With this feature, you can dine and experience the other resorts within the AmResorts portfolio. So, if you fancy getting out of the resort for one of the nights, be sure to call the concierge and book a restaurant in one of the neighboring resorts.
  • It’s important to note that the dress code here is enforced. So be sure to be prepared and pack some smart clothes. We did see multiple people being turned away due to their clothes. Skip to the dress code overview here. 
  • The rooms are dotted throughout the grounds in smaller individual buildings. There are around 15 in total and an important thing to note is that there are no lifts in these buildings. Most buildings only have 3 floors, but if you’re not keen on stairs, be sure to request a ground-floor room. 
  • There is no pool or beachside drinks service. So, you have to go up to the bars yourself and get your drinks. For us, this took away from the luxury feel a little bit. This is the same for food. There are a few spots near the pool to grab some food, but it’s self-serve.  
  • There are no reservations at any of the restaurants, so if the resort is nearer peak capacity then you will need to eat early. As the queues for the more popular restaurants can be long. So, take this into account each day. 


The second you step out of your transportation into the main lobby area you will be greeted with the magnificent design. It’s got tropical/traditional Mexican vibes to the resort and you will feel right at home on vacation when you arrive. You will be greeted with the mandatory glass of bubbly and a cold towel and we were brought directly to a check-in desk.  

If you are part of the preferred club, there is a private check-in area. It’s a lovely room that they bring you into. It’s a super fast process.

Look and Feel of the resort 

We loved the aesthetic of the resort. It has a traditional Mexican vibe to it with lots of natural materials.  Thatched roofs and most of the common areas are open air which brings a touch of class. This also means all of these areas are nice and cool with the breeze and the stone floors. 

All of these buildings are connected by a network of ponds, which brings a zen-like atmosphere to the resort. It is genuinely one of the nicest vibes we have experienced at an all-inclusive resort.

Is the Dreams Riviera Cancun family family-friendly resort?

Yes, the Dreams Riviera Cancun is a super family-friendly option. The Explorers Club is top-notch here for keeping the kids entertained and we will delve into it below. Overall, though this is a good resort for families. 

There are some areas throughout the resort that are adults-only experiences. The preferred club club areas are all adults only. So, if you are looking for a kid-free zone. We recommend booking the preferred club option. 

Explorers Club 

Available for kids aged between 3- 12 years old the club runs between the hours of 9 am – 10 pm. Each day there are a range of different activities put on by the staff. The schedule is always varied and it’s sure to keep the kids entertained.  From tennis classes to video games, treasure hunts, trivia games, and discos there is a vast range of activities. It’s a very good kids’ club. 

Amenities + Things to do 


There are really only 3 pools at the Dreams Sapphire. The main pool, kids’ water park, and the preferred pool. Although, this may seem pretty limited for the size of the resort. We do want to point out that the main pool is sprawling. It’s one of the biggest pools we have seen at a resort. There is a ton of space around the pool, so getting a lounger isn’t too difficult. 

There is also a great waterpark for kids. They have some really great slides and the area is quite impressive for an all-inclusive. 


There is no course that is directly connected to the resort, but there are a number of options close by. So, no matter what level of course and probably more importantly the price you want to pay, there is an option for everyone.  

The premium course in the area is definitely the El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Course. This course has hosted numerous PGA tour events and is a really top-quality course.  You will obviously pay for this experience with green fees ranging from $259 USD in peak season to $199 USD in low season.  

Things to do during the day 

One of the activities that we really enjoyed was the bike ride to Puerto Morelos. It was only about a 20-minute ride and we stopped for a quick walk around the town and were then brought back. The roads we cycled on were very safe and our tour guide was great at explaining the history of the area.  

The volume of activities that are put on throughout the day is crazy. From archery, riffle shooting, Zumba, beach volleyball, and kayak tours. They are so much on offer. The entertainment is something the Dreams Saphire does really well. 

Things to do during the night 

The evening entertainment was really good. What we loved was how varied the shows were. Each evening there was a stage show and the entertainment staff were super engaging. From magic shows to the Elements and Step-up dancing shows. They had a lot on offer to keep you entertained. The production quality was really strong. 


The beach here is quite nice, it’s a long spacious beach with white sand and a picture-perfect ocean. There is a drinks service on the beach and the staff were very prompt at keeping our drinks topped up. 

One element we really liked is that there is a breakwater that cordons off a portion of the beach. It means the waters are calm, which is great if you are not a confident swimmer or if the kids want to go for a paddle. 

The Riviera Maya area has struggled in recent years with the volume of seaweed that is washing up onto the shoreline. When we visited the beach did have a lot of seaweed that accumulated on the shoreline. Credits to the staff who are out there each morning clearing the beach. The seaweed is really just the luck of the draw, we have heard of other guests who visited a few months prior to us and there was no seaweed. 

When the seaweed is out in force. The beach is pretty much unswimmable. Sadly there isn’t much the staff can do about this, so if you spend most of your vacation at the beach. You may want to look at another area/resort. 


There is a Spa at this resort that has a full spa menu on offer.  The spa is wonderfully located so that it’s not too close to the main areas of the resort.  So it’s a very calming and peaceful experience. As the main pool area can be quite loud. We have visited another resort where the spa is right next to the main pool area, which is very off-putting. 

The spa is priced on the higher side. For a 60-minute massage, it will cost you around $169 + tip. They do offer daily specials and if you are a preferred club guest you do get a coupon for $40 off the spa.  

We highly recommend the hydrotherapy run at the spa. If you are getting a treatment or a preferred club member you can use the facilities. The spa does have limited availability, so we do recommend booking early. 

The Service  

Throughout our stay, the staff and the service were really good.  We have to shout out some of the staff members who went above and beyond to make our stay really special. 

The only flag we had was the drinks service by the pool. At times resorts don’t have the ratio of staff to guests for poolside service. The service can be a little slow, but at the Dreams Sapphire, they have it down to a tee. 

Overall, the staff here are very good and well versed in providing a luxury experience. 


We had no complaints about the cleanliness of the resort. There were more than enough staff working and it seemed like every corner you turned there was a member of staff ready and waiting to assist you or tidy away your empties from your day by the pool. 


The standard and size of the rooms at the Dreams are quite good. The decor of the rooms is nice and all of the rooms feel quite spacious. No matter what level of room you get. The only real flag is the lack of elevators in each of the buildings, but personally, that didn’t bother us. 

Junior Suite 

These are the most basic suites on the resort, but even though they are the standard offering, they are actually a great option for couples, two friends or a family, and a small child to stay in. The room is quite spacious coming in at 452.sq.ft, with a lovely aesthetic to the room. 

The orientation of these rooms is actually quite cool with the bed situated in the middle of the room with great views out to the ocean or garden depending on which you go for. The one downside with this room configuration is that there really isn’t a lounge area with a couch.  So, if you like spending time chilling out in your room this might not be the right option for you. 

There is also a nice balcony, so if the temperature is right that can effectively be your lounge. It’s a very strong offering. 

Family Suite 

These suites are a really nice size coming in at 1040.sq.ft, so there is more than enough room for a family of 4. The max occupancy of these suites is actually 6, with 4 of those people being adults. The suite itself is effectively two connecting Junior suites,  so all of the features and benefits we talked about above are included in the Family suite too. 

Master Suite 

Only available as preferred club suites, these are really sprawling accommodations. Coming in at 1040.sq.ft, these suites are meant for 2 people. There is a really spacious bedroom area with a nice living room and a massive balcony with a lovely seating area.  These rooms are very luxurious and are more like a decent-sized apartment than a hotel room. 

Governor Suite 

There are only 4 of these rooms on the resort and funnily enough, they are actually smaller than the master suites coming in at 990 sq. ft. Given that these suites are more expensive than the master suites and the offering is pretty comparable, we don’t recommend booking the Governor suite. It’s just overkill in our opinion. You do get access to a VIP concierge desk with this suite, but with the preferred club you get a comparable feature, so that should suffice. 

Price Range + Packages 

On average a standard room at the Dreams Sapphire will set you back $250 a night. Obviously, it’s dependent on time of year and capacity, but this was the average price we saw. At that price range, it can be considered a mid-priced resort for the area.

What’s included in the all-inclusive package 

All food, drink, access to amenities, entertainment, taxes, and gratuities should be included whether you book through a package provider or directly through the Dreams website. There are one of two caveats to what’s included which we will talk about now.  

There are complimentary mini bars in all of the rooms and these are restocked daily. They contain soft drinks, beers, and wine. Sadly there are no spirits included in the room like is seen in a lot of all-inclusive resorts. 

The one area that wasnt included that we think is a game changer for a relaxing vacation is drinks and food service by the pool and beach. We would have loved to have seen this, but sadly it’s not included. Even in the preferred area, it is not an option. 

Food + Restaurant Options 

The Dreams Sapphire has 9 restaurants on offer. If you have stayed at a Dreams resort before you will be very familiar with the restaurants as they are the same across all of their offerings. 

There were no reservations needed for the ala carte restaurants, which is actually something we didn’t really like. As for some of the popular restaurants it meant you needed to queue in order to get in. 

Overall, we would say this wasnt the best food we have experienced at an all-inclusive. Although there is a great range of options. The consistency just wasnt there. Below are our top 5 choices. 

Top 5 restaurants 

  1. El Patio 

– Mexican Cuisine

– Dress code – Casual Elegance 

Only open for the dinner sitting. El Patio was our favorite option at the Dreams. The food here feels authentic and was really good. The steak tacos are our top recommendation. We do highly recommend getting out of the resort and trying some local restaurants. To really get the taste of Mexico, El Patio makes a valiant effort. 

  1. Himitsu

– Asian Cuisine 

– Dress code – Casual Elegance 

Always one of our favorite restaurants at a Dreams Resort, Himitsu is a pan-Asian offering that was one of the more consistent places at the Sapphire. 

The outdoor seating here is really nice. So, if you can get a table out there, be sure to check it out. The sushi here was their standout dish. You could taste the freshness and it was prepared well. Some of the noodle dishes weren’t the best. We ordered the Pad Thai and it was quite bland. 

They always have their signature Hibachi experience which is a great night out. Be advised that these tables do require a reservation. 

  1. Barefoot Grill 

– Beach cafe 

– Dress code – Beach Casual

Located right next to the main pool the Barefoot Grill is a casual offering that serves up burgers, pizzas, and nachos to name a few. The food here is tasty and perfect for lunch if you don’t want to leave the pool area. It’s important to note that they do not do poolside service here and that it is self-serve. We really liked this spot and it was our go-to place for lunch. The woodfire pizzas here are delicious. 

  1. World Cafe

– Buffet

– Dress code – Casual Elegance 

This is the main dining area at the resort and the food here was pretty good. The omelet and crepe stations were a great hit in the mornings. For lunch, there was a great range of choices and enough variety each day to keep you coming back.  

  1. Portofino

– Italian Cuisine 

– Dress code – Casual Elegance 

We would say Portofino is the Dream’s best offering, but it was a perfectly good meal. We did find the pasta dishes to be a little bland. 

Our standout dish was definitely the shrimp risotto. This was cooked to perfection. 

The downside of Portofino was that the portion sizes were quite small, but there is an easy solution to this. As it is an all-inclusive you can simply order more. 

Room service 

Available 24/7, the room service here was actually really strong. It was fast, the food was hot and there was a lovely menu to choose from. So, three gold stars from us. 

Bars and Drinks Offering 

There are 5 bars dotted throughout the resort. This includes the Preferred bar which is obviously reserved for preferred guests only. So, if you’re staying in a normal room there are only really 4 options. Given the size of the resort, we probably would have liked to have seen a few more. It did mean that service was a little slow on occasion. 

Drinks offering 

Overall the drinks offered here were good. They have a strong range including many premium brands. You can get top-notch liquor from all the bars in the resort, which was great to see. 

They do not skimp on the drinks here. They definitely pour heavy, so if you are a drinker. This is a great resort. 

Is the preferred club worth it at Dreams Riviera Cancun?

In order for preferred clubs at all-inclusive resorts to warrant the additional expense they must deliver value above and beyond the cost. Preferred club rooms at the Dreams typically come in 15-20% more expensive than the non-preferred rooms.  

The main benefits that stood out for us were the following. 

Private Pool and Beach Area

This is a large resort with 496 rooms in the complex. This can mean that the communal areas and amenities can get a little bit busy at peak times.  So having an area that you know will never be too busy and you can always get a sun lounger is a huge benefit.  We did find that the main beach area got a little busy around midday and it would have been difficult to find a spot. The reserved area at the beach. 

Access to Cabanas 

You can reserve cabanas by the pool and beach. In order to do so you need to book them the day before at the Preferred pool. They do get booked up fast, so be sure to book the day before. As it is a lovely experience. 

Preferred club restaurant and bar 

It was nice to have a private restaurant and bar that had limited capacity. These are also child-free experiences which made them a little less hectic than some of the other restaurants and bars.  

Overall, we thought the Preferred Club was nice to have, but in no way a necessity. If you want a kid-free experience, then it’s probably worth it, but for most people, we advise not getting preferred status.

Dreams Sapphire vs. Dreams Riviera Cancun – Which should I choose for my next vacation?

Located within about a 10-minute walk of each other.  We found that a lot of people were confused about the difference between these two resorts. The resorts have a lot of similarities. They are both 4-star resorts that are family-friendly resorts, they share the same beach and have the same feature list,  so you may be asking yourself which is better.

For us, the Dreams Riviera Cancun is a more complete resort. It is usually around 10-15% more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the extra money. The food at Dreams Riveria Cancun is better and for this alone. It’s worth going to the Riviera Cancun resort. 


Tipping is a must from our perspective.  Even though it may be listed as being included in your all-inclusive package. It’s customary to tip the staff for their hard work. 

The staff at the Dreams Sapphire are really on it. From the moment you arrive, you are made feel at home and we genuinely got the feeling that the staff were doing everything in their power to give you the best vacation possible. 

Before travelling we always go to the bank and get cash for the week ahead.  We always tip in US dollars, but the staff will obviously accept any form of currency. We found that US dollars were the easiest for us as we didn’t have to figure out the exchange rate or anything like that.  We typically tip $1 per drink that we order and around $10 for each meal that you have. This will obviously depend on the service that we got and we normally tipped a little less for breakfast and lunch compared to dinner.


Overall, the Dreams Sapphire is a good but not great resort. There are definitely stronger options in the Cancun and Riveria Cancun areas that come in at a similar price point. 

That being said if you can get a decently priced package we would have no issue spending our vacation here. The resort itself has a lovely aesthetic, the entertainment and drinks are top notch and the food is serviceable. 

Our top Dreams resort in the Cancun area is definitely the Dreams Vista. Check out our review here


Q. Does the Dreams Riviera Cancun offer a shuttle service from the Airport 

A. Yes, there is a shuttle service and private transfers to and from the airport on offer. These do come at a surcharge and can be booked by ringing the resort. 

Q. Is parking available at the resort 

A. Yes, parking is available for guests and it is complimentary 

Q. Is Wi-Fi included

A. Yes, Wi-Fi is available to you in your suite as well as throughout the resort. 

Q. What local attractions are there?

A. There is a huge amount to see and do in the local area of Puerto Moreles and with Cancun being just a 15-minute taxi ride away, you can go there too. 

Q. What are the dress codes?


Bermudas (long shorts or Capri pants), sneakers/tennis shoes, and sandals. Ladies must wear a bathing suit wrap or cover-up. No sleeveless shirts for men.

Casual Elegance

Sneakers/tennis shoes or dress sandals, dress shirts with short sleeves or collared shirts. No sleeveless shirts or flip-flops. Long pants are required for men.

Beach Casual

Swim trunks, bathing suits, and flip-flops are accepted.


Men: long pants and collared shirts; dress shoes. Women: blouses, skirts, slacks or dresses; dress shoes.

Daytime Casual

Bathing suit cover-ups or shorts and tops and sandals are required.

Resort Casual

Bermudas (long shorts or Capri pants), sneakers/tennis shoes, and sandals. Ladies must wear a bathing suit wrap or cover-up. No sleeveless shirts for men.

Pool Casual

Bathing suits are allowed. Cover-ups and sandals (or flip-flops) are preferred.