Looking for an all-inclusive resort for your trip to Punta Cana? See what we loved (and weren’t crazy about) during our family vacation to Dreams Onyx Punta Cana.
We stayed at Dreams Onyx Punta Cana in November 2021. There were 11 people in our group, including my husband and 1-year-old son, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and their 3 kids ages 10, 8, and 5. My husband’s single brother and parents also came on the trip.
So we had a wide variety of ages and interests to account for when we were looking for a resort. We did a lot of research before booking and finally decided that Dreams Onyx Punta Cana (formerly called Now Onyx Punta Cana) seemed like a good fit for everyone.
I am in no way associated with Dreams Onyx Punta Cana. We just want to share our experience in hopes that it will help you to decide if this resort is right for you. 🙂
I broke up our overall experience into categories so you can know what to expect for each aspect of your stay.
We will go over location and travel, restaurants and food, rooms, pools, beach, esthetic, entertainment, and service.
Location & Travel
This was our second visit to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Our last visit was in July 2018 for our honeymoon. We love Punta Cana. It is absolutely beautiful, and we had perfect weather during both of our stays.
We live in Iowa, so we left from the Cedar Rapids airport, had a short layover in Charlotte, NC, and then a 3-hour flight to Punta Cana.
Our arrival to Punta Cana through customs was very smooth and quick. We got to skip lines because we had a small child, which we were grateful for after a long day of travel!
We used E-Transfers Punta Cana to shuttle from the airport to our resort. Dreams Onyx Punta Cana is about a 45-minute drive from the airport. I was impressed by E-transfers and would use them again.
The ride was $90 USD round-trip, and you can choose to pay the total amount after the ride to the resort or split it and pay half on the way there and the other half on the way back to the airport. We chose the latter.
Prices vary based on how far your resort is from the airport.
Some of the driving can be a bit scary in Punta Cana compared to what we are used to in the United States, but our E-Transfers drivers were cautious, and we felt very safe.
We only had 3 passengers in our van, but our other family members were able to squeeze 8 passengers in their van.
We did not bring a car seat and just held our son on our lap. Probably not the safest choice, but it is allowed there if you feel comfortable with it.
Dreams Onyx Restaurants & Food
When you get to the resort, there is a QR code you can scan to access their app. I wasn’t able to download the app for some reason, possibly because I was using free Wi-Fi and was on airplane mode, but I was still able to access everything from a web browser.
All of the restaurant menus are accessed through QR codes and can be found on the app.
Each of the restaurants had high chairs for us to use for our 1-year-old. Kids can also order things off-menu if needed. The menus are pretty limited, so the kids in our group often ordered fruit, pizza, or chicken nuggets, all of which were not listed on the menu.
- Coco Cafe Coffee Shop – We loved trying different coffee drinks that we wouldn’t normally have at home. They had a variety of hot and iced options, as well as fresh fruit cups, baked goods, and sandwiches.
- Carnival Buffet – (Open 7 AM – 10:45 AM) We ate here most mornings. They offer a wide variety of foods and are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You grab your own food and find a table in the covered outdoor area where you are served drinks. We thought the breakfast was pretty good here but weren’t too impressed by lunch or dinner. I would definitely recommend going to the other restaurants rather than the buffet for dinner.
- 24-Hour Room Service – The room service breakfast was really tasty, and we had a great experience with it. The menu can be accessed from the app or from the TV in your room. We always ordered before 8 AM and it came within 30 minutes. However, some of our other family members tried ordering closer to 9 AM, and it took over an hour to arrive.
- Barefoot Grill – Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, french fries, fruit, and more can be found at this hut by the beach. We did this most days for lunch so that we could spend as much time as possible at the beach and pool. (Open 12:30-6 PM)
- Room Service – menu accessed from app or TV in your room
- Carnival Buffet (Open 12:30- 3:30)
- Bluewater Grill Steakhouse – (Open 6 PM-10:45 PM). The app says this opens at 6:30 PM, but it opened at 6 PM while we were there and filled up right away. The ribeye steak here was amazing and we enjoyed the appetizers too.
- Capers Italian Restaurant – (Open 6 PM-10:45 PM) We ate here twice. I loved the lasagna. My husband enjoyed the Shrimp and Mushroom Spaghetti. He thought it tasted more like Thai sauce than alfredo, but it was still good. Our son loved the spaghetti and meatballs, and our nephews enjoyed the pizza.
- Cin Cin Meditteranean – (Open 6 PM-11 PM) We did not eat here.
- Mecure French Restaurant – (Open 6 PM-11 PM) We did not eat here.
- Spice Asian – (Open 6 PM-11 PM) This is the only restaurant that requires a reservation. We were not able to eat here because the only reservation we could get was at 9:00 PM which was too late for our 1-year-old. However, the rest of our family went and loved the experience and the food! I would recommend trying to make a reservation soon after you arrive.
- Tamarindo Mexican – (Open 6 PM-11 PM) We really enjoyed the food here as well. This restaurant is kind of hidden away from the others behind the buffet near the beach. Because of this, we were able to get right in here to eat when the other restaurants had long waits. We enjoyed the appetizers, fajitas, and churros for dessert.
Trying Octopus at Tamarindo Mexican Restaurant
- On A Roll Burger Bar – (Open 3 PM-11 PM) A variety of burgers, hot dogs, and fries. Good for an afternoon pick-me-up, quick dinner, or late-night snack.
- Sundaez Ice Cream Parlor (Open 12 PM – 11 PM) – They offer ice cream, sundaes, and shakes. I wasn’t a big fan of the ice cream. I wasn’t a big fan of any of the desserts here other than the churros.
Dreams Onyx Rooms
The rooms were clean, updated, and functional. We had a garden view room on the second floor near the main lobby building.
Our room had a king bed, couch, coffee table, two desks, refrigerator (daily refreshed mini-bar), TV, large vanity area, separate toilet area, walk-in shower area, and a large closet with a safe.
The room did not have any steps down to the living area or balcony, which was ideal for our busy 1-year-old. We were really happy to be on the second floor because our balcony was closed in and was a perfect place for our son to crawl around and play. The balcony also had a large jetted tub.
Dreams Onyx Pools
The outdoor pools were the real selling point of this resort for us. We loved all of the pools and were happy with the variety of options.
We spent the majority of our time on the trip at the main pool area and the water park.
In addition to the main pools and the waterpark, there was also an adults-only pool for those who paid for the preferential status upgrade. We did not visit that pool, as we had kids with us and did not pay for the upgrade.
Main Pool Area
The Dreams Onyx main pool area has a large pool connected to a swim-up bar, a beautiful see-through infinity pool, a hot tub, and a little saltwater pool that is perfect for when you are all sandy coming back from the beach.
This main pool area also had volleyball and daily activities and events.
The main pool area was connected to another pool by long narrow connecting pools that went right next to some of the bottom floor rooms.
There was also a very shallow pool in the main pool area that was perfect for the young kids in our group.
The waterpark was amazing! We have been to 3 all-inclusive resorts, but this was the first that had water slides and a lazy river, and it was so much fun for the whole family!
There were 4 slides, but only 3 were open while we were there. The open slides included a calm white open slide, an intense white drop slide, and a twisty black tube slide.
My nephew who was 10 at the time was able to go on all of the slides except the drop slide, but my 8-year-old nephew was only able to go on the smaller, less intense white slide. There were different height requirements for each of the slides.
As you walk up the stairs to get on the slides, you will notice a fun little jacuzzi pool up above the lazy river and main pool area. This jacuzzi pool wasn’t very hot, but it has nice views and the overflow from it creates a waterfall below.
The best part of the waterpark in my opinion was the lazy river. There are single and double tubes that could be used for floating both in the lazy river and in the main pool area.
The only downfall of the lazy river was that it has some very powerful waterfalls. The waterfalls extend across the width of the lazy river making it impossible to casually float with a drink. We also had to shield our baby’s head whenever we went through because the waterfalls were quite forceful.
The main pool area in the waterpark has a stage. There is music playing and performers most afternoons. The main pool area also has a great swim-up bar and some seating in the water.
All of the pool areas had beach chairs to lounge on. Depending on where you want to post up for the day, it can be helpful to get to the pool before 9 or 10 to secure a spot. The main pool area closest to the beach seemed to be busier than anywhere else.
Dreams Onyx Punta Cana Beach
The last time we visited Punta Cana in July 2018 (we stayed at Majestic Colonial), workers were clearing seaweed from the beach multiple times per day, and we were surrounded by seaweed in the water while swimming. There were also a lot of rocks on the bottom of the seafloor that we kept smoking our toes on. Despite these issues, we still had an awesome time!
The beach at Dreams Onyx has significantly less seaweed (could have been the time of year) and there were no rocks on the beach or the seafloor.
The waves were good-sized – too big for little kids to swim in, but a total blast for older kids and adults. The younger kids in our group had fun dipping their toes in and playing in the sand.
There were many beach chairs and palm trees that provided shade. However, the chairs filled up quickly during the main part of the day.
I loved having the option to be in the shade under the palm trees.
Overall, we were impressed with the beach and found it beautiful! We spent more time at the pools though because of the young kids in our group.
The grounds and landscaping of the resort are beautiful and well-maintained.
We were super impressed by the attention to detail and cleanliness of the whole resort.
The landscaping is gorgeous and has a fun tropical jungle feel.
Dreams Onyx Entertainment
The pools and beach were plenty of entertainment for us, but the resort also had a designated entertainment team that put on events during the day and evening.
There were daily activities in the pool like water aerobics and volleyball. There was also beach volleyball and other fun events and activities on the beach during the day.
We never played, but this life-size chess board looked fun!
Shark-riding by the main pool!
There is a kid’s club on the resort. It looked like there were a lot of really fun activities, but a lot of it was gated off and only available to use if you dropped your kids off there with the staff.
- Explorers Club For Kids ages 3-12 (9 a.m.—10 p.m.)
- Core Zone Teens Club ages 13-17 (9 a.m. – 12 a.m.)
Even though some of it was gated off, we went around 7 p.m. one night with our kids and were able to access a fun little game room and the basketball courts.
There was live music and entertainment for kids many of the evenings we were there near the lobby by the theater area.
Each night there was a nightly show at 9:30 PM. That was too late for our baby to stay up, so we took turns going to the shows. We saw a Dominican music performance, a Madonna show, a fire show on the beach, and a music trivia night. The shows were pretty good, and they were good at getting the audience involved.
We had a family member participating in the music trivia show, so it was extra entertaining!
Service at Dreams Onyx Punta Cana
Overall, we felt well taken care of, and most of the staff was very kind and friendly. Our room was cleaned often and the resort was very clean and well-maintained.
When we ordered room service or ate at restaurants, there was often a wait, especially if we were trying to eat at popular times. I would recommend trying to eat breakfast early and get to the restaurants right when they open if you want to avoid a significant wait.
The front desk staff was not very friendly or helpful, in our opinion.
The worst part of the trip was dealing with the required covid test that we needed to travel home. The system they had in place for signing up for a test and getting the test was incredibly unorganized and required waiting in line for over an hour both to sign up and to get the test. We are American, but the Canadians on the resort had to get a different test, and they had to wait much longer than we did.
Despite these downfalls, overall, the majority of the staff was very friendly and helpful. I am guessing that if you are in the preferred club you would get more attentive, individualized service.
We had an amazing vacation at Dreams Onyx Punta Cana. The rooms were nice, the resort was beautiful, and the food was good. The pools and beach were perfect for our family. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
While there were a few drawbacks, the pros strongly outweighed the cons. We would recommend Dreams Onyx Punta Cana to all, especially to those looking for a family-friendly vacation!
If I had not gone on this trip with kids, I probably would have looked more into the Preferred Club or possibly the adults-only Breathless Punta Cana Resort, which is a sister resort to Dreams Onyx.
We love the Dominican Republic and will be back! However, we love to see new places and have new experiences, so we would likely choose another city and resort next time we visit!