One

You can’t throw a stone without hearing it splash. There are 65,000 square feet of swimming pools at Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort.  To visualize 65,000 square feet, imagine the White House being levitated into the sky, leaving a White House-sized hole in the ground. Fill that hole with water. That’s 65,000 square feet of pool.

The resort property slopes down to the sea from the high promontory of the lobby and adjacent buildings, and so one passes pools at different elevations descending to the beach, like steps.

The Infinity Pool overlooks the blue-green Caribbean with a view toward Isla Mujeres.

The Infinity Pool is backed up by the Ocean View Pool.

A short distance and a few steps higher is another expansive pool featuring a waterfall.

Above that is a family-friendly pool and children’s waterpark beside an all-ages waterpark with a towering twisting slide.

Beyond that is the Preferred Club Lazy River for unhurried self-indulgent tubing.

And one must include as a bonus the beachfront infinity pool and the huge winding free-form pool next door at Secrets Playa Mujeres, to which Dreams guests enjoy all-access.

More pools means more pool bars! The Ocean View Pool swim-up bar called Sea Legs features nonstop entertainment and activities during the day.

A stone’s throw away is The Grotto swim-up bar concealed behind a cascading waterfall.

Above and behind The Grotto is the Mermaid Pool Bar at the next elevation. Currents bar provides tropical drinks to those gliding by on the Lazy River.

And a short stroll down the beach or a golf cart ride away, Secrets offers Manatees swim-up bar and Sugar Reef Pool Bar.

Two

A shaman is in-residence, ready and able to coach you through spiritual rebirth. Really!

Think of a shaman as part priest, part doctor. He is an intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, and his job is to cure the sick, divine the hidden, and influence good and evil spirits.

Modern shamans follow Mayan traditions as they create herbal medicines and steam them on superheated volcanic rocks inside an igloo-shaped brick and clay building called a Temazcal. The Temazcal ceremony is symbolic of your return to the womb, where you communicate with ancestors before emerging to the world reborn. Ask at the spa for the times the shaman invites you to join him in welcoming the sun on the beach and when he will guide you through the Temazcal purification ceremony  (See also the Carry On article: Bringing the Heat in the Riviera Maya; Three Thousand Years of Blood, Sweat and Tears).

Three

The Greek astronomer Ptolemy named a constellation Delphinus for the dolphin Neptune sent to find him his true love who would become Queen of the Sea.

At Dreams, the Delphinus constellation still traces a dolphin in the night sky high above the equator. In the day, native dolphins greet guests in their football-field-sized enclosure stretching from the beach into the sea. They are the stars of the Delphinus Playa Mujeres animal welfare program.

Delphinus is a marine mammal research organization employing veterinarians and biologists committed to the welfare of the dolphins in their care. From dolphins captured decades ago in local waters, their descendants here were born in a nursery at Xcaret Eco-Park 50 miles south on the Yucatan coastline. All but one of the six dolphins here are related (father, son, half brothers, etc.).

Guests arrange (at the Delphinus administrative center and gift shop) to interact with the gregarious gang in various ways in sessions that take place several times a day. The trainers and marine biologists feed each of their co-workers upwards of 30 pounds of fish a day!

Four

The resort embraces a role as a steward of the natural environment. The lushly-landscaped grounds of Dreams Playa Mujeres, from entrance to the beach, are planted with flowers and vegetation indigenous to the region, some of which are endangered plant species.

Signs posted along winding walkways identify featured specimens of flora. Birds, dragonflies, butterflies and lizards have taken up residence in this abundant variety of palms and undergrowth.

The resort even uses eco-friendly natural chemicals to control mosquitoes, rather than employing poisons that could harm the seaside ecosystem.

Five

The sun comes up and the sun goes down in photogenic splendor. There are few resorts where one can view equally stunning sunrises and sunsets.

But at Dreams one can snap glorious sunrise and sunset Instagram shots just steps apart. At daybreak a spot on the beach is a front row seat to a sun rising from the sea behind Isla Mujeres.

The sunset secret is a viewing balcony which is outside the resort entrance where guests arrive. The lobby and adjacent buildings are high up on a ridge and the balcony to the right of the drive looking west has an elevated view over the peninsula’s jungle interior.

Bonus tips:

Heading from your room to the lobby bar? The lobby level staircase offers a killer vista across multiple pools and pathways to the emerald Caribbean. But it’s a pain to climb. On either side of the staircase note the ramps. Each leads to elevators inside the building that will lift you to lobby level. Save stair climbing for the Mayan ruins.

Dreams bars offer popular Mexican beers like Montejo pale golden lager on draft (a tasty beer). But ask at the bar in the Preferred Club Lounge and in the Lobby Bar for other hidden treasures not offered elsewhere. Like Victoria Vienna lager, Mexico’s oldest beer brand, brewed continuously for 145 years.