Dreams Punta Cana has the best pool that we've experienced. It runs like a sprawling river through the bottom two-thirds of the resort. There are shady alcoves, bridges, open areas, narrow stretches, bars and a waterfall. In a way, the pool is a lazy river.
By comparison, there are eight pools at Beaches Turks and Caicos. You have to walk around the resort to find the best pool for swimming, floating, mingling, drinking or playing sports. At Dreams, we were able to do all of these things without ever leaving the pool. Also, the water temperature is fantastic and it's easy to score a float or a foam mat.
The entire pool is a kid-friendly depth (3 feet), but there are no lifeguards. (The Explorer’s Club has supervised pool time in a 2-foot deep kiddie pool.)
The area around the Manatees Pool Bar is a great place grab a lounge chair and set up camp (it's steps away from the beach). That said, it's not the best place to swim. There are intense watersports here (like water polo) and single guests mingle around the bar.
People are respectful, but this is the one part of the resort that can take on a Spring Break vibe (we saw several women in thongs at the swim-up bar.)
Towel service at the pool isn't convenient. A centrally-located hut provides one towel per person from around 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Towels are also available in the Preferred Club Lounge.) Beware! The towels are orange, and if they touch light-colored garments while wet, they transfer dye. We accidentally stained several garments before realizing this.
There are signs around the pool that say it closes at 6 p.m., but other printed materials say the pool closes at 7 p.m. In our experience, the pool really closes at 7 p.m., but workers start collecting floats at around 6:30 p.m.
Many of the activities at Dreams Punta Cana happen in or around the pool. Here are some examples:
Aqua Bike Fitness (it's like a spin class in the pool)
Water Balloon Fight
Iron Man Competition
The pool is large enough for these activities to be held without intruding on guests who are not participating. The two "jacuzzis" on the resort are not what you would expect: They are cold-water pools with jets above the water (fun for a quick dip, but not to relax in).