This was our 2nd trip to Be Live Grand Marien and our 7th overall....I started going to the DR in 2007 with my best friend and we've never looked back! Since we always travel in June due to work schedules, it is a quieter time which we don't mind but this year was almost a ghost town (even the locals on the weekend seemed fewer than last year).
We had contacted reception and the general manager prior to our arrival and all the things we asked for were done. We were in Building 8, one of the renovated ones. Staff very quickly got us settled with a 3rd bed for a friend who came with us this year. We also received a lovely fruit basket! Daily thank you notes and small gifts as well as a few dollars for housekeeping equaled stellar service - plenty of towel art, extra blankets, and a stocked fridge.
Several staff we met last year were gone, I am assuming b/c it's slow, there were layoffs. Very happy to see our favorite breakfast/lunch goddess, Delores, still there!!! She took such amazing care of us for our 10 days...every morning our coffee, juice and water came to us without even asking. Also personal thanks for finding and bringing me peanut butter for my toast everyday:)
Several waitstaff and my favorite omelet station cook seemed to remember us which was also sweet.....as well as a few of our entertainment team pals - love the welcome back hugs. These guys and gals work so hard, very long days and always are friendly and engaging. Special shout out to Julio - the newbie - very sweet and always chatting with us...and Hector too! Also nice to be joined by Victor, the entertainment director, for a few meals.
FOOD: even during the slow time, there is always great variety. If you're there more than a week, yes, it can get repetitive. A recent review however said one night there was only seafood on the buffet - FALSE!! I am a very picky eater and every night I had more than one kind of protein on my plate - beef (very good this year), pork, chicken, lamb, etc. Plus always 2-3 vegetable dishes, potato, rice, pasta, etc. The bread and pastries are delicious!! We did miss the mango this year - only offered a few times during our stay. AND there is always at least one specialty restaurant open every night too.
SHOWS/DISCO: I'm not sure what people expect when they go to an all-inclusive but the shows are very on par with other resorts. It's not Vegas folks. I must give a shout out to the dancers and esp Johnnie, the choreographer. They do a great job! Oh and Shakira (aka Sexy Belly) and Michael Jackson rock!!!! Karaoke on Mondays is hit or miss depending on audience participation but still fun. The disco was fun too...far too many slow nights b/c of low season - although a few with our new Brit and Canadian friends were wild! We did go over to Pure but the cigarette smoke drove us out.
Thank you to the GM as well, who made a point to meet us, make sure we were enjoying our stay and invited us back again soon....very kind of you! Our Expedia rep was great - very helpful although we know the drill at this point. The timeshare guys left us alone after we explained we'd been there before. Just say no to them - be firm but polite...remember, they're just doing their job. Bartenders always smiling and quick to remember your drink....shout out to our fave, Noel!
We enjoy Grand Marien and cannot wait to return next year....it's the right size and in the area we love the most. Guests must be realistic when booking however - if you're paying $100/day, don't expect the Ritz. It's just common sense.....a 4 star property in the DR is not the same scale as in the US, Canada or even Europe. Bottom line: you're on vacation - relax, have a drink, be respectful (of staff and other tourists), enjoy the sun, the pool & the beach...and be grateful you're not at work!
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- Also Known As:
- Be Live Grand Marien Hotel Puerto Plata
- Grand Oasis Marien Hotel
- Coral Marien Puerto Plata
- Oasis Marien
- Marien Coral Resort
- Grand Oasis Marien Puerto Plata