I stayed at the Be Live mid-November, 2012. I chose this hotel as there is no single supplement with Sunwing so it was very reasonably priced.
Notice: The resort is currently under renovation. The big lobby is not in use so everything is handled by the smaller "Bavaro" lobby. Building no. 3 is also closed. The renovations are not really disruptive. You hear some hammering here and there at the main pool and on the beach but with the music and people talking, it just blends in.
Arrival: We arrived to the hotel around midnight. I am not a fan of late arrivals because everyone is cranky. The staff at the front desk was very patient with people and with some being extremely irritated and impatient for no reason, I'm not even sure how they managed to keep their composure, quite frankly... I could not get a safe right away because they had to process the whole group but I was told to come back in 30 minutes and then I was able to get a safe.
Room: I was in room 6304 (Building 6). Because you're on the third floor, there is this crazy 20 ft ceiling made out of wood which is really nice. The decor is not too kitschy. The are two double beds. I find the bed pretty comfy but it's on the harder side. The air conditioner and ventilator work well. The a/c does not only seem to come on when you insert your door card like in some other hotels which is nice because the room keeps at a steady temperature. I had an issue with the lock not fitting in the safe properly (it's an older safe, not an electronic one) and they sent someone immediately to bring me a new lock. There were no insects in my room and it is very clean. The maid does a really good job at keeping the room clean and stocking up the mini fridge. I never lacked anything. Some people changed rooms for a variety of reasons but, for example, one couple would rave about one building and the other couple hated it. Go figure... It seems pretty easy to change rooms at this time since the hotel is not at full capacity. The only complaint: the walls are paper thin. You hear absolutely everything so bring ear plugs.
Service: This is my second time in the Dominican Republic and my observations are still the same. Some will go beyond and above to help you but there are quite a few employees who could not care less. I don't expect everyone to tend to me like I'm the Queen of England but please don't roll your eyes at me, don't ignore me and don't start speaking badly about me in Spanish. Again, this is not everyone but I did run into some disgruntled employees.
Vendors: Now this is a big negative for me. There are the vendors on the beach, the vendors at the hotel and the Lifestyle folks. With the vendors on the beach and the hotel, a simple "no, thank you" is enough in most cases. However, there are so many that you will be saying "no, thank you" A LOT. So it does get annoying. Some are really aggressive so beware. The worse are the Lifestyle people. They wait for you at the buffet entrance and, for example, going to and from breakfast, you can get approached by three of them. One of them even grabbed my arm and that's when I lost it. Talk all you want but don't touch. Lifestyle is a timeshare company. They will tell you that you'll get 40% off on your next vacation (this is the pitch I was given) but in reality, you can get sucked into signing a contract worth tens of thousands of dollars (this is based on readily available online info). On top of that, you will still have to pay your airfare, the all inclusive package, and you are limited to certain weeks. But hey, for some, feeling superior because they have access to some "VIP" areas is priceless... While this is unpleasant, it will not ruin your vacation.
Grounds: The grounds are kept very clean and the resort is pretty compact. You don't need to take a train to go to the beach and you can walk everywhere within the complex. The beach is beautiful and kept very clean. The "prime" spots with shade are usually taken early in the morning but it is still possible to find some throughout the day. I felt safe walking around at night by myself.
Food: Here comes my ridiculous complaint: no bacon for breakfast??? Maybe they run out early but I usually went around 9 am and there wasn't any. Apart for that, I have no complaints about food. There is a great variety so you'll find things that are excellent and some not so good. I went to three gourmet restaurants, the Brazilian, the Gourmet and the Japanese. They were all pretty decent. Just because a lot of people mention getting sick in reviews: I did not get sick. I met a lot of people during my stay and nobody got sick. I'm not saying it can't happen but it does not appear to be very common. Just that people write about it so it stands out... Just in case, I always travel with a mini pharmacy consisting of pills for every imaginable digestive track ailment.
Entertainment: I have not gone to the see any of the nightly shows. There were a lot of daytime and evening activities involving games (with and without alcohol) and music.
Random tip: If mosquitoes love you, don't forget your bug spray. I forgot mine and became an all inclusive buffet myself. Out of sheer desperation, I had to purchase one at the hotel for about 400% mark up. Essentially, do not forget important stuff like sunscreen because you'll pay out of your you know what to buy it at the hotel. Speaking of costs, the wifi is $25 for 25 hours/week but it works everywhere, including the beach and the room.
November weather: Expect some showers. Prices in November are pretty low because the weather is a bit unpredictable. It was pretty warm (25-30 C) but it rained a couple of times in the evening or at night and it got a bit windy and cloudy some days.
Overall, I would recommend this place to friends. This hotel seems on the right track with the renovations and it's very reasonably priced. I just wish they didn't have the Lifestyle timeshare people. Very good quality for the price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Be Live Collection Punta Cana Hotel is an elite 5-star All Inclusive Hotel in the Dominican Republic. It is the perfect place to enjoy a vacation whether it's a couple's getaway, a family adventure, friends reunion, or guests that just need a few days of rest and relax; this resort has all the necessary facilities even Spa and Casino services. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Oasis Punta Cana
- Globalia Punta Cana Grand
- Grand Oasis Hotel Punta Cana
- Grand Oasis Bavaro
- Punta Cana Grand Oasis
- All Inclusive Punta Cana
- Oasis Punta Cana
- Gran Oasis Punta Cana