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“We had a great overall time”

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Be Live Collection Marien
Ranked #9 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Lake Tahoe
Level 6 Contributor
72 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“We had a great overall time”
Reviewed August 27, 2014

We stayed here at the Be Live Grand Marien in July of this year - I was not sure what to expect with the mixed reviews. But overall, we had a great 7 days at this resort. We were greeted upon arrival with a nice cool drink - had a very quick check in and was taken by golf cart to our room. I suggest if possible not to arrive on a Friday or Saturday - it is much busier and probably not as friendly on these days. We stayed in a superior room - I was expecting via the reviews a possible mildew smell which it did have upon arrival, but did not notice after the first couple of hours. An empty mini frig - which did only have a couple things in it, but I mentioned something to the housekeeper and she stocked it up for us including extra water and kept it stocked all week. Also - we only had 1 towel when we first arrived for 3 people, but I found out later that they were just washing them all after a busy weekend (we arrived on a Monday) they brought them to us by the afternoon. Give them a chance and they do try to please. The room was not fancy, but it was spacious, clean, and met our needs. The staff here are wonderful - my older daughter made many friends including staff that she still keeps in contact with occasionally. My younger daughter enjoyed the kids club very much and fell in love with her instructor - she really enjoyed the special dinner and disco nights for the kids. The food was average - they did try and actually had a pretty decent variety with a different theme for dinner each night. We really enjoyed the variety of special fruit smoothies that they offered every morning. The pool was fantastic - the beach was nice (windy in the afternoon). Activities okay - my daughter enjoyed the beach volleyball, but the activities were not quite up to the standards of some other resorts that I have been to. We attended most of the evening entertainment and had fun with what it was. Overall, we really did enjoy our time at this resort, but it was not the best that I have been to. I do not like to stay in one place to long, so I did arrange to get off the resort for several activities - horseback riding, zip lining, catamaran and snorkeling, and Ocean Park. Adding these activities really added to our vacation enjoyment. It gives you a better perspective of the real Dominican Republic and its people. I recommend scheduling a minimum of 1 off resort activity for at least the busy weekend, especially Saturday - when the resort is busy all day long. I would also make some dinner reservations for Friday and or Saturday night. For the price of this all inclusive vacation - I think they did a great job. The location of the resort is close to many activities, and as always with travel - you can only expect to take away as much as you put in!

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank lisjor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2014

Long story short , this place is definitely not great.. I'm not sure who is writing these reviews. The only reason I went here is because TripAdvisor recommended it but I was ready to leave after day 1.
I stayed for 5 days and prepaid, otherwise I would have checked out. I have been to DR several times at all inclusive places and this one by far was the worst. Last year I stayed in Riu Palace in punta cana and that was 10X better in every way. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:
Staff extremely friendly, bad experiences are only a result of hotel policies
Shows are decent at night
Kid Friendly place

Cons:
1. Drinks are extremely low quality - They hide the only 1 or 2 name brands that they have like Stoli vodka (you're not getting kettle one or GreyGoose around here) and take it out at night. During the day they tell you that they have run out which is just a ploy to save money because they all magically appear at night. I could not catch a slight buzz off of anything that they had, at best they poor half a shot of watered down liquor. All other drinks are sugary syrup and icy's. Also plastic cups are about 6 oz's and there are 2 bars so you're gonna be running back and forth waiting in line for these cheap drinks.

2. Food is absolutely horrible - They have a buffet that essentially serves the same food everyday (rice, lentil or beans, fish, chicken stew with bones in it (forget about chicken breast), and variations of salad that is not bad, forget about soda, they only have coke or diet coke and some syrup juice, no other softdrinks, deserts are the cheap hard stuff that you find in the deli section of a grocery store. Other than the buffet, they have a Mexican and a Brazilian restaurant and it was basically the same food packaged different. I gave up and didn't even bother going to one other Caribbean gourmet that they had .. Lastly, you would think that going to a Caribbean island, you might have your serving of fresh fruit; here you will find bananas, pine apple, and everything else is del monte fruit salad.. disgusting (those syrup based fruits)!

3. They have a snack bar but....- The food is inedible in the snack bar. They serve fries hot dogs and frozen hamburger patties which doesn't even taste like real meat. The other stuff in the snack bar look to be leftovers from the buffet in my opinion. Oh and they have a pizza that tastes worse than the pizza boat in a school cafeteria for those of you who know what I'm talking about. To be fair, I tried the snack bar 5 times and every time, I couldn't take more than a bite. By my 3rd day, I was cabbing it to a local restaurant for food.

3. Rooms are shoddy - No carpet, just slab and needs a makeover in a major way. No decoration, plain simple similar to a Red Roof Inn if you have ever been. Toilets get clogged and take about 4 minutes to fill up before second flush. You're gonna need it after eating the food here... thrust me! 3 guests who I met here all got food poisoning or upset stomach.

4. WiFi is a ripoff - They charge you heavy for this and at the very least it should be available for free in the lobby... but it's not! Additionally, when you buy WiFi, it only works on one device at a time so be sure to take a hotspot if you don't head my warning and go here anyway. This way you can connect your other devices to your hotspot.

5. The nightclub on site was closed when I went here in late August.

6. Most of the shopping and little stores are vacated

7. Gym is OK because it has everything you need but it's definitively flint-stone weights from the 70's

8. No waiter service by the pool or the beach or as a matter of fact any where else... they will set you down at the buffet, give you some water and then you are on your own. If you got to a decent all inclusive, they usually have staff walking around by the pool offering drinks, coconuts, etc. You're not getting that here.

9, If you are looking for peace and quite, watch out for weekends... all the locals converge here with tons of kids running around doing belly busters wherever you sit.

10. Hard to find shade umbrellas because all the early birds get up and reserve the few that they have and for the rest, you are stuck sitting on mostly broken beach chairs.

There is more, but that's all I have time for. This is the first time I felt compelled to write a review because I want people to know that this hotel is well below the ratings on tripadvisor and you are going to ruin your vacation if you go here expecting a "very good" hotel... at best it's equivalent to a 2 star and I all I do is travel for work so I feel I'm a good judge of that.

Room Tip: Don't bother upgrading rooms, they are all the same... beach views are not worth it.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
13 Thank Sammy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2014

We booked this hotel through Thomson for a two week family trip, in August.

Arrival/ Check in: Very quick and smooth procedure. We were all given a cooling welcome drink on arrival, as well, which was much appreciated. The bell boy then took us, on foot, to our room, for the ubiquitous tip!

Room: We had previously booked a superior room; this was in block 8, on the second floor. Our bags were taken up to the room for us (I dont think there was a lift at all?). The room was large, clean and cool. It had a tiled floor, as you would expect and was simply decorated. There was a wardrobe, with shelf space; a large unit which housed the fridge in one side, and had a large space, without shelves, in the other. On top of this was an ice bucket with glasses and a coffee maker, with ground coffee supplied. We were provided with bottled water, and in the fridge with some Pepsi and beer. This was replenished daily. In the main bedroom area, there was a large dressing table type unit, with storage and a knee hole for sitting at, but no mirror. We had two large queen size beds in the room. These were very hard; my husband loved them but I found it a little too hard. The internal bathroom was small, and a little dark, although very clean. As we has expected, the sockets and fittings were all a little wonky or loose, but this was not really a problem. We had a whirlpool bath which we tried, just for the novelty. However, to ensure it was clean, we filled the bath, ran the pump, watched the gunk that was flushed out of the pipes, then refilled and ran with clean water! The room service was pretty good, although we often didnt get enough towels for our three person occupancy, and at the weekends the rooms were not made up until very late in the day.

Food: The food was excellent. Our breakfasts were all taken in the buffet, where there was always a good range of hot and cold foods to choose from. For me the absolute highlight were the fabulous fresh fruit smoothies, available every day. These were delicious! Also, the fresh bread and morning pastries were excellent. We found that to get coffee from the wait staff was a little hit and miss; this seemed to depend on where we had been sat in the eating area. My daughter theorized that proximity to the drinks counter had an effect, and this did seem to be the case! Generally, the staff were cheery, helpful and polite, though. We found the quality of meals to be good, whether it was for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and have no complaints about the availability of food, even in busy times.. We ate in all of the A la Carte restaurants on site; the Gourmet (dress code in here) was good but not amazing, the Mexican was pleasant,too, but the star, as others have said, was the Brazilian restaurant. We had two great meals here, thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of the Stop/Go signs at the table, and had some very good service. We also ate, on occasion, in the Beach Snack Bar. Again this was good food, with the experience only being marred by rush of the (apparently) starving masses at certain times. This was when the food was handled, and lines were cut...poor hungry souls!

Entertainment: The entertainment team worked very hard indeed. (Thank you Hector for my Spanish lesson!) During the day, there were a few pool based activities, as well as beach volleyball in the afternoon. There were also "silly" games such as Strongest Man; Dance lessons, Zumba etc. There was some evening entertainment, but this was very poor, and more often than not we glanced by and chose to leave. It really wasnt very good. If you are travelling with a teenager, be aware that they could easily become very bored, as there is nothing for them to do in the evenings. My daughter (15) tried to visit the nightclub, accompanied by several adults, but was asked to leave as underage. I completely understand the reason for rules. but think that this indicates a gap in the provision by the hotel for the "tweens" age group.

Extras: Safe is available for an extra fee, as is wi-fi. We knew this before we left, but feel that this really is a basic provision that could/should have been part of the all inclusive price, particularly the safe. Who wouldnt make use of this, in order to ensure that their passport, money etc is kept secure? It smacked of the hotel charging because they knew they would get the cash out the guests!

Comments: I read before we left, many reviews which commented on the influx of locals at the weekends. Well, this does happen but we honestly didnt experience any issue with it. The place itself went from being quiet and almost sleepy, to lively and buzzing. We were told by a driver that if the locals didnt come in at the weekends, the hotels would be likely to close through lack if business. There were, of course, cultural differences which meant that queuing was somewhat different (although the bar staff kept a really close eye on who to serve next!), and there was a chance of losing your sunbed if you were in the pool, and didnt keep an eye on it! The worst experience we saw, which was at the weekend, was a man so drunk that he physically couldnt stand up. He was seated next to the beach bar, and just sat and urinated where he was. I have no idea of his nationality, but his skin was pale.... We also planned trips and A la Carte bookings around the weekend, so that we were largely occupied for each of the Saturdays we were there. Proactive, rather than reactive seemed the answer!

Would we return? No, I dont think we would. Whilst the hotel wasnt dreadful, there was nothing that we would rave about (apart from the breakfast smoothies!). We enjoyed our visit to the DR, but there's a big world out there, waiting to be discovered!

Room Tip: We stayed in Block 8, second floor, pool view. No problems at all.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Sez809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2014

A late review here...we stayed in March. Overall, it was OK but we would not return. We did meet some great people and enjoyed our time - which helped make it a fun trip - but there are much better places to go.

Food
- not the best at all. The buffet was very repetitive, lacked flavours, low quality. After awhile, I was just eating french fries! I could hardly wait to go home and eat real food. The best a la carte was the gourmet restaurant. If you could get your way in there a few times extra, then do so. It would be worth it. The mexican was awful (fatty steak fajitas) and the brazilian was OK.

Drinks
- very low quality liquor. We learned later in the week you had to ask for the premium vodka, etc. Still didn't help much as the drinks weren't the best.

Beach
- very gross! Not crystal blue water...looked like a lake half the time. First time I went to a trip where I stayed at the pool the entire time.

Room
- we were in the newer section so no complaints about the room. Clean, newer, nice decor.

Overall, it was wasn't an awful place. But again, much better places to go than here. Pay the extra money.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2014

This was our second time to the Dom Rep. We stayed here about 10 years ago. I have to say the place could do with a make over but the staff made up for it. Lovely atmosphere, didnt want to come home. Guaranteed sunshine and lots of fun.
I will try the Iberostar next door if we go back again. Mainly due to the lovely smelling BBQ on the beach , that my wife and I would get jealous about every evening haha! the kids loved it and the swimming pool is so big everyone has space to splash about.
The beach isnt the best in the Carribean, but it is still better than Margate lol

Room Tip: If you get a ground floor room, dont leave your sports wear (my addidas tee shirt) drying...someone...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Daniel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2014

This resort is very clean staff is friendly, good was great. Had a great time here with a group of 11, I would recommend this hotel to other such a great experience. Check in was fast and the beach was very nice, pool nice and big and very family oriented the a la carte restaurants Orale was very good and good attention! Overall best resort I have visited so far!!Thanks Grand Marien!!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Neny2729
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2014

It was my first time going to the Dominican Republic and out of the U.S. We stayed December 26 2013- January 7 2014.

The resort was about an hour/hour and a half drive from the airport in Santiago but it was great. The drive was a lot of fun and wasn't a hassle/uncomfortable at all. I loved seeing the different sights along the way.

Check in/out was very simple and fast. The resort was beautiful and safe with security constantly walking around throughout the resort and beach. The ocean was steps away from our room. Everything was very clean and housekeeping came everyday. The whole staff, from the maids and front desk staff to the restaurant servers were very friendly and energetic.

There was always something entertaining to do. There were a lot of beach activities and poolside games being hosted by the staff. A lot of fun excursions too. (Definitely recommend going to Mount Isabel de Torres with the cable car and doing the Damajaqua Cascades waterfall adventure, lots of fun!)

The only cons were the amount of locals on the beach trying to sell items and the food. It was great talking to local people but when someone is coming up to you every 15 minutes trying to sell something while you're relaxing on the beach it gets old. The food was just ok. There were different options, including a buffet, Mexican and a Fogo de Chao type setup, but everything was just kind of eh. Open bar and free drinks were awesome though!

Overall it was a really fun first trip to the Dominican Republic. Great, friendly staff and beautiful resort. Would stay again.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mmetel1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Be Live Collection Marien

Property: Be Live Collection Marien
Address: Carretera Luperon, Km. 4,5, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#8 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Be Live Collection Marien 4*
Number of rooms: 584
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Be Live Collection Marien is an all-inclusive 5-star resort in Puerto Plata, located in the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. With a privileged location synonymous of beautiful settings and its heavenly beaches, it is a perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation whether it is for a romantic getaway or for a family fun adventure. The resort features a spa, nearby golf course for guests and event facilities ideal for hosting special events. This complex is located 1 hour from Santiago de Los Caballeros, 10 minutes from the city of Puerto Plata, known for its rum factories and 30 minutes from Gregorio Luperon International Airport. ... more   less 
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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

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