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“The downfall of Grand Oasis Punta Cana”

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Be Live Collection Punta Cana
Ranked #66 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed August 5, 2010

My wife and I have just returned from our bi-annual vacation in the Dominican. In January the past six years we holiday at the excellent Dreams La Romana (ex Sunscape Casa Del Mar) and in July the past six years we holiday at Grand Oasis Punta Cana (ex Sunscape The Grand)...and have vigorously defended this latter resort from critics on the basis "you can't please everyone" and "some people just complain".

Unfortunately, this July, the Grand Oasis has turned sour.

Oh, the rooms are excellent. We were again given a beautiful room in block 7 overlooking the superb beach. BUT oh dear oh dear, the quality and choice of food has plumeted to depths we have never ever experienced. The quality was appalling and, yes, there was a choice, but the choices were all equally appalling..

After five days, we couldn't take any more of this slop and transferred to Ocean Sands & Golf Resort (actually it's called Ocean Blue & Sands Resort, but TripAdvisor doesn't recognise this)...and what an unbelievable change by 1000%...see review under Ocean Sands by H!10 "Gourmet Heaven.

I believe the problem at Grand Oasis is that it is changing hands from Globilia to another Spanish company called TravelPlan, and this new company is trying to sell the resort as time share. There were certainly a lot of TravelPlan reps around pestering people to buy an apartment..

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank alansophia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 31, 2010

Holiday quite good, but we had problem with service and information what we have to pay for. we must pay additional fee for using room bar, when we came to hotel we signed a piece of paper we get some drinks for free and we can buy some if we order these drinks. Next day when somebody brought some drinks to the room and snacks I mean one Pringles (small one) and coke and sprite. We didn’t order anything so we expect it’s for free. The last day while checking out we have been ask about make a payment????????? And we get information that fee is for 14 days of using room bar, and we had to pay 346 US dollars!!!!! Shock, especially that receptionist not speaking English well. The beach looks good, be careful of LIFESTYLE CLUB AND LOCAL SHOPPERS!!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank grzybekmuchomorek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2010

We stayed at this resort in April 2009, and it was our first trip outside of Canada. We definitely had the time of our life!!!

I found that all of the staff were soo nice!! Everybody is joking around with you and so, so helpful!! We got a bottle of rum upon checkin, they brought us to our room, set up our safe and we were good to go. We left $2 (USD) every morning for the maids and they would put flowers and things like that around our room. One morning the maid left a heart made of towels on our bed with flowers all over it, so we left her $5 the next day. That day she had this elaborate swan that stood up (made from towels) covered in flowers..so nice!! We left her a note in very bad Spanish asking for more towels and she left us a bunch of them. The staff that does the tours is AMAZING as well..SOO fun but I will get to that later.

The building itself with the rooms in it had kind of a funny smell to it...not bad just smelled kind of damp. The bathroom was dated but clean. Those are the only complaints I had about the whole trip. The room was super clean, and big!! (We had a standard room..cheapest you could get). We somehow lucked out and were on the bottom floor, so once we went out the patio doors the pool was literally 3 steps away.

The food was fine..I'm picky when it comes to food but I always found something to eat. Do not drink the milk!! It's not pasturized there, I told my boyfriend and he drank it anyway and spent the whole night in the bathroom due to it. I didn't go to the restaurants too often because we couldn't be bothered to make reservations..but we were at the tex mex one once and it was awesome!

They have a HUGE beach party there every Thursday night, that was a crazy night. For excursions..we went snorkeling twice with the guy on the beach..he will cut you a deal, especially if you like Toronto Maple Leafs lol. That was fun!! We brought bread with us the second time and the fish ate it right out of our hands. We went on the party boat excursion which was HILARIOUS..I think it's called the Cataraman. We just rode around and drank and danced. They provided a lunch and all the alcohol, and then we stopped somewhere and snorkelled with nurse sharks and stingrays!! There were tonnes of them..the only thing about that was there were so many people swimming around you trying to look at the same things that a couple of times someone grabbed on to me by accident and I got a mouth full of water..but I'm a bad swimmer so that's probably why. We also went parasailing through someone on the beach. I'm PETRIFIED of heights but I did it and had an amazing time!!! My favorite excursion by far - The Bavaro Runners Tour. You NEED to do this. It's a full day thing - we drove around the city first, went to a tobacco "field" (some guy was growing it in his yard) where he makes cigars. He did this big demonstration. Then we went to a sugar cane field and got to taste, then we went to a public beach, we stopped somewhere and had a dominican lunch, we went to Maria's house who is a lady that grows pineapples, coffee, vanilla, cocoa, mangos, bananas..everything you can think of. We got a tour and we got to taste her food and buy some if we wanted...oh yeah and we went horseback riding too..the whole tour alcohol was provided and everyone was so friendly! You need to do this tour, and ask for ALEX as your tour guide!! He was so knowledgeable and very funny!!! I heard from a different group that their tour guide was boring...so ALEX ALEX ALEX!!! And before you go on your trip stop into the dollar store and get some coloring books and pencils and cheap toys. This tour stops into a school so you can give stuff to the kids (they go nuts over it) but we were dumb and booked our tour on a Sunday..so whenever we saw kids the bus would pull over and we could pass our stuff out. One couple brought those temporary tattoos to the public beach (the ones you apply with water) and there were adults and kids lined up to get them, it was so funny!!

Do not go to the little market that is right outside of the hotel!! Those guys have a way with words and we got ripped off big time! And WATCH OUT FOR THE CASINO! We were almost poor when we left..the games are rigged. Another guest there was trying to flag us down and get us to stop playing because he read on trip advisor that the games are rigged..but we didn't see him in time.

Well long enough and I think that's it. Definitley go stay at this resort, I know we had the best time ever!!!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank NewfiesLoveTheHeat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2010

Our first trip to DR. Been to Grand Caymen diving for a week, and to Mexican Riviera Maya on two seperate trips also. So, my review takes into account how I compare my other experiences.
I specifically chose this hotel because of its close local to the airport and its size - 450 rooms. It was large enough to support a variety of services and amenities, but not so huge you waste half of the day walking or shuttling around. My guess was right. It took only a few minutes to get from the airport with no drop-offs along the way. Check in was quick and painless. Getting around was super easy with the pool, beach, shopping,and restaurants all nicely spaced together. I love this feature. I've been to mega resorts where you have to be shuttled or walk forever.

Room: We upgraded to a suite and it was gorgeous! Sparkling marble floor, canopy bed, large jacuzzi, large deck, nice furnishings with lots of closet space. It was cleaned and stocked daily.

Beach: Very nice. Typical carribean with warmish water, lots of sand. We could walk as far as we wanted. In one direction, other resorts and an undeveloped area. In the other direction, nice homes. Seaweed washes up, but it is raked up all the time. No problem.
Lots of palms and tikis and loungers. If you want a tiki, have to save it by 0830 am. When we didn't get one, we used a palm tree for shade, so no problem.

Pools: Very nice. Lots of loungers and tiki huts, but you have to save a tiki by 0830 am or you won't get one. Lots of loungers though. Swim up bar was nice too. No long lines.
Plenty of room for swimming or lounging at any of the pools.

Restaurants/Bars: Pretty good. Lots of variety. Special orders honored at restaurants or bars. Windows buffet average, but with decent variety and lots of veggies and fruit.
Tex Mex was best in our opinion. Italian very good also. We didn't try the Japanese or Seafood restaurants because my husband dislikes Asian food and seafood in general.
Service was always friendly and efficient. Sometimes there was a line at the omelette station, but not too bad. We hated the coffee!! In room coffee or instant was better, for our taste. Food and drinks are available 24 hours a day!!! We never got too hungry and anytime we wanted something to drink, a bar was open. They even have espresso at the bar for coffee drinks hot or cold. No complaints with food or bar service. You can have anything you want 24 hours a day. Special note: We NEVER got sick!!!! This seems to be a concern traveling in this area, but it was never an issue for us. I never heard of anyone getting sick here either. On the way back at the airport, one traveler reported he and his party were sick everyday. They stayed at the majestic...FYI. It could be their habits or the resort, I don't know.

Grounds: Very nice. Mature foliage and lots of it. Lots of palms and flowering bushes and plants. The grounds and facilities are kept immaculately clean. Only messes were from tourists who can't find the trash bins. However, messes were cleaned up as I didn't see much accumulation for very long. There are also some interesting things built into the grounds which are nice viewing, or nice areas to relax including a gazebo, pergola with furniture, ponds, bridges, fountains and pink flamingo pond.

Entertainment: Superb!!! There are many facilities to enjoy including free water sports (catamarans, snorkeling gear, sailboards), volleyball, ping pong, bachi ball, tennis courts and a special children's building and play yard at the beach. Every hour special entertainment scheduled including, but not limited to, dance lessons, scuba lessons, sailing lessons, fun games and contests, aqua gym, bike tour, etc, etc. The nightly shows were the best I"ve seen at an all-inclusive. The dancers are truly professional and so are their costumes and presentations. Don't miss the Michael Jackson show or the circus, especially. Top notch entertainment!!
Special thanks to Francesco who leads a lot of the daily activities and MCs the evening shows. He has a heart of gold and is fun and funny. He speaks four languages fluently!!! How impressive is that? He studied at an institute and it must have been very hard work and dedication!! He said he studied hard to have a better life for himself and eventually for children. We adored him!!!

Shopping: There are shops on the resort and the people are friendly, but sometimes a bit aggressive. Prices a bit high I thought, with cheap flip flops costing $15.00. My husband got a nice tropical shirt for $22.00. Sunscreen is outrageous! $30.00. Once during the week, local vendors of jewelry and arts were at the resort and they gave away more than they sold, I think. Nothing extravagent, just beaded neclaces, bracelets, etc., but the free gifts were fun. I bought a nice silver neclace with an amber pendant and earrings to match for about $25.00. One must haggle like crazy. The original price would have been about $50.
Shopping in a little carriben plaza across from resort was not fun. The shops were colorful and filled with jewelry, shirts, beach stuff, art, etc., but the vendors are very aggressive!! Perhaps this is why we were the only shoppers in the area. My husband bought a tank top shirt for $8.

Disco and Casino: Didn't like either. Both small and boring. The disco was stiffling with smoke and small size and music way too loud for the size. We stayed about one minute and had to leave. The casino was small, but cool and clean. The slots were confusing too. We spent part of an evening here and became bored. Not too many guests hanging out here.

Time share/Vacation Club Reps: The biggest downfall. They bother you when you first arrive. They take no for an answer, but still approach you again. I feel sorry for them, actually and wouldn't want to make a living this way. Also, some of the space at the resort has been given up to this enterprise. Nothing we noticed on day to day, but apparently the piano bar is no longer and is now the lounge and sales office for the vacation club (timeshare). They say it is not a timeshare, but vacation club is now the new term for timeshare...LOL. If you're not interested, make it clear to them in the beginning and then they will leave you alone. We were approached for only the first day or two. Special note: This is not exclusive to this resort. Moon palace has it for sure. Excellence too, as reported by another traveler at the airport. I think this is a growing industry in the area, so if you want to go to Punta Cana, you will most likely encounter these reps. We were even recruited at the airport on arrival!! Our baggage handler took us directly to a vacation club rep. LOL.

Overall: I have not stayed anywhere else in DR. I thought the resort was perfectly fine, clean, friendly, and accomodating. Couldn't ask for more from a resort of this size. Compared to Mexican Riviera (RIU and Iberostar), about the same amenties and issues. Compared to Grand Caymen, Grand Caymen has superior coral reefs and one can travel the island freely as there is no poverty, no haggling, no being approached by locals, etc. If you want to tour in Punta Cana area, don't do it alone or you will be approached constantly by locals. Go with a tour group. Taxis are very expensive here too. I know. We went up the coast about 20 minutes and the ride was $45.00 one way, haggled down from $50. That's $90 round trip just to go see another beach. Big mistake.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank blocker529
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2010

We had such a wonderful time at the Grand Oasis. Don't worry about planning excursions before you get there. there are a whole selection of companies waiting for you on the beach.

Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
2  Thank Alyssans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2010

OK, you have been asking for a review and I'll get right to the point. I will start with the GOOD.
CHECK-IN: Quick and painless. We arrived at 12:45 and check in wasn't until 3. We were given wrist bands and told to enjoy the resort. I came back at 2:15 and was given the keys to our room.
ROOM: We were in block 3, poolside. Room was spotless and fairly recently remodeled. The door stuck but nothing a firm hard push couldn't fix. A small leak in the bathroom ceiling, believed to be from the air conditioner, dripped onto the floor. A small towell on the floor took care of that. Room was cleaned every day. I even witnessed the sheets being changed...not just fluffed and bed re-made! An ample supply of bottled water, shampoo and soap was left daily.
FOOD: Mare (seafood) Restaurant had a very limited menu but was pleasing. Tex-Mex was outstanding and Italian was unbelievable. Ate at these restaurants last year and I must say the food is much improved. The buffet was quite good on the two nights we ate there. Good variety andf everything looked fresh. The breakfast buffet got a little old. The same things were available every day.
ANAMACION: Outstanding, Energetic, Fun, Hardworking! Our favorites were David and Daniel yet the entire staff was great. Kept you busy if you wanted but left you alone, if desired.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Not something we would normally do on vacation, but we splurged. William took some unbelievable pictures and we are so glad that we did this. There was no "hard-sell" pressure to buy pictures afterwards, which was nice.
NOW THE BAD: TIME SHARE SHARKS...Need I say any more!!!!!!!!!! They are plenty bothersome and will not take a polite "No Thank You" as a final answer. We finally got rude and told them to leave us alone and they did. They insist they are not time-share but we all know differently.

Is this a 5* resort...NO, but they do not claim to be. I feel that we got more than what we paid for. We made a lot of new friends and are eagerly waiting to book our next visit.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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10  Thank Michele K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2010

After i booked my stay and read the reviews I was so anxious before I went. However, when I got there things were not that bad. My sister and i got a room upgrade without even asking to Building 12. My only concern was when we waited in the lobby we were ignored and not offered any drink although we waited for quite some time. Another group came in and the servers walked past us to the others and gave them drinks. I commented on this and was offtered drinks right away. The grounds of this resort are just beautiful and it is kept up very well. I ate mostly at Windows, which i thought was the best choice. The food was good, made to order omlettes in the morning.. I stuck with fish daily. The drinks were just fair, it was not top shelf liquior, so I didn't expect much. I am not a coffee drinker, but the Dominician offered was yummy...so smooth. If you are going to book outings...look on line first, or book with the hotel. A guy on the beach, a slim guy, who walks up and down daily, ripped me and my sister off 60 dollars. He asked for money up front and then gave us a receipt. He wrote down that we only gave him a 30 dollar deposit, which was not true...He is not hard to miss...slim, smooth taking guy with a scar on his cheek ( I wonder why). At night I was bored out of my head...and the night when they had a beach party it felt geared mainly to children. The time share people were a pain at first, but they knew not to ask me after a while. The photo people in the hotel took great photos, but said i would get an 8X10 for 10 dollars and it was not an 8 x10. Also my photo was too dark and he said it was because the photo was taken in the garden, not true...so I made him fix it. If you want coffee buy it at the supermarket down the street-2 blocks. I got 3 for 10 and at the airport and shops it's 8. next time I will go to puerta plata to a adults only in the hopes of having more adult activities at night. so is you love the sun and just need a beautiful beach, ok drinks...it was not bad...you can always book excursions every other day.. What another reviewer said about towels is true..they are treated as if they are made of gold...

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank brickhouseja
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 Punta Cana

Address: Carretera Cabeza de Toro Km 7, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#41 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#58 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#60 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#61 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $121 - $451 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Be Live Collection Punta Cana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 930
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

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