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“Good Value, but few things to improve”

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Be Live Collection Marien
Ranked #9 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Toronto
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good Value, but few things to improve”
Reviewed 28 November 2013

Overall this was a nice resort. Friendly & pleasant staff, entertainment team was great - special thanks to Micheal Angelo and Hector. Nice large pool with lots of chairs. You get what you pay for - $850/pp I think it was a good value!
We did encounter a few issues that I think could have been handled better and want to share
1) Ants in the washroom - although the cleaners tried daily ants would return few hrs after housekeeping would leave,
2) Beds were not the most comfortable and on a slope
3) surprised that so many waiters at the a la carte restaurants didn't know proper English
4) 2 of 5 adults in our group got sick!! my wife was in bed for 2 days and my father for 1 day
5) paid for late check out and didn't get fresh towels after 3 calls and rm was not cleaned.

We did pay $850/pp so I think overall it was a good deal.
I just wish they would have dealt with my concerns better, as little as a rm change or free late check out would have been a nice gesture.

Room Tip: Building 2 is a nice location, try to get building 8 apparently it's the renovated rooms
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank mpawa81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

Amazing Place.. Resort service was great..
I'm A DJ and I liked the club atmosphere in the Resort, plus the one next door @ the Casino..
-I Will definitely be going back..-Everything is literally Included, no need to bring cash just to get from airport to resort which is a few miles away in the same road..--unless you have the resort pick you up.(which I recommend)..
@DJLAFORMULA

MAKE SURE TO JOIN:
DANAWRY SOTO
**DANNY BOY**
FOR THE BEST WATER/BEACH SPORTS.. ALL INCLUDED..

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank ChinolaDR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, Mississippi
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We had a 6 night stay arranged through Living Social. Our travel to DR got delayed when we discovered hours before leaving the States that my passport was expired. We called the resort from the States the day we were to arrive and they worked with us by honoring the 6 day voucher and setting our reservations back until we were able to get there (4 days later than planned).

Yes there are some problems with the resort facilities such as when we arrived our original room had a water leak but the staff immediately put us in another room that had no problems. The room we got was very nice, hot tub that we used, comfortable bed, nice balcony, spacious. The room was keep clean and the grounds of the resort were very clean and well maintained. They spray wash the sidewalks and clean the pool every morning before guest get up (we are early risers). We had the superior deluxe room upgrade and from what we learned from other people it was well worth it (better rooms and deals).

One thing the resort could do better was give an orientation when guest arrive as to what is included in the "all inclusive" deal and what excursions, restaurants... were available. We learned from other guest that the resort has 3 restaurants (Gourmet, Brazilian, Mexican), plus a buffet restaurant and a snack bar restaurant. We got the impression that many of the guest were not aware that they had access to the 3 fancy restaurants with the "all inclusive" package or maybe they didn't know you have to make a reservation for these restaurants that morning (9-11am). The 3 reservation only restaurants were fabulous-great food and fine dining (bring some nice cloths). We found the food to be great, even the buffet, but if we had only eaten at the buffet for every meal that would have gotten old. I have traveled to many other countries and have learned how to be careful and what to do to prevent sickness. We had absolutely no problems with the food (no sickness at all) maybe because we were careful but I was impressed with how careful the resort was to have sanitary food conditions. We ate on the excursions also and did not get sick.

We are active people and tried to do every activity and as such we got to know the activity leader, Miguel Angelo, very well. He was awesome, high energy-extremely friendly. We took the dance lessons by the pool (even though I was the only guy), played water basketball, frisbee toss, ring toss, beach volleyball, scuba lessons, ... and so when they had shows at night Miguel would call me up for some funny act which made for special memories. The one thing we were disappointed with was that we wanted to do more DR style dancing. The Beach Party was incredible and we loved the dancing on the beach but the "disco" dancing was too late (starts at 11) for us and we can do that here. The resort needs to organize DR style dancing before the shows and replace the Karaoke night (the only show that was not well received) with dancing. On the beach (which was beautiful), we made use of the "free" access to the boogie boards and catamaran. The Catamaran requires $25 lessons then you can take it out on your own. We really enjoyed our lesson on sailing but never got to go on our own due to the surf/wind conditions.

The highlights of our stay (beside the Beach Party) were the excursions. The best was the Damajagua waterfall excursion by Mega Truck. Jumping off and/or sliding down the waterfalls and floating through tight vertical canyons was definitely a "bucket list" activity. One of the best things we've ever done. Wish we had spent all day there and done all 27 waterfalls but the trip only included 10. We then did the zipline, which we've done at other places. The zipline was fabulous, the longest we've ever done and the scenery great. Next we did horse back riding which was nothing special as we've ridden a lot. We also did two snorkeling excursions, one to Paradise Island (ask the guide for a second time out to the reef-less crowded) and one to Sosua beach. While the excursions were great, the coral reefs were disappointing. Locals do not preserve their reefs which have been damaged and denuded of features and exotic fish. Still we love snorkeling and these outings were great, especially the feeding of the fish which was new for us.

We highly recommend this resort to others but you get out what you put into it.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Glenn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Cod Mass.
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

We returned last evening and already we are scheduling our next visit. Let's get the negatives out of the way first....... Saturday and Sunday's very, very crowded as the locals come in, hard to get a drink at the bar, the bar tenders tend to the locals first. Not fair, but hey they need to unwind after a long week too. The food isn't elegant, it is fair - good and always plenty to choose from. The rooms smell a bit musty, it is on the water... to be expected. The beach could be cleaner, as well a few less locals walking the beach trying to sell a shell, braid your hair, offering a massage or take you down the beach to their shopping area, it is in the Caribbean this happens. STAY AWAY from the "Lifestyle Vacations" people, trying to sell a Time Share type deal, they are relentless, they will congregate outside the Morning Buffet ready to pounce as you exit ! Now onto the positives..... The Hotel is beautiful, the pool is fantastic, the staff are extremely helpful and quite pleasant. The rooms are clean. The shows are fun. The grounds are beautiful, they are constantly mowing, weed whacking , sweeping, painting or replacing something on the property. They are committed to keeping the place nice. The beach is beautiful (again could be cleaner)The area of Be Live is in great proximity to all Puerta Plata has to offer. This Hotel is an incredible value, if you are thinking about booking this Hotel,..... I say DO IT ! We cannot wait for our next trip back to Be Live Grand Marien !

Room Tip: Building's 4 and 9 are Fantastic, quiet and closer to the beach, try for one of these !
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank seabrogrin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2013

I have stayed here twice - once in May 2012 (two weeks), and more recently in September 2013 (three weeks). Yes, the hotel isn't that new and may be a little "tired" - but it is immaculately clean, well-looked after and comfortable. With the exception of the reception staff, who are not very polite or helpful, everyone in the hotel is great. I have never once been hassled by sellers on the beach, and the time share people haven't bothered me either. For those who can't find anything edible in the four restaurants and the snack bar, they mustn't be looking very hard - I found plenty of delicious hot food and salads and fruits to die for. And was not sick once either time. I do agree that most of the staff speak Spanish, and a few speak little else - that's the snag with going abroad, because people will speak "foreign languages" in their own country instead of English. I have to say that with my five words of Spanish, sign language and a sense of humour, I had no difficulty being understood or understanding. It's a holiday - lighten up!

If you want five star all-inclusive, which this place does not claim to be, then you should go elsewhere. But if you want good value for money, a small and intimate resort which is easy to get around, located in a convenient place to get out and about on your own, then this is a good place. I'd have no hesitation in returning or recommending it.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Elizabeth L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erie, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2013

I have traveled extensively for work and stayed in everything from Conde Nast Top 10 hotels to local lodges in developing nations and the Grand Marien was actually pretty good.

Arrival: We used Go Airport Shuttle ($30 round trip for the 2 of us) and it was fast, efficient, and friendly.

Checkin: Very easy. Didn't even need to leave a credit card for a deposit. Slightly annoyed by the "tour rep" from Expedia trying to sell tours, but a "no thanks" solved it. We were taken to our room via golf cart on a quick tour of the property. The maps were not in Spanish like another review said.

Room: Clean, very comfortable. There were a few spots that probably could use repaired (bathroom ceiling and mini-bar fridge) but other than that, it was on par with a Courtyard by Marriott for quality. Housekeeping didn't speak English, but were extremely friendly and gave us everything we needed.

Grounds: Everything was clean and well maintained. I am a neat freak, and was pleasantly surprised. Grounds keepers were extremely friendly when I was getting back at 7am from an early run and had already started to mow -- they apologized if they had woken me up.

Food: Pretty good, but it was my first time at an all-inclusive. Definitely not Michelin quality, but on par with that of any chain restaurant in the US. Like others have said, wait staff was extremely friendly. I am pretty sensitive to foods as is my father and both of us ate without a single issue. The bread at the buffet is made fresh daily, and even with themed buffets, there is always something that you can eat.

Entertainment: My father loved the nightly shows. I have classical dance training (and taught for a couple years) and was definitely impressed by "Mosquito" -- he was very good. We didn't participate in the activities because they just didn't appeal to what I wanted to do.

Beach: Clean except for the cigarettes the guest leave. The locals would ask you if you wanted a massage or to buy something, but if you said no, they left you alone. They never came up to the chairs and ask, just down by the water.

Overall: Definitely had a great time. Friendly staff, clean, comfortable rooms, decent food.

Improvements: Make the entire grounds non-smoking. The smokers on the grounds and the beach were extremely inconsiderate and would throw their cigarettes everywhere -- making it disgusting for the other guests and probably even more disgusting to those having to clean it up.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nobody122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2013

I disagree totally with TH from New York's reviews. The review was very negative and misrepresented Be Live Grand Marien. Here is what we observed during our 6 night, 7 day stay in Puerto Plata.

First of all, the hotel does not claim or represent itself as a 5 star hotel. We got a deal on Living Social and decided to try it out. While there are some improvements to be made to the facilities, we found the staff, the people of Dominica, and the service exceptional.

We have never been to a hotel this friendly and excited to have us in their country. Waiters and waitresses worked so hard to please us, were fun and interesting to talk with, and laughed with us. The buffet was varied and fresh food. The juices and fruits were fresh and wonderful tasting. Our favorite restaurant was the Gourmet restaurant,but we enjoyed the Mexican night very much. The Brazilian restaurant was good, but some of the meats tough. We ate TOO much at all places, but never had stomach problems on this trip, so we felt everything was well prepared and clean.

Our excursions from the hotel were great - both the Damajagua waterfall excursion - which included lunch, zipline and horseback riding - and the Paradise Island trip - which included drinks, lunch, snacks, soups and a dip in a bay before Paradise Island. We would have preferred to be on Paradise Island longer, but it is a very small spit of sand in the middle of the ocean and just so many boats can be there at one time. Great snorkeling - if you feed the fish, they come right up in your face. Working with Rafael on the excursions went very smoothly. He works to please!

At the resort, we enjoyed activities led by Michelangelo, such a fun person, as are all the guys involved in the games, activities. We loved the beach "BOLLYVALL", as Michelangelo says. We did the water polo too. Yes, there are places that need refurbishing around the property, along the pool area, but you get what you put into a trip and if you notice every little thing that is wrong and let that bother you, that is your problem. When you involve yourself in meeting the locals, in the activities and the beauty of the place, all else pales in comparison.

We were asked by locals on the beach to do a massage, and a braid. However, they did not HARRASS us. If you say No, they leave. This country is poor monetarily, but rich in spirit; people are just trying to make a living. We walked down to the local market and I had my hair braided. What fun this was! We met some really nice locals who are now our friends. Yes, we made deals with them and gave them some extra cash. We are all so wealthy in America, why not support the local economy? It is the least we can do for them. And by giving to them, by supporting their livelihood, we help them take care of their families. We show them Americans are generous and care for others. We came home to full closets and refrigerators! A poor country like Dominica needs Americans to visit and support them, not criticize them for earning a living. This hotel was wonderful to us and we hope many more will visit and ENGAGE with the people working there and working in the local markets, the excursions, and on the beach. GIve back what YOU have been given.

I do have a couple of recommendations for the hotel:
1 - Open the Dance area earlier. By 11PM, we were too tired to go dancing. Open it at 9PM.
2 - The entertainers were excellent. The MIchael Jackson show was amazing and the talent could work on ANY cruise ship. I hope you are paying these folks a decent wage; they are worth it.
3 - Do upgrade the rooms by making sure the facilities are top notch. While the service folks were quick and fixed our problem with the AC immediately, make sure everything is working in each room. Do weekly checks. Do not put people in rooms with problems. Upgrade your sheets and covers and pillows. We do love plush bedding, and that makes a HUGE difference to customers. Also, spray the rooms each day with freshener. Since the climate is very humid, the rooms do get a "beach smell". It would be wonderful to come in each day in the evening to a fresh smelling room!

Thank you to all the kind, respectful, and lovely staff at Be Live Grand Marien. We hope to return to your country someday soon.

Mike and Karen

Room Tip: Get a Superior room with a King size bed. The rooms are very spacious and comfortable. Oh, and they...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Karen S
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:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#8 Luxury 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
Be Live Collection Marien Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata

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