Just returned from Be Live Hamaca Beach and it was quite the experience. It all began with a horrible check-in at a mad house of a resort. It was packed, and I seemed like the only foreign traveler; everyone appeared local. Not much English was spoken. It was hot and humid. Everything is open air. I felt like I was about to pass out waiting for my room. The wait was about 4 hours from the time I arrived. Even 2 hours later than the room was promised. And boy what a room. Zero decor. Zero AC. Toilet that doesn't flush. Refrigerator that doesn't chill. Hard beds. Lumpy pillows. Thermostat that operates with a plastic spoon to slide the fan button from low to high, yet doesn't actually operate an actual fan. I put on swim shorts and head to the beach. More locals. Head to the water. Its beautiful. Perfect temperature. Crystal clear. Soft sand. Tropical fish. Nice breeze. Warm sun. Feeling a bit better now. Huge beach protected by a reef. Look for towels. What, $10 deposit per towel? Well give me two. Look for chair. Lots of well worn chairs, some broken. I walked to the far end of the beach and found some pretty new chairs in great shape. Relax. Swim. Snorkel. The catamaran is free? Nice Hobie cat. Sailed off and enjoyed the solitude. This is a beautiful ocean. Coral, sponges, fish, starfish, and did I mention the crystal clear water? wow.
Back to the room for a shower, and it works. Yay. Clean towels. Maintenance comes in to turn on AC, and it starts to work. Not too cold, but I can feel it. It should be comfortable enough to sleep. Toilet flushes if you wait for the tank to fill, about 10 minutes.
Dinner buffet is across the street at the Garden side of the resort. Lots of food. I don't recognize much of it though. Its ok because the locals are pushing me out of the way to eat it all. I get some bread and dessert. I'm starting to feel upset again so that's enough for me. Back to the room for bed. I pass out after a long day of traveling. Hallways are noisy and wake me up. Time for earplugs.
Morning one and I have high hopes for the breakfast buffet. The locals are out in force again. I have coffee and a croissant and head to the beach. Ahh. that's better.
Sunday lunch at the beach snack shack. Rotisserie chicken, hot dogs, burgers, and all the fixings. Not bad. Seems the locals prefer the pool to the beach, so I stay at far end of beach and sail again. Nice afternoon.
Head to dinner. What happened, this is actually nice and quiet? No locals. I actually can get to all the food, and find enough to make a nice plate of recognizable food to enjoy.
Each day was better than the last. Turns out the locals come out every weekend and take over the resort. Its like their 'shore'. Once they clear out, its a lot of European, Canadian, and foreign people, not many Americans, and everyone is very friendly, even with language troubles, we all communicated.
Sunny every day, some clouds in the AM, and clear blue sky by 11am. You will find food to eat. Nothing to rave about, but you will eat.
The resort is old. Its at least 30 years old, and you can see signs of its past glory. Marble stonework, landscaping, the outbuildings. There is a new area called the Presidential Suites. This is the timeshares they are selling, but only owners get to stay in those beautiful rooms. They still eat the same buffet though.
The workers and entertainment staff work their butts off. They keep you entertained, and laughing. Plenty of beach activities, games, horseshoes, volleyball, yoga, aerobics, zumba.
Did I mention its a 10 minute cab ride from Santo Domingo airport? Lots of people flew into Punta Cana though and had to take a 2 hour bus ride.
Check out was a breeze, with no surprise charges. I already had those surprises, like towels and $3 per day fee for the lock on the safe if you want it.
Funny thing, by the end of the week I didn't want to leave. I'm even considering going back. Its 2 stars at best, the rooms are old, but everything I needed worked, it was clean, and oh, that beach. And its cheap, since you get what you pay for. Makes for an affordable easy getaway. Take it for what it is, and it works. Expect elegance, luxury, service, pampering, and fine dining... look elsewhere. BTW, my wife tried the spa and said it was 5 star excellent and luxurious.
Take it for what it is. A cheap hotel on a beautiful beach. I came home tan, happy, rested, and even managed to gain a few pounds.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Be Live Experience Hamaca Suites offers exclusive services to travelers who want to stay in an unforgettable location, in front of a beatiful beach with crystal-clear water and fine white sand. A wonderful weather, personal customer service, private beach area, fantastic apartments and all-inclusive accommodation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Be Live Experience Hamaca Suites Dominican Republic/Boca Chica