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“Beautiful Grounds, Great Staff, Buffet & Bed's are Horrible!!”

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Be Live Collection Marien
Ranked #9 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Lowell, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful Grounds, Great Staff, Buffet & Bed's are Horrible!!”
Reviewed 29 March 2012

The staff is very eager to please & really made the whole experience! I can't say enough about the entertainment staff. They put on great shows & make the activities a blast, but will leave you alone if they see you trying to relax. Both beach & pool are beautiful. There is a great breeze on the beach. & the pool is huge. This hotel would rate sooo much better for me with just a few little tweeks. 1st being the buffet, it is GARBAGE. Make reservations ASAP for the restaurants (LOVED the Mexican & Brazilian restaurants) for your entire stay, don't wait to see what you like 1st & go back later because the line takes forever & anything is better than the dinner buffet. Breakfast buffet isn't horrible, I could at least stomache the idea of eating some of the food served & you really can't go wrong with fruit & muffins. Most lunches we ate at the snack shack because again the lunch buffet is pretty bad. When I read reviews of the food I thought people were being too picky. I'm a pretty laid back person & don't have insane expectations, but truely I would think twice before serving that buffet to a dog. 2nd tweek would be the beds. I would compare it to sleeping on a cement block. Again I thought people's expectations were too high when I read all the complaints about the beds, but sure enough...everyone was right. I tolerated it for 2 days because I didn't want to be a pain in the butt, but I remembered some people had mentioned asking for mattress pads. The maid quickly came over with 5 thicker blankets to place on top of the mattess, which did help alittle. My recommendation would be to toss a few drinks back just before bed so you are pretty tipsy, you'll hardly notice it then! 3rd would be more than one bartender during peak hrs at each bar. The lines can start to get alittle old & often I would just skip it altogether (which might be there intention to save on booze). My only other experience with an all inclusive resort was at a 5 star hotel in Mexico so it's tough to compare anything now. There is no swim up bar, which is a bummer but def not make or break. I also previously had wait service around the pool delivering drinks, which is not the case here. Again not make or break, you just have to really want the drink to be willing to get up from relaxing & wait in line. Now many people have commented on the locals selling things on the beach, here is my take on it: tourists are their bread & butter & some people actually buy their services (braiding & massages) or tours. They cannot leave the shoreline & are pleasant enough & not too agressive on selling. Politely say no thank you & they will not ask again. Now they do work in shifts so you might have to tell a few people throughout the day, but its 3 words "no thank you"...no big deal! Now the Lifestyles people on the other hand are a pain in the butt & will stalk you all day everyday, avoid them at all cost, unless you want to take the tour which some people are into, but I'm not. I don't want to leave my vacation to see another hotel.

Room Tip: I paid extra for an ocean view & thought it was well worth it!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank JENNY-M82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Myself, and two of my girl friends (all early 30's) booked a week of fun in the sun at the Be Live Grand Marien. None of us had ever been to the Dominican Republic before, so we looked to our travel agent for direction on where to stay, as well as reviews on tripadvisor.
The resort is smaller,which was also a selling point for us. It only had one pool, however we went to play in the ocean, not sit by the pool. The hotel was always clean, the lobby, bars, etc. Our room (standard) was your basic hotel room, nothing special, but it was always clean and again we came to spend time outside of the room not hanging out in it.
The food was great, there wasn't a huge buffet, but a different menu every day, and the snack bar had a lot of great options as well. The a la cartes were really good, especially the "Gourmet" one.
There were 2 bars, one by the pool and one at the snack bar by the beach. There is NO swim up bar. There is a bar beside the pool, that you can swim up to, but you need to exit the pool...which to me means it is not a swim up bar. There was a sports bar/disco in the lobby area, which we only visited at night (more on that later).
The beach area was very well maintained, the very sweet older security guard always cleaned up our cups. NOTE: he keeps you safe on the beach and seriously works 24/7...so give him a dollar or two :)
The staff, on a whole, were very nice. The buffet staff were pleasant and polite, the pool staff were a little loud and aggressive, and the cleaning staff (maids) were very sweet.
The disco on the resort was fun, they played a good mix of North American Top 40 and Latin music. We had arrived at the resort on a Sunday, so we were able to frequent the disco several nights. By Friday night we noticed that a lot of locals were at the hotel and especially the disco. Saturday night there was a teenagers birthday party, in the disco, which took over most of the space and made it really uncomfortable to be there because they were thrashing around and bumping into everyone.
There is a small shopping area next to the hotel, which has the basic souvenirs (rum, mamajuana, cigars, etc). The staff are nice and willing to barter. There is also a wine bar, which has great prices and is a nice reprieve from the resort.

Room Tip: We stayed in a standard room. I would recommend not staying near the pool, as people hang out by the...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank EmilyS81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

You have to be a certain type of tourist to appreciate this hotel- one that only travels here to enjoy the nice weather and beach but not not appreciate the local culture or town. The room we had was amazing- it was super clean, spacious, and beautiful and had a balcony overlooking the property. We spent about $117 for one night, and since it was an all inclusive, I'd say that this price is a good value for what you get- unlimited food and beverages including alcoholic beverages, use of non-motorized watersports (kayaking etc), use of the pool and beach with beachchairs and towel rentals, and shows (we didn't watch them though). The food was really really good and the drink were tasty (a bit of advice- tip your bartenders and they will hook it up for you otherwise the alcoholic beverages are weak)....

So for the hotel itself, it was awesome but when we asked the staff about advice about the town and its surroundings, they didn't know anything. We wanted to go to 27 waterfalls (which I highly recommend) and they could only tell us to take an organized tour, which we didn't want to do. Also, our flight the next day left out of Santiago so we asked if they knew the guagua schedule (guaguas are their form of buses which are super common and frequently used by the locals and quite safe to use by tourists although you should always use common sense and predetermine the fare before hand with the driver) and neither the guest services lady nor any other staff we asked knew anything about it and again just told us that they would arrange a taxi which is 5 times more expensive than a guagua.

Lastly, the beach was pretty dirty compared to the beauty in Las Terrenas.

So all in all, I would recommend this hotel to those who are unadventurous and don't want to explore beyond your hotel. Everything you need is at the hotel. I was happy I only stayed one night because I don't think I could've endured being surrounded by loud annoying kids, loud annoying rude teenagers on spring break, and saggy body parts for any longer.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Seemz41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amherst, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 March 2012

The resort is super clean and staff are very helpful and friendly. We were a group of 9 and the only real complaint we had was that the food could be HOT. We booked 2 different excursions at half the price the hotel offered and were very pleased with the tour guides who were excellent. Entertainment was different every night and very good. The Beach Bar was very close and the Beach was groomed every day and no seaweed anywhere. I can't imagine why people would write bad reviews about this place as they are not warranted. I feel those who do, must be extremely hard to please, it's not perfect but a close 4 star. I believe in giving credit where credit is due, I would go back here, however we prefer to go to different locations every year we travel. Thumbs up Grand Marien!!!!

Room Tip: We had room 3317 right on the beach close to beach bar and snack bar which just happens to be open u...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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1 Thank Beryl A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glace Bay, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2012

HI, I stayed at this resort with high expectations that turned very low, very quickly. service was very second rate along with the facility in general. Food was very low quality. the resort seemed pretty clean in general with accessories that were in much need of updates. I would never stay here again and I cant say that for the other resorts I stayed at. my only advice is be carefull. no bars on the beach which sucked and poor sand quality.

Room Tip: my only advice is be carefull. no bars on the beach which sucked and poor sand quality.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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2 Thank jake m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ajax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

We stayed at this resort March 14-21st. Our two children are 4 and 10.......First of all, in the weeks leading up to our vacation, I like you.....read a number of comments posted here on tripadvisor.....By the time March 14th arrived, I was very apprehensive about what we were about to encounter....So many of the reviews at that time were negative and I was worried that our money would be wasted..........Well, boy was I in for a suprise....Overall, this resort was GREAT! A solid 4 star I would say.

(1)Food: The food was great and there is lots to choose from in the buffet so really it is just a matter of finding something you enjoy. The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is generally very good. This is coming from someone who cannot stand buffets in general.

(2) Reservations for restaurants: BIG problem here....not sure why but they make this very complicated. They ONLY take reservations for the other 3 restaurants (Mexican, Brazilian and gourmet) from 9am to 1pm daily...You basically have to rush to get there in the morning to try and get a booking...Put it this way, we arrived Wednesday at 12noon and we could not get ANY bookings at ANY of the 3 restaurants until the Saturday!!! This we found rather ridiculous...especially because the restaurants when you do finally get there are often understaffed and frequently closed...i.e when Mexican is open the Brazilian is closed...very strange system and as a result, rather frustrating!!! Overall though, when you finally get a reservation the food was good!

(3) Beach: As many have said.....beaches are better in Punta Cana.....having said that, the strip of beach outside this resort is the best kept for the stretch of beach area....The beach is kept clean and unlike further down the beach....on the other resorts, the seaweed when we were there was all cleaned up. Security are in the beach day and night and do a great job.....The vendors that do come onto the beach occasionally are VERY good in the sense that they do not harrass you at all....if you say no, they leave you alone.

(4) Weekends: If you can, book any excursions on Sat and Sun....On these days as mentioned by other reviews, the locals come into the resort (book rooms and eat in the restaurants etc)....as a result, getting a spot on the beach and or by the pool is difficult...In fact on the weekends the resort does not have the same kind of laid back vibe at all as you have to wait in line for drinks and the place is just so much busier.....

(5) Entertainment: The staff do a FANTASTIC job during the morning and late afternoon organizing activities while the siesta time in the mid afternoon is nice and quiet and no activities which made for a nice mix.....Coochie; Mosquito and Denzel in particular were fantastic and god love 'em....they seemed to ALWAYS be there working morning, noon and night.....The evening shows overall were very good (in a resort type, tacky, over the top kinda way )and entertaining for all of the family.....to expect more than this would be a mistake and as far as I am concerned it's all in good fun anyway!

(6) Rooms: We had a standard room and at first they gave us a garden view room in building #8 but the view was really of another building....we asked to be moved before we even unpacked and they were great about this.....we went for a swim while they got the new room ready and then they moved us to building # 3 with an ocean view....so lovely to wake up to the sound of the ocean every day....they did not charge us for this upgraded view....as for paying $40 extra per day for a superior room....yes we could have done that as many have recommended but we preferred to use that money for our excursions...the room was not so important to us...the rooms were clean and though slightly out of date, they were still just fine...trust me, I am pretty fussy.....

(7) excursions- we were there with two kids who really only needed a pool and the beach to be satisfied....regardless we did two excursions ( Paradise Island)---- totally recommend this one, a great experience and such a lovely day out to see the local villages; the culture; meet the people and see this beautiful snorkeling paradise.....absolutely suitable for kids and adults. If you go, you might want to bring some treats or gifts for the local kids...the bus stops 1/2 way there on the trip so you can pop into the local shop and buy a snack or refreshment....when the bus stops many of the local kids come running toward the bus to see the visitors and no doubt hope for goodies...We did not know this would happen so we did not have anything to give them. There were about 20 kids and my husband and I bought a few packets of chocolate cookies in the shop there and basically handed them out to the kids to eat....they loved this but I wish I could have given them more....

Overall a good deal for what you pay.....Certainly seemed to be the nicest resort in the area....I would go back again....next time we will try the Punta Cana side again but certainly one of these days we would go back to The Grand Marien....Oh and as for bugs.....we did not see any ...no mosquito bites; no sand flies and we only saw one tiny lizard the whole time we were there...we had our sliding door open onto the balcony all the time when we were in the room and no issues at all !

Room Tip: Ask for Ocean view room or room with view of pool. Ask for top floor, away from bugs and noise from...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank J P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

The resort was tropical, clean, beautiful and the staff was very friendly. Not overcrowded during March Break, no line ups for anything. Food was great, the three a la carte restaurants were excellent and a nice break from the buffet. The dinner buffet was a different international theme each night, great variety. Loved the self served espresso machine!!! We enjoyed the organized activities such as water polo and beach volleyball, thanks Denzel for being a great MC, you made the vacation a lot of fun.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank S P
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

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