Pretty good overall, some room for improvement.
Rooms are dated but in good working condition. Cleaning can be improved but we didn't have any major issues with it. Something funny goes on with the towels, They collect them in the morning and may not replace until late afternoon. Do they wash them during the day? Same with the beach towels. Technically you should get them in the morning and return in the afternoon to get clean towels the next morning. In reality they run out of towels fast and you may not get anything until later in the afternoon. And this is summer when resort is half empty. What do they do in the winter time?
Beach is not too clean (although we saw it being cleaned a couple of times) and lot of sea weed as you get in the water. Gets much better after a few meters though.
Not much to do in the beach area as most of the activities are concentrated around the pool. Beach bar is combined with the snack bar which is a bit inconvenient as it serves both beach and those who came for a snack. Guys at the bar are pretty effective though and long line does not last long.
Main restaurant is good although can get hot during the day. Good overall but sometimes they run out of things like glasses or plates and it was summer. What do they do during high season? Service is very slow. Tips or no tips the result is the same. You can go to the counter and ask there though, it will be faster. The food is usual, some things are good some are so-so. But nobody walks away hungry.
Mexican restaurant has good food but the service is the same is in the buffet. Brazilian is slightly better in service but food wise don't expect it to be as good as Brazilian restaurant chains in North America (well, it is still good). Mediterranean is the best, maybe because it is air conditioned and has better views but we liked the food too. Make sure to reserve in advance (Mon morning is best). On a summer weekend many local people come to the resort and it gets a bit crowded (not sure how it works in the winter, it has to be super crowded every single day).
Bars are all the same but pool bar serves Mama Juana (a must to try by any alcoholic), others don't.
Pool is good but since it was summer it was too hot. Swim in bar would be nice addition although this definitely will increase the number of empty plastic glasses in the water. Entertainment group is working there pretty much all day (dancing, zumba, aerobics etc.).
Kids show was ok but more or less the same every day. Kids like it though. The main show was very good and didn't repeat a single time for 2 weeks (this is unusual) except for the beach party (not to miss!).
Kids club is doing a good job and kids like it. Special thanks to Maria and Veronica. Not for older kids but up to 7-8 yo it is great.
The gym is there, looks nice and we saw some people actually using it. For our types of exercise (running/yoga/swimming) the beach is so much better (unless you can stand the treadmill for more than 10 min).
Not much to do with the resort itself but the vendors at the buffet are too pushy. If you don't want to buy things just pass by, do not establish eye contact, do not talk. They will literally put their stuff in your hands and make you feel obligated to buy or pay later. It is also the case elsewhere in DR, nothing you will see in Mexico or Cuba.
If you are from Canada and travel with Sunwing bring US cash ($30/person) to pay entry/exit tax. Apparently others have them included in the price but not Sunwing.
Bank machine is just outside the main entrance but it doesn't allow to withdraw more than 2000 pesos at a time. And yes, every time it charges service fees. Just bring plenty of cash, preferably USD.
Whatever is called duty free on site is actually not too bad comparing with airport as far as booze is concerned. A bottle of rum goes for ~US$10-15 everywhere, really doesn't matter where to buy.
We went on catamaran trip (very good, highly recommended), waterfalls (same, but no young kids) and Ocean World (nice overall but as all the theme parks is also a wonderful money making machine, expect to pay high price for everything not included with the entry fee, they do not allow even water bottles inside).
Teleferico (the mountain best seen from the pool) is included with Puerto Plata city tour but we've heard that city tour is mostly about visiting some jewelry stores and decided to take a cab and go straight to Teleferico. Great views, nice tropical garden up in the mountains. 2hrs is not enough. Cab fare from the resort is US$45, if you can manage to get the cab outside it will probably be 10 times cheaper (even if you cannot really blend with the local crowd).
- 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