Be Live Grand Marien Reviews

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Be Live Grand Marien  

Costa Dorada, Puerto Plata.

"large hotel"
Posted by: gideon on Jul 17, 2014
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Be Live Grand Marien Reviews
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Be Live Grand Marien Playa Dorada Dominican Republic

#5
of 17 Hotels in Playa Dorada

User rating 4.0

Based on 26 reviews

Be Live Grand Marien Information


Just outside the seaside gingerbread town of Puerto Plata, Be Live Grand Marien extends along the beautiful Costa Dorada Beach and provides easy access to/from the international airport of Puerto Plata.

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Be Live Grand Marien Reviews

Be Live Grand Marien Review: 4.0 of 5 26 reviews
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"3 times to this resort & Very Disappointed with Be Live. 2 weeks from hell"

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Michelle  on May 12, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
715 people found this review helpful

Had stayed at the Be Live Grand Marien April 25- May 9, 2011. with Transat holidays out of Halifax. We had stayed here 3 times before when it was the Coral Marien by Hilton. We are seasoned travellers all over the Dominican Republic and have a good idea what to expect we are not picky, but have some high standards for certain things. I did choose this hotel due to the stellar service in the past and had high expectations this time. We are very disappointed and cannot recommend this hotel. I do have an allergy to cigarette smoke and asthma, I don't want to offend any considerate smokers in my review because I really appreciate them. I am writing this review because I own a hotel and I realize the importance of guest sensitivities, so I hope this helps someone else.

Room Number:
3317 / 8323

Room Block:
3 / 8

Arrival:
Check in very smooth. Alot of smoking in the lobby. Would be nice if the area around reception could be kept nonsmoking since you really can't avoid this area.

Rooms:
We had upgraded to the oceanview room. We were in block 3. Third floor. great view. everything working. walls were thin and very noisy. There is no non smoking rooms. my biggest issue was that people in the adjoining room were heavy smokers, my room stunk.. the smoke was coming in under the door.. which had an inch or more gap from the floor, we even tried placing towels around the door. I took a severe asthma attack, tried to get down the stairs and fell due to lack of oxygen. I had alot of crazy looks over the 2 weeks, but if you cant breathe nothing else matters. Thank god for the maid .. she was the only one that stopped and asked me if I was ok. We moved to the new section block 8 in a suite after I told reception I couldnt stay in that room... but I had to pay to upgrade $40 per night. The suite was nice but very mouldy/musty smelling. BUT it was far better than the smoke I was dealing with.

Restaurants and Bars:
This is my biggest disappointment. They allow smoking in all the restaurants except for the gourmet. There is no organized smoking section, you ask for nonsmoking and they put you next to smokers. I really can't enjoy a meal smelling second had smoke. The staff don't care. I even seen a guy going through the lineup with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth...how DISGUSTING and UNSANITARY. We had much better service when it was Coral. it was much more organized. Many complaints were made to guest services.. but they didnt care...all I was told was to stay in my room and order room service for an extra $$. The food was very good at the gourmet and the Mexican. The Brazilian I couldnt stay due to the next table lighting up and took another severe asthma attack.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach and pool is great the high points of the hotel. We didnt go to the pool bar as smokers stood at the bar... really didnt think that was considerate especially for the bartenders. We don't do that anymore back here at home so why there.
The grounds are well manicured. kept very clean.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We toured Puerto Plata and did the cable car. We hooked up with friends and went into Puerto Plata city a few nights.
Entertainment was good.. friendly staff.
The theatre went nonsmoking when we were there. the disco off the lobby is also nonsmoking...thanks so much for that.
Coppa disco and Casino is open til 5 am. But I only went once and didnt stay due to the smoking inside. drinks are extra $$ there.

Other Comments:
Would have had a great time if the smoking issues were better. need more organized nonsmoking areas.. they should learn from the Dreams resort chain and the Grand Bahia Principe chain and the Grand Paradise chain... so much better in that respect. Even when it was Coral it was much much better than now.

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"Not a 4 star"

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Tammy ~ Nova Scotia  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
217 people found this review helpful

Arrival: February 2nd - approx 1 am

Rooms
Upon waking up on February 2nd - approx 1 inch of water was on the bathroom floor - leaking from the ceiling in the bathroom through the light fixture and fan. Was not addressed that day after several calls to service. Later in the week when it rained again, the leak reappeared and after a day and a half (including the electricity flickering) we were finally moved to a different room.

Restaurants and Bars
OK - service was quite below other resorts. Most breakfast and lunch meals we were finished the meal before getting water / coffee. Constantly out of juice, glasses and simply appeared to have insufficient staff on hand for the number of guests.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach is small, no bar on beach, really felt bugged by individuals wanting to sell everything. Only one large pool, no swim up bar - difficult to get a lounge chair - again appeared insufficient for the number of guests.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
No - due to the 4 1/2 days of rain - both tours were cancelled.

Other Comments
Staff pushing time shares was very annoying - every day.
Overall a 2 star compared to other resorts we've been to in the Dominican.

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"Vacations at Grand Oasis Marien"

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Delores, Nova Scotia  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
213 people found this review helpful

Arrival: April, 2008
Via Westjet, Great flight, Transportation to and from hotel went smoothly, A few tips to the workers in the bus and those that handled the luggage were appreciated by all Check-in all quick & went well. Room ready

Rooms:
clean, no mater how much we tipped no special treatment was given, no bed swans etc. We had a ground floor our view was a building under construction with armed guards watching the area with rifles not exactly what we wanted but I did enjoy the ground floor and it was located very close to the beach.Please remember they lock up your fridge the day before your departure to take a count of what you used, A little annoying but I guess necessary for them, it would be nicer if that stuff for sale wasn't in the same fridge because it is way overpriced anyway so be careful.

Restaurants and Bars:
Same as most resorts, Italian was very good, We canadians like our beef and lobster our way but to date they never mastered it. Chicken and pork good. Fruits safe never got sick from the food, My husband really has a problem with the smell of the oils used with the cooking process. We loved the disco bar, The bartender was wonderful and made great Brandy Alexanders.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Good, not as clear as one would want it but around the resort the beach is clean. Do not go pass the signs on the left that are there for your safety (your travel rep should tell you. Lots of trees and loungers, you don't have to get up at 6 am to get a shaded area, I found this great. We swam daily, The weather incrediable, only rained minutes then out came the sun. Very few bugs but bring bug spray for it only takes a few mosquitoes to torment you.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We Loved the cable car ride to the top of the mountain with the huge statue of Jesus overlooking Puerta Plata, Amazing. We had some sort of a guide that worked for tips only, the taxi driver put us in touch with him. He was very good. The car ride to and from was unbelievable,no rules to the road, the largest vehicle on the road has the right of way. All I can say is, it was an experience and very memorial. All you need is luck and a good sense of humour. The entertainment was OK, Staff friendly and funny.

Other Comments:
You need to learn to say "no" really quick to time shares sellers and don't bye the tours,cigars or liquor offered from individuals at the beach (your travel rep should also tell you this) a simple "no not interested" is sufficient. unfortunately the are there daily so it get's a little annoying but relax, your on vacation. Those little carts on the beach selling things like belts, ear rings, etc are fine but barter and remember they always ask for double what it is worth. Have a great time.

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"Better Than Average Stay....."

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Mathew  on Mar 21, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
543 people found this review helpful

I have been to many hotels in Puerto Plata; Costa Dorado and Play Dorado. I have to say that the rooms were clean, beds comfortable, water pressure and hot water were fine every day of our stay. It appears that during our stay, there were several black outs and everytime regular power was restored, it would trigger the fire alarm. This happened five times during our stay and the alarm sounded for approximately 15 minutes each time. It happened various times of the day, once at night. During the night alarm, my family and I left the room and stayed outside awaiting instructions. None were received! It is good that they have a loud fire alarm, however, they lacked communication to their guests!!!! The room keys had to be exchanged four times during our stay. They worked to power the room, not to gain entry....frustrating. The staff were friendly and entertainment at night was wonderful. Chilren's club a definite plus, my daughter had a wonderful time with the "teachers" there. Becareful with your towels left on the chairs. People swipe towels and the hotel charges $15 for replacement. The coffee machines and water were easily accessible. I dont drink so I cant comment on the bars. However, I had an issue regarding the food. Continental breakfast (premium) is served "early" in the morning. After a certain time, you get the "common" food items. I will not wake up "early" while on vacation. The lunch and dinner meals were average. It seems that the left over beef that was prepared on the grill for dinner, became the next day's lunch, and that night's beef soup, etc. The T-bone steak looked delicious, however, took forever to chew!

Room Number:
8115

Room Block:
8

Arrival:
When I checked in, they had the information incorrect. They had me down for one adult and one child when I showed them confirmation from their own website showing two adults and one child.

Rooms:
Clean, no "dew" smell. Definitely the best room I have every stayed at in any hotel in Puerto Plata!

Restaurants and Bars:
Could not eat at the Brazilian and Mexican restaurants. They do not allow children under twelve. You can hire a baby sitter to watch your child but did not want to go through that. They should remove this rule.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
For the most part they were clean. Wished the pools can be open longer (close at 8pm). Towards mid-day I found myself in the pool with bird crap. They need to get rid of the birds flying above and crapping in the pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
During the day, you had your basic pool side activities. The nightly entertainment was the best.

Other Comments:
This hotel had the best clean, smell free room I have ever stayed in. Hot water and water pressure impressed me. However, it was probably the worst hotel I stayed at regarding the food. I would stay there again only if the menu changes and they stop "recycling" their food, as well as keeping the continental breakfast open till breakfast is over!

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"My vacation at Grand Oasis Marien"

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Patricia ~ Cheshire, UK  on Jul 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Jul, 2009
308 people found this review helpful

Arrival: June 16 - June 30
We had stayed at this hotel previously when it was owned by Hilton. I had emailed ahead of time to advise them of this. We arrived in the late afternoon and were quickly checked in and taken with our luggage in a golf cart to our room.

Rooms:
We were very pleasantly surprised to be allocated a room right by the beach with a terrific ocean view. The room was slightly shabby but comfortable and kept very clean by the maid.

Restaurants and Bars:
We went to all the a la carte restaurants with the exception of The Creperie which was not open during our entire stay. We enjoyed all the a la cartes and found the food and the service to be excellent. Our particular favourite was the Italian. We had no difficulty getting into the restaurants despite the "no reservation" policy. We just went to the restaurant of our choice at around 7.45pm and if we could not be seated immediately, were given a time to return. The longest we waited was an hour and we just went off to have a pre-dinner drink. However, we found the evening buffet to be very limited in choice and the service poor. It was difficult to get a drink, even of water, and the tables were often missing items. There was no shortage of staff but there was no system or organization. The waiters seemed to run round like headless chickens and achieved very little. We ate lunch at the beach bar. The food was mostly the same each day but more than adequate for a quick snack. We did find the bar staff to be somewhat unfriendly. The same guy served us at the beach bar for practically two whole weeks and despite us being unfailingly polite and always greeting him with a "Hola", he never responded or spoke to us. Surely his day would have gone better if he interacted with the guests. He just did his job. It was not just him. Many of the staff had a similar attitude.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach and pool have lots of sun loungers. No need to get up early here. There is plenty of shade on the beach but more limited by the pool. We are beach folk and found it to be kept free of weed and very pleasant. We usually went to sit by the pool in the late afternoon and had no trouble finding a sun bed. The grounds are very nice but since they have erected several new builings, the site is rather cramped. We are used to hotels with a lot more garden and open space. However, what there was is well kept.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We have been many times to this area and done all the excursions on previous trips. The only trip we repeat is the catamaran. We booked through Jose 2 on the beach and paid $70 each. We had a lovely day out. We were picked up on time (yes really!!!) and it was very well organised. The boat was not too full and the other passengers and crew were a lot of fun.

Other Comments::
Our biggest gripe at this hotel is the lack of anywhere to sit in the evening and have a civilised drink. The only place you can have a drink in a glass (apart from the restaurants) is the Sports Bar. This is a dreadful place which we did not wish to spend any time in. We would get a drink in there to have in the lobby but would have to have it in a paper cup!! This seemed ridiculous to us. There were very few seats in the lobby and they were uncomfortable. This hotel could improve overnight if it just installed a comfortable seating area in the lobby and allowed drinks to be in proper glasses. In conclusion, we had a very pleasant stay at this hotel. We paid 100 less than last year in Punta Cana and felt that we had very good value for money. Would we return? Yes, possibly, if the cost was as good. The good outweighed the bad but we felt that some good management could very easily eliminate the bad very quickly.

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"Our Family Vacation"

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Arto ~ Montreal, Canada  on Jul 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2009
319 people found this review helpful

Arrival: June 19-26:
Arrived at the hotel at around 6PM with my wife and 2 boys (9 & 12). The hotel is only about 20 minutes from the airport, and is located in the Costa Dorada complex which contains only this hotel and the Iberostar. Since there were more than 50 of us checking in from the same flight, we had to wait a bit to get our room. The front desk clerk filled us in on the mini-bar (which supposedly is operated by a separate company). Only the 2 BOTTLED soft drinks, and 2 beers(don't remember the brand) are included. Everything else is extra, and is quite expensive. There is also a litre of bottled water in the room which is also included. We were given our room keys (cards), and sent on our way. Our luggage arrived at the room a few minutes after us.

Rooms::
We had requested a 2nd floor room in building 8 or 9(2 of the newer ones). We were assigned a second floor room in building 7 (#7201). It's one of the older buildings, and is located just to the left as you leave the lobby. Buildings 6, 8 & 9 are the new ones. Our room was relatively spacious. There were 2 double beds, a night table, a dresser with 4 drawers, a hutch with 3 large drawers, some storage space for suitcases, and which housed the TV. Plenty of channels on the TV(many in English), including the major US networks, and Cartoon Network (for the kids). There was also a small round table & chair in the corner. There was additional space for clothes in the closet on some wire shelves in. Overall, plenty of space to put things away. There was also the mini bar with drinks and snacks. The washroom was a nice size with a single sink in a large counter, the toilet, and bathtub. There is liquid hand soap next to the sink, and combination soap/shampoo/conditioner in a squeeze bottle in the bathtub. A couple of minor maintenance issues in the washroom, but nothing worth reporting. We did loose hot water one evening for about an hour, but no big deal. The room safe worked with a key cylinder, that you have to get from the front desk at a cost of $21 US for the week. Well worth it for the peace of mind. The A/C pumped out plenty of cold air, and the thermostat worked perfectly. There was also a ceiling fan in the middle of the room. Beds seemed fine to us; not too hard or soft. The clock radio in the room wasn't working properly, so we called the front desk, who transfered us to housekeeping. There was a new unit in our room the following afternoon when we goot back from the beach. Houskeeping was, as in most other resorts, a multi-phased task. Dirty towels are removed from the room in the morning, the room is cleaned and made up after that, and some time in the afternoon, fresh towels are brought in. Somewhere in there, someone comes in and checks/restocks the mini-bar. Note that the mini-bar is locked down the day before you leave. The room was clean, and we only saw a couple of small bugs one day after a heavy rainfall. The rooms are sprayed on a regular basis, as we received a notice advising us of spraying to take place one morning. They also left a card you can hang on the door if you do not want your room sprayed. We left 3$ each day for the cleaning lady, who seemed to do a good job. After the first day, she realized that we did not use/want the bed covers, and stopped putting them back on the beds. On the first day, we left a note next to the provided water bottle asking for 2 bottles, and she left us 4. Every day after that, there were 4 bottles of water in the room!

Restaurants and Bars::
The hotel has 4 a-la-carte restaurants (Pasta, seafood, tex-mex, and crepe), the main buffet, as well as Mangos, which serves lunch, and perhaps other food after the restaurants are closed (never stayed up that late). Each of the a-la-carte restaurants was closed one night of the week. As indicated elsewhere, there are no reservations for the restaurants. You simply show up and try your luck. If there is no space, they will take your room number and tell you when to come back. Only the pasta restaurant is indoors, and is small, so it fills up fast... We ate at all of the a-la-cartes, and went to the tex-mex a second time. All were reasonable good. Service was decent but nothing exceptional. We had breakfast every morning at the buffet, had supper there only twice, and lunch only once (the last day). Service at the buffet is a bit lacking. Hard to find someone to refill a coffee or water cup, or to get a soft drink. Plates are not cleared from the table quite quick enough. As for variety, there are 2 rows of hot trays (one on each side), but when they are filled, they contain the same things. In the morning there are always pancakes, and an egg/omelette station, fresh juices, all kinds of breads, etc. Plenty to choose from. For supper, however, we noticed that the variety of options could have been improved a bit. Not a bad buffet, but perhaps just a bit weak at night. We ate lunch at Mangos just about every day. There are 5 or 6 hot items (with french fries every day), as well as hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, salad, soup, and deserts. They will also cook meats for you at the grill. The meats are located to the left of the grill in a section that is sort of outside the main food area (behind the coffee machine). There were pork chops, lamb chops, steaks, sausages to choose from, depending on the day. There are also tortilla chips a soft cheese dispenser back there. There were 4 bars, one near the beach at Mangos, one by the pool, one next to the show area, that I think only opens at night, and one in the sports bar just outside the lobby. Wait time at the bars was not too bad, but I think that they need to either increase the staff behind the counters, or add another bar near the pool during the day.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
The beach was quite wide, and there were plenty of loungers. Lots of trees at the back for shade for the times where all of the shade 'structures' (not palapas) were reserved by non existing guests. Water was generally calm, but contained quite a bit of floating sea weed. They raked up what came ashore daily, but there is nothing they can do in the water. For a few days, low tide was near noon, and the kids were able to do some snorkeling near shore at the left end of the beach. Unfortunately there is not all that much to see. The pool is quite large, and divided into 3 walk-in sections. Never felt crowded in the pool, and were always able to find a lounger. Again, though, finding a spot under a hut was almost impossible, since they always seemed to have towels, books, etc. under them, but rarely people. Considering the number of rooms in the resort, the grounds are not that large. They are generaly well maintained, but I was a bit surprised that they didn't clear the excess water from the pathways after a major downpour. Something else I noticed, or rather didn't notice: I never saw anyone cleaning the public washrooms. Not once. The washrooms weren't particularly dirty or anything, but on occasion, there were no paper towels, etc.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
As mentioned, there is a sports bar near the lobby, with a projection TV, a couple of pool tables, and a foosball table. There are also a couple of foosball tables, and a couple of ping pong tables near the pool. There's also a large chess board/game behind the towel exchange place. At the beech, they have horse shoes, and bocce ball, right next to the kids club building. Our kids never went to the kids club, but we did notice a trampoline, and a small swimming pool outside the building. The also took the kids go karting one afternoon (heard this from one of the kids our boys made friends with. All kinds of activities around the pool and at the beach during the day. We went to the nightly show a couple of times. Not bad, but typical resort shows. We've seen much worse...

Other Comments::
Overally, the resort was quite nice, especially considering the price we paid ($2400 CDN for the 4 of us). Would we go back? Possibly, if we got a great price. However, if paying full price, we would probably try somewhere new, or go back the the nearby Gran Ventana, where we have gone for the previous 4 years. The food and service there (as well as the snorkeling) was definitely better. On the other hand, the rooms, and pool at the Grand Oasis Marien were better.

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"Be Live Grand Marien is a perfectly manicured, picturesque, clean, and spacious resort."

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jim,Jean,Don,Kay  on Apr 12, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
723 people found this review helpful

We enjoyed our stay at the Grand Marien and would return again no question. This was our 12th time to the Dominican and our first time to the Marien. We were very fortunate to have 7 days of sun - fantastic. There were some minor things that could be improved on but nothing that would make you not want to come back.

Room Number:
7209

Room Block:
7000 building

Arrival:
We flew from Toronto. We arrived with a large number of people. Check in was handled well and quite fast. All your a-la-carte reservations a prebooked for you - what a great idea - you can make changes if you want as well.

Rooms:
The room was large. Lots of drawers and closet space. House keeping was excellent and always had the room spotless. No funny odours either. The beds were very comfortable. The bathroom was nice - large vanity - always lots of hot water.

Restaurants and Bars:
The main buffet area is very large. There does seem to be a problem with organization and staff. Tables are often not completely set, clearing of dishes sometimes takes a while and often you wait a while for coffee, water or wine. Best to remember you are on vacation chillax and take it all in stride. The staff for the most part is friendly and will converse in English - try a little Spanish - they will help you... To me the breakfast buffet was the most lacking and unappealing - compared to many other resorts that we have been to in the Dominican, but, again there was always something to enjoy - remember one's tastes are not everyone's tastes. Noon and evening buffets were good and had some really great food - fresh carve turkey,beef, pork and the grilled food was excellent. The a-la-cartes were excellent - especially the Brazillian - amazing food. The service in the a-la-cartes was exceptional. The snack area at the beach also had good food.
Not a lot bar wise - one at the snack, one at the pool and one at the show area at night. The sports bar was under renovations - it would have been nice. Bar service is a weak point - often long lines - bar tenders that are not all that friendly - even if you tip - and they did run out of some things from time to time. The best is that they do have BRUGAL - the very best rum...

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is the best in the area. We have stayed at resorts in the Playa Dorado - which is just a short distance away - and the beach at the Marien is the best. It is possible to walk the beach from the Costa Dorado to the Playa Dorado and check them all out... The pool was clean, warm and incredibly big - even though it is a large resort it was never crowded in or around the pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Lots of activities in the area - we spent the week relaxing - we have done some of the tours on other visits.

Other Comments:
Would recommend this resort to anyone wanting a good solid 4 to 4.5 star.

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"Nice Resort"

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jodi  on Apr 15, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
701 people found this review helpful

The resort itself is gorgeous, pool is huge biggest we've ever seen. Beach is beautiful and you can walk for miles. Our room in building 8 was clean but very musty smelling, the view was excellent of the gardens and pool area. Food was a little disappointing. The buffet was very small and not alot of variety, lunch was better than dinner. The snack bar at the beach was a step up from the buffet. The staff was very poor...cleaning the tables took forever, you also would die of thirst if you waited for them to bring you water. Not the friendliest either. The maids were the friendliest of all. There were long lineups at the bars, and they were not the friendliest either,usally just had 1 bartender for all the people. Weather was fantastic 7 days of sunshine and heat. All in all very nice place but they just need to work on their staff and food.

Room Number:
8224

Room Block:
8

Arrival:
March 30-April 6 2011

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"Exceedingly Abundantly above ALL I could ever have Hoped for... AWESOME- WOW - FABULOUS"

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Mary Anne  on May 16, 2010  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
785 people found this review helpful

This resort was More than I could dreamed it would be even after seeing photos on line, it was Beyond... our dreams... all the way,.,,,,, 4+ star

Your Arrival:
we arrived early in the morning around 10:30 am, such a warm wlecome & very efficient, our bags were kept secure by the front lobby watchman, and we could used the hotels resteraunts& bars, and pool while we waited for our rooms to be fully ready.
WE were greated with pineapple & Coconut drinks, and BIG WARM friendly smiles
and HOLA's....

Rooms:
WE were surprized when we got an OCEAN VIEW ROOM, in Bldg 3
Kingsize bed... and warobe with lots of rooom to put away clohes, larege closet, and safe, bathroom was also a good size & the maids kept our rooom clean & adorned with fresh flowers & towel art each day; we made sure to tip here veryday & Ileft gifts for her ( perfume, soaps, candies, etc.)

Restaurants and Bars:
WE loved the SANTA Fe- (mexican bar& grill) - had the Chicken Fahita's and the portions were large, enjoyed also the 3 mix plate with shrimp and steak and chicken breast. this was our favoritw resteraurt a la carte; next ws the BUFFET, always good & more than plentiful, with fruits, and salads, and choice from the grill. such as porkloin, chicken breasts, fish, shrimp, pork roast, salmon, huge beef roasts, the display & garnishses were amazing... the staff -excellent & polite & always wanting to serve you more
lots of servers, friendly warm, and obliging
There is a Great resteraunt overlooking the, and it is air conditioned- serves Italian cusine, dress is nice shirts, shorts, but ladies take a sweater, or shawl... it teends to be tooo cool up there.
we had pork tenderloin, and beef tenderloin... was very good, as was the desserts....we were WOW'd again

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
lovey, soft light gold/ beige sand... easy to walk on, and CLEAN beach
water was warm & lovely, lots of places to sun & also hide in the shade... mango trees all around provided a wonderful canopy over us on a day we so needed to rest & enjoy the breezes

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There is always something to see & do, the Pool games were lots of fun for us for an afternoon laugh... dancing lessons everyday at 5 pm, spanish also is taught pool side.
there is a nice pool bar & a resteraunt above it is airconditioned Italian cusine

Other Comments:
I'd HIGHLY reccomend this resort , I cant say anything bad about it at all

the only thing we found hard to deal with was the number of peddlers, selling their wares, and they hound you on the beach, or while on tour/ excursion in Puerto Plata, the people there need to make a living & so many are selling art, jewllery, carved wooden boxes, or in town square, a lilttle boy came and gave me a yellow flower
tip tip tip - they ask if you dont...
that was the only part of hte trip which made us feel like they could ruin a lovely time.
yet knwoing they need so much.. be careful, and go with your gutt instink when you talk with them... I bouight some nice jewllery from a boy at the beach, and he was very easy to talk with... no pressure; then there are some who will tell you $250 US... for items we canget here at home at dollar store.. and pay a total of $10
they insist you wear this or that & they fill a bowl with things they want you to buy,... i certainly learned much and how to say NO.. and walk away.. strong & OK with not being taken.

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"A fabulous vacation for our family"

Be Live Grand Marien
User Rating:  Be Live Grand Marien Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Scott  on Feb 6, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
411 people found this review helpful

Our family of four stayed at the now Grand Oasis Marien. It is not the Coral by Hilton anymore. This was our third time going to the Caribbean with kids. All in all this had to be the best resort we stayed at. Everything from the staff to the food were excellent. You will not go wrong staying at this resort. I highly recommend staying here.

Your Arrival:
Once the plane arrived at the puerto Plata airport, things went very smooth. We had our luggage and were met by our tour guide showing us what bus to get on. For a couple of bucks, the porters were eager to take our bags over to the bus for us. We made about three stops at the other resorts dropping off people before we arrived at our hotel. All in all it took about 30 mins to arrive at our hotel. I was surprised this time how fast things went at the airport. You will be given a green custom form (per person) to complete on the plane for customs. If you have it ready on arrival, you wont have to waste time completing it there. You will also be given another white form (one per family)that is to be filled out while you are waiting for your luggage. While I was watching for the bags, my wife completed the form. Keep a pen handy on the flight and at the airport. Your tour company covers the arrival tax now. Once the bus arrived at the hotel I headed to the front desk to begin check-in, while my wife and kids collected the bags. We were all done and in our room in about 30 mins. Fast pleasant service. Also have 21 USD for the safe key ($3 a day rental). Worth every penny for the peace of mind.

Rooms:
Our room was wonderful and modern. We stayed at the new bulding #8 right beside the pool. There are three new buildings constructed on the resort amongst the original ones. The room had two double beds, jet tub, mini bar, hair dryer, coffee machine, iron board, alarm clock, flat screen tv, etc. Our maid was great. She keep the room very clean and tidy. She made swans out of towels on our beds and even placed fresh flowers on the bed. We left her some small gifts and $1 USD each day for a tip. If you ask the maid she will give you extra bottled water.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was great. We ate at all the a la carte restaurants and the buffet for dinner. The buffet had lots of choices and was well prepared. You will really enjoy the breakfast buffet. It had almost everything you would expect back home. The service and food were excellent at the a la carte restaurants. They took your orders fairly quickly and ensured your wine glass never went empty. There was a Tex/Mex Grill, Italian and Seafood restaurant. The snack bar and buffet seem to be always open so you will never go hungry. The only thing I didn't really like about the a la carte restaurants, is that you can't make prior reservations. You have to get in line at 6:00 to either eat or make reservations for later in the evening. The lines can get long for the initial feeding time. The plus to it being this way is that you can eat at a particular restaurant each night instead of only once. If you like eating at 8:00 you should be able to walk in and eat.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was great. Lots of chairs and shade areas. The sand was a soft brown and the waves were just right. Not to powerful to knock you over. Kid friendly. The only downfall to the beach is the tour reps bugging you to go on excursions and there was a bit of a walk to go to the snack bar for drinks. The pool was very large and never crowded. There are lots of chairs, but you have to get up early in the morning to reserve one in the shade. It does get really hot in sun. You will need it. The pool bar has fast friendly service. The grounds were very nice and kept clean.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
This area has tons of activities to do off the resort. We did the Outback Safarri and the Tip Top Catermeran. The Outback Safarri was one of the highlights of our vacation. A great way to see the area and learn how the locals live. A real must. Make sure you also take the Brugal rum factory tour. A ten min walk off the resort. There is also a local market (Orange Market) down the beach to the right. It is a ten min walk. Worth a look. Make sure you don't pay more then 50% of there asking price. Barter with them.

Other Comments:
I cannot say enough good things about this resort. You will get your monies worth staying here. Lots to do on and off the resort. The nightly animation team was great. It was the best we have seen from any other resort we stayed at. They work really really hard to put on a great show. Just ensure that you get involved in the animation activities.

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