Be Live Hamaca Reviews


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Be Live Hamaca  

Calle Duarte, Esq. Caracol, 1, Boca Chica

"nice animation team"
Posted by: lucy on Jun 9, 2014
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Be Live Hamaca Reviews
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Be Live Hamaca Boca Chica Dominican Republic

#1
of 15 Hotels in Boca Chica

User rating 2.6

Based on 41 reviews

Be Live Hamaca Information


The Be Live Hamaca reigns as one of the Caribbeanís crowned jewels. This 24-hour, all-inclusive resort rests serenely on the Bay of Boca Chica, enjoying the sheltered privacy of a white sandy beach protected by a natural reef.

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Be Live Hamaca Reviews

Be Live Hamaca Review: 2.6 of 5 41 reviews
Excellent
  3
Very good
  9
Average
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Poor
  11
Terrible
  12
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1 - 10 of 41

"My experience at the Oasis Hamaca was not a good one."

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 2.5 of 5

Posted by:  Elva from Ontario  on Feb 1, 2009  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
285 people found this review helpful

January 24 - 31

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was nice and the pools were beautiful! The general condition of the grounds varies a lot, some areas look very tacky, complete with fake grass! Other areas are beautifully landscaped and well looked after.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I went on the Jeep Safari, fun and educational! Definitely worth the money! We also walked around the area on our own, around the Boca Chica area and into town. A word of caution, if you don't like to be approached by drug dealers and prostitutes as well as constantly harrassed by vendors, you may want to stay away!

Other Comments:
My experience at the Oasis Hamaca was not a good one. Before leaving on my vacation, I had read many mixed reviews about this resort, most of them, I must admit, not very flattering. But I decided to go anyways, as it was only for a week and it was a very last minute trip decision.

Arrival was a disaster. The front desk staff were extremely disorganized and it took hours to get checked in. I was travelling with another couple and we had requested ajoining rooms on an upper floor. Not only did we get ground level rooms, we got them at opposite ends of the resort, and this particular resort is extremely large. For the most part, the hotel staff were unfriendly, unhelpful and spoke very little English.

The rooms themselves were full of problems. Mine had a nonfunctioning air conditioner and a toilet tank that constantly overflowed. My friends room also had reoccuring problems with their toilet as well as constantly running water in their bathtub. On the second day, I was unable to access my room due to a nonfunctioning key card. Trying to explain to the staff the problem was an enormous issue, and I was locked out for a total of 2 hours before I finally got someone to the room and was able to show them what the problem was. On the positive side, the food was excellent and there was a good variety of it. The beach was very nice, however extremely crowded; you had to get to the beach by 7am every morning just to reserve chairs. There was also construction going on right beside the beach, not exactly the relaxing atmosphere one would expect on their tropical holiday! Brochure photos of this resort are very misleading. The first thing you notice is this big, beautiful restaurant/bar extending out into the water which is the main focus of every brochure photo I've seen. Suprise!!! It isn't included in your all-inclusive vacation, it is for time share members only! The beach beds that are built on stilts out in the water are also not included...they will cost you a whopping $25 American per day to use!! I have to admit, I did relax and enjoy myself after the first few days of annoyance were over and I was able to get all the problems fixed in my room. However the final day was probably the worst. As our flight home didn't leave until 10:30pm, we were told we would have a "courtesy room" to shower and clean up before the bus picked us up for the trip to the airport. We found out that the so called "courtesy room" was actually the washroom in the games hall!! It had two shower stalls, a toilet and a sink!! I have travelled extensively all across the Carribbean and I have never seen anything like this!! I have also never seen so many unhappy tourists in one hotel before! The talk on the beach everyday was about how unhappy everyone was with their rooms, the service and the staff! (I also heard people complain about the food, however as I already mentioned, I was actually quite happy with it). Please...save yourself the money and aggrevation and choose another resort!! Or, better yet, don't go to the Dominican Republic at all, choose a completely different destination!

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"The staff and hotel in general was an 8++"

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Bill, Donna, Mike & Sherry  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
289 people found this review helpful

We stayed at this resort for seven days, Jan 22--29 2009.
My wife & I have been going south every year for the past 17 years -Sometimes twice a year.
I am disabled and would recommend anyone with mobility problems bring a wheelchair. I didn't so I rented one from the medical folks at 10.00 per day.
The resort is huge - the grounds and pools are VERY WELL MAINTAINED & CLEAN.
The garden section is showing its age but the hotel section is worth upgrading to.
The staff and hotel in general was an 8++
The bars were clean and we were looked after almost to well.
Tips were never asked for and one chap wouldn't take a dollar. "Just doing his job"
The food was good but you have to be Hungary to eat pizza on the beach.
I have read some not so nice reviews about this place and can report to all THEY AREN'T TRUE!!!!!
If we don't get back again this year we will look forward to seeing you in 2010

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"DONT GO!!!!!"

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 2.5 of 5

Posted by:  Lynn  on Feb 1, 2009  >  9 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
307 people found this review helpful

This hotel was definately the worst we have ever visited. Our room was dirty and smelled really bad, and the bathroom vanity actually crashed to the ground during the night, revealing a nest of hideous black bugs, which scuttled all over the bedroom floor. The new room was equally dirty, and when I asked for it to be cleaned, the head housekeeper was really rude, telling me that it HAD been cleaned. The food was absolutely awful, (often unidentifiable!), resulting in frequent dinners at the non-inclusive privately owned restaurant at the resort. All the common areas had sticky, dirty tables, and the toilets were terrible. I booked this vacation at the last minute, looking for a quick break for my family, but I have learned the hard way that you should always check the reviews before you travel! I hope that someone will benefit from this one DONT GO!!!!!

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"I think I had a great trip"

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Emily from Ottawa  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
356 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 2009:
My husband and I stayed at the Oasis Hamaca for one week in January 2009. I meant to write a report as soon as I got home but other things came along. Still I want to write so here it is:

Based on the bad reports I saw on the web page before going (my husband booked the trip on a last minute thing) I was not expecting anything nice. In fact I expected things so bad I took toilet paper, bottled water, mosquito repellent, mice traps, tapes for leaking plumbing, soaps, towels and canned food!. Let me tell you right now, I would be happy to go again and probably will. So this review is for those who want to hear some good things about Oasis Hamaca (in addition to things that were, well not so good).

Arrival:
My husband and I arrived on different aircraft from different Canada cities. I travelled to the resort by bus from Punta Cana while my husband landed in the Santo Domingo airport only 20 minutes away from the resort. I was tired after the 5 hour trip by bus and arrived at 4p.m. My husband arrived well past 11 p.m.. My trip by bus was great! Got to see the country side and we stopped at little road-side shops for food, drinks and washroom breaks. Of the people on the bus with me, my stop was last. Therefore I also got to see all the other resorts where passengers were getting off at. I was impressed with most of them and thought "Oh golly my place is going to be awful in comparison!" I struck conversations with some of the people on the bus and we agreed we would share our experiences on our way back. The drivers were very nice.

On arrival to the Oasis Hamaca I got a room right away. I found the front desk busy but it was fine, the staff friendly. The place was clean and there were wonderful fresh flowers in the main entrance.

The staff had given me "two keys" and said they would notify my husband that I have his key. They would also phone me to let me know he had arrived. Imagine my surprise when my husband arrived and opened the door with a "third key" and I was never notified that he had arrived! Which means if there ever was another kind of mix-up a stranger could get a key to my room without checking with me that it was ok? Not good.

Rooms:
I was disappointed that our room was in the older section of the resort, over looking the garden with the pool on the opposite side. I could tell there were better rooms in the newer part by the beach. But, having travelled to so many poor countries in the past this was not a hotel that ranked as the worst I've seen. We decided not to pay the extra money for an up-grade. Our window was not closing well so the place was full of mosquitoes. We were prepared for them so the next night was all well. The staff managed to fix the window the second day of our stay. Our disappointment with the room included three things: no key to the safety box--there is a chronic shortage of keys. We waited 3 days to get one. Although I signed an agreement form about how many free drinks I could have from the in-room fridge there was no in-room fridge on my arrival. Finally got one but I had to wait in the room for it and it took 3 hours. The TV was broken so I waited for it to be replaced as well. I waited the same 3 hours for both TV and fridge. I missed supper because of the waiting. The cleaning staff were very nice and each day the beds were made up and fresh flowers placed on my pillow. Nice touch!

Restaurants and Bars:
"The food was tremendous and bountiful. The vegetables and fruits were fantastic, not to mention the freshly baked breads and desserts. The Bars were GREAT! The Bartenders were all attentive and innovative with drinks. "

I agree 100% with those statements written by someone else on a previous report. Only to add that the food in the Italian restaurant was sumptuous! The Dominican food was very good too. We did not like the Mexican restaurant's food but loved the ambiance! We did not need to go any outside restaurants nor did we go to the Fish restaurant on the beach. This was no so much to save money, as that restaurant is not part of the all inclusive, as to the fact that I didn't want to eat fish. We enjoyed the piano player in the evenings in the bar/lobby off the two restaurants, the Dominican and the Italian. Wonderful views towards the beach!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The Beach, Pools and the Grounds were extremely clean and beautiful. We enjoyed our walks in the evening and it was a pleasure to stroll in the gardens to the restaurants for lunch and dinner. The Olympic size pool on the beach was hardly ever used so we were so happy to frolic and swim without any interruption from kids. The best advice I took from previous reviewers was to take my own towels. I'm glad I did. There was a towel shortage at the beach and people were hanging on to theirs with special care but was it a chronic problem and all the time? No. The weekends were a problem possibly because some patrons were there only for the weekend. There was construction next door and this was very close to the pool but that did not bother us at all. The pool in the garden was beautiful and we enjoyed reading books by the side and swimming up to the bar for drinks. The place is clean!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We took two tours. One to the capital--city tour which I highly recommend for anyone who has a sense of history and loves to explore other cultures. The facts about Columbus are not correct but we have found that each country likes to embellish their facts to make tourists think they are in very important spots. For example we visited the sight of Columbus's burial. Well, anyone who cares to read history knows that nobody knows where Columbus was buried. Spain claims to have him, Italy claims to have him, etc. He for sure is not buried in the towering mausoleum in the Dominican! However, it is a place to which many countries contributed to mark the historical significance of the European landing. Worth a visit. We however were not given a tour of the inside of this massive building, a pity. We visited a museum in the capital but only saw the first floor of it. I for one was very disappointed this was a great opportunity to see what the Dominican's saved and what they treasure. On the tour we were taken to a local restaurant and saw a dance performed by local dancers, at one point a women dancing on the top of a wine bottle. Unbelievable! Something to see. The food was standard "tour" fare, spaghetti and meat balls and salad. Nobody got sick.

The second tour was into the countryside. We signed up because we have been to Coffee Farms in Costa Rica and wanted to compare. This was a disappointment because the "Coffee Plantation" we were taken to on this Dominican tour consisted of one coffee bush. Our tour of a sugar cane farm consisted of being driven to the sugar cane field, a fellow chopped off a piece of cane and asked us to taste it. The highlights of the tour were: a trip to the most beautiful waterfall where everyone could go for a dip. Also we visited a school and children in grade 5. Very insightful. I wish I had had the presence of mind to have taken some school supplies with me, they would have been appreciated. If you plan on going take some candy. Kids are by the rad side and beg for treats.

We were taken to a German restaurant in the bush at the end of our tour. The place was great. The owner considers himself a Picasso painter and his art work in the jungle creates a really great place for a restaurant. The whole place is built using beer bottles, chrisom blue in colour. When the light shines it gives off nice flows of light among the banana tree leaves. The tour participants were taught how to roll a cigar. Interesting procedure even if one is a non-smoker. Washroom was surprisingly clean but don't eat the food! At least don't eat the salads. I did not eat the salad and was fine, my husband had stomach problems for the next two days. I recommend the tour, money well spent. I also wish to add that both of our tour guides told us that Oasis Hamaca IS the BEST resort near Santo Domingo.

We also walked in the Boca Chica. Lovely place. We had no problems with anyone trying to sell us drugs or anything else. As in all foreign places we don't stray into off-roads from the main arteries. That is only common sense.

Other Comments:
Apart from bringing the towels and mosquito repellent I would also recommend that before going people should invest in immunization fit for the travel. This has nothing to do with the resort but the economy and geography of the country.

On my way back from the holiday I met up with most of my former bus companions. It turns out that 3 young man left their resort because of food illness. And one couple were ASKED to move because their resort was having water problems. (The one they were up-graded to turned out bad too.) I also met a wedding party from Ottawa Canada that also travelled with me on the plane and they all got sick at their resort in Punta Cana. So, in comparison, I think I had a great trip, loved it and will recommend to our children to go there. Possibly we will return too. Most likely, if we go, we will up-grade the room. I would say those that are complaining a lot about this resort are either very rich or new to travel and expect "4 star" hotels in other countries to mean the same thing as what 4 star hotels mean in the US,Canada or some Western European countries. It may also just come down to luck. Many of our friends love Costa Rica but we will never travel there again because our experience was too disappointing.

Two additional comments: the wine choices in the restaurants at Oasis Hamaca was magnificent and cheap! We tipped all servers even though this was not required. They need to go home and live some not just watch us having a good time!

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"The food was tremendous and bountiful."

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Stephanie from Boston, Ma  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2009
335 people found this review helpful

Arrival
My sister and I arrived with no problem and the taxi driver was amenable to the fare quoted by the resort

Rooms
The room was spacious and very clean. The shower had hot water and pressure. The beds were extremely comfortable and it was a quiet, restful sleep

Restaurants and Bars
The food was tremendous and bountiful. The vegetables and fruits were fantastic, not to mention the freshly baked breads and desserts. The Bars were GREAT! The Bartenders were all attentive and innovative with drinks.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The Beach, Pools and Grounds were extremely clean and fun, fun, fun!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
No tours but we did take a fantastic banana boat ride and my sister really enjoyed the exercise classes. I enjoyed the bowling on the beach.

Other Comments
I want to come back within the hour!

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"Terrible hotel overall as one would expect a better place for a 4 star."

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 2.5 of 5

Posted by:  Stu  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
294 people found this review helpful

Arrival
terrible. had to wait 11 hrs for a room. arrived at 4.00 am, no room until 3.00pm. rude hotel staff and tour representative. hotel lobby was dirty. plane load of people had all the same wait. this goes on every week according to staff. sunwing and hotel argue as to whom is responible for the wait to get a room. most people I talked to were unhappy with the situations and their rooms.management did not want to deal with the situation.

Rooms
rooms at the old part of hotel are old, outdated, well used. leaking sewage lines from unit above. mosquitos in the rooms. mouldy smelling rooms

Restaurants and Bars
ok, food ok, some staff are rude and don;t care, such as bartenders particularily

Beach/Pools/Grounds
beaches are kept very clean. best part of the hotel. sewage smell on the grounds when they release the septic flush system in the mornings

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: none

Other Comments
terrible hotel overall as one would expect a better place for a 4 star. will never go back there again or for that matter another oasis hotel. poor management.

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"Absolutely surprised by how great our experience was."

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Aquilla Yoder Jr from Lancaster, PA  on Jun 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jun, 2009
339 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 7-14
We arrived at 10:30 pm on Sat night. The cab ride from the airport was an adventure as traffic laws seem to be only a suggestion to drivers.

Rooms:
We used a time share and our room was waiting for us. Clean, nice modern sink in the back part of the resort

Restaurants and Bars:
We absolutely loved the bars/restaurants. Great food with fun staff. We always made an effort to try every bartenders' special drink

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Very clean and beautiful! We were in paradise!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went in town shopping one day with another couple we met there. That was quite an adventure as men on motorbikes were trying to pick my wife up as she and I walked along the street

Other Comments:
We were not expecting much according to some of the reviews we read. We were absolutely surprised by how great our experience was. We had booked this as a celebration of our 20 years of marriage and went with the attitude that if nothing else, it would at least be warm there. This was the most perfect week of our lives and we were pleased with every part of the resort except for the people who kept trying to sell us another time share. Let us alone we were on our anniversary! I've never been to any other part of the DR, and we decided that we may try another part just to see if it would be any different. But overall we were thrilled with the value and beauty of this resort - topless beaches and all!!

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"Prostitutes were everywhere"

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  Wanda  on Jan 10, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | Family and Kids
384 people found this review helpful

My family and I recently took a five day trip to the Dominican Republic. We stayed at the Oasis Hamaca. We were terrorized. My medications were stolen from my luggage. We did not get the bedroom type that was requested 5 months in advance; however, we were told we could get a room change immediately the following day. The next day we were told we could not get the room change until after 3 pm. We got it after 4pm. The room was a horror. Bugs were everywhere. The ceiling leaked in the luggage room. The room smelled moldy and unclean. Outside the room the roof had fallen in. There was decay, holes and dirty leaky water running in. At 7:30 am construction began. This went on Friday Saturday and Sunday. Someone used a sledgehammer and began banging for hours, non-stop. I developed a headache that never went away. I screamed, I complained and I begged the construction workers to stop. On Saturday evening we were told they wanted our permission to fumigate the room (Leaflet regarding this is missing from my luggage).
Prostitutes were everywhere. Activities advertised to be held in one room got held in another. No one was notified. The drinks were alcohol free. The excursions expensive. A taxi ride to the mall was $70 a person. We were discouraged from venturing outside the compound alone. Activities were geared towards those twenty five and younger. Spanish music, only, at the disco. Danger was said to be everywhere. Security walked about with shot-guns. T-shirts were $6-20. The sealed ones were dirty. The positives? The food wasn't bad and there was plenty of hot water for the shower.

Rooms:
Unclean

Restaurants and Bars:
Numerous

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Clean

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Tours are expensive. Traveling alone is discouraged.

Other Comments:
I would like for this to reach the owner.

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"Buffet had a great selection for every meal"

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Warren from Central Florida  on Jan 10, 2010  >  2 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Nov, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
328 people found this review helpful

We arrived after dinner had ended-late due to American Airlines. We were driven to our room, in the night-so we thought we may be at a resort way too big for us. Having read the reviews, I gave the room a quick inspection. Was pleased that only apparent problem was the main table light was temperamental. Got the A/C running and found the all night Mango area for a bite and a drink.

Rooms:
We had a room in building 800-requested and received first floor. Was a stone's throw from the buffet restaurant; back view of the perimeter wall. Had hot water, A/C, and working TV with remote. Odd that we had only one chair on the balcony, one glass, and one coffee cup. We didn't ask for another and survived fine. Room was plenty big-starting to show its age-ceiling paint showed a leak, and too many guests had put out cigarettes on the floor (how odd). Coffee, soap, hairdryer, and shampoo provided. Minibar-luckily there was a left over beer from the previous guest. Seems that the beer and soda are replenished on weekends. Need to sign a form that advised the prices of all the goodies that were not in the minibar anyway. Not Presidente beer, but Bohemia light (tastes like water, but sometimes better than the walk to the bar). The coffee in the packet for the coffee maker is so good, and it isn't the best available. Didn't pay for the safe. The maids do a great job and appreciate being acknowledged-we gave our maids (had two during our stay) a bag of hopefully useful items (that we knew were the same price there as in the States!)-and provided a statement in my limited Spanish that we were giving it to them.

Restaurants and Bars:
There is the main buffet restaurant, which we ate at for all our meals. Buffet had a great selection for every meal. We were able to order iced tea! A road divides the resort. We stayed on the side with the theater, buffet restaurant, and pool (adjacent to which was the only bar on that side of the road). On the other side-lobby, Mangos (all day food), more bars, disco, shops, casino, and specialty restaurants.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Great pool. Swim up bar. Bathrooms near the pool. Beautiful grounds. Workers maintaining the grounds seem to work without taking a break, even when 90 degrees F. The groundskeepers, who are often overlooked, are so pleased to be acknowledged- interesting conversation; using sign language and my limited Spanish (which was greater than their English).

Other Comments:
Weekends bring weekend guests from DR who are there for the beach. This was our forth time to DR, and this resort had the highest percentage of Spanish speaking guests it seemed. Met folks from Spain and Portugal (who spoke Spanish and better English than many people in the US), fair number of Germans it seemed. Have stayed at places at which those working the front desk had a better command of English. Knowledge of some Spanish is better than none. Be aware of the free chips at the Casino, which will get you a few free rolls at the high stakes table at something resembling a cross between roulette and video Keno. Be careful. Also get ready for the ever present Vacation Club folks who just want to give you a T shirt and a cap-that they don't have with them-after you listen to a talk. They are between the beach and the buffet restaurant seemingly all the time. Not until the last day were we able to walk by any of them with out being attacked like prey. Oddly, we d! Idn't walk along the beach during the day. However, did walk Duarte Avenue a few times. Get out there; fight past the locals trying to get you to go to their bar (so that they can get a commission), and go into a local souvenir shop, cigar shop, and best of all-supermercado for Brugal and coffee to take home. The reward: great prices-haggle-start with ¬Ĺ of the asking price and go from there. In the supermercado and cigar stores-will pay about ¬Ĺ of the price in the stores in the resort. If you want to take a trip-the tour desk isn't on the resort map and can be overlooked-leave the lobby, go down the steps, as you go up the steps to the next building-don't go left to the beach, go right up more steps-it's back in that area. Also, the Oasis 10% discount desk in the lobby area is also the Help Desk (another tidbit well hidden from guests). Workers, especially security guards, and excluding bartenders, aren't the most congenial-they will smile and talk, but after you initiate-we are used to friendly holas whenever coming across a worker.

Overall:
The separation within the resort, the hike and stairs (up and down) to get to the beach, overall size (bigger than those we had been to before), left us disappointed. The rooms were a positive. We learned from those there and from what we read ahead, that this was the best resort in Boca Chica. Although we won't be back, if one wants to go to Boca Chica and not have to hike to Duarte Avenue and have a pleasant stay-this is a great place to go.

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"Two weeks at a great resort"

Be Live Hamaca
User Rating:  Be Live Hamaca Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie from CAN  on Jan 30, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
383 people found this review helpful

I traveled with my sister and her husband and a cousin (3 rooms; 3 people for 2 week 1 person for 1 week). Ages were raging from 32 to 61 all from Western Canada. We were all very nervous about going for a 2 week vacation at this hotel given the reviews we had seen. This was my 4th time to the Dominican and the first for the others; I have also traveled to Brazil and Cuba. The others have traveled to Mexico, Jamaica and Europe. All of us were pleasantly surprised.

Resort: This is a very large complex. There is the older section across the street(not busy). These are generally 3 storey buildings that is the original resort and they have added the 4 and 6 storey hotel on the beach front.

Your Arrival:
Check in was faster and easier than experienced at other hotels when a group comes in.

Bellman drove us and our luggage to our accommodations and delivered the bags to our room efficiently.

Rooms:
We were originally checked into the older part of the complex. The rooms were large and although older were totally acceptable. The balcony was large and the rooms were clean at initial review.
We arrived in the evening and it was fairly dark out. My brother-in-law suffers from night blindness and once my cousin left I was going to be on my own at times, therefore we immediately went to the desk and asked to be moved to the main complex where the lighting was better and my cousin and I would not be walking long distances in rather dim lighting. The desk immediately moved us, allowing us to check the accommodations before we moved. Okay once we saw the upgraded room we had to take pictures of it. It was so nice. For the people that like to whine, yes the caulking around the outside of the tub wasnít smooth; there was an old stain on the ceiling in the closet where a water leak had happened at some time. No mold nothing that anyone should be concerned about. We did have to pay and upgrade fee of $30 US per night per room. It was well worth the extra money. We overlooked the ocean and two of the pools with large balconies. So large we didnít feel the Haiti earthquake when it hit.

Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurants need a special note. There were no reservations required; this made it so much easier than trying to decide early in the morning or the previous day what you wanted to eat. All the restaurants, including the buffet were great. If there was a complaint is in the Mexican and Pasta restaurants could be loud when it was busy. We started going for dinner earlier than others to ensure that we could get in an out before the crowds. The only other thing that I might complain about is that the buffet and Mangos open on Dominican time, noon is around noon, it didnít bother us at all except for our last day when we needed to eat before we caught a 12:30 bus to the plane.
The Mexican restaurant had a great trio plate to try a sampling of the food. From that I found they had a wonderful steak. The Mexican food was good and there was plenty to eat. The dessert selection was a little sparse to our liking.
The Pasta restaurant was really good as well. They also had a surprisingly good steak. The chicken dish was great and everyone who had it liked it. One of our group loved the lasagna.
The Dominican restaurant food was good but of course you are eating food that is more in line with where you are. The pork was called ďpigĒ, that is what it is. My sister had the fish fillet and it was really good. Apparently one woman was brought to tears because she ordered the fish and it had the tail and head on it. Remember where you are and know what you are ordering and ask questions if you need to.
The Buffet: No matter what theme night it was you could find something you liked. The salads were great, the pasta, I want there recipe. As in most tropical countries that I have visited the beef can be pretty tough (that is why I commented on the beef at the restaurants). If you can catch them before they fry the roast on the grill it is actually very tender. I prefer my lobster boiled but what the heck it was still good grilled. Breakfast what else could you want? They had bacon almost every day. You could order your eggs the way you wanted it and have the omelet that you choose the filling. The breakfast at Mangos was pretty basic but you can still get them to make an egg or an omelet for you.
Pizza shack Ė Great little place. Food was good and great for a snack when you needed it and didnít want to go someplace to sit and eat food.
Bars - The bars were all good and gave good service. The piano bar never had diet coke but it is only open for a few hours each evening.
The pool bar was my favorite. Claudio is the best bartender and if he has change will change your $10 or $20 US for some $1 so that you have tip money. Yes we tip at all inclusives as the staff is giving good service and can use the money (Average income in DR is $200 per month according to our guide).
Piano bar: Nice view and environment to visit and listen to the piano player or wait until you could get into the Pasta restaurant.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools were great, all three of them. Okay I donít like swim up bars so I didnít go in that pool too much. The are regularly checking the pool chemical level and cleaning the surface.

The grounds are beautifully kept and people are working to keep it clean.

Construction was happening but not much noise and didnít bother us at all. Start late, finish early and they were working on the interior so there was no problem for us. We were about a 100 feet from the work.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There were lots of activities if you wanted to participate.
Disco: Went a few times, generally walk in and walk out. The music was just too loud for me and it was only busy once that I saw. Guess Iím getting old. I went with some people one night and had fun dancing. It is a little too small and is only for drinking and dancing. Would suggest pool tables and other things to do to let a person stick around until more people show up. The younger party people that we met did find it pretty boring in the evening.
Theatre was good. We didnít go too often but when we went the shows were entertaining. The host of the show only spoke in Spanish and it would be nice if it was in English and Spanish. I say English as most people from other countries that were there could get by with their Spanish and English enough to understand.
Water equipment: Our group took out the kayaks often and had a great time, we also took out the paddle boat and it was great too. Remember not leave the sailing until the weekend, they donít let you take it out when the beach is busy.
Boca Chica: It is a poor area and two of the guys went for a walk and were constantly being solicited. We (the women) went out with them a couple of times and there was no problem. Two of the women went out shopping and there was no problem at all. Okay you do get asked to look at what they have to sell, but ďNo GraciasĒ does it all. Be friendly. We walked down to the Dominican beach. People where having a great time and didnít bother us at all.
Saona Island trip: This was a great trip. We booked ours with the Westjet rep and think we did the right thing. There were only 14 of us on the Catamaran and on the speed boat back. (When you see the other tours with 50 to 100 people you appreciate the smaller group) We left the hotel at 7:30 a.m. and got back at 7 p.m. Loved the water the beach the swimming area, finding a star fish. Would highly recommend this trip, donít pay full price though. Negotiate.
Shopping: Negotiate even at the hotel shops (donít buy there unless you have to, too expensive). Go to a supermarket to get your local vanilla, coffee and booze.
Santa Domingo: Six of us rented a taxi to take us where we wanted to go. For four hours it was $90 US and $10 for each extra hour. The taxi driver took us to where we wanted and took us to Santo Domingo. There he brought us to some shops where the prices were too high and we told him we didnít want this and wanted to go to places the locals would shop. We were then taken downtown where he had a guide meet us. The guide spoke English and took us around for $5 per person. All was good except where we went to eat. The food was good but there was some stomach revenge the next day for the people that ate. Still cheaper than going with the organized tour and we did more of what we wanted.

Other Comments:
Bottom line: The people who complain about this hotel must have just had a bad vacation. The resort is very nice. I have been honest about all the good and the bad. I would recommend this hotel to any of my friends. If you want to upgrade and will risk no available upgrade rooms, do it at the hotel as they charge per room, not per person like the travel agents do.

Wheelchair access:
We made some great friends there. One friend was in a wheelchair and most places are accessible but it takes time to figure out how to get where they wanted to go.

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