Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Be Live Grand Marien is a warm, laid-back kind of place. Families tend to outnumber couples and partiers, though you might find a few guests drinking in the disco in the wee hours. The lushly landscaped resort consists of nine compact buildings that surround an enormous zero-entry swimming pool.
The resort is a bit isolated, but it's a short drive from a golf and shopping complex and a 20-minute taxi ride from Puerto Plata International Airport.
Be Live Grand Marien is located in the Costa Dorada complex of Puerto Plata, next to the Iberostar Costa Dorada and along the town's main road. There's not much to Costa Dorada -- just a casino, a scooter rental facility, and an ATM.
The resort has a huge chunk of beach, but it's considerably more crowded than its next-door neighbor, the Iberostar Costa Dorada. Still, most guests praise the beach for its calmness, warm waters, and plentiful seats. In general, the sand along Puerto Plata's beaches is more packed and wet (as opposed to the white, sugary sand found in Punta Cana).
Buildings 6, 8, and 9 were constructed in November 2008. The guest rooms in these buildings look far nicer and, unlike the other rooms, have up-to-date flat-screen TVs. Building 9, for example, has a Zen-like garden running down the middle of the hallway and light wood fixtures in the bedrooms. By comparison, Building 4 comes with chipped furniture and floor tiles.
Newer guest rooms include:
At the center of the resort is a large zero-entry pool. The pool itself isn't crowded -- with bridges, waterfalls, and a separate volleyball area, it can feel like a village unto itself. But most lounge chairs are occupied or reserved with towels by mid afternoon, and finding a spot to lounge in the shady can be difficult. Also, some guests complain that the pool is on the cold side.
Be Live Grand Marien’s entertainment program features nightly shows and dance classes, just like everywhere else in the D.R. The resort has a large, impressive amphitheater for nightly entertainment. It also shows movies on a projector screen in the sports bar. During the day, the resort hosts activities like "crazy games" and "Latin dance lessons," which are common in virtually every Dominican all-inclusive. There's also a games area adjacent to the pool with Ping-Pong and foosball tables.
Though not entirely kid-focused, like the nearby Holiday Village, the Be Live Grand Marien is still a fine pick for families. The resort is compact, flat, and easily walkable, and most action is centered around the huge pool with great shallow areas for children.
Generally clean, save for a little smoke and some bathroom stains.
Staffers are constantly cleaning, whether in the lobby, at the restaurants, or in the hallways. Overall, rooms feel very clean. We even spotted the housekeeper mopping the floor -- always a good sign.
There were some minor issues, such as stains on the throw pillows by the bed and on the floor of the shower
Four restaurants, three bars and a night club open 24 hours
Better, name-brand liquor selection than at most midrange all-inclusives
The resort's liquor selection includes Stoli and Absolut vodka, Johnnie Walker Red, Tanqueray gin, and Dewars scotch. There is also a "cash bar" that includes Hennessey, Jack Daniels, Di Saronno amaretto and Drambuie, among other brands.
While about half the resort's rooms are a bit out-of-date, the other half opened in late 2008. These rooms include marble, Jacuzzi-equipped bathrooms. An enormous pool, a nice spa, name-brand liquor, and a few reservation-free restaurants are other perks, but the beach can feel a bit crowded and the buffet and entertainment are mediocre. Still, for Puerto Plata, it's a great value.