On-site activities include tennis, sailing, and casino
Lots of free entertainment included -- plus a kids’ club
Relatively isolated location
Many guest rooms feel slightly dated
Tacked-on fees add up, for things like in-room Wi-Fi
No swim-up bar
Be Live Collection Marien is an all-inclusive, three-and-a-half-pearl property located on the outskirts of the gated Playa Dorada tourist complex. The resort’s 584 guest rooms are generic and a bit dated but welcoming -- the newer Superior Deluxe Rooms are significantly more polished -- with all including coffeemakers and minibars. Be Live’s all-inclusive rates cover a standard lineup of features, including a few decent dining options, a massive pool, and ample entertainment -- plus guests have direct access to Playa Dorada beach. With modern facilities and an easy-going vibe, the resort offers good value for Puerto Plata; although extra fees for things like Wi-Fi and personal safes can add up somewhat. Travelers looking for a more upscale stay on the beach can check out Casa Colonial Beach and Spa.
Cheerful mid-range resort with updated facilities and a laid-back vibe
Guests arriving at Be Live are greeted by a pretty landscaped entrance with a fountain and a lofty, thatched-roof lobby. The expansive pool is the focal point of the property, with paths branching off from it in all directions, leading to the guest room buildings and restaurants. Whereas some of the hotel's units have a slightly older look, the resort has a youthful, contemporary aesthetic overall. Facilities are labeled with modish, round signs, many of which play up the “be” motif, such as the “be fit” gym.
Families and couples will feel equally at home here. There’s no shortage of places for grown-ups to grab a drink -- including a late-night disco -- plus age restrictions at the a la carte restaurants. But the atmosphere isn’t too party-hardy, making it a good choice for families, too. Many guests spend most of their time on the property, in order to take full advantage of the all-inclusive packages. Like other resorts in this area, it’s popular with Canadians and Americans during winter, while locals tend to come during the summer off-season. It’s a solid mid-range choice in Puerto Plata, but surcharges for in-room Wi-Fi, use of a personal safe, and dining at some of the a la carte restaurants can leave some guests feeling nickel-and-dimed.
Beachfront location just outside Puerto Plata's Playa Dorada complex
Aside from an ATM and some scooter rental shops, there’s not much within walking distance of Be Live. It’s set just off the main road running through Playa Dorada, but the center of this gated tourist community -- which features shops, clubs, restaurants, and a golf course -- is a five-minute drive away. Gregorio Luperon International Airport can be reached in 20 minutes by car. Guests hoping to explore beyond the resort may want to consider renting a car.
Tidy rooms include minibars and private balconies or terraces
Standard Rooms at Be Live are neat and clean if slightly dated, with older wooden and wicker furniture and wrought iron accents. Terra-cotta-colored floor tiles and bland artwork make the rooms look a bit dark and drab. Rooms are quite well-maintained, but you might notice areas of peeling paint or scratched mirrors here and there. All units include coffeemakers and minibars stocked with one large water bottle, two soft drinks, and two beers each day, all of which are free. Flat-screen TVs are standard and Wi-Fi is available for a pricey extra fee. Personal safes are also offered for a surcharge.
Balconies or terraces feature tables and chairs -- some of which are plastic and others nicer wood. The views of the coast or the lush property are generally pleasant, with the surrounding mountains visible from some upper-floor rooms. Tiled bathrooms have shower/tub combos and hotel-branded bath products. Hairdryers are also provided and vanities offer plenty of space.
Superior Deluxe Rooms are noticeably sleeker, with chic neutral color palettes, white marble floors, and semi-canopy beds. Bathrooms feature whirlpool tubs and separate toilets. Junior Suites add an additional bathroom with shower stall, as well as a separate seating area with a sofa bed.
Lagoon-style pool, direct beach access, tons of included activities -- but extra fees add up
Be Live offers the extensive lineup of on-site features you would expect for a big all-inclusive, with amenities geared to both couples and families. The showpiece of the resort is a huge, zero-entry pool surrounded by endless rows of plastic blue loungers, some of which are shaded by palapas. The pool area is attractive, featuring arched wooden bridges and swaying palm trees.
The resort offers direct access to Playa Dorada, a wide stretch of soft golden sands. The hotel provides plenty of loungers for guests, which are widely-spaced across the sands, which makes the beach feel uncrowded -- although it’s a public beach, so it can get busy and vendors are likely to approach you.
A number of free activities are included in the resort’s all-inclusive package, such as sailing, aerobics classes, and live performances in the large, open-air theater. A compact activity center by the pool has foosball, pool tables, and ping-pong. Guests also have access to two tennis courts.
The resort’s good-size fitness center isn’t especially modern, but it offers a decent range of equipment, including weight machines, exercise balls, and ellipticals. The big, inviting spa has two outdoor whirlpool tubs, along with saunas and steam baths. It offers a range of treatments, including aromatherapy and massages.
The kids’ club for children age 4 to 12 is also covered in the all-inclusive rate. Set in a colorful, separate building close to the beach, the kids’ club is fairly simple, offering an assortment of games and crafts, plus a little outdoor kids’ pool.
The resort has four meeting rooms, which can accommodate up to 120 guests. They’re practical but otherwise unremarkable, with predictably old-fashioned carpets and white banquet chair covers. There’s also a large, run-of-the-mill casino.
A few shops fanning out from the lobby sell snacks, sundries, and souvenirs, along with wine and cigars. Free Wi-Fi can only be used outside the buffet for 60 minutes per day -- you need to pay for any additional access. Free self-parking is offered on-site.
Above-average buffet, a handful of a la carte options, and some specialty restaurants not part of the all-inclusive package.
The hotel’s sprawling, open-air buffet offers a respectable variety of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals often have different themes, which means the spread changes regularly, and there’s always a cute kids’ section as well as a couple of live cooking stations.
A la carte restaurants covered in the all-inclusive package include Mylos, an intimate fine dining restaurant overlooking the pool; Mexican fare at Orale; and Brazilian cuisine at Rodizio. All the a la carte restaurants require reservations and kids under 7 are not allowed. The food is adequate but nothing outstanding. A separate building across from the main entrance houses a row of additional restaurants that are not part of the all-inclusive package, including a wine bar and a pizza joint.
A breezy snack bar offers a small buffet spread and light meals throughout the day. There are also open-air bars by the pool and in the theater, as well as an indoor dance club off the lobby that’s open at night.
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