Hotel is located in a run-down area; nothing for tourists to do nearby
Older property is showing signs of age throughout; nothing is well maintained
Food is below average and lots of guests complain of getting ill from eating here
Some a la carte restaurants don’t have menus, servers just bring out different courses
Rooms have paper-thin walls
Charge for Wi-Fi
Long check-in lines
Be Live Collection Punta Cana is an 821-room mid-range all-inclusive in a run-down part of Punta Cana. The aging property isn’t well maintained, and though rooms have cheery decor, they still feel old and worn. Be Live has five pools, including one for adults only and one for VIP guests. The hotel’s beach isn’t the prettiest in Punta Cana (expect mounds of seaweed), but what it lacks in looks it helps make up for with its lively atmosphere. Other on-site amenities include a small spa, fitness center, casino, and an outdoor theater. Many guests complain about the poor food quality across the property, which we also found to be pretty bad, at both the buffet and the a la carte restaurants. An all around better pick is Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort.
An older, dilapidated property that manages to attract guests with cheap rates
Just like the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” we have a saying here at Oyster that goes something like “you can’t minimally redecorate an old hotel and make it feel new.” Not as pithy as the original, but we swear it’s catching on. Lame jokes aside, this is exactly the phraseology we’d use to describe Be Live Collection Punta Cana — an older property, that despite the hotel’s efforts to update or improve, still feels old. Hallways smell musty, guest room doors don’t open and close properly, pools are missing large chunks of concrete, and almost every road-like surface looks like it needs to be repaved. Add this to Be Live’s location in a dusty, run-down part of Punta Cana, and almost nothing about this place seems immediately appealing. But many guests are still drawn to Be Live for its affordable nightly rates and decent on-site amenities.
The majority of guests are Canadians, Russians, and Argentinians, but there are also a few Americans and Dominicans as well. The hotel is family-friendly but the crowd here tends to skew a bit older. The majority of guests arrive in large groups, which may explain the lobby’s dizzying lines during check-in. The lobby itself is actually one of the hotel’s nicest spaces. Its two-tiered entryway, vaulted wood-beam ceilings, and Tiffany blue accents give the room an elegant feel — which unfortunately isn’t carried out elsewhere on the property.
In a run-down part of Punta Cana about 20 minutes from the airport
Be Live Collection Punta Cana is located about 20 minutes from the airport, in a run-down, poverty-stricken part of Punta Cana. Though much of Punta Cana is built up and tourist friendly, the area around Be Live doesn’t feel that way. Roads are dusty, small children do school work on the curbside, and construction sites lay abandoned. There’s nothing for tourists to see or do within walking distance. Those looking to get off hotel grounds should drive or take a taxi to downtown Bavaro, a much nicer part of town with great restaurants and bars.
Only modern on the surface, and most are in need of major repairs
The updated decor in the rooms here is cheerful — picture hot-pink pillows, smurf-blue bed runners, and tangerine-colored accent walls. But the bright colors won't distract guests from the fact that walls are paper-thin, sliding glass doors don’t lock, beds are horribly uncomfortable, and closet doors have been painted over so many times that they no longer slide properly on their tracks. Throw in a few plumbing problems and that crunched-up beer can on your balcony, and it’s easy to see why rooms are unlikely to live up to expectations. We will say that they have nice amenities, such as iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, free fully stocked mini-fridges, and in-room coffeemakers. Bathrooms run on the smaller side, but are nicely finished with gray subway tile showers and frosted glass doors. Many guests complain about temperature control in the shower and problems with the plumbing — which we encountered firsthand during our visit.
There are quite a few room types at Be Live, including Standard Rooms, Suites, VIP section rooms, and adult-only rooms. Guests who choose to upgrade to the hotel’s VIP section are treated to larger rooms, private pool and beach access, and a VIP lounge that has free Wi-Fi and serves appetizers and snacks throughout the day. The adult-only option might not be worth the upgrade, since the adult-only building sits in the center of the property, and doesn’t feel secluded from families or screaming children.
Referred to by locals as Cabeza de Toro, the beach in front of Be Live has calm warm waters and soft sand. While the beach is long, it’s also quite narrow, which makes finding an open spot on the sand difficult. Cabeza de Toro is also plagued by mounds of seaweed, which constantly washes ashore and sits in heaps on the sand. The hotel attempts to stop the flow of seaweed with a large, orange netting contraption, but it isn’t much help. Lounge chairs and palapa-style umbrellas are scattered every which way across the beach and local vendors are on hand to sell everything from jewelry to water sport rentals. Be Live’s staff keeps the beach lively with events like beach volleyball tournaments and dance lessons. The beach’s VIP section has its own covered bar and lounge area, which features four-poster daybeds and pillow-topped L-shape sectionals.
A few pools, and not much in the way of on-site entertainment
Be Live has five pools scattered about the property. The central, main pool is by far the largest, but is also the oldest and the one most in need of some repairs. The main pool has a large, freeform shape with a swim-up bar in one corner and a volleyball net in the other. It’s always crowded, and activities like bikini beauty pageants and foam parties keep things interesting. But the main pool isn’t without its flaws — large patches of concrete are missing from the pool’s floor and the swim-up bar’s stools look a tad rusty. The adult-only pool is surrounded by a tall fence, has its own bar, and large white daybeds around the pool deck. It isn’t exceptionally large, but it’s quiet and has its own hot tub. One strange feature of this adult-only area is the swing set that sits in the corner. We known even adults can be kids at heart, but this structure is clearly designed for little ones; it was probably put there before the resort made this pool for guests 18 and up. The VIP pool is nicest on the property. It’s long and narrow, but culminates beneath a pedestrian bridge, which has awesome ocean views. VIP guests staying on the first floor can access the pool from their ground-floor balconies. Oddly, the pool is surrounded by grass, not a patio or deck, which makes the area feel a little soggy. There are two other pools situated across the property which all guests can access. They are much smaller than the main pool, but also tend to be quieter and less crowded.
The hotel has a small spa and fitness center. Although we didn’t get to see the gym during our visit, the spa is a warm, cozy space with a few treatment rooms. Other on-site amenities include tennis and basketball courts, an indoor/outdoor theater, and a casino. The sports courts are in major need or repair, as both appeared crumbling and poorly maintained. The theater hosts weekly performances in an open-air setting, which also has its own bar. The casino is more like a large room with a few slot machines, but that doesn’t deter guests from piling in during the evening hours. Overall, the hotel has fewer amenities and on-site entertainment options that most all-inclusives, but that doesn’t stop guests from partying outside into the wee hours — the noise of which can be heard through rooms’ paper-thin walls.
Unfortunately, guests have to pay for Wi-Fi, unless they upgrade to the VIP section. Even then, the connection is slow and spotty, and only works well inside the rooms.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you — the food at Be Live is pretty bad, worse than most’s all-inclusives’ mediocre fare. In fact so many guests have fallen ill from the hotel’s food that some have taking to calling it “Be Sick Collection.” The hotel has one large buffet that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and an additional five a la carte restaurants that open for dinner. Guests are required to make reservations at the a la carte restaurants, but take note, most don’t have menus. Instead, servers just bring out several courses of food. This can be problematic for vegetarians or people with dietary restrictions. During our visit, we asked our server for a vegetarian dinner option, but he never produced one.
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