Review: Be Live Marien All-Inclusive Resort, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
We stayed at the Be Live Marien Resort during our vacation to the Dominican Republic in June 2018. We read a lot of mixed reviews before we booked our reservations, but we decided to give it a chance. We booked through WestJet Vacations which took care of flights, airport transfers and hotel costs. Be Live Marien is located on the Costa Dorada Beach a short 30 minute drive from the AeroPuerto International Airport. Upon arriving at the resort we were greeted with a drink and booked into our room, we decided we wanted to be closer to the beach and for a cost of $175 USD we upgraded our room to building 4 with an ocean view. Here is a quick room comparison:
- Standard Room
The standard room we saw in building 5 was a little small but clean with good air conditioning, two double beds and a balcony with a view of the next building. The room was well kept and the bathroom was updated. There was nothing wrong with this room besides the lack of view from the balcony.
- Upgraded Room
We upgraded to the 3rd floor of building 4 which had a king bed, big ceiling fan, air conditioning and a balcony with a beach/ocean view. The fridge was stocked daily by housekeeping and the only negative thing about the upgraded room is the air conditioner would occasionally stop working, and maintenance would have to fix it. If you can budget for the upgrade it is definitely worth it and makes your vacation that much better.
The staff at Be Live are very friendly and go out of their way to make your vacation relaxing. Everyone we met from guest services to bartenders were smiling and very helpful even when busy. Jorge the bartender and Jamaican Crazy Boy from the gift shop were some of the nicest people we met. There are some staff wearing gold jackets that are part of lifestyles (Time Shares) and after politely telling the we were not interested they left us alone. The best part about the staff was we did not feel pressured to tip everyone, and when we did give a tip they were very grateful.
Be Live has a few choices when it comes time to eat:
We ate at the buffet everyday and found the food to be good. Everyday was a different theme (Mexican, seafood etc.) but there was always something to eat. They have a kids section with pasta, pizza, fries etc. and an ice cream station making it easy for parents with children. For breakfast they have fresh fruit smoothies, homemade donuts, custom egg omelets and a good assortment of fruits.
- A La Carts
There are three a la carts on the grounds Mexican, Brazilian and Mediterranean. We made a reservation at the Brazilian and were served 6 different types of meat (Chicken, Ham, Steak, Sausage, Lamb, Pork) everything was cooked perfectly and the service was great. Be advised that there is a dress code for the Mediterranean restaurant for men (Long Pants) a few guests along with ourselves found this out after we booked it.
- Snack Bar
The snack bar is centrally located between the pool and the beach which makes for easy access no matter where you are. They serve fries, hotdogs, burgers, chicken wings and other snack foods. There is also a bar with one of the best bartenders they have Jorge.
TIP: We found the snack bar to have better drinks than the pool bar, so if you don’t mind walking here to get drinks it is recommended.
Well here is one of the problems with this resort, the free WiFi is terrible. You can only get Wifi in one spot (outside the buffet) and if there are a lot of people using wifi it is unusable.
TIP: To solve our Wi-Fi issues we found that if you walk to the end of building one you can get onto the neighboring resorts Wi-Fi (Iberostar)which is very fast. Also you can get Iberostar Wi-Fi in front of the Kids Club and on the beach in front of the Iberostar resort.
The pool is outstanding and consists of 3 pools joined by 3 bridges. There is no swim up bar so you have to exit the pool to get a drink at the bar. The pool has a lot of cots, but you must wake up before 6am to have a chance at reserving pool seating with shade. The pool gets busy on the weekends when the locals are allowed into the resort, so that is the ideal time to schedule an excursion.
The beach area has some negatives:
Seaweed is constantly washing ashore making swimming less than ideal, not to mention a strong fishy smell. The Iberostar next door cleans up seaweed everyday where as Be Live does not making the beach unattractive for guests.
We avoided the beach for most of our vacation just because of this issue. It felt like as soon as we took our sandals off we were approached to go the market by a vendor. They seemed very aggressive and was a major turnoff to go to the beach. After telling them no thank you multiple times we were left alone.
TIP: Once you are on the beach you can go around the point to the left and there are great swimming spots and opportunities to snorkel. You can also walk the beach to the right and swim the best part of Costa Dorada Beach, less garbage and no seaweed make this stretch of beach beautiful. We felt 100% safe walking the beach outside the resort.
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down as Be Lives variety of entertainment is pretty good. They put on a night beach party when we were there and had a Karaoke night, Hollywood night and their pool team puts on a wide variety of games for guests to participate in.
There are 6 shops on the resort including a Duty Free shop and they all sell souvenirs, hats, dresses, cigars, liquor and other items. We visited all of them to compare prices during our week then made our purchases on the last day. We found that there wasn’t much of a price difference between shops until you started to barter. When buying cigars I noticed that the shops were littered with counterfeit Cuban cigars which I knew was a problem so I only bought Dominican smokes. We bought alcohol at the Duty Free shop but noticed that the same booze was cheaper at the airport by $4USD.
They have a market that sets up a few days a week by the buffet, but the vendors are very aggressive and we avoided this area for most of our trip.
Let’s Cut To The Chase
Be Live Marien is a great resort for a budget Caribbean getaway. The good qualities about this resort outweigh the negative which makes this a good choice for your next vacation. We were happy with our overall stay and will be back to Be Live. Are you looking for more information on Be Live Marien? Visit their website here or the Be Live Marien Facebook Page.