Be Live Grand Marien
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"I read a lot of online reviews before finally choosing this hotel. It easily has one of the best pools in the region and it looks as good as the brochure pictures. We stayed here for two weeks (just returned yesterday) and it was much better than we expected for an all-inclusive complex.
The food was pretty varied, there are four restaurants and we rarely had problems getting a table at any of them. The main buffet restaurant did a different theme every night and the food was good - on some occasions some of the food here was exceptional. We ate just about everything and had no problems with upset stomachs etc. There were no stories about food poisoning from anyone we spoke to.
The complex is situated about 100m from the sea. We were upgraded on arrival and received an ocean view which was amazing. As we got up late most days, we sometimes struggled to find sun beds either on the beach or by the pool. The only downside to this hotel is that there are not enough 'shaded' areas. The sun shades are always taken early but I guess you need to get up very early to beat the Germans!
Nightlife here is quiet. If you are expecting a mad night out, go to Ibiza! There are three bars on the complex. They have a sports bar (inside) with a couple of pool tables, football tables and a big screen. We did find a few bars off the complex in Playa Dorada shopping complex ($7 taxi ride). There is a British pub also and the beers are pretty cheap.
The American Casino was rubbish - really small and limited tables and games. You do get a free taxi one way but you really couldn't spend much time there.
We only did one excursion - a helicopter ride. 15 minutes cost about £45 each and it was the best money we'd spent all holiday. From talking to other people who have stayed in Costa Dorada and Playa Dorada before, the Marien Coral is one of the best hotels. The only other hotel that was recommended was the Iberostar next door. During the helicopter ride, I could see why these two were the best."
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"I have just found this website and I've reviewed the comments given so far, I cannot believe what I've read. I wonder what some people want from a holiday in a 3rd World country.
By the end of September we will have visited the Coral Marien 4 times in 16 months.
Out first visit was in May 2005 when we actually purchased a 'timeshare' as everyone seems to call it but it isn't. But never mind if you think it's a 'Timeshare' then you are missing out.
We will in 2 years have recouped the money spent and now will be saving £100's of pounds each time we go as our accommodation is a 1 bedroomed suite which sleeps 4 with a small kitchen with sink & microwave.
I took my 2 daughters, aged 27 & 23, in May 2006 with me and they had a blast and they did not join in the games but enjoyed people watching. The flights cost us £196 each, return, which was a bargain, OK you have to do the work but it's all the fun of the build up to a holiday and we can book out accommodation only 14 days in advance so we can get a cheaper flight.
The hotel is clean and the staff work very hard and long hours to keep it that way. The maids are friendly and don't expect a daily tip, but do tip on your first day $5 and then before you depart $5. The rooms are kept spotless, in the afternoon you won't have your clean towels but normally by tea time they are there. 1 maid on each floor it's a long time just to collect the towels for cleaning never mind taking them back to the room after cleaning it.
The drink is plentiful and it can be rather potent try the cocktails don't take peoples word for it remember it's all inclusive if you don't like it leave it but at least try. Due to it being my 50th birthday in May I was challenged to drink the cocktail list in one day and I managed 11 out of 19 but I needed to remember my special day so gave up.
The food is good but don't expect the 'Ivy' or the 'Savoy' remember even if it sounds awful you maybe surprised to find it tastes nice I certainly did with the Goat Stew 'yummy'. The choice is vast and if you can't find it at the hot plates look for the carvery or pasta stations, there is always a choice of soup. Breakfasts are wonderful the cripsy bacon and bread accompanied by eggs fried to order, pancakes, muffins, smoothies what more can I say.
The Chef's have to accommodate a multitude of nationalities so you will not always find Shepherds Pie or bangers & mash, try the local food chicken, rice salad, enjoy the country you are in and don't be disappointed because there is no McDonalds or Irish bar down the road.
Tours - yes the children do run after the buses etc, it's a third world country they are poor, the best thing to take is crayons, pencils and small drawing books - visit a local school you will be made so welcome. There are some amazing places to visit Jaraboca and the waterfalls, the pony trekking, Paradise Island, book them locally from a shop, there is one just down the road from the Hotel it's called Dominican Adventure, Jose will do a good discount if you book more than 1 trip.
We did 3 and saved $60 each from what the Hotel Reps were selling for. A little advice, don't buy trips from the beach sellers unless they are authorised to sell.
You can request a taxi and a guide who will take you to Peurto Plata for a day, round the shops, off the beaten track and see how the locals live and work works out at around $20 for the taxi for the round trip and you give the guide a tip so if he's done a good job give him say $20.
Don't be frightened to walk out of the hotel, you may get stopped by a motorbike rider but he is only asking you if you want a taxi just say 'No thank you' yes the traffic may 'pip' but they do that to everyone they are being friendly not intimidating.
Yes the locals want you to look in their shops just say 'no diniro' and they will leave you alone, they just want to be friendly.
You need to drink bottle water do not drink out of the tap, replenish the water from the water stations at the pool bar or the beach bar.
I would strongly recommend a good sun tan lotion Ambre Solair has been the best for us. Mosquito repellent for on an evening and maybe a citrus candle if you like sitting on the balcony on the evening.
Keep the air conditioning on in the room throughout the day, always check after the maid has cleaned as she may have turned it down, and don't leave the patio doors open on an evening and you should not get bitten. Although in 2 weeks I only got 4 bites and that was on my last day.
Chocolate Friends - these girls and boys are amazing from 10 in the morning till 2 the following morning they entertain you, no hassle if you don't want to join in the games, the evening shows are colourful and enjoyable. The Sports bar (disco in the evening) is what you make it - you are on holiday let your hair down join in have a laugh. Ask for European music, they have it.
I would recommend this holiday, but you have to remember this is a 3rd world country and their standards aren't the same as ours, there is no EEC regulations for health and safety, be careful have some common sense and you will have a wonderful time. A holiday is what you make it; for the scenery, the weather and the friendliness of the people you can't go wrong at the Coral Marien.
We have holidayed in many places, Greece, Croatia, Malta and Tunisia, but this feels like a second home.
Maybe see you there sometime."
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"We have been to the Dominican Republic 6 times now. Three times to the Costa Dorada, situated just outside Playa Dorada.
When we first went many years ago, hygiene was being looked at on British television etc, but we never had a problem with cleanliness. Several years later we were at a rather shoddy hotel but when we complained Thomsons moved us right away to the coral Marien, it was paradise! Food was amazing accommodation etc couldn’t be faulted. Te staff were so much fun and a pleasure to meet.
This year we went back for our third time and it is still as good. Camillo at the gym will give you specialised programme and Dolores in the restaurant is first class.
This hotel has a Mexican restaurant that has to be tried...vanilla daiquiri cannot be beat and chicken fajitas are ace. The Italian eateries leaves you feeling that you should have a big bill coming to the table.
The sports bar is perfect, disco at night sports during the day lovely and cool no smoking though but amenities outside for smokers if you require them. Try this hotel if you want first class everything! The resort of Playa Dorada is good to walk to along the beach from Costa Dorada. The Plaza there has a selection of shops and eateries including Pizza Hut. Hemingway’s is good for a nice iced beer also.
Puerto Plata can be very intimidating as we had found several times but for the last twice we went we got a taxi into " Casa Nelson". This is a store that sells everything from clothes to furniture to perfumes etc. It is situated at the main square where the touristy bits are and you don’t get much hassle at all. There is always the same boy turns up that says he works at your hotel pool and he will guide you. He doesn’t, just tell him that you dont want help. He goes away. This is the best way to see the locals and the way that they live and shop has to be seen to be believed.
If you are considering a holiday in the Dominican do it. But please do it soon, cos we have noticed that the young children are starting to ask for money now where as before they were just pleased to speak to visitors and learn from them. The security man also asked my husband for money this year and we haven’t noticed anything like this before.
For a holiday that cannot be beat in terms of weather, food, people interesting tours, scenery etc and also to be pampered would recommend the Dominican and Coral Marien by Hilton."
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"Having read the reviews, I felt I should add my comments.
Myself, my husband and 3 children (ages 6,8 and 18 months) went to this hotel last June. I had a fantastic time, as did the kids.
The food was lovely and I don't know anyone who went when we did who had any problems. The pool was fantastic - one thing though, when we went there were two incidents of kids nearly drowning in the pool. There are no lifeguards and parents need to keep an eye out, if your kids can swim they should be fine. If not - don't leave them alone, common sense really but it's amazing how many people just went to the bar and left their kids.
The entertainment on a night was a bit disappointing but some people really enjoyed the shows - they just weren't for me. The kids entertainment was poor, my daughter likes discos and dancing and there was only an hour every other night when they were entertained, she also went to the kids club twice and said it was boring and all she did was colour in.
However, I felt the hotel to be very safe and secure so she was happy pottering about with friends she made. There is a lovely beach front cafe where you can get freshly made pizza and salads - also they make pancakes by the pool at 5pm ish - lovely!
We went to ocean world and I thoroughly recommend it, the photos we have of us swimming with dolphins are amazing.
I would love to go back, I would stay in this hotel again but I think if I did return I would like to go to the other side of the island. The beaches weren't great here. That said, there were lovely hammocks to lie in, it was bliss with the sea breeze in the heat.
Enjoy and don't forget insect repellent - the little blighters get everywhere despite the cleanliness of the hotel!"
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"I don’t know whether my expectations of this holiday were to high or whether everyone else is easy pleased but both me and my partner, the 6 friends we were travelling with and most of the other guests we spoke to thought this hotel was awful.
The whole island is a rip off you have to pay $10 to enter the country then $20 to leave it. In the airport you have porters rudely taking your bags off you even if you say no, then walking less than 50 meters and dumping them in front of the coach then demand a tip. Another porter then puts your bag on the bus and demands a tip. When you get to your hotel another porter takes it off the coach and demands a tip, then the hotel porter takes your bag into reception and expects a tip as does the second porter who takes the bag to your room. I had not even checked in yet and 5 people had handled my luggage without my request and demanded tips from me. Its much the same on the way home.
The hotel was ok its in need of refurbishing everything is looking old tired and a bit shabby. If you really think this hotel is a 4 star you haven’t stayed at some of the really nice hotels the world has to offer. They keep the grounds clean but the constant hosepipes and brushing makes the floors wet and slippy so be careful.
The staff I found to be rude and completely into themselves, they finish their conversations before dealing with you etc.
The chocolate friends, I don’t know why everyone raves over them, they produce ok games at the pool and ok entertainment at a night (i'm being polite) but again they are totally into themselves. My partner noticed that they love single young girls and lads that drink so much they think everything is funny, everyone else gets a snooty look and cold shoulder.
The food - don’t eat it - that’s the best advice I can give you. We have been home a week and are still having stomach trouble. Most things are covered with flies or ants. Undercooked, served Luke warm, left until gone cold then reheated and of very poor quality. And before you start moaning yes I know it’s an island, however, this is an international 4 star hotel it should be of a certain standard. I have stayed on far more remote islands than the Dominican and was not served the slop we got here. I think I spoke to around 30 people who were suffering from upset stomachs. When we complained to the rep she said we were dehydrated due to alcohol consumption. When I pointed out that due to a medical condition I do not drink alcohol and have to make sure I drink at least 4 litres of water a day her reply was yeah the food can be a bit dodgy sometimes I just try and stick to the bread!! (I wouldn’t its covered in flies) If you need to see the doctor - take a credit card it’s costly!!
The pool - its massive - its rough at the bottom wear swim shoes or be prepared for the removal of several layers of skin from the soles of your feet. There are only a few parasols (even less since the hurricane) if you want shade get out early to reserve a bed. If you like annoying songs, pool games, meringue and watching the same damn dance everyday you will love the pool.
The beach - not great but its ok. The sea was a bit rough but great fun for watersports. Be prepared to be hassled to death by people selling tours, wanting you to go to their shop, trying to braid your hair and if all else fails they offer you ganga. I was polite at first then really rude and they still ask you about 15 times a day. Oh and the windsurfing lessons, if your thinking of taking them, your given a windsurf, your shown the sea, here endeth the lesson.
If you leave the hotel be prepared to be hassled, beggars, shop sellers, tour guides, drug pushers everyone wants your money and is not afraid to ask, demand, or send small children over crying for it. This country is also renowned for locals trying to befriend visitors to secure a regular income sorry donation for their families and no I am not being unkind, if you check our governments before you go website they tell you to watch out for it.
We went on the quad bike tour - if your a dare devil that doesn’t mind your leg being burned by spitting oil or being taken to a village where 15 children will be trying to hold your hands asking for pesos then onto a beach full of lucky lucky men then this is the one for you. One bike caught fire when we were on them and numerous people were injured.
We went on a city tour, which took us to the amber museum, rum factory, and a cable car to the top of a huge mountain. Brilliant informative tour learnt a lot about the city. Again beware the lucky lucky men that stand in your way and wont move when you try to say no, or the old women who give you a flower and says its free then offers to take a photo of you with your own camera and demands $5. I had to give it her at least she had a different approach to everyone else. Top buys are amber in the museum, cheaper than anywhere else, and rum at the rum factory, I bought my dad some rum that the guide recommended it was only $4 and dad says its the best he has ever had - he has travelled the world 3 times and drank a fair bit. My advice if you can get a case load do it I had a look on the net and companies are selling it for a fortune outside the Dominican its even going on eBay!
White water rafting - great fun but the food provided is horrible. The one place where the guide definitely deserved a tip and never hinted or asked for one - so naturally he got one.
Monster Truck Tours - Again informative and fun. Be prepared to get wet when the truck goes through the rivers. You will see hundreds of children and they are not shy asking for stuff either. At the designated stops they were getting loads of stuff. The heartbreaker was the ones that lived in remote houses and villages that were waving at the trucks and it was obvious they never got anything. We were told not to throw things off the coach but one lady sat at the back and threw a lollypop to every child she saw. I never took sweets as they don’t brush their teeth a lot (according to the guide) so I took things that are expensive over there toiletries, clothes etc. The guide told us never to give the kids money as they wont go to school. This is a worthwhile tour as they put back into the community helping the poor families and sponsoring schools. Even the souvenir shop donates part of the takings. The food on the trip is ok but the salad was off when we went and flies everywhere.
Paradise Island - we never got to go due to the tornado but our friends that did said it was amazing.
If you are booking tours book with the rep. The tours on the beach are cheaper but you are taken to villages who beg for money and you don’t leave until you give them some, or on the boat trips they stop half way and give you a 2 hour timeshare presentation. You don’t get that when you book with the rep.
Ok back to the hotel
The night entertainment.
Apart from the sports bar all the rest are outside including restaurants and shows so prepare to be bitten. Buy your repellent out their to as the stuff over here isn't strong enough.
The shows are ok we didn’t enjoy them I think one or two people in the resort did though.
The sports bar, its air conditioned to the max in the day, i.e. it’s freezing. Warms up a bit a night. If you like a bar that’s full of locals doing the meringue, full of staff doing the meringue, and listening to meringue music all night then this is the one for you. If you think there is slightly more to an evening in fact life, you will probably, like our whole party of 8, get very bored with it quickly.
The alcohol, my partner said the cocktails were awful, not many people liked them that we spoke to people said they were sickly sweet and too much crass cheap rate alcohol. The people I was with stuck to beer or absolute vodka (which isn't classed as branded so you can have it)
Mini bar - your supposed to get 2 bottles or beer and 2 bottles of soda free a day. We found that if you bought something from the mini bar you got your free drinks if not the guy just kept saying later, later. Don’t eat Pringles out of the mini bar, you can get a big tube for half the price in the shop.
The room - if you want it clean tip the made otherwise she doesn’t do that good a job, she does a slightly better one if you tip but its still not great. The sheets were not changed every two days like the leaflet says even when we left the towels on the beds as instructed by the hotel the sheets were still not changed. But we had pretty towels and flowers in the room everyday. The air conditioning is good the TV is ok to we found 3 English speaking channels but goes off when the weather gets windy. (Which was the only time we were watching TV) You also get a 2 litre bottle of water a day - although check the seal - shame it wont fit in the fridge. The filtered water at the bars and restaurants is safe to drink but tastes like chlorine.
For a great night out if your going with Thompson, go to the reps night all that jazz, its at the casino and 10 times better than any show the hotel put on. You can have free lessons in the casino to definitely the best night we had. Beware the alcohol in there though, its still free, but apparently a lot stronger everyone I was with was smashed
If you have already booked this hotel then don’t worry, the food was awful, the hotel shabby, the locals intimidating and demanding but we still had a good time due to the company we were with. If your thinking of it then I wouldn’t bother there are much nicer hotels to go to.
This wasn’t the worst holiday I have been on, but in relation to the brochure, the price, and the Coral Hilton reputation it was by far the most disappointing.
I don’t think I would go all inclusive again, the attitude seems to be your not paying for it so what’s your problem. Also make sure you have money just in case. We paid for all our tours on the credit card, yet we still managed to spend $500 cash and only about $100 was on goods the rest was on tips, donations and food in the shop when we couldn’t bear the restaurant anymore. Oh and if your from the UK don’t listen to anyone who tells you to take dollars, its just a rip off. You need $10 each to enter and $20 each to leave the country other than that you’re better off with pesos. You get a better rate for your money, and when shopping everything is priced in pesos, if you say your paying via dollars they are very creative with exchange rates. When we worked it out, if you pay in dollars you actually end up paying in some cases nearly double. There was supposed to be 40 pesos to the dollar but most places were giving us 30 some even 25. Your better off getting your 70 pesos to the £1 and taking them.
One more thing, this hotel sells a time share, everyday you will have people shaking your hand when you leave the restaurant asking if your enjoying hotel etc Then they ask you if you have heard of the holiday club and do you want to find out how to come back to the holiday a lot cheaper. We went and listened, to someone who couldn’t speak very good English (not good when your trying to sell to international customers). Basically its an expensive timeshare where you have to pay extra if you want all inclusive, extra if you want to go to a different hotel, extra if you want to receive the brochure with the different hotels in it and so on and so on. When we explained that for people in the UK it’s cheaper to book a long distance holiday than try to get a flight (we tried before we booked the holiday and were getting quotes in the £1000's just for one adult) she brought her manager over. He proceeded to tell me that a holiday would never cost less than a flight and that it was the travel agents telling us lies about flight prices (he obviously hadn’t heard of the internet) I told him again that when I tried to get a flight I was quoted over £1000 he said flights don’t cost that much. Needless to say I got up and left. Best bet is if they approach you say you don’t like the hotel or you have already seen the presentation, although you will get the odd few saying cant you go again I need my $10 commission."
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"Upon return from my holiday to the Dominican Republic, I wrote on this site as to what a wonderful time I had and how fantastic the hotel was. I stick by this but now feel the need to add the following. More as a warning to others that may fall prey to pick pockets and what I consider to be a dishonest tour operator group.
Towards the end of my holiday, I had my wallet and watch stolen from my pocket (before the questions start, the watch was in it as the strap had broke).
I reported this to the Thomson helpline as soon as I returned to the hotel. I was advised by them to report it to my rep and she would help me fill out the appropriate forms to cover me for my insurance etc. This I did and was advised by her that it would be a waste of time reporting it to the Dominican police as they would not be interested or bothered by it as there was no assault or trespass into our room or such thing. So, I filled out the TUI groups forms etc and left it in the reps hands to ensure that all taken care of.
Now, several months down the line, I find my insurance company refuses to pay out as the matter was not reported to the police, Lunn Polys customers services say that their rep would ‘never’ advise such a course of action and that the responsibility to report it to the police lays solely on my shoulders, not them.
Now, I am US$450.00 out of pocket without a watch and theory disgusted with the way the TUI group as a whole seem to pass the buck amongst the different parts of itself.
Couple this with a horrendous 9 1/2 hour flight (each way) where I was not in the medical seat promised and paid for. The TUI group have passed the responsibility on to the agent, Lunn Poly and the air operator, Britannia airways. Saying that the TUI group had sold the holiday properly to me and that the seating I had asked and paid for was not always able to be guaranteed. This might have been easier for me to swallow, had the cabin crew on the return flight not have informed me that their aircraft are simply not fitted with suitable seating for the disabled!!
(My first three days were spent basically bed bound due to the pain I was suffering with my back (I am registered disabled because of my back) and only got out of it to have a moan at the rep about the crap seating on the outward flight and for my evening meals.))
As such, I would like to take this opportunity to ward other people from listening too much to the advise given from their holiday reps or from using a company that I consider to more than a little ‘dodgy’ in the practices.
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"We have just returned from our two-weeks honeymoon trip to Santo Domingo visiting the capital, the Baccardi Island, Tampora Bech Resort at Los Cacaos (excellent beach), Santiago, the Botanic Garden and many more and the one and only thing we have to say is TROPICAL PARADISE!!! Coral Marien Beach Hotel & Spa by Hilton of Puerto Plata was an excellent choice and we spent the most beautiful days of our life as just married couple. The food, the sweets, the pies, the chocolate cakes were a sin, the staff was so friendly, polite and always available to help while they kept everything clean and clear. Congratulations to the German Chef! The Chocolate Friends amazingly happy people, we advise you to learn the Merenguez and Salsa dances and taste the cocktails Pina Colada, Cocos Locos, Sex on the Beach, White Russian and many more! The beach of the Coral Marien is not suitable for swimming but having the view from our room Nr. 3212 one couldnt ask for anything else. Avoid the Coral Marien in Boca Chica, there is nothing romantic or exotic apart from a clean beach but still not the best choice for a swim. Playa Dorada has Golden Beaches go there for a long swim and feel the Atlantic Ocean. Visiting the capital you must stay for one night at the Sofitel it will be the most romantic place you have ever been to. Hire private taxi-drivers who can get you anywhere without queues and traffic and heat. We were very sad leaving the island but we promised to get back the soonest possible. Stathis & Ioanna from Greece June 2003"
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"Just got back from a 5 night stay at the Coral Marien. We would not go back and this is not a 4 star resort. POOL: FANTASTIC BEACH: BEAUTIFUL FOOD: AWFUL. It is repetitive and the quality is not even close to Hilton standards. Fatty and not enough veggies. ROOM: AVERAGE OCEANVIEW: AVERAGE, alot of trees blocking your view, there is no screen for the patio door, so we didn't dare leave it open while we slept. SERVICE: POOR. They definitely make you run around to make bookings at the "a la carte" restaurants. You have to reserve early in the morning for that night, or forget it. They will tell you there is no room for you, but if you walk by at night, you will see tons of empty tables. We thought this was unfair since it is all-inclusive and we did pay for all of this upfront! DRINKS: AVERAGE, watered down PEOPLE: GOOD, on average the people serving us were pleasant. We had a great time since we went in a group of people and enjoyed their company."
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"My boyfriend & I just got back from a week long stay at the Coral Marien. The resort is very pretty and well maintained. However, this resort is not as wonderful as the websites suggest. My biggest complaint is the food & drinks. ROOMS: The room we stayed in was an "oceanview room" in building #3. It was a decent size and the bed was comfortable. However, the "oceanview" was kind of a joke--we could barely see the ocean through all of the trees in the back and we certainly couldn't hear the sounds of the waves. The complimentary bottled water is a scam. They fill up an old mildew-ridden jug w/ water each day for you.... we ended up buying our own water from the gift shop all day long. POOL: The pool is HUGE and very clean. However, you should definitly BRING YOUR OWN TOWELS. The towels that the resort provides are not cleaned well... it's kind of gross. BEACH: The beach is nothing to rave about. For the Carribbean it leaves a lot to be desired. FOOD: The food was really awful. The buffet gets tired & old after one day. Warning: they really do not cater to vegetarians or health freaks... everything was full of meat and very fattening. The Mexican resturant is your best bet. We had the only decent meal there.
We were so sick of the food by the end of our trip. ACTIVITIES: There is plenty to keep you busy all day long... however at night, there is really nothing to do. The "gym" is really small with ancient old equiptment and NO AIR-CONDITIONING! The Spa is nice w/ really good prices. DRINKS: Okay, honestly, the drinks here are SO WATERED DOWN...
It was kind of pathetic. SERVICE: The maids were awesome! The people at the front desk were really obnoxious. Watch out for all of the annoying vendors trying to sell stuff...."
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"I was there the first week of June '03. It was my first time at the resort and the Dominican Republic. I LOVED IT!!!! The Chocolate Friends and their dance are great. The room was nice, clean, and the air conditioner was great. The people who work there are very friendly and we had no problems the whole time we were there. I was with 3 other girls and we ventured into town by ourselves and went dancing at one of the local night clubs and we had no problems at all. The people were all nice. Also, do the horseback riding trip with Joyce (she's at the hotel twice a week) it a great day out and Joyce is wonderful. I liked it so much I was depressed to come home and hope to get back there before the end of the year. Well, worth the money."
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"Just spent 7 days at that Coral Marien. Everything was lovely beyond belief...the room, the service, the food, the resort. Ventured into town (with another couple, not by ourselves), and had a blast, the locals were good people! I will return as soon as humanly possible, could spend the rest of my days in that paradise quite easily!"
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"My wife, two children and I just returned from a week long vacation at
the Coral Marien. Our arrival at the Airport was uneventful. A porter
for a tip took us through customs without having our bags opened. We
hailed a taxi to the hotel. The cost was $20. It is about a 30-minute
ride.Our initial reception was pleasant, but at the front desk we were
told we were given two separate rooms that were not adjoined. This was
not acceptable as our children are 6 and 8 years old. We were told they
would be able to move us the next day. Feeling frustrated we went to
our rooms to discover they were in fact adjoining. I called the front
desk to let them know and they said in their computer it show as
non-adjoining. I was pleased with the accommodations and had no
complaints until the next morning when the ceiling in the master bath
started to leak. It took them three days and three separate occurrences
to get it fixed. While I am on the bathroom, that is the smallest
shower enclosure I have ever encountered.Everyone talks about the pool,
it was large and I believe the deepest portion was about 5 feet. A swim
up bar would have been nice and the floor of the pool is fairly rough.
I had no trouble getting lounges. I found the hotel to be fairly empty.
The first weekend there were a lot of locals staying there. I found
them to be unfriendly. In fact compared to other Caribbean islands I
have visited, I would say they were the unfriendliest.This brings me to
the chocolate friends. They worked their butts off every day. They must
work at least 12 to 14 hours. I truly appreciated their nightly shows,
but with 2 young kids, I wish they started the show an hour earlier.
They started at 9:45 P.M.The beach was blah. There was a very small
area roped off for swimming. There was actually one day that the water
was fairly clear. But my god, the wind. Stay away from the beach in the
afternoon, unless you like being pelted with sand. This is my major
complaint. When I visit a resort on the beach, in the Caribbean, I go
there rder. At the Coral Marien, the pool is the main feature as the
beach is far too windy.I found the food bland and definitely not 4
star. I would give it one star. They also have a Mexican restaurant you
can pay an additional amount for. I did not as I did not trust the food
would be very good. On Friday nights for an additional $32 per person,
you can have dinner by the pool and all the lobster your can eat. I did
not partake. If I am at an all-inclusive hotel and that is what I paid
for that is what I expect.Congratulations to Yvonne in the Kid Paradise
and Delores one of the servers. They exhibited genuine friendliness.
Would I return? NO. Be careful of the excursions, no one seems to be
able to describe them and the prices vary. Stay away from the guy on
the beach all his prices were higher than the hotels. Unbeknownst to us
we took our children on the Jeep Safari tour. Big mistake, it is not
for children or weak swimmers.
I have had some time to ponder my comments in "Never Again." So as not
to mislead anyone, "Never Again" refers to my thoughts on visiting that
particular location in the Domincan Republic. One cannot judge an
entiree country by a one week visit to a specific location. So I would
in fact return to the Dominican Republic, but I would explore other
Did you find this review helpful? Yes
Explore areaClosest airport: Gregorio Luperon (POP) 5.9 miles
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Be Live Grand Marien is also called:
- coral marien
- grand oasis marien
- grand oasis marien hotel
- marien coral
- Marien Coral by Hilton
Address: Costa Dorada Beach, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic