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marien coral by hilton

Rating: Excellent Phone: 809-320-1515 Website:
Location: North Coast Fax: E-Mail:
City: puerto plata Contact: Value for money: Excellent
Food: Excellent Decor: Excellent Service: Excellent
Comments:
I have visited the Coral Marien resort onec in April 2003, and am headed back in NOvemeber 2003.
I have stayed at a few of the resorts in The Dominican (Bahia Principe, Allegro Playa Dorada by Occidental, as well as Gran Ventena) I have also stayed at a couple of the resorts in Mexico (El pueblito, and Royal Decameron Los Cocos) Out of all the resorts I have stayed at the Coral Marien resort has been by far THE BEST that I have stayed at.

FLIGHT-I flew with Air Transat. It's a charter flight, it got us there relativley quickly without any problem. Just crapped legs as the seats are small. Small price to pay for a warmer climate.

CHECK IN-We arrived and had a welcome drink as we waited at the check in desk in the front lobby.
This went by very quickly and I recommend getting a safe for $21 us for two weeks. Not that anything happened, but for peace of mind.
As well I would also recommend getting a fridge for your room. It will keep your bottled water cool during the night. These fridges go very fast, so even if you can reserve one when booking it will come in handy.

ACCOMADATION-The rooms are very nice, and the beds are comfy. There really isn't much of a view of the beach from the rooms. Only becasue there are palm trees that divide the beach from the pool. You are staying in your room, only to sleep, (if your lucky) and the rest of the time you are out in the sun, or out partying at the disco, with the chocolate friends.

CHOCOLATE FRIENDS- These people are the ones who make the hotel what it is. They are the animation staff who get everyone involved, (if they want to be) in the daily activites at the resort. They are highly energized, (like the engergizer bunny times 20) and keep going from the early morning until the wee hours of the night at the disco. They are the friendliest people who make your stay the best.

GROUNDS- The grounds of the hotel are brightly colored with tropical flowers and kept in excellent condition. The only caution is the walkways ESPECIALLY around the pool. When they get wet, look out, they are very slippery, so use extreme caution.


BEACH- As this is not Punta Cana, you do not have the lovely white sand beach and pristine blue water, however the beach in Puerta Plata is just as lovely. It is a darker sand,a nd the water is just as warm and nice. The Coral Marien is the last of the resorts along the beach, so you can walk along the beach and see the other resorts. It takes about 1hour to walk form one end of the resort chain, to the opposite end. I would not recommend walking in the other direction (where ther are NO hotels) as this is unguarded area, and we were told not to venture in that area. So we did not.

The wind picks up in the afternoon and alot of people head over by the enormous pool. It is usually too hot in the morning because there is no breeze. Another tip, I would bring and old beach towel (I got one at Walmart with bright colors) I would put that one the pool lounger, then take my resort towel down to the beach with me. Then when I'm ready for the pool, I have a chair waiting for me, and it's MY towel so noone else will snatch it. If you lost the resort towel, it is like $20 US to replace it when checking out. So keep a close eye on your towel.

FOOD/DRINKS- Excellent, what else can I say???? There is a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You also have the option for lunch at the beach grill, which serves hamburgers (mmmmmm good), fries, pizza, chicken wings, you name it and all very good. At dinner you have a little more of a variety. There is the buffet, which has almost everything for anyone. There is the crape restaurant, the beach grill turns into the Mexican restaurant at night, and then you can pay $14.99 US and eat at the steakhouse located above the pool bar. I must tell you about the AMAZING doughnuts at breakfast. Ohhhhhhhh, homemade warm sugar doughnuts to die for. People actually get up early for these, and sometimes the hotel runs out of them. You'll never eat another Tim Horton's doughnut again, there is NO comparsion.

For the drinks I would recommend bringing a cooler glass, the insulated ones, that keep your drinks cool, for two reasons. One, that the glasses they serve you in, are small. The second, to keep your drink cool, as it is hot out in the sun. The bar staff is happy to fill your glass up for you with whatever your drink may be.

ENTERTAINMENT-Every night there is a differnt show, and if you are staying for two weeks, still it is a differnt show every night, no repeats. The Chocolate Friends put the shows on with dancing, and skits. Extreamly talented people, and very hardworking. There is a mini disco for the kiddies, at 8pm and afterwards the adult shows begin until 11pm. Afterwards everyone heads up to the disco which is located in the hotel (up by the front desk). The disco is open 24 hrs, if you can last that long. We never got back to our rooms until 3am every night. Had so much fun, and meet so many great people, from different places. Although the resort is mostly Canadians, there are a few from US as well as Europe.


EXCURSIONS-There are many different excursions that you can choose from, jeep safaris, catamyran, snorkling, shopping (don't get excited its toursit shopping- handicrafts) walking tours in the city, as well day trip into Hati. They range in differnt prices. if you go on the jeep safari, I would recomed taking toys and candies to give to the children. The come runnig and chasing the jeep as you drive through the countryside. Their eyes light up when they get the treats you throw them. Such little treats make their day. It breaks your heart. But they are soo happy that you want to give them more. The catamyran tour was awesome they take you over to Sousa and let you go snorkling at the reef and feed the fish. Its amazing, bring an underwater camera. You won't be disappointed.


OVERALL- I would recommend this resort to anyone. It allows you to relax if thats what you are looking for. the Chocolate Friends will entertain you around the pool, and if you don't want to join in, no problem there is no harassing from them. But if you do, which i would recommend, you get to know them better, and it makes your stay even better. Plus you've made a friend for life.

If you have any questions you can email me at [email protected]
Author E-Mail: [email protected] Review date: 09/5/2003

 

Comments

I went to this hotel this summer 2006 and it was fantastic, i haven't been to a hotel like this, if you have the oportunity to go you are not going to regret it.
Author: Laura Posted at 1:28 10/20/2006
ITS AMAZIN the pool is soooo big an the chocolate friends are great ! just go an see for urself its sooo goood a made millions of friends there !
Author: naomi mair Posted at 5:57 08/8/2006
Am going back to coral for 4th time and taking 9 friends with us, we love it, couldn't ask for anything more. Belong to vacation club and it's like paying for 1 week and staying for 2 weeks, have gone to other hiltons in d.r. but except for white beach you can't beat coral marien.
Excellent food, drinks, accomodations and Chocolate Friends "FANTASTIC"
Author: Debra Posted at 0:06 12/10/2005
stay at the Coral was all worth the money. Except the beach needs improvement. For the price is great! I would recommend this hotel anytime.
Author: Bill Posted at 14:18 09/7/2005
Ive just got back from coral marien. I went with my friend and her family.We had an amazing time and miss the chocolate friends loads! (Especialy Orlando and chicken legs) Does anyone know how to keep in touch with them?
Author: Zoe Posted at 8:04 08/28/2005
Did any one do any diving? my 3 children aged 12 15 17 are padi cert.
Any info about how much it cost would be greatful.
Thanks
Author: sarah moon Posted at 19:51 06/18/2005
im going to hilton in july and have booked suite.partner and i and baby.any reviews of above?friend is comming to.we are divers and wonder if shorties will be ok and if diving is good?ps.how bout babysitting services.also,how much for taxi from airport to hotel for the 4 of us and luggage.thanks.kieran(ireland)
Author: kieran Posted at 17:36 05/31/2005
All I can say is beautiful, breathtaking, relaxing, Iwould live ther...its been almost three weeks since my boyfriend and i got back from this paradise and i still want to go back as baf as i did then. It was soooo worth the money--the all inclusive deal is all u could ever want. You dont have to worry about a thing unless you want to tip a bar tender or entertainer who was really great and accomodating and believe me they appreciate it. DR is such a poor country but they dont beg or want your pity. If you drink--its wonderful-andd the food is good and the club(disco)is great and the shows and the rooms and the pool and the beach--I am going to look for available dates as soon as i post this --I cant wait to go back plus it seems very kid friendly too--not at all a stuffy adult resort but still relaxing as ever--Thanks marien coral and chocolate friends- (oh oh oh ohhh o a)lalala
Author: Lorin Posted at 22:03 09/7/2004
Myself & my husband & 4 other couples stayed at Coral Marien in April 2002. This year we returned to the D.R to Superclubs Breezes. This turned out to be EXTREMELY disappointing. We are now plannig another trip back to the D.R in early 2005, which we are definetly plannig to stay at Coral Marien. Every good thing that was ever written about this resort is true times 100. The Chocolate friends are amazing, they made our trip far beyond any imagination. I still have email contact with one of the staff we met in 2002. The Chocolate Friends weren't the only amazing people on the resort, the bar tenders were also super, they wee so nice. I can't praise enough how amazing this resort is or how fantastic the staff are. This is a place that has to be experienced & especially if you have travelled elsewhere. I couldn't appreciate just how fabulous this resort & staff were until my last experience, but make no mistake any of my further visits to the Dominican will be to Coral Marien & I recommend this to everyone. P.S. If you like to party this is the spot to go!
Author: Ang Posted at 22:57 08/11/2004
We and another couple will be there next week (June 19-26) All reviews helpful exept I have one question, do they carry top shelf liquor (i.e. Absolute, Stoli, Jose Cuervo, etc?
Author: Nancy Posted at 9:22 06/13/2004
Going back for the 3rd time. enough said. :-)
Author: Iris Posted at 9:29 06/10/2004
My husband and I were just at marien Coral in May.It was the first time we ever travel outside of Canada and I have to say it was great.I can't wait till next year to go back to the hotel.THe tours will fabulous.The chocolate friends were the greatest they really make your day and night.
The food was amazing, I don't know how they can cook so much food.
All in all the trip was fantastic Like I said looking forward to next year. Dominican here we come again.
Author: Jean Butt Posted at 14:27 06/1/2004
Hi, I'm from Canada and I enjoyed my first trip At Coral Marien very much. The people were very nice and the food awesome. I anxious to go back soon and enjoy myself more with the Chocolate Friends dancing more with them. They are very good dancers and I give them 2 tumbs up..
Author: Gigi Posted at 19:13 05/9/2004
i just returned from a one week vaction to coral marien hotel and i found my experience to be wonderful. as far as checking in goes they are rather slow but they greet you with a drink which helps. Our room was not very large but we were not in the room very often anyway, the rooms are decerated nicely and we did not have any troubles with bugs in the room. The pool is absoultly gorgeous , very large even when activities are going on in the pool there is still plenty of room for evryone to swim. If you want to have a tiki hut and don't plan on getting up at 7 in the morning then i recomend you put a towel out late in the evening. The beach was very lovely alough it was not outstandingly tropical. The food was great there was a big selection, something for everyone, although the food wasn't very flavourful. I found the "chocolate friends" to be wonderful. Chocolate friends is the official name given to the workers by the hotel. The shows they put on at night were full of energy and went way beyond what i expected. The best thing about the hotel was all of the activities: ping pong, foosball, a small library, beach volley ball, water volleyball, water polo, beer/ coke chugging contests, relays, dances, karakoe, boat rides, snorkeling etc. The only trip we went on was the snorkeling trip it was very good although it was a long day considering that the bus ride there and back was 2 hours. I have never seen such a beautiful beach althogh i do recomend takign your food , as they don't feed you until about four or five hours into the trip and the food is horrible. If you get motion sickness easily you should stay away from this because the bus ride is very nausiating. You should always tip the maid because it does reflect how good of service you will get and if you have any old clothes they will be delighted if you leave them for her. The shopping there isn't outstanding but there are some neat souvineers that you can buy. You should stay away form the markets because alot of the time you get ripped off with price and quality, your best bet is to do your shopping at the plaza. I recomend that you take lot's of rolls of film because there are many things to take pictures of. I went for a week and used 4.5 rolls of film but i did take pictures generously. Alos if you plan on snorkeling you should take an underwater camera because it is very tropical. Make sure to wear lot's of sunscreen no matter what your skin type is because the sun there is very strong and even if you don't normally burn you will there. If you are fair skinned try and wear a tee shirt when your not in the water. The trip was very fantastic but going for a week was not enough!! If you have any questions/ concerns don't hestitate to e-mail me.
Author: jaime Posted at 20:45 04/9/2004
We just got back for the Marien. (March 13th-21st) We had a fantastic time. We booked a garden view, but somehow we got on the VIP list and were treated to an ocean view. The property was beautiful and kept imaculate. I saw the maid clean down a room after someone left and they came in and scrubbed down everything. I even saw them washing down the walls in the closet. I was impressed. We took our insulated mugs along as was recommended by other past guests. We were very glad we did. It was hot and they really kept the drinks cold. We visited during the Canadian spring holiday so the place was very busy. We were always able to get pool and ocean chairs, but if you need shade you must put a towel out early in the morning. For an all inclusive resort the food was good, not the best we've had, but we were always able to find something we enjoyed. It is well worth it to go to the lobby at 9AM to make reservations for the Crepe and Mexican restaurant. The chicken curry crepes are to die for, and the shrimp coctails and the tortilla soup are excellant at the Mexican restaruant. Most evenings we did go to the restaurants instead of the buffet, because we like to pick from the menu and be served. I heard some complaints about the beach, but we really enjoyed the wind on the beach. Sometimes it was too hot by the pool unless you had the shade. The wind really helped to keep you cooler. It is a great beach for walking. You can walk from the beach down to the Jack Tar Casino and the plaza for shopping. My husband is a scuba diver. He said the water was a bit cooler than he likes, but the water was clear. He did three two tank dives so he must have enjoyed it. I went snorkling and really enjoyed it. I went to Sosua Bay that I booked from the hotel for $30.00, but I found similar trips at the Plaza for $25.00 and had nicer boats to snorkle from. I didn't go on the Paradise Island trip that was $60.00, but I heard it was fantastic. I chose not to go there because you didn't get back to the hotel until 6 PM. I wanted to spend as much time as possible at the resort. When you go out the front the resort and turn right going towards Puerto Plata there is a clothing store on the left hand side of the street about a 15 minute walk that if you go way to the back of the store you can buy souvenier t-shirts for $2.00, and Polo's for $4.00. It was a fun store to stop at. A little further down on the right hand side of the road is the Rum factory. You can ask them at the gate for a tour and they will direct were to go. You can buy a bottle of rum for $3.oo, and the dark rum for $4.00. Overall the resort was well worth going to and I would definately recommend it. Don't forget the sun screen. I saw many people look like lobsters on there second day and were miserable. I used a 30 sunscreen and I still came home with a gorgeous tan. We stayed 8 nights and I could have enjoyed a few more days.
Author: Kris Posted at 17:17 03/23/2004
Author: Dave Posted at 13:02 03/22/2004
There's nothing I hate more than someone putting their towel on a poolside chair to "save" the spot. These people often do not use these chairs for hours while other guests lose out. AAAAGGGHHHH!! Other than that, this resort was a pretty good spot when we were there. Oh, and I know, the "chair thing" happens everywhere.
Author: Urock Posted at 15:41 03/15/2004
Clarisa, don't be insulted by this term, the Chocolate Friends are great and they on't mind this term. One of the reasons they are called the Chocolate Friends is because they are sssooo sweet !! They are awesome people who work very hard, and I congratulate them on work well done.
Author: Frankie Posted at 15:43 03/5/2004
To the person, Clarisa, that is offended by the term "Chocolate Friends" that's the name of their group or company for lack of a better word. It is like Cirque du Soleil in Canada. If you are offended you can contact the hotel at 1-809-320-1515. They are a very talented group of people, amazing performers.
Author: Ken Posted at 8:03 02/8/2004
The staff was great. The food was great. They put a jug drinkable water in your room everyday. Only one bad thing to say about the hotel: the babysitting service. The ladies that do it are wonderful and my daughter took to each one right away. But the cost of the babysitter is $10US per hour and if you have her after 11pm you have to pay for her taxi home, another $10-15US. This was not mentioned at all by Travel agent and came as quite a shock. The most money we spent there was on babysitting! But other than that it was great. Also, if you do a tour of the rum factory that is ten minutes walk from the hotel do not drink the free drinks after. I spent that night and most of the next day in or very near the bathroom.
Author: Ken Posted at 7:50 02/8/2004
I just returned from the resort and had a wonderful time. The best of my life. And I do not believe that the staff at the hotel are insulted by the term "chocolate friends" that they have for THEMSELVES. They are the most beautiful people I have ever met. I feel very lucky that I got to know at least one of them very well and look forward to returning.
Author: Jennifer Posted at 9:59 12/18/2003
Clarisa,
Nest time you decide to get nasty with someone you should do some research. Just so you know, the nickname "Chocolate Friends" was actually given to the animaion staff by the resort....that is their name. Also, their are very proud of their name and even have a song to along with it! Maybe you should check out the hotel website, a see for yourself that this name is company wide, as ll the Coral by Hilton resorts call the animation staff the "chocolate friends"!
Author: Sue Posted at 21:50 12/14/2003
I am insulted by the term "chocolate friends".....I am a citizen of the Dominican Republic and have been a resident of the US for over 23 years. Dominicans are not some sort of snack or treat to be called "Chocolate Friends"...I am happy that you embraced our country and had a great vacation....however, you shouldn't label our people as such...I'm not chocolate; I have family members that are fair skinned and have blonde hair and blue eyes....so please be careful on how you choose your verbiage....
Author: Clarisa Posted at 17:57 12/14/2003
I can't agree more!!! I've been here and had the time of my life!!! The Chocolate Friends are the GREATEST people ever and made my trip the very best! I ESPECIALLY loved the shows....they are fantastic and the stage scenery was incredible. These individuals are amazing. The grounds were beautiful, the food was fantastic. I have nothing negative to share!
Author: annonymous Posted at 23:35 10/15/2003
Amazing review! I'd have to agree with this review! The resort is fantastic and you'll never regret your choice by picking this hotel. The people are amazing and make you feel like family! I've returned twice and can't wait to go back very soon!
Author: Sue Posted at 18:50 09/13/2003

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