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“Great Resort!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Excellence Punta Cana

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Excellence Punta Cana
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playas Uvero Alto, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #11 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
Lawrence, Kansas
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Great Resort!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

My husband and I just arrived back from a 5 day/4 night trip to Excellence Punta Cana for our honeymoon. Overall, we were very pleased with the resort. There were a few things we would like changed, but for the price you really can't beat this place. Here are more specifics:

Arrival: I highly recommend using the private transportation arranged by the resort. Email them ahead of time and they can arrange this. There will be someone waiting for you at the airport when you arrive and you do not need to haggle with the other cab drivers or get on the super crowded shared transportation. While the resort is only about 30 miles away, most of the ride is on two lane roads so it takes almost an hour to get there. Excellence is the last resort along the coast so if you take shared transportation, you will be the last to be dropped off.

Room: We had the garden view excellence club room. We were extremely happy with it, it was quiet and the view of the garden was lovely. More about excellence club later in the review. Our room smelled as if someone had been smoking in it, but we opened the back door and it aired out by the next day. However, if the smell of smoke bothers you, ask for a non-smoking room. My real complaint is we didn't have hot water the last day we were there, so we were taking a cold shower right before we were ready to check out.

Amenities: The beach and pool were great, staff came by regularly to see if you needed anything. There always seemed to be chairs available so this was never an issue. We always went to the main pool because it was closer to our room, but we saw the cascade pool and it looked really nice as well. The beach was pretty rough the entire time we were there and I suspect its like that most of the year. This is because of the side of the island its on. It you are big into snorkeling or swimming in the ocean, you may want to pick somewhere else.

Food: We thought the food here was pretty good considering it was an all inclusive. We ate at Toscana, Agave, Las Olas, The Grill, and Lobster House. I highly recommend Agave, it was very good. Order the empanadas, they were some of the best I've ever had. The only place we did not care for was the lobster house for dinner. It was not good, we went and got other food after we were done here. I would like to let everyone know we ate a LOT at the excellence club. I read some other reviews where people said it didn't seem worth the extra cost. I couldn't disagree more, the upgrade to the excellence club is the best decision we made. Our room was literally right next to the excellence club so we ate here quite a bit. They are open 7am to 11pm and they have food available all day and most importantly, you can wear whatever you want and no one will ask you to change clothes. One complaint I had about the restaurants was the dress code for men. It's rather strict, men absolutely cannot wear shorts to a majority of the restaurants for dinner. This was rather annoying because my husband only brought the jeans he wore on the plane so he had to wear these the nights we went to the nicer restaurants. The restaurants that men did not have to wear jeans fill up very quickly, so I highly recommend men bring several pairs of pants to wear.

More on excellence club: In addition to the great food at excellence club, you also get a private check-in, private concierge, and an exclusive area on the beach. They also said we got top shelf liquor, but since I did not ask about what the other rooms get I can't verify if what we got was different from the regular rooms. I will say we got better booze in our rooms than we get at most restaurants here in the US: Bombay sapphire, Absolute Vodka, Johnnie Walker Black were a few of the bottles we had in our room. We also had free wi-fi, not sure if that is for everyone or just excellence club.

Service: The staff was wonderful, everyone was really nice. However, I will say we did not encounter anyone who spoke English REALLY well. When you are asking simple questions, everything was fine. But if we had a more complex question, we could not get the answers we were looking for. But overall, we did not have a problem communicating most of our needs to the staff and we received prompt service for everyone.

Excursions: The resort itself only offers two excursions, a horseback ride on the beach and a bike tour. If you want to do either of these, sign up for them as soon as you arrive. We waited a day and by the time we asked about them, they were booked up for both the entire time we were there. There are private companies at the resort you can book with for other excursion. A word of warning- these companies send people throughout the resort and ask you to sign up for their excursions. When we were at the pool, they would come over and bother us every single time we were down by the pool. We found this very annoying, this is my biggest complaint about this resort.

Activities: My husband signed up for a cigar tasting and he enjoyed that very much. It was informational and they gave you a discount at the cigar shop when it was over. It was only $25 and they would light up as many cigars as you could smoke in an hour. I went to a flower workshop, (it was free) taught by Yazmin who does all the flower decoration for the resort. It was very educational and she made a lovely flower arrangement that one of the attendees got to take back to their room. We were leaving the next day so I declined to take it myself.

Overall, we were happy with our stay, we did not have a lot to complain about. I will say the resort itself was very beautiful, they really did a good job with decorating and the lay out. The last thing I would like to mention is on Monday night, they let vendors come in to sell jewelry and what-not. Since we did not leave the resort, I did want to look at what they had to offer. However, they are extremely pushy and start yelling at you if you walk within 20 feet of their table. In fact, the one table I did start looking at, he was so dang pushy that I didn't get to look at everything I wanted to because I just wanted to get away from him as soon as I could. I did end up buying some stuff, but wish I could just look at everything in my own time. Also, the vendors expect you to haggle. I really hate this as I am not a haggler. I think we paid too much for some of our stuff, but I remind myself that I probably make more money in a month that these people see in a year. I would just recommend not going overboard with the souvenir shopping.

I hope to one day return with my parents and in-laws, as I think this would be a nice place to take a group. There were a bunch of weddings as we were there on 12/12/12 and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Room Tip: If you prefer a quiet room, ask for a room on the second or third floor. The walkways can be rather...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012 via mobile

Just got home yesterday and truly enjoyed our vacation! We were there for a week and had a truly relaxing holiday. Our room was well appointed, bar was always well stocked and the cleaning staff were great. The entire staff at this resort go above and beyond to ensure your stay is memorable and they are all very friendly! I've read some reviews that critique the food and I wonder if we were at the same resort! The food was abundant and exceptional. There are multiple a la carte restaurants and something to suit everyone's taste - our favourites were Spice, Agave and Oregano's! The only meal that was a little disappointing was at the Lobster House. The food at the beach hut was great. The beach was exceptional, staff were on it daily raking and cleaning; plenty of chairs and lounge beds for everyone! The same goes for the pool, exceptionally clean and plenty of seats! We attended the Spa and found it above average - we had a couples treatment for 2 1/2 hours and we both found that the massages were exceptional (we certainly didn't expect it!). We did the free 1/2 hour horseback riding and really enjoyed that as well! We only have one negative comment and that's the 1 hour bus ride from the airport to get to and from the resort. We would not hesitate for a moment to recommend this resort and we'll consider a return visit!

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Salt Lake City
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We read all the reviews before choosing Excellence and we were very impressed with this resort. Yes, sometimes the road is rough and windy (I took Dramamine, but I don't know that it was necessary), but we enjoyed the fact that the resort was far from any major city. For us, we were most impressed by the friendly staff. They truly went above and beyond- happily mixing drinks, seating us, bringing us a little something extra, helping with activities, etc. We found the food to be great and we definitely tried all of the restaurants. It is true that the sea is rough in that area, but the beach was beautiful and the beach beds (foam-like) and chairs were SUPER comfortable. Our only downgrade is related to the housekeeping people making noise at around 8:30am. The way the buildings are designed the sound reverberates into everyone's room, no matter what floor you are on. But hey, if that's all I have to complain about then I think this is a winner!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We arrived Dec. 1st from Boston and thank goodness we traveled then as it started snowing and was really cold in Boston. We arrived at PUJ and we are glad we booked a van ahead of time because there was a mob of people trying to get us to take us to our resort. We booked with Dominican Shuttles and it was about $150 roundtrip + tip, not bad. When we arrived at the resort, they welcomed us with champagne and a cold towel which was nice since we were traveling all day. We checked in and our room was ready. We were visiting for our honeymoon and it was so nice they had a honymoon banner on the door. When we tried using the safe, the safe was all ready closed. We called the front desk and someone was up in less than 10 minutes and they fixed it right away. We did have another problem with the safe a few days later-the battery died and wouldn't open, so it took them a while to fix it but they eventually opened our safe. We went to Spice the first night for dinner. We were surprised by the small portions, but it was enough to get us full. The food was good, nothing spectacular but it filled us. It was too dark to scope out the place, so we went to the bar, got a drink and relaxed that night. The next day we explored. It's a really nice resort-not too big or small, the rest size. If you want to go into the pool with the bar-go early, every time we tried going it was packed. Wish there was another pool. We took advantage of the horseback riding and that was nice, a ride along the beach. The only thing is the horses travel in a pack-so you are really close to other travelers. We checked out the spa-that too was really nice. We booked using a deal, but it was clean and the staff was really nice. At the end, they gave us champagne and dessert again since it was our honeymoon. All the staff members are super friendly and helpful. That was nice. We would go back. The food isn't all that, we found a few things we like at all meals and stuck with that. If they could up the ante on the food, then it would've been 5 stars. The beach was okay, definitely not clear blue water or white sand beaches, but this resort is on the Atlantic side. Another negative since the resort is an hour from the airport, it's hard to go site seeing or go off the resort, but we didn't mind. Watch out for the annoying salesmen on the beach-they are just doing their job but tell them upfront you are not interested and they'll leave you alone.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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hilton head island
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

A family wedding brought us to this resort. The wedding planner did an awesome job; the wedding gazebo was nicely decorated, the pre-dinner location and snacks were good (best food of the week), dinner and cake were both good. She/they did a sweet job decorating the post wedding dinner table. The Dominican dinner on the beach was the other highlight. Excellent selection of local foods. Other than that, the on-site hawkers and communication were real issues. Only a select few of the restaurants were open on any given night and the food was mediocre at best. Vegetarian options do not exist even though they tell you they are. One evening we waited an hour and a half for our meal - my order of hummus totally threw them off. When it finally arrived, it was unlike any hummus I've ever had, and I've had hummus in various international locations. It was actually pearled pasta. Other tables came and went and there we sat. I know our waiter was embarrassed and started avoiding coming over to our table. The maitre d' and the chef did come out and apologize. The room was nice and we did have a good view of the ocean. Room service - as part of the concierge upgrade - was friendly but sporadic. The spa was under construction so the available facilities were minimal. My friend and I went for the same treatment and had two totally different experiences. My therapist was friendly but did not seem to have much experience. She spent most of her time on my lower left leg :) Was not worth the price even with the daily discount. We did leave the property for an all day excursion which was fabulous - excellent guide and overview of the countryside. Will I return to the DR? Not likely. Will probably never return to an all-inclusive resort like this.

Room Tip: second floor offers good view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, Michigan
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Excellence was just that! The resort was amazing. The staff were all very helpful and so polite. The concierge remembered us 5 days after our arrival and even remembered our room number without asking! There were plenty of staff to accomodate all the guests with minimal wait times at bars/restaurants. The beach was great. White manicured sand (thanks to the staff cleaning the beach numerous times daily) leading out to big ocean waves. Boogie boarding is a must!

The restaurants were incredible also! Our favorites were Spice (Asian) and Agave (Mexican). There were live shows every night at 9:30. The were entertaining and fun. There was plenty to do at all times of the day. The disco at night was great as well.

I would also highly recommend the Dive Center on premises for anyone SCUBA certified. The dive master Franklin was top notch!

I would give my highest recommendation. Truly no complaints about this resort. We went with 4 other couples and had the time of our lives.

Room Tip: Ocean front is definitely worth the money. Also, you may want to bring a noise machine or ear plugs...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Lovely hotel, wonderful staff and all inclusive. For us this is a simple, affordable, one flight getaway. Food fine but not top of the line. Drinks all top shelf. Bring a good book or two and relax. Highly recommended by both my husband and myself. This is our second year and we are booked for 2013. See you there!

Room Tip: Try a room not facing the pool.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Excellence Punta Cana

Address: Playas Uvero Alto, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#6 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#10 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Excellence Punta Cana 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This quaint, colonial-style resort is the ideal destination for couples seeking secluded romantic getaways. Nestled among palms on a perfect white-sand beach on a remote stretch of Punta Cana's Caribbean shoreline, Excellence Punta Cana provides the perfect All-Inclusive playground for adults only and is also home to a world-class spa, state-of-the-art fitness center and an exceptional range of activities and services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secrets Excellence Punta Cana
Excellence Resort Punta Cana
Excellence Punta Cana Resort
Secrets Punta Cana
Excellence Punta Cana Dominican Republic
Excellence Dominican Republic
Punta Cana Excellence Hotel
Excellence Punta Cana Hotel
Secret Excellence Resort Punta Cana
Punta Cana Secrets Excellence

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