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“Second stay; it won't be our last” 5 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 #10 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Kincardine, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Second stay; it won't be our last”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

This was our second 2 week stay at Excellence, and we stayed December 9-23. We went last year for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Years’. We are already looking forward to going back again next year. This year we booked with Air Transat and had no issues with them. They are a great tour company.

Check-in: We arrived at around 1 pm and were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine and a cool washcloth, which was very welcome. We had booked a gardenview room (non-EC) but I had emailed and asked if we could be put over near the Cascade pool. We were in building 1 last year and loved that side of the resort, and wanted to be back there again. They had a room ready for us in building 11, but said that if we wanted to wait until 3, they could prepare a room in Building 2 overlooking the Cascade pool. We decided to wait and were very happy we did. Our view was amazing, and it was nice to hear the waterfall.

Room: Beautiful view, of course. The changes to the room since last year were small. We liked that there was more room in the shower, however the means of getting more light in the shower seemed a bit odd: there’s now a window from the shower into the sleeping area. It’s not much of an issue with showering as it fogs up fast, and it’s presumed you are fairly intimate with your travel mate, but the toilet is clearly visible too. The sink is also an odd design. It’s beautiful, but the way the taps are positioned it’s difficult not to splash water on the counter. The full bottles of alcohol are a nice touch this year, and the mini bar was kept restocked well. The only issue we had with our room is that our door lock malfunctioned. At first we thought it was our keys and kept getting them reprogrammed. They would work the first time after reprogramming, but then stop again. We assured the front desk staff that we were not keeping our keys near cameras or cell phones. They sent someone to reprogram the door lock. That worked for about half a day. Finally they had to replace the whole mechanism and we didn’t have another problem after that.

Beach/pools: Excellent as usual. We found that traveling earlier in the month of December meant that we didn’t have to fight for a spot around the pool. It’s always easy to find a spot at the beach.

Bars: Great. They never seemed to run out of anything, and everyone was upbeat and helpful. One of our favourite bartenders, Moya, is now in the Sports Bar and we visited there just to have a chance to talk to him. In my opinion, his personality and friendliness are wasted in an area where few venture. He needs to be back at Kafe Café. Hector, another person we got to know last year, was still at Kafe Café, and treated us like good friends again. He never lets your drink stay empty longer than a second or two!

Food: On the whole, excellent. Some of the menus have changed, and menu items I was looking forward to (like the Farmer’s Enchiladas at Agave, and the veal at Chez Isabelle) were not available, but had I not expected them I would not know what I was missing. The food we did eat was excellent. For dinners we went to Spice 4 times, Chez Isabelle twice, Agave twice, Barcelona twice, the Grill twice and Toscana once. Breakfast was eaten mainly at Toscana, though we ordered room service the day we had to wait for security to fix our door. For lunch we mainly ate at Las Olas, which was good.

Entertainment: We aren’t really “show people” but we were happy that Domingo the sax player was back, and loved the new addition of Gustavo de la Cruz. He sings and plays acoustic guitar and the crowd really gets into the music, making requests. I hope he is there again next year.

Spa: Don’t book your spa ahead of time; the website says you will get 20% off, but there are deals every day of 35-40% off. We did a 100 minute couples ritual that was great. The staff at the spa are very good at what they do.

As I said before, we will be back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My husband and I spent 11 fabulous days at the Excellence for our honeymoon in November. This was our third trip to Punta Cana together after staying at the Majestic Elegance Club the past two years. Like most of us, we were on TripAdvisor for months before our trip and the resort was recommended by my parents who had stayed there last year. I don't want to overwhelm you with all of the details of our trip, but I'll share some of the key points.

Arrival
Yes, it takes an hour to get there. The road is very bumpy, so if you get car sick, I recommend taking something for it. We were greeted with champagne and checked in without any problems. When we got to our room, the first thing we wanted was a cold Presidente.. unfortunately our fridge was broken and everything was warm. As soon as our luggage arrived, we told Darvin about the fridge and he went and found someone to take care of it. Within 5 minutes we had a new fridge.. not bad! Our room wasn't anything extraordinary (compared to the Elegance) and looked pretty worn.. but honestly, we didn't care.

Food
The food was fantastic. My husband and I are definitely foodies and we enjoy cooking and eating good food and we were pretty impressed. The lunches at Las Olas were fantastic. I find myself craving that delicious brick-oven cheese pizza! We absolutely loved the Asian Rest., the Lobster House, Toscana and Oregano. The Mexican rest. wasn't bad.. I think there may have just been a mix up in the kitchen. My fajitas and my husband's steak were covered with marinara sauce.. I'm guessing they thought it was hot sauce?

Beach
Ok, this is why I am giving 4 stars.. After reading all of the reviews, I thought people were exaggerating about the waves being rough.. not the case. We are from New England and love going to the beaches up here because there are a lot of waves and it makes for a fun time. The waves down there are much different because they are coming from all directions and break at all different points. With that being said, you can't go in the ocean just to "cool off" for a few minutes like you would at the beach down near the Majestic. If you walk about half a mile to a mile to the right, the ocean is much more calm.. but you are unable to walk down there during high tide. The positive is that there are a lot of pallapas available, so you don't have to hurry to the beach at 9am to get one.

Pool
After about 5 days of fighting the ocean, we decided to spend our time by the pool. The pools are absolutely gorgeous. The cascade pool is a nice quiet spot and the pool along the beach is wonderful, also. The pallapas at the pool are a different story. There were a couple of mornings when we came down around 10-ish and couldn't find a seat in the shade. A lot of people save seats in the shade and then never go back to them.. and- we learned that workers go out in the morning and put towels on all of the chairs, so if you see chairs with just rolled up towels, they are not taken.

Service
Service was exceptional. From the first person we met, Darvin, to each of our servers and bartenders.. everyone was so polite and kind. I'd like to give a special thank you to Alexander who we would see every afternoon at Las Olas working his butt off and then at night at the restaurants for dinner. Even after working 12 hours, he still had a smile on his face and was amazing to my husband and I. Roberto at the pool bar was also super friendly and made fantastic drinks!!

Ok, now here is the part where I get some people mad and others shaking their heads in agreement. As an American with manners, I am embarrassed to say that during this trip I saw some of the most rude, ignorant, obnoxious Americans I have ever seen. Our room was above the swim up bar (which I wouldn't recommend) and there was one night that some people from Minnesota (I know because they kept yelling it) were belittling and yelling at the bartenders until about 7pm after the bar had been closed for an hour. They were saying rude things about how they don't understand English, etc. It was awful. I also saw a lot of rudeness toward the staff in general. The workers work their butts off. You see someone working at breakfast and then bartending at 1am. I was never treated with anything but kindness and respect from the staff. Hola's and Como estas go a long way!! My husband and I also tip at just about every meal and tip throughout the day for our drinks. If you were at bars and restaurants in the states, you would do the same thing. It amazed me how few people tipped.

Overall, we had an absolutely wonderful honeymoon. Would I come back to the Excellence? Probably not, and that is only because of the beach. We go to Punta Cana to enjoy the beaches and I'd rather go to another resort where the ocean is more calm. My husband, on the other hand, would definitely go back, so I guess we'll see! :)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My husband and I went to Punta Cana for our honeymoon and we stayed at the Excellence Punta Cana. We had the most wonderful trip ever! I would especially like to thank Omar, Yerlin, and Marlon. When we first arrived at the hotel, Marlon made sure that we felt at home, he took care of our every need. After our arrival, my husband and I were out on the beach every single day, and Omar and Yerlin were ABSOLUTELY WONDERUL! They made our stay incredible, they remembered exactly where we would sit every day and had water and our drinks waiting for us. Omar and Yerlin made our stay what it was and we cannot wait to return to this amazing hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

Excellence Punta Cana definitely lives up to it's name... EXCELLENCE!!! My wife and I came to Excellence Punta Cana to celebrate our new marriage and honeymoon there. The service was PHENOMINAL! From the time that we stepped out of the travel van into the resort, we were treated like royalty and we really enjoyed everything! Special recognition goes to the Lobster House and the restaurant manager Miguel Suero. On our last night as the resort, he went out of his way and invited my wife and I to the Lobster House and had a nice table established with roses and continuous champagne! What a trip! The other restaurants were great as well ( Chez Isabelle, the Grill, Agave, Barcelona, Toscana, Las Olas(beach grill, GREAT BURGERS!), and Oregano. Also, at the Lobster House, Johanna, a waitress there was a complete pleasure. Her personally and service was excellente! Overall, we loved the trip and can't wait to go back there!

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

In December 2012, my husband and I visited Excellence Punta Cana for 7 days for our honeymoon and it was AMAZING! The staff was very hospitable & friendly. The resort was beautiful, the scenery was beautiful. The staff, the drinks, the food, the service just unlike anything we've ever experienced. We visited The Lobster House and Miguel Suero the manager was phenomenal!!!! From his service alone, we will be back!!!!

Shenita L.
Room 2109

Room Tip: We booked through Delta Vacations...all we did was show up, Delta and the resort took care of everyt...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Point Pleasant
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

I’d like to start this off by saying, Ranked #7 out of 101 Resorts?? I’d hate to see what the other 94 resorts look like!! I can assure you, my wife and I will never be returning to this resort OR to the Dominican Republic for that matter! We arrived on Dec. 13, 2012 and departed Dec. 20, 2012. We were ready to leave by the 17th. Please keep in mind when reading this, I have been to Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands, & Mexico twice. My wife has been to Mexico countless times and Australia twice. We’re not calling ourselves world travelers, but I want everyone to understand that what we’ve experienced at this resort is very unsettling and an experience we have never been exposed to anywhere outside of the U.S. We have experienced at this resort: Theft, forced sexual contact, bad food, and poor hospitality to name a few. I would, however, like to note that there are some staff members that are more then gracious and willing to see that your trip is a positive one (unbeknownst to them all of the negative things that take place elsewhere). So I’d like to extend my ‘Thanks’ to Tito, Super Willy, Kassandra, Luz and any of the event staff that really attempt to make your stay an enjoyable one.

Now we read through TripAdvisor that the food wasn’t exactly the best. Our thought on this was that these people must be out of their minds and “snooty”. Well, let me tell you, they are RIGHT! The food is disgusting, either under or over cooked, or bland. Bread is stale. The only thing worth eating is the French Fries! So I apologize to anyone who ever complained about the food but we don’t consider ourselves picky eaters and decided that we would find something regardless of all these food comments. Take it from us, just look at the cows on the drive to the resort. Ever see ribs on a cow before? You will when you get there.

Let me take you through a couple days here. When you arrive at the resort, it looks BEAUTIFUL! You walk to the front desk and you look around and it’s just incredible to see its entirely open with no windows because the temperature is great I assume all year! They greet you with smiles and champagne and onced checked, the bell-boy takes you and your luggage to your room. Now we had booked a Swim-up room with a hammock. When we got to our room, it was a swim-up but no hammock. Not to worry my wife said, let’s just go check out the rest of the resort before we say anything to the front desk. We dropped our luggage and went out to explore. We decided to get a late lunch and sat at The Grill. My wife asked for a Chicken Caesar salad and they ended up bringing her a Grilled Chicken with vegetables. We get it, there’s a language barrier and its totally understandable and it means just talk slower. We decided after lunch to explore the resort some more. We ended up walking to the area with the wild parrots and pink flamingoes. Beautiful birds, even saw some people with the red parrot on their arm feeding it nuts (the blue one does not like people). On a side note, on Sunday we went to see the birds and the red one bit my wife’s finger after digging its claw under my knuckle on my hand. *Warning* Don’t wear anything shiny if you go see the birds. We ate a late dinner at the Mexican restaurant , Agave, which had good food but was overcooked. Now I like my steak (I know its not Mexican) cooked medium-well with a little charring, but I got fajitas that were blackened and charred which left them uneatable. Not to mention we watched other people walk in after us, sit down, order an appetizer and drinks, then their entrée, get served and almost finish it before we got our entrée. Poor Service, poor food and to bed hungry we went.

Friday:
We woke up Friday morning and saw it was raining. We thought we would get breakfast back at The Grill which wasn’t too bad and went to VIP Travels to book the zip-lining excursion. He told us it was $89 but if we book before Noon, he would charge us $80. So we decided to think about it and walked off to the Spa to book a massage since the weather wasn’t so great. They told us to come back at 2:30 so we decided to get our money and go book the excursion. We came back with my wallet and $150 in Travelers Gift Checks. VIP Travels told us they do not accept the Checks so I ended up having to spend $160 cash and booked our excursion for Saturday. We went out to the main theatre area after and engaged in Bingo with some guests and the Staff (Kassandra). When we finished we got lunch and it was almost time to go to the Spa. They were running a deal on a couples massage (35% Off [lowest percentage off the whole week we were there, every day after was 40% or better]) so we asked if we could pay for part of the massage with our Travelers Gift Checks. “No, no, we no accept here. We charge to room, you use checks when you check out. K? Charged to room, thank you”. Talk about fast talking.. Anyway, the Spa was incredible! We were soooo relaxed and everything was perfect! On top of the massage, may I recommend the Marine Treatment (Something to do with a lot of showers and the Jacuzzi, etc)

Now being that it was our honeymoon, which they knew, we inquired at the front desk about if they offered anything since they never even acknowledged it was our honeymoon at check-in. They offered us 30 minutes horseback riding, a romantic dinner at restaurant of our choice with personal menu and a bottle of champagne. We chose Chez Isabelle, French restaurant, for Saturday night after our excursion which turned out to be really nice. We both got a filet and I ordered it medium. Good choice since it came out medium-well/well.

Now for the Theft!!!!!!!
Saturday came and we left for the excursion. We left my wife’s wallet back in the room (which she left in her carry-on, deep in a pocket under some other items) and I know, it should’ve been in the safe with everything else but she forgot. She was 5 weeks pregnant at this time and a little forgetful from the hormones. That’s okay, which is why I don’t blame her for the next part. We got back from a great day zip-lining, come back to the room and immediately she goes to the bag. She opens her wallet and says “I think I am missing $160”. Sure enough, we became victims of a Theft that seems to happen quite often from what I’m reading. **Read a review about 6 down from this one on Dec 21. 2012 and they were burglarized of $250**. And just like those victims, no retribution or investigation was offered. It’s the Holiday Season, if we didn’t spend it there, I would’ve liked to come home and buy a couple more gifts for somebody rather than have it stolen from me! But I take responsibility for that since it wasn’t in the safe. Oh wait, I’m sorry, I guess I thought we could’ve felt safe and secure with our belongings (I know I did when we were in Mexico *Never used a safe once there*). And as the reviewer before me wrote, the front desk gives you nothing more than Hollow Apologies.

So before I close this, I want to leave you with this. Men, keep an eye on your wives or girlfriends!

There is a guy, Juan, who is a massage therapist for the resort and offered my wife a 5 minute “free” massage out by the main pool area. He took her to the table where he proceeded to massage her until he got into pervert mode!! At which point he put his back toward me while I was talking to somebody so I couldn’t see his motions and then proceeds to massage her arm all the while pulling her arm so that her hand rests against his crotch!!! Now, my wife reacted like any female would unsure of what may have just taken place. She pulled her arm back, at which point he now edged her arm toward the edge of the table and lunged is crotch into her hand now. My wife, still not sure if she is imagining this or not, pulls her hand away. Well low and behold it happened AGAIN and this time she leans up and he says to her “No, is okay. Yes? Is okay?” My wife yells and says No! Let me up! Which she then came over to me looking like the Atlantic Ocean was going to pour down her face. She explained to me what had happened and of course many things running through my brain, the most rational thing was to get his name which I did.. JUAN.. read it, and know it and beware! We then went to the front desk for more hollow apologies and promises to “investigate”. Yeah, never going to happen. We emailed our travel agent and she advised us to request to fill out a written complaint statement. We went back to the front desk where they directed us to the concierge and they stated that they don’t have those types of forms there and that we can hand write a complaint. Yeah, I know how that’s going to go.. They’ll take the complaint, crumple it up when we walk away and toss it in the garbage.

There are so many negative things about this resort that when people ask “How was you’re honeymoon?” I simply look at them and say “I got two things out of our honeymoon, pictures and a tan.” So if you plan on losing weight from starvation, being treated like just another tourist, and getting some pictures and a tan then pick Excellence Punta Cana. If you want a memorable vacation that you can look back on and appreciate money well spent, DO NOT GO TO EXCELLENCE PUNTA CANA!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

We have been to most of the resorts in the Carribean, 5-star +, and the Excellence is by far the best !
The intimate environment where you never feel crowded, your every wish fulfilled because they WANT to and not it's another service.
Of course the location and accommodations are important and there is no critique of either. However the staff and their attitude towards real customer satisfaction is second to none.
Several on site restaurants offer a selection to cater to any taste without ever having to get in line or make an advanced reservation. No write bands for identification and no tokens for towels.
Simply put this is the BEST !

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#10 Business 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 
Reservation Options:
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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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