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!
- 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