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“Loved this Beautiful Hotel/Resort” 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 #11 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Ridgefield, WA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Loved this Beautiful Hotel/Resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We have just returned from our first trip to the Dominican Republic, and our first experience with an "all-inclusive" trip. This one-week "Secret Date" was organized by my husband to celebrate my March birthday. I knew we would be going, but did NOT know there would be another couple joining us! I found that out when we got to the airport and were walking out to the gate! What a wonderful surprise! Very dear friends would be spending the week with us in the room next door. Immediately upon arrival, we had lunch. Our rooms would be soon ready, but we were starving from the all-night cross-country flight and 90-minute bus ride from Punta Cana airport to our hotel. Before booking, and after much research, my husband met with our travel agent to talk over his online "finds." Excellence Punta Cana had received consistently "excellent" reiews from travelers. It turns out that our agent and his wife had stayed a few nights in Excellence Punta Cana at the end of a Caribbean Cruise, and we were assured that we would thoroughly love it! And we did! The rooms were spacious with efficient air conditioning, both a jetted tub and a lovely glass "rain" shower, a mini-bar with snacks and beverages that were replenished daily, and a full selection of spirits on glass shelves above the bar. There was an in-room coffee maker, an iron and ironing board, a programmable safe, plenty of closet space, lovely toiletries, and a comfy king-size bed. Our room also featured a small lanai with bistro table and chairs, and our view included swaying palm trees and the beautiful waves beyond. We could hear the breakers all night long if we left the patio door open. However, we found we slept much better if we kept the door closed and our air-conditioned room very cool. Our friends next door loved the ocean sounds and kept theirs open, unbothered by the warm, humid air. The resort included 7 distinct restaurants, each with its own "personality" and specialty. We tried all but one, and loved every meal. Our least-favorite was the "Crab Broiler," but only because we are seafood snobs and we really prefer cold-water Maine lobster to the warmer-water variety. It was good, but the other restaurants were better for our tastes. No matter where we ate, each time there was something just a little "extra" included, from a small plate of grilled shirmp to add to our appetizer selection to a "secret" shot of the local libation, "Mamajuana!" enjoyed with our server, who crouched down on one knee so as not to be seen by his manager. We were treated like royalty throughout the hotel. Every question was answered with a huge smile, and every need was met. There was LOTS to do! The first thing we did was to meet with our concierge to book the "free" activities provided by the resort, such as the horseback ride along the beach. This was followed by meeting a representative of the company providing our bus to and from the airport. He showed us all the activities available, checked weather forecasts, and gave us a couple of great recommendations. In addition to the horseback riding, we chose the dune buggy trip, booked a deep sea fishing boat (for just our party of 4 -- more expensive, but you don't want to be in a crowd and rotating through the lines. Ugh.) And we caught a nice, fat yellow-fin tuna! (As in Hawaii, the catch belongs to the captain, so don't expect to take it to your chef -- unless you have made prior arrangements.) The "boys" chose a snorkeling trip and a swim with the Stingrays (stings removed) and sharks (toothless Nurse Sharks). We "girls" wanted some serious pool/beach time, so we did that while they were away for the morning, and then we all met up for lunch at the shack on the beach. We wanted to tour Santo Domingo, so we booked a long-day-trip to see some of the history there (Columbus landed there, thinking he was in India, and the Island has a ton of fascinating New World history.) Our guide was amazing, telling the stories in 4 languages, and maintaining his gracious attitude throughout the Very Long Day! A passable "local" lunch with a little musical/dancing entertainment was provided, and there was even plenty of time for some shopping. We arrived home tired but hungry, so we slipped on long pants and hit the Italian restaurant for a delicious late dinner. We skipped the merengue dancing that night and hit the rack before midnight. We also wanted to take the Helicopter Tour of the island, but our activity representative suggested we do that on our final momrning and end the tour by landing at the Punta Cana Airport in plenty of time for our departing flight, so that is what we did! Since there were four of us, we had two helicopters, and we flew side-by-side! Great photo op! Our hand luggage traveled with us on the choppers, and our checked luggage went via the bus we would have taken for the 90-minute drive, and we gathered it up at the airport. It was the perfect ending to our stay! The entire resort is beautiful, and "all-inclusive" is the way to visit this beautiful island. Your hotel will not be near a metro area, and beaches are beautiful but far between. You won't be bored, but if you want down-time, you can spend plenty of time in your comfy sun-screened bed by the pool or on the beach. There are pool floaties avaiable, water exercise classes, bars everywhere, dancing to a great Dominican band every night, a casino (which we never even entered), some very nice shops a short walk down the drive, and a beautiful spa we just never had time for! We must return! Also, you should know that this is an "adults only" resort, but there are plenty on the Island that cater to families with complete programs for children. But for a real luxury getaway, stay at Excellence Punta Cana. You can save $$ by booking early and by traveling during the "shoulder" season. If you go in March, you don't need to worry about "Spring Breakers" at this hotel -- they are all down the road (and out of ear-shot) at the huge new Hard Rock Resort!

Room Tip: We loved our ocean view and the beautiful gardens below. Poolside rooms are nice, too, as the hotel...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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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
Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We visited here from Mar 27 to April 3rd. Although the weather was not great for the first two days it did not dampen our spirits nor our love for the resort. The staff was extremely friedly and helpful (whether at the front desk, housekeeping or the restaurants). The food was so-so. They tend to over cook most dishes to an extent greater than we do in Canada (Ontario). The variety of restaurants made for a pleasant change even with the less than perfect meals (not bad but not full 5 star in our mind). Our suite was very nice, clean, full bar, and a soft comfortable bed.
J and L. Toronto

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
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Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We just spent 11 days at this resort and everything was Excellente. The food was really good and the people very friendly. Beach and pool service was awesome, look up Gabrielle at the beach and Yeffery at the pool for really great service. The weather was beautiful, the only downfall was the beach as it was Red Flagged every day due to really high waves. You had to watch out for the under toe. I would go back again to this resort.

Room Tip: We had Excellence Club so we had a beach view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Brazil, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

My husband an I vacationed at this resort two years ago and loved it!! We had a swim up suite which is one category up from the basic suite. We absolutely loved it, the rooms are very modern and I loved being able to open the patio door and get directly into the pool. The beds are a little hard but I just asked them to put an egg crate on the bed and it made all the difference!The nightly entertainment was great, we really enjoyed the Couples" themed show, Micheal Jackson show, and the Circus show. The resort grounds are lovely, we really enjoyed the garden area. The food varied by restaurant from okay to excellent. The beach grill was excellent,Spice is excellent,Lobster house is excellent, Oregano is not very good, Toscana was good,Barcalona was good, Chez Isabelle was excellent. The drinks were great and not watered down at all!! I lived off of Banana Mamas all week, make sure to try the drink that they serve out of the fresh coconuts! We really enjoyed this resort and the All-Adult luxury feel, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a romantic, luxurious, kid-free vacation!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Spring, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

My wife and I traveled to this resort for our honeymoon. We were there Dec 29 through Jan 5th. As most of the reviews say, the road to the resort is a bit bumpy but once you get there, its totally worth it. The food was pretty good, obviously being a destination for people from all over the world, they do the best they can to satisfy a wide variety of expectations. The water was rough, but the beach was clean and well taken care of.

The one major issue I had...I'm a cigar smoker, and was in one of the best cigar countries in the world, but the guy selling cigars there was rude and arrogent. EVERYONE else working at the resort was friendly, all smiles, and always willing to help. The cigar guy, was a total ___.

We did upgrade to the Excellence Club, and it was totally worth it. We were in building 7, which is perfect. It is centrally located, easy access to the beach, and if you're on the "mountain" side, it's a nice view.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

This is my third all-inclusive resort I have been to and highly recommend it if you are looking for a very relaxing, adults-only, smaller resort, with a beautiful beach, and top notch staff! From the minute you arrive the staff all make you feel so welcome, always have a smile, and go out of their way to make your vacation perfect! The resort is smaller so it is very easy to navigate and find your way around.
PROS:
*Wonderful staff! So attentive, friendly, and truly the BEST I have encountered in my travels! I honestly cannot say enough about what a fantastic staff they have at this resort!!
*AMAZING beach! You can walk and walk and see miles of amazing palm tree lined beaches and even visiting during a very busy spring break week (end of March and first week of April) time we could be alone in many areas were you can have your deserted beach feeling. The beach in front of the resort is quite wavy which we actually loved! If you are not a strong swimmer I would suggest sticking to the pools. If you walk down the beach a little to the right you can find a very calm area if you prefer that. Easy to find lounge chairs and also find places away from everyone else if you choose as well. Staff are often walking around taking drink orders and bringing them right to you which is a wonderful feature while lounging. If you stay in a room that includes the excellence club benefit and sit in the private beach area they also have staff frequently walking around offering sandwiches, pizza, and fruit kabobs as well as drinks. They also have a number of beach beds which offer a great place to escape from the hot sun and even a fun place to sit and read during a rare rain shower. They do have a few water sports but we never took advantage of this.
*Food - They have 8 restaurants as well as 24 hour room service! My husband is a big carnivore and loved "The Grill" for all of the choices of meat that were available. My favorite was Toscana for their Spinach Lasana and every morning they offer an omelette station. They offer seperate menus in each restaurants as well for vegetarians and low-fat options which is nice as well! The staff are very attentive, fast service, and we never had to wait at any retaurant and were always immediately seated. Room service is very easy with menus provided in each room and from the call to delivery it is about 30 minutes. My meal arrived fresh from the pizza oven along with a great plate of fresh fruit.
*Walking/Jogging trail through a garden- they have beautiful ponds with flowers, plants and trees with flamingos, ducks, a number of birds, fountains, and two parrots that are fun to interact with.
*The rooms - The first room we were in was beautiful but after two nights we asked to be moved because it was right next to the theater so it would often be noisy until around 11:15 or so with the shows and people walking around and talking. Our first room was in building 1 which is close to everything but like I said can be a little noisy if you retire to your room early. The second room was in building 3 and I highly recommend the room - 3208! The view was breathtaking! It is on the edge of the resort, quiet, and has a view of the palm trees, beach, and gardens. We had the Excellence Club Terrace Suite Ocean Front room and I loved the terrace which was a great place to just relax, sit in the Hydropool, a outdoor shower, and stare at the starry sky at night. :) Mini-bars are well stocked and it is replaced daily. Each day staff will leave oreos, crackers, and peanuts which is nice for a small snack between meals. The showers are fantastic with a rainshower and option of a handhead shower head for times when you don't want to get your whole head wet.
*The pools - the pools are huge and go on and on which is great exercise with all the eating and lounging you may do. They also have a cascade pool that is a little more hidden if you are looking for a place to get out of the wind or just to have a quieter place than the main pool.
*Activities - We only attended one show while we were there which was The Michael Jackson Tribute Show which was good but short. The staff put on an amazing beach front arabian type theme buffet which was beautiful, had great entertainment, and was a fun way to meet others at the resort.
*No bugs (except for 1 night) I was amazed at how few bugs I saw while there but on the last night they came out at the beach front buffet and the awesome staff brought out some Off spray for anyone who needed it and once I sprayed myself I was great the remainder of the time. That was the only time I saw any bugs the entire week and I spent hours in the evening on our terrace and never once got bit.

Cons:
*This is not a big deal but the pools close at 6PM and I think this is too early although if I had a room facing the pools then I would probably appreciate it. I just think this is too early for an Adult's Only resort but again not a big deal.
*Again not a big deal but at some of the restaurants the tables for two are a little too large so when you are sitting across from each other and trying to talk you feel like you are talking a little too loud but in thinking about it I don't really remember hearing others conversations.
*The ends of the beach on both ends you may have someone approach you to look at some souvenir items but they were friendly and will leave you alone after they approach you the first time. I do have to say the Souvenir's are much cheaper than the same ones offered at the resort.
*The beds are on the harder side but not too bad. Also the pillows were excellent for a resort!

The drive from the airport is about an hour but it is not bad at all. The roads are good, slow moving, curvy, and construction but not bad at all. It is interesting to see the that part of the country as well.

I would highly recommend this resort for couples looking to get away for a relaxing vacation in a very beautiful location! Excellent Staff!

Room Tip: Rooms in Building 3 are quieter. Room 3208 has a beautiful view of the ocean front and forest of Pa...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
waterboro
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Excellence Punta Cana from 3/29-4/6. I will try to briefly touch on a few points which we found to be important.

The room: the beds were hard. I asked for a pillow top, which was immediately delivered. The next day, I asked for a second, which once again was promptly delivered. The beds were very comfortable after this. We were in building 14, which is far away from the restaurants, but we enjoyed the extra walking each day. We had the terrace suite which had a mini pool on our deck.

The food: we found the food to be good. We spoke with quite a few other guests who agreed with us. Remember, you are in Dominican Republic, so the food will be different from home.

The beach: we are beach people, and spent most of our time on the Excellence Club beach. I highly recommend that if you are bach lovers, you should pay the extra money for the Exellence Club. The chairs and beach service were much better than the regular beach. If you are pool people, it would make no difference whether or not you are in Excellence Club. There were people who would go out early to reserve their chairs, but by 9:00 when we went down to the beach, there were still alot of chairs left. The water was very rough, which I already knew by reading reviews. If you enjoy floating in calm waters, this is not the resort for you!

We have been to Couples and Sandals resorts and find this Excellence to be very comparable to both.

Overall, the service was outstanding, the food was good and the resort itself was clean and well maintained.

Room Tip: Building 14 was far from the restaurants but close to Excellence Club beach.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 3
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:
#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 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#10 Luxury 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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