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“Perfect Getaway” 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
New York, New York, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Perfect Getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

After taking some time and reading into reviews for many different hotels in punta Cana my husband and i decided we would celebrate our 1year anniversary at the Excellence in Punta Cana...the trip from the airport to our hotel was a bit bumpy (although the roads we being re-paved during our stay) and long (about an hour) but it was all worth it when we made it to the hotel....the staff were amazingly accommodating, and welcoming as we were greeted with a cold glass of champagne and clean and ready room...the hotel was a perfect mix of fun and relaxation...restaurants were great, drinks even better and the nightly shows always gave you a great option for fun every night. Surprisingly the beach was never packed as the beach chairs and beds were always available...there were plenty of bars inside and out as well as servers if you didn't feel like leaving your beach chair...the only negative was the room service was a bit slow but with restaurants always available it wasn't the worst.

  • Stayed July 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 4
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,783)
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English first
Carterville, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

My wife and I had a symbolic wedding at the resort in May of 2013. We were there for 8 days and 7 nights. From the moment we arrived, the experience was absolutely wonderful. The grounds were immaculately designed and maintained. The room was clean and luxurious. The food was delicious. The staff was super friendly and helpful. The beach was beautiful. The swimming pools were lovely. I could go on and on. We were genuinely sad to leave. This is one place that we have both agreed is a place we must return. I have never experienced anything like it.

Also, our wedding was beyond what we expected. The venue was stylish and beautiful. The staff did a great job with everything. I cannot recommend this place highly enough.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

Better than I expected. Our 2nd time In Punta Cana, but, First time at Excellence. I would give the resort a 10, but took away a point because of the following. when we arrived at the reception area, after a long day of travelling, one of the desk personnel immediately asked if we wanted to upgrade our room, without even seeing what we had booked. I thought that was odd and said I wanted to see our room before we even considered upgrading. Well, the room was loaded with Mosquitos, had a broken screen door which was falling off and had the worst view (overlooking another property/work area). Needless to say, we were very unhappy. We were expecting a gardenview room, not someone's work area/backyard. We called the young man at the front desk and told him that the room was totally unacceptable And that we needed to be moved immediately. We did not want an upgrade we wanted a proper room. He complied right away and reassigned us to a room that was lovely And what we expected. If you are given the following room # 14209 don't take it. Its the last room in the resort. Aside from that - the resort was fantastic! The rest of the staff were lovely and friendly. The food was terrific. We enjoyed the lobster house, The grill and The buffet for breakfast and lunch. Nice quick lunch eats can be found at the beach grill from 12-4 daily. The Japanese restaurant was nice, but just okay. The bars and bartending staff were terrific! I would absolutely recommend this resort to my family and friends. Lovely for couples and families with adult children. Definitely not a singles resort. And it's nice to tip the staff, Especially when they work so hard and wait on you. I Was surprised that's so many people did not even leave a Small tip after they had been waited on hand and foot. These folks are hard working and tips are appreciated. I would recommend bringing hundred singles if you are going for a weeks vacation and tip accordingly.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

This was our first all inclusive vacation, so other reviewers may have more experience at these resorts. We took our two adult children (18 and 21 yrs old) and had a great time. We were checked in by Roberto - what a great guy. He remembered us every time he saw us and even helped us as we were leaving. I think he works all the time. Everyone who works there is extremely friendly and at your service constantly. They really want you to have a carefree time on your vacation. Now to some details you will want to know about Excellence Punta Cana.

Travel from the airport to the resort took exactly 64 minutes. We used VIP Travel services and we had our own minivan take us directly from the airport to the resort. Our driver was very careful on the road to the resort, but what an experience. Recommend that you use VIP. The new 4 lane road will eventually reduce the travel time, but it's a long way from being finished. Mel, with VIP Travel at the Excellence resort, gave a very entertaining one hour talk about the resort and VIP's excursions (this is what he is trying to sell you). You have to attend if you want your return travel to the airport. The trip back to the airport took about 1 hour 20 minutes. We were on a full scale bus and made a stop at another resort. But, don't worry, they got us there in plenty of time to get to our airport gate.

Dress Code - Know that evening dress code is long pants and casual dress shirt for men. Most of the women wear nice dresses for the evening. Everyone remained dressed nicely the entire night. It was refreshing to see all the couples neatly dressed. You will NOT get into one of the inside restaurants wearing shorts, no matter how nice they look. The dress code is enforced.

Language Barrier - Just doesn't exist. Everyone you interact with speaks English, some speak English very well. If you can just say two words of Spanish "Hola" and "Gracias" you will be fine.

Evening Entertainment (The Shows) - Each evening there is a show in the open air theater in the main section of the resort. We saw the Michael Jackson Show, the Circus Show, and a couples "Match Game" show. We thought the Michael Jackson show was a bit overhyped based on other reviews, it was OK. The Circus show was really good and the Match Game show was hillarious. We usually got our seats about 8:00 and had drinks until the show started. There are waiters and waitresses coming by all the time to get you drinks. You never have to get up.

Drinks - Some reviewers said the drinks were too sweet or too weak. We found them to be typical frozen tropical drinks and probably a little on the weak side if you expect to get hammered on three drinks. We all liked the bannana momma, but there are many, many other frozen tropical drinks and a different drink of the day. Caution, be careful drinking 5-6 of these every day as after about three days of them all our stomachs were a little upset. Our room had a bottle of gin, bourbon, spiced rum, and vodka, plus a red wine. There were two cokes, two diet cokes, and water in the frig. There were also some snacks (peanuts, oreo cookies, and crackers). The frig was refilled once a day, but we used very little from the minibar. Other mixed drinks at the bars were normal. You can find some other beer than Presidente at the bars, but its not a bad beer.

Wifi - We found good wifi signal all around the resort except for by the casino and the Agave/Oregano restaurant area. Otherwise, the pool and our room had great wifi allowing us to keep in touch with each other and the outside world. The TV in the room must have had 75 stations and there was NBC, CBS, and ABC stations from New York.

Food - We all thought the food was very good. The breakfast buffet in the Tuscana has something for everyone. Our son had room service for breakfast each day which took about 45 minutes to arrive but he liked what he ordered. For lunch you can go to Las Olas between the beach and pool in your beach attire or to The Grill if you are dried off and clothed (coverup). We found both to be very good. Las Olas menu changed each day and the Grill had a set menu. They also bring personal size pizzas around the pool about 1:00 if you want to stay in your hut. We had very good dinners each night. We tried Barcelona, Spice, Agave, Toscana, and Oregano. Our favorite by far was Spice and Agave. One night Barcelona was good but the second try was not so good. The Barcelona and Tuscana are joined together and are NOT air conditioned. Dinner in the evening was very warm at those two restaurants. Note to Excellence - put some ceiling fans in those two large rooms to move air around.

The Pool - The pool was our relaxation spot. There were plenty of lounges in our area. I found a hut each day to get out of the sun. The girls spent some time at the beach but not much. Each day we took a stroll through the pool to the swim-up bar and then strolled through the pool with our drink back to our area. There is a second pool over by sections 1, 2, 4, and 5 but that was on the other side of the resort from our room. We only saw it in the evening when we walked to the sports bar to watch the NBA and NHL finals. Sitting by the pool, you will never be with an empty drink for more than a minute or two as the waiters come by to serve you. The pool does close at 6:00 PM.

The Room - The rooms are not 5 star - at least ours wasn't, but you aren't there for the room and we didn't spend much time there except to shower and to sleep. I've stayed in better suites at Holiday Inn Express, however, we found them acceptable. We called for a pillow top mattress cover for our beds as soon as we arrived and it came within 10 minutes. With the pillow top cover the beds were comfortable. The room with two double beds did have a frosted window into the shower so you couldn't see someone in the shower or toilet. The room with the king bed did have a clear window into the shower/toilet. Figuring out how to turn the lights on was a challenge. They conserve electricity using motion sensors, so if they go off, just move and they come back on.

Our Excursion - We took a two hour late afternoon horseback ride from an offsite vendor. It was fun. We didn't go on others because of the travel time, but we talked to some who did the dune buggy trip and they said it was really fun. There was a 1/2 day snorkel trip in two person speed boats that sounded fun, and we almost did that one. There are many other excursions available.

Final Thoughts - If you are looking for a resort without babies and little kids running around, Excellence is for you. It was very quiet and relaxing. If you want to be served constantly by very nice people, Excellence is for you. If you want to do the dune buggy excursion, bring clothes that can get very dirty. If you do change back into shorts in the evening and you venture outside the inner buildings, consider spraying some bug repellant on your legs; however, we didn't find mosquitos to be a problem as others have suggested. Take a walk to the stores (Target, WalMart, Home Depot, etc. - you'll know what I mean when you see them) on the left side of the beach for some value shopping. Bring pens to fill out the customs forms, they don't provide anything to write with. We purchased our $10 entry cards on the internet, but were put into the same line as everyone else to get through immigration, so that didn't save much time. You do NOT have to pay $10 again to leave if you keep your receipt for your entry fee. About half of the visitors at Excellence were young couples on honeymoon when we were there, but there were many couples in their 40's, 50's, and 60's. We saw two other families with their grown up children like us. We will return again some time, but next time with friends. Thanks Excellence Punta Cana for a relaxing, carefree vacation.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norcross, Georgia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

The best part of this resort is the staff - everyone is so friendly and will quickly agree to any request you may have - they all greet you with "hola" and a smile. The service was great in all of the restaurants. The pools and the beach are really great. The drinks were plentiful and well done - especially the coco loco!!
The breakfast buffet was really good and Spice restaurant was really great, but some of the other restaurants were just ok.
Great coffee and bottles of liquor in the room was a nice touch especially since they will bring you other brand names on request.

Room Tip: The one with double beds are the furthest from the lobby and a long wallk - choose ones that are a l...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

My husband I just returned from a week long trip to the Excellence resort for our anniversary/summer vacation and had an amazing time. I don't usually write reviews, but when planning for this trip I read quite a few of them so I felt as though I should share what we experienced. The resort is very clean and well kept, and from the moment you arrive the staff begins catering to you. If you are in search of a beautiful, relaxing vacation spot that is all-inclusive and adult only, this is the place to go.

TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT:
I would definitely recommend having the resort arrange for a private car transfer through the Impressions company. It is $70 each way per couple and certainly worth it. I have read many reviews about horrible taxi/bus experiences, but the private drive was actually nice and relaxing. (we ended up having to take a taxi from the airport on the first day and also had a terrible experience resulting in a tire blow out on the side of a busy road)

EXCELLENCE CLUB:
I highly recommend upgrading to the Excellence Club because the staff is even more attentive. There are extra food options, a private beach with better chairs/loungers/service, better drink variety in the rooms, and anniversary/honeymoon perks (breakfast in bed, private dinner on the beach, massages-all complimentary). They will also schedule any excursions/extra activities for you very easily. They arranged for my husband to play golf at two other resorts during our stay (Hard Rock and Iberostate; definitely recommend Iberostate).

ROOMS:
We were in an Ocean View Suite that was very large, and we had no complaints. We had a double balcony with a beautiful view and the housekeeping staff did a great job.

RESTAURANTS:
The best breakfast/lunch option is Toscano. Our favorite restaurants for dinner were Agave, Toscano, and especially Chez Isabelle. The only bad meal we had was at Spice.
*Most reviews mentioned that men must wear slacks to dinner but they did allow jeans, which is what most men wore. Women mostly wore sundresses/maxi dresses. People do tend to dress up.

TIPPING:
Make sure to bring plenty of cash in small bills for tipping. The staff is very appreciative. We left $5 on our bed each day for the cleaning staff and tipped a few dollars after each meal and at the bars.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Bring plenty of sunscreen, bug spray, medications, etc because although they do sell these items at the shops on the property, they are extremely expensive ($25-30 for sun screen/$18 for a small pack of stomach med). We brought bug spray due to all of the reviews I read mentioning bugs at night but did not have to use it once. However, other guests that were there said they had bug bites.

We had a wonderful experience and would definitely visit another Excellence resort.

  • Stayed June 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McDowell, KY
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

We just returned from another amazing trip to Excellence Punta Cana. This was our second trip to the resort and just as last year we were very happy with our stay.

Room: Our room was a terrace suite which includes a small Jacuzzi pool on a floor above the actual room. Everything was great, always clean, the mini-bar was always well stocked with beverages and food.

Staff: The staff was excellent. They work very hard to make your stay enjoyable. We have stayed in many nice hotels in Chicago, DC, Miami, Atlanta etc and although they have good service it does not compare to the staff at Excellence. Roberto Puello, the Guest Service Manager, is constantly asking is there anything you need. We crossed paths with the head chef on our last night who asked how we liked the food and what could they do differently. If there are any issues with you stay the staff will take care of it.

Food: The food was excellent and there was plenty of it. There are enough restaurants and types of cuisines to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Our group ate at the Grill which is a steak house the last night of the stay. The waiter said would you like a lobster with your steak? Sure. The Lobster House is next door to the Grill so almost immediately after we get our steak he brings four lobster tails to our table. The breakfast and lunch buffet was not your typical buffet. It was always good and had plenty different types of food. We used room service a few mornings for breakfast and it was pretty good. Typical hotel room service.

Beach / Pools: The beach is beautiful, the pools are huge, walk up bars, food and beverage brought to you at any location around the pool. Just what I expected in a tropical paradise. The sea was a little rough while we were there but if you walk about 300 yards from the resort you find an area of very calm water that was great for an afternoon swim.

Entertainment / Excursions: There are plenty of excursion options but the purpose of our trip is to lay around the beach, nap, rest, and be removed from schedules. Therefore we did not schedule any excursions so I cannot comment on those. There nightly entertainment starts with a Dominican legend on the saxophone or a guitar player in one of the small lounge areas and usually ends with a show. The sax player, Domingo, is awesome. We usually ended our evening with him.

I would definitely recommend Excellence Punta Cana to anyone who needs a break from the daily grind and a recharging of their batteries. Excellence is awesome for couples as it is an adult only resort. No one under 18. When you get there say Hi to Santos, He will get you squared away with a beverage and cool towel when you first arrive.

If you schedule Excellence please be aware that they are located about an hour away from the airport. It’s a bumpy ride but gives you a great look at how the locals live and work. My suggestion is to spend the extra money and book a private bus or car. We traveled with another couple who took care of our transportation to and from the resort and it was great. Avoid the shuttles that stop at other resorts as Excellence is the last stop. You will also notice the road construction and building construction. This country has embraced the fact that American and European travelers spend lots of money and they are taking full advantage of it.

Room Tip: Most rooms are very similiar. If you can upgrade to a terrace suite I would definitely recommend.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
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 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Top resorts 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 
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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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