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“Everything You Need to Know....” 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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Up to 20% off room rate
Ranked #15 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Everything You Need to Know....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

My wife and I booked this as a quick getaway from the kids (we're in our mid 30's), and I had never heard of Excellence until a colleague recommended it. After some research, we picked this given the easy travel (direct from NY) and the fact that we were catching the end of the "off-season" and the price was right. After reading the reviews I must say I was a bit skeptical given some of the horror stories, but they proved unfounded.

Resort- clean, clean, clean. There is literally an army of people constantly cleaning this place day and night. It's unbelievable. The pool area is kept meticulous, the beach is kept immaculate- on two separate days I watched staffers go out into the water to pull in some sort of fishing net that was washing up close to shore (they could've let the tide take it and chose not to. And I watched another staffer rake the beach for palm debris, etc. and then pick up the piles with a sifter in order to sift clean sand back on the beach! All you need to do is walk down the beach off-premises to appreciate how clean they keep the beach! Our room was cleaned well everyday, and the only incident we had with bugs were that some decorative flowers in the room attracted a few tiny ants. It's the Caribbean- not New England- there's going to be some ants. Once the flowers were gone, so were the ants.

Service- I cannot complain about a thing. Requests that I made to the concierge before arrival were taken care of without a problem (room location, transfer, spa reservation), waits at the restaurants were reasonable if non-existent, waiters and waitresses were super-friendly and gave us anything we asked for- want seconds of something? Their pleasure. Couldn't decide which lobster to get? They let us have both. Drinks were fast and just the right strength- Mario took care of us every night at the main bar for the evening show- it got to the point where he knew what we wanted and kept the drinks coming without even having to ask (and we tipped generously in return). With dinner- better wines are an extra charge but reasonable (by NY standards), but there's house wine if you don't wish to pay.

Location- it's about a 40 minute drive. If you've been to other islands, it's pretty much par for the course- windy roads, sometimes aggressive passing, traffic chaos in urban areas, but the trips there and back were fine. We splurged for the car service there and back- it was great because it was one less thing to worry about. One thing to note- if it's your first time in the DR, keep your bag check ticket handy, you need it to get your bag, and if you arrange for a car, keep walking towards the exit, past the taxi drivers who come up to you, past all the desks for the different hotels and travel agencies, and the person who is meeting you will be outside holding a sign....took us a little bit to figure that out.

Room- we got the honeymoon suite with the rooftop pool. It looks just like the picture. Room had just been redone, plenty of space, great roofdeck, fun pool up there (not heated) and jacuzzi in the room (we didn't even use it). Everything is marble in the room, so be careful coming down the steps when you're wet. Also, it rained our last night there, and after the show, a woman walking back to her room slipped on the tile and hit her head pretty bad. Be conscious of your footwear if it's wet out.

Food- When people would ask how the food is, my response is "it's all inclusive". You need to use common sense when you order something- this isn't your favorite italian restaurant, thai restaurant or french restaurant at home- and you didn't have to make a reservation to go there- level-set the expectations accordingly. Some things are better than others, and if you don't like it, everyone was more than willing to give you something else. We typically ate a big breakfast, small lunch, early dinner. That routine seemed to work well. Portions were fine- and if you wanted something else, you could simply ask for it....Room service took some time, but I think we ordered at peak post-show drunken rush hour, so I had to call to get a status update- and then they only brought half the order- but they quickly remedied the situation with profuse apologies.

Beach- we spent most of the time on the beach- and then hit the pool for afternoon/happy hour drinks. We took advantage of the Excellence Club- nice cabanas to lay in, full-service on the beach with food and drinks, and magazines to read if you didn't have something. I got up early to put our things on a cabana each day- many others did the same. Some people from Georgia tried to "buck the system" but the concierge very quickly and diplomatically remedied everything getting our cabana back from the cabana thieves, and then attended to their faux outrage by plying their ample gullets with champagne. My thanks to the staff once again.

Spa- we did a couples spa- very nice, very clean- waiting area his a bit funny- lots of couples waiting in cabanas trying to keep their robes over their privates. :) Sauna is interesting as well- two shelves- and a little weird if you're in there with people you don't know. Upper and lower levels are in a 6-9 position and the people on top can't get down if the people on the bottom are laying down. We cut out quickly and let the other couple sweat it out.

Other- Floats are a treasured item in the pool- I followed the advice of some other posts and packed our own- it's one that folds down in to a circle (I don't remember the name)- which was perfect. We'd bring it into the pool for afternoon happy hour and didn't have to worry about securing a float. Leave a note for your maid to tell her what to restock- or just order it with room service- if you don't know Spanish figure out how to ask it before you go. We didn't use the Excellence Lounge much- just to grab a martini one night and to arrange our car back to the airport. There's tons to do off-site, but we passed on all of that- those who were arranging tours weren't as aggressive to us as I read in some other posts. Watch out in that casino- the dealers were relentless- they hit blackjack regularly. When ordering drinks, you need to ask for the top shelf, otherwise you get the bottom shelf, and keep a close eye- some bartenders need reminding mid-drink. Ocean was rough while we were there, but we still went it anyway- just not too far. Keep the pool, shower, tap water out of your mouth to avoid stomach issues....

Kasandra is the best! She has non-stop energy and made every day/night so much fun!

Room Tip: Rooms near the wedding gazebo are quieter, but a long-ish walk to dinner, excellence club lounge, et...
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  • Stayed November 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Excellence_Group, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
It is our pleasure to know that Excellence Punta Cana met your expectations, making you feel relaxed and pampered all the time. Our commitment is to make of every guest experience, as exceptional and unique as it can be.

Thank you for letting us know how memorable and special was your stay, due to our resort facilities and atmosphere, the food & drinks quality encountered, evening entertainment, and the outstanding service provided by our staff members, who always attended to your needs. Please be sure that Kassandra will be congratulated for the excellent service provided.

We are looking forward to welcome you back and have another opportunity to pamper you with our service creating another experience to remember.
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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
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

- Location: About and hour from the airport, on the Atlantic side.
- Property: Resort itself is beautiful. Gardens and grounds are well maintained. The pools are really nice with ample lounging areas.
- Rooms: Comfortable, quiet, but very dated decor. Beds are a bit hard. Rooms have a musty odor to the them (we checked out several). I think the Excellence knows this and gives you incense to burn. Might be better to try and fix the smell.
- Food: Better than most all inclusive resorts. The breakfast buffet was top notch. The lunch at the grill was great. And most of the dinner options were good. The French is the best. Tough to find a salad. Lobster House and Asian were also good. Barcelona was closed when we were there.
- Bar: Good. Ample alcohol choices. Wine was sub-par. Beer was good. Mixed drinks were good.
- Service: This is not a constant, friendly, service experience. Some are really nice, and some are just down-right rude. The more you tip, the better your experience. Strange for an all-inclusive.
- Casino: Terrible. Small. Rude dealers.
- Activities: Ok. The Circus show was fantastic, the Disco show was terrible. Plenty of things to do from Karoke to Cigar Tastings to Talent shows, etc.
- Excursions: We did one excursion - the all day snorkeling trip to Catalina island with snorkeling and lunch. I would HIGHLY recommend the full day. Between the bus trip, and the boat, it's 2 hours and 15 minutes one way. The first stop is in the ocean. Unless you are an experience snorkeler, don't bother. If you do go, take the life jacket. The waves can be quite high and it's difficult to maintain any kind of underwater view. Also, there are small jellyfish, and they do sting. Not terribly painful, but surprising if you're not warned. Then, you go to Catalina island. This is amazing. 30 yards from the beach are reefs in about 8 feet of water filled with fish. Highlight of the trip. Again, long ride home, but worth it.
- Beach: This is on the Atlantic side so the ocean can be quite rough, and the riptide is no joke. We witnessed a man get pulled out to sea. The life guards needed to board a power boat to get to him. Luckily, they did save him, but don't take the chance, stay close to shore.

In summary, a good, but not great experience. To me, with just a bit more focus on the decor, the food, and the service, this could easily be a five star resort.

Room Tip: 2nd or 3rd floor. The first floor rooms flood and smell the worst.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Excellence_Group, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thank you very much for taking your time to share with all of us this review, your feedback is very important for us and it is our regret that we were not able to exceed your expectations, although many travelers find Excellence Punta Cana to be a great place for romantic and relaxing getaway, with excellent food options and outstanding service.

We can assure you that every constructive criticism you’ve shared with us has been taken very seriously by our team in order to keep standards, expected by our guests on the highest level, ensuring your satisfaction.

We would like to mention that in fact in every room you can find an aromatherapy system that helps dehumidify. However, this humidity is produced from the contrast between the cooled inside air co in the room and the warm external air outside the room. When both enter in contact, this produces the humidity, and might caused bad odors. This is something very typical of the tropical climate, especially in the Caribbean whose surroundings are mainly composed by beautiful mangroves.

Our guests experience is important to us, and it is of deep regret to hear that our service was not of your full satisfaction. Although at Excellence Resorts, each member of our staff is continuously trained for the proper development of their duties and to deliver high quality service that exceed the expectations of all our guests. On the other hand, we would like to clarify that the resort doesn’t own or manage the casino. However, we’ll absolutely share your valuable feedback for its proper follow up.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you and provide you the memorable and relaxing experience you deserve.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

I will list both the pros and the cons of this particular resort. My husband and I just spent 4 nights at Excellence. I will start with the pros:

Pros:

1) The food was very good. There was a wide variety at the buffet every morning for breakfast and for lunch every afternoon. Other than the fact that some of the food items that should be hot were cold, it was great. The restaurants were quite good. Our favorite was Toscana (their brand new Italian restaurant). Everything was very fresh and tasty. The dessert's need some improvement with the exception of the ice cream.

2) The resort grounds were beautiful. There was quite a bit of construction going on to improve the resort, but the grounds themselves were great. The pool was gorgeous and very clean. The beach was wonderful and easily accessible.

***Reynaldo is the BEST!!! Make sure to see him for everything you may need. Our trip went from heading south to awesome because he cared.

3) There is a nice selection of things to do ranging from a night club to a show at night. The bars only stay open until 2AM so after that there isn't anything going on.

4) It is adults only so if you are looking for a resort without the kids, this is the one for you!


Cons:

1) We had to change our room 4 times. This was due to stains on our towels, comforter, furniture and bath tubs. We were all but fed up but Reynaldo took care of us. He upgraded us and put us in a very clean room the last time that he personally picked out with us. A note for the resort: You HAVE to have spotless rooms to stay a top 10 resort. It is 100% unacceptable to have dirty rooms in a place rated so high. We thought it was just bad luck with the first room, but room after room was dirty until the last one.

2) Beds were pretty hard. Good if you like a firm mattress, not so good if not.

3) Service was very slow. You have to ask the staff 3 or 4 times for the same thing for them to bring it to you. Even if you ask in Spanish, it takes way too long. HEAVY language barrier with most of the staff so make sure to brush up on your Spanish!! We found one or two good bartenders and tipped them and they came back fast.

4) Construction everywhere was a little annoying although we realized it was to make improvements. We should have been notified prior to going on the trip.

5) It is noisy at night. The doors in the rooms have a lot of cracks in them which allow a lot of noise in the rooms. Also, even if the balcony door is locked, water will come in if it is raining.

6) The rooms need a lot of updating to keep up with the surrounding resorts.

7) Casino was very small and super smokey.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to the lobby seem to be best. Upgrade to the Excellence Club right away.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Excellence_Group, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thank you very much for taking your time to share with all of us this review, your feedback is very important for us and it is our regret that we were not able to exceed your expectations, although many travelers find Excellence Punta Cana to be a great place for romantic and relaxing getaway, with excellent food options and outstanding service.

Thank you for adding very generous remarks of the positive sides of your vacation with us and mentioning the services that made your stay more comfortable.

Our guests experience is important to us, and it is of deep regret to hear that our service was not of your full satisfaction. Although at Excellence Resorts, each member of our staff is continuously trained for the proper development of their duties and to deliver high quality service that exceed the expectations of all our guests.

On the other hand, Excellence Resorts is recognized for achieving superior quality in appearance and maintenance of our properties and facilities, just as many other attributes that enable us to provide the ultimate Luxury All-Inclusive experience. We deeply regret the discommode caused by the maintenance since our main priority will remain as always on fulfilling the upgrading, while pursuing little or none inconveniences to our guests.

Our corporate customer service department remains at your disposal at customerservice@excellence-resorts.com in order to further discuss the matter or in case you require any future assistance.
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Louisville, Kentucky
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

We loved this resort! Stayed for one week in October for our anniversary and had a wonderful time. I had read many reviews before going and had very high expectations and they did not disappoint! The grounds were beautiful and very well maintained and the staff friendly and helpful. We upgraded to the Excellence Club and felt it was well worth it. Our room was in Building 10 which is where the EC Lounge is located and stopped by many times for coffee, snacks, desserts every night and they will even loan you an Ipad if you need to check your Email. We requested a room on a higher floor after reading the reviews online and got a top Floor Ocean View and it was great, vaulted ceilings make those rooms seem much larger and the view is better as well! Email ahead and they will try to accomodate any requests that you have if it is available. The mini-bar had top shelf liquor and was restocked every day, as was the fridge and snacks. They will bring you whatever you request and cleaned our room twice a day.

The pools are great and so many of them. Something for everyone - whether you want the quiet end to chill out and relax or the party atmosphere of the swim-up bar or just to float around. We spent minimal time in the pools because the beach was so fabulous we couldnt bring ourselves to leave it very much. With the Excellence Club there is a designated area of the beach with better seating, covered beach beds and a beach concierge. They treated us like royalty and we never wanted for a thing - Antonio and his crew are just amazing and took wonderful care of us. The drinks come around the clock, everything we had was just wonderful but if it isnt they will bring you something else right away. Could not have asked for better treatment on the beach and have never been so relaxed on a vacation in all my life! Even brought us pizzas from the beach bar one day when we were too relaxed to even go to lunch.

There are some mixed reviews on the food but we enjoyed everything we had. Spice was wonderful and had great steak and seafood at The Grill. All the restaurants offer a wide variety and we never waited for a table at any meal for the entire week. Enjoyed the breakfast buffet at Toscana every morning with a wide variety and loved the omelet station! We liked the Dominican night on the beach and the entertainment nightly was fun. The Michael Jackson show was especially good but we also enjoyed the Burlesque show. The Martini Bar was really good but the drinks were excellent everywhere we went.

The only negative - dont drink the water! They will warn you about this right from the beginning, bottled water is plentiful though so we had no problems but remember - dont even rinse your toothbrush in the sink water! All of the food and drinks are safe at the resort, run through a filtration system in the restaurants and bars, but in the room it is not safe to drink. Small price to pay for a little piece of heaven that is Punta Cana!

We will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

We loved this resort! Very quaint and beautiful while maintaining some rustic, cultural charm. Staff was great and made us feel at home. Sara was a wonderful masseuses, Solomon our waiter at the Grill made our Anniversary dinner extra special, Luz kept us laughing every time we saw her and Chely just took good care of us throughout our stay. This is such a romantic place and I would highly recommend it!!

Room Tip: Request a swim up suite with ocean view. Room 15018 was a nice, spacious room with hot tub on the ba...
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  • Stayed November 2013, 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
    • 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.
ny
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

This was our first trip to DR,and to stay at EPC was the most relaxing 5 day stay we had anywhere ! Having an adults only resort was a big plus too! The pool was great, the service was superb,the food was OK and could be served a little hotter, the beach was beautiful with a nice breeze! Although our room (junior suite - garden view- bldg.#7) was clean and well stocked, at night it was a little too noisy in the hallway !! Next visit we will book the pool side room! we would recommend this resort and will be returning in the future !

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, England, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

this was our 3rd stay at EPC.. we absolutely love it here!!! we renewed our wedding vows also while we were there and i was treated like a proper princess.. the staff cannot do enough to help!!! many of the staff we now class as our friends some of which are Altagracia, Ricky, Omar, Emily, Natalie and not forgetting the ever loveable Jose!!! the hotel in itself is absolutely stunning but the staff are truly what keep taking us back to this amAzing hotel.. Not forgetting also a coupEl of others whom im not sure are employed by the hotel but work the grounds, Pierre & Herbie!!! all such amazing lovely people.. was a little dissapointed that our travel company.. Blue Ray Travel did not inform us of the restaurant closures and the building work going on at the main pool though Emily soon sorted us out by moving us to a nicer part away from the building works.. I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL TO ANYONE WANTING TOTAL RELAXATION AND LUXURY!!!!!

Room Tip: swim up room cascade pool
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  • Stayed November 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 1
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:
#5 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#6 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 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*
Number of rooms: 464
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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