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“Wonderful!” 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 #12 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Cambridge, Canada
2 reviews
“Wonderful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

My husband and I came here for our honeymoon over 10 years ago, and then returned for our 10th Anniversary. Same great service, great atmosphere, beautiful beach and a terrific selection of sit down restaurants. AND we're going back again this May! This time we're checking out the Excellence Club perks... :-) I'd recommend this resort to anyone travelling south without children. Loved the outdoor bar by the main building. The staff are just terrific and are always happy and make you laugh.

Room Tip: Ocean view near the cascade pool can be loud if there's a wedding... But it was only one night.
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  • Stayed May 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
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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Omaha, Nebraska
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

It truly was excellent - long beach was great, resort property and room was very clean, many good restaurants to choose from each evening, a good show every night, and the staff was very helpful. Weather was mid 80's every day. We will go back!

Room Tip: Feel that upgrading to Excellence was worth it - more "perks".
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  • Stayed December 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

Amazing honeymoon. Roberto on the beach was amazing. Never had a warm or empty drink. He went out of his way to make our stay exceptional. All of the staff was amazing and the resort was immaculate. I would not upgrade to the excellence club if it was me. We walked down and to this area and the chairs might have been a little nicer but we doubled up the beach pads on the chairs in the normal section and they were quite comfortable. My wife was topless the entire time on the beach and there were more topless around us than in the excellence club. The lazy river style pool is cool as well, we would float around then float over to the bar.
No complaints whatsoever.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, IA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I just came back from a 6 day stay at Excellence Punta Cana. We had stayed at Excellence Riviera Cancun last year and had a great experience, so we thought we'd try the original property this year in the Dominican Republic(DR). I think we would say the result was mixed overall.

Arrival

We booked a flight that got us to the island around 2:00 which turned out to be perfect to start our vacation early. I would highly recommend buying a the required Tourist Card online in advance. We saved 15 minutes or more and avoided a long line to enter the country. We went straight to the customs officers. Our bags were waiting for us and we let the local airport porter take them for us. We were surprised when he went straight to the front of security and bypassed their scanners. The customs agent waived him, our bags, and us right through security in about a minute. I tipped the porter $5 for the express route through the airport. We pre-booked a private car with CoCo Tours. Everything went without a hitch. It's about an hour to the hotel. The driver didn't speak English, and our Spanish is so so, but we got through it and arrived at the resort. I did wonder though what it is about Excellence resorts and pot-holed roads leading to them. Both Cancun and Punta Cana roads have pot holes everywhere.

The Resort

This is a sprawling resort that feels bigger than the Cancun one. Good layout, similar restaurants, etc. We liked the boardwalk feel of the shops, and the extensive garden with turtles, flamingos, and two macaws that can be fed with bread supplied by the resort. We didn't use the spa, but did use the well equipped Gym. There are tennis courts, billiards, ping pong, horse back riding, water sports, etc here. We stayed in the Excellence club buildings, and that seemed well worth it at this resort. The lobby is nice, but not as grand and opulent as the one in Cancun.

The Beach

In a word this beach is HUGE. The club section of the beach seemed well kept with a beach concierge, pizza served on the beach, to go boxes for snacks from the nearby club lounge, drink orders on the beach, wooden chairs and tables, and a large number of umbrellas and beach beds. We walked over to the regular beach for non club members and it seemed dirtier with plastic furniture and umbrellas that seemed not as well maintained. We also noticed a lot of sand flea burrows on that side of the beach. I wouldn't want to walk there at dusk. We did not notice as much of a difference when we stayed in Cancun. The seas were rough when we were there with red flags every day for heavy surf. There is a lot of reserving beds, chairs, etc with towels. There was the typical rain shower each day for about 5 - 10 minutes.

The Rooms

Overall, the rooms are nice, but just okay. There was a strange window into the shower, I think for natural light, but what it does is provide a clear view for the shower, and a partial view of anyone using the toilet. A small space for those two functions. The DR is a very humid place, so things in the room constantly felt damp. Your choices were either to deal with the dampness, or turn up the air and be frankly a bit chilly while in the room. The balcony is okay, and we had a great view of the ocean. The resort is in process of refurbishing the rooms. The rooms here do not have that wow factor as we saw in Cancun, but this may not be that big of a deal depending on your needs. This is a smoking resort, there will be cigar and cigarette smoke from time to time in various places.

The Staff

We would say that the staff at Punta Cana is one of the things that brings people back to this resort. They are five stars! Great experience with them and what they do for guests, especially the wait staff in the restaurants, and housekeeping. We had a few trouble spots with concierge with items not showing up as expected, a bottle of wine did not arrive New Years Eve after we ordered it in advance, no bell service at checkout as we discussed the previous day, no extra cloths or ice when my wife was injured on the resort and we asked for them Small things, but they added up during the week.

The Restaurants

Most of the restaurants at this resort are okay. Nothing really stood out with one exception, Chez Isabelle (French). Best restaurant on the property, in our opinion. Everything we had there was Excellent. Agave (Mexican) was our low point, nothing seemed fresh, or particularly above a frozen meal I could heat up from home. The buffets for breakfast and lunch were good with a wide variety of foods. The drinks are strong. I got a rum and coke which was poured as half rum and half coke. We stuck with wine.

Overall

Not sure that this is our favorite property. I think that if we had not gone to Cancun first, we would have thought more highly of Punta Cana. However, in our minds it is not close between the two properties. Cancun feels more upscale overall. The clientele seemed different, we were woken up many times in Punta Cana by partiers in our building, but Cancun seemed more like just couples looking for a romantic getaway. We may have just been unlucky. Our view is also clouded by an incident where during the New Years Eve party fireworks were going off to start the new year. Both my wife and I were struck by spent cartridges because the fireworks were shot too low. I overheard many people say they had never seen fireworks so close. My wife got a black eye from the cartridge. Not exactly the souvenir she was looking to bring home. In the DR doctors are private practice, no insurance. It also didn't help that my Spanish is weak, and the person behind the desk spoke little English. This could have been bad news if she had been more seriously hurt. Overall, not a bad experience, but not the magic we felt in Cancun. I don't see us going back in the future.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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, January 24, 2014
Thank you very much for taking your time and sharing your experience with us. All our Excellence Resorts are designed with a different personality, but always with the same high standards. We regret that we were not able to meet your expectations since one of our main objectives is the satisfaction of our guests with the quality on the food, service and facilities.

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. We also appreciate your detailed feedback, which helped us identify specifically the areas of opportunity encountered during your stay.

We would like to offer you our most sincere apologies for the situation faced during your stay which caused you uncomfortable moments and for the inadequate follow up provided. We totally understand how you felt about having to deal with these situations, instead of spending time enjoying the Resort facilities and your overall vacation. 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.

We truly hope to have the privilege to welcome you back in a near future and to provide you with a truly unique vacation experience you deserve.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

My boyfriend and I did an 8 night, 9 day vacation. A lot of reviews talk about the airport and the ride from the airport being terrible. My boyfriend picked the transportation company and they had a bottle of wine waiting. That might have made the ride a little easier. The road has some construction work and the drivers are a little crazy so buckle up, but I never felt unsafe.

FOOD: majority of the food and restaurants are amazing. Lobster House is the one I was the most excited about but the most disappointed with. The lobster is different than what we're used to in the states and there aren't a ton of other options. Chez Isabelle AMAZING. We went there 3 times. French Onion Soup and Chateaubriand were to die for. I want to go back just for that. The Grill had an amazing dinner as well. Was not a huge fan of the Asian restaurant Spice. Lunch at the beach restaurant was always amazing. You have to try the pizza. Had one small wait but they had a place to get a beverage while we waited.

STAFF: I absolutely loved the staff there. They're always smiling and encouraging us to get involved in the fun activities around. Johenley, Smiley and Chely were our favorites. The waiters and waitresses are all very courteous as well.

VENUE: Swim up bar!!! Need I say more? The pools were immaculate. The chairs had cushions and were clean and comfortable. There were sections if you just like to relax, or if you enjoy pool games or if you want to party. The beach is easy to access and very clean. The water is so rough though. We spent the majority of the time in the pools.

ROOMS - we stayed in building #9 which I loved. It's further from the lobby BUT it made it seem like we were on an island rather than a resort and the view is amazing. We were on the 3rd floor and had a beautiful vaulted ceiling and a walk out patio overlooking a small pond. If you're a new couple there is not a lot of bathroom privacy but I love the tub being out in the open. We used that almost every night.

ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT: biggest reason we chose this resort is because of how many options for activities and restaurants. We did as much as we could. Definitely recommend horseback riding - learned that you don't need to mark that you were around livestock on your borders form. Also recommend the bike ride. It shows you a more remote part of the island. Do the pool games and the pool deck games. We went during Halloween and they had pumpkin carving. It was so cool that they got into our customs. They have other things like paella cooking and how to make a coco loco which you have to try. Nightly entertainment was pretty good so you had more stuff to do. It was just a little hot. Definitely go to the Circus show and Karaoke night was a good time. We never tried the club. They do have a sports bar and we were able to watch NFL games.

All in all we had an amazing time!!! We didn't have any issues with bugs or dirty rooms or lack of hot water. Power went off once briefly and it wasn't a huge deal.

Recommendation is to bring floaties and sunscreen. Make sure to dress up for the restaurants and read reviews from people who have been there. Also we made friends so it was more fun to do activities and you can actually do combined dinners. There is also a casino that was so fun!

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape May, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

All I can say about this resort it GO!! This was our best All-Inclusive vacation ever! From the spacious rooms that were cleaned daily, to the 1/4 mile long pool! There is so much to do and so many nice people to assist you with whatever you need!

Room Tip: We stayed in the rooms overlooking the pool, but not the Ocean. Great place to be
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  • Stayed February 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melville, New York, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

My husband and I recently returned from our second trip to EPC this year. As with our first trip in April, we purchased our tourist visas online before we left and skipped the majority of the line, went through customs, picked up our luggage, found our driver and off we went. Since April, the new road construction is complete making the trip to the resort a quick 35 minutes. We were met at the front with champagne and a cool cloth. Our checkin was smooth and while they finished making up our room, we enjoyed a great lunch at Toscana. Because this trip was impromptu and shorter than our normal stay at an excellence property, we decided not to upgrade to the club level. While we normally enjoy the additional perks of the club level, we did not notice a difference in the level of service we received. One day, while on the beach, we reserved one of their private beach cabanas. This was a wonderful service and something I had read about and noticed while we were here in April. Reserving the cabana included a massage in our cabana, champagne, lunch delivered and of course, the same amazing service experienced throughout the resort. Definitely worth the additional expense, we loved the experience.
While here, they were doing a lot of construction; adding an additional restaurant - The Flavor Market. We're looking forward to trying this restaurant on our next trip and seeing the additional improvements being made to the resort.
There were two stand out employees that I need to mention - Sandy, he was our waiter for breakfast every morning and then again for a few of our dinners. He was always pleasant and took care of us. The second employee is Jonathan, the bartender at the sports bar. Be sure to go visit the sports bar - it is definitely a hidden gem and seeing Jonathan makes it all the more perfect.
My one and only nag about this resort, well the chain in general is that I do wish that they recognize their repeat guests in some way.

Room Tip: Ask for a pillow topper if you feel the bed is too hard
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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 8
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
#10 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 Business 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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