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“Great 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 #14 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Wayland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

Loved it & plan to go back. First time at an all inclusive & it was great. Loved walking the beach. Great for coupes R&R. Restaurants were very nice & good food & variety. Staff friendly & helpful. Glad we choose this resort.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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.
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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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Richmond, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

We just returned from a 4 night getaway for our 22nd anniversary. I did a LOT of research before picking this hotel. Reviews, forums, etc. Finally decided on Excellence due to adults only and the quiet beach location away from Bavaro area. I did not pay much attention to the negative reviews about the food, I am not a huge foodie, but now wish I had. More on that later. This is absolutely not a 5 star hotel, but it is not the cost of a 5 star hotel either, so you are getting what you pay for. I would equate it to a 3 star European hotel. The staff - 80% were over the top fabulous, had a smile every day and really tried to please. The other 20% were complete opposites, and just did the bare minimum. It seemed that in every aspect of the hotel, just a little something was missing, and it all started to add up by the end.
Check in was fine, everyone very friendly. Our room was not ready at 3, so we ate lunch and then were escorted to our room. We had an Excellence Club Oceanview Excellence Suite - nothing was available when we booked except for the club level. If I had the choice again, I would not pay extra for the club level, no difference at all in service. I requested an upper level room in Building 10, but we got ground floor in Building 14. If you are going to be on the ground floor, then you may as well have a garden view room, because you can see the ocean, but only past the pool and there is little privacy in your room so you can't really have the curtains open. The room was spacious. In my opinion the furnishings are not dated as others have said, just a beachy style. The bed was a bit hard, again as other reviews noted but nothing that uncomfortable. In fact I probably would not even have noticed if I had not read reviews about the beds before we arrived! We slept fine, very quiet. Only complaint about the room was that the floor was very dirty, something red and sticky in front of the closets. I asked housekeeping twice about cleaning it and then gave up. Wore the slippers they give you every time we were in the room. They never refreshed our "premium" toiletries which was supposed to be a perk of the club level, so by the last day we were almost out of shampoo and conditioner. Little money saving things like that were evident around the hotel, all of which added up to bother me by the end.

Facilities and locale were the big positives. The lobby, pool, grounds and beach are absolutely gorgeous. I have been to almost every island in the Caribbean and Hawaii and I think this is one of the prettiest beaches I have been on. Yes, the water is rough, but still beautiful. You can walk in either direction for 30 minutes and not see a soul. There is also calmer water to swim in on either side of the hotel beach.
Pool is clean, not crowded. Definitely a bar crowd in the afternoons that could get rowdy, but it is a big pool, so you can find quiet spots.

Now on to the big negative - the food. As I said, I travel a lot, have been all over Europe and the Caribbean, and have never experienced such consistently bad food. Breakfast was fine, no complaints there. The lunch at the Grill, also fine. The beach buffet was just a stomach virus in the making, so we only ate lunch there one day. They don't clean off the tables, or the serving utensils, everything was sticky and just scary. Dinner was where they seem to have problems. We ate at Chez Isabelle - the onion soup tasted like dishwater, no flavor whatsoever, I mean none. And the chateaubriand was like very tough roast beef, again no flavor. It is very odd, the dinners will have no seasoning at all, but the hamburgers at the lunch buffet are so salty you cannot eat them. Please believe me when I say I am not exaggerating - I wish I had believed some of the other reviews about the food, because it really is bad. Spice was the best dinner we had. The Lobster Shack was the worst, we waited an hour for a table, then over an hour for our food. I ordered the Lobster Thermidor - I got half a lobster shell stuffed with diced mushrooms and onions, maybe 2 small pieces of lobster. I have no idea what it was supposed to be. We went back to our room and ordered room service - more salty hamburgers. On the night we ate at Toscana they were out of almost everything we tried to order. We ended up ordering 2 different pastas and then we both got sick back in the room.
Our best meal of the trip was at the airport in Atlanta - sad to say but true.

The shows/entertainment were very good. Bars good too, though always very busy and a bit understaffed. We had a nice time, but felt very ill by the end due to the food. So, bottom line - mostly great service, beautiful hotel, but would not go back.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, May 15, 2014
Allow us to thank you for taking the time to write this review in which you share your experience at Excellence Punta Cana with all Trip Advisor Readers.

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.

Allow us to apologize for not being able to meet your expectations in the area of food and beverage. Our Food & Beverage Manager and our Executive Chef have received your feedback and are working on improvements to guarantee our guest the best quality possible. However we are very much concerned by your review since the Hotel counts with high hygienic standards and our staff is well trained on this food & beverages safety practices. The resort undergoes continuous evaluation from external recognized institutions in order to accomplish this goal.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back and to provide you the memorable and relaxing experience you deserve.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

This was my wife and I's third visit to the Excellence. We stayed for 12 days and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our vacation at the hotel. First and foremost the welcoming we received from many of the staff that we got to see again this year was truly special. It felt like we were visiting family as the hugs and high fives when we arrived made us feel like we were coming home. Thank you Roberto, Emily, Omar, Ramon, David, Sandy, Kassandra, Dario, Rosemeri, Lorena, and Delores. You are all special people and you treated us wonderfully.

Feeling like a valued guest may not be what some may seek on vacation. We don't seek this out although I can't express enough how special the folks mentioned above made us feel. They went above and beyond to make our stay wonderful. Constantly checking to see if there was anything we needed, refilling our drink before having to ask, providing service with a smile, or simply taking the time to sit and chat.

Changes this year with the addition of the Flavor Market (wonderful tapas menu) , the new jacuzzi and the new show additions (Magic, Burlesque and Brazil) are welcomed changes for those who return to the hotel year after year. The property continues to be immaculately clean and well kept. Sure a paint touch up here or there, or a tile or grout may need to be replaced but these are easily overlooked when you put this in perspective with the value and quality of everything you receive at a stay at the Excellence.

By your 3rd visit you kind of know what to expect from a hotel, so no surprises. If you enjoy being at the beach - it will be hard to beat this beach in Punta Cana. If it's the pool that you prefer - you have 2 absolutely wonderfully laid out pools with staff seeking you out to provide you with a drink - constantly. Or our favorite 'excursion" which a trip to the spa for an absolutely fabulous massage experience. Do not pass up the Hydrotherapy it's a must.

My wife and I continue to struggle understanding the reviews of the food we often see listed here on TA. Is it the best food you'll ever have - NO. Although every one of our meals was great. Was there an item that we may have enjoyed more than another - for sure. But heck that happens in just about everywhere we eat back home. Tops in our book was osso bucco and caprese salad at Toscana, Pad Thai and shrimp and calamari curry at Spice, salsa chips and margaritas at Agave, lobster a diabla out of the shell at the lobster house, grilled calamari at the Grill, octopus appetizer at Barcelona, chateaubriand at chez Isabelle and everything at Los Olas. And best of all was the special meal prepared for us at Toscana - gracias to Delores for that.

If you decide on a truly relaxing vacation with a wonderful beach and pool, beautiful property, good restaurants without having to make reservations, staff that makes you feel special, it's unlikely that you will be disappointed with the Excellence. During your stay if you find that you need something or something isn't to your liking be reasonable with your request and just ask I'd be surprised if you don't get what you need.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Commack, New York
1 review
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

3rd trip to this resort - originally went November 2011 with 2 other couples. Went back with my wife alone in April 2013. This time around we went with 7 other couples -- all of whom loved it! We are all already talking about putting together another trip to this resort because we all loved it so much!
Trip from the airport was practically cut in half because of the new roads on the island. This was a pleasant surprise! We couldn't believe how much they accomplished in just a year.
As usual, the service was impeccable from the moment we arrived until the sad moment we left. One of our favorite staff members is Roberto Puello-- he is truly the best! We met him on our 1st trip and he remembered us on each of our follow up trips. He went out of his way to make sure we were happy with our room and everything in it. He also helped out with arranging dinners as we were such a large group. Additionally, I wanted to take my wife out for a private romantic dinner one night & he made that happen, exceeded our expectations & put a huge smile on my wife's face. He is truly a gem & the Excellence is lucky to have him!
The Excellence Club is the way to go. We have always stayed in Excellence club rooms & highly recommend it. The club longue has a great atmosphere, delicious food served all day/night and top shelf drinks. The staff, as stated before is spectacular. On the beach, Antonio & Jonathan always greet you with a smile & help with setting up your beach chairs, provide fresh towels, cold waters & snacks. They are wonderful. The waiters on the beach & at the pool never make you wait for drinks -- they work so hard it is unbelievable. A special shout out to Yerlin, Edgar & Pedro -- they are the best!!!!! Their service is AMAZING! All should be tipped well as they deserve it.
The location of the resort is perfect - the beach is priceless - they literally comb the beach everyday & take it a step further, by sifting the sand! No joke - they sift the sand to get out even the littlest things that just don't belong. You are left with the most perfect, soft sand - always!
The beach beds are fantastic, as are all of the covered beach chairs. There was always ample seating, even for our large group & shade can always be found, if needed.
SPOTLESS is an understatement! When I tell you, there are people grooming & cleaning every inch of this resort 24/7, I am not exaggerating. You will be impressed. Even the beach/pool bathrooms are always clean - which is no easy task!
The rooms are cleaned well, have comfortable beds, cool showers, balconies or patios, slippers & robes, turn-down service every night & 24 hr room service -- the food is surprisingly good & gets delivered to your room fast.
The property is perfectly laid out. There are different events/shows/parties every day. Even from just 1 year ago, they added a different dinner party - a pool soiree, which was very cool.
We have eaten at every restaurant over the course of our 3 visits -- we were never disappointed & sometimes even pleasantly surprised. We loved the new tapas Flavor Market! Our other favorites are the French restaurant & the Asian restaurant. You will never go hungry or thirsty at this resort! Guys, bring your long pants - they are strict with that dress code item at almost all of the restaurants - the only ones you can wear shorts at are the Grill, Lobster House & Oregano - which are the 3 outdoor restaurants.
We did the bike tour (which is free) on this trip & enjoyed it - 1 hour ride. Several in our group did Spa treatments and said it was the best Spa they have ever been too. The gym is impressive - plenty of equipment & classes - air conditioned!
The 8 couples in our group range in age from mid-30s to upper 50s & all had the same opinion -- Excellence is truly excellente! We can't wait to go back again!!

Room Tip: 3rd floor rooms have beautiful vaulted ceilings
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

28 &29 year old newlyweds just finishing up our 9 day honeymoon here at EPC. Service and staff were outstanding. Very accommodating and friendly--will meet your needs very quickly (I.e., we once requested more water for our room, and they were knocking on the door in less than 10 mins). Grounds, pools, and bars were wonderful. You really feel like you are in paradise here. Shows were very good, especially Michael Jackson and circus nights. Spice and flavor market were our favorite restaurants--very good quality. Being jersey food snobs, the Italian fare was a little rough from our perspectives. The other restaurants were OK, but nothing to write home about. Only complaint: the firm bed. I was fine, but my husbands back was a mess by the end of our trip. We got a "pillow topper" but it didn't help. Overall a fabulous, relaxing getaway. We would definitely come back here and recommend it to our friends!! We had a top floor room which was nice and cool, clean, and well maintained.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

My wife and I chose the Excellence for our 1-week honeymoon. We just got back last night.

Good value for an all-inclusive. We were treated with courtesy by all the staff from the very beginning. "Welcome home!" was our greeting + champagne. Nice! It felt like home. You owned the place. Anything you wanted, any time. They were NOT stingy with drinks or food at all. The food was all good - I wouldn't expect 5-star restaurant quality food for every meal, but seriously, great selections, great service, and you could have as much as you wanted. The big reason we went with the Excellence was Options, Choices, flexibility in terms of: restaurants, where to sit beach/poolside, where to swim, entertainment, romantic dinners, spa treatments, sports channels to watch at the sports bar!

Great value for the money.

The location is great. No other resorts abut you for half a mile on either end. Ocean is swim at your own risk, no netting or anything, but warm, clean and nice!

The rooms were pretty sweet. Jacuzzi next to the bed and amazing views (see room suggestion). Room service was very courteous and they even remembered us and our past orders when we called. As other reviewers brought up, rooms were showing their age, but they keep them clean and cool, so that was a plus.

The staff were really great. The entertainment staff especially. They weren't corny, but they encouraged you to get involved, meet some other folks who participated in the low-key, highly optional activities. I especially wanted to give a shout out to Johnathan, who always looked out for us whenever we were out and made sure we were having a good time. I have a DJ business I run part time, and I loved the music they played throughout the hotel. I asked Johnathan how I could find out what the names of the songs/artists were, and Johnathan gave us a whole MP3 CD full of Salsa/Merengue tracks at the end of the week! It was that type of service - people going out of their way to grant your wish, if it was reasonable. Just ask!

They had lots of freebies you could take advantage of like a free welcome photo shoot, free 5-minute "sample" massages poolside, free 30 minute horse rides up the beach. They had more premium paid options for all of these (and we splurged for the couples spa treatment with the hydrotherapy - worth it). Also, if it's your honeymoon, you got a free "romantic dinner" at one of the restaurants where they gave you a personalized menu and some rose petals on your table and stuff. Nice little consideration.

We wanted to go scuba diving on this trip - so heads up if you're also into that that they have their own PADI training/diving center on site but it was NOT open in May when we visited. But they arranged for us to go with other nearby hotels off-site. Worked out fine if you don't mind taking a 40 minute drive each way to drop other people off etc. That's another thing - the hotel is a bit out of the way, which is awesome for privacy, but could be a bit inconvenient if you want to do a lot of excursions off-site (but why bother? Plenty to see and do right there!)

Bottom line, it's very clear that the locally sourced staff were well trained and well managed. They worked hard at it, and rarely "broke character" in terms of being totally focused on you. Yeah, sometimes a few of the guests get a bit out of hand with unlimited bar drinks, but the staff managed that really well, and nobody really got up in our faces and we really didn't have a single negative moment while there (besides our disappointment at not being able to get milkshakes from the Sports Bar at 10am on our last day - what can I say? They spoiled us!)

If you're looking for an all-inclusive, I'd say go for this one. Excellente.

Room Tip: Choose one that faces the CASCADE pool area, not the main pool. The main pool can turn into a party...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Tonawanda, New York
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

This was our first vacation at an all inclusive resort and it was an excellent experience! The room and pool view were amazing! The drinks and food were delicious at all of the restaurants. The whole resort was very clean and the staff were very helpful and friendly.We had such an amazing time, we will definitely be back and we have recommended this resort to all our friends and family! This was the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on! Thank you Excellence and I can't wait to hear you say again, "Welcome Home!" MBH

Room Tip: We had a pool view room that was beautiful!
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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 6
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 
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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