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“Perfect honeymoon” 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
Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Perfect honeymoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

My husband and I spent a week here for out honeymoon and absolutely loved it. We felt like we were special guests from the moment we arrived. The staff was so friendly and the food was delicious. We will definitely come back and recommend staying here.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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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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Orange County, CA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

As a disclaimer I want to put it out there that we have stayed at the Excellence Riviera Maya in Mexico, which is why we chose this place per our past experience. So I will be drawing a lot of comparison in between the two to support my review.

Overall it was an amazing trip, no major negative incident. I don't have major complaint about the resort. In a nutshell I felt the location of the resort was its biggest advantage while the quality of the food and condition of the entire resort had some room for improvement. I've read some of others' reviews so I'll try to add onto that for anyone in fear of the negative remarks, it helps sometimes to hear the explanation.

Pros:
Location-If you are wanting to indulge in the locals and visit small local joints this resort isn't for you, ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR YOU. Its an hour drive from the airport, good 30-40 mins ride to the Bavaro Beach which is the main downtown/beach area in the area. It has nothing in between the resort and the next resort, nothing. You book here for its seclusion, to experience the island living. You actually FEEL like you are on an island and not some stretch of hotels you can find anywhere else.

Beach-The resort is beachfront so you have ultimate access to the beach. You are on a private beach, there isn't anything around. Only activity you'll see is the next resorts in both directions which won't be visible for awhile, 30 mins walk at least. A LOT of negative reviews about the beach and its current and it not being the calm turquoise Caribbean. Its because you aren't in the Caribbean technically, its part of the Atlantic and the actual beachfront IS quite rough with its waves, that's a fact for you. Here's a BEACH TIP for you, VERY IMPORTANT: You walk out to the beach then make a RIGHT TURN, then continue walking on the beach and you'll start seeing your Robinson Crusoe isolated beach within 5-10 minutes. This will go on for about 30 minutes until you start seeing some people and the next resort. This stretch of beach is where you want to be at, true isolation with white sugary beach-WARM turquoise water-calm calm clam water-nothing but palm trees on land. You can lay out on the resort's beach with your fresh coconut under the palapa but if you are wanting that picturesque beach all you have to do is turn RIGHT. The most I saw was my fellow resort mates 6 folks at most swimming in the ocean. That is how isolated this stretch of beach is. I'll try to attach pictures with description so you can see what it looks like.

People-Service TIME may be delayed but people are nice, so be nice to them even if they don't understand you fully and takes forever to get your drinks. All of our room requests were met and turn-down service timely.

Cons:

Food-I'm extremely sad about this since my husband and I are into food. The quality of the restaurants were just not the same as in Mexico. With the exception of the Flavor Market and Toscana we didn't like any of the other ones. Spice was not edible, it was quite disgusting. Not that it wasn't clean, what should taste like Asian food didn't taste like anything. Agave was mediocre at best, I don't know if its because I'm from LA but it was the oddest tasting Mexican food. Due to mosquitos we couldn't try the food on the beach and the Lobster House at dinner. Las Olinas (? spelling) on the beach wasn't bad but not spectacular. What saved us was Toscana because of its variety, we had lots of fruit and salads to get us through until we discovered Flavor Market. Chez Isabelle was good but not sure if I would say it was quite French.

Room/Resort/Cleanliness-Don't get me wrong, everyone was working hard. But the integrity of a luxury resort comparable to Mexico just wasn't there. There were times when I spotted "stains" in all sorts of places but I recognized that this is an island and need to be patient so didn't fuss over them. The bed, tile, cups, mugs, plates, linens, etc. The exterior of the resort is simply tired, the interior just isn't upgraded seamless. I didn't lose sleep over it but they were noticed. The bed is quite hard but I didn't mind it.

Amenities:

I think overall the resort has really good selection of activities you can do. Don't complain about not being able to kayak because the current is too rough, you can simply swim in that stretch of isolated beach I explained above. There are so many activities they offer instead. We tried the bike tour and it was lovely, you ride out of the resort then through the jungle out to the beach. I would say it was a good 30 min ride. We passed on the horseback tour due to mosquitos but its route is just as lovely so I recommend it. The recreation center is awesome with tennis-ping/pong-archery-rifle-etc you can play. The GARDEN is amazing, let's just say its quite big and plenty of wild life such as flamingos/storks/ducks/turtles/birds/fish/parrots to feed and see. Our favorite thing to do was to go for a walk after dinner and feed the wild-life.

Spa-Hydrotherapy was lovely but I will say, I think they need to coordinate the staff better. The staff was lovely but simply short-staffed, I tried hydrotherapy twice (I paid since we didn't upgrade to Excellence Club) and while the first time was flawless the second time was quite frustrating. There was only one person circulating at least 4 couples so I did a lot of waiting and not knowing where to go because the staff wasn't escorting me timely. Comparing to my first day the second day she even forgot to do one of the step. I didn't make a fuss because we had to leave but honestly when I'm paying for that service specifically you want to at least get your money's worth. It was quite disappointing since the spa is lovely.

Resort Gift Shop-I compared prices at the airport but the coffee we bought at the resort was such a good deal, so if you are looking for simple souvenirs I would recommend shopping at the resort gift shops, there's quite a few including a cigar shop as well.

Shows-Unfortunately we didn't attend any. 1) We were tired from swimming and wanted to rest 2) Mosquitos, we were quite butchered 3) Wasn't our scene. The production seems quite grand and every day was a full house at the audience, other couples commented the shows were entertaining. But to be honest, it was a bit rowdy. While not distracting I felt the vibe when we were there the entire resort was quite festive, not quiet and romantic. So we just didn't want to be around that crowd. The casino is small but was always busy and active so if you are into that its a plus.

Random thought/tip-Gift shops on the beach

Because the resort is isolated there isn't much to explore. But during our walk on the beach we discovered the beach souvenir vendors, there's more than one. So if you are into that sort of thing its not bad exploring, some of the items weren't too bad so after haggling the prices were decent.

Random tip-Excursion

We tried Bavaro Splash which includes snorkel-speedboat-snuba. While we enjoyed it, I highly recommend not doing this excursion. Look for excursions labeled "small/private" indicating smaller groups. General excursions will be in larger groups, it took way too long briefing and preparing, wasted a lot of time and plus you end up in an area filled with so many people you don't quite feel like you are snorkeling in a secluded island. Pay the extra $40 and choose the excursions in the 16 people group capacity.

I will recommend this resort and make note of the tips I gave (mostly about the beach) but keep in mind if you are a foodie this resort is probably not for you but honestly not sure where in Punta Cana you'll get that since after all this is a tropical island.

*While we did not upgrade to Excellence Club, I personally wouldn't feel its worth its value based on what I saw.

Room Tip: I can't remember which area its referred to as but we were in building 1000 next to the cascadin...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Excellence_Group, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this review, July 5, 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.

We will forward your comments and suggestions to the above mentioned departments as your feedback is very important to us since it helps us improve on a daily basis.

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.
Maitland, Florida
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

I visited this resort as a courtesy for a number of my clients (I am a travel agent) that I have booked there later this year and next year. Let me start off by saying that the property is beautiful. Many of the newer properties have no character at all. The grounds at Excellence are probably the prettiest grounds I've seen in Punta Cana and I have visited many resorts there. At Excellence there is beautiful flora and fauna everywhere!

The service at Excellence is amazing from the moment you arrive you feel like you are their most important customer. The resort is absolutely a place for those seeking romance. There were couples of all ages at the resort and the staff catered to each in their own special way. While I loved the resort and would absolutely stay again there are several reasons that I gave it 4 out of 5. The rooms are somewhat outdated. I feel there are little things that can be done to give them a facelift like possibly different paint colors and fixtures. The food to me was just average (I will admit I am a tough food critic) I think I expected a little more, however I will say once I voiced this to a staff member they had the chef prepare me a special meal that was exceptional. The last thing is that the resort if very remote and far from the airport. If you plan to stay here either plan to only stay at the resort or budget for hefty taxi fees. As far as staff there are a few to make sure you connect with: Victor, Roberto, and Emely. Emely works with public relations (guest services) and goes above and beyond to make sure that your experience is 'Excellente'. Make sure you get to know her on your first day and she will take care of you. While there are several opportunities for improvement I think that if you are looking for a luxurious stay and 5-star treatment place to indulge in romance, Excellence is the resort you need to stay at while visiting Punta Cana. If anyone has any questions or would like pictures please feel free to contact me.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

My wife and I just got back from 5 days at the Excellence Punta Cana. We had no complaints. The beach was incredibly beautiful and clean. No one outside of the resort was walking around trying to sell you anything. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Plenty of things to do. We had a garden view room and found it to be very nice.
Someday, the outside of the rooms will need a bit of a makeover but the inside of the room was very nice. High ceilings made it seem even bigger.

The one minor negative was that dinner food could have been a bit better but I have come to expect that when traveling to the Caribbean.

We would definitely go back!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

My husband and I went here for 2 weeks for our honeymoon and we felt like royalty the whole time. It was a Super Excellent experience for us, everything was perfect! The people (both staff and visitors) were so friendly, we always felt like we were at home with our family. The Food was beyond delicious and you could tell it was handled with love and care! I am in love with their coffee, Santo Domingo Cafe is truly delicious...The view of the ocean and their landscape is breathtaking! The nightly entertainment was exciting, awesome and so well done! This resort was always clean and full of smiles! We had such a great stay, we didn't want to go home. We will for sure come back to celebrate future anniversaries! - We already miss all our friends we made there.
- Julie and Alexander

  • Stayed June 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

My wife and I spent a week here for our honeymoon. We absolutely loved every moment! From the moment we arrived we felt like honored guest. We were greeted with champagne and eager bellman to take our luggage. We did purchase the excellence club since we "did it big" while on our honeymoon :) We were taken to the club lounge for check-in, which was great! We were able to snack and drink bourbon while we waiting for our room! Our room was a terrace suite. It was large and have a wonderful roof top deck with private pool. The only down fall was that it was located on the opposite side of the resort than the club lounge and club beach which meant we had to walk to get to our extra amenities. Not a big deal but if you are part of the excellence club make sure to request a room close by to save some steps and hassle. Make sure to try Spice, by far the best food there. Oh and don't forget the swim up bar we closed it down almost everyday! It was one of my fav places to meet people. We still talk to many of the couples we met while there, don't hesitate to book this place. AMAZING!

Room Tip: Swim up rooms and be noisy, but ocean front/view rooms are worth the extra money.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morgantown, West Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

My wife and I have just returned from a wonderful week at Excellence Punta Cana. we were celebrating our 40th Anniversary. Let me start by saying we are average, hard working people who have been blessed to be able to travel the last four years to different Countries and stayed at different resorts. Excellence has been the best so far! The other resorts were Sandals and we enjoyed this place over all the rest. Everything was great! You can have as much service, or if you want to be left alone, as little service as you want. The whole experience was awesome for us. Great room, good food, great service, beautiful beach and pools and lots of sunshine! If you can't have a great time here then I don't believe you could anywhere. Try this place, you won't be disappointed!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Excellence Club Excellence Suite Room 7106 and loved the extra space and view. No...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 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 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 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*
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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