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“Secrets or Excellence?”

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Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Ranked #9 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Both are very nice hotels. I think if ten people were to visit each, five would prefer Secrets, 5 Excellence. This depends on what you are looking for.

Beach: Both very nice. Ample chairs/shade/beach service.
> Excellence has a long, long stretch of beach with very few nearby hotels, making it picturesque and beautiful for walking or horseback riding (hours!). Waves are plentiful, making it beautiful and risky at times to swim.
> Secrets: beach is nice but along a stretch of many, many hotels. Very commercialized. Jet ski, para-sailing, motorboats all easy accessible. Lots of people everywhere. Swimming good.

Rooms: both very clean.
> Excellence: classier. 4 poster beds. Full bottles and many snacks in room. Some rooms show age, but not bad. Beds: hard, but comfy. Bathrooms great. Not alot of water pressure, but usually hot. Our tub was filled many nights with rose petals/music,etc. Both have mini fridges filled daily.
> Secrets: plain, mod decor. Newer. Jacuzzi on balcony (make sure you get third floor for privacy & don't get 1st floor if you plan to use it). Some privacy panels would be a nice addition. Lukewarm water in shower/nice and hot water in Jacuzzi Good water pressure. Comfier beds.

Restaurants: much classier at Excellence. Restaurant food better at Excellence/ buffet better at Secrets. Both good. No reservations at either, but at Royal res are required for Japanese (we never were able to get in/ this restaurant is also part of Now (families). Excellence gives you a beeper, which is very convenient (ex: we would get one on our way up to shower & get dressed/ come down when it went off.) I got tired of eating breakfast/lunch/dinner at same place (buffet).
Pastry/deserts better at Royal. More selection at Excellence.

Bars: nicer at Excellence, by far. Drinks great at both (some served in real pineapples and coconuts at both) A little watered down at Royals. Service great at both.

Service: both great everywhere. Management a little stiff at Excellence, but everyone else wonderful. No upgrades after multiple times at both (always a nice bottle in room though) I wish there were some kind of loyalty points/program for both the Excellence and Secrets resort chain.

Healthclub: definitely Excellence. Very small and limited at Royal (to the point where it wasn't worth going)
Spa is wonderful at Excellence too. New/ smaller at Royal, but nice.

Proximity to airport:
Royal: 20 min/35.00
Excellence:50 min:70.00

Entertainment:
Excellence has great sax player, Secrets has the better band. (Excellence has shows/Secrets doesn't) Excellence had more to offer (beach parties includes kids at Royal) Entertainment team excellent at both, maybe a slight bit better at Secrets)

Horseback riding: hands down, Excellence. Cheaper (45 vs 80) and more convenient (they bring horses to edge of property daily. Rates include one 20 min beach ride for free.

Pools: both cold! As is Secrets st. James, I wish one were heated at both resorts. Both clean, beautiful. Perhaps Royal wins this category. Both have swim up bars and many chairs/shaded areas.

Hot tubs: Secrets:cold Excellence: hot

Grounds: gorgeous, pristine at both. Roomier at Excellence/ well laid out at Royal.

Communication: same at both. Sometimes good, sometimes limited due to language barriers. I respect that we are in a foreign country and expect this.


My preference is Excellence, but I think anyone would be happy with either. I would cost compare and go with the better price unless one of the above factors were a dealbreaker.

Room Tip: Third floor rooms 5369-5381 are all close to beach/restaurants and far away from night entertainment...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24  Thank suzyq39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JazminRojas, Front Desk Manager Assistant at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

On behalf of our General Manager we want to thank you for choosing Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana for your vacations and taking your time to post a review on TripAdvisor.

We appreciate your remarks and comments about our property and all the services offered. we really value your time in sharing us those opportunity points where we can improve and work to give better services to our costumers.

Hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in a near future.

Best Regards,


Jazmin Rojas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,778 - 6,784 of 10,088 reviews

Reviewed January 16, 2013

We just returned from Secrets 1/14/13. Here is my opinion

Positives:

1. Beautiful grounds
2. Very Clean
3. Rooms are amazing!!! Hot tub on the balcony was awesome
4. Food was above average...i am very picky when it comes to the food in all-inclusives and I have to say that the food was very good!! The beach bar was AMAZING!!! Hamburgers were one of the best I ever had! The chicken, salmon, ribs, steaks and grilled veggies were unbelievable! I am not a fan of buffets so being able to get food cooked to order on this grill was amazing for me!!
5. The entertainment staff!!! OMG they were top notch!! Always smiling, keeping us laughing and involved. I cant say enough about them!
6. Service at the bars were also great....all the staff was extremely friendly!!
7. The beach!!! Great Beach...water was awesome...not as crystal clear because you are on the Atlantic ocean not the caribbean but very large, plenty of seats and shade and the wait staff was once again AMAZING!
8. the entertainment at night was good...didn't get to see alot of events because we ended up going to bed early lol but it did seem like alot to do at night that we missed lol

Negatives:

1. The quality of liquor!! This is a big one for us...they do not use top shelf liquor...the drinks were not good....very difficult to find a drink that we enjoyed....this is directly towards the management and owners not the staff. This is one of our pet peeves...dont try to save money on the liquor quality!!! This resort in many ways try to impress...WHY WHY WHY would you try to skimp out on the quality of liquor...sorry but to me this is annoying!! lol

2. The service in the sit down restaurants were VERY slow!!! The one day it took us 3 hours to complete a meal...not good!! The food quality was great but they seemed very disorganized....every night it took too long to complete our meal and by the time we were done everyone was ready for bed lol....we were a large party so this could have been part of the problem but I did hear other people make the same comments

Overall: This resort was beautiful...I personally will not return but that is only because of the cheap liquor ...but if it doesn't matter to you then Book it!!

If you have any questions please contact me :) ENJOY!!!

Room Tip: I believe all the rooms have the hot tub on the balcony and each building you can see the ocean so t...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank traceymichael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JazminRojas, Front Desk Manager Assistant at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2013

Dear Guest,

On behalf of our General Manager we want to thank you for choosing Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana for your vacations and taking your time to post a review on TripAdvisor.

We appreciate your remarks and comments about our property and all the services offered. we really value your time in sharing us those opportunity points where we can improve and work to give better services to our costumers.

Hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in a near future.

Best Regards,


Jazmin Rojas

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

We just returned from a 7 day stay at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana! This was our fifth Secrets resort to stay at, so we expected nothing but the BEST! We were not disappointed. The beautiful Dominican people were absolutely heavenly, we never encountered anyone that did not seem happy to be working in paradise. From the moment we arrived we were greeted by Danielliasa (sp?) at the reception desk, she went above and beyond to get us the best room possible. We had booked an Ocean View room, but she managed find us one of the few Presidential Suites that had just become available. Room 4292. She got it quickly ready for us and moved our belongings within 20 mins of arriving. The upgrade is absolutely worth it if you can fit it in your budget. Along with the presidential suite comes personal butler service. Not that you will ever have difficulty getting anything you need there, the personal attention is a real treat. JUAN MANUEL our butler, our friend, made our stay exceptionally amazing. He would check on us all thoughout the day and delivered on every request that we had. Before we could even ask for anything, he would already have it done. Juan was definitely my favorite at Secrets. I already miss him, he was such a hard working, genuine kind hearted person.

If you are a spa lover like I am, please do yourself a favor and visit LAUREEND at the spa. We have a day spa business at home, so I tend to be biased and disappointed when visiting spas at the resort. She has so much talent in her hands, it was incredible. I tried several services, but the Sabai Mineral Therapy massage, was the BEST spa service I have had.....EVER!

The food was decent for a Secrets resort, but not the best that we have had with them. No worries, though. The drinks were plentiful and top shelf. Willy and Jose(a trainee) at the pool bar were excellente. They always made it fun and looked happy to be at their job, and they kept the drinks coming. Enrique, one of the beach waiters was so fun and entertaining. He had us cracking up every day. He always came to visit us on the beach just at the right time. He went out of his way to make us up Coconut drinks, even though it was probably a pain for him. Thanks Enrique! Ricardo, was a jack of all trades, he was always so helpful. We seemed to run into him everywhere and he would always remember us and ask if we needed anything. At night he would always be sure to deliver wine glasses to our room for our wine even though we had not asked them.

Things to do: On the beach there were always plenty of palapas available, and the beach is huge so you can bring your chair out to sunbathe. The beach peddlers are a little annoying but the staff at secrets does a very good job to keep them away from bothering you. If you like to fish, talk with Felix with SeaPro on the beach, don't be scared to negotiate. He will set you up with a excellent private charter company to do a deep sea fish trip. We caught a lot of huge fish, then the resort will grill up your catch if you would like. My husband dives, so other than the wind making it very choppy, he said the ocean is beautiful and they keep the dive groups very small. Also, If you would like to Tour Punta Cana from above, I recommend the company Helidosa!

Thank you so much to Juan Manuel and the rest of the staff at Secrets Royal Beach for making this vacation so special for my husband and I. Between our business and our little toddler, it was just what we needed to rejuvenate. We will be back to see you very soon!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SpagirlKK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We spent 7 days at Secrets after being transferred from a nightmare location! Thank you, you came to our rescue! Alexis, our butler was fabulous and helped us get a few extras to make up for our situation. The cabana use for 2 days was very appreciated as was the champagne in our room when we arrived. This was our second time at Secrets and we enjoyed every day of our vacation. The food is getting better, the staff is sooo accommodating and pleasant and the resort is clean and very well maintained. We will come back again!

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Malteazer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JazminRojas, Front Desk Manager Assistant at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2013

Dear Guest,

On behalf of our General Manager we want to thank you for choosing Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana for your vacations and taking your time to post a review on TripAdvisor.

It is a real pleasure to read that our main goal, which is our guest satisfaction was committed while we rescue your vacations and our services, property and staff where up to your expectations. having the pleasure to serve you once more, we just expect to have the opportunity to serve you again in a near future.

Best Regards,


Jazmin Rojas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

My girlfriend and I spent Dec 21-24 at the Secrets Royal Beach resort in Punta Cana. The name of the resort is fitting because we were treated like ROYALty right upon our arrival. As per SOP with most Caribbean resorts, we were given our aloe infused cold towel to freshen up as we checked in. The check in process was very smooth and entertaining. After talking with the front desk, our hotel concierge came right over and offered us a table and drinks in the lounge. His name was Jesus Pena and if you have the luxury of having him serve you, then you're in for a treat. He told us all about the all inclusive aspects and gave us helpful hints about making reservations in advance at the Hibachi restraunt which was attached to the family friendly portion of the sister resort (Secrets is adults only). He also introduced us to Mamajuana, a delicious rum drink native to DR. We can't say enough good things about Jesus.
We were extremely impressed with our room. The bathroom had one of the largest showers either of us have been in. The toilet was in a separate room within the bathroom which faced opposite of a bidet. There were plenty of towels and probably one of my favorite aspects of the bathroom was the shampoo and body wash. I know this sounds extremely flamboyant for a man to bring up, but the aloe infused bath products were extremely invigorating and eye opening after a long night of drinking and dancing. We initially requested a room on the top floor when we booked from the US, and this paid off. Since there are hot tubs on the balconies of some rooms, it pays to have the privacy of being on the 3rd floor. Plus our pool view was actually a partial ocean view since we were so high up. The fridge was stocked like your typical all inclusive resort mini fridge, 4 beers (El Presidente), 4 bottled waters, and 4 different types of sodas. A big plus on them having orange soda, my girlfriend loves orange soda (and so does Kel). The cable tv was pretty good too, I think there were at least 50 channels and there was always something entertaining on. The bed was comfortable, soft pillows, the AC was in degrees Celcius, and very effective. Tons of closet space.
The room service menu was decent. I think I was spoiled from a previous all inclusive. There were close to 20 items you could order 24 hours, and some other items like sushi that were only available till 10PM. One thing I enjoyed was practicing my Spanish with the room service staff whether on the phone or in person. They were always friendly and entertaining to talk to. The service was prompt. We had Eduardo in our room delivering food both nights and he was always prompt and easy to talk to. The complimentary bottle of champagne was actually pretty good too.
The pool was great, whether mixed drinks at the pool bar or food being delivered by Junior, our pool server. He was the man! We were just chillin on some rafts in the pool discussing how hungry our day drinking was making us, when out of the blue came our savior, Junior. He offered us a selection of snacks and burgers to choose from, and then within 15 minutes we were enjoying burgers and pina coladas, soaking up the sun. Like I said, the service was great! On a side note, it did rain 2 out of our 3 days there.
The entertainment at the resort was abundant yet not overwhelming. The first night we were there they had a band playing all sorts of music on the main stage. They covered Metallica and other American musicians. Once again, we were given excellent service, this time by Cecilio. He struck up conversation like he knew us, and definitely helped us with our meager Spanish speaking skills. We will certainly miss him.
The restaurants were all very good. We ate at all three of the restaurants at Secrets, and two of them at Now Larimar, which is a short 2 minute walk from our resort. Excellent service and declious meals. At the Hibachi restaurant, they actually let my girlfriend get behind the counter-stove top and pretend to cook. Make sure you make a reservation early and go. You will not regret it!
The sports bar at Now Larimar has a bowling alley with 4 lanes in there, but if you go at night expect to have to wait at least 30 minutes to get a lane. The popcorn in the bar wasn't salted or buttered, but it was in an old fashion popcorn machine so I'll give them some credit. They also had Xbox, Playstation, Wii, fooseball, and pool. I was pleasantly entertained althought obviously there were a good amount of kids running around in there.
The beach at the resort was much nicer than the other ones around us. We walked about a mile down and saw one of the beaches entrenched with sea weed. I guess that could happen to any resort's beach, but I'm glad it wasn't ours. There were plenty of chairs to lounge on and they even had some decks built 10 feet above the sand for you to get a better view of the surrounding areas.
With all the positives, I really have to reach to find anything negative to say about the resort, but I will try. They offer to give a presentation on their unlimited luxury package. They said it would only be 60-90 minutes but it was close to three hours. Fortunately it rained that day and our host Martin was very fun to talk to. After lunch they took us to a baller ocean front suite and showed us the upgrades you could get if you were a member of the program. Starting price for unlimited luxury, $25,000. I won't get into anymore than to say it was a waste of time.
There were a few ants in the room but nothing that made us lose our minds. We didn't even bother to notify the front desk, since it was easy enough to clean up ourselves. They were localized near the coffee make above the mini fridge.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. We will definitely be recommending this resort to all of our friends. Thank you to all the staff, you made us feel like family.

Room Tip: Request a top floor room. This will give you privacy when using your hot tub on the balcony. If yo...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Anthony P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Just got home to rainy Ottawa from the best trip to Secrets in Punta Cana. We do not have one single complaint, everything was perfect. Our room was so clean and comfortable, loved it! The food at the buffet and room service was top notch. Our beach cabana made our trip extra special. The service from check in to check out was awesome! Thanks to William, Jacky and all our beach butlers, Felix was the best room service waiter ever! It really did feel like we were coming home. We will be back next year!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank linbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JazminRojas, Front Desk Manager Assistant at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2013

Dear Guest,

On behalf of our General Manager we want to thank you for choosing Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana for your vacation and taking your time to post a review on TripAdvisor.

We are delighted to read about the amazing time you had with us and how wonderful was every single moment. Thank for all your remarks and mentioning our staff for their services.

We hope to hear from you soon and give you a warm welcome back home.

Best Regards,


Jazmín Rojas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a 9 night stay at the Secrets Royal Beach. This was our second stay at a Secrets resort. We had previously stayed at the Secrets Capri in Riviera Maya. Overall this is a very nice resort. Secrets does have excellent service and the staff are generally friendly and accommodating. However, this is not completely adults-only, because as another reviewer stated, most of the restaurants are on the Now Larimor side where there are children. I love children, but when you pay the extra for adults only, that is what you should get.
We didn't care for the layout of the pool area either. It is small by the main pool area and narrow to walk around. There are very limited chairs around the pool, and unless you get up very early, you won't be able to sit by the pool. The Secrets Capri had a nice pool area with many chairs and excellent drink service around the pool. Because it was so extremely windy every day we were at the beach, we would have liked to have had the choice to lay by the pool.
The lighting in the rooms was poor, particularly where you need it most, above the bathroom vanity. It was difficult to see to do hair and makeup. The food was pretty good, with the exception of the Bluewater Grill on the Larimor side, which was awful. I did not like the fact that at every single ala carte restaurant, men had to wear long pants. I could see it at the fancier ones, like the French and the Oceana, but the Bluewater Grill no way. It looks like a pub/ bar atmosphere. They would turn certain men away, and let others in with shorts and T-shirts and flip flops. In my opinion, you either enforce it for all or for none. So, because of the extreme wind at the beach (which, of course, the resort can't control) and the small pool area with limited chairs, we won't be returning to Secrets Royal Beach or the Dominican Republic. The last time we were in the DR it was also very windy, but this time was far worse. We much prefer Jamaica, Curacao, Riviera Maya, and Costa Rica.

Room Tip: I would suggest a second floor room and closer to the stairs leading down to the Oceana restaurant a...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank gloriaglatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JazminRojas, Front Desk Manager Assistant at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2013

Dear Guest,

On behalf of the General Manager we want to thank you for choosing Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana for your vacations and taking your time to make a review on TripAdvisor.

We appreciate your comments and remarks about our services, property and staff and regret those services you encountered not enough to satisfy your expectations. Thank you for those points that you mention and can help us to improve our services.

We hope that you give the hotel or even the country another opportunity to show you all the amazing details and services we have in the country and our hotel.

Best Regards,


Jazmín Rojas

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana

Address: Ave Alemania S/N | El Cortecito, Bavaro Beach, 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 Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $292 - $665 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana 4.5*
Number of rooms: 465
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally situated on the picturesque palm-studded, sugar white Playa Bavaro beach on the eastern coastline of the Dominican Republic, Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana offers adults all the privileges of Unlimited-Luxury(R). Guests will immediately be embraced within an extraordinary environment where luxury illuminates every detail and our high level of personal service is unmatched. To ensure your romantic escape is everything you've imagined, every detail of your stay will be flawlessly provided and superbly attended to. From the fine quality linens to the daily refreshed mini bar and the unlimited premium brand beverages to the pool and beach wait service. You'll be immersed within a world of stunning architectural design coupled with resplendent views of the lush gardens, crystal-clear Caribbean Sea and dazzling swimming pools. This tranquil, romantic haven in Playa Bavaro is like nothing else you've ever experienced before. ... more   less 
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