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“Wonderful Resort, Great for Relaxing, Time with Significant Other” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Excellence Punta Cana

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #17 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
A TripAdvisor Member
“Wonderful Resort, Great for Relaxing, Time with Significant Other”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2003

Before you read this, remember it is my opinion and experiences, they are not meant to insult or offend anyone.Returned on Sunday, the resort was absolutely gorgeous. Even though we arrived around 1 p.m. our room in the Excellence Club was ready. The room was cleaned, bar stocked and a bottle of champagne on ice with fruit awaiting our arrival. I say this, because we had no problems the entire length of our stay with cleaning & turn down service, towels or having the bar stocked daily! Did we tip; yesI left a small gift and two dollars each day for the maid, as well as the person who stocked the bar. Do I believe this encouraged better service; yeswouldnt you clean a room first where someone has placed out a pad & colored pencils or a candy bar to show personal appreciation? These people work very hard, how many times have you or your friends said they only wanted little recognition? And we are also paid to do our jobs. Each day we returned to our room there was always a surprise for usrose petals and winea tray of sushia congratulations cake or finger sandwiches.The grounds were beautiful and well maintained considering some people were too lazy to throw their own garbage out. The beach was probably the biggest I have ever seen at a resort. Being from New Jersey, I hardly considered the waves rough they were actually much calmer than what we were used to. The pool water was always perfect and as clean as could be expected given the trees and people coming in from the beach. They had someone offering fresh fruit and drinks in areas where you were not immediately near a bar. Yes even on the beach. The rafts we did not bring one, but did use one at various times throughout our stay. We never took it back to our room, and always offered it someone who promised not to. Some did take the floats to their room, but I did notice that they have started having the staff take them off the guest patios and return them to the pool.The restaurants were the best food we have had at an all-inclusive (remember thats what this was) and probably a notch above some of the restaurants that we have been to that werent. The drinks were never watered down, some where actually a little strong the rule of thumb at any bar is to serve the cheap stuff first and the better brands when asked for by name.The entertainment was much better than many other resorts we have been to and even a few luaus. We never made it to the Disco.Having access to the Excellence Club was something that I found to be a nice addition. We would hang at the beach or the pool; play some games then around 5 or so head in for a shower and stop at the club for a snack and drinks.The only drawback for us was the mosquitoes! They werent bad the first to days we were there, but on the third we were attacked. It was so bad for the next two days that I didnt even want to go out at night and if I did wore a long skirt or pants with plenty of off. I finally figured out how they were getting into the room. There are little openings at the bottom of the door. I actually got them to give me a can of their bug spray so I could spray the door and things where much better. The beach has sand fleas as well, use offthey are on most natural beaches so I really didnt see this as a big deal.Check out got a little confusing, some didnt keep track of their bags and they were put on the wrong bus (they are your bags, why would you let someone else have control of them just to get another drink?)

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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2003

We just returned from spending a week (Oct 12-19) at Secrets and can only re-iterate what the previous reviewer said; "One of the Best"! If you are a 20ish year old person, never been outside the US and believe that fine dinning is McDonalds, Olive Garden, Chilis, Appleby's ,etc, than stay at home! If you think that McDonalds makes the best burgers(some one we met actually said that), then you need a culinary transplant. Food, rooms, service was better than Sandals and almost on par with the Grand Lidos in Jamaica. Little things happen on any vacation but you are on vacation, so don't let in ruin your vacation.
The road to the resort is pot-hole filled but remember that you are in a third world country. Maybe some time you could take a ride out of your suburbs into most inner city communities in the major US cities and you see the same types of roads as well as the poverty. This resort is top value for what you are paying. I don't know what else to say, other than if you are considering this resort, just book it. Also, bring a couple of cans of OFF bug spray just in case. Depending on the amount of rainfall before and during your stay will determine if you will need it. Have a great Day and if I offended anyone with my "frank and honest" opinions, well I don't care. Bye Bye!

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4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2003

My husband and I and brother and sister-in-law just returned from Punta Cana on Sunday October 19. We all had a great time at the resort. Met alot of friendly people from all over the U.S. that we will remain in contact with. We all thought the resort and beach were beautiful. They kept the beach well groomed and very clean. I had read many of the reviews before I left on this trip and was apprehensive about the resort but after I arrived all fear had vanished. We had only one meal that all of us thought was below standard for a 6 star resort, but after that we thought the food was excellent... how can you not enjoy eating lobster every day for lunch. The service was slow in the restaurants but I was on vacation and did not have any where to go. The biggest dissapointment we had was that all water sports except the boogie boards cost money... i.e. banana boat, caterman, wind surfing, and paddle boats, we had all thought they were free. But in the end we had a great time and would go back. Also, the mosquitos are plentiful so remember your bug spray.

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5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2003

My husband & I spent the week of Oct 5, 2003 at this incredible resort.
The ride there was long and bumpy but who cares. You are on vacation and going to this beautiful resort. The rooms are just georgeous.
Everything is marble and the rooms are very large. The food was really good. Better than we expected. The pool is spectular. Very clean and large. The beach is wonderful. The surf is very strong so it is difficult to swim. We decided to take a walk on the beach and found a nice spot with very little waves. Perfect to swim, warm and crystal clear. The best part of the resort are the people. Everyone is friendly and helpful. They can't do enough for you. We travel all over the world and this is one of the best places we have ever stayed. We will return in 2005. Next year we are going to try the new Secrets Capri Riviera in Cancun.

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4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2003

My wife and I just returned from a 10 night stay at Secrets. I like you was nervous. I had read so many horrible reviews that i contemplated whether or not to go at all. However, we did and we had a splended time. I must say that at the end of our stay we were ready to come home. Maybe 10 nights was too much, but now that we are home we look back and remember how much fun the first week was. There isn't really all the much to do, but RELAX. The casino is small but offers limited slots and black jack. I stayed away from Keno, which i am sure you have already been instructed to do so. The restaurants were very elegant and the food was plentiful. The formal restaurant by the long bar is by far the BEST restaurant secrets has to offer. I recommend the stuffed Grouper with crab and shrimp. AWESOME. Bugs, are awful. These bugs are not the same as we have here in Ohio. The bugs in punta cana do not leave you alone. They hunt you and thrive on you stepping out from your patio. They have little what we call No-see-em's. They hurt and leave a horrible rash. However, we never put bug spray on so it was our fault.
Plus they were not bad until the day after it rained. Oh, by the way if you are anything like me you will sit and watch the weather forecast before you leave. Don't--- It doesn't matter. We stayed in the Club Excellence room (which i recommend to anyone. Ask for Lucas) which allowed us access to the intranet. The intranet showed storms and rain the entire week. Wrong nothing but sun and humidity. Anyhow, i wanted to let everyone know the truth about secrets. Is it nice? The landscape is unbeatable. Beach- A little brown but clean. Water - rough but pretty, not as clear due to the brown sand. Food - Good, but got tired of being careful. Drinking water stay away from. Service- slow but they do not understand what it is that you're saying to them. They get paid 400 paseo a month to work at secrets. that is 12 us dollars. Give them a break and make sure that you tip. Don't be that person who takes and takes and takes without tipping. Bring extra cash to tip with. All inclusive doesn't mean that you can't tip. Have fun, but don't go with any expectation and you'll love it. Just don't go for 10 nights. Too long. Would we go back, probably not, Secrets is a once a time thing that you will never forget nor regret. Smile and relax because that is what vacation is for. Try the Coco Loco. A drink.

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4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2003

We came back yesterday from Secrets. There were pros and cons regarding this trip and hotel. The ride from the airport is long (about an hour) and quite bumpy. There are no traffic laws in the Dominican; no lights, just an occasional stop sign. The roads are horrendous; so many potholes that the driver has to swerve to avoid them. Other vehicles pass on either side. As you travel, all you see is cow pastures and total poverty. You start feeling guilty that you're on vacation when you see how the native people live. They live in what we consider our tool shed, in little commune type areas. Once you arrive at Secrets you are totally cordially welcomed with mimosas and warm face cloths.
You'll need both; it's extremely hot and muggy and the ride, as I mentioned, is overwhelming. Thankfully our room was ready, we were told. (We arrived late afternoon.) We journeyed to our room by a friendly bell boy. He told us where to find certain things we may need; the iron and ironing board, how to turn on the lights (electricity is a rare commodity in the DR) and where our minifridge was located. The minifridge had not been stocked. Not to worry, he told us, he would get someone up right away to stock it. Five phone calls and two days later it was stocked. They provide you with beer, water, sparkling water, coke, sprite and a bottle of rum, which they replenish every day based on consumption. Do not expect fast service or for anything you eat or drink to be hot or cold, depending on what you're ordering. The minifridge contents never get cold and ice is another rare commodity.
Since you can't drink the water, bottled water is a MUST!! We wouldn't even brush our teeth in the water...too many horror stories about people getting sick. Also, our telephone between the beds (small, double bed) didn't work; neither did our tv remote control. You really don't get anywhere calling the desk; they tell you they'll take care of it in 5 minutes. After two days you just give up...it's not worth it and it's too hot to argue. On our second to last day there we had an unfortunate accident. The palapa (thatched hut) we were sitting under came crashing down on us. Needless to say it was scary and unexpected and we had to be treated by medical personnel. Thankfully we escaped with a goose egg on my head and a cut to my husband's leg. It was not fun, but the hotel staff couldn't be nicer and felt terrible about the whole thing. They offered us a free night's stay (we passed) and sent a bottle of very nice wine to our table that night. The doctor even came to our room later in the day to make sure we were both OK. They provided us with everything we requested (copy of the report; pictures) and were very cordial, as they were for the entire stay. There's not alot to do off the hotel site; a couple of excursions (mostly all day) but it's so hot and humid and VERY BUGGY that you stay put at the hotel. They spray for bugs nightly; even when you're eating, which is not the greatest feeling. They need to, though, as the bugs eat you alive. BUG SPRAY IS VERY IMPORTANT TO BRING!! They do have daily things to do, and they try to keep you interested and occupied. The hotel is gorgeous with what seems to be miles of pool! They have a swim up bar which is lots of fun and everyone is friendly. (Visitors and staff alike.) The beach is beautiful, but it is on the Atlantic Ocean side so the undertow is powerful, to say the least. Bring plenty of sunscreen; the sun is strong and you can get burned very quickly. All in all we enjoyed our stay, but were not unhappy to be coming home. Bottom line is don't drink the water, don't expect quick service, and bring sunscreen and bug spray. The people are extremely friendly and the hotel is quite beautiful, that's why I'm giving it an above average rating!! Thanks for reading--I did seem to go on forever!!

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5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2003

My husband and I have been to Sandals (all over the caribbean) 18 times. We're not knocking it but Secrets is just different. Our trip to Secrets Punta Cana was one of the best. As far as all -inclusives go- this is top notch. Very classy, elegant and romantic. No kids dating, drinking too much and acting like idiots at the bar. The resort gives off an atmosphere of maturity but at the same time is so much fun that you feel like a kid.

If you read reveiws with complaints-ignore them.

eg., the ride from the airport is long and bumpy but no one mentioned that the airport is beautiful and where does anyone live without pot holes?

As far as not getting the room they requested . . . rather than jumping down the throat of the under paid, guest abused check -in clerk . . .
ask nicely to be moved and say "por favor". Mistakes happen and can be corrected, but for only those who deserve it.

Seven restaurants, excluding breakfast all al la cart. Most other resorts offer buffet lunch. We sat down to meals the size of dinner (for lunch) every day. Didn't barely have room for dinner because the food was so good. For those who thought the food was bad - I'd like to know where they eat beacause we were over-pleased!

Rooms were wonderful (Room #10207). Clean!!!! From what I heard from other guests - every room was nice (can't beat a jucuzzi with a daily stocked mini bar in the room).

One down fall - mosquitos. This resort is near a jungle. But we did our homework, brought Off and Bug spray and it wasn't bad at all.

We're home now and would do anything to go back and get bit by a mosquito.

Horseback riding was great. Rented 4 Wheel ATV and toured outskirt towns, Spa services were wonderful and all staff were extremely helpful - remember they don't understand our language any more then we understood theirs. Everything works both ways.

Beach was very clean, huge. So many other islands have had their beaches washed away by hurricanes. This one is a walk to the water. It was great.

Don't believe the negative comments you read. Obviously some people have a bad attitude. Go into everything open minded and you will be pleasantly surprised.

We are home 36 hours and already planning our next trip to Secrets Punta Cana!

Feel free to eMail for further comments.

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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

Property: Excellence Punta Cana
Address: Playas Uvero Alto, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
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 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Luxury 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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