My wife and I traveled with a group of fifty. The overall experience was awesome but there are some very specific things people need to be aware of to ensure their expectations are met.
1) The food is hit and miss. Some of this may be due to "local" vs. "American" meats and spices. The hamburgers are aweful as are most of the steaks. If you want steak go to Chez Isabelle; both steaks on the menu are very good. DO NOT order the soup at The Lobster House. DO NOT order steak at Spice; the sushi is very good but the Miso Soup isn't. Some of the best food is at the Grill; the chicken and tuna sandwiches are both good as is the Garlic Shrimp.
2) The excersions STINK. If you're thinking of going on the "speed boats" to dive be ready for an afternoon of continuous mechanical problems. From stalling to stearing these boats redefine the meaning of overdue maintenance. We didn't do this trip but about twelve from our group did and EVERY one of them had boats with serious issues. We did take the ATV | Dune Buggy excersion into town. We went with two other couples and a single. Our desire was to check out the nearby village and thereby our "adventure" wasn't all bad. We were about a quarter mile from the beach when the first ATV quit running. The couple on that ATV had to WALK BACK to the resort - YES - WALK - no big deal but considering they had paid to be on an excersion they really shouldn't have been required to walk. Our trip was supposed to be from 2-4. We got to the town and did our short trip getting lots of great pictures. As we left and started our ride back the transmission on the other couples Dune Buggy failed. Our guide put his ATV on the back of the buggy and pushed them back into the town. As we were getting close I noticed the left front wheel on our DB begin to wobble and then saw the bearings fly in all different directions. The wheel tilted in at the top but kept rolling. We stopped about 150 yards from where the bearings broke and at that point the wheel fell off. We were stuck in town for an hour and a half. We made the best of the situation - buying two liters of Coke and sharing it with the local children. This was REALLY the best part of our trip - to see all those kids smiling and interacting with them without speaking the same language - awesome! The bottom line is the equipment shown in the brochure ISN'T the equipment you'll "enjoy".
3) Rooms - you need to decide what's important. With a group of fifty what we found was in generally you won't get everything. View, Air Conditioning, Comfort of the bed, and location are all variables. My wife and I got a room with two double beds. We were going to change but based on the fact that our beds were comfortable and the air conditioning worked we decided not to move. Several people changed rooms three times only to remain unhappy and wishing they had stayed in their original locations.
The pool, beach, service, shows and clubs are excellent. The ice cream at the sports bar is yummy. Play the casino with caution... casino's aren't in business to give money away and this one is tighter than most I've played. I did hit a straight flush on 3-card poker which kept me in the win column... but it wasn't easy!
I hope this review doesn't sound too down. That's not the intent - rather it's to provide things to be aware of during your visit. We had a blast and it was extremely relaxing. Enjoy!
- 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
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- Secrets Punta Cana
- Excellence Punta Cana Dominican Republic
- Excellence Dominican Republic
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