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“Great property and service but hit and miss on the food.”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #18 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Hamilton, Georgia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great property and service but hit and miss on the food.”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

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!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank SamKnows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

I didn't know whether to give this a good or bad review. I will hit the main points quickly. This is a beautiful hotel and property with one major flaw. The beds feel like you are sleeping on a park bench. I thought it was just my room but during every breakfast you would hear patrons complaining about the beds. Its hard to enjoy your vacation when you don't get a good nights sleep. Second issue not major but depends on your style is the beach. Beach itself is nice but waters are very rough. They say its a surfers beach. If you like rough waters then its fine. When it's all said and done I was there 8 days and loved most of my stay. Had the beds been better I would have definitely returned.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Brinks94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
aberdeen
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

After a long journey from Aberdeen via gatwick, we arrived in the Dominican Rebublic. About a couple of hours after landing we arrived at the Excellence Punta Cana and we were greeted with a welcome to your home and a glass of fizzy, which we thought was a lovely first gesture.We waited at reception and my wife had mentioned that she had previously contacted the hotel to request one of the recently refurbished rooms, which they were more than happy to do(if you dont ask you wont get). The room in Block 7 was Amazing, very high seiling and fantastic shower and jacuzzi, not to mention the mini bar which includes five full 70cl bottles of various branded spirits and a fridge which is topped up daily. The pool was vey impressive, it basically goes from one end of the resort to the other. Swim up bar very good and attentive service but we tended to avoid this area during the day, as this was a hang out for a lot of heavy drinking (MamaWhana) a local drink for those not in the know,it got very noisy at times, and shall we say involving drunk poolside acrobatics, i guess thats just not our thing anymore. The Beach was our favourite hangout, gorgeous and well kept sand and great waiting service. The sea was very good fun as there was often very large waves you could bodysurf on, but beware, most of the time there is a very strong riptide and you wouldnt want to venture too far out.The staff at the resort were so friendly, the consierge staff were very helfpful, espiecially Reberto whom we got to know well on or trip, Thankyou very much for making us feel so welcome. I have to give a mention for one of the waiters called Carlos who was very funny and really made sure your glass of wine was always filled to the top. You couldnt walk past any off the staff without them smiling at you, if only this was how we all treated each other in life. We have read some mixed reviews about the food and everyone has different tastes, we really enjoyed all of the restaurants (Eight in total) and we found that each meal we had was very delicious, it was one thing that we always looked forward to the most. Try the steak in the french and spanish restaurants, you will not be dissapointed.
The entertainment at night was Good, espiecially the Michael Jackson Show, only thing is if you are there more than a week, it all repeats the next week. Overall our Stay at the Excellece was Fantastic and we would highly recommend to anyone to stay here if visiting the island. I would certainly say that this resort deserves every one of those Five Stars.EXCELLENTE.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank AberdeenMiked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

My husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary at Excellence. Our AA flights to the DR were delayed by over 3.5 hours but the driver Excellence sent to pick us up at the airport was ontime and had a sign with our names. It was late and raining but our driver got us to Excellence saftely. We arrived at Excellence about 10:30 pm to a very warm welcome. We were greeted with a drink and a cold towel. Check in was quick with Edwin. Our room was beyond gorgeous and all our requests were honored. We stayed in building 11 and loved it.

The grounds are immaculate and the staff was so friendly and helpful. They truly made our stay enjoyable. The anniversay package was a very nice addition and the attention to detail was unbelievable. We were pretty impressed with the personalized dinner menu for our anniversay dinner celebration. Breakfast at Toscana was delicious and Martinez greeted us so cheerfully each morning. We loved eating dinner at Spice and lunch at the Grill. The evening shows were quite entertaining and there was so much to do at the resort. We felt like we were the youngest couple during our stay but we loved every minute of it. We lounged on the beach and my husband took lots of photos. We did the included horse back riding too. We did an excursion with Outback Safari and it is a must do activity for anyone wanting to know more about the Dominican Culture. The spa treatment was so worth it; they offer different specials each day. The resort staff went above and beyond to make our stay perfect. One staff member offered to take our photo while we were walking around and we declined at first because we didn't want to inconvenience her but she insisted and we ended up having a mini photo shoot. The pictures are priceless. We wish we could stay an extra week. We didn't want our trip to end and plan to return very soon.

Room Tip: Book your spa treatment when you get to the resort. They have different specials each day...sometime...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Frad874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pacifica, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

I just returned home today from a week at Excellence in Punta Cana. I have been to an all-inclusive before and this place went above and beyond my expectations. They really paid attention to detail, for example, they remember our names and our "usual" drink orders. The weather was perfect the entire week.. sunny with mainly blue skies. The pool is one of the best I've ever seen. The swim up bar has plenty of options of drinks and we didn't have to wait any more than 2-3 minutes for a drink (if that). There are also plenty of employees walking around taking drink orders. We upgraded to a swim up suite and excellence club. I think it was worth it. We were able to just walk a few steps and be in the pool. Being part of the club level, we got some premium liquors in our room, a special area on the beach with amazing huts over beds, our own concierge, and a special dinner (a anniversary perk). Angel was very friendly while serving us at lunch and happened to be working that evening at the restaurant out special anniversary dinner was to be held and he arranged for us to have our own bottle of champagne at our table. Carlos was also very fun and always remembered us. I have read several reviews saying the food was not good... I would give it a 6/7 out of 10. Some of the dishes were very tasty and some were ok. I definitely think we got our moneys worth! They also had an Arabian themed dinner on the beach, which was lovely. My expectations were exceeded and I'm already thinking about next year.
Oh and if you get a chance to sign up for a buggy excursion, go through x-treme buggies. They were amazing!! We did the half day excursion and went through so many areas and got to see some towns and a beautiful beach. It does require that the driver can drive stick. You will get dirty (but thats the best part). I heard from some others staying at the resort that the other buggy excursions were short and simple having many buggies at one time following eachother going rather slow, x-treme has less people and you get to see and do much much more!! They offer you a cd with all the pictures they'll take for $25. Get it! So worth it!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank JamieLopez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 13, 2012

My wife and I visited the Excellence for our Honeymoon! It was one of the best resorts that we have visited! The drive from the airport is about an hour. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a cold towel and champaign. We were taken to our room which had a honeymooner banner on the door. There were also towels made into swans in our bedroom along with bottle of white wine to welcome us. The restaurants were great including Spice, The Lobster Grill, Barcelona, and Agave! Some people complained about the Lobster Grill, but I think it was because they expected Maine lobster. I thought it was great, but is smaller. Order two of them if you want. Agave had some of the freshest guacemole and salsa. We had a special dinner planned at any restaurant we wanted for our Honeymoon. We chose Barceloa the mediteranian restaurant. They had rose pedals on our table, a menu with our names on it, and special menu items. We had some of the best Paella we have ever had. The beach was phenominal and very private. One of the benefits of the resort being further was that it wasn't next to any other resort so it seemed like the whole beach was ours. Our room had top shelf liquour and a fridge that was constantly stocked with beer, soda, and water. They were glad to switch out any liquour in your room with another choice. For example, my wife wanted Bacardi instead of the Ron Barcello and they switched it out. They also brought us Bombay Gin to replace the Beefeater Gin. Just ask and they will bring it. The entire staff was incredible and so friendly. I want send a shout out to Raquel and Omar who were awesome to us. I would definitely consider the Excellence again on more trips!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank jwoodro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

There is not more to ask for when it comes to all inclusive. This place is seriously beautiful...everywhere you turn your head is a post card picture.

It was very clean and I swear I wanted to add all the staff to my Facebook friends they were so nice! lol (joke) They were all so friendly and made us smile all the time. Especially the gentleman who works at the martini bar (sorry his name slipped my mind) but wow he was just such a happy breath of fresh air that we went out of our way to find him and say goodbye when we left.

The beach and the pool were beyond clean. I woke up one morning at 5 am and they were out there cleaning it.

Try walking by a staff or fellow guest without them saying "Goodmorning"...if only we all acted like that to eachother in our regular lives.

I really enjoyed the Michael Jackson show.
Hated the vendors that a couple nights a week came and set up at the hotel..holy uncomfortable experience...they are pushy pushy pushy...seriously made me want to take a different route to where I was going as long as I would avoid them. There are vendors at the side of the building too and I will tell you beware..

Room Tip: We were in building 11 which was nicely situated with the pool and all but it was a trek everytime w...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Mrs C
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
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:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 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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