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“Quiet honeymoon destination”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #14 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed November 5, 2012

My husband and I went in the middle of August which is a perfect time to go: cheapest and fewest number of other guests. The weather was great and wasn't too hot or humid. We had rain the first night we were there (Monday) so the Dominican theme dinner was inside instead of on the beach. We only had rain one other night and it was really cool to see the lightning out over the water.

Our room was really nice. We had towel figures and rose petals on our bed. We had an ocean-view room in building 11. It was a walk to the main building, but it really didn't matter. The far end of the pool was by our building. The room's AC worked just fine until our last day when it wouldn't turn on. We just told the front desk and it was repaired immediately. We did have some power issues the first 2 days and the last day. We had power on and off, but since we were by the pool/beach, the only noticeable "problem" was the music cutting in and out. The shower was great! It was a rain/overhead shower head and it was interesting because there was glass looking into the room from the shower. Not weird, but neat. The mini-bar was re-stocked daily with pop and beer. We didn't open the large bottles of alcohol, so I don't know how those were restocked. Our room was just at the top of the stairs on the 3rd floor, but we couldn't notice much hallway noise. The bed was really firm, which is one thing that I REALLY did not enjoy. My sleep was affected by how uncomfortable the bed was, but if you like firm beds, it wouldn't be a problem. We didn't use the jetted tub.

There was construction going on while we were there on buildings 1-5 and it did not affect us one bit. We really would not have even noticed unless I had read about it on a forum. We didn't use the mini-golf, darts, sports bar area at all. We only found it when we went exploring. The grounds are pretty big. We did use the watersports for boogie boards (free) and to book a snorkeling/speedboat excursion. There is an extra charge if you charge the price of excursions to your room instead of paying in cash. We didn't have enough cash so we charged it. Easier to pay a little more instead of handing over all of our cash (US$). They were really nice over there. They aren't connected with the resort, but are allowed to word at different resorts. The snorkeling tour was an hour away at Palladium. That was a lot of fun. Palladium is located along what I like to call "resort row." While Excellence is out in the middle of nowhere, Palladium is located among many resorts along the beach. The snorkeling was ok and the speedboats felt like a deathtrap at times, I think it was worth it to do the snorkeling and visit another area of DR. I don't know if I would do the same thing again though. Transportation was included in the excursion price.

The pool was great. There is pool service for drinks and sometimes workers would come around with snacks in the afternoon. That was nice. We didn't know that until we moved to a spot closer to the main building. That is where the activities are held. We never had to fight for any chairs or beds by the pool at any time, ever. Shout-out to Yohanna and Super Willy for their pool activities. Same with the beach, we just had to figure out what area we wanted to be. There weren't any peddlers on the beach, except for one guy selling hats and bowls made out of leaves, I think. We had red flag warnings everyday, but did not have any problems in the waves. The water is not calm. That area is further east. We had a lot of fun in the waves and didn't feel uncomfortable in the water. There was some seaweed, but it wasn't a problem. Workers cleaned up the beach a couple times daily. There was also beach service for drinks. There aren't any other resorts in the area so the beach is practically private.

The food was amazing. I never went hungry and probably gained weight. We tried each restaurant and were only disappointed with Barcelona for dinner. We were seated and it took a while to be brought water and be served. Once we got our food (which was good), our server never came back even though I said I wanted dessert when we ordered. He never came back to see if we wanted wine or refill our water glasses. Every other restaurant caters to you and you usually have to say no to more food and drink a couple times. Other than that, service was great. We liked to eat between 5:30 and 7:00 so we never had to wait for a table. Appetizers are made for one, so each person can order and they are not big, just perfect before a meal. Breakfast at Barcelona/Toscana was excellent every day. I had bacon everyday. They had a wide range of foods and drinks (mimosas and bloody mary's!)

Overall, this place was great and very focused on customer service. It is about an hour away from the airport. We did not have a problem with bugs. We had champagne upon arrival. The shows were very good (we liked the Michael Jackson and couples shows). We enjoyed the daily news with activities and the drink of the day. I would come back in a heart beat. There's way to much info for just one review!

Room Tip: 3rd floor, ocean view was great and not noisy.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank etothewolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,084 - 7,090 of 13,319 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2012

Pros:
• The resort was adult only which was great
• The room exceeded our expectations.
• Room service for food is 24/7 and it is better than the restaurant food.
• With the excellence upgrade we received a fully stocked mini bar with premium liquor which was nice.
• The resort was smaller so we had minimal walking to all activities.
• The pool was huge and had plenty of lounge chairs and covered beds for relaxing.
• The beach was beautiful and there was unlimited amount of seating and huts for sun shielding
• With the excellence upgrade we received a private beach area that had cushioned seating and bedded areas. The staff also hand delivered towels, drinks and food while on the beach.
• The staff was superior. They made us feel like a king and queen every minute. Within a few days they knew us by name.
• The excellence upgrade for the free horse ride on the beach was outstanding. At the end they take your picture and place it on a rum bottle and cd and sale it too you for $25
• The shows and activities were fun. The Michael Jackson show is the best. They also had daily activities like yoga and water aerobics.
• The drink service was excellent.
• The garden area is beautiful.
• The weather was amazing. Always sunny during the day. There was rain almost every night, but by then we did not care.

Cons:
• The bed was very hard
• The food was a 5 of 10. All of the food was a poor imitation of American food. The best food was the brick oven pizza. At the end I just wanted some dorritos and a real cheeseburger. LOL!

Must know:
• The mosquitos are horrible. You have to take bug spray and use it every day and especially at night!!
• The beach water was on red alert everyday so we could not swim in it. Therefore the free snorkeling that was included in the resort was not accessible.
• Men have to wear long pants every night to eat at any restaurant. Women cannot wear shorts or flip flops at night to eat.
• The travel guides tell you not to leave the resort except on excursions with them. There is minimal shopping on the resort. However, there are flea markets on each end of the beach area of the resort. The smaller version which is to the right side if you are facing the ocean is much friendlier. The larger flee market area is a little scary. There are no prices on the souvenirs so you can bargain them down to reasonable prices. Never give them what they initially ask for. They also appreciate when you bring them water from the resort. We did not go on any of the excursions. Which we were glad because we only heard horror stories about how they were all over 2 hours away and had a lot of equipment malfunctions.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CISVH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Punta Cana itself was amazing. The weather was great while I was there celebrating a friends 30th. The resort was very nice. This was my first time experiencing an all-inclusive resort. I probably wouldn't do it again, but this was the best option for Punta Cana. It was VERY far, from everything. It took us an hour to get to the resort and an hour and 20 mins to get back there. We left the resort, via cab, one night to do something different and it took us 45 mins to get into "town"

The food was what I expected from an all-inclusive place. All 8 restaurants has most of the same items on the menu. Their were several live music shows and entertainment. There were tons of couples celebrating their honeymoons. I would not recommend this for any single person under 35.

The beach was great, the staff was wonderful. Although nice, I would not stay here again.

Room Tip: Building 9 is nice, but further away from the lobby and main entertainment area
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank gleethomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Everything was wonderful from the moment we arrived at the front steps - we were greeted with champagne - even though we arrived late at night. All of the employees were very friendly and every request was met with a smile. The room and all the facilities were beautifully decorated and spotless. We were a little worried about the quality of the food, but were pleasantly surprised. Some of the room service breakfasts left a little to be desired. However, the food served in each of the restaurants was delicious. One thing that was also very nice was we never ran into any crowds or lines. We will definitely go back to celebrate one of our anniversaries.

Room Tip: We really enjoyed the ocean view rooms in the excellence club.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Darnell S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We were at Excellence from October 13-20. Overall the resort was just wonderful !

The staff was extremely friendly. There was a bit of an issue with communication on occasion as we speak no Spanish but some of the staff spoke excellent English and if we really needed to find something out and we and were struggling we just sought out one of them! Natalie was absolutely wonderful! She came around the pool area everday - spoke great English and asked every day if there was anything she could get us - anything we needed for our room or anything she could do to make our stay more comfortable! She was just a delightful face each day at the resort! Also the service around the pool was great and the staff extremely friendly! We were greeted each day by Angel and Robert serving our drinks and they just keep them drinks flowing! Each day they would also come around with platters offering small snacks right at your lounge chair as well as someone walking around with pizzas!

The rooms were nice - I have no complaints - the cleaning staff was great - if you need something ask and you got it - we had an AWESOME room - room 8003 - it was a pool walk out - right out the door to the porch with a table and chairs and a hammock and small walkway of a few steps down to the cabana beds right at the foot of the pool ! It doesn't get any better than that let me tell you!

The restaurants overall were good - Toscano for breakfast buffett each day was great - we also had breakfast in the lobster house -it was very good! We ate lunch a number of times at "The Grill" - it was very good - nice selection - we ate one day at Toscano for the lunch buffett which was great too - so much to chose from! We did the beach grill once or twice - which was burgers, chicken kabobs, nachos, fries, pizza etc.......great view as it is right on the beach!

For dinner our favorite restaurant was the french restaurant (we ate here 3 nites) - Sooo good! TIP - in the french restaurant which was connected to the mexican restaurant (so you can also get it there) - you can get corona beer!!!! We did the lobster house which good - not like lobster obviously from the US but it was good. We also ate at the Asian restaurant which I would say is a MUST also - very delicious meal. We ate the Mexican restaurant one evening - it was fine - It was the normal mexican menu which like I said was fine. There were restaurants we did not even eat in as we love the French restaurant so much we were there multiple times! The Grill where we ate lunch also served nice dinners!

There was a nice show each evening - usually at 9:30 and over by 10:15. It was fine for us - we were usually pretty tired out after the long day in the sun etc at that point. There was a really nice bar in the lobby area, the Martini bar - makes great Martini's and drinks! The beer pretty much throughout the resort and in the rooms is presidente - but another thing to note is in the lobby only you can get Miller Genuine draft and a beer called one direction which is a dominican form or corona. There is a sports bar - kind of hidden out front of the property where you can go to watch any sporting events and they have all kinds of pool tables, etc with a bar serving drinks, ice cream and small snacks.....

The Kafe Cafe bar out by the beach was also very fun with Gabrielle and Omar serving drinks! Great spot to have a late afternoon cocktail! Have them pour you a (I am not positive on this spelling ) a mamma jamma shot - it is moonshine made from soaking in roots! WOW is all I am going to say about that!

There are some floats here and there around the pool - but they are limited. If I ever get the opportunity to return to this great resort I would buy a few cheapo floats at Walmart or something and pack them and take them to use and just leave them behind for the next guest!

There is free Wi-Fi in the resort and lobby so it was a good way to keep in touch with home!

Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to visit the spa! But those who did were saying how wonderful it was!

As far as the beach - it was nice - it is the Atlantic though so it is rougher with white caps and big waves but the water is clean for the most part - we had one or two days with a lot of seaweed but I think that was mostly due to the fact that we had storms for a few days each evening.....Also just beware they say the caribbean sea is about a 40 minute ride - which is just not so - it is quit a long ride so beware if you book any excursions to go there!

Overall this resort was wonderful - the price I thought was absolutely affordable - the food good- the service great and staff extremely friendly!

The only one complaint I had which really is not much related to the resort or there is nothing they can do about it is the fact that the resort is a good one hour ride from the airport and its not a smooth ride!!!!


We are looking forward to the opportunity to return to this resort hopefully next year again!

Room Tip: Room 8003 was our room and it was a perfect room!
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank gmm103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012

This place was absolutely beautiful. The staff was excellent and went out of their way. Room service 24 hours, great drinks. The beach is to die for, our pictures don't even look real. The 80 minute massage at the spa was heavenly. If you are into adventures or just into relaxing, there is plenty to do, or not do. It is a little ways from the airport, but we felt safer being away from everything. Be sure to take mosquito spray and sun screen.

Room Tip: the rooms in building 14 are farthest from eating facilities. However, this makes this makes them th...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nicole D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012 via mobile

If you're a mosquito magnet like me be warned: they will bite you even through bug spray. I have 60+ bites on my feet and ankles.
We had a wonderful time otherwise. Very clean and friendly. My wife and I stayed in the excellence club pool view near the swim up bar. Concierge was always helpful. The beach and pool areas were amazing. The lobster house is the best dinner spot. The room was kept in great condition, however they did not leave us our daily fruit and desserts and only arranged the swan towels twice. (The wife likes it)
We went to the Excellence in Riviera Maya for our Honeymoon 4 years ago and agreed Mexico was a little better than the DR. The Spa is under renovation and was ok. The 80 min couple massage was lacking a few minutes and intensity. I do not recommend it to massage enthusiasts.
When you arrive in Punta Cana be prepared to pay a $10 per person airport fee and a tip to someone that's going to take you to your taxi. The drive to the resort takes 1 hour! You will see 2-3 other resorts and drive the most scenic roads imaginable. Our return to the airport required us to leave 4 hours prior to our flight due to their inefficient security and plane boarding processes.
Everything was good overall, but we will not visit this resort again. Next year we will try something new.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank V1NCE
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:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 Casino 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
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $281 - $655 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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