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“Wonderful Staff & Beautiful Resort!”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed November 13, 2012

My husband and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary at the Excellence Punta Cana and loved every minute spent at this beautiful resort! We stayed from 11/4/12 through 11/8/12, and the weather was perfect for enjoying the beach, the pool and our dune buggie excursion. The staff throughout the resort was friendly and helpful and always wanted to know if we were having a good time--how refreshing to leave our daily routines behind and just be pampered! This was our first all-inclusive experience, and although the food was not great in all the restaurants we tried, we felt the Excellence Punta Cana offered many good options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We added the Excellence Club option which placed us in a room location (Building 14) that was exactly what we hoped for--(oceanfront/view and quiet)--and perks on the beach--(cushioned lounge chairs/beds and shade umbrellas, as well as beach towels, food, and drinks brought to us by the attentive Excellence staff!) Only advice--do not book an excursion with anyone who approaches YOU on the resort--be sure to go to the representatives located in the lobby for options. We were warned about this, and we listened--we worked with VIP and Adventure Buggies--be sure to buy the picture CD! I hope you enjoy your stay at the Excellence as much as we did!!!

Room Tip: Building 14 facing the pool or the ocean--not the end of the property!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TheBirds04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,371 - 7,377 of 13,658 reviews

Reviewed November 13, 2012

By far, the best trip I've ever taken to a warm climate! The water kissing the shore is much cleaner than that of Hawaii, and the temperature is like bath water. The service at this resort supersedes that of any I've ever had... they really go out of their way to make you happy. The humidity was a bit of a killer, but the AC in the rooms is great, and there's always the pool and the ocean, just a walk away. Take multivitamins before and during your stay, so the bugs won't attack you... otherwise, invest in some "Off!," or other insect repellent.

Room Tip: If you want the convenience of a swim-up room, which is on the first floor, upgrade; and while you...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sushifreak13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Just returned from 5 days at Excellence (11/08 - 11/12. Beautiful grounds, wonderful staff, good food, nice rooms. First time here and would go again. Never had to leave my beach chair for food or drinks if I did not feel like it. Could order room service 24 hours a day if wanted. It did rain a couple of days but it was that time of the season there. It is quite a distance from Punta Cana Airport ( 1-hour or so) and if you get car sick easily, I would recommend taking something before hand. In and out of the country was easy. You do not need to know Spanish as almost all the staff speak English. Did not personally leave the resort this trip but some of our family did the dune buggy rides and said it was awesome. Would go again but remember it is only for those 18 years or over but is very family friendly.

Room Tip: Pool side rooms have patio with sitting, cascade pool area quieter and very little wind. Depends on...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Kelly T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Just got back to the uk after staying at the Excellence for 11 nights.We have two holidays a year and have stayed at the very best hotels but this was our first time to the D.R. We arrived on the 25th October and just missed the Sandy storm as it headed for new york. The weather for this time of the year is changable but always warm. We had 1 day of full cloud cover and half days here and there but that did not spoil the holiday even though we love the sun. We booked this holiday through British Airways Holidays and had good flights but please note they stop for 1 hour in Antigua. I have never written anything on trip adviser before but felt this time I should. Due to a small problem with our transport we arrived at the hotel around 18.30. From the moment we arrived until we left the Managers and staff could not do any more for us to enjoy our stay. The grounds and gardens are beautiful. The beach is picture postcard and they keep it clean. In fact it is now my screen saver. We had so many good nights, meeting first at one of the bars for pre dinner drinks. The bar staff were great and all the drinks/sprits/ cocktails were made to a good standard using named brands. We had meals at all the resturants and went back to the French and Spice twice. We have been to over 12 differant all inclusive resorts and always had to book the resturants. Not here you just turn up. We will return to the D.R. as long as we can stay in this hotel. Thank You for a great holiday.
If travelling this time of the year remember plenty of mossi repilent.

Room Tip: All rooms are good we stayed in 6207 garden view top floor. print off map of the resort.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank sean r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

My husband and I were at the Excellence Punta Cana resort from 10/26 - 11/4. This was our first visit to DR and we were excited to experience a new vacation destination. We were celebrating our recent "empty nest" status at home and made the choice to try an adult only resort. We enjoyed the private transportation and taking in the landscape and a bit of the culture of DR. The vehicle was new, clean and had AC (we have learned over the years that private transportation to our resort is always the best way to start our vacation) . The driver was very professional and cautious with his driving skills. We were welcomed at the resort with warm and genuine smiles from the employees. We were escorted to the Excellence Club area to check in. The check in process was personal and brief and we were then quickly taken to our room. We were happy with our room...no surprises as I had done a lot of research before booking our trip. Our luggage came soon after and we changed for dinner. As we walked through the resort the sun was setting and the lighting only enhanced the beauty of our tropical surroundings. We chose to eat at the Lobster House because it was close to the beach and was opened to the outdoors. I have to be honest and say that we were not happy with our meal...we chose lobster...I had read the reviews and knew that the lobster was not what we were used to in the states but we thought we would give it a try...our service and drinks were great but I admit that I was a bit worried about what we may encounter for a future meals. I will not keep you in suspense...we LOVED the food for the rest of the trip!!! We are seasoned travelers...and we have experienced all levels of quality of food...the food at Excellence was fantastic! Coupled with the genuine service that we received at each meal, eating was one of our favorite things about this vacation!
Our first day we woke up early to get a prime location at the beach (something that we have always done on our beach vacations). We were greeted by Raphael at the private Excellence Club beach and he escorted us to a great place and laid out our big fluffy towels on the wooden lounge chairs. The beach and ocean were BEAUTIFUL! We realized that during our stay there were always plenty of room for everybody on the beach. We were drawn to the private beach beds. My husband loved these...I chose to spend my time between laying out in the sun and then enjoy the shade of the covered beach bed. The service on the beach was outstanding every day! We loved seeing Edgar and Raphael's smiling faces every day. We spent most our days on the beach even though the pools were beautiful. It always looked like the pool dwellers were having a lot of fun. The ocean was more rough than what we are used to but we enjoyed having a different ocean experience. We were able to play in the waves and had fun with the boogie boards.
Going back to the food...our favorite places were Spice and Chez Isabelle. We would order 3 or 4 of the entrees and thoroughly enjoyed sampling the different offerings. For lunch we mostly ate at the buffet...I gravitated to the fresh fish that I had grilled...the Grouper was awesome!
The nightly entertainment was great. The beach dinner/party was a lot of fun. We were always impressed with the amount of work that the staff invested with each of the events such as the beach party and the Halloween fun hunted house. Every night we experienced exceptional service, food, quality cocktails and the overall beauty of our surroundings.

I booked the couples massage on-line about 2 weeks prior to our arrival for 12:00 noon for our first full day that we were there. We absolutely loved it! The water ritual was awesome too. We would highly recommend starting your vacation with a massage!
I used the gym a couple of times and was impressed with the equipment and condition of the facility.
We did participate in the free 30 minute beach horseback riding. It was a new experience for us and it was fun to have pictures as a keepsake.
I also made reservations a couple of weeks prior to our arrival for a deep sea fishing charter. I chose Mike's Marina. They were FANTASTIC!!!! Harry one of the owners and our boat crew made our experience very special and memorable. My husband was successful in catching a 35 lb. Wahoo...seeing the happiness on his face was priceless! I would highly recommend Mike's Marina!
We did upgrade to the Excellence Club and we enjoyed the perks. We were happy to escape to the "club" to watch Sunday night football sitting on the comfy leather couches and having a couple of cocktails.
We went to the casino several times...won a few and lost a few. One night a lady won $4,000 at the slot machine next to me! Not sure how much she invested for that big of a return but it was fun to see her win big!
Our 10 day vacation was wonderful! We loved every minute of our trip to DR and our stay at Excellence! I would have no problem recommending it to others.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

My boyfriend and I just took our first vacation together to the Excellence Punta Cana (11/6-11/10). Let me begin this review by saying that neither of us has been out of the country (except to Canada ad I've been to the Bahamas) and while we know a few words in Spanish, we are by no means fluent. I think we would have been better suited if we had researched Punta Cana a little better.

The airport was beautiful and open and it made me so excited for our trip once we landed. However, once we left the airport, things are VERY different than home. We used the Olympus driving service, which I really enjoyed. Their vehicles were immaculate and the drivers were very friendly. The Excellence is about an hour from the airport - through which you will drive by very, very poor neighborhoods (but beautiful landscapes). I figured this was just how people lived in the Dominican but our driver informed us that Punta Cana is home to a lot of poor people even by Dominican standards. Just something good to know I think.

The weather report leading up to our trip said rain rain rain and I was a bit bummed. However, it was beautiful, hot and sunny every day of our stay except the last day when we were leaving when it down poured. The rain is very loud in the rooms because everything is so open outside your room (all the walkways, etc.). We had to take off for home in a crazy thunder and lighting storm (I'm happy to say we had a nice ride home after getting out of the storm quickly). I checked the weather for the week after we were leaving out of curiosity and it said rain for the next 10 days straight. I didn't look into it too much but perhaps it's rainy in November there.

The hotel is BEAUTIFUL! The entrance is stunning and you are greeted by a glass of champagne which was so awesome. Don't bother converting your money, they'd rather have your USD than the pesos (we learned this quickly). The entire hotel is so well kept - it is just stunning. We took several walks around the facility to figure everything out and we still don't think we saw everything! Every staff member who walks by you will greet you, and even though I know they are trained for this, I really liked it. They all seemed pretty genuine about it. They were so friendly when we'd try to use what little Spanish we know. They really appreciated that we tried to communicate in their language.

It made me feel so welcome the way that several staff members remembered us each day. Watch for Super Willy! He was sick when we were there but in between him blowing his nose, he was enthusiastic and happy. The younger people on the staff tend to know better English and are much friendlier. Jonathan on the beach showed us his music on my iPod and it was actually pretty good!

I've never been to an adult-only all-inclusive, but wow! It's the only way to go if you ask me. I think we had a rough go at first with the drinks, because when you don't have to pay for anything you end up drinking A LOT more. Bring a lot of ones - you end up tipping a lot (we did - we didn't see everyone tip per drink, etc though). The beach is public, but it's small and in front of the resort I only saw people from the resort. The pools are beautiful, but you may have a hard time finding a chair or bed if you get there past noon.

The room was awesome. I believe we had asked for a garden view, and I'm glad we saved our money on it. An ocean view sounds nice, but I just don't think you can get a good view of the ocean the way the hotel is laid out. And the pool rooms are right on the pool which is cool, but it can be noisy out there and if you want to sleep late you might not want all the noise outside your window. We got really lucky, as we got a corner room so we only had one neighbor. And we were on the ground floor, which means we got a private little courtyard-type thing out back with a hammock. It was so peaceful. I was told building 6 where we stayed was renovated within the last few years. The room was nice and big and had a jacuzzi in near the bathroom, but somewhat in the middle of the room. The jacuzzi was huge and I love sitting in it and watching TV. They had a lot of English speaking TV channels as well.

BE WARNED: the ocean is choppy here. If you want calm, turquoise waters, this is not the place for you. It's the Atlantic Ocean side, so the water is wavier. It was still as warm as bath water and I had fun in the waves, but I can see how they'd be dangerous. They were pretty big. It was nice to at least see lifeguards walking up and down and they asked one guy to not go so far out.

The food was also not at all what I would eat at home. I'm a pretty picky eater, so I wasn't sure if I was just being bratty, but my boyfriend who eats anything barely ate either. It's fun to go out to any of the 7 restaurants they have, but I found the food to be horrible, as was the room service food. Their meat is much different than I would have at home and the menus were pretty small at each place. However, I didn't go in expecting good food so I was ok with this. I figured even at a beautiful resort, we're still in the Dominican and the food would be different.

My boyfriend and I thought we did our research, but I still thought that people on the hotel property would be somewhat affiliated with the hotel. DO NOT BOOK EXCURSIONS unless the representative has a table INSIDE the hotel lobby desk (there's an area for approved companies to the right of the hotel entrance) or you go through concierge. We were approached near the pool to do an ATV excursion and we mistakenly agreed. They next day we were taken through the beach and into the deep hills of Punta Cana. It was beautiful at first, but it was just the two of us and two guides. The ATV was old and hard to use and then we were led through the middle of the poorest section of Punta Cana. We were absolutely terrified. There were children chasing us screaming for money, people staring at us, people with machetes everywhere and I am sure I saw a gun in a man's bag riding a bike. We were chased and feared for our lives many times. The tour guide was nice but barely spoke English and clearly didn't realize how horrified we were (and I thought I was a very non-sheltered person - until now). I made it clear we did not have our wallets or a camera to the tour guide through small talk in case anything weird happened. We were so skittish after the incident we actually stayed in our room that night (thank goodness it was the 2nd to last day instead of the beginning of our trip). This is the single most important thing I wish I listened to other people when they told me - just make sure you go through the hotel for anything.

Their shows at night were pretty cool. They have a stage in the middle of the lobby and while we were there they put on a Cirque du Soleil type show with acrobatics and those guys that can lift each other like crazy. It was so entertaining and the place was packed with people. The other show we saw was dancing to 70's and 80's songs which was fun too.

I see people complaining about the mosquito but I didn't think they were any worse than home (Massachusetts). I get bit a lot so I should have known and brought bug spray which of course I did not.

All-in-all I had a wonderful time and we had so much fun. We met a lot of people and everyone seemed to have a very good time. I would definitely visit another Excellence hotel in the future.

Room Tip: Building 6 seemed close to the main lobby and convenient. Very quiet. Recently renovated. Ground flo...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Amanda N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We stayed at excellence for a total of 5 nights. This was me and my husbands second trip to Punta Cana but my parents first. We are extremely neat and picky people I will be the first to admit, so it can be hard to please us at times but not for Excellence. To start off, we booked the Excellence Club which is totally worth your money and I recommend spending the little extra to get it. We got a private check in, internet in our rooms, a private lounge with deserts and a wait staff plus much more. We were able to watch the football games in this lounge which made it much more enjoyable to watch with others. Our mini fridge was also restocked everyday with no additional charge. There are also bottles of liquor in the room which you are able to switch out to something different if you don't like what they have in there at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE, for example they had Gin in our room we called down and asked if they could switch the Gin for crown and it was done right away. We ordered room service which was FLAWLESS every time we ordered, which was often. The food was wonderful, and this is coming from four people who were born and raised in New Orleans. We know what good food is and this food was excellent. I have never been around so many welcoming and friendly people in my life. The staff and wait staff were excellent. The drinks were always coming we never had to ask anyone they were always there asking us if we needed anything. The beach is a little rough but I have stayed at a place where the beach wasn't so rough but the staff, the food and the experience wasn't even close to this resort. They have a show every night, which is very entertaining and a band usually plays once the show ends. There is always something going on at the resort. You can stay here and never leave and you will have the vacation of a lifetime. They do have shopping on the resort. It's almost like its own little small town. They ask you not to shop at the shops by the beach obviously because they want you to shop at their shop but I HIGHLY recommend shopping at NANCYS on the beach and ask for NANCY or CHARLIE. They were extremely helpful to us. They did not push us to buy anything but when we did I know we got the best deals. If you plan on buying stuff I would check with them first because I can promise you they will be cheaper. They actually talked to us about some of the different things to do while we were there, like I said before they were very helpful to us throughout our entire stay. I totally recommend this resort to everyone I come in contact with. We are already planning our next trip to Excellence in Punta Cana.

Room Tip: Choose to stay in Excellence Club rooms
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Kayla 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

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
#10 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $268 - $617 (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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