Was here from January 6th-13th in a honeymoon suite. It's an hour from the airport but an interesting drive. We did not know until we arrived that on the Atlantic side in January and February there is a strong wind from the north making the ocean way too choppy for any kind of watersports. The wind was enough that it was difficult to sit on the beach without getting sand blown in your face.
Pros: The service was excellent. There is cleaning, mini-bar, and turn-down service in our room and they did beautiful things with towels and rose petals for our room daily. Everyone was happy to see us and serve us. I tipped a lot so maybe that helped. Poolside service, which was sometimes a little bit slow, but there are something like 10 bars on the premises so easy to go and get your own.
The beach was nice and cleaned up every day. They drove a tractor around to clean up some of the sand all the time and picked up the seaweed.
The Sport's Bar area is a nice secret, kind of tucked in one corner of the resort. We were able to watch football back there, they have outdoor pool, table tennis, tennis courts, etc.
Theme bars, lots of tropical drinks. The entertainment shows at night were basically themed dance numbers and we weren't sure what we were in for, but we went and were entertained regardless.
There's booze in your room in case you didn't get enough by the pool. They have tons of activities going on all of the time - texas hold em, games by the bars, volleyball, language lessons. There's spotty wi-fi in the rooms in case you need an internet fix.
We did the 30 minute horseback ride through El Rancho Diferente. They take your photo, then take you through the waves and up the beach and back. It was fun, after having never been on a horse before. When you get back, they've printed out your picture, taped it to a music CD and a bottle of rum and ask you for $25.
Cons: I'm really sensitive for anyone trying to pitch or sell anything to me. There were a few guys roaming around all the time trying to talk with us and sell excursions that were rather annoying. Islandsun, who set up the rides to and from the airport, sold them, as well as two other companies. In the end you had to try to avoid them. Also if you leave the resort on the beach on either side, people would hassle you to come to their shops. You get the same crap in the airport.
They close the pool at 6 which doesn't make much sense to me. It's lit up, they could leave one of them open a bit longer.
We were in building 11 which was pretty far from the rest of the properties. It was quiet though. Many of the first floor rooms have a hammock.
Food was hit or miss. The best meals by far were the breakfast and lunch buffets in the Toscana restaurant. The beach grill is alright for lunch, since we had our swimsuits on and often didn't want to go and change to eat in one of the sit-downs. We tried every place once - the best option of the theme restaurants was probably Oregano. At least to an american's eyes, the food portions were small - for example when you ordered sushi in Spice you would get only one piece per roll instead of an entire roll. We could tell they would try to make do sometimes with local ingredients but you have to be aware of where you are and the remoteness. There was a point for a few days where they were out of mint for any mojitos. The only beer is Presidente but I think some people had Coors Light in their rooms.
The excellence club doesn't seem worth the extra expense. I did not get it, but there really wasn't anything special about the private beach (I could go there myself and nobody would stop me), and they got a little private lounge to eat in. It just seemed like a way to differentiate you from the other guests and for the resort to cash in a little more.
- 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