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“HORRIBLE !!!!!!”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed January 29, 2013

I have no idea what standards are used to rate this a 5-star resort ??? This resort was a serious disappointment !!! The rooms are average at best. The service is terrible, the people are so rude, the food is awful and the beach is pretty, but not pretty enough to go through all you have to go through to get there!!! The sand is not white, its tan. The water is blue but not blue enough to make you travel so far for an average beach. There is about a one mile stretch of each that is safe to walk on, after that, locals start coming out trying to sell you stuff. Every time we used our hair dryer in our room, the power went out. The obnoxious birds outside made some awful screeching noise the entire night, every night starting about 9:00 and they don't stop until about 7:00am !!!! The worst so called vacation I have ever had !!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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14  Thank dot k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,907 - 6,913 of 13,409 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2013

We stayed Jan. 18th - Jan. 25th, 2013

-Topless sunbathing. (We viewed this website for a year before our trip and nothing was ever said about this and it needs to be.)

When booking for this trip, topless sunbathing never crossed our minds. It was a bit of a shock to us, but I realized we were on foreign soil so I decided to ask the front desk about this. They said it's not allowed on the Dominican Beaches, and the Dominican people are "highly" offended by such behavior, and it's also not allowed on the resort property BUT....they don't do anything about it! I emailed the resort last night of this issue. Here's my anger of it. I'm not anti-topless or anti-nude....it's just.....the same way we paid money for a specific resort that is kid free...these ladies need to find resorts that are specifically for "nude" and "topless" sun-bathing. I felt disrespected by these selfish ladies and secondly by the resort. I advised this resort that they need to put in red writing on their website "topless friendly" if they aren't going to enforce their own rules. We get chased down for accidentally taking two boogie boards without signing them out, yet a few feet from us topless females wave their bare breasts everywhere and they say nothing. Fair is fair, and I'd appreciate anyone reading this....if you go...and you see this and feel the same as us, ***please complain. They aren't going to seriously address this issue if more complaints are made. Thx.

-Dune-Buggy Excursion
Skip It. Nothing more than being led from one place to another to be haggled by the local people for your money.

-Get prepared to say, "No," walk away, and haggle like you've never haggled before for any souvenirs you want. Period. ;)

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WarmCarolinaGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

The resort appears to be an older resort that has been updated extensively. The staff and amenities are top notch based on the half dozen all inclusive resort we have visited. The trip from PUJ airport is roughly 1.25 hrs by van or about 20 minutes if you splurge for the helicopter. Helicopter service is highly recommended for the adventurous and you get an air tour at the same time. The resort has it's own heli pad, so you step off and walk right to your room. The pools, food, and activities were all great! The menus note gluten free and healthy options for the diet conscious guests. The beaches were good, but the ocean has rougher wave action on this portion of the beach making ocean swimming limited. Evening entertainment was considered good with a new show every night and a band playing after the show. Great experience in DR and look forward to returning!

Room Tip: Splurge for the swim up room. We decided to upgrade after the first night so we could be closer to...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Ben T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

My Husband and I went there for a long weekend get away from the cold weather. The reception staff were wonderful. The main common areas are lovely.The grounds are quite nice. We upgraded to club level....which really didn't amount to much...newspaper daily (which we never got even after letting club level staff know.

For the most part the food was good...not great. The french restaurant was the best and the Italian was terrible! The service is ok. Everyone works very hard but they are stretched thin. The waiter/waitresses do everything, bus tables, take orders etc. They need more staff. I do want to emphasize that all staff were very nice.

When we entered the room it smelled of insecticide..I did see the spraying later in our stay. The smell was no pleasant. The bed in the room was very uncomfortable. I slept poorly the whole time.

Overall it is ok but some areas nee to be addressed. These are: food could be better, better beds, take care of unpleasant smell in rooms.

Also it is an hour bummpy ride from the airport!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank nursenellie54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

The resort features a meandering pool with a variety of poolside environments and a wonderful Atlantic-side beach -- not for swimming, but the moonlit lines of surf and sound of the waves from the soft sandy cove rimmed with coconut palms and furnished with comfy thatched roof beds and lounge chairs offers privacy from vendors. Peaceful there - partying elsewhere if that's what's wanted. Transport from the airport was effortless with a safe and informative driver, the evening show was cute, the restaurant food was very good for all-inclusive, the room we opted for in the private Club section was lovely and clean with small attentions like fresh flowers which made us feel like special guests. But the stand-out was the wonderfully warm, gracious, and invariably knowledgable staff, beginning with our delightful morning breakfast hostess (I remember her as "mamasita") and charming Elias in the Lobster House (all the servers were excellent), through to the cheerful and invariably helpful go-the-extra-mile concierge staff at the Excellence Club: Esperanza, who should one day run a "best resort worldwide" establishment, and Rafael and Antonio on the Club beach - where one can begin with champagne flutes and have fresh, light rum-based drinks on offer throughout the day. . . or sparkling water or whatever. The experienced sommelier at Chez Isabel makes excellent wine suggestions. Even the servers-in-training at the buffet restaurant are polished and show a genuine concern to make the dining experience enjoyable. We could find quiet or music -- more local music would have been nice, although the fine alto sax player and his piano accompanist offered terrific value before dinner. I enjoyed the range of ages of the guests, who on balance seemed to be enjoying themselves and were for the most part very civilized.

Room Tip: Exellence Club rooms are worth the small additional price for lounge and appetizing appetizers with...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Debbora B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013 via mobile

Any consideration of the Excellence Resort on a beautiful Atlantic-side beach must start with its attentive service. Guests of this wonderully-designed, all-inclusive, adults-only property can be pampered with varying degrees of luxury. But, the attentive, friendly, professional staff are prepared to assist any guest succeed in finding tropical relaxation.

Several restaurants require dinner dress in casual elegance, with more informal lunch options. The enormous breakfast buffet offers plates familiar to patrons from any corner of the globe. A large, central performance space offers after-dinner theatrical entertainment, and several small stages delivered jazz and live dance music of a regional flavor.

There are dozens of resort activities, including many staff-led options. The resort caters to destination wedding celebrants, honeymooners and couples on anniversary trips. Off property adventure trips include zip lines, horseback riding, and history excursions.

Sun bathing is done oceanside or poolside. The main pool is enormous, dividing the beachfront from the lodging area, and features a swim-up bar. The cascading pool is on the opposite side of the dining / casino / registration / entertainment complex, and fronts additional lodging buildings.

The rooms are serviced twice daily, including turn down. The Junior suite is spacious, and included a day bed and a flat screen television. Free wi-fi is available throughout the compound.

Access from the modestly-sized Punta Cana airport is by ground transportation, a drive of just over one hour. This will soon improve with the completion of a new highway paralleling the northeast coastline to service the resorts in the area. That this area will soon sprout additional resort options is an easy forecast. The Excellence is a terrific choice.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank --mwwHomewood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

We read numerous reviews before booking our stay as well as during and after. I have to say some people just shouldn't travel! I'll highlight some of the issues others have identified and our take on them.

Airport - Yes, it's an hour away. People seem fussed about this. Folks - it's 90 minutes to the Mayan Riviera and no one seems to notice. What gives here? Considering everyone goes to Bavaro it can easily take an hour to get to your resort.

Ocean - yes it's rough. It's the Atlantic vs. Caribbean. It can also be windy. A 5 minute walk to the right puts you in calmer water - with no resort in front.

Beds - yes they're firm. Thanks to a previous review we knew to ask for an additional mattress pad. Worked like a charm. We heard others asked for 2 or 3. Knock yourself out.

Food - We did not have a bad meal anywhere. In fact we had some great meals. Portions are small so order more - it's all inclusive. Highlights were sushi at Spice and the chateau briand at Chez Isabelle - it melted in your mouth. Also, order extra salsa at Agave - it's addictive.

Drinks - everywhere, all the time. Service at the pool, on the beach, a mini bar in your room, full bottles in your room, etc.

Entertainment - fun, cheesy and a great way to spend an hour! Michael Jackson and Disco Fever were the most fun.

Room - for the few hours we were there it was fine. Tip the maid and you get towel swans and rose petals on the bed! Just sayin!

Guests - all ages. We met a group of kids from Rochester having just graduated college as well as made some wonderful new friends over 30! in three different couples. Plus some retirees.

Tipping - yes it is an all inclusive but these workers earn an appallingly low wage. If you tip at home you should tip here. A couple of dollars goes a long way. You paid a couple of thousand to be here, what's an extra few bucks?

Service - there is an incredible amount of competition in Punta Cana. Yes this resort is farther away and on the Atlantic. They have chosen to concentrate on service and provide outstanding guest relations. From the moment you arrive until you leave there is someone asking you "How is your vacation", "How is the food", "Is there anything else I can do for you". This was beyond anything we have ever encountered in any resort in the Caribbean. All staff introduces themselves and ask you to call them if you need anything. Concierges ask at breakfast, on the beach, around the pool, in the lobby, at cocktails, etc. - "How is everything?" I can only assume the people who found fault with the resort kept it to themselves or are just miserable.

On a personal note - thanks to Dario at the Front Desk, Sonia at the Martini bar, Edgar, Kendry, Altra Gracia at the pool, all the restaurant hostesses and numerous people whose names we can't recall but will always be remembered. You made our stay incredibly enjoyable.

Room Tip: We were in Building 6 beside the Main Lobby building. Very convenient for pool, restaurants, bars...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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21  Thank WayneandScott
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
#9 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: $273 - $603 (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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