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“Best Vacation at an all-inclusive resort”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #14 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed February 2, 2013

My wife and I prefer to go to all-inclusive resorts. As we are getting older (in our 60's) we do not very many excursions so the resorts have to have everything one could want in a resort. I am happy to say that this resort not just met our expectations but easily surpassed them. This place is a gem. Tje staff is great and they could not do enough for us. Special thanks to Yanilka, who made many of our evenings special. She is a concierge at the resort. The food was off the charts. Their buffet service for breakfast and lunch was phenominal. The food was fresh and the choices were unheard of for a resort buffet. Picture fresh salmon and tuna for your bagel, omelette stations with choice fresh veggies, pancakes, crepes, fresh juices. Their eight restuarants are world class and you do not need a reservation for any of them. You just go up and they sit you (of course you may have a brief wait if the restuarant is full). Waiters/waitresses are on the ball. Wine and champagne glasses are never empty (or your cocktail glass). The entire staff is superb. They also did a theme based dinner buffet on the beach which looked great but we opted for the French restaurant that night The bars have great brands of liquor such as Johnnie Walker Black Scotch, Stoli vodka, Baileys, etc. The bar tenders were all friendly and helpful and the various drinks were excellent. On the beach abd at the pool during the day there are waiters/waitresses who come around taking drink orders. Again the service was great. While tipping is not necessary, I usually tipped the waiters/waitresses for good service. Every night there was different entertainment in the main show room. These are hour long or more shows with good music and dancing. The even had a cirque soli type show. All the entertainment was good. Prior to the show and after, a live band performed. There is also an after hour disco witha DJ but I did not get there. There is a good gym with top notch excercise equipment. During our stay I mentioned to the staff that my wife's birthday was that day and they set our room up with a birthday cake, champagne, and a fruit arrangement (all gratis, just part of the service to them). They also set up our dinner table with rose petals and a special menu just for us that night. Really made the week. There is more but the best thing I can say is that I would recommend this resort to anyone who enjoys an all inclusive kid free vacation, yes it is for adults only.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank tede60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,813 - 6,819 of 13,319 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2013

We had a party of 8 people here for my wife's birthday and we had a GREAT time. Due to sleep deprivation, jet lag, and Mama Juanas, we had a true "Hangover" movie experience the 1st night. You MUST try Mama Juana when you go to D.R.. The Excellence Punta Cana staff were top notch. The nicest place we stayed prior to this was Secrets St. James. This place surpasses that. The dining is top notch. If you want to be quiet, you can find more low key areas to hang out. If you want to dance and play around with the staff, you can do that in the main area. All of the Caribbean is beautiful so it becomes a matter of service and amenities that separate them. The service is EXCELLENTE here! Everyone seems to take their job serious and understands the importance of making the visitors feel welcome.We partied in their disco, did the Dune Buggy excursion, partied at the Hard Rock down the way, and still had some chillaxing days in between. Special mentions for above and beyond attention to detail and service: Yanilkah, Franklin, Omar, Super Willy, and Martirez.

Room Tip: The high numbered rooms are towards the low key end of the resort. There is a jacuzzi, pool access...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Mu F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

We stayed at the resort over New Years-there were four of us - my two kids which are in university and my wife (adults only hotel-18 +). We all enjoyed this hotel for various reasons

Staff-I don't think that you can get much better-from the front desk to the activity desks to the maids that clean your room. They were all extremely pleasant and all had time to chat or to greet you with a pleasant hola.

Food- Very good-we enjoyed all the restaurants as well as the buffet-plenty of choices served properly and never rushed - I did enjoy the "no reservation required policy"-we never had a problem getting into any of the restaurants of our choice. I have heard some complaints about the lobster-but keep in mind that it is Caribbean Spiny Lobster-which is quite different from Maine Lobster

Alcohol - top shelf and drinks made properly - for example they would chill your Martini glass first with ice before pouring your drink-even though I don't drink as much as I did in my younger days-I still enjoy a good drink or two ; -)

Rooms- The buildings are a little older-not saying that the rooms were poor-definitely above average but just not at the 5 star level - very comfortable and roomy - not a complaint at all

Lobby and Shows - have been to at least 35 resorts over the last 20 years - their shows were above par - the lobby is impressive, which consists of a few bars and their theater area-with many comfortable seats

Ocean and beach - the ocean is rough - my family did enjoy this - very nice to walk in but there is an undertow- if your are expecting to swim in the ocean here - think again - if you want to play in the waves you are in the right place The beach area is great, has plenty of chairs and you can walk for miles. If you go for a long walk-I would head right if your facing the ocean, for to the left is where the horses are and there is evidence left by them in the sand. Walking to the right for about 20-25 minutes will bring you to the next resort "Sirenis"

Pool and grounds-the pool is very big and very clean - it is on the cool side - not heated. Grounds are impeccable-staff always gardening to make sure everything is kept tidy

I used the fitness center most days-very nice-good equipment and very clean

Overall-great resort-no wristbands-no towel cards-no restaurant reservations-great staff-great food-top shelf alcohol-great grounds-a good place to visit and to be spoiled for a week or two- The entire family had a great time and would like to go back. With so many other places to visit, I am not sure if this will happen any time soon. I am sure that you will have a good time here.

My Travel Resume (lol) - traveled throughout Europe-Greece-Almost every Caribbean Island-Most Cruise Lines-Throughout the U.S. and Canada- In the past year -Mexico(2 times)-Dominican-Vegas-New York-(Bora Bora-Moorea-Taha'a) (six star hotels) In the past 25 years I/we have stayed in 3 star hotels to 5/6 stars- Keep in mind that the rating system is all over the place - 5 star in the Caribbean would not always be comparable to 5 star in North America and I am seeing 6 star ratings is some places (little bit of a messed up system) In my opinion 5 star ratings are given out like candy at times-5 stars should be reserved for the best of the best

We enjoy travelling- Travelling is expensive and I would like to hear the truth about certain hotels before going - Opinions vary greatly-but some times things just don't add up-don't believe everything you read-do your research as you are doing now

Enjoy your travels

Room Tip: A tip goes a long way-have fun
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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13  Thank lost1more
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

This was our first trip to Dominican Republic. We suggest setting up a taxi with the resort via email ahead of time. They offered to charge the taxi to the room bill, it made things much easier when arriving. The room was nice, we had a Junior Swim up suite near the swim up pool bar. The bathroom was nice, it had a rainfall shower hear. The fridge was always stocked for us. We ordered room service a lot and it was fast and delicious. We loved getting coffee in the afternoon at the martini bar near the lobby. The pool was fun and we enjoyed playing bingo in the afternoon with Luz by the pool. If you win during the pool games they will give you a certificate for a special "romantic" dinner reservation at one of the restaurants, lots of fun! The shows were fun, something different every night. We met another employee, Tito, he was friendly and made sure we enjoyed our drinks. I can say that the employees were wonderful, they were so friendly and everything was and made sure you were taken care of, gotta love that! For a base price room you can still get a lot of nice extra amenities like rooms service and alcohol in the room. There are beautiful botanical gardens towards the entrance of the resort, you can feed lots of birds like flamingos, parrots, etc. the food was great. The ocean is active so don't expect to be able to just float around in it. They should offer floats at the pool, if I ever go back I would pack my own. I would totally recommend this resort to a friend and I will definitely love to go back.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

This was my wife and my second visit to this property and third visit to an Excellence Resort. We were apprehensive about going back since in the past we have been disappointed with the second visit. NOT this time. With a few minor exceptions, the vacation was wonderful and as good, if not better, than our fist visit.

Excellence is a long ride from the airport ... about an hour. The ride, however, is almost forgotten after you are greeted with champagne and a smooth check-in. When you arrive you begin to experience the wonderful service. The vast majority of people you encounter are friendly, good humored and exceptionally well trained in their specialty and in customer relations. All of the service personnel speak english very well. The level of service is so high it overcomes any shortcomings of which there are very few The staff makes you believe their desire is only for you to be happy and they are successful.

The property itself is beautifully maintained. Every part of it is cleaned on what seems a constant basis. The rooms are cleaned at least twice a day with separate attendance to the mini bar.

The food is very good in terms of variety and quality. We experienced every restaurant (there are 7). We liked all of them. They all serve good food and there is always something on the menu that grabs your interest. Our favorites were the Grill and Agave (mexican) for dinner. The steak at the Grill was tender & flavorful. The fajitas at Agave were very good. The salads and appetizers at all of the restaurants are terrific. The buffet breakfast is huge with a lot of variety of healthy & not so healthy foods. We went to the Grill for lunch one day ... nice menu ... salads, sandwiches, entrees. The food was very good, but the service was somewhat slow. The buffet lunch was very good ... salads, hot foods, pizza. The grill on the beach is also good ... burgers, hot dogs, kabobs, fries, nachos. The service at most of the restaurants is attentive and friendly.

The pool area is beautiful. The pool meanders through most of the property. My wife enjoyed water aerobics with Super Willie every morning and then I would join her for a walk from on end of the pool to the other ... usually with a stop at the pool bar along the way. Super Willie, by the way, is a personality that you enjoy whenever and wherever you encounter him. He seems to have boundless energy and loves to entertain.

The beach is clean and very well maintained. The water could be considered somewhat rough, however, on half the days we were there it was calm enough to enjoy with no worries. This, of course will vary depending on how comfortable you are in ocean waves. The drink service at the beach is wonderful. Omar became our friend on the first day. He would stop by to see if we wanted a drink and would sit and chat before moving on.

The quality and variety of the nighttime entertainment could be improved. The Michael Jackson show was the same one we saw 2 years ago. The circus show was slow moving and did not seem as good as the one we saw 2 years ago. The musical review shows were quite good ... fast moving with a lot of variety. The couples game is always fun, but the stunts are the same as 2 years ago. The Romantic Night with the terrific singer and the floor arranged for dancing was a very nice addition.

I also want to mention some other people who made our stay enjoyable. Roberto in Guest Services who greeted us by name every time he saw us, and took care of any question we had, and confirmed our return flights and printed boarding passes. Reynaldo at the front desk who was always happy to see you walking by and enquired if there was anything he could do. Thomas put together great sandwiches for us to take on the plane for our trip home.

The thing that makes Excellence Punta Cana so special for us is the people who work there and what I believe is their honest desire to make your vacation special. In our case, they succeeded.

Room Tip: On both of our visits our room was on the Cascades pool side of the property. We thought the rooms...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank nygolfer08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

We were at this resort from January 13th until the 20th. This was our second time at this resort. The first was four years ago. We do not know how, but the resort got better. Except for one bad meal at the Italian restaurant, Toscana, the food is top notch. We especially love the addition of the pizza restaurant. Somehow the first time around we missed the Lobster House. This time around we ate there twice. Both pools are very well maintained and beautiful. The beach, though, is my favorite. It is huge and well kept. Service here is top notch. Bartenders and servers that we met four years ago still worked there and remembered us (okay remembered my husband) from the last time. Drinks are also very good. We would not hesitate to travel to this resort again.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank jmmh_21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

We escaped the cold for a week to the Excellence resort in Punta Cana and found the relaxing time away we needed. Upon our travel agents recommendation we enrolled in the Excellence Club and enjoyed the extra perks such as a designated beach area and club area with buffet. TV, Internet services. Our room was spacious, the grounds were gorgeous, the pools active, and the food was good. We did an excursion to the sand bar and an island but the rest of the time we enjoyed relaxing by the pools. The ocean was very "active" so couldn't swim much but enjoyed sitting by it. Our last night we had an in room mineral bath from the spa-WELL worth the money!! Great escape for couple!! We had an issue with the TV and it took a couple of days to get it resolved but it was fixed. The ride from the airport to the hotel does take a while and just when you think you are lost you arrive.

Room Tip: Join the Excellence club to enjoy a special welcome floral arrangement upon arrival, restock mini ba...
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank AMPUtica
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 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Spa 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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