Welcome home was the first thing we heard when the bell hops opened the door to our van upon arrival at Excellence Punta Cana. If you are considering a beach vacation, I wholeheartedly recommend this resort. It is such a beautiful resort with a hard working friendly staff, good food, excellent beach, and refreshing pools. It is set apart from the main strip of Punta Cana resorts but you will have everything you need in order to leave reality behind and relax! We stayed at the resort from March 21st through March 27th.
The strengths of the resort are:
Clean, beautiful grounds and rooms
Free wi/fi that is fast and reliable
Good fitness center that has weights, machines, treadmills, and a large stretching rooms
Excellent hard working employees who provide top notch service
Ecological park with several animals like parrots, flamingos, geese that you can feed
Shops that sell everything you need
Great food to satisfy all cuisines
Clean room with awesome AC that is stocked with a mini bar and snacks as well as shampoo and body wash.
Pools and beach that is not crowded
Our flight from Atlanta at 3:30 PM was the only flight to arrive at that time so customs was a breeze. However, you will need to have $10 cash on hand per person as the Dominican customs people will charge you. We did not know this nor did anyone on our flight. There were no pushy time share people at the airport and some stewards in brown shirts met us at baggage claim and took us to our transfer service, carrying our bags for us. You might want to make sure you pack an accessible pen with you because your flight attendants will pass out the entry documentation and on our flight there were only a few pens to go around for those who did not have them.
The resort is approximately 25 miles from the Punta Cana International Airport but it took exactly one hour to get from the transfer service parking lot to the resort gate. Construction coupled with narrow two lane roads and congestion in the town of Friusa contributed to the delay. Our van had air conditioning so it was not too bad but the drive is on narrow roads with several sharp turns and aggressive Dominican drivers so be prepared. But once you get to the resort, you are met with a cool towel and glass of Champaign in a beautiful environment so the trip will be worth it.
I really liked the layout of the resort with an open lobby area that leads to the main pool/beach area and contains the theater, some of the bars, and restaurants. The resort consists of 14 building clusters, which open up to lush lagoons or as in our building (Building 2) the cascade pool. Buildings 1-5 are oriented toward the cascade pool. To me, these were the ideal buildings because the cascade pool was never crowded and they are close to three restaurants, the sports facilities, the shopping main street, and the portion of the beach that checks out the water sports equipment. When we go back, we will request a room in one of these buildings.
We ate at five of the resort’s 9 restaurants and really enjoyed them all. Our favorite was the Toscana for dinner, which we loved the Lasagna Florentine. We also liked Spice, the Asian fusion themed restaurant. We liked the Agave, which was authentic Mexican and the Chez Isabella but we ate at the Toscana a couple of times. The Toscana is also the breakfast and lunch buffet restaurant, which contained a mix of Dominican cuisine as well as American standards. I really liked the pizza at the buffet, which I believe are wood oven cooked. And this was true also of Mexico, the ice cream was excellent.
The beach itself is beautiful and well maintained. The resort lets you know that the beach is federal property and not resort property. But the resort must maintain it because it is sandy and devoid of rocks and debris. The surf itself can be rough with strong waves. The resort raised the red flag every day but people still went in the ocean to a certain point. I did too and it was really fun and the water was cool and refreshing. The waves can knock you down though but you can still enjoy it. The resort checks out boogie boards and kayaks. We were always able to get a beach chair but not under a palapa. You have to get there early to get one of those. As with all areas of the resort, drink service is excellent. Unlike beaches in other resorts in Mexico, there are no people walking up and down selling anything but there are some shacks just off the resort property where you can buy items. But you may not need to bother because there are several shops on the resort property that sell the same items. The shops on the property sell souvenirs and there is also a very small drug store that sells basic medicines, sunscreen, and toiletries. There is also a cigar and jewelry shop on the property.
As far as the activities go, the resort has one main pool and one cascade pool – all large in size and none crowded. In fact, we never felt crowded at any of the restaurants, pools, beach, or theater. We never had to wait for a seat at the restaurants and I think that the 400 + rooms even at capacity you never feel crowded. In fact, the resort feels intimate enough that you meet people. Every night, we attended a show in the theater, which were comparable to those you see on cruise ships. They had a disco night, Broadway night, Caribbean night, and Michael Jackson tribute. My wife’s enjoyed the romance night in which they give all the ladies a rose – very classy. The resort will publish a newsletter that they will leave in your room every night at turndown service.
One of our favorite part of the resort is the ecological park, and area that contains a jogging trail as well as animals that you can feed. Our favorites were the parrots but beware, they will climb on you and grab buttons and necklaces as they did with my wife. There is a small warning sign.
One final comment on the staff, who are one of the strengths of the resort. They work very hard and do so with a smile. They seemed to be very happy to serve you and treat you as guests. At the end of our trip the property manager spoke to us as we were waiting to leave and asked us if they could improve. I loved this staff.
So there you have it an over view of an excellent resort that you will make home. We certainly hope to make it our second home in vacations to come.
- 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