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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #13 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed March 30, 2013

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
Fun entertainment
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.

Room Tip: Choose buildings 1-5, which are close to several of the amenities and oriented toward the cascade po...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank johnva8312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,627 - 6,633 of 13,319 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

Stunning beach, beautifully landscaped grounds, lovely pools. . . but this resort is nowhere near an American 5 start. The food is average, the service is friendly but average and pretty slow - nice not to need reservations in the many restaurants if only the service and food were good! The rooms are dated and somewhat rundown...pitted mirrors, old bedding, awful lampshades all askew as none have filials. But the beds are firm and the showers are marble and very nice. The liquor in the Club area is top drawer but don't ask for any wine but the pitiful few, cheap ones they have - very disappointing. Surprised to find that tipping though "included" seemed to be expected by many of the staff. The guests are 95% couples and mostly friendly, some roaring party types especially at the swim up pool bar - many tattoos. Interesting shows in the evening - some very well done, others kind of cheesy. All in all, I'd say a 3 1/2 star. Nowhere to do any shopping (no villages nearby). There are two resort shops - jewelry and mini mart with some clothes and trinkets, but pricey. The Spa, however, was a real treat. Don't miss the Aqua Therapy which comes included with the Excellence Club - it's wonderful. You do get 'hit on' by resort personnel wandering around the beach and pool area who try to sell you excursions - can be very annoying. It's at least 1 hr. plus from the airport so be prepared.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank CiteeGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

I booked my stay after reading so many positive reports. I believe that if you have traveled and stayed at fine resorts, you would find this resort average at best. It took 1 hour from the airport on lousy roads. To go anywhere for activities, you need to get in a cab for an hour one way.The resort looks dated even with recent upgrades. The food was mediocre and the liquor was the cheapest of brands. The service doesn't come near what you see in Mexico unless you don't mind waiting 10 minutes for a drink even with heavy tipping. The beach and pool was nice. The crowd was friendly, 80% with tattoos. Spend a little more money and go to Mexico or another option.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MichaelMG77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

We stayed from 17th to 24th March 2013. This was a truly amazing holiday for the both of us. The resort is kept at a very high standard and staff are really friendly. You can often see them dancing behind the bars while making the cocktails or hear them singing while walking past you at the pool. I would like to say a special thank you to the entertainment team: Kassandra, Luz and Tito, you guys ROCK!!! From water aerobic in the morning through skill games during the day to shows in the evening, very, very entertaining.
We tried most of the restaurants and I must say food was great! Whatever you like, they have it in at least one of their restaurants. Our favorite was the Las Olas grill place where we ate most of the time during the day: great food (pizza, burgers, ribs, etc all made on real wood fueled fire), great view on the ocean and the waiters seem to read your mind and the beers keep appearing :).
So overall: highly recommended, when the guys greet you on check in they say: "Welcome home". They mean it.
Thanks to all staff in Excellence Punta Cana for making our time there truly memorable.
Zsombor

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Zsombor H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

If you want to feel the luxury of having a vacation home of your own in a warm, tropical location, look no further than the Excellence in Punta Cana. From the moment you step into the beautiful, open-air lobby, you will be embraced by the warmth and incredible helpfulness of the staff. Don't be surprised to hear over and over the excitement as returning couples re-unite with staff who amazingly remember guest names and preferences as if they were family. In fact, that is what it feels like when you are visiting the Excellence. It feels like being at home, albeit a really fabulous home; that for awhile becomes your haven for rest and relaxation. Whether you spend your days at the pool or beach, your comfort will be ensured. The resort was at peak capacity when we visited and yet service was never compromised. From his post in the lobby, Guest Service Manager Roberto Puello is always available to help guests with anything they might want or need. He has an amazing talent for remembering everyone's name and making you feel like your holiday is his priority for the time you are there. We won't hesitate to return to our "home" at the Excellence again and again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Nancy_Joe_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

My husband and I recently visited this resort and we have nothing but great things to say about this hotel and the exceptional customer service. We went for my friend's wedding with 17 other people. They were accomodating for large groups as well as smaller groups. The resort was very clean, the staff was SO nice and helpful. Diego was part of the staff that helped book excursions. We gave him the name "Bomb Diggity!" . He was helpful, friendly and it was a pleasure meeting him. Pedro was a great bartender that we loved meeting and spending our week with. We would definitely return to this resort and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Jill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

It has already been a month for our return from holidays in this wonderful hotel, and I cannot forget our 10 days stay. We really enjoyed eveything: the ocean view room, the stillness at nights, the food, the beverage, the diving course and the no need for the bracelet (which I am really grateful not to be mark as an animal) and, finally but no less important, the friendly helpful staff. Highly recomended !!!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Jofre F
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
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $281 - $660 (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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