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“whoever gave this hotel less then 5 stars has problems”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #17 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
A TripAdvisor Member
“whoever gave this hotel less then 5 stars has problems”
Reviewed February 15, 2004

My husband and I just got back from Punta Cana Febuary 13. We have been to aruba and cancun many of times but we wanted to try something new...
Punta cana was perfect.. I read so many reveiws before I booked this hotel and some negative and some positve... Who ever gave this hotel a negative reveiw has something wrong with them and obviously can not be pleased at all.. The food was excellent.... The service was incredible nothing like you would ever get in the states... The beach and pool were very nice.... The only complaint I have is with the Americans....
In order to get a lounge chair or one of the straw huts you had to get up at 6:30 in the morning to put your towel on one... The people that did have there towels on them never even used them... All and all I will be back next year!!!

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Rating summary
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 14, 2004

We just returned from a fabulous week feb 6-13. After reading alot of reviews I was anxious to see for myself what this resort had to offer.
Upon arrival (yes long!) we were greeted with mimosas and great big smiles. We had a third floor room with a garden view, which was fine since we are in their only to sleep. The food was fine, yes the french was the best. We spent time on the beach and at the pool. I did however set the alarm so my boyfriend could reserve a loung chair inside the pool!! (yes I did become to relaxed and lazy.) The horseback riding was worth taking the time away from the water. We did take the four wheeler tour from the resort. I highly recomend this. You spend three hours touring the villages,and seeing some wonderful views. We stopped at a school and saw the children inside. If i would have know this before traveling, I would have packed pencils, sharpeners and candy for gifts.
I think one of our best times was the beach dinner party on thursday. I would highly recommend this resort. Yes maybe some of the food your use to is higher quality, but their trying very hard to please everyone so I'm sure you won't starve! So relax enjoy and have a frozen maimi vice for us!

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 13, 2004

Having been to Punta Cana before, we were not scared off by the negative reviews because we understood that what you experience at these resorts has much to do with your expectations. Based on our previous experience, we expected to be in a beautiful place, among friendly, courteous people, with "no worries." Having stayed at Paradisus, one of the top resorts in Punta Cana, and at Catalonia Bavaro, a lesser resort, we were interested to see how Secrets stacked up. To give you some idea of the attitude of the people who work there, you can ask anyone who works there how they are and uniformly, the answer is "excellente." That sums up both the spirit of the people and their striving to give you an excellent time. Although some staff don't speak much english, generally they know enough to get the job done. I speak a little Spanish and I always found people willing to help me as I stumbled about mangling their language. They were also willing to talk about their lives, homes, and aspirations. (People we met who spoke only English had the same experience with staff who spoke English.) Another good sign, we kept running into people who were there for their second or third visits.

The food was generally good and it was usually served with a decent Chilean wine. (You could upgrade for a fee.) The Mexican/Dominican restaurant, Mediterannean (seafood), and oriental restaurants were our favorites. Lobster and shrimp were very good and several other fish dishes were also good. The oriental restaurant combines Chinese and Japanese dishes as well as sushi. Everything we tried was good. The Texas Palapa and the Mediterranean restaurant both are open air with a great view of the Atlantic. My wife tried a hamburger at the steakhouse one afternoon and advises that you not. Similarly, the pizza in the Italian restaurant is not worth the effort. The breakfast and lunch buffets offered a good variety of generally high quality food. I especially liked some of the fish dishes with a Caribbean lilt.
Caution: If you are willing to only eat American standards like burgers and pizza, you may not like the food. If you are open to a broader experience, you should not be disappointed.

Drinks are available at all the bars and poolside and beach service is available. We found the drinks to be sufficiently varied and potent.
There were also snacks at poolside, and the soft ice cream machine and I became close.

The resort is on the Atlantic so the water is fairly rough although still colored in torqoise and blue. It is great for boogie boarding and sun bathing, however, if you are looking for a calm swim, you can walk a few hundred yards up or down the beach and find areas protected by reefs or try one of the pools. (The water is much calmer farther south at the other resorts I mentioned.)

Secrets caters to Americans and, therefore, a majority of the guests are American although we met people from England, Spain, Germany and Mexico. Although there were plenty of honeymooners (and we saw several weddings at the resort) the guests seemed to skew older. Some of the other resorts have much larger non-USA clientelle and of course allow, and have a lot of children.

We took a day trip to Santa Domingo. It is a long (4 hour) bus ride each way, but we enjoyed it. The trip takes you through the country and the cities of Higuey, La Romana and Santa Domingo. It focuses on the historical parts of the city of Santa Domingo and Christopher Columbus and post Columbus sites. A 1 hour shopping stop is also included. We found this trip expsed us to Dominican life and culture, something you get little of at the resorts.

In sum, we had a wonderful vacation, made several friends--among the guests and the staff-- and would love to return.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 12, 2004

This was our first trip my husband and I took since having children so we wanted to go for the best! Let me tell you, this was the best vacation we have ever been on! To those that are nervous after reading the negative reviews, please don't be! The trip from the airport was long and bumpy, but who cares! It's a road in a third world country, was a 4 lane highway expected? No! We both found it to be a fun experience and laughed most of the way! It was interesting to us and made us really appreciate what we have and where we live. The check-in process once we got to the hotel was smooth and speedy. Our room was perfect! We had a swim-out suite in the cascade pool and it was wonderful, although we didn't use the pool, we stuck to the beach, but it was so pretty to wake up in the morning and look out our patio door.
The food for the most part was very good and service always excellente!
My husband and I joked that it seemed that the servers were just watching and waiting to serve you. Our most favorite part of the trip was the beach! Yes, it was wavy, but oh so much fun to boogie board in!
The drink service on the beach was wonderful and it seemed like our server came every 45 minutes. She was such a sweet heart and was our favorite! The only bad thing we have to say was a group of whiny people that we had on the bus on the way back from the Kontiki Raft tour! The foul language and the rudeness shown to the tour guide and bus driver were actually embarrasing to us! Everytime the brakes were used they would squeak and these people would complain and use foul language!
(Ex: *&*%*&, Is that $#$@^neccesary?!----My husband and I thought, Um, yeah unless you want to end up in the ditch or crashing inside someones house!---Geesh!) I just hope that they do not think all Americans are rude and obnoxious! Of course, this was no fault of the resort but just our unfortunate luck of being on the same tour as these people! We also had the misfortune to sit close to this particular group of people during dinner and they were the exact same way. This was a fantastic resort, that was romantic, quiet, and VERY relaxing. FANTASTIC employees and wonderful service! We cannot wait to return!

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 12, 2004

We stayed @ Secret Excellence from Jan 27-Feb 2. It is true that the ride is over a hour "American" time but it is only 20 "Dominican" minutes! That was a joke, for all that have been there or who will be going... The beach is beautiful well kept and chairs seem plentiful although too many people reserve and never use their chaises. The resort offers rafts to float on poolside but there again people hoard them so bring your own. I left mine there. I told the couple we gave them to give to someone else when they leave. The pools were very nice and cleaned thoroughly daily. The biggest problem we had was with mold in our room. For someone who does not have allergies this complaint might be insignificant but for someone who has allergies or asthma it is intolerable. The mold was so intense that we have washed our laundry several times with the smell still persisiting. The luggage will have to be sprayed and aired when the weather permits in Ohio. A highly rated resort should not have mold growing on the wall. The light switches and plates should not be smucked up and to get the sand removed from the floor my husband threw dollar bills on top of the piles of sand to get the maid to clean it up and that was after $4.00 American dolllars a day. Also, when we arrived the bed spread had tomato seeds stuck on it. They must not change the spread after a guest leaves?? I too had the same response about changing rooms. That is they are at 100% capacity. There was an effort to clean the mold but only so much could be done. Again I had a great vacation but this should not be rated with sooo many stars! The food was inconsistent. Sometimes very good sometimes not so good. The main trouble we had was getting coffee at any time after breakfast. Sometimes the wait might be 15-20 once you finished your meal. If you wanted a mixed drink those were always promptly served. This is a positive note for all you drinkers. One other thing was the ferocious mosquitos! I must have 15 bites while others were not bothered! I might add that I used OFF. Some nights staff stood by the doorways and sprayed guests because the mosquitos were so active. Unfortunately some of the restaurants and the stage was out doors.The shows were very entertaining if the mosquitos were not attracted to you. The resort did spary the grounds twice daily. There again if you have allergies...you would be caught out by the pool or beach with no place to go but breath in the insecticide. The spraying was done during tiems that guest were already milling around. The resort does give out B12 tabs to help prevent being bitten but we stumbled on them the last evening that we were there. I am not sure why this info isn't given when you check in. Over all it is a beautiful tropical warm place to go when it is snowing at home just not a five star resort! It really is a paradise when you considered S-N-O-W-!

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WONDER LAKE, IL
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2004

Our stay was from Feb. 01 thru Feb. 08. It was everything that I had read about and more. We enjoyed oursleves so much. I am planning another trip there. The food and people our great. Like every vacation you take the good with the not so good. The only down to us was the ride from the airport. Once you get passed that everything is excellent. I highly recomend this place to everyone.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 9, 2004

We were at Secrets 1/18-1/25 on our Honeymoon. We had poured over reviews for months in anticipation of this trip. We learned alot from the reviews and wanted to reciprocate for future guests.

We had the 'best' Jr. Suite Swimout room in the complex, in our opinion. We were in building 1, room 1001. It was adjacent to the 'quiet' pool which suited our tastes just perfectly.

The room was lavish and we had the exact room we had booked. Check in to the room took no more than 10 minutes and almost as soon as we got to the room our bags arrived. We had a towel with rose petals arranged on our king sized bed and petals scattered on the jacuzzi tub and vanity. The only fault we found were the three small pillows on our bed. The next morning a note written in Spanish to our maid asking if she could get us two more pillows was left on the bed with our tip.
When we stopped by our room later that day, on the bed was three extra pillows. Problem solved, ask and you shall receive.

We were very pleased with the variety and quality of the food at all of the restaurants. The grilled Mahi-Mahi at the Mediterranean was incredible. No problems communicating with the wait staff, all spoke english surprisingly well compared to our expectations from others comments. We eat early so waiting was not an issue.

We are a rather independent, quiet couple. We wanted relaxation and romance. With that in mind, the quiet pool upper level was perfect.
Most days the pool was our own private paradise with waterfall and water cascade. A pool bar nearby and lovely soft music playing in the background was what we were looking for. The main pool has activities going on all day long though if that is what you are looking for.

We hit the beach early for sun and it was never crowded. Yes there are waves, it is the Atlantic. The water was warm and inviting and we loved being in the ocean in January knowing they had snow and ice at home.
The sand is not really white, but is so powdery, not like the shore here in the States. There are no shells so the sand is just so soft.

Bugs? Sand fleas at the beach bit a little and we sprayed when going out in the evening, most of the time. Neither of us wore any scents out since that attracts mosquitos. We never really had an issue with getting bit.

The vendors are organized and professional. We had a great time bartering with them. One vendor let us take our purchase and come back with the rest of our money. Would that happen any where you shop? The shops at the resort seemed reasonable to us. Although we did bring all the basics with us, tylenol, bugspray, etc.

We did the photo shoot with the resort photographer and loved every picture and the experience. We bought all the pictures and the negatives. For the hour of his time and all this we paid $120.00. We had Pablo who used a digital camera so our negatives were a CD. We highly recommend this for a keepsake of your trip. They take 36 photos during your session. You can get 12 pictures for $60.00. Too hard to choose, we had to have them all.

We thought everyone we came into contact with was friendly, helpful and hard working. Tipping is not required but it is deserved. Here we tip because we should not because we had great service. In the Dominican we tipped because we had great service not because we had to or should.

We read so many complaints about the waves, the road, the distance from airport, the language barrier..... We couldn't believe that you could go on a trip like this and not be aware of all of these things ahead of time. Yes, you are a little more than an hour from the airport, it's called seclusion. Yes, the roads are bumpy, but they are working on those conditions. We had a section of road that was much smoother on the ride back, so it is being taken care of. Yes, the Atlantic Ocean has waves, I can't believe people don't know where they are going. Yes, this is a Spanish speaking country, but you could not tell except for the accent. Everyone spoke English well enough to be understood for there related jobs.

Overall, we are going back and you should not hesistate about going.
For those of you planning a trip to Secrets, go, enjoy, have a wonderful time like we did.

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Additional Information about Excellence Punta Cana

Property: 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
#11 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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