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“Perfect Honeymoon”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #14 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Perfect Honeymoon”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We loved this place! The only trouble we had was my husband always wears shorts and some of the restaurants required long pants. We had the couples massage and loved it. We also did the formal portraits which will be a keepsake for the rest of our lives. I don't recommend leaving the resort, too depressing.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank cheyanne040277
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Works on the beach and says if you are on the beach when he works on the beach, you are his family, and he treats you like family. Always asked what we wanted and if we wanted anything and by the 2nd day he would know what we drank and ate without asking. He would just bring us our favorites to drink. Always had a smile and would join in conversation if prompted and remembered previous convo. He truly made my honeymoon that much harder to leave. Everyone was amazing but that place is something special with people like Joaquin there. If you are going, make sure you look for him on the beach and make friends with him, your trip will be better for it. Food, service, amenities second to none as everyone else said. I will definitely be back

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jtwoodward12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Before I start my review, I want to first thank everyone who contributed their thoughts and opinions on this site as they really helped me and my wife to decide on the Excellence. Okay, here it goes…

Details:
Went on honeymoon from 6/10-6/21

Arrival:
Flew into open air airport with no issues. Had the $10 to enter which is not a problem. Guys will try and help with bags and you should let them because all you need to do is throw them a few bucks for their trouble. Worth it in my opinion. Drove from the airport to the resort in van with a few other couples. It was a little sketchy but not as bad as people make it out to be. The land is just not developed like the US so you should expect it to be different.

Got to resort after in about an hour and were greeted with champagne and cool towels. Very nice.

Check in was pretty effortless and we were brought to our swim up room. Didn’t need to show any proof of marriage, etc.

Room:
I really liked our room. We were in front of the smaller cascade pool which was nice…even though we spent most of our time at the main pool. Either way, it was a nice setting. Cleanliness, set up, all was good. My only issue was that we did not have the fruit in our room and the fridge was off so we had to wait for our mini-bar beverages to cool. In my opinion, these were small things. If I saw it sooner, I could have just told the attendant about the fruit and it would have been their in no time. A/C in room was good and features like the sink and shower were nice when getting ready at night.

Restaurants:
We tried all of them for dinner except for Barcelona and Toscana. Even as a picky eater, I was impressed. I think my favorites were the Grill and Spice. Keep in mind, this is an all-inclusive so there are not going to be huge menus! Either way, the food is good.

I also loved the pizzas, burgers, and other grill-type foods at Las Olas during the afternoon! They were great. Also, breakfast buffet at Toscana is the BEST!

Beach:
Very close to the pool. Sand is clean and soft. Initially, I thought the water was a little cool, but it really is nice once you get in. Many people talk about the red flags—don’t worry, you can still go in the water…and I actually preferred the waves for boogie boarding.

Activities/Entertainment:
Went to on-site spa which is top knotch. Also, did horseback riding and went to shows at night. Definitely a good time. The Allegria night club on site is also good if you want to dance. Shows were good too! Went to Michael Jackson twice. Just a nice activity in the evenings.

I receommend taking advantage of the gym (top knotch) and sports facilities. A cheap and easy thing to do with your spouse to enjoy the time.

We had one person ask us to do an excursion but we eventually opted out—so glad we did as the resort offers plenty to do at no charge!

Staff:
The staff is by far the best part of the resort. I promise that these folks will become your friends if you let them. Shout outs to Omar, Hector, Robert, Radhames, Ivelisse, Dionel, Amado at the bars—they worked so hard, smiled, and treated us like family. Also, thanks to Jonathan, Miguel, Luz, Marlon, and the rest of the entertainment crew—they were always positive and fun and made you have a great time.

Other comments:
Bring 1s and 5s to tip the staff—trust me, they deserve it and it goes a long way. No matter where you sit (beach, pool), there is someone there to bring you drinks and food every so often. If you are particularly thirsty, then you can make the short walk or swim to one of the many bars. How can you beat it? I was worried about the bugs and we did get a few bites but not enough to ruin the trip—how could it, we were on vacation! Appreciated the daily agenda placed in our room each night. Also, liked the plethora of access to bars, beach chairs, pool chairs, and restaurant availability at night.

Overall:
We had a great experience at Excellence. One of the few places I would say that I want to return to in the future. There were a few minor issues here and there (i.e. the safe), but the staff takes care of it and you are good to go.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
13 Thank bosnc42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elgin, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

A resort that fully lives up to its name! What a fabulous time! The staff is unbelievably great. The concierge desk staff was very helpful. Jennifer, Victoria, Gerson, Victor, thank you all so very much for helping us recover our lost luggage. Rooms are comfy and plenty of space. Loved the garden view rooms! Food was terrific. The French restaurant was our favorite!
Would absolutely make a return trip to this paradise resort. A very special girl with a beautiful smile was Cassandra!! Our employee award goes to her!!

Room Tip: rooms in building 4 with the ground floor garden view were spectacular. Staff got all of our rooms c...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Patricia E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013 via mobile

We Went To Excellence June 17-21 AnD Had A Blast. Every Staff Member Was Willing To Help In Any Way Possible. Always Something To Do Or Just Relax! Shows At Night Were Awesome, But Get There Early To Get A Good Seat. Food Very Tasty! If Your A Drinker Beware Of The Mamawanna Shots, Limit Yourself To Two. If U Want To Get Drunk Quick, See Hector At The Pool Bar And Tell Him You Want "The HaMmer".
We Will Return!! In A Few years

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank matthammill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taunton, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

We recently returned from another wonderful week at an Excellence Group property. We've been faithful to the Excellence brand in other locations and this was our 4th stay in Punta Cana. We've seen change over the years at this location, some favorable, some not so good, but it is still out favorite spot. First, for the uninitiated (novice), don't expect to walk the jetway at Punta Cana Airport and be on you way... no, you exit your plane on the tarmac and are either herded or are shuttled to the terminal. Keep your passport and your wallet handy. $10 per head to enter the country. And fill out the entry forms that the airline provides you while in flight .., at least, to the best of your ability. Accuracy isn't necessarily an issue. Trust me. It's just the way it is. Please, do yourselves a favor. Arrange for a private transfer. You'll be met by the driver as you exit the terminal and wisked away in comfort for the interminable ride to the resort. For the money, it's worth it. Once you arrive it gets better, seriously. The staff at the reception desk are unsurpassed in the hospitality business. We've had nothing but good experiences. A few even remembered us. No[--]; (our last name is not all that common). Helpful tip: Open a dialogue with the resort about two weeks prior to your arrival. Arrange your transfer and also request a particular building within your reservation class (check the site map or room tips) or even a particular room. No promises, but I've always gotten whatever I've requested. They aim to please. No need to be in Excellence Club (been there) and try for a top story room with a garden view. Our theory; same sun, same pool, same amenities. The area around the cascade pool has its advantages. After a few days, you'll figure it all out. In answer to all the critics who complain about the food. The restaurants are good. The food is very good. Not gourmet. The portions are sometimes a bit small - not what an American may expect. Ask for a double order. Listen, we all come from a city or town that has some fabulous, reservations only, restaurant. Awesome food. This can't touch that. This is a 3rd world country. Emeril isn't in the kitchen. But I defy anyone to find me a finer breakfast buffet/spread at an all-inclusive. Another helpful hint: It has been said recently. Be generous. My wife and I start the week with $50 in singles apice. Our rule is to give them all away in 8 days. It might not grant you better service and who really cares? These people knock themselves out to serve us tourists. If you get a superior wait person ... slip them a $5. Many of us fortunate Americans leave nothing. As a point of fact, since baseball's David Ortiz is a Dominican and we happen to reside in Red Sox nation... as such, we are able to purchase a few hats and tee's to give out to those who serve us exceptionally well. It does our hearts good. And bring a bag of hard candies... Jolly Rancher, to toss on your bed before "turndown." They'll understand. To continue; the grounds are well groomed, the rooms immaculate, the service superior. The beach requires daily grooming (seaweed) and the water is always rough. Don't expect to take a casual swim. The undertow is very strong. Be content to take an ankle-deep stroll along the shore with your loved-one. A long stroll up the beach. Very rewarding. As for the negatives. From day #1 ... be sure to make it clear to the on-site vendors; horseback riding, excursions, etc. that if you are not interested. "Leave Us Alone!" The word gets around real quick. Hint: There is no such thing as reserving a spot by the pool. A paperback book placed at a prime location at 8 am, means nothing to me at 10 am. I've been known to toss the book into the pool and occupy the location. Unless somebody is on the spot or there is obvious evidence such as towels, drinks, sunscreen, shoes/sandals, whatever. The spot is fair game. Resort personnel will back you up. I have come to find the housekeeping personnel are lacking in details. Imagine towels not being replaced. Two nights, no hand towels or facecloths. Hey, I followed the protocol. Mini bar not being restocked on a daily basis. My friends at reception got to hear from us, as when the toilet didn't flush, the sink backed up and the safe refused to open. Minor issues ... 3rd world. And my greatest concern. We are a young 60-ish couple. Once you arrive at this resort; there is little chance that you are going off-site to seek entertainment. Believe me. So you go to supper at 8 pm or so (the pools close at 6:00). Unless you care to spend your night at the casino, allowing the "house" to steal your money, there is not much to do. Oh, the nightly show at the theater... Frankly, a wonderful venue with woeful entertainment. One more Michael Jackson tribute show and I'll poke my eyes out with hot irons. 6 years running; no matter the Excellence location. After that it slides downhill. The entertainment is pathetic. Now, at a 4+ star resort, you would think ... something akin to a finer cruise ship. Not so. Now, I understand the cultural issue of combining a troupe of hot-shot American kids with Dominican hosts, but the song and dance is awful. Try as they might, the local entertainment is horrible. Perhaps a 1st class entertainment director could prop it up. This area is so disappointing. Early to bed; early to rise, I suppose. The "Sports Bar?" No Patriots or Bruins on game day. If you are into ping pong or shooting pool ... closed by 8pm. A complete deception.
Follow the gist of my word and you will have a marvelous experience. We have had nothing but mostly enjoyable experiences with a few bumps in the road. When all is said and done ... we'll see you in 2014, around mid-April. Back in Punta Cana.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dcrintaunton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

We came down with our families for a destination wedding. We planned the trip late, and there were no open slots available for our wedding, so we contacted the wedding coordinators. Elizabeth and Claribel were wonderful working with us! They opened a slot up for our wedding, and made sure everything worked out perfectly! If there was anything we wanted/needed, they were there to make it happen. The ceremony/location/food were perfect as well. Highly recommend this place as a destination wedding, and Elizabeth and Claribel were a huge part of the reason it was so great.

Another note; being on the Atlantic Ocean, this hotel had an awesome combination of beautiful water and waves to play in. Hadn't seen that before anywhere other than Hawaii.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jmteleog
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

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
#8 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Top resorts 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 (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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