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“"LOVED IT"” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Excellence Punta Cana

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #17 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
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“"LOVED IT"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2004

We have never been out of the USA before our trip to Secrets Excellence, DR. It will be hard to find another resort as wonderful as Secrets. We were treated like a King and Queen. I have read lots of bad reports about this resort before we went and I was nervous. For those of you that found fault in everything you did, you must be very, very picky people. We had no problems at all. Food was O.K., very different from what we are used to in OHIO, but it was eatable. Drinks were awesome. The DR people lead a very relaxed way of life, not like us.
You need to have patients w/ them. They will get your food and drinks to you, just wait and it is worth the wait. As far as bugs, we had no problems. Yes, they sprayed every night, but what's wrong w/ that?? The nightly shows were fun to watch and lasted 1 hour and then the Disco opened and that was a lot of fun if you like to dance or watch people dance. The beach was as blue as the sky, and the sand white and soft on your toes. We never used the room service. Our sheets were pulled back every night along w/ flowers, chocolates, or peanuts. Refrigerator was stocked every day at 4:00. Nothing was cold going into it, but that is why they have ice. All water is bottled - safe to drink. It is a very big resort so have on your walking shoes. The bus ride from the airport to Secrets was awful, but you forgot about it and soon as you see the resort - it is like walking into Heaven. If you want to participate w/ the activities you need to ride a bus to get there so keep that in mind. We were only there for 3 full days so we stayed at the resort and relaxed. Overall, Secrets Excellence is a wonderful vacation spot and the staff is very happy, happy and very friendly, just remember you are on vacation and in no hurry for anything - have patience and you will have as much fun as we had. Jim & Sue Coldwater, OHIO

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2004

Secrets Excellence, what a beautiful place! My husband and I and another couple stayed there for a week in January. I just loved it!!
The grounds are beautiful, the beach was gorgeous, the people so friendly! The weather was perfect everyday. The food was good...favorite restaraunt was the mexican one. Dont miss out on self serve soft serve at the pool bars, good stuff. The drinks were good, the best was the Coco-Loco, man i wish i knew what they put in that thing! My husband liked the presidente. ( which is pretty much the only beer there). Our room was beautiful, love the jacuzzi tub! Our mini bar was stocked everyday.... a few singles go a long way. The staff was so nice, Make sure you get to know Oscar at the front desk, and Julio they are awesome! The only negatives were the people staying there. People got up at the butt crack of dawn to "mark their territory" with their beach towels. Forget about ever getting a float for the pool unless you want to be a jerk like everyone else and hide them in your rooms. The funny thing was that everyone hid their floats, so you never actually saw them being used for what they are meant for...floating in the pool.
You fools. I recommend lounging on the beach instead, it is so pretty.
Definately go horseback riding, do the speed boat and snorkeling excursion and boogie boarding is a must. Be careful in the asian restaraunt some guy walked by the sushi table and the stuff scared the crap out of him, HE FAINTEd, so i wouldn't suggest the sushi. Have fun, relax, and really, if you find any vacation awful, you dont deserve to go!

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Toronto Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2004

We just returned from a week (Feb 1-8) at this wonderful resort. We have travelled all over the world so have some experience at being in different countries. For the people who absolutely hated this place I fear nothing will please you. For people who wrote in the comments book that they wanted "more American food, more English and access to more American money" turn this around and see how it sounds if a visitor from another country wanted more of their particular cuisine, language and $ in your country. You gentle reader have decided to visit THEM in THEIR country. The much dreaded bus ride was fine. The bus modern, air conditioned and our driver did his best to avoid the potholes. It is NOT an hour of bumpy road, the majority of it is fine. Check-in was a breeze, no one else in line. Our room in buiding 7 (3rd floor) oceanview junior suite was fabulous. Exactly what we ordered and paid for. It was spotless as was the whole resort. We didn't have bathrobes and they were brought the next day as were the slippers which we didn't even know we got. An extra pillow was brought right away. The mini bar was always stocked. Lots of water is available on the property. We found the food good to excellent. Lots of variety on the breakfast buffet. We found the ambience, service and food at the international restaurant to be excellent.Go around 6:30, have a drink in the restaurant, insist that you will finish your drink before ordering and it is no problem. We went 3 times. The heart of palm salad, the soup, rack of lamb and the stuffed sole all were excellent. We heard one woman sending her heart of palm salad back because she didn't want heart of palm...duh. They will bring you a wine list ($..but reasonable) which we ordered from the first night but then caught on that the house wine is also available and it is a quite passable Chilean (included) My only complaint (if that is what it is) is they don't know how to make a dry martini but with some instruction (they brought the vodka and vermouth to the table) they got it. They call it a different name. A vodka martini is a glass of Martini and Rossi vermouth with a splash of vodka. Drinks are plentiful and top drawer brands. Yes, people hog the chairs and floats. I saw a group of 10 people with 10 floats....share people. You won't all be using them at once and as you seem to be travelling together should feel comfortable that your friend won't "steal" your float. We spent all the time on the beach. It is one of the best "walking" beaches that I have ever been on. Great hard sand and you can go for miles. As others have stated calmer water is to the right of the property. I really appreciated that there weren't row after row of resorts along the beach. Just sand and palms. It was windy but that was Ok. Bugs were not a problem. Black fly season here in Ontario is worse! The staff were great. Polite, friendly and I thought their English was quite passable. Certainly much better than my Spanish. Yes we tipped but there didn't appear to be any expectation. Would I go back...you bet. Another real plus...no screaming kids.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles 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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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles 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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5 of 5 bubbles 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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5 of 5 bubbles 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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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
#10 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 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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