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“Another amazing trip to Excellence”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #14 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed July 5, 2013

We just returned from another amazing trip to Excellence Punta Cana. This was our second trip to the resort and just as last year we were very happy with our stay.

Room: Our room was a terrace suite which includes a small Jacuzzi pool on a floor above the actual room. Everything was great, always clean, the mini-bar was always well stocked with beverages and food.

Staff: The staff was excellent. They work very hard to make your stay enjoyable. We have stayed in many nice hotels in Chicago, DC, Miami, Atlanta etc and although they have good service it does not compare to the staff at Excellence. Roberto Puello, the Guest Service Manager, is constantly asking is there anything you need. We crossed paths with the head chef on our last night who asked how we liked the food and what could they do differently. If there are any issues with you stay the staff will take care of it.

Food: The food was excellent and there was plenty of it. There are enough restaurants and types of cuisines to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Our group ate at the Grill which is a steak house the last night of the stay. The waiter said would you like a lobster with your steak? Sure. The Lobster House is next door to the Grill so almost immediately after we get our steak he brings four lobster tails to our table. The breakfast and lunch buffet was not your typical buffet. It was always good and had plenty different types of food. We used room service a few mornings for breakfast and it was pretty good. Typical hotel room service.

Beach / Pools: The beach is beautiful, the pools are huge, walk up bars, food and beverage brought to you at any location around the pool. Just what I expected in a tropical paradise. The sea was a little rough while we were there but if you walk about 300 yards from the resort you find an area of very calm water that was great for an afternoon swim.

Entertainment / Excursions: There are plenty of excursion options but the purpose of our trip is to lay around the beach, nap, rest, and be removed from schedules. Therefore we did not schedule any excursions so I cannot comment on those. There nightly entertainment starts with a Dominican legend on the saxophone or a guitar player in one of the small lounge areas and usually ends with a show. The sax player, Domingo, is awesome. We usually ended our evening with him.

I would definitely recommend Excellence Punta Cana to anyone who needs a break from the daily grind and a recharging of their batteries. Excellence is awesome for couples as it is an adult only resort. No one under 18. When you get there say Hi to Santos, He will get you squared away with a beverage and cool towel when you first arrive.

If you schedule Excellence please be aware that they are located about an hour away from the airport. It’s a bumpy ride but gives you a great look at how the locals live and work. My suggestion is to spend the extra money and book a private bus or car. We traveled with another couple who took care of our transportation to and from the resort and it was great. Avoid the shuttles that stop at other resorts as Excellence is the last stop. You will also notice the road construction and building construction. This country has embraced the fact that American and European travelers spend lots of money and they are taking full advantage of it.

Room Tip: Most rooms are very similiar. If you can upgrade to a terrace suite I would definitely recommend.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 69camaroracer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 4, 2013

Just returned from a wonderful trip at Excellence Punta Cana in Dominican Republic. We visited this resort the last week of June. The weather was perfect with just a few showers here and there. When you get off the plane in Punta Cana, things at the airport are a little chaotic and unusual. For example, you will need to pay $10 per person for a visitor’s visa. However, on the departing side, it was not quite as bad. We had a private round-trip transfer from the airport to the resort. A lot of people complain about the ride to and from the airport and taxi drivers; however, the ride takes approximately 1 hour, 10 minutes. Our driver was not that bad, just a little different from American drivers. But once you go through the gate to this resort, all issues go away. From the moment we got out of the SUV, the welcoming and pampering began. After receiving a warm towel and glass of champagne, we were introduced to our bellman, Abraham, who also became a dear friend. He escorted us to Excellence Club Lounge for a private check-in. On the way, he gave us a tour of the beautiful grounds. As soon as we entered the club lounge, we were greeted by wonderful ladies Darleny and Esperanza who had already had our room prepared and prior requests taken care of. Whenever we needed anything during our stay, they were always ready to fulfill our requests. Abraham took our bags and escorted us to our Club Ocean View room. Our room was decorated with rose petals, flower arrangement, bottle of champagne, Jacuzzi ready for us, decorated with rose petals along with swan and heart shaped figurines on the bed.

The room was very nice, with tile floors. It was kept very clean throughout our stay by a special room attendant named Yubelkis. She also became a very dear friend. Each day, Yubelkis would make special figurines out of towels and place them in different locations in our room. Fresh flowers were added each day, mid-evening sweet desserts. At night, we received complementary turn-down service. The view from our room included over the pool as well as the ocean. Loved having room service, especially breakfast which we enjoyed on the balcony. All we had to do was place our order prior to going to bed, and the breakfast was promptly brought to us at the time we requested. We ordered one late night service that was also delivered to us relatively quickly. Our refrigerator was filled with our requested drinks. Premium liquor was provided in our room. We even requested a bottle of Crown Royale to be placed in our room prior to arrival which was also taken care of.

We have been to all 3 Excellence Resorts and find Punta Cana to be our favorite. The beaches at Punta Cana are the best. They are spread out and you never feel crowded. The pools wind all around the resort. They are kept clean and there are attendants readily available to assist you with the drink of your choice.

The restaurants, we found, were very nice and the food was great. The waiters/waitresses were top notch. We really enjoyed Chez Isabelle for our special anniversary celebration dinner. We also enjoyed dinner on the beach with Angel as our special waiter. The experience was absolutely wonderful. We also enjoyed a Dominican buffet dinner on the beach. This was a unique experience with superb food.

This being our fourth time at Excellence Resorts, we decided to take advantage of the Spa. Isabel and Joselyn took care of us. They gave us a wonderful 80 minutes massage in addition to a manicure and pedicure. We spent the morning with them and felt magnificent when we left.

We also, for the first time, had a professional photography session with pictures taken on the beach. Arturo is an excellent photographer. We have many pictures that we frequently enjoy looking at.

The grounds at Excellence Punta Cana are simply beautiful. There’s even a garden that you can walk around. The garden has flamingos and other birds to include large parrots. The red parrot is very friendly. He will even stand on your hand. However, be careful as he likes shiny objects like jewelry. He will try to take them if he can.

Each night, there is a show in the theatre which we found to be good. There is also a great saxophone player at the Martini Bar. There is always some type of entertainment each night.

A lot of people are tossed as to whether or not it is worth the extra money for upgrading to Excellence Club. We upgraded the last 3 times to Club and feel it is definitely worth it. The amount and variety of food is better at Punta Cana. The waiters/waitresses again were very attentive. We enjoyed the Club Lounge as an opportunity to sit down and relax as well as see our good friends Darleny and Esperanza. We also had the privilege of meeting the head concierge, Linda, on our day of departure.

We had such a wonderful time and we met so many wonderful people that we have already booked a return visit next year. If you want a relaxing, fun and romantic atmosphere, this is the place to go.

Room Tip: Choose Excellence Club as these rooms are the best.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank tori5723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Like many others, we have stayed at Excellence Playa Mujeres and loved it. That is still one of the most gorgeous resorts I have ever been to. Excellence Punta Cana is very nice, but there's just no comparison. We met quite a few people on our vacation who have also been to Excellence in Riviera Maya and Playa Mujeres and they all agreed that they were disappointed in this resort in comparison.

That being said, if you've never been to one of their Mexico resorts, this one would probably be considered one of the best.

My husband and I vacationed here from June 23-28, 2013. It was a "just because" trip. Most of the other guests there were honeymooners or attending a wedding.

First stop: AIRPORT:

I have never been to an airport quite like the one in DR. We got off the plane on the tarmac and had to walk to a shuttle bus to the airport, which is not air conditioned. We got our luggage quickly but customs was crazy and many people got stuck there for over an hour. We had a really hard time finding the shuttle we had booked to the resort and the people in the airport were super pushy and nasty if you didn't allow them to take your bag and tip them.

As many have said, the ride from the airport to the resort is pretty treacherous. At first I didn't think it was bad and wondered what people were complaining about. However, 45 minutes into it we hit a very long and winding road where it was basically a free-for-all between vans, cars, mopeds, horses, and donkeys. I thought we were going to fly off the road and roll over a few times. My knuckles are still white from gripping my husband so hard! We dropped off people at 3 other resorts before getting to us, making the ride about an hour and a half long. DR is pretty undeveloped. There are lots of cows and horses to see along the way, along with construction and tin sheds.

RESORT:

As soon as we got to the resort, I was a bit disappointed. There were cracks in the floors all over the resort and it needed a fresh coat of paint. However, the pools are gorgeous. There is no lack of loungers, outdoor beds or floats.

ROOM:

Again, a disappointment. The room in Mexico was just so incredible that there is no comparison. We had a garden view room on the ground floor. Normally I don't like the ground floor, but here I would suggest it since you get a hammock along with your 2-seater table and chairs. The upper rooms don't have a hammock. We did not do the Excellence Club (heard it wasn't worth the extra money). We met someone who upgraded to the maser suite but it looked just like ours except it was by the pool. I think all the rooms are pretty comparable. There was a jetted tub big enough for 2, which was nice. We had no problem with the window in the shower. It's not low enough to see anything "good" anyway ;) The bed was hard, as most have said. The sheets and blankets were uncomfortable. The room was a bit dated. A lot of it was scratched up/chipped. The TV had 90% Spanish channels. The water in DR made my hair feel like straw. A lot of the ladies were having the same problem. Bring lots of leave-in-conditioner! The mini-bar in the room was well stocked and impressive (full sized bottle of Jameson, Stoli, etc!). The soda bottles in the fridge were covered in dirt and frozen...had to defrost anything in the fridge before consuming.

BARS & RESTAURANTS:

There is no lack of bars or restaurants on this resort. However, there is a lot of inconsistency in quality. As many have said, the food was so-so. I am not a foodie so it wasn't a big deal, but most of it was just not that good. The burgers are weird. The meat was just strange. The cheese is super rubbery. The fruit wasn't that great which surprised me. The nachos were the kind you would get from 7-11 or the movies. The quesadilla was a wrap. The philly cheese steak had an actual steak in it. Went to Oregano for "Italian food" and it took over an hour. They also had no bread. The best restaurants were Spice and Chez Isabel (steak was great). The ice cream on the resort is more like gelato. The desserts were pretty terrible. The only good bartender was Nelson. He was amazing. Be on the lookout for him! Otherwise, the drinks were really inconsistent (different color and taste every time). The Coco Loco is yummy, but it is made with coconut water so be careful not to drink more than 2 a day (lots of fiber in it!). Room service food was terrible.

ENTERTAINMENT:

The shows were nice. Like most have said, the Michael Jackson show was cool. The Rock show was more like really bad Bon Jovi karaoke, but it was pretty funny. They had Dominican Night on the beach which was lovely. There was a circus show that we missed but heard it was fun.

The casino is a joke. There are about 15 slot machines, a roulette table and a Black Jack table. The attendant hovered over me the whole time, making me really uncomfortable. At one point, I turned around and smacked right into her because I didn't realize she was that close to me. I won $111 on a slot machine and had to wait for them to fill out paperwork. That was pretty funny.

We did not go on any excursions because they were too far away and other guests told us they were a waste of time and money.

My husband did the 30-minute horseback riding. I am afraid of horses so I did not accompany him, and it's a good thing I didn't...they let them gallop on the beach and one of the guests fell off the horse and was knocked unconscious in the ocean. They brought her back to the resort and she was fine, but that's pretty scary to me.


BEACH:

The beach was actually really nice. It was super clean and the sand was beautiful. The water is rough so they don't let you do water sports but it was nice to wade around in. There are no rocks or seaweed. No one tried selling us anything on the beach.

SERVICE:

Service was amazing. We wanted for nothing. Our room was always clean and everything refreshed multiple times a day. The entire staff is very friendly and helpful. The service was the highlight of the resort.

GUESTS:

Everyone was really nice and it was easy to make friends here.

OVERALL:

I gave them 4 stars even though I had a 3-star experience. I feel that if I had nothing to compare it to, this would have been a much better vacation. However, the service is great, the pools beautiful (although we got in trouble for being in the pool after 7pm...seriously, they came over to us and kicked us out saying the pool closed at 7 and we were a disturbance. Um, ok, sorry my swimming is disturbing you). If they updated the rooms and fixed the resort a bit, and worked on their food, it would make for a much better experience. I suggest going to Excellence in Mexico. We would not return here, but it wasn't a bad experience...just lacking.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank venysnizel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

We went as a group of 8 on an annual all-inclusive vacation. The staff was extremely friendly! However, you don't need to get in a hurry about anything (that's the point of a vacation.) It took us a day to get used to it, but it forced us to slow down and enjoy the trip.
The rooms were nice. The best thing was that they stayed cold! We've had a hard time keeping rooms cool on other tropical vacations. However, the beds were very firm, which is not our preference.
All in all, my favorite vacation of all our trips. I highly recommend!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank R0ck_Star_71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

This was our first trip to Dominican Republic and we fell in love with it. The hotel, the food, the staff, the rooms are absolutely top class. It's pretty expensive for us Brits because of the long flights but it's truly worth it. If you like a drink, you won't be disappointed with the bars and selection of top brand spirits. The beach is beautiful and the sea is great fun. A couple of hundred yards along the beach takes you to calm water where you can snorkel.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank zands01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

we started at another hotel, which was 5 star and I won't say name so you don't think I am advertising for excellence. we checked in and out the next day. we had stayed at an excellence in mexico so knew they were great, and great they were. it was an amazing stay. the room was great, the food superb, the staff incredible, and basically everything so refreshing. I would 100% stay here again, just would not go back to D.R. since Mexico is same same in the resorts and much closer to where we live in Colorado. We really enjoyed everything about the hotel though. I would recommend for sure.

Room Tip: we had a room facing in to the cascade pool, and it was great. no flys or anything and the sound wa...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Josh G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

My husband and I went here for our honeymoon June 23-June 27th. We had a blast and have been raving about it to everyone since we got home. Here is a little bit about our stay to help you make your decision if it is the right place for you! (Remember, everyone's experience is different!)

Our ride from the airport was over an hour and CRAZY! We booked through Olympus Tours, so at least our driver was good and not all over the road like most of the other drivers. We made it to the resort and gulped down our glass of champagne happily.

The shower and Jacuzzi in the room are awesome, but there is something no other reviews really seem to say that I think is very important---THE BEDS ARE HARD AS ROCKS. Seriously. My husband likes a firm mattress, and he was uncomfortable.

Drinks and food are really great. Chez Isabelle and Spice were our favorites. We kept trying the Drink of the Day and enjoyed just about everything on the drink menu!

Wednesday night=Michael Jackson show. You must go see this. MUST.

We did the Sailing Adventure aka "booze cruise" excursion (we booked through Olympus Tours) and had a blast. Would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a good time.

All in all, we had a wonderful honeymoon. Everyone is very friendly and the place is beautiful. You can't go wrong!

Room Tip: Ocean view=beautiful, but first floor facing the pool is a great bet because you can get to and from...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brooke P
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
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Spa 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: $283 - $641 (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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