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“Excellence Punta Cana review very good”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed July 27, 2013

I will try to give all of the info I was looking for when I read reviews. We were at Excellence from July 5-10, 2013.

First during my search for the right resort and booking. My wife and I are not overly social, we tend to prefer our own company when going on a relaxing vacation. That being said the Excellence was the right place for us. Although we did walk down the beach to right to the next resort it was probably just over a mile walk and I didn't see anyone else doing it. That was one reason I chose this resort is that you wouldn't get a lot of traffic from other resorts, ones that may not be adults only. I think this resorts tends to be a little more relaxing quiet couple oriented so if you are looking to party I think you could have fun here but may have more fun at some of the resorts like the Hard Rock or Iberostar Grand or Secrets or Majestic, which were all on our list. We decided to book through Funjet, most places all had roughly the same prices but Funjet was one of the only ones I could find that had options to add transportation to your package which I was SOOOOOOO glad we did. It was a breeze. They had options for regular, non-stop, or private non-stop ($36, $43, $70 each, respectively). For the extra $7 each the non-stop was a no brainer for us, especially considering Excellence is one of the last resorts away from the airport. When we arrived we walked up to the Island Sun counter which is the local partner for Funjet and they loaded us in a small van. We waited about 5 minutes for anyone else going to our resort but no one came so we ended with private transfer anyway, also happened on the way back. It did take 1hr 10min just like everyone says. The first 30 minutes were pretty smooth and easy. the last leg was giant potholes and bumps everywhere and can make the strongest stomachs (like mine) just a little queasy. They are building a highway that goes all the way out there, just have no idea when it will be done. I would guess if you go any time in 2014 you may be in luck. I would think that would cut the travel time nearly in half.

Ok on to the resort. We arrived with a friendly greeting, checked in very quickly and were escorted to our room by a bag man that was filling us in on everything the whole way. We got settled and went for a walk to scope things out and grabbed a late lunch at The Grill Restaurant. Very american style burgers were good although my wife thought the beef tasted a little funny. I am sure she is just tasting the difference in the cows diets, I thought they were good burgers but I am a deer hunter so I like a wide variety. The pool was absolutely incredible, or both of them actually. The cascade pool was very neat even though we only went one of the days in the morning. Pool water was very warm as you might imagine in July. They walk pizzas around to you for lunch and you don't even have to get out of the pool, which we did one day. Grounds were absolutely gorgeous and kept up beyond belief, which I found remarkable consider we only saw grounds crew working on one afternoon, not sure when they do the work. Tons to do and see, make sure you explore.

FOOD, this is a hot topic among the reviews. I will give you my opinion and try to paint a picture of what I have to compare it to. We are from central Illinois and most of our dinners are typically chain restaurants. So if you go into this comparing this food to 5 start restaurants in big cities you are going to be thoroughly disappointed. I am not very picky so I thought the food was very decent. My wife had a harder time feeling satisfied after a meal but we found our favorite to be The Grill. The filet at the grill was probably better than any franchise restaurant in the US. The portions are definitely a lot smaller than us glutinous Americans are used to but if you make sure to each order appetizers, salads (they don't know how to do a salad, Caesar from the grill was the closest they came to a good salad) and dessert you will get full. Don't try to share any appetizers or desserts like my wife typically tries to do with me, the cheesecake she got was literally one big bite for me. I would imagine you could order more I just never did. We did skip appetizers and desserts 2 nights and hit 2 different restaurants just so we could try them all. I really think I would have to say The Grill was my favorite with most of the others all tied after that. The Italian stuff was decent the lobster was ok but a little disappointing considering the vicinity of the ocean. We didn't make it Barcelona. Went to Toscana for breakfast everyday, very very good. You can find just about anything. Lunch was also good in my opinion but just because the buffet offers so many choices. My wife did not like the buffet quality so we only did that once. The beach grill was pretty decent to go to as well, burgers and brats, that kinda stuff. They only had one or two options each day and they rotated. The Grill would let you come in in your swim cover ups and flip flops for lunch so don't worry about that, its definitely the best quality lunch you can get there. Make sure to take a trip to the Sports Bar (if you can find it). They have some good ice cream for a nice afternoon snack. They also have a wide variety of bottled beers that you can only get at this bar. Corona, Coors Light, MGD, Bud Light, Bohemia which is Presidentes big brother with better flavor. I actually put a note on the daily $1 I left in our rooms mini fridge that simply said Bohemia por favor. and the next day there were 6 of them in there and every day after as well. Make sure you do that if you want something special because the staff is super accommodating. We tipped $2-$3 per meal, $1 per round at the bars and $2/day to the maid and $1/day I put inside the mini fridge. I felt like more than half the time (mostly at the bars) it was unappreciated or almost unnoticed. I certainly don't think it affected our service in any way. Being friendly and conversing with them is probably the best way to help that. Drinks were a little weak but that's fine because they are free an endless just keep ordering more. Banana Mama was excellente.

I am sure this is way to long and I probably still forgot a bunch. I will update it if I think of anything else.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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13  Thank Jesse M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Excellence_Group, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

Allow me to thank you for taking the time to write this review in which you share your experience at Excellence with all Trip Advisor Readers.

We are pleased to know that your relaxing vacation with us was highlighted by the courteous attention of our staff, comfort room accommodation & amenities. We are also appreciate your detailed feedback, which helped us identify specifically the areas of opportunity encountered during your stay.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you and provide you the memorable and relaxing experience you deserve.

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6,292 - 6,298 of 13,406 reviews

Reviewed July 27, 2013

Avoid at all costs, no seriously please do. You know how some people say "I wouldn't wish that upon my worst enemy"? Well, that's this place. I wouldn't come back here if it was free and they picked up the flights. No joke. We came as a group of 18 adults for a destination wedding and after reading about 50 reviews on this resort I was very apprehensive upon coming. I was in the wedding party so of course I came. The people who write reviews on this place stating it is 5 stars is a joke. 90% of these reviews are from people where this is their sole contribution to trip advisor. It's obvious that their staff have a vested interest in this property obtaining great reviews and its obvious they are writing their own fake reviews of this property. The food cannot be eaten. We ate as a group of 12 in the Barcelona restaurant so I know it wasn't just my entree that sucked. We ordered a variety from lobster, filet, fish, chicken, and ribeye. All were horrible. Nobody ate more than 10% of their meal. We got up & headed over to their Italian/pizza place thinking how bad can pizza be? Terrible. We ordered 5-6 different kinds of pizza. I'm not kidding when I state that I could not make a worse pizza even if I was trying. If you do come to this place because you are kidnapped or have a gun to your head make sure you preplan and bring lots of sandwiches and dry cereal. Most people gain weight on vacation right? i lost 6 pounds. You'd think that the mexican/dominican restaurant Agave would be awesome? negative. It's an unfortunate recurring theme in this resort. You get what you pay for. I've never been on vacation before wishing for my departure date to come quicker.
The one thing this resort has going for it is the pools. They are huge & clean. The staff is nice around the pool and I always gave a good tip and got quick repeat service from the staff.
One annoying fact is there are literally 12-14 activity sales people roaming the pool and beach constantly trying to get you to buy one of their activities. You'll need to say no 6-10 times for them to leave you alone. Each person is selling a different commission based activity so you'll have to say this to each of them. Be prepared for this daily. The trip via van takes about 55 minutes and the roads are now paved so its not bumpy as others have stated. They really need to hire an executive chef to revamp the food and quality. It's obvious everything is frozen then microwaved. They might as well as have no wi-fi service at all because it is so spotty.
I am finishing this review from an urgent care clinic back in Michigan, mind you it has been 3 days since we landed back home. My wife is still extremely ill from the food and has some sort of intestinal bug and will need to go on antibiotics. My friends fiance also became ill after leaving the resort. If you enjoy throwing up daily and sitting on the toilet every 2 hours then this place is for you! I'd give it a "0" rating if trip advisor would allow it.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank GP024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Excellence_Group, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

Thank you very much for taking your time and sharing your experience with us.
We deeply regret that we were not able to meet your expectations since one of our main objectives is the satisfaction of our guests with the quality on the food, service and facilities.

We are very much surprised by your review and the disappointments you faced during your stay with us. At Excellence Punta Cana, we have high hygienic standards and our staff is well trained on this food & beverages safety practices. It is our goal to maintain the highest standards for all our guests and we always make sure that the food and drinks are served according to these highest standards of hygiene.

Moreover we are baffled by your review since we can find no record of any of the incidents described during your stay. Our corporate customer service department remains at your disposal at customerservice@excellence-resorts.com in order to further discuss the matter or in case you require any future assistance.

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Reviewed July 27, 2013

This was our first time at an Excellence resort and first time in DR. Our stay exceeded all our expectations. All of the staff was friendly and helpful. Marlon was full of energy, personable, and is a great addition to the Excellence Resort. Thank you to all the staff for a great trip that will always hold high expectations if we decide to travel anywhere else. We will be back and looking forward to it!

Room Tip: Garden view was quiet. Close proximity to the pool, lobby, and ocean.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank TMEMSN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

I just recently returned from a 5 day/4 night stay at Excellence Punta Cana. After reading the tripadvisor reviews and seeing over 4K Excellent reviews, I was very excited for my upcoming stay. Needless to say, I was very disappointed in what I experienced in regards to the Meals and some service issues.



Service:

Front Desk: Excellent, No issues.

Bell Hop: Excellent, No issues.

Maid Service: Good – However, if you do not place the Do Not Disturb sign on your door, they will just key their way into your room at any time without announcing their entry. One instance, I heard the deadbolt slam as they tried to enter at 830 am while I was still sleeping and another instance, we were eating room service on the balcony and I enter my room to grab a drink from the fridge and I see a Maid in my room bringing extra towels. I did not let her in nor did she announce her entry and scared the heck out of me.

Casino: Poor – Dealers had no personality at all and wouldn’t even smile or make conversation with us as we played black jack.

Activities Staff: Excellent – They were very entertaining and interactive with the guests.

Pool Side Staff: Fair – Takes a long time to get a drink and sometimes, drinks were warm or already melted. You have to tip them to get better service. . Also, if they did not have a drink or type of beer, they were not willing to go to another bar for you to get it. (i.e. aCoors light was extremely hard to find!)

Bartenders: Fair – You have to tip to get better service.

Wait Staff in Restaurants: Some restaurants had better service than others for some reason:

Toscana = Good

Oregano =Excellent (Probably best service on property)

Las Olas = Very Good

Barcelona = Terrible ( Worst experience at the resort by far – drinks took forever, food service took forever. You had to waive your arms to get anyone’s attention)

The Grill= Very good

Lobster House – Did not Dine

Spice = Did not Dine

Agave= Good but a little slow

Chez Isabelle = Did not Dine

Rooms:

We stayed in a junior suite with a garden view. I would recommend this room as the rooms with ocean views are not right on the beach. Also, for the extra money, I don’t think its worth it. Also, a friend of ours had a large suite in the excellence club with the plunge pool on the second floor. The room was great if you are entertaining other people but if you are a couple by yourself, I think it’s a waste of money to have extra bathrooms and a plunge pool that is not heated and does not have a view of anything while you are in it. Also, upgrading to the excellence club is not worth it. At the front desk, they try to get you to upgrade but its seriously not worth the money. The only difference is that you have an upgraded room service menu (but after 11am, its limited like everyone else), top shelf liquor (grey goose instead of Stoli), and your own private section of beach (which is not a big deal since the whole resort is secluded by itself and not crowded at all). No benefit at all! Save your money! As for your junior suite room, it was very clean with a built in Jacuzzi tub in the living room, double sinks, ironing board and iron, an electronic safe (which is very important!), an assortment of hard liquors, small snacks, coffee, soda, and beer in the fridge, stand up shower and toilet, couch, dvd player, cable television (non-HD), balcony, and king size bed. As for the bed, the mattress is really firm. As for someone like myself who likes a firm mattress, I slept like a baby. However, if you require a softer bed, we heard you could request a pillow top for the mattress. Also, when you check into the room, turn on channel 96 when you get there. It’s a nice surprise! The rooms are turned down at night and the resort provides you with a list of activities and restaurant hours and weather for the following day as well as chocolates.



Food / Drinks:

Food is absolutely horrible. I cant say this enough. This was my first time at an all inclusive resort and I was extremely excited by reading the reviews of how good the resort was etc. and about eating my face off when I was there. I think I lost weight on this trip. The food quality here is comparable to microwaveable meals to a certain extent. Don’t get me wrong, the food is presented very nicely, but the taste is terrible, food that is suppose to be hot, is luke warm, and drinks that are suppose to be cold are warm. I don’t think I had one hot meal except for the pizza that they serve at Las Olas on the beach and that is because I ate it right as it came out of the oven. I understand that at an all inclusive resort, the food is not going to be 5 diamond etc and I also understand that I am in a foreign country and the food is not up to our standards as in the U.S., but someone who has visited Aruba many times and where the food is fantastic, I was extremely disappointed. Excellence seriously needs to hire some 5 star chefs to come into the resort and revamp how they do business. I think I ate more pizza and pasta during my stay because the proteins that they served were absolutely awful. I ended up staying away from any sort of proteins there and stayed with pasta, pizza, and for breakfast, pancakes and waffles. It was the most disappointing part of a trip that I can remember. I would seriously tell people to stay away from this resort just because of the food and drink alone.

Now onto the drinks. I understand that we are in the D.R. and you will most likely drink their local beers. But the only beer they have on tap is Presidente. Also, the glasses that the beer are served in were all dirty. I had a bout 3 or 4 glasses that smelled like rotten eggs when I was served a beer in them. I don’t think that this resort washes or sanitizes their glasses very well or at all. After the first night, I reserved myself to only drinking bottled beer or soda. It was seriously disgusting. Also, the frozen drinks are all pre made. When I think of a pina colada, I think of a thick frosty drink with chunks of ice etc… Not at this resort, everything is runny and liquidly and doesn’t seem like a frozen drink at all. All around very disappointing.



Resort Ground / Pool / Beach – The resort grounds were very well manicured and there were always workers cleaning up and cutting grass etc. The pool was clean and probably one of the best features of the resort. The way the pool runs all through the resort, it allows guests to spread out and not be on top of each other which made for a much more relaxing time. Also, unlike the glasses used to serve beer and mixed drinks, we saw the pool staff every day cleaning the pool so that it was spotless.

The beach is nice as there are many huts that you can lay in as well as chairs and beds to lay on as well. The water is very rough right in front of the resort, however, if you walk down the beach a little bit to the right, the water gets calmer and is a much more popular spot for couples to take a walk and have some alone time.

Major Issues:

Some major issues I have had is that the wi-fi service is very spotty! If you are going to advertise free wi-fi, make sure you have enough routers connected so that everyone could use. Depending on the building you are staying in, if you are in an outer building, the service was terrible. If you were closer to the main building, it was better. This definitely needs to be improved.

Security lets these guys who are trying to sell you watersports onto the property to try and solicit you. This was the worst as you would be sitting on the beach and this complete stranger with his little picture book would take a seat on the end of your chair and start talking to you. Not only is this rude but unprofessional. It’s really hard to hold in your true feelings and tell this guy to scratch but it happens over and over and over and over. Also, they don’t tell you the its an 30 min to 1 hour trip just to get to the water sports. The hotel should be ashamed to let these guys harass their guests and they would probably get more business if they left people alone.



In summary, I was extremely disappointed in this resort and only gave it a 3 because the rooms and pool were nice. I will however not be returning to this resort EVER AGAIN!

Room Tip: Do Not Upgrade to the "Excellence Club." The value you will be receiving for what you wil...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Joe Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Excellence_Group, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

Allow me to thank you for taking your valuable time to write this review in which you share your experience at Excellence Punta Cana with all Trip Advisor Readers.
Thank you for adding very generous remarks of the positive sides of your vacation with us and mentioning the services that made your stay more comfortable.

On the other hand we are very sad to read we didn’t meet your expectations since one of our main objectives is the satisfaction of our guests with a high quality on the food and the drinks. Our Food & Beverage Manager and our Executive Chef have received your feedback and are working on improvements to guarantee our guest the best quality possible.

We also would like to remind all of our guests that if you want to eat something that is not in our restaurants, please let us know, and our Chef will be more than happy to prepare a special meal for you, if the ingredients are available.

Be sure that your review is very appreciated as it helps us to improve the pointed observations. Thank you once again for taking time to give us your opinion.
We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you and provide you the memorable and relaxing experience you deserve.

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Reviewed July 27, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I traveled here for our honeymoon in May 2011. We loved the service, secluded location and how it was adults only. The rooms were a bit muggy and it took over an hour to get there from the airport. I would recommend arranging the shuttle service when you book your vacation as the ride was long and you go through some shady parts of towns. At the resort we did the horseback riding which was included and one excursion of riding the dune buggy off the resort through mango groves, caves and coffee farms. It was neat although somewhat scary at times because you are off the resort going through some pretty remote terrain. Overall we loved this vacation and would travel to another excellence resort again. Oh and the fact that there are 10 restaurants on site meant never to bored with dinner selections which was nice.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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2  Thank travelermich078
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Just got back last week. Been to several all inclusive resorts in Mexico, Aruba, and Jamaica.
Pros-
1)Restaurants- I loved that you did not need reservations. Nothing worse than the hassle some resorts make it to get a reservation. Lots of options and variety.
2) Rooms were very nice
3)Staff very friendly.
4) The grounds were immaculate. Great walking trails. Feeding parrots and flamingos.
Cons-
1)Drive. Wish it was closer to airport.
2) Far away from anything/everything.
3) The resort in general was nice, but is probably getting close to needing some renovations.
2)

Room Tip: Snorkeling- walk about 3 minutes to the right of the resort. Decent free snorkeling among the reefs...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank JackStrawSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

The Excellence Punta Cana is an awesome all-inclusive resort that is done right. My only regret is that I couldn't stay longer to take better advantage of all of the different restaurants and activities. The beach is GORGEOUS. The swim-up bar is super fun, and the people around the resort are nice.

Only caveat might be that everyone is mostly couples, so make sure if you're single you have enough people in your group to hang out with.

Also, its an 1 hour and 20 minutes from the airport.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank Connie L
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
#9 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $274 - $606 (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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