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“Truly wonderful”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Pulborough, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Truly wonderful”
Reviewed February 10, 2014

We did a lot of research before finally booking our holiday to Punta Cana and all I can say is, the homework paid off 200%. The Excellence is a lovely, lovely place to stay and in our opinion, anyone who feels differently is either extremely fussy or just impossible to please. We booked through Blue Bay Travel and would thoroughly recommend them - they offered a fantastic service from start to finish, including a free room upgrade to a Master Suite. They also searched around for the cheapest flights for us, which ended up being a British Airways flight from Gatwick with a quick touchdown to drop passengers off in Antigua (no big deal!). Once at Punta Cana Airport, the shuttle transfer was there waiting for us and we were at the hotel in less than 40 minutes thanks to the opening of the new highway. The resort itself is truly wonderful; a welcome drink on arrival, speedy and hassle-free check in, a lovely spacious room with a very comfy king-size bed (although this is our personal opinion - others may disagree), double jacuzzi and a separate huge shower cubicle complete with rainbow shower - bliss! Just to say that if you find the bed too firm, ask Housekeeping for a mattress topper - they are available at no additional cost - same goes for the pillow menu if you don't like the ones that come as standard. The arrival time was perfect; it enabled us to unpack the essentials, freshen up, go to the Stars Bar for a drink, have dinner and watch the evening show. This all helped to get us into the local time zone so that by the next morning, we felt fine & not in the least bit jet-lagged. One of the other main benefits of our Master Suite (Room 5103, located in the newly refurbished Building No. 5) was that it was centrally located yet very quiet & overlooked the Cascade Pool, which is separate from the main pool and felt more "exclusive" as well as being quieter. There was never any difficulty in finding a sunbed. There are well over 7,500 reviews for this resort, scoring an average of 4.7 out of 5 so we reckon this says it all really. We would agree with the other reviews on Trip Advisor which say that paying extra for the Excellence Club isn't worth it - we felt we were far better off than Excellence Club members in terms of our location in the resort. There was NOTHING we could find fault with - not that we are the types to go searching for problems! I won't bore you with duplicating what's already been said, but suffice to say, for us, the key benefits were (in no particular order)..... (1) No reservations needed at the restaurants giving total freedom & flexibility (2) The friendly and attentive staff, for whom nothing was too much trouble (3) The amazing beach and gorgeous hotel grounds - so clean and lovingly maintained (4) The location of the resort itself, which was brilliant compared to other resorts which we understand are more grouped together (5) The All Inclusive really did mean "ALL" Inclusive - 3 full size bottles of spirits in our room, the mini bar, 24hr room service, all drinks (even premiums brands), all meals (even lunch & drinks after we'd checked out while waiting for our return shuttle to the airport), the gym & fitness classes + all other sports activities (tennis, squash, ping-pong, bike riding & horse-riding) etc...... I could go on & on but I'd be typing this for hours so I won't - however to summarise, if you want a luxurious holiday (as active or chilled out as you want to make it) in beautiful surroundings with friendly staff, great entertainment (don't miss the Circus Show and the Michael Jackson Tribute Show - amazing!!!) and pretty-much guaranteed sun and warmth, then stay at The Excellence - you won't regret it!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Ali1969504230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Just came back from warm sandy beaches to cold snowy roads and i am not happy. I was happy, very happy last week in the "Excellence Hotel" in the Dominican Republic. It is truly a beautiful hotel, not too big, not too small - just right. Pool area was incredable with what seemed to be never ending and meandered throughout the resort. Plenty of rafts for leisure floating in the pool. The beach was about the nicest i have ever been on and that says a lot having lived in belle harbor, li (rockaway beach). Either by the pool or on the beach, drinks and food was plentiful.
The hotel room was great, except for the bathtub which was in located outside of the bathroom and in the main room. No privacy for those that like privacy. For whatever reason there was a window in the bathroom that looked into the bedroom, and unfortunately, visa versa. Window should have a shade - again for privacy when using the bathroom. There were plenty of different restraurants with two or three standing out from the rest. Service at the pool and beach was fabulous. Overall, most employees were very nice, with special recognition to Emely Ceballos for outstanding help and great smile. If i were only 30 years younger...
I highly recommend this hotel. The grounds were magnificent in each and every way. This is my third all-inclusive in three years and i loved them all. However, the excellence is a notch above last years costa rica and the year before mexico.
If you go and i recommend you do, take a side trip called the "side by side" its a thrill you will not forget. After going on this trip - potholes in your hometown will seem like glass. Great trip - great hotel - great beach.

Room Tip: for convenience, request a room on first floor in 6000 building
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MITCHELL W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hot Springs, AR
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

My husband and I have been to the Dominican Republic twice. We chose Excellence this time because it is adult only. What a great choice we made! The staff goes out of their way to serve you and get anything you want or need. When I asked where to get beach towels the went and got them for me. They do absolutely everything for you! The service is great from the cleaning staff to the bar staff to the servers in the restaurants. We really enjoyed that you do not have to make reservations for the restaurants. We do not like to run on a schedule on vacation so this was perfect. The room service was awesome. The rooms were very clean and they kept your mini fridge completely stocked. You could tell they paid attention to what you were using as they would leave extra of that once they figured it out. I loved having all of the different bars. The sports bar was a little hard to find but it was great with great snacks and ice cream. I never came across one staff member that didn't act very friendly and professional. They were all wonderfully accommodating and always asked if they could do anything for you. They all made it seem like they wanted to be there to make everything perfect for their guests. I would highly recommend this place if you are looking to be pampered and relax. They had good shows at night especially the circus show. The beach party night was also great fun. It is out away from other resorts which we liked because there was no traffic on the beach. The only people walking along the beach were from our resort. I had to get used to returning home and nobody saying "anything you want" when I asked for something! Wonderful staff at a wonderful resort. I would definitely go back! The only negative thing either one of us could come up with is that they could use a few more restrooms in the common areas closer to some of the restaurants and beach so that you didn't have to walk so far during dinner or at the beach.

Room Tip: We decided not to do the upgrade to the Excellence club after reading reviews. I am glad we did not...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Figi1103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

beautiful resort, even more beautiful people. just spent a week there, felt like a month(literally)! we absolutely loved the resort. the staff is great, very friendly and helpful. they do speak english. the restaurants are very nice and food was very good. the beach is beautiful, the water is clear emerald green, but it is a little rough. there are waves, it is not calm flat carribean water, but it is stunning! you can ride the waves and you can swim in it. we were at excellence playa mujeres last year and would say mexico is more updated resort, however epc is just as nice in its own way. overall had a wonderful time. be sure to see diego for horseback riding (take the private tour, its worth the extra $10). special shout out to victor and john at the beach bar, they were excellent. excellence couples massage at the spa is perfect way to start your vacation! sorry for no caps, but am so relaxed from vacay that i am to lazy to press the key,lol would highly recommend this resort. safe travels to all!

Room Tip: excellence club ocean front junior suite
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

My husband and I are very frequent travelers, and this is a wonderful resort. I do believe that some of the negative reviews are mostly due to people not managing their expectations. We booked through FunJet Vacations, and received excellent customer service through them from start to finish. We will be booking with them from now on. Firstly, make sure you buy your tourist card before you leave. This is the $10 tax you pay per person. Buying this beforehand saved us easily a 1/2 hour of important vacation time. Immigration, customs, and luggage were very quick at this airport. We had a private transfer through Island Sun to the resort. It is about a 40 minute drive to the resort from the airport, but it goes quickly. Plus its nice to see some of the countryside.

You're greeted with the cool towel and glass of champagne upon arrival and pointed towards the front desk. Our check in agent Reynaldo was amazing. We did upgrade to an Excellence Suite and he was kind enough to let us see the room prior to us committing the extra amount to it. Every time we saw him throughout our 7 night stay he was sure to make sure that our stay was "excellente".

Our room was outstanding. We had chosen to pay the upgrade fee and get an Excellence suite, and had a wraparound balcony and two sets of patio doors, that overlooked the ocean on both sides. The window in the shower is a little odd, but nothing that really was a problem for us. The mini bar had an assortment of Presidente, Water, Fanta, Coke, Sprite, Coke Light, and a half size bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in it. Also, every day they refilled individual packs of Oreos, peanuts, and crackers.

The beach is very nice and clean, and you can tell they really take care of it. The last day we were there we chose to walk down one side of the beach, and wish we would have tried to do this earlier. It was a wonderful beach to walk on. The waves are very rough, and its not a great swimming beach, so if this is something very important to you, this is probably not the best resort for you. We usually do swim in the pools, so its not a big deal to us. There are two main pools, the "quiet' pool, which is the smaller of the two, with an upper pool that feeds into the lower pool, and then the main activity pool with the swim up bar behind the Grill. While this was the activity pool at no point was it obnoxiously loud. Occasionally we would stop before getting breakfast and reserve lounge chairs, but it never seemed to be an issue to get lounge chairs if we didn't play the chair game that day.

We did not try all the restaurants, and I think this is the first resort that we've never tried to. The Asian restaurant is wonderful, and the pad thai was excellente. We also very much enjoyed the Lobster House. We dined there twice, the first night we had Adam wait on us, and he gave us a "special" dinner and ordered everything for us. It was phenomenal. We went back a second time and ordered off the menu and it was just as good as the first time. This is the place we really felt like we got phenomenal service that went above and beyond. For breakfast we tried the sit down at the Grill, and also the buffet. The Buffet is very good, but they will promptly start switching over to lunch at 11 a.m. and taking items away. If you're a late riser (like us) you might want to order from room service or go to the Grill if its pushing 11. Room service was usually there in a half hour, and had a pretty well rounded menu. As a side note, if you do like dark beer the sports bar does have a black ale from Germany available in bottles along with Coors Light, and Miller Light and some other Dominican beers aside from the Presidente as well.

I'm not sure why I had read so many complaints about the resort entertainment prior to us going here. The performers really are wonderful. We've seen just about every Cirque Du Soleil show in Vegas, and the circus show acts, really did rival that. You have to appreciate the performers sometimes more than the glitz and glamour going on around it. Everything we watched really was entertaining. Prior to the nightly entertainment at 9 p.m. every night, there is a gentleman by the martini bar playing the saxophone, and he is wonderful. It was nice to sit and listen to him every night. After the nightly show there is a band playing on the outside terrace as well until about 11 or 11:30.

I did go to the spa one day and it was very nice. I'm not a big spa person so maybe I'm easy to please, but it was very nice. They will let you know what the daily spa specials are on your next day activity schedule that is put in your room every night, and they were very accommodating when making the reservation the next day. I don't think its really necessary to book ahead.

Couple of other notes, order the Coco Loco's! They come in a coconut, and they're delicious. Visit the Macaw's across from the spa and the gift shops. They're beautiful animals. We did take a walk through the park on the property and they do have out wooden bins filled with bread to feed the flamingo's and ducks.

We did take 2 tours through Island Sun. We did the Bavarro Runners tour, which was educational, fun, and gave you a real experience of Dominican Life. Unlike other tours we went on, we never felt like we had to tip or give money to the places we visited. We also did the dune buggy tour. It was a lot of muddy fun.

Overall this is one of my favorite resorts. We have been to Moon Palace, Karisma resorts, and Sandals, and this was ranked right with them. You have to remember you are not at home and things are not always made the same, but if we didn't care for something we just ordered something else. Granted this was rare, its an all inclusive, there's really not a reason to be so uptight. These aren't 5 star New York City restaurants, but they do serve good food and are eager to make you happy.

Room Tip: We upgraded to a suite on the ocean front and could listen to the waves every night, which was wonde...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Emily M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

From our travel agents glowing description we were thinking it would be a great place to go and enjoy the first week in February. Jennifer Bryne of Tropical Travelers wanted to know what we wanted in a Resort and she said you have to go to Excellence Punta Cana.

Having been in the Caribbean several times and twice with all inclusives, this is by far the best experience we had. The food was good, the location perfect and the staff "Excellente". There are plenty of activities and places to at the beach or pool. We would go there again without a doubt.

My only complaint was the beach is a little windy but it would have been very hot without it.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RGWNOVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Beautiful weather, amazing pool, good entertainment, and an incredible location right on the beach. I also stayed at the Excellence in Riviera Maya and that resort lived up to it's name and was much larger. The staff in Punta Cana was not as well trained however there are some stand out personnel that make up for that. The food overall was very average but good and some dishes were exceptional. Overall an amazing trip. This resort was rated #7 on Trip Advisor and I would agree with that rating. Top ten resort but not top 5.

Room Tip: The mountain view/ garden view rooms have a great vista. The hotel will offer you an upgrade to the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mike G
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
#10 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 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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