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“relaxing vacation”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #19 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“relaxing vacation”
Reviewed February 14, 2014

We just returned from Excellence after a week of a relaxing vacation. We found the staff to be helpful and friendly. The airport experience is similar to other places we have been including Mexico and India. We booked a package with transportation so once we found our vendor (Amstar) there were no problems. The resort is about 45 mins from the airport, esp if travellers to other resorts are in the van. The property is lovely and tropical. You are greeted with champagne and cold towels. We had the Excellence Club package, so were checked in at the clubroom where there are daily snacks from breakfast to after dinner. Our room was nice (junior club ocean view suite) . Ocean view is a pool and palm tree obstructed view but is still nice. The room was clean but is an open area- Jacuzzi tub and shower are open to the room. We had an anniversary package so had swans made from towels and rose petals greet us. The restaurants may not be gourmet but were generally good. There are plenty of options, esp at breakfast. For people interested in healthier options-these are marked and adequate. There was a great fresh fruit selection. When there was a problem or request, the staff is generally able to help in a quick manner. The pool and beach are relaxing in general. In the second half of our week there were rowdier crowds. The resort is isolated but the beach is beautiful, well maintained. We did one excursion of ziplining which was fun. The spa is excellent. It is very clean and relaxing. The hydrotherapy experience is worth the Excellence Club upgrade. The gym is adequate, clean with a variety of equipment. Everyone seems invested in making sure you have a relaxing vacation. The weather was great. Special kudos to Chez Isabelle, Flavor Market and Spice for dinners. Toscana is great for breakfast. We felt safe through our entire trip.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms/suites tend to overlook the pool, then palm trees, then the ocean. Garden view are...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank asarma0606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sandy, Utah
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2014

What a beautiful resort!!! Every day crews were inconspicuously attending to projects to beautify the grounds and maintain the buildings. We enjoyed having a variety of restaurants and foods from varying cultures to choose from. We felt like all of our waitresses and waiters did their best to provide quality service and were good at suggesting new things for us to try. Loved the omelette bar each morning and the option at the same location to have a fresh piece of meat or fish grilled each afternoon. Jhonathon was a fantastic guide on our bike tour. He Julio, Luz, Cassandra and Leiby were great to interact with guests and invite us to have fun with all of the activities that were offered throughout the day and evening. We also appreciated the free massages by the pool and ended up indulging in one of the couples packages at the SPA. What a treat!!! Thanks to Emmanuel for politely approaching us at the pool and offering a massage--we felt no pressure, just very pampered. Every day we discovered something new, including the Sports Bar with ice cream and popcorn and outdoor covered pool tables and ping pong tables. The gym was well equipped with various exercise equipment, towels cold water and fresh fruit. The exercise room used for Zumba, Pilates and Yoga classes had a cushioned floor and large windows, so even while attending classes you still felt connected to the island. We loved having the ocean right next to the resort and that there were plenty of lounge chairs available on the beach as well as by the pool. Also plenty of waiters and waitress offering beverages and pizzas. We also liked the fact that there were plenty of floating mats so that you could relax and tan in the water. There were times we chose to just be by ourselves and were never bothered. When we felt like socializing, we were never disappointed. We had some engaging conversations with people from all over the USA, Canada, England and even Germany. Some had visited this resort many times and gave us helpful advice. After spending a week at the Excellence, we can understand why they choose to return year after year. It was the perfect location to celebrate 30 years of being married.

Room Tip: We were on the ground floor of building 9 with a garden view directly across from the elevator. Nev...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Shelly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2014

I'll start by saying that I never write reviews but feel this may help some people.

My wife and I went here for our very belated honeymoon after looking at many different resorts. We wanted an adult only experience for a more relaxing time. It was definitely a relaxing and good experience, with some caveats. Although good, we will not likely go back to this resort.

This was our first time going to the Dominican Republic. We always went to Mexico in the past. We wanted a change this time. The airport experience was fair. You walk down stairs off of the plane and you're stuffed into a bus and driven to the front of the airport. There are hounds here that just grab your bags and want to move your bags for you and transfer you to your resort. We had transfer paid for prior to arrival, but these people were very "in your face" I'd say. They work for the transportation companies and they're all over the airport asking you every two seconds how you're getting to your resort. It also felt very unorganized as far as what lines to get in for customs and everything. However, the customs was very easy in comparison to Mexico. You see an agent, give them the forms and pay $10 per person. That's it. It's a completely open-air building which was interesting, but mostly pleasant.

The ride to the resort was very bumpy. The roads are not good at all. From speaking with others, the current roads are much better than before and transportation to the resorts is much quicker and smoother than it used to be. Excellence is a little further out than some of the others. It's about 45 minutes from the airport. However, that would be without stops. If you're taking a transfer with other people, where they need to be dropped off as well, it can be quite a bit longer.

Once at the resort, we were greeted with champagne and a cold towel, which felt great. It was a nice entrance and a great first impression. It's beautiful upon arrival and the grounds seem to be well kept. Since we were club level, we were ushered away from the lobby to a private lounge for check-in. This lounge is available throughout the entire stay and the second floor has a small private balcony, constant snack foods, a television and private services for the club level members only. The private check-in was great. No waiting in lines and a very quick experience. They also gave us a quick and brief tour which was nice.

We were taken to the room and it was a nice room. Being adult/couple oriented, there was glass to see from the bed area all the way through the shower to the toilet. We were fine with it, but this might make some uncomfortable. When looking over the room, it was generally clean. If being picky, which I am, it could've used new paint. The wall vents were also dirty and could've used a cleaning. When walking to the room you can see the “buildings” have some age to them, but they're in good shape still. The hinges on the glass shower doors were rusted. It's a nice large shower with a great shower head. Like I said, this is being picky, but just my observations. The room size was good. The mini bar was stocked great with top shelf liquors because of the club level room.

The bed was hard and the pillows were extremely soft. The sheets on our first day had a small stain on them. They changed these without issue. The sheets weren't “5 star” quality as far as being soft and comfortable. The air conditioning worked well, although it was a little noisy inside the vents. Again, this is being picky.

We stayed at the resort for seven nights. It was a great and relaxing stay. They have an “entertainment team” that is constantly walking around the resort, getting people involved in the activities. All of them were very nice and personable. They were a lot of fun to talk with and play the activities with. There were daily activities at the resort throughout the day. This was my first experience with a “team” like this at a resort and it was a good experience.

The pools are great and quite large. The swim up bar was nice. There are “floats” in and around the pool for people to use. It seems they may need some more of these, because people were constantly looking for them. They say there's no reserving these, along with the lounge chairs and cabanas, but people were constantly doing this on a daily basis. There are waiters walking around the pool area constantly. There were also waiters walking around daily around lunch time with trays of pizza in boxes. This was a very nice touch. You could eat lunch at the pool, without ever leaving if you wanted to.

There was a water volleyball net and ball for people to use whenever they wished. The ball had a leak in it and it was the only one they had. The net seemed to need some reinforcement as well, but it worked well enough. They need to invest in some new equipment in my opinion.

As far as the restaurants are concerned, I didn't find the food to be very good. This seems to be somewhat different from many others. It doesn't help that the food type wasn't quite our “style.” The french restaurant, Chez Isabele, was amazing. This was the best food we had there. We actually went there twice.

The lobster house needs to serve food other than seafood. My wife wanted to try it, so I ate room service food (which was quite good) prior to going there with another couple we met, since I don't eat seafood. The three that were eating there didn't think the food was very good and weren't impressed with the lobster. The Grill had decent food and it's right on the pool, which is nice. I wouldn't say the food there was great. The italian food (can't think of the restaurant name at the moment) was pretty good. The pizza and calzones were good. The Flavor Market was odd. The menus were very vague and you didn't really know what you were ordering. When asking questions about the food, or anything else at the resort for that matter, many of the employees didn't speak or understand English very well at all. This was quite a change from our experiences in Mexico. Obviously there were some that could understand and speak it well, however the majority couldn't. Since I know some Spanish, it was easier for us than it could be for others. This may be frustrating for some.

The breakfast buffet was a nice size. They make fresh omelets or eggs if you wish in two different lines. This was great and I had an omelet every morning. Without this, I would've been quite a bit more hungry. The omelets very excellent. The rest of the buffet food was okay. There were many foods that I would say aren't breakfast foods. There were things like dinner sausage, beans and burritos out during breakfast. Quite odd in my opinion. The service during breakfast was the most frustrating part of this. See below for more on this.

Overall, I'd say the general service at the restaurants and bars was fair. Service was quite slow in most places. There was one bar that had great service and this was the bar in the Santo Domingo Plaza, which was outside, just behind the theatre area. The waiters/waitresses seemed better at this bar for some reason as well. Service at the restaurants was the same. Slow to get drinks and very slow to get refills in most places (with a few exceptions).

There were nightly shows in the theatre. We went to all of them. A few were okay and a couple were great. They change daily, but they go in a rotation every few weeks or so, according to other people we spoke to that were return customers. After the shows, there was often live music in the Santo Domingo Plaza for a short time afterwards. After this ends, the only place left open in the “Disco” which is a small club. Not our kind of thing, but we did check it out one night with another couple we met. The music was way too loud and it was empty the night we went. We heard it's off/on and depends on the day.

Our first few days on the resort, the general age group was with the majority being 50+ year olds. This is quite older than us, but it was nice, quiet and relaxing. As it got into the weekend, a much younger crowd began to show up and it was still a good experience. We also noticed some large groups that were there together. Some were for weddings and others weren't. It seemed odd to us the size of some of these groups since most everything, including the restaurant set ups, are geared towards two or four people. In speaking with some return visitors to this resort, it was a different experience for them as well from the past.

We didn't do any activities or excursions outside of the resort. That wasn't the purpose of our vacation this time. We were there to relax and just get away from work and home. They had a decent selection if that's the sort of thing you're looking for. It should be noted that for many of these, you need to take a short shuttle ride to a separate part of the island. This is with resort employees, but just something to know.

Check-out was an easy and fast experience as well. Since we were club level, this was also done in the private lounge area, which was nice.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Being a five star resort, it could use a little more in my opinion, but this may be me being a little picky. As I said above, it was an overall good experience, but we likely will not be back there. Having said that, we do not regret the stay there at all. I hope this helps.

Room Tip: If you get a room by the pool bar, you're in for a much more noisy stay. Just something to keep...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank Jeff P
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 review, February 19, 2014
Allow us to thank you for taking the 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. We 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baldwinsville NY
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2014

Haven't been here for two years so I figured I would write a short note. First off the ride from the airport was much better as the road is pretty much re-done. I really can't say anything bad. Edwin at the front desk is still as good as always as he helps In anyway he can. The staff at the resort are still as friendly as always. Just a few names off of my head. Jose at the Martini is great and a must to talk to. Robert, Victor at the café-kafe tiki bar by the beach are great and Vidal at the tiki bar by the cascading pool is great. We had a swim up room in bldg.4 by the cascading pool, the room was nice but crickets were chirping real loud in this area all night so I would recommend another bldg. However that probably was the only fault I can come up with. New little rest. on beach good for burgers, sausage and nachos. Our favorites are Chez Isabelle and Spices. Oregano good for pizza and calzones. All in all We travelled with two other couples and everyone had a great time. This was our 4th trip to this resort in the past six years and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank luv2vacation46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2014

My husband and I enjoyed Punta Cana two years ago and decided to return. On the previous trip, we stayed at the Iberostar Grand Bravaro. It was good, but did not like the fact that we had to make reservations for dinner, and the specialty restaurants were nothing special. Despite some of the negative reviews, we decided to try Excellence Punta Cana. We are very glad we did.

First, the check-in process was smooth. I had made a special room request prior to arriving knowing if the resort was at capacity, I might not get what I requested. That was indeed the case, but Reynaldo made accommodations and we were very satisfied. Kudos to Reynaldo.

The restaurants are very good. Our favorites were Chez Isabelle, The Lobster House, Toscana and Oregano. We did not try the Flavor Market or Barcelona. Spice and Agave were just okay. Liked the Asian restaurant at Iberostar better. Christian at Lobster house was an outstanding waiter as was Pedro at Oregano. We were awarded a romantic dinner at the restaurant of our choice and of course chose Chez Isabelle. You must try the Chateaubriand at Chez Isabelle! Outstanding!!

Jhonathan is one of the activities personnel and he is always looking after guest at the beach as well. Great employee! Jhon, at the beach, Luz and Leiby are always making sure the guest are happy and their needs are met. Domingo the sax player at the Martini Bar is super talented.

We found the rooms more than adequate. Only slept in the room with the majority of the time spent on the beach or at the pool. Those who complain that they are in need of repair should also remember they are exposed to salt water and will have slight deterioration. Nothing major as far as I could see. There is constant updating and repair going on and I'm sure they will continue to upgrade.

All in all, we have a wonderful vacation! We would definitely return to Excellence.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank loop1Arizona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Malling, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2014

Would recommend this Hotel to anyone looking for Excellent Accommodation, Food, Entertainment and Fantastic Staff. We upgraded to Master Suit which is by far well worth the extra money. The suit overlooked the cascade pool and had it's own bar and towel concierge.

Room Tip: Block Five Master Suits are Luxurious and overlook a quiet pool with it's own bar.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Alan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2014

This review is quite overdue, we visited as a couple for two weeks in June 2013.

Arrival at the airport is great and we found our taxi almost straight away, even with the crowds of drivers hovering at the airport exit. On arrival (after two hours through towns we would have been uncomfortable to stop at and a very narrow winding lane) first impressions were excellent. The hotel is beautiful and the rooms are lovely.

The hotel is right on the beach but the sea was always rough, definately not for snorkelling or a relaxing swim. This wasnt great for us.

The food is good (asian is the best, breakfast is yum, and all other restaraunts were great with the exception of the french one. The steak here was just roast beef, absolutely nowhere near as tasty as the steaks (or beef) back home in London and for this reason we did not return to this restaraunt).

Pool is great thankfully and the pool bar and service round the pool was brilliant.

Overall I would love to return to this hotel, if only it wasnt on the Dominican Republic. Did not feel safe anywhere other than the hotel and will not return to this island which is a shame as it is beautiful.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank natalie1st
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
#13 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 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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