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“A Dream Vacation at Excellence Punta Cana”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #19 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Minnesota
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“A Dream Vacation at Excellence Punta Cana”
Reviewed March 29, 2009

We stayed at the Excellence Punta Cana from March 17 thru March 27, and we had a fabulous time! We are both in our early 30’s, and were looking for a nice all inclusive, adults only resort to just sit back and relax at! We found that with Excellence Punta Cana! Hopefully this review doesn’t get too long, but I do want to try to cover all the areas that I can remember.

Airport Arrival: The arrival into the Punta Cana airport was pretty easy and seamless. This was the first time that we had actually exited a plane right onto the tarmac, which was interesting. When you get off the plane, you basically just have to follow the heard of people into the airport; there is always airport staff directing you where to go. When you get into the airport the first thing that you do is fork over your $10/per person for the tourist card. Then it’s pretty funny because 10 seconds later you hand in that tourist card to a gentleman standing at a computer. All he does is scan the card, tear it up, and ushers you onto to the customs agent. Once at the agent, he checks your id credentials, and off you go to pick up your luggage. Many have talked about the porters at the airport. We found them to be very friendly, but if you do not want their services a simply “No, Gracias” will suffice.

Transportation: As part of our package, we chose to have a private van transfer to our resort. The company that provided the transfer for us was Turinter. As with all of the companies, their booth was located just beyond the baggage claim; you cannot miss all of the booths. We simply walked up to the Turinter booth, showed them our voucher for the transportation, and within minutes we were in our van ready to go.

The roads: We had read many reviews prior to going, so we kind of knew what we were in store for. As many have said, the roads are not in the best shape! However, we treated it as an experience, and had fun with it. Some of the potholes are enormous; however, the drivers seem to know where most of them are and do try their best to not shake your bones loose!! If you do have any kind of motion sickness, I would highly recommend taking something to ease that before taking the ride.

Arrival at Excellence: As soon as we pulled through the gates, we could immediately tell that we were going to have a great vacation. The drive up to the front lobby area was beautiful, and you could tell that the resort is well maintained. Upon exiting the van, we were immediately greeted by the bell hops, given a cold towel, and a refreshing glass of champagne. The bell hops ushered us to the front desk, where we presented our papers. Upon seeing that we had booked the “Excellence Club,” we were told to wait on the couch for a brief moment, and someone from the Excellence Club would come to get us.

Excellence Club Check-In: Ana from the Excellence Club picked us up, and escorted us to the Excellence Club area. Normally from what others had posted it seems that the Excellence Club check-in process should have taken only 5 minutes or so. Our process took about 45 minutes; however, let me explain. During check-in at the Excellence Club, we could tell there was a problem but we didn’t know exactly what. Instead of having us sit down at the computer waiting, Ana had us go upstairs and enjoy the amenities that were available while they continued checking us in. What we found out after the long 45 minute wait was that there was a problem between our travel company, CheapCarribean, and the reservation that Excellence had on file for us. We had upgraded through CheapCarribean to the Excellence Club after our initial booking because of the great reviews we had read on TA. However, that reservation never made it to Excellence. The resort still had us down for a basic room. In the end, Roberto, who is the Excellence Club manager, took care of us and made sure that we got the room that we were expecting even though it was basically CheapCarribean’s fault for not sending through our upgraded reservation. Roberto was absolutely amazing, and made sure that we were happy! Starting off on a note like this may have put a sour taste in some people’s mouths; however, Roberto and his staff made sure that they did whatever it took to ensure we were taken care of. Hats off to them!! We couldn’t thank them enough!

The Room: We stayed in room 7111, which was an Excellence Club Junior Garden Suite. The room was very nice, and very clean! There were never any major problems that we had with the room. We did have the power go out a few times, but we learned it was because of my wife using the hairdryer. All that we had to do was flip the circuit breaker switch, which for us was in a panel just behind the minibar. Note: to prevent this, just make sure to turn off most all lights before using the hairdryer. We didn’t have any more problems after doing this! Building 7 was in a great location for us since it was centrally located to the pool and the restaurant/plaza area. I’m not sure if I would have like being in building 12, 13, 14 because of the distance. However, others that we talked to that were in those buildings did like it because it was very peaceful and quite!

Maid Service/Staff: As others have said, the maid service was good but on some items it was pretty hit and miss. Don’t get me wrong, the maid service came twice every day and the minibar was stocked daily! However, items such as bar soap, and washcloths were always a mystery. For the first few days, we never had washcloths and then all of a sudden they arrived. Not a big deal to us, but it was pretty funny! If we needed anything at all, we would simply ask a maid in the hall or a simple phone call to the Excellence Club would get our request taken care of promptly! The rest of the staff at the resort were always very friendly with a “hola” every time we passed them, and were always willing to help if asked.

Food: We found the food at Excellence to be top notch, and honestly did not have a bad meal the entire time that we were there! We tried all of the restaurants (8 of them) plus we did have room service as well. The only thing that we did not do was The Lobster House for dinner because were not a huge fan of lobster to begin with, and the lobster is quite different from lobster in the US. Breakfast at the Toscana buffet is excellent; you will find practically everything under the sun for breakfast items! We enjoyed the cooked to order eggs, omelets, and pancakes! Also, the breakfast at The Lobster House is wonderful! For dinner, our favorite restaurants were Spice (Asian), Chez Isabelle (French), and The Grill (Steakhouse). The food was prepared perfectly at all of the restaurants, presentation was excellent, and all of them had wonderful taste. The food is much different that in the US, so if you are expecting 5 Star American cuisine then you will be disappointed. We went there knowing that we were in a different country, and that the food would be a little different as it was when we traveled to Mexico last year. However, “different” doesn’t mean bad. It was “different” in a good way, and we enjoyed all of our meals. You will definitely not go hungry at this resort. Beyond the restaurants we did enjoy several meals at lunch on the beach, a few buffets in the plaza during the evenings, and the pizzas around the pool at lunch were amazing!! My only suggestion would be that the desserts at the restaurants need to be revamped! The desserts were just okay at the restaurants. In my opinion, a great meal needs to finish with a great dessert! We found the desserts at the buffets on the beach/plaza to actually be better than in the restaurants! Also, the Excellence Club generally had some good dessert snacks as well!

Drinks: Simply excellent! A great variety of drinks for everyone, and bars are accessible throughout the resort. It seemed that we were always very close to one! All of the bartenders are wonderful, and aim to please! Coco Locos are fabulous!!

Pool Area: Now I know why this pool was rated as one of the best! It is huge, and there’s plenty of room. You don’t at all feel crowed, and there are plenty of lounge chairs for everyone. I did generally go down and save a spot in the morning (we really liked our spot), so that it would be there waiting for us! Sorry to the people that hate that! However, you can always find a spot open if you didn’t “save a spot.” The only thing that I thought was rude is when people save a spot and then never showed up or didn’t show up until 3pm in the afternoon! What’s the point? We would save our spot, but would always be there by 9am or so! Towels were always available that we could tell, and we never had a problem finding a floating raft if we wanted one!

Beach Area: It was a beautiful, well maintained beach! There were always a ton of empty spots out on the beach, and again plenty of chairs. The beds out on the beach were always being used, and did seem to get reserved early. If you want a bed, you will probably need to get out there early! Also, if you are part of the Excellence Club one of the perks is that you can have them reserve a bed/chairs for you if you like! Nice touch! The ocean is pretty rough as many others have stated, and if you love swimming in the ocean this resort would not be for you. Most days were black flagged or red flagged. We enjoyed walking in the ocean, and taking a quick dip in the ocean.

Excellence Club: For us, the Excellence Club was well worth it. We liked having the snacks available to us from 7am until 11pm. It was a quite place to relax, check some emails, and enjoy the company of others. We also took advantage a couple nights of the free DVD rentals.

Entertainment Crew: The entertainment staff at Excellence is absolutely wonderful. My hat goes off to them for the energy that they bring everyday to work! They do their best to get people involved in the activities, and make sure that they have a good time. With that said, they are not pushy if you don’t want to participate! I would recommend participating though! You will have fun! A special thank you to “The Black Angel” who was one of a kind, and who was a lot of fun!

Nightly Shows: We went to the 10pm show almost every night that we were there, and found them all to be quite good. I would highly recommend going to the Michael Jackson show, and the Circus show. Others that we enjoyed were “The Perfect Couple” show and the “Stars” show. There is also entertainment many nights in the plaza, and at the piano bar. Just sitting back and relaxing listening to the music some nights was excellent!

Disco/Night Club: We went to the disco only one night basically because we were just too tired from being out in the sun everyday! The disco opens up nightly at 11pm. It is a basic night club with a bar, dance floor, and DJ. Nothing amazing, but still fun. The disco always seemed to have some type of “theme” going on and the entertainment crew made sure that people had a good time!

Casino: We did visit the casino a few times while at the resort, and found it to be satisfactory. It was small, but it was a good time waster for something to do a night. They have 20 or so slot machines, blackjack, Caribbean poker, and roulette from what I saw.

Shopping: There are several resorts in permanent shops that are located towards the front of the resort. These shops are nice because they are located right on the property; however, they are a little bit pricier than other shops off the resort. They would be perfect for picking up a couple quick souvenirs if you didn’t have time to venture out. There are also several local vendors located just off the Excellence property to the left of the resort if you are looking out towards the ocean. These vendors can be very pushy, but they do have much better prices if you are willing to do a little negotiating! As others have said, “Nancys” is a great place to go for a slightly less pressure environment. The resort also allows on select nights for local vendors to come in and set up in the plaza area. I believe the hours that they are there are 4pm-9pm, but only on select nights. These vendors can be very pushy as well, but they are just trying to do their job and sell their stuff. A simple “no, gracias” will suffice if you do not have any interest. If you do buy anything, again….negotiate a price!!

Resort horseback riding: A 30min horseback ride was included in our resort package, so we decided to take advantage of it. It was a lot of fun going up the beach, and we did get some great pictures! The horses did seem to be a little underweight, and just didn’t seem to be real happy. However, they were very well trained and practically led themselves down the beach and back. Being an animal lover, you hate to see animals not happy but we never saw them being mis-treated or anything. When asked the trainers did say that they were well kept, fed daily, and groomed quite often. I just hope it’s true!

Photo Souvenirs: We did learn that there is a professional photographer right at the resort, and you can book them to take pictures of you for great memories. We did end up taking advantage of this, and it was fantastic! Fran, our photographer, was excellent and had many wonderful suggestions for pictures. Depending on the package you choose you will get so many photos taken, and have the ability to have multiple outfits if you choose. When finished, you can either have prints made or pictures can be put onto a CD. We also loved one of our pictures so much that we had an artist there put it onto a canvas painting. This was of course an additional cost, but the results were truly spectacular! The cost for these services is not cheap; however, if you want some wonderful professional pictures to remind you of your trip then this would be well worth your time and money!!

Taxis: We did take a taxi to the Palma Real Shopping Center, which is where the Hard Rock Café Punta Cana is located. The taxi ride in total cost $96, and took about an hour to get there. The taxi driver did wait for us while we did our shopping, which did take about 2 ½ hours. The taxi driver was more than willing to wait though! By the way, the shopping center was very nice! We picked up several souvenir items while shopping there!

Excursions: While at Excellence we did end up booking two excursions off the resort. The first was a zip line tour, and it was a lot of fun! It took about an hour to get to the place, and the zip line tour lasted about 3 hours or so. If you like this sort of thing, I would highly recommend it. We had never done it before, it was easy, the instructors were fun, and it made for a great day of memories. Price per person for this zip line excursion was $85. We also booked another excursion which included horseback riding and riding dune buggies. This was an absolute blast even though it was pouring rain the day we did the excursion. Actually the rain probably made the dune buggies even more fun because of the pot holes filled with water! Note: no matter if it’s raining or not you will get dirty on this trip…don’t wear your favorite clothes!! We took the dune buggies on the gravel roads and on the main paved road. We stopped at Macao beach, which was amazing and then stopped at a cave where we could swim in the cave itself! Amazing, and again very much recommended! Price for this excursion was $65 per person.

All in all, this resort was everything we imagined it would be and it exceeded our expectations because of Roberto and his Excellence Club staff! I cannot thank them enough for making our vacation wonderful, and for taking care of us the whole time that we were there! If you have the extra money to spend, the Excellence Club option is great! I would highly recommend it; however, don’t worry if you cannot do that option. You will still have a great time, and the staff will ensure that your needs are met! We are definitely looking forward to returning very soon to Excellence Punta Cana!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me! Happy Travels!

Travis Christenson
Minnesota

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
20 Thank Snowstomper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Greencastle, PA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2009

Wow... My husband and I both work in a customer service oriented field... so we really appreciate it when we get the same in return. We were greeted at the check-in with two glasses of champagne and an adorable Scottish woman named Pauline. She said she had come to the Dominican eight years ago and never left. When I saw our room I said, 'Just call me Pauline, because I'm never leavin'!'

We were honeymooners, but didn't upgrade to the 'Honeymoon package'. I don't think we missed the upgrades though, because we were still treated to a banner on the door, a fruit plate and bottle of champagne in the room and rose petals as far as the eyes could see. We were given a romantic breakfast (which I think room service forgot about, no worries though) and a delicious romantic dinner that had the best risotto I have ever had in my ENTIRE life.

We also did not opt to upgrade to pool or oceanside room, but our second floor garden room was perfectly secluded by palm trees. We were able to sit out on the patio in our bath robes and enjoy the beautiful weather.

All in all, the entire place was immaculate. The service was incredible. The food was delicious. The weather was phenomenal. The drinks were strong and yummy. The acts were extremely entertaining.

Just a few things... it is a long, long, long ride from the airport. But your stay at the resort is well, well worth the trip. Just be sure to take some dramamine if you are prone to motion sickness. If you like your meat cooked well, make sure you specify. My 'medium well' steak was definitely more 'tar tar'. However, I guarantee you had I asked, they would have cooked it more. Room service is a touch slow, so make sure you're not starving when you order. And finally, the whole island seems to be a smoker's paradise. So if you are the type of person who gets bothered by smoke, I'd find another island.

All in all though, I am recommending Excellence Punta Cana to anyone and everyone. We were greeted with two days of solid rain in SE PA since we got back and I, quite frankly, am ready to board a plane and get the heck back down there.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank anardi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
147 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2009

I spent 5 nights at the Excellence Punta Cana with my husband. My husband is 42 and I am 41. We were looking for a quiet place with good food and nice pool/beach to rest, relax and forget the stress of real life for a while. This was our first trip to Punta Cana and our 1st all-inclusive. We travel serveral times a year and have been to other resorts/islands. The Excellence was perfect for us and we enjoyed the all-inclusive style. We stayed in a garden room in the excellence club. Overall, I gave it a 5 because I think the service was a 6. The resort is not perfect but it is very nice and for what we wanted it was perfect.

My review is long so I will give the summary first:

Highlights: Service, Service, Service. Much better than expected dinners with no reservations and an abundance of shaded huts/chairs at the pool

Lowlights: They need a pastry chef, great meals end with great desserts and the Excellence had terrible desserts. The ride to the resort is slow.

Location/Travel - Plenty has been said of the long trip to the airport. I knew that we were not going to leave the resort, so the ride did not deter me.

Beach - we love the waves, Not great for swimming but very nice if you want to sit and watch/listen to the waves crash. There were always plent yof huts and chairs available, anytime of the day. We usually put our towels out on the way to breakfast (7:30ish) and always had a front row view. Really, we didn't need to do this because when we came back (8:30ish) there were 2nd row huts available and even hamocks and Baii beds. The huts are staggered so even the 2nd row. had a perfect view. Beach drink service was good but occassionally sporadic. The bar is not far away, so sometimes we would just grab our own drink when we went to use the restrooms.

Pool - I liked the way the cascade pool weaved in front of the buildings. We were in bldg 10 so we enjoyed the excellence section of the pool and the SOL bar. We never went to the main pull as we found the far end of the cascade pool to be a great location. It was close the bar and restrooms and we were able to find chairs with shade. The service at the pool was probably better than the beach mostly because the bar was closer for the servers. On the last day the weather was not great and we lucked out and were able to get one of the huge bali beds by the pool. Everyone should try them once (let's be nice and share!!). It was very relaxing and there were enough free chairs in the sun that I could come out of the shade for bits when the sun came out.

Breakfast/Lunch - The food was better than I expected. Toscana breakfast was the typical resort buffet. Highlights for me were the smoothy bar and the made to order pancakes and eggs. I also enjoyed the fruit. My husband enjoyed the smoked fish and omlettes. In general, stick to the fresh made to order stuff. There were many hot items (in chafers) but we found these disappointing. The bacon was undercooked, the sausage tasted like hot dogs, the glazed ham was.. well just scary. There was one potatoe dish we liked but the regular hash browns were a soggy mess. We did the sit down breakfast at the Lobster House one morning . The menu is more limited but you can get eggs, omlettes, pancakes and waffles. The waffles were good and it was nice to dine with the open breeze. We enjoyed the pizza delivery to the pool as a great lunch/snack. After a large breafast, we didn't really need lunch. We tried Toscana for the lunch buffet one day, there were lots of options.

Dinners were generally very good. Chez Isabelle was excellent. We went twice and recommend the tuna and risotta appertizer, the verte salad, the boullibase soup, the sea bass and the chateaubriand. Agave was our second favorite with the grilled grouper being a highlight. Spice was very good and we enjoyed the fried rice, NY steak and both appetizers. The Pad Tai was unusually and not as good as the rest of the meal. Our least favorite restaurant was the Lobster House. A menu of lobster and only lobster might sound like a good idea but in reality it makes for a boring menu. The clam and lobster chowder was tasteless and had a bizarre texture. The grilled lobsters were not bad but not great either. My main recommendation regarding food is to don't bother saving room for dessert. The hotel needs to hire a good pastry chef and revamp all of the dessert menus. I understand that the style is different than other cultures, and I actually enjoyed the breakfast pastries. The dinner desserts were almost all bad. At Spice, the banana fritters were serverd cold. Why deep fry something if you are going to refrigerate it and make is soggy? The crepes at Chez isabelle were also served cold. My husband had a creme brulee that clearly had either broken or curdled.

Excellence Club - is it worth it? It is hard for me to say since we have never stayed in the regular section. I do know that we enjoyed it alot and felt pampered the entire trip. That feeling made it worht it to me. There was food out from 7am to 11pm and always a few hot items. It was great to grab a cup of coffee, have a quick snack after the pool, or for appetizers/drinks before dinner. I enjoyed the book library and we borrowed a dvd during the rain. My husband used the computers a bit.

Room: Our garden view was actually overa a garden as oppossed ot the parking lot/ heating vents you sometimes get. The rooms are large. The jacuzzi tub was a nice size but I did not enjoy it as much as I expected because their are no jets on your back and the drain did not stay closed very well. I think the rooms and resort are showing a bit of age, but honestly it was nothing that took away from the trip at all. Maid service was generally good. The 1st full day, we left at 7:30 and came back to the room around 4 and found them just starting. This was solved on future days by a quick stop in the club in the moring. Felix would call and have our room done early.

Activities/Entertainment - we honestly did nothing and that is exactly what we wanted. I felt that the resort was very spread out and you were not on top of people. There was a pool bar crowd and nightime shows but really no pressure to participate in anything.

In conlusion, I highly recommend this resort for a couple looking for quiet relaxation.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank robsmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2009

I went to Excellence with my boyfriend looking to spend a relaxing and fun week in the tropics. I would not recommend Punta Cana b/c the area is very desolate, the ocean is very rough, and the weather is very unpredictable. It rained sporadically everyday for the 7 days we were there.
But if you must visit PC, then I would recommend Excellence.
We chose this resort mainly because it is an adults-only resort and had good ratings. I have to say that the best thing about this resort is that it's ADULTS-only! Meaning no families, no kids/teenagers and no spring-breakers!
Here are my comments:
FOOD - excellent! Breakfast is buffet style with much variety from fruits and cereals to eggs any style, pancakes and more! You could choose from 8 restaurants - all great providing a full 3-course meal at each. The only fall-back it that the dining was very formal. Guys were not allowed to were shorts to dinner, and you had to be completely dry in order to enter the dining room. (I got turned away at lunch b/c my bathing suit was damp, even though i had a cover-up on!)

DRINKS/BARS - drinks are excellent! No watering-down here! There are "drinks of the day" and many others to choose from. My fav was that the Martini bar makes cappuccinos at anytime!

ROOMS - disappointed with the rooms. They are nice, but very damp! It took days for my wet clothes to dry. They also tend to have little ants that crawl the bathroom sink tops. I woke up one morning to find a 6-inch spider (no joke!) on the ceiling! That thing had fangs! We found a maintenance man with a RAID can to kill it. It would have been messy if we squashed it! Eventually we laughed it off b/c, keep in mind, we were in a tropical area. Insects are bound to happen.

STAFF - generally friendly. Every worker we passed would always say HOLA. It helps to tip the bartenders, but they were nice regardless.

ENTERTAINMENT - the entertainment staff are young and try to get people involved in stuff, but are not pushy. There is a show every night at 10pm, and they are very entertaining. The casino is a decent size - blackjack, texas hold-em, roulette, and slots. The disco opens at 11pm and is fun if you want to get in some dancing.

Overall, a good vacation. If you are looking to spend some quality quiet time with a loved one, this is the place. If you are looking for a crazy party 24/7, this is not for you - look elsewhere.
Good Luck.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SBR_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south yorkshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2009

What A Fantastic Place BEAUTIFUL ROOMS and FIRST CLASS STAFF so friendly and so helpful. Domingo the saxaphone player in the martini bar is excellent i bought his cds fantastic Amando in the martini bar is a star bar man funny helpful really looked after us makes the best brandy alexanders.Kafe cafe outside is jose he is a real nice guy kept us amused. entertainment staff are great especially cesear.Great choice of food house wine very nice. room service excellent very quick great place and a great holiday pool great unlimited towels plenty of beds on the beach great beach service drinks and pizzas my only disapointment was being unable to swim in the sea it was black flagged every day so no snorkelling but still a fantastic place.Excellent!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sarahjayne_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
warwick, NY
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2009

We stayed at Excellence for 4 nights and really wished we had stayed a week. We had a great time. Very Very relaxing. No kids running around or worse yet the parents who yell at kids who run around. Ok the car ride was a little crazy and suspect, you think you are being kidnapped. We hired Conexion tours to take us there $120 round trip. Mandy from conexion answered all my questions prior and it worked out great. Driver was at the airport and we were in the car and it took 1 hr exactly. Our room was not ready and after sitting at the excellence club for 30 min we changed into shorts and walked the resort.
The resort is lovely. Looks exactly like the photos. I have seen staged hotel photos and you are disapponted when you get there but these are exactly how it looks. It was very clean. No garbage lying around, staff picked up empties right away. The pool is wonderful. You can travel it all day talking to different people. I wish we had gotten a swim up room.
We had a 3rd floor room in building 10, close to pool and Excellence club, but a small walk to restaurants and gym. The room is a good size, just like all the pictures. I left a request for The One a Dominican beer and I got a note saying sorry, the next day I left a $5 with same request and the firidge was full with The One. The shower is a little cramped, hard to shave legs but the water pressure was great and plenty of hot H2O.
We found the food to be good. Little complaints, but I should not have ordered chicken when I could have gotten rack of lamb. The buffet breakfast was nice, you could get eggs any way you want. All kinds of fruit, they would even juice the fruit for you fresh.
Lunch by the pool was good, not great, though my DH really liked the Paella.
People dress for dinner, nothing too fancy. Men can get away with slacks and a hawaii style shirt. Women can wear sundresses, slacks, capris. The people that wore shorts in the evening looked out of place and under dressed. There were no bugs when we were there so no need for off. Dinners were nice, we ate in Lobster house,the lobster/clam chowder is fantastic. Mexican was good. Asian was nice though we had to wait an hour to get in there at 8pm on Saturday. Barcellona had the rack of lamb and good chocolate cake, more like a mousse.
The bars were great. I really like The One beer and you could only get that at the martini bar or show bar. We never found the sports bar and only went to the disco once, it opens at 11pm.
The gym was state of the art. 5 tredmills, 2 or 3 cycles, stair and step masters, elipticals, all sorts of weight machines, free weights. They had a room for classes. We did yoga at the beach. If you like to use the gym alone then get there early, it opens at six and no one really started to show up until 7.
We used room service and found it outstanding. We got food in 30 min and it was Hot and Good. Order the chocolate cake, same as Barcellona.
We did do the horseback ride, felt guilty because the horses look starved. It was fun and we met some good people.
There was a great mix of people, I want to shout out to Carlos at the pool. Say hey to the Upstate(Binghamton area) crowd, especially the accountant, they know how to have fun. Jill and John from Birmingham. South Jersey Shore. Chicago: M&M, Halifax... We met the nicest people, all there for the same reason, to have fun and relax.
The ride back to the airport was crazier than the first. Our driver left the main road and drove on a parallel dirt road. It was nuts but he got us to the airport. The airport return is nuts too. Leave at least 2 hours cause if you get caught in the rush it stinks. You have to go on the luggage check line first to get a sticker for your bags. I got on the wrong line.
We would like togo back to this resort but do not want to go back to Punta Cana. I definately think we will try another Excellence proprerty. Sorry so long, email if you have any questions. Enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Krelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2009

If your looking for a resort that is bustling with activities and surrounded by other resorts then I do not think this is the resort for you. It is very secluded from everything, hence the very long ride from the airport to the resort. (1.5 hours) You take a walk on the beach for about 30 to 45 minutes before you see another resort.

Check in was very fast. We stayed in the Excellence Club and were immediately taken to the Club when we arrived and enjoyed a personalized one on one check in with Antonia.

Our room was on the 10 block, third floor and overlooked a courtyard with a pond. The room was spacious and clean and had a big plasma tv. The mini bar was the best I encountered at a resort with 4 full bottles of alcohol, 5 different selection of bottled beer, wine, pop and juice, coffee as well as crackers, Oreo cookies, and peanuts. I believe we were supposed to have fresh fruit in our room everyday but we only had it the first day and had to phone to get it delivered again. We had trouble with our toilet a couple of times but the maintenance staff was prompt and fixed the problem immediately. The maid service was excellence. Room service was as advertised, 35 minutes.
The excellence club also has their own club where your can enjoy buffet style all day, with a big plasma tv and a larger choice of alcohol. There is also 2 computers with internet access.

Food on the resort was better then I expected from other reviews. The presentation was excellence, service was excellence. I found that you sometime didn't get the garnish that was on the menu. That is, instead of vegetables, you would get rice and so on. Now, your taste buds are not going to do cart wheels when you taste your food but it was better then average. I found the fruit to be very good. The only complaint was the Lobster House. Then again, I'm used to Canadian East Coast Lobster so I might be a little biased there. Also, I enjoy my meat medium rare and I found that I received it more rare then medium so I often asked for my meat to be done medium and I the received it medium rare.

The grounds were adequate. I think that the gardens can be better maintained but their was an abundant of wildlife that you could get close to and feed.

The pool area was excellent. It was long and wrapped the back of the resort. Therefore, everybody was not all crammed in one general area and we found a bed every time we went to the pool. There was no getting up at the crack of dawn to save your space.

The beach is very secluded. There are no resorts near by. The waters are very rough and the Red Danger Flag was up everyday. There was a stretch of beach where you could go swimming but you were watched and often told to come closer to shore. There were lifeguards during our stay but signs on the beach said their are no life guards present. The waves were often over your head. I enjoyed the boogie boarding with the waves but every now and then you just wanted calm waters. Flanking each side of the beach were local vendors. Now if you like to bargain and haggle with vendors then I say go check it out but if that's not your cup of tea then I would stay clear because they are skilled at taking your money. They leave you alone on the beach until you step off the resort property and then they come after you. There not overly aggressive but sometimes you want to take a walk on the beach without getting approached. I believe that they can not hassle you on the resort beach but I had a couple of vendors come up to me while I was relaxing in the late afternoon which was a little annoying.

Tipping? I found that you did not need to tip anybody and it was never expected. I often found it difficult to tip because they were gone before I could offer. That said, I still did tip. My personal experience is if I would tip for the service back home then I will tip for the service when I am away from home.

Would I go back to the resort? If it wasn't for the rough water then I would definitely consider it. It is quiet and relaxing.

Airport Tips: After you retrieve your luggage you are promptly met by a luggage carrier. They take your bags bring you the bus check in and bring you directly to your bus. If this is the first time in Punta Cana then it is worth while letting them do the work for you because it can be confusing. The only complaint I had was my handler decided to up the price as we got closer to the bus. I gave him $5 usd for 2 bags and he gave me a dirty look. A family next to us had 5 big bags and they tipped $5 as well and were greeted with a big smile and thank you. I guess its who you get?

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Cage&ZG
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
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Casino 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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