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“This is a great resort!!”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 29, 2004

Secrets Excellence is a great resort-hands down! The Scots referring to the Palace Resorts in Mexico saying that the Palace resorts are better than Secrets, must be use to a lower standard and didn't know how to handle an exclusive resort. I've been to 4 Palace Resorts and 2 Secrets Resorts and I will say you will not find a better resort than Secrets from service to beauty to quality. The Palace Resorts are over rated and have lost all of their luster from years of watered down drinks and letting the Spring Breakers (4 to a room) stay at their resorts. All of the Palace resorts are known for nice pools, but they have no beach front. If you want left over food from dinner for breakfast and lunch the next day and also constant running up and down the halls from kids to college kids not to mention the feel of a 3-star resort...then you need to stay away from Secrets and continue to book a Palace Resort. Secrets Resorts are for the elite crowd with a better taste of food and drink with lots of privacy for those romantic evenings and sunbathing at the beach. Be cautious to those writing reviews who should stay at home to begin with.

9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12,587 - 12,593 of 13,675 reviews

Reviewed November 28, 2004

RIGHT HERE GOES-Just returned from 14 nights at Secrets and all I can say is its good to be home. Like others I spent a long time reading these reviews and thought I knew what to expect. On reading some of the negative ones I honestly thought t cant be that bad if its a 5* hotel. Im sorry to say I was wrong. The ride from the airport is really not a problem and the driver done well to make it comfortable. 1st impressions of the hotel, again very good, rooms and grounds are very clean, very nice and to a high standard, worthy of the 5 stars given. Food on the most part was very good and we could always get something we liked, A few problems like no English tea in the morning (they ran out apparently) & no cold milk most mornings for your cereal, may seem petty but after 2 wks gets a bit much, Not the kind of thing that should happen in a 5* hotel. The overall service throughout was very very poor indeed, everything just seemed to be very unorganised. Several times we were given the wrong order or other peoples orders, 1 time we were actually given the next tables food and my husband had eaten a piece not realising, then the waiter came up and took the plate from our table and put it on the next one!!!! Incase your wondering Yes we did tip, often and well but it made no difference. The beds are so uncomfortable, I was in agony every day with it. If your planning on peace and quiet then beware, theres work being carried out and the noise most days was pretty unbearable. The pools are lovely, but getting a bed proves a little difficult, we were up at 7am every morning and still missed out at times, this was partly due to some Americans having 2 beds in the sun, 2 in the shade & 2 floats under their beds even though they were asked repeatedly to leave them in the water. We even seen a couple reserve all these beds & then go inside, they never re-appeared until after 3 pm, so selfish!!! We also seen them in the pool with up to as many as 4 floats piled high, god forbid anyone else have a go for 10 mins!!! I know that your thinking, your on holiday chill out & enjoy, the pace is slower in DR, we do know this we have been to the caribbean several times now but have never experienced anything like it, by the end of the vacation we were like "CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A DIET COKE AND A BEER" not asking much!!!! Also the hotel is bad for getting pestered during the day at the pool, even if your asleep, there is people round constantly asking you to do things & a polite "NO GRACIOUS" doesnt do the trick, then theres the night time stalls who also dont take no for an answer, we ended up going detours all the time to avoid them. Also dont bother putting your do not disturb signs up, they are just ignored anyway. The people are very nice and do work long & hard hours, its just the organisation that let the place down. Not the relaxing experience it should have been. In a nutshell would we go back? - "NO GRACIOUS" TAKE OUR ADVICE PAY THE EXTRA AND GO TO ONE OF THE PALACE RESORTS IN MEXICO!! Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

12  Thank teen31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Pittsburgh, PA
Reviewed November 28, 2004

I stayed down there for my honeymoon the week of 11/8-11/15. We got a free upgrade to this hotel because of damage to our original hotel by all the hurricanes. The hotel itself was awesome. They were always cleaning it and all the staff was very nice. All the food was good except for the seafood. There is plenty to do on the resort itself (trust me, I should know since we only had one full day of sunshine). There is nothing for you outside of the resort except for poverty!

The only real disappointment of the entire trip was the beach. It is not the pure white sand and crystal clear calm waters of Cancun. It is still the atlantic and the water was very rough. So rough in fact that we were only able to go into the water 1 day our entire week down there, and our snorkling trip got canceled 3 days in a row. We found ways to make our money go to use by getting massages intead.

Watch out for a drink called Mamma Wanna. It should be called a mind eraser because after 5 of those, I didn't remember the evening!

Overall, the resort was very, very nice. The weather was not very good, but that can't be controlled. The beach was a disappointment. I enjoyed my trip but would not go back again!

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2004

My husband and I just returned last night from 7 wonderful nights (11/17-11/24) at Secrets. We’ve been reading this forum for months now so we had an idea of what to expect. I say an idea because I had to wonder if some of the negative reviews were written by people at the same resort. Maybe we’re just easier to please…..here goes with what we thought.

The ride from the airport to the resort was nothing. We found ourselves wondering if the people who complained fly to work everyday. There’s pot holes yes, but the drivers do their best to go around or slow down. I’ve never experienced driving like this before but I only had to be a passenger and the drivers knew what they were doing. Not once did I feel like my life was in danger. As far as what you see out the window, yes there is poverty in DR. We didn’t find a need to close our eyes. Poverty exists everywhere in the world. It just reminded me that I need to be very thankful the things that I am blessed with. The people of DR don’t know any other way of living, so I don’t feel we should look down on them but treat them as equals. I’m not any better than them.

The resort itself is very beautiful. There were no signs, except for the pictures in the lobby, that hurricane Jeanne ever came through the resort. All that they seem to be doing now is normal upkeep maintenance. We had a swim up room with an ocean view, which we loved! It was nice to be able to go straight from our balcony door to the pool. There was maid service and turn down service everyday. I found the turn down service to be nice because we’d take showers before dinner and then while we were gone, turn down service would give us new towels. So we’d have fresh towels for the next morning if we wanted to take showers before the maid came in. Then there’s the mini bar, which was restocked everyday. I think we got lucky because our guy gave us rum, scotch, Kit-Kats, cigar and lots of vodka (when we asked for it) on top of everything else. It didn’t hurt that we tipped the mini bar server and left notes requesting some items.

Pool was very nice, a little cold if you got in after laying out for awhile. Once your body temperature adjusted it was very nice. Thanks to people on this site we took our own floats and insulated mugs. Both came in very handy. It was nice to go to one of the bars and ask for them to fill the mug with a drink.

The staff is very friendly, and the food is great. We ate anything and everything, and neither one of us ever got sick. We thought the food was very flavorful and well prepared. People need to remember if you’re going to leave the states, don’t expect the food to taste the same. That is part of the fun of going out of the country, experiencing how the rest of the world lives. The world is a big, big place and it doesn’t revolve around the US. I think we forget that every now and then. If you want food to taste like the US, stay in the US. They do pour water from a pitcher but they get the water from bottled water first, not the tap. Do you honestly think they would want to get all their guests sick? They should just close the doors now if that’s the case. We did watch our coconut crème drink intake and we spaced our regular drinking out with food every now and then. You’re on vacation but you can’t go crazy with either one (food or drinks).

Yeah, sure, the water in front of Secrets is rough, just go left a little ways and it’s clear and calm. How upset can you get about the water, you’re on vacation!

We did one excursion the Monster Truck, let me just say, don’t do it. Save your money and do something else. Trust me on this one.

The only other negative thing…. (And I hate to say it) we found ourselves ashamed to be Americans at times. Sad but true. I think I know now why so many other countries don’t like Americans. No, it wasn’t all of us but there was enough that it was noticeable. Some were acting like they own the place and being just plain rude. Examples would be: seating themselves in the restaurants, stacking up the floats in the pool (floating on anywhere from 6 to 10 for one person), not dressing properly for dinner (there is a dress code that includes no swimsuits at any meals) and just loud. No it wasn’t everyone but you know what they say, one bad apple (or 20). And it’s sad when we as Americans are ashamed. So please remember when you go, please try not to be a bad apple. This was my first time out of the country and it’s opened my eyes. I go back now and read some of the negative reviews and I just wonder are these the same people that are bad apples. We’re so spoiled and the sad thing is the really bad ones don’t know it and will probably never know.

  • Stayed: November 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
26  Thank love_nsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2004

First things first I used this Board and read all of the reviews prior to going on our trip so I just wanted to let everybody know what we thought. I will not bore you with the details of the ride etc. But note that the hotel itself is beatiful, the rooms are great the landscaping is great and the pools are very relaxing. We had a really great time getting the professional pictures done, horeseback riding and the Outback Safari tour - all definitely worth the money!
The Beach was dissapointing, I realized before we left that we were on the Atlantic side but did not realize that out of the entire week we were there we could not go in the Ocean. Quite a dissapointment given that last year we were in Jamaica and floated around in the Ocean for most of our stay there, I think we used there pool once. At Secrets you have no choice but to use the pool.
The food was good but you do have to be very conscience of what you are eating, many people were very sick the week were there. I know some people will say it is from the alcohol and the creamy drinks etc that everybody has there, but again when we were in Jamaica we could drink the same drinks from the time we woke up to the time we went to bed and never had a stomach issue. Therefore I do believe it is the food.
Tipping - expect to do it, the more you tip the better the service is for you! I saw people wait in line for five to ten minutes to get a drink and I would walk right up and they would serve me instantly.
Overall we enjoyed ourselves, we did feel bad for all the people who got sick (ours was minor) compared to thiers.
The real question is would we go back, and the answer would have to be no, we would certainly try another Secrets hotel in another part of the Carribean, as I mentioned, the resort itself is beautiful, but I have been to Punta Cana and have no desire to go back.

  • Stayed: November 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank JamericanN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2004

Me and my husband just returned from Secrets, we were there 11-16 till 11-21. I have to say this was the most relaxing vacation ever.We booked via Apple Vacations which I highly recommend since they take you from the airport to the resort and they are always available. They arrange everything, you do not have to even think. This was our first trip out of the country, but once on the resort we felt really safe, and wanted. The ride is about an hour to Secrets, the rode is bad, you see A lot of poverty, I almost wanted to turn back. The only suggestion I can offer about their driving is, close your eyes, put on your seatbelt. They are really good at driving really bad. Check in is very easy, as well as check out, you never have to touch your bags, the night before we left there was a note on our door with a number to call for our bags to be picked up. I would not recommend paying extra for the vip service unless you need the internet. We stayed on the 3rd floor, very nice with vaulted ceilings. pools are very nice. The first morning we went to breakfast, I almost cried it was so beautiful and so much food. You are very spoiled. The food is very good. This is a mature calm place.

2  Thank angelaml77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Schererville Indiana
Reviewed November 21, 2004

well can I just say we had an excellent time! We went for our honeymoon and I read the reviews and was sort of nervous. I really have no idea what these people are complaining about. This place was awsome. The ride there was not nearly as bad and what people made it out to be. The food is great, the service is amazing and it was beautiful. So all those thinking about going, go and ignore all the bad reviews, because it is a great trip! We would go back again in a heartbeat. We met such great people and it was a wonderful expeience. Also I was not bitten once which is amazing because back in the states I get eaten alive!!!!!! So go and enjoy yourself!

9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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
#13 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $265 - $663 (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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