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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #18 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Hoosier
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Not the newest, Just the best. We will be back!””
Reviewed May 29, 2009

We arrived at Excellence by taxi about 1pm on Jan 5th having just stayed 3 nights at Gran Bahia Ambar. It was our second visit to this resort having stayed in Dec 06 when it was Secrets Excellence. We were given a cool towel and champagne with a "Welcome Home" greeting. We promptly were checked in but had to wait a little for the room to be finished since we were early. Our luggage was secured with the bellman so we headed out to see the ocean from the Cafe/Kafe bar and look for an old friend. You can walk from check in at the lobby and be standing on the beach in less than 1 minute vs. ½ mile away at our last location. Try that anywhere else in Punta Cana! Benjamin was on vacation but we were well taken care of by Carlos. We grabbed a bite at the lunch buffet which was a wonderful improvement from our previous resort. We checked back at the time we were told; the room was ready, the first time. We went to our room in building 6 and within 2 minutes our bellman called. Our luggage was delivered to our room in a few minutes. Excellent bellmen here!

We stayed in room 6102 which is the 2nd floor overlooking the swim up pool (Blue) area. Our room had a king size canopy bed, double Jacuzzi tub, separate shower and toilet. The mini bar was stocked with 6 bottles of beer, 6 bottles of Coke products, 7 waters and a couple pineapple juices. There was no liquor in the room. We also had an iced bottle of champagne and fruit plate. The room was very well cleaned during our stay.

We dined at the breakfast and lunch buffet at the Toscana. There is a huge amount of choices which every item we tried tasted great. If they had the buffet at dinner time I would have eaten there as well. We had just come from Gran Bahia Ambar and the food was just so much better here. We thought the buffet at Excellence was better than the Gourmet at Ambar. We had dinner at Chez Isabelle (Gourmet), Spice (Japanese/Asian) and Toscana (Italian). All the food quality, presentation and service were superb. I had heard that they were working on improving the food quality here and I can see an improvement. It is noticeably better than our stay in late 2006 when it was Secrets.

As for the bars we generally went to the “Café/Kafe” (just outside the theater) with Benjamin, Carlos, Kenny and “Blue” (swim-up in main pool) with Jose and Raphalina. You will be treated like a friend here, not a customer. They all do a great job keeping your glass full with your drink of choice. Plenty of name brand liquors available at most of the bars. (I will try to include a photo.) Just ask for your brand if you have a favorite. They can make them as strong or weak as you like. They are not stingy here with the alcohol.

The beach at Excellence is very beautiful, deep/wide and arching with soft tan sand. The view and sound of the ocean is great. There is wonderful surf to play in. Keep in mind it can get rough and have an undertow. Don’t go out in the black flag areas. The red flag areas are ok; just don’t go out too far. There is a calmer area down to the right on the beach if you don’t like the waves. I found them to be wonderful and I am not young. The surf is no different than I have seen on the Atlantic coast of the US. It is just not calm like at some location of the Caribbean. In comparison to the northern Bavaro beach area I had just come from I saw little difference in the surf. Just the sand was a little whiter at Bavaro but not any better or worse than what I saw. I suppose it could vary depending on the weather but it was 80-85 each day with a low of 70. We only had a little sprinkle for 5 minutes one day during the week stay. It was partly cloudy most mornings and sunny by noon. The sun can be intense on a cloudless day so don’t forget your sun block.

There are 2 large pools. The main pool winds back and forth through the resort near buildings 6-14. The Cascading pool is surrounded by part of rooms in buildings 1 & 2 for the upper section and part of 4 & 5 for the lower section. This resort is unique because it runs parallel with the beach. No room is very far from the beach.

We loved going for a walk in the morning after breakfast. We headed down the road by the shops. We would stop and feed the parrots/flamingos/ducks/geese/etc... some old bread you would get out of a wooden box nearby. Then we traveled down the trail just inside the entrance. It was fun feeding the fish some bread near a bridge. If you would feed them near the shore a white crane type bird could feed on fish! The next area had many hungry turtles to feed.

We did go on the horseback ride. It was fun just like last time. I wish we would have gone on another ride but did not get around to it.

There have been some nice changes since our last trip. There have been improvements in the rooms, the restaurants, sports bar, etc… They even have a large new fitness center.

As for shopping we went to the left of the resort to see the vendors. Just walk straight to Nancy’s hut for better prices. She must be doing well since I see she moved to the closest location to the resort and beach. She even has massages for 2 available for about the price
of one at the resort.

After dinning we loved sitting in the theater area waiting for the show. There was a wonderful sax player nearby who added to the ambiance of Excellence each evening.

In comparison to where we stayed at the start of this trip it was not even close. The layout, food, service, romantic atmosphere and quality were not a little better but vastly better! My wife felt we wasted the first 3 days of our trip and I would agree. You can stay in a new huge resort and be lost in a crowd or stay here and be served by people who treat you like friends. The service and treatment I received here was so good that I have booked a stay at their newest resort in Cancun, Mexico in a few months. Excellence resort is just what I was looking for. A place I NEVER want to leave. It is not the newest, just the best. You do get what you pay for here!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank ussfrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2009

My ladyfriend and I spent five days at Excellence during the week preceding Memorial Day, and generally we had a good time. First off, please note that my rating of Excellence is actually 3.5 stars. Now, on to the details:

THE AIRPORT/RIDE
It took us an hour to get processed and out of the airport. Yes, the ride is a bit bumpy due to warping of the road surface, but there are few potholes. If you get a bus from or to the airport, the ride is fine. If you’re in a van, there are plenty of noticeably bumpy stretches. We rode in one of each; each of our rides took a little more than an hour. You’ll survive. (Tip on the way back: Americans do not have to pay the $20 departure fee.)

THE RESORT
After touring the P.C. scenery (nice greenery, poverty-stricken villages), you’ll be happy when you get to the Excellence. The grounds are appealing and the buildings, staff and ambience will all make you feel that your vacation has begun. Your luggage will be carted to your room by a bellman over an hour after you check in, so keep any essentials in your carry-on bag.

THE ROOM
Our room was large, with a king-size bed and two-person Jacuzzi, but had some drawbacks. There was exposed wiring behind the bed, and the thermostat was broken. Luckily the air conditioning worked fairly well, and the ceiling fan helped; leave them both on all day. The room-darkening curtain didn’t cover the whole window. The shower door’s molding let water out onto the bathroom floor. One of the closet doors wouldn’t stay shut. There was a bug trapped under the plexiglass over the coffee/snack area for a day. Yes, the bed is hard – a six-inch mattress on a pedestal, and no box spring. Since the resort didn’t seem very crowded, I’m sure if we’d complained about any of this (except maybe the bed) we would have gotten a different room.

FOOD
We found the food to be at least on a par with that of a midrange cruise line, perhaps even a tad better. The Mexican and French restaurants were quite good, the latter actually serving up the best-tasting cooked shrimp dish I’ve ever had. The breakfast and lunch buffets were certainly adequate and featured lots of choices. However, at the steakhouse (The Grill), one of our filet mignons was perfectly cooked, while the other was impossible to cut. Just ask for another if you get a dud.

STAFF
Friendly and attentive. The barmaids are constantly offering drinks. Almost everyone is cheerful and says “Hola!” when your eyes meet theirs. The bartenders work furiously and will make exactly what you want. Our housekeeping staff performed spottily, however – some days the room wasn’t made up until 3 PM. There is a bit of a language barrier in the resort, and it showed up in housekeeping the most.

ACTIVITIES
Resorts like this one are geared to drinking, eating, the beach and the pool. (If this doesn’t sound like you, then think twice before booking.) Excellence therefore didn’t match up well with us, but we knew that going in. We were “kinda/sorta” counting on some other activities to keep us occupied, but there really wasn’t much on offer. For example, I encountered no one at the scheduled archery session (BTW, the “range” was a single target five yards away from the line), including the instructor. The Spanish lesson consisted of a sheet of paper with commonly-used words and the verbal instruction: “come back tomorrow and I’ll quiz you.” The next day no one showed up, not even the instructor. Dance lessons were quick and simple: three or four meringue steps which were repeated three times over five days. A cooking lesson consisted of two silent cooks grilling shrimp and chicken, and then we ate it. To be fair, there is a tennis court, basketball court, a couple of pool tables, ping-pong, foosball, air rifles and darts. None of these seemed to be of much interest to the guests, however. There were also beach and poolside games which we never looked into.

Thus, we almost felt compelled to take an all-day “safari” tour which was generally fun and interesting, at $99 each. (Other off-site excursions were also pricey, in my opinion.) Another day, we paid $30 each for private horseback riding along the beach and into the adjacent areas, in an effort to keep busy. (Note that taxi fare to the nearest shopping plaza / casino is a whopping $90 roundtrip! Yes, you’re a bit isolated at this resort.)

You *can* win at the casino; my ladyfriend did just fine at slots (although she always seems to be lucky with them). Roulette with 0/00 is here, and a few card tables. No craps.

ENTERTAINMENT
The main entertainment area is set up as one big space, so the piano bar isn’t a cozy lounge, for example, but part of the big space. (So is the main stage, of course, as well as the lobby.) The shows feature lots of lip-synching to music, which may irk some people. The productions are watchable, though, and the staff dancers give it their all, but the performance level doesn’t come close to that of a cruise ship. IMHO, the Michael Jackson show wasn’t as spectacular as others have written. All the shows started at 10 PM, a little late if you ask me, as there isn’t much to do after dinner until the show (unless you eat late). The music at the piano bar was usually a sax and keyboard duo, nicely mellow but not many people danced. The average age was around 30 (don’t forget: no kids here), and I suspect that younger people are more into dancing to rock music, if anything.

As others have written, the disco is relatively deserted, dark and creepy.

BEACH AND POOL
Yes, the water’s rough most of the time, but the sand feels nice and is dredged to remove shells, etc. Plenty of lounge chairs and shade. The long, winding pool was crystal-clear and inviting.

VENDORS
Yep, Nancy’s is the best place. The others have vision like vultures, will spot you 200 yards away and, once in their clutches, will nag you incessantly to buy something. The resort’s own shops are pricey, and forget about walking through the Santo Domingo Plaza area when the vendor tables are up.

WEATHER
It wasn’t excessively hot or humid, but it rained practically every day, usually starting at dusk. I’d say it rained about a third of our waking hours. However, you can get almost everywhere without getting soaked, although there are a few uncovered spots.

BUGS
There are plenty of mosquitoes; I got a dozen bites (which were a bit nastier than stateside bites). Bring repellant and use it as much as you can stand, especially at night. We noticed a couple of other bugs, too; these were no big deal.

Compared to other resorts in Punta Cana, I suspect that Excellence is a 5-star. In absolute terms, however, I have to give it a 3.5 rating. The activities, entertainment and housekeeping staff just don’t compare with those of a cruise ship, for example. If you just want to relax by the pool or ocean, though, and drink alcoholic beverages around the clock, this may be the place for you.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank mrpaladin1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2009

My husband and I just returned from our Honeymoon vacation at the Excellence. We stayed from May 18th-25th. Even though we found the service and resort to be average, we still had an amazing honeymoon together.

Transportation- We chose to book a private van from the aiport to the resort since it is one of the farthest away. We went through VIP and had no problems with the ride to and from the resort. It took just about an hour and yes the roads are bumpy; however, a good majority of the trip was on newly paved roads. I actually enjoyed the drive because I was able to view firsthand how the local people live and got a good sense of their culture. Unfortunately, it was quickly apparent how poor this country really is and made me appreciate what I have. Needless to say, we tipped as much as we could on our trip.

Check in- We arrived at the resort around 3:00p.m. and were greeted with a cold towel that smelled wonderful! We were seated in the lobby and given two glasses of champaign. About 5 minutes later, we were taken to the Excellence Club. (This is where my "average" rating becomes warranted). The girl working the desk was not overly friendly and informed us that the Excellence Club Oceanview Suite that we booked was not available for our first day at the resort. (They had overbooked due to the extra business coming from Mexico) Of course, being on my honeymoon, I was very disappointed and frustrated that we weren't able to unpack right away. They told us they would give us a credit that we could use at the spa. The next day when we went to move to our new room, they told us we could move into the room we booked or we could be upgraded to the Excellence Club Honeymoon Suite the following day. Knowing that this was the better deal, we definitely took them up on the offer. (We also talked to 3 other couples who did not receive the rooms that they booked initially)

Room- The first room we stayed in was small and seemed a little run down. There wasn't any handsoap, so we had to call housekeeping to request that. We asked the concierge for a bottle of Vodka in the mini bar, which we never received. The Honeymoon suite that we were transferred too on the 3rd was beautiful. It had a living room, a bedroom, two plasma tvs, a jacuzzi tub in the room and one on the balcony, a walk-in closet, mini bar, view of the pool (ocean in the far distance), a huge shower, and two bathrooms. Very impressive. The lights in the closet, shower, and bathroom are on sensors and they don't work very well! The switch to keep the lights on was on the ceiling. Being 5' 3", I had to ask my husband to turn on the lights every time I wanted to use the bathroom, which was very annoying! We also had to call many many times for extra hangers and towels. Many times we would call our concierge and would not get an answer, so we would have to call the desk at the Excellence Club. They seemed to be on "island" time and would sometimes fulfill our requests hours after we made them!

Food- Breakfast was always wonderful. We ate the Tuscana buffet every morning and really enjoyed the egg omlete stations. They had hashbrowns, bacon, fresh fruit (although I didn't find the fruit to be all that fresh), lots of baked goods, and a smoothie station. You could even get a bloody mary or momosa if you wanted! We usually ate lunch at Toscana as well. We tried the Grill one day and ended up not eating our sandwiches because they were so unappetizing. Don't get the turkey club at the Grill! We did have an afternoon pizza on the beach one day, which was very good and convenient.
Dinner- We went to 3 restaurants (Agave, Spice, and Chez Isabel) two times each because we loved them so much. I think I could have eaten at Agave every day! Do yourself a favor and order lots of different appetizers and try different foods. It's all free, so venture out! I tried escargot for the first time at Chez Isabel and loved it! We didn't drink any wine, but we had some great mixed drinks. I would definitely recommend the Coco locos, bahamamamas, chocolate martinis, mudslides, and dirty monkeys (dark rum, chocolate, and banana).My husband and I also took advantage of the 24 hour room service and ordered pizza when we returned from the shows or resort lobby late at night. ;) After all it was our honeymoon right?

Beach- We sat in the Excellence Club area of the beach on most days. The beach was beautiful and always had a nice breeze to cool you off. Unfortunately, the service was very slow and we would have to walk up to the pool bar to get drinks frequently. We would always eat breakfast and head down to the beach around 10:00a.m. TIP: Get your towels by Cafe Kafe or get them early at the pool bar in the excellence club area of the pool because they ran out 3 days in a row and we had to wait over 15 minutes each day for towels.

Pool- The pool was beautiful but I found it too chilly! My husband and I spent a little time in the pool by the swim-up bar but found the beach to be more peaceful and enjoyable.

Entertainment- Definitely check out the Michael Jackson and Circus Shows. They are both surprisingly good. If I were you, I would skip the others. The saxaphone player was excellent. He would play most nights in the lobby before the show starts at 10:00p.m.

Weather- It was sunny and beautiful most days until around noon and then it would get cloudy and would eventually start raining around 3:00p.m. or so. It did this every day we were there. Saturday was an all day downpour. We made the best of it though and still managed to have a great time together. It was very very humid the entire time we were there, so a tip to the ladies....don't bring your flat irons, because they won't do you any good here!

Gym- The fitness center was great. The equipment was new and the gym was very clean. It was kind of a hike from our room, but we WERE going to work out so we didn't mind the long walk.

Shopping- Stick to Nancy's. Very easy to get too. Just walk out to the beach and turn left and keep walking until you see her store. There were a lot of other stores around (i.e. a shack with a sign that read "Wal-Mart") The vendors there were very pushy and bugged us as soon as we got within 50 meters of their store. We just shopped at Nancy's and got a few keepsakes to take home. The guy who worked there even gave us a free shot of a local liquer that they bottle and serve in the Dominican.

Misc- The mosquitos are horrible! We would spray ourselves with OFF every night before going to the hotel lobby, but we still got eaten up. The worst of it was during the horseback ride on the beach. Tip: wear gym shoes, socks, and long pants. If you can bear it , wear a long sleeved shirt too, because you will get bitten A LOT. My legs are currently covered in Caladryl as a result!
Don't expect to get quick responses from the staff. I really expected outstanding service due to all of the reviews I read, but unfortunately my husband and I both agree that we have received MUCH better service at other resorts (i.e. Rui Palace Las Americas in Cancun).
The professional photographer is a must, but don't expect your pictures to be done when they say. Make sure you take them at least 2 days in advance of your departure. We also had one of our favorite pictures painted on a canvas and will cherish it forever! We paid $100 for a CD with 17 pictures and $110 for the canvas.
The 30 minute massage that comes free with the honeymoon package is great! I would highly recommend it. Also make sure you try out the hydrotherapy. I felt great afterward probably because the steam room and sauna helped to detox some of the bad food and alcohol out of my system :)
I loved our room, but didn't think the extra cost for the Excellence Club was worth it. However, I do need to add that my husband and I did take advantage of free internet access in the Excellence Club and the daily snacks before lunch and dinner. These things wouldn't have warranted paying the extra to stay there in my mind, but I'm glad we did it for our Honeymoon experience.
We visited the Casino 4 times and won money every time at Blackjack. I know that other couples didn't have as much success, but we were very excited with our winnings (thanks to my Husband's great Blackjack skills lol)

My husband and I don't plan on visiting this resort again. We like to try new places, but if we did return to a resort twice it would not be the Excellence and would most likely not be in the Domincan.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank dmlindsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2009

This was our first time in an all inclusive resort and we absolutely loved it! The staff was just amazing, the resort, rooms, pools and restaurants were well maintained. The food was generally very good with only a few disappointments once in a while. Only the gym was not very well air conditioned and the amount of water sports offered was very limited, probably due to the sea being a bit choppy. There were plenty of other activities offered though such as excursions on 4 wheel drives and horse riding.
We had a Club Excellence room which gives access to the Club Excellence lounge, which has computers with internet access and some little snacks and drinks. The room itself was nice and spacious - well maintained although the decor was slightly dated.
The staff were very friendly - especially Juan was an absolute pleasure serving us our drinks next to the pool and the beach!
We enjoyed Excellence very much and would recommend it to everyone!

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ivoandanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2009

Unfortunately, this was the worst holiday I have ever been on. It was due to a culmination of factors so therefore the rating I give this hotel will be purely based on my experience that was resort-related to be fair and not other outside factors (such as tour operator etc) which also effected our holiday. I will include these comments though incase anyone else is thinking of travelling with our travel agent or at this time of year.

Firstly, our tour operator, Sovereign, did not send anyone to pick us up at the airport. We were expecting a private transfer which we paid for but it didn’t arrive. After asking several other companies (who hadn’t even heard of them) we just had to use a rogue cab and pay $75 upfront! Not only was this a loss to us but also dangerous as this is a poor country where tourists stick out like a sore thumb. I have seen people complain about the rocky journey to the hotel but you will be pleased to know that they have now surfaced the whole road in tarmac! We had a rocky trip there, but I found it to be eye opening to their culture, and to my surprise it was tarmac-ed on the return. On arriving at the hotel no one knew who Sovereign were either (even though we presented headed documentation). After a few days we managed to track down the First Choice rep, Miguel, who told us that he also represents Sovereign (not that they had told us that…thanks Sovereign) and he said he would confirm that our transfer was booked for the way back (which he never did and we never found him again even though we went to where he was supposed to be each day). He also told us to find a guy called Wanda at the airport for our refund, but of course, we couldn’t find him. So, we’re still down $75 and need to get it back from Sovereign. I would never use them again.

The resort was lovely and the pool and beach areas well kept. There were lots of exotic birds wandering around (parrots, peacocks & flamingos) in the beautiful grounds which was nice to see. The staff were incredibly friendly and happy to help. There was a good selection of entertainment and the bars were lively with a varied selection of cocktails (my favourite out of a coconut, the CocoLoco!) We loved the food, particularly the French & Mexican restaurants. The lunch and breakfast buffets were also great. Our only bad experience with the food was in The Grill where my boyfriend ordered a steak - it was very fatty and tough. We also ate there for lunch found the menu pretty plain.

Our room (room 9001) was disappointing. It was very damp and although I bought an airfreshner with me it did get rid of the smell, but obviously it did not get rid of the damp air which meant our linen/papers were always damp. Two of our three lamps were broken (one wouldn’t work even when we changed the bulb, the other falling to bits and rusty). The outside patio table was also in a bad condition with bits broken around the side and our shower leaked. Our pillows also stank (not of damp…just very unclean, like dog water!) which I had to get changed.

We only went on one excursion which was the free horse ride along the beach and this was a disaster. A couple of the horses were boisterous and reared up with guests on them which really scared me. Secondly, for some unknown reason, they took us through a wooded area for about 5 minutes even though this was billed as ‘ride along the beach’ It was 3PM and I hadn’t foreseen, or been warned by the hotel staff who I booked it with, that I would need insect repellent. Needless to say during that 5 minutes my boyfriend and I were bitten by bugs, including mosquitoes. We went to the onsite hotel DR who’s English wasn’t that good and he pushed us to have some injection! We eventually found out that it only speeded up the anti-inflammatory so decided to stick with some cream to be on the safe side (a very small tube from the pharmacy for $20!). The next day my left leg became so inflamed around my knee and thigh it was difficult to walk. I had to spend our last day and a half in our room or hobbling to and from the dining areas. Back in the UK I have now been prescribed antibiotics as they have got infected and am off work with a stomach upset which also happen after I got the bites. I will also be trying to get a blood test for Malaria. I have uploaded some photos from the bites which I got on Sunday, and a photo taken today (4 days later) where my leg is now bruised from where the swelling has gone down.

Finally, if that wasn’t enough, the weather was terrible. It rained every day. We knew there was a high chance of rain, however had thought it was going to be 30 min showers. Not the case. When we arrived, last Tuesday, it rained for 30 minutes while we had our dinner, which was fine. Wednesday - rained from 2pm all afternoon and all night only stopping when we woke up the next day. Thursday, same as Wednesday. Friday, same as previous days but started at 10AM! Saturday was a nice day (i say nice..pretty cloudy) with only a breif shower, as was Sunday and Monday but I was bed-bound because of the bites. Great!

All in all, an awful holiday.

I would recommend the hotel to a friend with caution of our experience, although it hasn’t put me off the Excellence chain and we hope to visit another one next year. I would not book a holiday with Sovereign ever again. If something serious had happened it would’ve been awful not to have a point of contact in the country.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Liande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2009

Excellence Punta Cana exceeded our expectations in every regard.

During the drive from the Airport to the resort, it was clear that the area was very poor, however it was modernizing rapidly. A new road is slowly being built that will speed the trip to the resort, however, you will miss the opportunity to absorb the surrounding area.

The resort overall is excellent, with an open lobby and beautiful Caribbean décor.
The room was very nice…………large…….comfortable king sized bed…..with a view toward the distant mountains. It was no more than a 5 minute walk to the beach.

The beach was fine, with plenty of palapas and shade no matter what time of the day we arrived at the beach. As others have reported, this is an ocean facing resort, so there were strong waves, which was fine with us. Because the beach was so nice and clean, we never used their enormous pool. Beach waiters were always around and service was great.

The food was excellent. There are perhaps 7 restaurants on the property. We could choose from the menu in all of them, and there were no restrictions on the number of times we could eat at a given restaurant. One night, the resort sponsored a Dominican cookout on the beach with Dominican cuisine and music. The Dominicans are obviously very proud of their culture.

At night there was always plenty of entertainment to enjoy. Don’t get so hung up on whether the entertainment is Vegas quality. Just relax, make friends with some of the other guests, and enjoy it.

The most impressive part of the resort were the people. The Dominicans working at the resort were without exception cheerful and friendly. They seemed to appreciate my pitiful attempts at Spanish. Everyone greeted us with a smile and a warm welcome. Most speak some English but that was never a problem. Two of our favorites that come to mind are Jeniffer and Roseaura, they exude a love of life and a spark of mischief that made them a joy to be around. Every morning at breakfast they welcomed us with smiles that lit up the whole restaurant and started the day off right. Whatever they get paid, it is not enough!
By the way, tips are not solicited and never expected, but bring some singles to show your appreciation for their incredible hospitality.

There are Dominican products and crafts available at the resort, however one night during the week, they invite in local craftspeople to display their wares. We found the best local place to be “Nancy’s” in a small Dominican shopping area right next to the resort and right on the beach…….just to the right as you face the resort. Nancy is a Dominican lady who has spent time in Canada and is perfectly fluent in English. Massages are available at Nancy’s by a wonderful young lady named Ingrid – at half the price of a massage at the resort. I highly recommend it.

Would we go again…………you bet.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank sandyandjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Excellence Resort for our honeymoon. The resort is beautiful! We stayed in an ocean view deluxe suite and everything was great, the view was wonderful. We didn't upgrade to the excellence club but still enjoyed everything!Drinks and food were both very good. The beach is beautiful, we spent most of the day there.No complaints about the resort! However, the cab ride there is about an hour and the roads are in very bad condition, other than that everything was great! Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank loves2travel0506
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
#12 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 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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