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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #19 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
A TripAdvisor Member
“Not that good”
Reviewed April 5, 2005

We were at Secrets the last week in March, first few days of April. First let me say that the resort is really beautiful and very clean. Staff are very courteous and helpful, always smiling and nice. But -

Our toilet never flushed completely on the first try, the shower door fell off on the third day, it was so dark in most of the restaurants in the evenings that you could not read the menus - let alone see what you were eating.

If you ate the morning & lunch buffet you had to watch out for the flies - they were all over the place, usually on the food. They especially liked the fruit.

Drinks were very weak unless you asked a couple of times for more and the brand names were only in the theater bar in the late evening. The entertainment was pretty good - but it does not start until 10:00 pm, the disco is a joke. Nothing special at all.

Sea: It is very rough, never got to swim in the ocean and the pools close at 6pm sharp! No snacks and service around the pools for drinks was non-existant. It is however a very relaxing resort it you are content to do nothing and I mean nothing but lay by the pool (It is very hot).

Also the country is very poor and they throw their trash everywhere. The people in the Dominican need to wake up the fact that no one will want to visit their country if they keep on littering the way that they do. No dumps what-so-ever!

We will not go back, very expensive resort for what little you get.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 5, 2005

We stayed 7 nights (and days) at the resort and had the time of our lives,
The resort was absolutly beautiful, all the ammenedities were excellent, the food was out of this world. We always had something to fill our time wether it was a day trip or a planned activity at the resort, we were never bored.
The service at the resort was exceptional,from the food service to the maid service we were 100% satasifed.
We are planning to go again but this time with friends to share the experience

25 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergen County, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the resort march 23rd-27th. I am 26 and he is 27. We had a wonderful time Secrets !!!!!!!
It took about an hour to get there, no problem just checked out the place while he was driving. People were making comments about the drive there and the potholes. Road is bumpy, but this guy could definetly be a NYC taxi cab driver. The potholes were smaller there than here in NY! Check in was fast. We got our luggage right away, and jumped in the pool!

STAFF: Staff was very friendly, and always on top of things never needed to ask for another beer or drink. We ordered room service and came 10 minutes later. Jenny always served us drinks at the theater, all she had to do was look at me and I shook my head and she came with more drinks. Carlos at the bar by the pool was always making double dirty monkeys for me. He just knew the be done in 10 minutes. Staff always said "Hola" when you walked by or even just looked at them. Very polite.

ROOMS: We stayed in building 14 which is little walk to main things, but not bad since we stuffed our bellies with food and drinks. The bed was very uncomfortable. Woke up sore every morning, and the comforter was very hard but it was a place to sleep. I was just happy that I was there! Rooms were very clean, and our maid was awesome leaving us little surprises when we came to the room. She picked up my hubbys laundry off the floor, and I was so happy I wasn't the one picking it up for a change!

FOOD: Felix, great eggs man! We like the Texas steak house great steak, and burgers. Manuel was an excellent waiter. The beach dinner was a nice touch, something diffrent.

We had Miguel the photographer take pictures of us, and that was the best part of our trip. He took 242 pictures and painted us 2 on canvas, and 2 on velvet, and I got a CD of the pics to take home, for $350.00 It was a blast. Will never forget it! He does an outstanding job and could get big bucks in the states for his talent! He had me in tears when I saw the paintings, way better than a helicopter ride for 10 minutes over the fields. He made us look like we belong in a magazine. He is AWESOME!!!! I plan to send him pictures of my children to be painted. This is something that we will have for years and will always remember those moments on the beach.

ENTERTAINMENT: Great job to those who put on the shows for us! They work hard all day long preparing for the shows. Cats was cheesie, but the rest of the nights were pretty entertaining we had a good time. The disco was ok, but played more spanish than other music. It got old after a while.

BEACH: Very clean. Awesome waves to body surf and just to play in the water. Casino was ok, really small. Got lucky, but them played it all to lose!

POOLS: Excellente! Never had problems getting a floatie, or a chair.

GYM: Very cool, they had everything in my workout routine, except for the balls that I like to use for my crunches. The staff member was nice to help those who need some help with machines, and to show them proper ways to use equiptment, and I saw he actually training someone who never worked out before. I thought that was great!

Over all we had great time just relaxing at the beach and pool. (If thats what your looking for) No kids, or teenagers acting stupid. It's not " girls gone wild ". The atmosphere was nice people pretty much kept to themselves, everyone seemed like they were enjoying their stay. Just remember that you are going to a depressed country, and you should not be expecting the Ritz Carlton. I would love to go back right now if I could. I recommend Secrets to everyone. Have a great time! Hope I helped.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
55 Thank Kath-ee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 30, 2005

We went to Secrets in DR for two weeks in early March for our wedding anniversary. We had read such good reviews that we upgraded and thought we would have an excellent trip. NOT QUITE. First, I think it is important to note that we are not newbies to all-inclusives - about 40 weeks during the last 20 years. Sandals, Riu, Oasis, Iberostar, Palace Resorts to name a few.
The problem with the Secrets Excellence is the management. There were not enough staff at the bars, the inventory and supply chain was crippled, and personnel training inadequate. These are management responsibilies. When we complained, management shugged us off. Examples: after our morning exercise and breakfast, it was time for a drink, we went to the swim up bar at 11:20 a.m. My husbabd ordered a beer and I ordered a rum and coke. THEY WERE OUT OF BOTH! Another time they were out of ice; another out of diet coke; another time at a restaurant, out of red wine; at the Japanese restaurant, out of sake! An acquaintance ordered a drink from the bar menu, the bartender had to ask someone how to make it! This is a short list of their bar drinks. Specialty alcohol was impossible to get. This was not what was promised in the literature nor ever acceptable for an all-inclusive.
The beach was always rough. A lifeguard was supposed ot be on duty all day. A young women got in trouble in the water and the pool/beach bartender saw it and alerted staff. Tourists got her out of the water before the lifeguard even showed up on a ATV.
Everything cost extra it seemed or was so regulated that it was inconvenient. For example: at Sandalss if I wanted to go sailing, they would go out with me to see if I could handle the craft and then I could get it on demand. At Secrets, I had to set up a time. I did and was 10 minutes late and could not get it. EVEN THOUGH IT SAT ON THE BEACH. The next appointment, it was too rough.
The scuba diving is a joke. At Sandals and Palace resorts, we go to the pool and get a free lesson to see if you are interested. Forget that at the Secrets (ALTHOUGH IT IS ADVERTISED FREE SCUBA LESSON IN POOL) you had to purchase a dive BEFORE you got to try in the pool!
The staff we friendly and efficient. I spoke college Spanish and it helped us become friendly with the staff. Carlos, for example, specially made me fish a la plancha one day at the lunch buffet when there was only fried fish. But here again in the restaurants as well as the bars, service was spotty. There we two breakfast grills. One for omelets and the other a grill for things such as pancakes. The first weeek there were pancakes and french toast made to order. The second week, the same cook refused to do such and we were offered the burnt pancakes in a warm server.

Overall, we had a great trip but we will not go back. The hotel and property is truly beautiful. The production of CATS was outstanding. But in the competitive market of hotel management, Secrets Excellence is not par with its competitive market, especially given its cost.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2005

My husband and I went to Secrets Excellence in Punta Cana the week of February 28. It was wonderful from start to finish. A couple of the restaurants were not that great, but I would recommend the Domincan restaurant, the mexican restaurant and the international restaurant. The service is great, I don't think I went 10 minutes without someone asking me if I needed anything the whole time we were there. The room was cleaned 2 x per day and the staff was so friendly. The ocean water was beautiful...matter of fact...my husband and I never left the resort, it was the most relaxing vacation we have had. Last year we did an all-inclusive in Cancun at the Palace resorts which claimed to be 5-star...it was more like a 2-star...this was a 5-star...but the food was probably worthy of a 4...but still much better than cancun, and much cleaner...I would recommend this trip to anyone. The other thing we liked is there were no kids allowed, so it was very peaceful, and you pretty much didn't see anyone under 25 years old. No spring-breakers! yeah.

22 Thank Anniechesterfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2005

My husband and I just returned from secrets we stayed 3/21 to 3/25 .It was a very relaxing trip . When we where on the bus ride to the resort it really makes you know how fortunate you really are. The resort was never over crowded and any resturant we went to we were seated right away.
The horse back ride was great , we did ours at eight o'clock at night with a full moon and it was not real hot with the ocean breeze. The only thing that bothered me was the vendors trying to charge you triple what something is worth , I know they need to make living and it is hard for them , but if they were less pushy I would be more likley to buy things. The people there seem very happy and proud of there country .I wish that I would have brought some thing for the children If we go back we will.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank Patty H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 29, 2005

My husband (age 33) and I (age 29) went to Secrets of Excellence/Punta Cana March 23 - 27, 2005.

We have traveled all over the world and typically stay at the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton or W hotels wherever we go...so we have pretty high standards in terms of accomodations.

We went to Secrets with two other couples, and all of us did plenty of research about the place before we left. Since there are so many mixed reviews out there, we went with an open mind. While we all had a good time, we will NEVER go back there again.

HOTEL DECOR: The hotel itself is pretty nice. The grounds are well-kept. The main lobby is pretty (clean, marble floors, candles, breezy, open, expansive)... the bathrooms are lovely. But the rooms themselves need updates (see below for details). The rooms are in these separate buildings (there are like 14 bldgs. total). Each building is a nasty pastel color, very 60's.

ROOMS: We all upgraded to Honeymoon suites for an extra $100 a night (these suites have a jacuzzi in the room and a private jacuzzi outside on the deck). Our suite had gross outdoor furniture, a dirty outdoor jacuzzi and broken sliding doors with no screens. The bathrooms were the nicest part of the room - marble and nice stainless fixtures. The bed was HARD AS A ROCK. While the ocean view was nice, I could not bring myself to look at the ugly, dated buildings that surrounded me.

FOOD: SICK. GROSS. THE WORST FOOD EVER. We found ONE restaurant we could handle (the French place, located in the main area near the 'theater'). This place had a semi-decent wine list and the food tasted more fresh and more creatively-prepared than the other places.

The Mexican restaurant (a common favorite among those we met on the trip) was quite possibly the worst food I have ever put in my mouth. My entire group agreed. HOW CAN YOU MESS UP CHICKEN FAJITAS??? We had my husband's birthday dinner at this Mexican place and they brought out his birthday cake BEFORE we were served our appetizers (WHAT?).

We tried the steak place. Steaks were way too salty. The 'steamed vegetables' were not edible (mushy carrots - just carrots - soaked in butter). The mashed potatoes were awful. If you order fries, you get maybe six fries with your meal.

Breakfast was decent (eggs all the way - can't screw those up). Basically, stick to breakfast and dinner only.

Lunch - go for the salads. At first I was a little nervous about eating the lettuce down there, but it was fine.

Don't even bother with room service. It is disgusting and takes about 2 hours to arrive. Definitely bring along some protein bars and healthy snacks on this trip - you will need it.

ENTERTAINMENT: The casino was fun. We enjoyed that every night. They also have these shows every night that resemble a bad high-school play. Miraculously, the shows were really crowded every night....that is because there is NOTHING ELSE TO DO AT SECRETS. The 'Disco' is really cheesy...however, it is fun to go there and scope it out and watch people.

DRINKS: The swim up bar and pool were definitely fun. Drinks are good. We stuck to beer and wine (the premium liquors were not quite in abundance)...the house wine is gross....request other wines....they do have decent wines and they'll bring out a good bottle if you tip well enough.

SPA: Had a fantastic masage by the beach - Despite the fact that my therapist was 20 minutes LATE, the massage itself was great. And cheap. $40 for 25 minutes is great.

HEALTH CONCERNS: I was freaking out about the water, the ice, the lettuce, etc...BUT, all is well. While I personally didn't have ice at all, everyone else in the group did and they are fine. Do NOT drink or brush your teeth with the tap water. There is plenty of bottled water there. Other than that, the water they use to wash food (salad, fruit) with, make ice with and cook with is safe. Again, I didn't risk the ice - but my friends are fine. We also took malaria pills. The mosquitos are there...but not bad.

SERVICE: Decent service all around. The staff is very nice, pretty helpful, and we found no language problem. All of the staff spoke decent English...but most people in our group speak Spanish....so there was no problem communicating with each other. We were able to get what we needed when we needed it. Again, the staff is really nice.

CROWD: This place attracts all ends of the spectrum. Lots of young honeymooners, older couples, middle-aged couples, etc...A very diverse group age-wise, but 90% of the guests were Americans - so not much diversity in culture. We met some folks from Europe, but most people were straight from the USA.

OVERALL: A nice stay but will not go back.

-Don't drink the tap. Brush your teeth w/ bottled water too.
-Take malaria pills. The mosquitos can get bad, but not terrible.
-In the event you find the food is disgusting, bring granola bars and other snaks with you. You can't buy many healthy snacks there - there is mostly candy, some nuts in the gift shop). Not a good selection.
-Nothing to do outside the resort. If you like to venture out, good luck with that.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24 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

Property: 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
#13 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Spa 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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