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“We loved Secrets!”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Birmingham, UK
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“We loved Secrets!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2005

My boyfriend and I spent 3 glorious weeks at Secrets in June, here is our review – I will be as honest as possible!!

Weather

After reading all the awful reports in the weeks leading up to our holiday we went with the attitude that if it rains it rains and we weren’t going to let it ruin our holiday! Luckily out of the 21 days we were there, there was only 2 days where it rained, yes there were some overcast days but it still didn’t stop us sunbathing or swimming and you can still get a wonderful tan through the clouds. We also had a couple of nights of spectacular thunderstorms – I have never seen rain like it! Overall the weather was fine.

Trip from/to the Airport

Luckily travelling with Thomson from the UK we had a private taxi transfer with wonderful air conditioning from the airport. The roads were really bad on our journey to secrets. The potholes were huge and the journey took just over an hour. I wouldn’t have like to be on one of the huge buses and there is no way the driver would have been able to avoid the potholes like the taxi could.
We did notice through on the way back though that some of the road had been resurfaced in the time we were away so I would say another few weeks and the road would be much better. No need to get stressed though just sit back and relax and watch the world go by.

There is the option of having a helicopter transfer which is around $135 but we couldn’t justify that amount of money!

Room

On arrival at the hotel our bags were taken off us and bought up to the room about 5 minutes after we got in. Our room was 6209. We liked the location of building 6 in that it was close to the bars, restaurants etc. We had a corner room with the cathedral ceiling and yes the room is probably a little warmer than the lower floors, but for the ceiling and the view we had we wouldn’t have changed the room. We looked over the main gardens in front of the reception with the mountains in the background. We also looked over the drive where the workers walked up every morning so it was nice to just sit and watch the world go by.

We tipped the maid a couple of dollars each day and left a note with a couple of dollars for the mini bar man and we always got exactly what we asked for.

Food

Thjs was one thing that really worried us with being away from 3 weeks – would we get bored of the food. A short answer no! I suppose if we did have to pick a bad meal it would be the lunchtime buffet. The menu was changed everyday, but as it was a buffet it wasn’t as piping hot but that is buffet food for you.

We ate in all the restaurants in the evening (except seafood) and had lovely food. My boyfriend had a couple of steaks in the steak house which were a bit fatty, but I am sure if we had sent them back we would have had new ones. Mine were all fabulous.

We read a lot of complaints about room service on this site. We used it loads and every meal was piping hot and cames in approx 30 mins. The longest we did have to wait was for pizza about 45 mins but it was 2am. Maybe because building 6 is right next to the kitchens we didn’t have the same problems some people seemed to have with room service.

Alcohol

We never had any problems getting branded liquors at any of the bars even the pool one! If you specifically ask for branded you will get it if you don’t you will just have the local stuff!

Say hi to Franklin in the lobby bar when you go – he is the one employee that stuck in our mind and we tipped him $20 before we left as he looked after us so well.

Towels

Luckily the times we went for fresh beach towels we had no problems obtaining them but we did see many people ending up with none as the huts had run out.

Also remember the pace of life is totally different over there, if it takes 10 minutes to get a drink – so what, just sit back relax and chill out. We heard a lot of people moaning that the drink service was taking too long, the food was taking too long. You are on your holidays, we have enough stressing in our everyday lives without doing the same when on holiday!!

Being from the UK, I did feel very out numbered by the Americans and not tarring everyone with the same brush I did notice many being very rude to the local workers. Just because we have more money and a better quality of life doesn’t mean these people are any less than us. How much does a “please” and “thankyou” cost?

Overall we had a wonderful holiday and felt very relaxed and well looked after. These people value their jobs at the hotel and nothing is too much hassle for them to do for you. Everyone greets you with a “hola” and a “thankyou” is returned with “it’s a pleasure” and I do believe it was genuine.

We would definitely go back and if you would like any further information loopyloo338@hotmail.com

  • Stayed June 2005
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55 Thank loopyloo33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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madison, WI
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2005

It has been ten days since we have been home and I waited to write this review because since I've written three already in the last two years I really wanted to express my feelings in the best way possible. My wife and I went to Secrets in October of 03' and loved it. We were to go back in Oct of 04' but the Hurricane hit so we went to the new Secrets in Mexico and loved it but it just was not Punta Cana. We even were bringing our friend to come with us. So for our annervirsy this June we went with my in-laws because we wanted to share the resort with others. I could sit here and tell you how pretty the resort is and how good the food is but you can read my other reviews best ever oct 03; or from this march. I want to tell you that the reason that we love secrets PuntaCana so much and why it was better than Mexico Secrets was the people. Ivan, Jorge, Luis, Jennifer, Mercedes and Ledonines along with Anna Marie the Chief concierge MADE OUR VACATION. Friendly faces "how are you Mr.. Vega", the message on our phone everyday from Jennifer asking if everything was perfect really is the reason that we go back to Secrets every time and WILL only spend our vacation money @ Secrets resorts and Secrets Punta Cana. The Excellence club is worth the money, and in fact anyone who does not think so did not take advantage of the upgraded services. Feel free to email me if you are going and debating the excellence club and I will tell you how to enjoy your vacation better with it... Two things that happened were really special to my wife and I...first upon arrival in our room was a note with champagne from Emilio the GM and all it said was "welcome home". The second was In the Excellence club one night I ran into Rafael Cordova the rooms Division Manager and he asked me about my stay in Mexico @ secrets and I told him about Ruben Riviera who made our stay there special and he said that Ruben was his good friend and he would tell him hello for us. He also asked if I had any suggestions on how the stay in both Punta Cana and Mexico could be better......he cared not only for my opinions and also for his resorts and that is something you will not get at Sandals or Iberostar's...we know...we have stayed at them. On one of our last days I was in the lobby and saw Mr.. Huhn and I was going to thank him for everthing his staff did for us and I noticed something he was talking to some empolyes with a smile on his face and laughing. This is contagous throughout the resort from the General Manager all the way to the Bellmen and maid staff. Location, weather, food, drinks makes a Vacation enjoyable....but a caring staff makes a vaction special.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
27 Thank mvega
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2005

Let me begin by saying that this trip was an early celebration of our 17th wedding anniversary. We had previously stayed at other all-inclusives in Jamaica, and were extremely satisfied.

First the positives. The grounds and the rooms were beautiful. There was plenty of space and we never felt crowded either on the beach or at the pool. Also, for the most part, the restaurants were very high quality. As for our room, the maid staff was exceptional! Our room was spotless everyday and all amenities restocked.

Also, the beach was a blast! For all the people who complain about the waves, they were great to go boogie-boarding on. You can't do that on calm water!

Unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positives.

* Upon our arrival, our room was not ready. This wasn’t too bad by itself since our transportation from the airport did arrive early. However, every time I went back to the desk when I was told to, I was repeatedly told, “Just 15 more minutes. Just 15 more minutes." This continued until almost 4:00 p.m..

*When we did get to our “swim-out” suite, we were disappointed to discover that “swim-out” simply meant poolside. We were led to believe from the literature from Secrets Excellence that we would actually have a somewhat private path to the pool from our room. For this, we gladly paid the extra charges. I was disappointed to learn that our room was only five feet from the pool deck. This left us with absolutely no privacy on our patio.

* While I realize I was a guest in a Spanish-speaking county, at the risk of sounding like a snobbish American, my wife and I found the language barrier a significant problem. While we had learned some fundamental Spanish phrases, we found it difficult to be understood at the front desk as well as the restaurants, bars and gift shops. If Secrets Excellence is positioning itself as a world-class luxury resort, I think there needs to be more of an emphasis on English, which, based on our other travels, is almost a universal language.

* On our first night, we discovered that all of the pools close at 6:00 p.m.! When we asked why, we were given the weak excuse that is the time that chemicals are added to the pool. As an “adults only” resort for “a romantic getaway for couples that want a different kind of vacation,” I would have expected the pools to stay open much later to foster a more “romantic” and festive atmosphere. In fact, had we know that the pools close so early, we may have rethought our decision to go to Secrets Excellence.

* Most of the bars we encountered were woefully understaffed. There might be 30 – 40 customers with only one bartender on duty. While the bartenders usually tried their best, they simply couldn’t keep up. At one point however, when there were two bartenders on duty, we noticed that they were more interested in speaking to each other than helping us. We soon discovered however, that those who tipped the bartender received faster service. (Interesting occurrence in an “all inclusive” resort)

* On the subject of bars, frequently, no matter which bar we went to, when we ordered an alcoholic drink (Coco Loco, Pina Colada, etc.), we had to ask for the appropriate liquor! Imagine that! Also, some of the bar areas (especially the one on the main plaza) smelled like there was a garbage pit nearby. Very unappealing!

* On the subject of tipping, we were made to feel that tipping is expected. Without it, we found that service was slow and the hospitality seemed “forced” and not genuine. Don’t get me wrong – I understand that poverty is rampant in the Dominican Republic and that a few American dollars here and there can mean a lot to some people. However, we paid a lot of money to be in an “all inclusive” resort to avoid the whole tipping scene.

* When it came to food, for the most part, lunch and dinner were excellent. However, many times at breakfast, food that was supposed to be hot was simply warm, and food that was supposed to be cold was only cool.

* As a general observation, all day long, the maintenance staff, room cleaning staff and restaurant staff was wheeling supplies, dirty laundry, etc., all over the place. There was no attempt to be discrete about this. In my previous travels, I have never seen a hotel or resort so callous about these kinds of things. It was almost like the staff was in training but not quite “hitting it.”

* Lastly, I was disappointed in the necessity to “bargain” with the on-site gift shops. This is something I expected from the outside merchants that came to the resort, but not from the resort itself. I understand in many cultures, it is common to negotiate a price. However, I felt that I should be immune from this by the resort-owned, on-site shops. I couldn’t negotiate the price of my stay, so why should I negotiate the price of a cigar?

I guess the true evaluation of any experience – whether it’s a vacation or dinner at a restaurant – is if you’d do it again. In the case of Secrets Excellence, I would not. I do not plan on ever returning there

  • Stayed June 2005
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Helpful?
24 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2005

We were married at Secrets Excellence Resort on June 20, 2005. Like many, I had read several reviews of various resorts and therefore had some anxiety, but our wedding at Secrets was everything I had hoped for and more. Romantic, beautiful, intimate, easy, and fun! The atmosphere was amazing, as was our wedding. My simple opinion, along with everyone in our group of 15, is that the resort in its entirety is wonderful! If you are considering Punta Cana, general feedback and comparisons from others we talked or listened to (excursions, airports, locals, etc.) seemed to think Secrets is the best resort in the Dominican. Should any bride- or groom-to-be or any vacationer have questions, feel free to email me.

  • Stayed June 2005
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Helpful?
16 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the Secrets in the middle of June. I had read the reviews that were posted on this website and made sure to check out the website provided by the hotel. I loved the pictures that were provided by the hotel's website. In reading the reviews, I became very excited about the trip and could not wait to go. In addition, friends were just at the Secrets in Riveria Maya and loved it.

The arrival is not that bad. The 10 dollars wasn't a shock to me because I had already read the reviews. It was a shock to a couple that we knew on the trip. The ride to the hotel is bumpy but it can be lived with. Be prepared for a long ride. They saw 60 minutes but I think it was more like 90 minutes. It is very secluded.

The rooms were very nice. They were cleaned and tidied up twice a day with pull down service. It took them a day or so to refill the wet bar in the room. There are no snacks in the wet bar (not even a candy bar) so bring some along. The store on the strip has some snacks but very expensive.

The bed is horrible and was the worst nights sleep every night while we were there. It is very hard. It gives the illusion of sleeping on the floor. Horrible.

I suggest the room with the swim out to the pool. This was the best part of the trip. It was nice to just walk out of the room and into the pool. We did not have to fight the crowds that grew over at the main pool. It was very hot down there now.

Food- this was the let down. We did not look forward to eating at all. Breakfast may be the only good meal that was provided. But not too mention things were left out long. Some of the food in the buffet was cold. Dinners were much to be desired. We were expecting great food. The steaks were very, very tough. That is an understatement. The portions are small and was a little problem for my husband. The hamburgers were rough and dry and almost tasted like a veggie burger. They were not good at all. we were to have a beach party that the whole staff said would be at 7:00 and it never occurred. There is a dress code for a couple of the restaurants. Service is friendly but extremely slow. The only snacks that can be served are over in the main pool. They variety of foods is not well mixed with the type of customer that they are serving at the hotel.

The employees are very nice and friendly. Language is a major barrier.

Overall, a very relaxing place to visit. Be sure not to drink the water and gather a lot of bottled water.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2005

Secrets Excellence is beautiful, breath-taking, grand, serene, all that good stuff. My husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary at this tropical paradise. If our satisfaction depended solely on the beauty of the grounds, I would end my review here. Period.

However, food and service are significant as well. The food in summary: Not good. In all fairness, the resort has several restaurants spanning a wide range of ethnic flairs (i.e. Asian, Dominican, Italian, etc.) So, I give them an A for variety. If you were to ask me how each restaurant was? Not good. I have lived both in and around New York City all of my life, and I maintain that NYC has the best food in the world. So perhaps you should consider my food rating to be from a food snob. But wait, I eat airplane food and frozen dinners without complaint! Here is another translation for "not good" - hard to find something you rave about, but easy to find lots of food to satisfy your appetite. And apply the all-inclusive aspect to the alcohol, and yahoo, baby, can we say liquid diet on the beach in lieu of lunch? Bring me another cocoloco (served in a coconut) por favor!

We quickly got into the habit of saying "Gracias" instead of "Thank You." I think that's because of our initial amusement of hearing "It is a pleasure." The workers not only say that, they seem to really mean it. They appreciate the Americans' effort in speaking Spanish. I found the majority of workers I encountered to be courteous, friendly, and quite simply in a good mood. That positive attitude is important to me and my husband. If we heard of a luxurious resort/hotel with rude workers, the hint of rudeness would probably deter us from visiting. Coming from NYC, we fully appreciate the value of warmth and sincerity from strangers. Their demeanor is quite welcoming and refreshing.

If you're waiting for the "but" part to the service, here it is: It took me 3 days to get a working scale in the room. The one that was in the room when we arrived was broken. Three phone calls later, they brought me another one. Broken again (or dead batteries). A couple phone calls later, I finally got a working one. This is nothing vacation-ruining, but there were other flaws in what is supposed to be 5-star service. For example, we paid for the upgraded excellence club and were told that we would have beach towels in our room so that we would not have to go to the pool to get them. Three of our six days there, they did not bring us towels. Not a huge deal, but slightly annoying that they talk up this beach towel service, and do not deliver. Here's another: horse-back riding was supposed to be included in our anniversary package. But it was booked (3 days in a row), so we did not get to go. Not getting to go wasn't as bad as not receiving a phone call after being told that they would try to get a couple more horses and let us know. We called back after a couple of days; their lack of follow-up on this was disappointing.

The rooms were very nice, ask for a third floor room, the views to the ocean are obviously better, and there are cathedral ceilings in the top floor rooms. The brochures/website talk up their swimout suites. These were good for social people who don't mind a little of the traffic. Some people would rather be in the mix, walk right out, jump into the pool, have some cocktails with people at the pool bar. I would have liked that 10 years ago. Now, however, we are in our mid-thirties and a little more mellow. I guess not that mellow if you consider that we went to the night club one night to watch a beer-drinking contest, which was pretty funny.

I would describe the age range here as mostly 20s and 30s. There were plenty of couples aged 40s-60s peppered in the mix. If you are 50 reading this, don't let the young people discourage you, we're everywhere really. This is not a spring break wild and crazy place.

The nightly entertainment was okay. Don't expect broadway caliber here. Do expect fun-loving lively games, audience participation, and Dominican locals who love to entertain, and you will not be disappointed. The 10 pm nightly show became our routine after our nightly 8 pm dinner at the different restaurants.

If you are thinking of paying for the Excellence Club, it all comes down to internet access. If you prefer to stay connected to the world, splurge. I checked my email everyday, went onto cnn.com for five minutes each day, and appreciated the newspaper delivery to our room as well. There are other amenities included (robes, slippers, beach towels in the room), but if budget is a consideration, and you don't care to check your email, you're probably okay without paying for this service.

So in summary, here's what we did everyday: Yoga/Gym, Beach, Lunch, More Beach, Pool Bar, Mini Nap/Freshen Up, Dinner, Nightly Show. It sounds so simple, and it is. Simply beautiful. If you are a beach person, you must go for that alone.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank NewlySuburbanized
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2005

We stayed at the SEPC resort from June 10-18. First day or two was rainy (due to tail of tropical storm) then it was clear sailing from there. We are going back next May no matter what.

My husband and I were both equally enamored of the resort. The staff and the beauty of the resort made it so.

FOOD:
I never could finish my meal or my dessert and he could not either. He is over 200 pounds with a voracious appetite and could not believe that he was never hungry. In fact, as much as we ate (eggs, bacon, toast, fruit, rolls, juice, and coffee for breakfast and a bite for lunch and a large dinner) we both lost weight from being so active in the ocean.

At the Texas steakhouse we loved the 16-ounce prime rib, mashed potatoes, and veal chop. The waiters are wonderful at this place. Such professionalism. Please tip them something (we did $5 - $10 at each restaurant). They are fabulous and extremely thankful. We sat near a table with four people making demands left and right of a waiter. The waiter worked so hard for these people and they didn’t leave a tip at all. Come on. Are you really going to miss a few dollars when it could make or break their day? Tips are not required, but how could you not want to?

Loved the Oriental restaurant (Madame Butterfly). The chef is truly awesome. Loved the soup, Philadelphia sushi, main course (chicken and vegetables) and the dessert buffet was to die for. Lots of miniature tartlets, chocolate truffles, homemade ice creams, kiwi tart, cakes, cheesecakes, fresh fruits to go with assortment of cheeses. We asked for hot tea with our meal and were pleasantly surprised with an orange spice tea that you steep yourself. One pot is for one person.

At the Dominican restaurant (which shares the building with the Mexican) the goat fricassee is scrumptious! It takes like a very tender beef. It melts in your mouth. Please try it.

The French restaurant. Ditto to what everyone else says about it. Men – wear long pants. Ladies – bring something nice to wear.

The Room Service was surprisingly great. Food was presented beautifully. In fact, the orange juice for breakfast WAS fresh squeezed. If it were going to take more than 30 minutes, we would receive a call and be told that it was on its way. Tip the waiter. He deserves it. He has a long walk in the heat and carries the tray on one hand and the table in the other. When you are finished call room service again to tell them that you are finished and they will pick up the dishes. Don’t just sit them outside your door and hope they will pick them up sometime. The dishes will attract ants and other insects. If you don’t want to deal with calling room service the second time, cover your plates with the cloth napkins they provide (leave on your table in your room) and your maid will take care of them when she cleans your room the next day.


COFFEE/TEA
Just a note to those that prefer non-dairy creamer in your coffee. It is a good idea to bring packets or a small container of non-dairy creamer from home. They provide you with some Coffeemate packets in your room and packets of Equal. I do not use Equal (gives me headaches) but prefer Sweet-N-Low or Splenda. Bring the Sweet-N-Low or Splenda with you because you won’t find any on the resort. When we had dessert after dinner each night, we asked for coffee and I learned to slip a few packs of Coffeemate and Sweet-N-Low in my evening purse. They usually only had milk (leche) for their coffee at the restaurants. Their coffee is much stronger than I am used to and no milk could help.

If you want teabags in your room that do not have chamomile in them (those people allergic to ragweed) you may want to bring some from home. Just throw a few of your favorite teabags in your luggage. Those who want to make coffee or hot tea in your room, make sure you use the bottled water from your room. If you don’t have enough, call room service and ask for several of the larger bottles of water.


AIRPORT
We arrived late at the airport on our first night, so it was basically empty. The experience was not that bad compared to other reviews. Ladies: If you have long hair, bring a clip to put it up while you wait in line for your Visa’s (you will have to fill one out and then stand in line for it to be looked at and paid for). It isn’t HOT as much as it is humid. Forget a lot of makeup and jewelry and just dress cool and comfortable and you won’t mind the wait that much. While in line, we enjoyed visiting with those around us to find out which resort they were going to.


ROOM
Our first night was in a Garden View room. The Garden View rooms have robes and slippers also. Even without being an Excellence Club member. We didn’t like the comforter, so we asked the maid to bring one that didn’t smell like smoke. Tipped her five dollars and she gave us towel art and rose petals along with extra stuff. How great was that?!

We wanted to upgrade to a third floor ocean view room when we arrived, but the place was at 100% capacity. Eddy at the front desk said in a day or so, we would be able to upgrade. He kept his word and after two days, a third floor ocean view was available and we moved there. How unbelievably beautiful the view was. We also decided to become members of the Excellence Club. Truly glad we did. My husband loved it! Just a note for those who are not for sure if they want to spend extra money for an ocean view: It is a matter of preference because the rooms are all pretty much the same. Just the view is different. Unless of course you have a honeymoon or master suite.


FRONT DESK
Eddy at the front desk worked diligently to get us in our ocean view as soon as possible. If you do not go Excellence Club, Eddy at the front desk is so sweet and speaks English very well. Tell him The Neeley’s from Missouri recommended him. He will work extra hard to make your stay memorable and insure that you will want to come back to Secrets.


EXCELLENCE CLUB
Ivan and Jennifer were great, but our favorite was Luiz. Ivan wasn’t there for three days of our stay, so Luiz took care of our requests. Jennifer (from Canada) is a doll and the two waiters upstairs in the lounge are wonderful. Santos goes to school, works two jobs and is studying information technology. What a go-getter. The other waiter is great also. Very sweet, just a little more quiet.

Those who complain about the food setting out all day. Come on. Do any of you eat fast food restaurants in the U.S.? I can guarantee the food that is available in the Club is much healthier than anything you will eat at a fast food place in the U.S. Who cares if the fruit isn’t on ice? Wasn’t it grown in the heat? Rather than dish on the elaborate fare (that the staff works so hard to prepare in a beautiful manner) think about how hard they work to present you with the best they have. Give me a break. If you don’t like it, go to the Bella Italia restaurant for lunch and eat their wonderful buffet.

We even tipped the Excellence Club staff when we made special requests and they tried not to accept just to be professional. However, they have bills to pay too. We observed many guests treating these wonderful people so shoddy at times and I was truly embarrassed and felt sorry for them. They would never complain though.


OCEAN:
We brought a floating device from home and used it on the waves in the ocean (took both of us to hold it down) and it was a blast. We then saw other people doing the same thing. I guess it took idiots like us to show the others it was just too much fun to resist. No need for shoes on the beach or in the ocean. We drank a lot of water rather than a lot of alcohol when we were on the beach.

A beach bag is great if you haven’t decided whether to bring one or not. We threw our beach towels, couple of books, two waters, two insulated cups we brought from home (in case we wanted something from the bar) sunscreen, a few dollars for tips, and a camera. We left our bag with our chairs, which had towels on them, and took a long walk on the beach. The bag was safe and sound when we came back. Just a hint on beach bags: Woven bags are pretty, but sand can get in through the bottom. The plastic or jelly beach bags are a good choice for the beach.


SPANISH
Some Websites that may be helpful for Spanish phrases are listed below. Print your favorite pages and take with you. If you can’t sayit, just show them on paper.

http://www.musicalspanish.com/TravelGuide.htm

http://www.dr1.com/travel/prepare/phrases.shtml

http://www.lingualearn.co.uk/learners/sp/phrases.htm (with audio examples)

http://www.learn4good.com/kids/learning_spanish_online/interactive_flash_lessons_for_children/phrases.htm (with audio examples)

http://www.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/spanish.html and
http://www.debbiesdominicantravel.com/spanish.html

http://www.allaboutmexico.com/spanishphrases.pdf


CALLING CARDS
I bought four calling cards at the passport office that are international calling cards. They didn’t work from D.R. so, instead, I gave family back home the calling card access numbers and had them call us daily at a certain time when we would be in our room in order that it wouldn’t cost us an arm and a leg to communicate. The E-mail in the club was helpful with communication as well.


CLOTHING
Ladies you should bring a couple of travel skirts (Coldwater Creek, etc.) or reversible skirts, nice tank tops and nice sandals for dining at the restaurants. Khaki pants and lightweight button downs for the men with one pair of closed toe leather sandals for men would be recommended for dining in restaurants. Ladies, bring one strapless bra. If you get sunburned on your shoulders, you will not want to wear a regular bra. If you don’t want to pack a lot, use the hotel laundry and dry cleaning service. It is very professional and affordable.


FIRST TIME TRAVELERS
Don’t buy black luggage. Everyone and their brother has black luggage. We noticed that when the luggage on the belt in the airport was waiting to be claimed, everyone around us looked stressed because they couldn’t tell their own from someone else’s. We use TravelGear’s green ballistic nylon luggage. It is wonderful. Tumi, TravelPro, Briggs & Riley, and American Tourister are other good choices. Look at http://www.ebags.com/ to get an idea on what you may like or can afford.

Travel Advice and Tips:
http://www.roadandtravel.com/airlines/airlinerules.htm
http://travel.state.gov/
http://www.lookingforadventure.com/traveladvice.htm

Vacation Checklist:
http://www.visitob.com/vaca_checklist/check_print.htm


MISCELLANEOUS
We were not bothered by one bug or mosquito. Loved every single iota of the place. We are counting the days until our return next year.

Be kind and courteous to the staff and they will go out of their way to work hard for you.

Bring plenty of cash (the safe in the room is digital – you set your own pass code) and leave it in the safe. That way, if you shop with any of the vendors at the end of the beach (we liked Leo in hut #4) or the evening vendors at the resort, you can buy what you want and not worry about where to get more cash with your credit card of travelers checks (which some do not take).

The charter flights are horrible. We are flying commercial next time. This has nothing to do with the resort. Just a sidenote.

Go and have a great time! You will LOVE IT!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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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
#9 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 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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