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“Good but not great for the money”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
northampton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Good but not great for the money”
Reviewed March 3, 2006

This is by no means a condemnation of Secrets; in fact there was much that was good about the place. But having travelled at least 6-8 times to the D.R. before, and 1/2 a dozen times to other Caribbean all-inclusives, all for less money, I was underwhelmed in a couple of areas. Of course, what's important to me may be inconsequential to you, and vice versa. Frankly, I was disappointed in the food. While the steak house, the seafood place, and the French restaurant were all good for evening dining, I found the buffet for lunch and breakfast most unimpressive: the pastries and desserts were the stock D.R. offerings, the breads and cereals a notch below what I've experienced elsewhere. Yes, the woman you're with will be escorted to her table on the arm of the maitre d', but I'd rather have less show and more food quality. To be honest, I only tried the 3 restaurants I named, plus the mediocre Italian...but I heard from others that the Mexican and Dominican offerings were poor. I did enjoy the convenience of being able to show up at any restaurant without the need for reservations. Provided one didn't eat during the prime 6:45 to 7:30 time slots, I never had more than a 10 minute wait for a table. On to the beach. While it isn't white sand, this beach is superior to most any in Punta Cana: if you like to walk, you can go a 1/4 mile or more in either direction without encountering development. I loved the water, but be advised this is the Atlantic, and there was considerable surf each day I was there, and for the past 5 weeks at least. If you like body surfing or you're game to try boogie boarding (they're free at the water sports shop) you'll love these waters;if you want calm and gentle, this ain't your spot. There are, however, a couple of great, long swimming pools, very clean, very good for a long swim. Likewise, if you want to snorkel, you can try a sheltered area to the right of the main beach but you're not going to find much... you'll have to pay for a day trip if you want to do real snorkelling. Beach service and access to chairs was top notch; we were almost always able to find chairs and a shaded place to spend beach time, and bear in mind that we were there during ZPresidents Week, when the hotel was full. My room was large, clean, and tastefully done. The bed was huge, the veranda pleasant. I did find noise from the beach loudspeakers occasionally intrusive, so if you're noise sensitive, pick a room far removed from the action. Speaking of action, there's a casino, but don't expect Harrah's Club: a roulette wheel, 3 blackjack tables, Caribbean Poker, no craps table. Stay away from the weird Keno game...I heard rumours from more than one person that it may be crooked. If you do play, tell the dealer to slow down and SHOW you the number on the ball before tossing it back into the barrel. And read the instruction booklet BEFORE you play. Finally, if you're a tennis player, like I am, by all means bring a racquet, but don't expect much from the courts. They've let them go (not what you'd expect from a 5 star hotel). The courts have a hard clay base, but a layer of sand/grit on top; very uneven bounces, and terrible on the baseline and at the net for solid footing. That's it. My girlfriend and I had a very good time here. Hope this review is helpful to some.

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26 Thank richwynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3,526)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 3, 2006

I wanted to give my group (employees) the best vacation they have ever had. Mission accomplished. The best beach I have ever seen. The Ocean was spectacular,clear and warm with some heavy waves. The Red flags flew all week on the beach so we did not venture far from shore. We spent our beach time at the north end where it was a little quieter and lounges and shades where more readilly available. Both pools were "Excellente". Frustrating getting shade or day beds around the pool. These were highjacked by the early risers who threw towels and book on them and then claimed them for the entire day. This would work out if some people were less selfish and considered the other guests. I watched several of these beds for some time in the heat of the afternoon, several were not used for the whole afternoon. Maybe if they took there towels and book with them when they moved on other guests could have the use of them. Service was the best, prompt and friendly. When your said thank you the response was allways "It's my pleasure" The restaurant staff had a cute habit of taking the ladies arms when being led to your table. The rooms were great and room service and make-up were perfect. Any problems were prompty and happily taken care of.
Here is my advise. Relax, enjoy,slow down,try some Spanish, try the pasta bar for lunch,try the pool pizza for a snack,try all the restaurants,use #30 to #45 sun screen, stay out off the sun between 12.00 noon and four pm. There are no ATM's and the locals dont use credit cards. Use U.S.$$$ I will return.
Tony

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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39 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 1, 2006

We went to Secrets with 3 other couples and had a blast. No complaints at all. We've been to a few Sandals resorts and this is much better.
My favorite part was the beautiful beds all around the main pool. I'm not kidding, beds under a thatched hut or trellis. So I basically stayed in bed all week unless I was eating. Wow!!
The food was excellent, especially at the Bordeux and the Oceana. The Italian was good too. Did not like the Mexican restaurant but it was entertaining.
We took alot of coloring books and crayons for the maids which they loved. The 4 guys went on a dune buggy excursion one day through the very poor villages and handed out a bag of toys that I brought with me(think McDonald's) to the children. Half of them don't even have any clothes. They just loved it, and we wished that we'd brought a ton more. Next time we will.
Hot tip--take about 100 dollar bills! It helps!!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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35 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 28, 2006

my husband and i just got back from our not so excellent vacation! the hotel was nice,the food was not good.the wait for the better restaurants were 1h
to 1h 1/2! the staff was ok. get up nice and early to get a chair anywhere! stay out of the casions do i have to say any more. oh my husband and i came back from our vacation sick! just wanted to add,when we arrived at the hotel we were put in the wrong room we had to wait till the next night to get another room! very disappointed! not worth the extra $

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5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 27, 2006

My husband and I went to Secrets Excellence, Punta Cana for our honey moon. It was a surprise. I didn't know anything about it or even where I was going until I got there. The only way I can describe this place is by comparing it to a dream. Who says dreams can't come true. During our stay we were treated like Kings and Queens. The entertainment was great. The view was paradise! Everyday was like being a celeberty, especially since we were staying at the Excellence club. They were very friendly aimed to please you. I can't wait for my husband to surprise me again with Secrets Excellence, Punta Cana!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 27, 2006

I went to Secrets with my fiance last July. The plane ride was very long which was uncomfortable. We didnt have to wait long at the airport. The drive in the mini bus to the resort was also long. I'd say about a hour. The roads are very bumpy and everything looks very poor and rundown. At first I was like what is going on. But once those gates open up and you enter the resort, its like paradise. The hotel lobby is open so you see all kinds of pretty birds walking around the lobby. The staff were very friendly the entire time. Our room was perfect. Everything looked new. We had a swim up suite, which was perfect. You just step out on your patio and you can enter the pool. The beach was beautiful. There are tons of activities to do. I recommend taking the boat out to go snorkling. We saw pretty fish and baby sharks and sting rays. Take a underwater camera! The water is crystal clear! I couldn't believe it. The food was average. Mostly everything tasted different and be prepared for the bugs...they will eat you alive. They do have a pill you can take at the front desk to keep them away from you. I'd advise you to take lots of $1 to tip. The more you tip the faster you get what you want. Also there is a nice casino (which my man stayed in every night). They also have a nice nightclub where they play all different kind of music. One thing the ladies have to do is pay to have a massage. I was so relaxed I thought I was going to pass out after it was over.
I would go back there again. This place is perfect for couples. This is a all adult resort. So no kids! It was more than worth it!

  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 25, 2006

We went here on our honeymoon. It was fantastic! Everything was beautiful. The workers were very friendly and helpful(one bartender even bought me a english-spanish dictionary) everything was clean. The pools were beautiful. We had our pictures taken by Miguel Pumerejo "Painted Pictures" they were unbelievable he took at least 200 pictures ,we had 10 pictures "painted" yes, it cost us 800 dollars but let me tell you they are the most beautiful pictures i have ever seen in my life! the only thing i can say i wasn"t thrilled with was the food. It was kind of bland. But I will definitely go back to this place eventually. It was wonderful ,FIVE STARS...your money will not be wasted.!!

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 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
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 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Top resorts 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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