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“WOW!! Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
usa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“WOW!! Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful”
Reviewed February 15, 2007

My husband and I needed to get away and this place was perfect! So relaxing, beautiful resort, friendly people, wonderful restaurants, magnificent grounds and outrageous pool! What more can you ask for? The rooms were nice too. Yes, there were some downsides but a place cannot be perfect... Here are the downsides.... There were a few bugs in our room (that didn't really bother me as we were in a tropical third world country). The drive to and from was 1 hour and very bumpy (you just have to deal and be prepared). The ocean was rough and very breezy (just know that is how it is, if you don't like that, don't go here). That is all I can say for the downsides. I like nice things, good food and nice people and they have all that at Excellence. I stayed mostly at the pool on the float. There is limited shopping.. If you prefer to haggle with the locals you can go to the beach (facing the water) and turn left. Just passed the resort are the local huts. Bargain with them.. They aren't too bad. They all sell the same stuff. We were there for the Super Bowl and everyone kept telling us we would miss it.... But Excellence put a big screen on the beach, a BBQ, and a ton of chairs and the whole resort was there watching! They did a great job. They really go above and beyond. I would hight recommend this resort. I also brought a suitcase full of school supplies... I donated them to dominicantaxi.com. I left them at the front desk and called Rafael when I got there. It is a great thing to do when you go to a third world county.

  • Liked — The resort
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank mikkeler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
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  • Service
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  • Value
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  • Cleanliness
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New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2007

A very nice resort, but they have much work to do.
There was not any one large thing wrong at any given time, but there was what seemed to be an endless list of small details that were always overlooked.
There was no coffee in the room. The mini bar was a couple of sodas and beers. No candy, snacks or booze. There was no remote in the room. The screens on the doors were the wrong size and did not slide. The shower was slow to drain, if at all. There was no snorkeling on site so we took a one hour drive, (they told us it would be 1/2 hour) on a horrible road to snorkle. This was through GO GO tours.
The horse back riding was 1 hr 20 minutes away so we declined. This was a bit of an issue. The resort is the last one in the line along the coast, so if you want to do something like fish, snorkel, parsail etc., you were on a bus over the worst roads I have seen. Because of this, the staff does a great job of trying to keep you busy with activities, albeit time fillers, all day long.
The water was very rough, which we were warned about, but it really was not condusive to swimming.
While we did not experience any wait times to get in to any restaraunt, they definitely move on DR time. It always took 45 minutes to be served dinner after we ordered. The food was OK as is the case in all inclusives that I have stayed in.
The people were very nice and helpful, but they were always dealing with some problem and never seemed to get ahead.
Booze was EVERYWHERE. This is usually the case, but it was from 8 AM till 3 AM.
The spa was the best I have seen. A must do if you never have been. The casino was small and only there so they can say they have one.
All in all it was a good trip, but I will give them 8 - 10 years to get the roads done and the place cleaned up before I return. At the 5 star prices they charge, they don't quite cut muster.

RJF
New Jersey

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
8 Thank RJFVT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebago, Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2007

We've just returned from a wonderful week at Excellence Punta Cana (Feb 4 - 11). I'm sorry that I was so concerned prior to going after having read some of the poor reviews. It is obvious that there must have been a lack of responsibility with the previous management just before they turned over the ownership because we found everything to be wonderful.

We purchased our transport from the airport and back thru Orbitz who provided us with Coco Tours. We did not wait a single minute once we reported to the tour desk at the airport that we were there. We were driven directly to Excellence with just one other couple. The ride was about 50 minutes due to the condition of the roads, but it really was no big deal at all. We were relaxed and enjoyed seeing some of the countryside. Our return trip was even easier, if that was possible. The transport arrived early and we were the only 2 people they brought to the airport that morning so don't worry, just relax and enjoy the ride.

We were greeted immediately and escorted to the front desk, given a friendly "Welcome Home", glass of champagne and a cool towel. Check-in was a breeze and we were off to our room in a matter of 10 minutes from the time we stepped out of the van. We did not upgrade to the Excellence Club and I feel confident that we made the right decision as I can't imagine that the extra amenities were of that much value.

We reserved a swim up room and had room number 1001 on the corner overlooking the cascade pool. The only "negative" I could possibly have was the musty odor in the room, but it was no different than I've encountered in Florida and other Caribbean islands due to the humidity, and cement buildings. The room was spotless, absolutely no bugs whatsoever. I did come armed with some scented candles and Frebreeze. We kept our slider open for extended periods of time, which also helped. I just loved this pool area. It was quiet with plenty of chaise lounges, floaties, its own bar and a very comfortable zone for those females choosing to sunbath topless. We left a $2 tip daily for the cleaning service and were treated to some very cute towel arrangements. After a day or so my husband started leaving them towel arrangements and theirs would become more and more elaborate. We were making a game of it placing dollar bills folded into hats on top of the swans, etc. Our room was turned down each evening with chocolates the last 3 evenings as a special treat.

All of the food was excellent. There were no issues of getting sick. The only restaurant we didn't get to try was Agave. We enjoyed every meal, the wine was plentiful and quite good. I was amazed that they would keep coming around and refilling your glass after about 3 sips. Beware....it's hard to keep track of just how much you've had to drink when your glass never sees the bottom. It was nice in the afternoon when the wait staff came by with pizza and just handed you an entire boxed pizza hot from the oven. You certainly wouldn't go hungry laying out by the pool or the beach even if you were too relaxed to get up to get yourself something.

I did not find anyone "expecting" a tip, but they were quite grateful when you offered one. We gave out about $75 total in tips throughout the week.

We didn't take advantage of the Spa or the Casino so I can't comment on either. It just seemed like we had plenty to do and never took the time to explore them. Maybe next visit.

The drinks were good and if you didn't feel they were strong enough then simply ask and they'll provide you with as much alcohol as you please. The only downfall was that they did not seem to understand how to make a Martini. So if you're a lover of them I would suggest you get them at the Martini bar only and even then it was sometimes iffy. For instance, my husband, on several occasions ordered a Bombay Martini, extra dry, straight up with olives. 4 out of 5 times he would get Bombay poured over ice with a lemon, no Vermouth or olive and they didn't understand what straight up means. So be very, very specific in how you want it made.

The nightly entertainment was entertaining. They weren't Broadway shows, but that wasn't what I expected either.

I loved the fact that the ocean was rough with lots of waves to play in. It was great exercise and if we wanted to swim we just used the pools for that, which were fabulous. I guess some people would be disappointed at the lack of snorkeling or sailing, but it didn't bother us. I couldn't wait to have my daily romp in the waves.

I would highly recommend this resort in all aspects. It is relaxing, pretty quiet, well groomed and beautiful. We would certainly make a return trip in the future.

  • Liked — Food, pool, beautiful grounds, beach
  • Disliked — musty room odor
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank MaineDlb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Wolf, PA
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2007

We were at Excellence, Punta Cana from Jan 19-26.
We loved it!!! After reading MANY reviews, we cannot believe that anyone would find things to complain about.
We were extremely pleased as it did not rain at all...every day was beautiful (some days there were clouds, but most days it was a brilliant blue sky). The water was rougher the beginning of our trip (when it was windier) but it became very calm toward the end of our stay and we would go out and enjoy the clear, blue, warm water.(knowing that back in PA it was snowy and cold!)

There were drinks flowing all day, plenty of food that we found very good! You could lay by the pool, walk on the beach, go on an excursion, relax in your room/jacuzzi, boogie board and swim in the water, go to dinner and enjoy a show every night (Michael Jackson was the best show!), or go dancing at the disco (11pm-2am) - we had a very relaxing and jammed pack week.

We did appreciate all the info and pictures to prepare ourselves for this trip. We are in our 30's and found many younger and older couples - it varied greatly - and we made many friends.

We arrived at 6pm and had to wait for our room (about an hour) but we went over to the lobby bar and had our 1st of many drinks - Apple Martini followed by a bottle of Presidente (DR beer!) :)
Here we met Reesha & Mike from NYC!! HI GUYS! Thanks for welcoming us to Excellence, Punta Cana!

We also met Dominick & Jen (from NY), Bryan & Kristen (from Seattle, WA), Kelly & Brian (From Canada) - thanks for all the fun memories that helped make our trip so enjoyable.

We tried out the jacuzzi a few times, order room service (pizza is very good), got lounge chairs by the pool (sunned and kept cool here), walked to the beach in the afternoon to check out the daily 12:30pm lunch being made right on the beach (you never had to leave the sun), met friends at the pool bar for afternoon drinks (see many listed below), and eventually would head back to get ready for dinner. We found if we went to dinner earlier in the night (6:30/7pm) there was really no wait. Later at night there would be waiting, but drinks kept you busy! :)

We tried the Coco Locos (don't drink too many or the coconut will make you visit the bathroom), Sammy Sosa's (Strawberry Daiquri, Pina Coloda, and blue liqueor), Miami Vices (Pina Colada and Strawberry), Mai Tais, Presidente bottled beer was very good!

I am a mosquito (bug bite magnet) and bragged earlier in the week that I had not gotten any - but it was breezier the first half of our trip...so i chose not to use bug spray (dumb me!) By our last 3 days I started to break out with itchy bites...so be sure to use the spray (mainly at night)

Yes, Nancy in Shack 6 is so easy to deal with - on the beach - walk left and a few steps off the resort you will see the shacks up on the beach. Adan is shack #4 and he will let you smoke a cigar while you shop.
(the vendors they bring to the resort plaza throughout the week will hassle you and it is not as enjoyable to shop with them)

We took about $150-$200 in ones to tip (bartenders, maids, meal servers) and I think it was very appreciated.

There is so much more to say...if you would like to know anything you can email us at johnyb3690@aol.com.
We highly recommend this resort and appreciate the hard work and excellent attitudes of everyone that worked there....they always were EXCELLENTE! and that made us feel the same!

MINDY & JOHNNY
You can view more pictures of our trip at
[----]www.flickr.com/photos/22823937@N00/

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
30 Thank Fritzs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2007

Stayed at Excellence Feb. 6-10th. Booked an early flight and flew Delta direct from jfk. Arranged for ground transportion as part of a package deal. Met up with driver, waited about 10 mins. for the other couples and off we went. The ride to the hotel took about an hour. We stopped at two hotels along the way to drop off passengers. The ride back to the airport was shorter as we made no stops along the way. Both trips were made at midday with no traffic. There are many potholes along the way so be patient. I didn't mind the ride at all. I enjoyed the scenery along the way and chatted with the other couples . Save the $400 for your next trip. Upon arrival we were greeted with a warm "welcome home" and a cool towel followed by a glass of champange. We declined the offer to upgrade and were glad we did. Our garden view room was charming. After unpacking we put on our suits, got poolside and had our first of many cocktails. The pools are stunning. The rafts are lovely. The beach is beautiful. It is wide and long. You can walk for miles in either direction. The water is a beautiful turquoise blue. There are plenty of lounge chairs everywhere. The ocean is very strong. Enjoy the waves! The food was very good. Our favorites were Chez Isabelle and Agave. Plenty to choose from at breakfast. Be adventurous, try new things. The shows were entertaining. Don't miss the Michael Jackson show. The people that work at the hotel are dedicated to making your stay the best that it can be. Each day the hotel grows on you more and more. It is very relaxing. Best for a relaxing couples getaway. Five nights is perfect. If you want a great all inclusive in the carribean go to Excellence. You won't be disappointed.

  • Liked — Pool, beach, dining choices, superior service.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
18 Thank sueZcue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2007

As promised the physical plant and grounds are stunning and the staff delightful-you catch the rthym of the facility quickly--we had gorgeous weather and would roam from beach to one of the multiple pools and back again-food is good for this type of travel-pointers-do bring tip money-a hundred or more in ones goes a long way-be prepared for a long and jostling ride out -1 hr and 10 min.--but somewhat of a an island tour--downside-after a few days it becomes like bill murrays ground hog day-with little to do but read, lie in the sun and drink-but thats what i was looking for-a euro couple we spoke with were there for 2 weeks and couldn't wait to break out-limit yourself to one week or less--we will definitely be back

  • Liked — beautiful physical plant
  • Disliked — lousy internet access
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank Tuckerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, SK
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2007

We stayed at the Excellence Punta Cana from Feb. 1-8 and loved every minute! Our luggage arrived promptly and a Signature Rep. was waiting for us to direct us to our air conditioned van that took us and one other couple to the resort. As others have written the ride to the resort is long...not long in km or miles but because the roads are such poor shape and there can be a lot of traffic congestion in areas it does take about an hour. We did enjoy the scenery along the way but were surprised by the amount of garbage along the roads. Excellence P.C. is the farthest hotel but it is well worth the wait!!

We arrived and were given a glass of champagne and were in our room within about 10 minutes of arriving as we were the only ones checking in at that time. We were told we had a garden view room (the basic) but were happy to see it had a view of the pool bar and a partial ocean view (that you would have otherwise had to pay $90 US extra per night). We were in building 6 and in room 6103 if you are interested in requesting it for the basic room. We had jacuzzi tub (never used it), stocked mini-bar and a king size bed. The building was adjacent to the Grill, Lobster house, main pool and Toscana/Lobby. Very centrally located.

We are not pool people and really don't understand the concept of hanging around a pool when it is scorching and the ocean and a nice breeze are only a few more steps away. The beach was long, beautiful with plenty of cushioned beach loungers and palpalas. Lots of shade from palm trees too if for some reason you can't find a palpala.

The ocean is definitley not calm and lots of waves for body surfing and boogie boarding. the flags were always red the whole time we were there, but people would wade in anyway and didn't seem to be a problem if you used common sense and didn't go in too far. We would always go to the far right of the beach as there was always a yellow flag and the waves were lighter and easier to swim in. You could still boogie board and as I'm not the strongest swimmer this area of the beach was more suited to me.

You can walk to the right of the resort along the beach and get to Sirenis resort in about 10-15 min. They have a little more shopping there so if you are interested in buying souvenirs make sure to go there as well. Excellence has shopping both on the resort and off (to the left of the beach area). Nancy in hut 5 is the girl to talk to as she is fluent in english after having lived in Montreal and doesn't play bargaining games. She gives you the best prices.

We ate so well while we were there! We have been to Cuba twice and the Bahamas once before and by far this was the best food ever in an AI resort. there are 7 a la cartes (no dinner buffet at all actually) that DO NOT require reservations! We only had to wait once for the French (Chez Isabelle) and that was about 8pm. Generally we went for dinner around 7pm. We never ate at Barcelona (mediteranean) but did all of the others and in order o preference they are:
Chez Isabelle (French)- ate there twice, have the french onion soup appy. Amazing food and by far the best!
Mexican (Agave)
Spice (Asian)
The Grill
Toscana (italian)
Lobster HOuse

We went to Saona Island one day and it was a beautiful paradise. It was very overcrowded though. The beach was awesome and the water was calm however lots of rocks on the bottom so it kind of hurt your feet. We only stopped at the natural swimming pool to see the starfish for about 15 min. which was disappointing. A long bus ride to get there and a long van ride for us to meet the bus as we were the farthest resort. i'd give that excursion about a 3.5/5. maybe the caribbean festival where you snorkel and swim with nurse sharks and stingrays would have been better. We did see a sting ray when we were in the natural swimming pool looking for starfish (only saw 2 and they said there would be lots...)

We would definitely go back to Punta Cana and moreover would likely not try another resort there as we liked this one so much. I can't believe there was such negativity however this may have been before the new owners took possesion. We loved it here and highly recommend it!!!

  • Liked — beach, food
  • Disliked — length of time it took to get there
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
28 Thank shawneex
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 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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