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“Excellence is Excelente!!!”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Excellence is Excelente!!!”
Reviewed June 26, 2010

My wife and I just got back from Excellence Punta Cana earlier this week and we already want to go back. We went in mid-June for our 6 year anniversary and it was perfect.

We were there for 11 days and the weather was beautiful. We only had one day where it rained for most of the day. Other than that, blue skies and sunshine. It did rain most nights, but it usually was really late at night (like 2AM-3AM late). Couldn’t be happier with the weather.

The beach and waves were nothing like some people have warned about. The water is really shallow for a good ways out, and I’ve seen bigger waves at the Jersey shore. We had a blast boogie boarding and playing around in the crystal blue/green water. The red flags were up most of the time, but I think they leave them up more to cover their butts on liability. The water wasn’t bad at all.

Mosquitoes were practically non-existent. We didn’t need the bug spray at all except for one evening. The one day that it had rained for most of the day we got a few bites hanging out at the sports bar that night. As soon as we sprayed a little DEET on ourselves the 2 or 3 mosquitoes we did notice left us alone.

The food was amazing at most of the restaurants, especially at Agave and Toscana. The Pizza and nachos at the beach grill were excellent as well. I pretty much mainlined Presidente and Coco Locos for the entire trip. It was wonderful. All the other drinks they offered were great as well. I especially like the Palmera Tropical. On our last day I asked one of the bartenders for the recipe. It was still early in the morning an no one was at the bar, so not only did he give me the recipe, he also let me come around to the other side and make in on my own. When you visit the Dominican Republic, don't forget to enjoy some of the mamajuana. It's great stuff.

The property was beautiful and very well maintained. It was also the perfect size. Big enough that you could find a nice quite romantic spot anywhere anytime, but also plenty of activities and fun stuff going on throughout the day and evening. We also did one excursion. We did the dune buggy tour. It was a blast, but bring clothes your willing to get dirty and don't forget a bandana fro your face (the mud does fly everywhere.

Special thanks to flipflop_man for his advice and recommendations on rooms. We stayed in Building 10, room 10105. It was an Excellence Club Excellence Suite Room, on the second floor, with the wrap-around balcony. It arguably may be the best room at the resort. They balcony looked out over the pool and the Ocean, and was angled just right to give a nice view of the property as well. We prefer a balcony room over a ground floor room because we didn’t have to worry about leaving the sliding door open or the drapes closed. Ground floor by the pool sacrifices a lot of privacy, and who want to keep their drapes closed all the time and miss out on the beautiful view. Building 7 is also part of the Excellence Club, but the Excellence Suite Rooms there are right next to the Pool Bar. I love the Pool Bar, but it got really crowded at time and really noisy. I wouldn’t want a room next to it. So if you do choose to do the Excellence Club (any room type), ask for building 10 over building 7.

Santiago is the best! Santiago along with Ines and Carlos, where the crew at the Excellence Club Beach Area. Anything my wife or I needed, they took care of us. THey were all wonderful. But even more than just taking care of our vacation needs, they were great people. It was really nice to have a friendly face to talk to. If you guys read this, thanks for making our vacation truly wonderful, and best of luck Santiago in all your future endeavors. Remember, if you're dedicated enough, you can do anything.

Finally, I got to say thanks to Franklin from the Water Sports Center. He helped me get PADI Open Water Certified and finally fulfill a long overdue promise to a good friend who is no long with us. So thank you.

If anybody has any questions about my trip, feel free to PM me.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Liam1694u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
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Leicestershire,
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2010

We returned from the Excellence 2 days ago after a great 2 weeks there. We were at the Excellence Riviera Cancun december 2009 which was amazing, and hoped we would not be disappointed, we need not have worried, despite this being cheaper the standards are still as high. We didn't have a swim up this time, but asked for an upper floor room overlooking the Cascade pool, which we had, it was lovely. The restaurants all served fantastic food, the waiters all very knowledable and helpfull the Spice, French, and Itaian our favourited. We loved the food served at lunch times on the beach always freshly cooked and tasty.
As a treat my husband booked a surprise helicopter trip for me, it was worth every penny, we also went on the quad bike tour, great fun despite getting soaked through!
the entertainment each evening was good and varied.
as it is on the Atlantic the waves are big enough to have some serious fun with. The gardens are very well kept and well worth walking around.
any negatives? (apart from an increased waistline!) While there were plenty of sun beds, a few more with sun shades would be good, though we had both on the beach every day.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank fe06vya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, U.K.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2010

My wife and I travelled with First Choice to the resort . We were picked up by taxi and had an interesting high speed taxi ride . Much better than a coach but a little tough on the nerves. The Excellence was a lovely resort but it does pay to take heed of other reviews . We ate at the Lobster House early on in the holiday . This restaurant is by one of the pools and we were eaten alive by the mosquitoes. The rest of the week we were covered in repellent when venturing out in the evening . Most restaurants have no air conditioning or even ceiling fans . We found this made sitting to eat a meal a hot and sweaty experience especially the first week when the humidity was higher.
All in all the resort was very spacious and restaurants were well laid out and did not have that crammed in feeling of other all ins. The beach is excellent , expansive and it is easy to get away from the busy bar/grill areas which attract the louder element such as there is in an adult only resort. We would certainly come again and will also try the Excellence in Mexico.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mickolube
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ATL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2010

My wife and I have stayed at several resorts and I must say the service was very good. We have stayed at several Sandals and Iberostar resorts in the past and the Excellence could have ranked up there with them if they do some upgrades to the resort. The pool was very nice and spacious but we spent most of our time in the ocean. We decided to stay in the ocean because in noticed that I was the only one drinking at the swimup bar getting out of the pool to use the restroom. I saw people at the swimup bar all day everyday drinking and never leaving the pool to use the restroom.

The food was very good my favorite was Spice. The other places had good food as well but they were so hot and humid you couldnt enjoy your meal.

The gym was very nice and spacious I spent alot of time there.

We upgraded to the excellence package and for me it was worth it because we has unlimited access to the internet and Spa.

Would I return probably not because there are newer resorts that we would like to try but overall the staff and the resort as a whole did a very good job.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank WillSterr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jasper, ga usa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2010

Well, this was my first trip to the dom. rep. I chose this resort because of the premium liquors it uses and all inclusive adults only. I was very, very impressed. The food was absolutely, hands down, world class. There are 7 or 8 restaurants and each one outdid the other. I never had one bad meal while there. I ate 2 lobsters one night and they were begging me to eat more. Our room was a garden view top floor and had a huge tub. The view was the best I've ever had. The air conditioning was pathetic, however. I called maintenance and it never got better. This was a huge turn off to this resort.

The worst thing about this place was the number of large groups of people that were there together. I was expecting a sleepy couples place with no groups (4 or more people). The groups were die hard, redneck, classless americans getting a drunk as they could. With that came the obnoxious behavior, loud shouting and whoo hoos that accompany americans and liquor. It made the trip less than perfect. I am so embarassed for our country's image.

Even worse was the dress codes that went unenforced. The restaurants at night all required long pants for men and nice dresses for ladies. Many nights there were drunk americans wearing their shorts, flip flops and ball caps acting like they owned the place. If a resort demands a dress code, enforce it! I sweat myrear end off every night in every restaurant. And the staff didn't imnsist they leave either, and that really got to me.

The resort had very inadequate fans in public ares and no air conditioning in the restaurants. But the place and food were so, so good, it really didn't matter to me.

The bars got crowded in the evening and everyone wanted goofy fruity complicated drinks. It took a long time to get drinks at time, and I felt that was a bad thing.

I loved the trip, but would not return due to the terrible fans in public ares and horrible room and restaurant air conditioning. My next trip will not allow weddings. That is what brought the groups I think.

Best pool I've ever seen!

Americans, show some class!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank donttravelalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overland Park, Kansas
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 23, 2010

My husband and I are from Kansas City and we got married in September of 09. We decided to wait until it got cold (December 09) in KC to go on our Honeymoon, and it was worth the wait. KC was in the 30's and DR was in the 80's, amazing weather.
The ride from the airport was a little long, 1 hour, but no big deal. When we arrived we received our glass of Champaign and had to wait a bit for our room, but we were extremely hungry, so we ate lunch and the room was ready as soon as we were done eating.
The hotel was beautiful. There were so many restaurants that we didn't even get to enjoy all of them. I have no complaints about the food, it was amazing. I will admit, I did gain some weight on that trip. The staff was all very nice and they seemed to want to do everything to make you happy.
We did an excursion off the grounds (which they have many options for), it was snorkeling and swimming with the sting rays, not worth the money. Where they took you there was not much to see underwater and overall we just wanted to get back to the hotel.
The shows at night were great. My husband and I were picked for the couples show and won a dinner on the beach. That was our best dinner there, so if you have to pay for it, I would recommend it.
The beds were not the most comfortable, we met some people who took the cushions from the lay out chairs and out them under their sheets.
The mini bar was always stocked, which was good for a drink while getting ready to go out.
There were many souvenir shops, but beware of the people trying to drag you in. I wish it would have been closer to a city so we could explore some more, but it was too far from where we were.
Overall, we had an amazing trip and do not regret where we stayed for our Honeymoon.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dhager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2010

We stayed here for a little less than a week. The resort is breathtakingly gorgeous - probably the most beautiful I've ever seen and I have traveled all over - Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. The rooms are beautiful too and very spacious. Some reviewers have said the rooms were dated but I did not find that at all. HOWEVER, the rooms have a suffocatingly musty/mildewy smell. If you open the balcony door to let the room air out, the air conditioning turns off so you have a choice - a cold smelly room or a warm/hot not so smelly-but-not-fresh-air smell-either room. When I got home, all of the clothes packed in my suitcase smelled musty/mildewy like the room and I had to wash everything - even the stuff I did not wear.

Anyhoo - onto other subjects. The beach is spacious and gorgeous! There are tons of chairs and space on the beach. The pool is huge and out of this world - the nicest pool I have ever seen. I could lay on that beach forever.

I have read different comments about the food here and this is how I'll break it down: If you're from the midwest/south and eat at average restaurants or restaurants that serve buffets and/or consider Red Lobster to be a "nice" restaurant, then the food here will blow you away (not far away but . . . still). If you don't like buffets and consider a good steak to come from a restaurant like Ruth Chris or Mortons, then you may vomit in your mouth a little everytime you eat at one of the restaurants at the resort. I have been on six cruises and can honestly say that cruise food is better. It would be okay if the food was this average and there were other restaurants in the vicinity but you are an HOUR away from anything else - no stores, restaurants, gas stations, mini marts - anything! - seriously, this is not an exaggeration. Which brings me to another issue - flies - there are tons of them! Probably because this is the only place with food within 70 miles! The poor flies - I wish they had a better selection.

Now the drinks are AWESOME - they keep them coming steadily, don't skimp on the liquor and there is a literally a bar around every corner. Also, the entertainment is great - the staff really tries hard in this area.

People have also said the service was excellent - I found it to be just average. No one was rude or anything but I have found other hotels and cruise staff to be more bend-over-backwards-types as far as pleasing guests. I got an "hola" every now and then from the staff but never more than that.

Would I return??? Probably not - would want a place with non-smelly rooms and better food on the premises or better food nearby. However, for people who don't usually eat out much or are not familiar with quality food, this is a good deal if your room doesn't smell.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank missing_nawlins
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 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family 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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