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Live from Excellence Punta Cana

Pennsylvania
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3,429 posts
6 reviews
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Live from Excellence Punta Cana

I arrived around 3pm on Tuesday December 26th. I used Seasons Transfers and, because I didn't check a bag and was out of the terminal within 10 minutes of the plane landing, my driver wasn't there yet. After a short wait and someone else calling him, I had a pleasant and quick 35 minute trip to the resort. I was here last year so knew what it looked like prior to the renovation and, at first blush, it looked the same. The furnishings in the lobby were different, but the big shock came when I entered the Club Lounge. One level with modern furniture, no more comfy leather chairs and sofas - definitely a downgrade in my book. I really liked the ambiance of the former Club. But with the new club restaurant/bar Magna, the Club doesn't serve the same purpose as it did before. Off to my room after about a 90 minute wait, during which I walked the property and got lunch at the Kitchen Table. The suite is very comfortable and very reminiscent of the Excellence El Carmen decor and design. I have started and album and uploaded just a handful of pictures of the room however I have many more photos to upload, which I will get to later today. I will also add much more information about the resort later today as well. But please feel free to post questions and ask for pictures of anything that you are interested in knowing about. I can say that the remodel is beautiful and the resort has kept a lot of the charm that has made people so happy for so many years. However, the restaurants have all been overhauled, as have the rooms. Check back for more photos.

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87 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

Enjoy your trip and thanks for the nice pics. -38 with the wind here this morning.... LOL.

Windsor, Ontario...
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2. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

Nice!!! Looks like they added the pool to the beach front suite.....I loved that corner room with the 2 big patio doors!! Have a blast Lovethesun!!!

Chris

Jackson,NJ
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183 reviews
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3. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

Have a great and relaxing time. How do you like the beach there? How does this resort compare to all the resorts you been to.

Pennsylvania
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3,429 posts
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4. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

I have added more pics and menus to my album, see the link in my original post.

Overall, I have to say I love the way the resort has an unobstructed ocean view and the breeze is so refreshing. So much of the main building hasn't changed - the lobby, Martini bar, Theater and outdoor restaurants are virtually unchanged. The interior of all of the restaurants have undergone significant transformations however the menus do seem to be very similar.

The beach seems to be much worse for the wear since my last trip in 2016. Some areas have 3 foot drop offs to the water which I don't remember being so severe last year. The seaweed is pretty bad but that happens in cycles so I am just hitting it at a bad time.

The pools are cold. My pool at my honeymoon suite gets no sun at all, nor does my deck. The water is freezing and I can't use the pool. Very unhappy to book a top of the line room and can't use the pool or sunbathe on my deck. They told me to use the main pool for tanning and swimming, which really ticked me off. If I wanted to shlep my stuff to the main pool every day, I would have booked a cheaper room category and not splurged to indulge myself by actually tanning on my own patio/deck and swimming in my own pool. I won't book this category again. Total waste of money.

Food so far has been good to very good. Service has been very poor to very good. I have been to Excellence owned properties 13 times and so far have found the service here, on this trip, to be the worst I have experienced. But tomorrow is a new day and I am optimistic and hopeful that it gets better.

Jackson,NJ
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5. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

Hope it gets better. Let us know.

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47 posts
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6. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

I'm Sorry to hear about the disappointing service and room related issues. I truly hope the vacation turns out well for you.

I am set to visit for the first time in April so I appreciate your review and pictures!

I have a few questions if you don't mind answering -

Are the master suite rooms finished or still being renovated? I haven't heard much about that room category.

Which pools seem to be the most crowded? Is the towel game being played and if so at which pools is it a problem?

Are their any live bands or entertainment during the day? Or just at night?

Which restaurants have the best food and service?

Thanks again for your insight and have a great time!

Pennsylvania
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7. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

I asked about the Master Suites and was told the are all located in Building 5 and are all complete. I couldn’t get in to take pictures as they are all occupied.

As for restaurants and service/food - I have had good service at All restaurants and really can’t rate one restaurant over the other, so far. I do think the supervisor at Magna, Yoel, is a standout. I have had breakfast at Magna every morning. Great service and the bar there makes a killer spicy Bloody Caesar.

The padded loungers at the EC Pool are at a premium. The layout isn’t the best because they are smashed against each other in a long row, which puts you right up against your neighbor. And they all share huge umbrellas, which creates problems when one person wants shade and their neighbor wants sun. Not a good layout in my opinion. Around the rest of the resort are plenty of shaded loungers and padded beds - everywhere!

I also learned that there are a select number of EC rooms for repeat guests at the other end of the resort in buildings 8 and 10 for those who prefer that end of the resort.

I will upload pics of those today.

Edited: 29 December 2017, 14:14
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8. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

Great information Lovethesun. I appreciate your taking the time to respond:) I'm doing a quick mother-daughter trip and master suites are the only double bed rooms.

That's too bad about the loungers being smashed together:(

Having been to the Dominican several times and Mexico including EPM I am aware the food is not nearly as good. I always adjust expectations when going to Punta Cana for that reason.

Enjoy!

Urbandale, Iowa
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9. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

Thanks for posting all of the pictures. I love them!

I'm assuming the Club part of the beach has been moved down by the pool is that correct? Also are there still beds on the beach like they had before?

Pennsylvania
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10. Re: Live from Excellence Punta Cana

There is a Club Section in front of the Club pool (Buildings 1, 2, 3) I will have to take a walk down to the other end of the beach and see if they still have a Club section down there.

There are tons of beds, very nice ones actually, scattered all over the beach You can choose an elevated, padded bed with adjustable back or a mesh lounger. The downside to the big beds, which are made for two people, is that they are placed in pairs under HUGE palapas, so you "may" have to share palapa when it is busy.

Occupancy right now is 60% resort-wide and almost booked solid in Excellence Club.

Because there are just so many beds and loungers, with tons of shade, throughout the resort, I don't see a need to book EC to increase you chance of getting shade.

I have added a few more pictures.

Random thought about the furniture:

When Finest Playa Mujeres was being built and they published artist renderings of the decor and furniture, people shouted "it looks like IKEA" and when I arrived shortly after Grand Opening, I wasn't thrilled. The furniture looked unstable and cheap AND uncomfortable. It was true in some instances. Then they built Excellence El Carmen and the modern furniture trend continued - less "IKEA'ish" looking but in many cases still pretty uncomfortable. I think they finally got it right with this remodeled property. The furniture is still modern and, in some cases, really funky but I have yet to sit on anything that is uncomfortable or left grooves on the back of my legs or left me feeling like it was going to tip over. I really like the furniture with the remodel. And the bed is probably the most comfortable bed I have slept on outside of my own bedroom.

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