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“Absolutley AMAZING”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #19 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Maple Ridge, B.C
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Absolutley AMAZING”
Reviewed 8 January 2008

My husband and I travel a great deal - and this two week vacation was truly amazing. We were blown away be the hotel, the room, pools, staff etc.

When we arrived we were escorted to the "Excellence Check in" (an extra charge but worth every penny!) Roberto checked us in - and was the most efficient, courteous and friendly person. During check in, the staff grabbed us some ice cold beer so we start our vacation right away - again - during the check in!! Roberto remembered our names and would address us at any location in the hotel - nice touch.

The food was really good - and enjoyed the champagne and OJ every morning - nice treat! Loved the French restaruant.

99% of the staff were absolutely great - and provided excellent service. It was very easy to be served beverages (we've been to lots of places where it's been quite the struggle - definately not here).

The one "must do" thing you "have to do" is the Lobster Dinner on the Beach. Truly beautiful...with surprises included. - Again - a must do.

We would definately go back to this hotel - (provided we can leave our daughter at home!) :-)

  • Liked — the jacuzzi tub and location - rooms were amazing - four poster bed etc.
  • Disliked — it was all perfect
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
16 Thank Angela-Randy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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SC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2008

First let me thank all the other reviewers for commenting on this site. We found it extremely helpful in picking our HoneyMoon destination!

Excellence is a jewel! We were treated like royalty through out our stay and Excellence really surpassed our expectations. If you are going for romance, this is the place. It's beautiful!

Our stay began on Nov 11 2007 and lasted through the 18th. We upgraded to the club level. Glad we did as we didn't upgrade to the HoneMoon Package but were GIVEN room 7204-private balcony-6 person hot tub-1 hour couples massage-Private dinner on the beach-champane breakfeast in bed. Unreal!! After it was said and done, we would have upgraded to the HoneyMoon Package rather than the Club Level..but the club people really treated us well. Leave the room and when you came back it was cleaned and ready.

As is said all throughout the reviews-take repellent with deet! Especially if you are wanting to spend time on the beach at night. Don't buy it there, $15 for a small tube.

True, the resort is out in the middle of nowhere, but we were Honeymooning so WHO CARES. The ride really isn't that bad, you are going to paradise so make the most of the ride.

We thought the food was Awsome with the exception of The Lobster House..that was actually awful! French, Asian, and Mediteranian all great at night. The French Resturaunt was the only one we had to wait for at all. Buffets have a very nice selection all the time.

The drinks are very good. If you want something, ask for it. The Sammy Sosa with a little 151..Aaahhhh...nice!

We spent a couple of evenings after the shows in the disco. Interesting place that really relys on the employees to get folks up and going. The pajama party was a good time.

The beach is beautiful although the ocean will kick your butt so be careful! We had no issue with getting a spot on the beach or at the pool. The little canopies are a nice break from a scorching heat.

Have fun, and remember, you're in a third world country and you are going to make the experiance whatever you want it to be. Ours was unforgettable and we can't wait to go back.

  • Liked — Wanting for nothing
  • Disliked — The Lobster House
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank DarrelLem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
british columbia canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2008

My wife and I stayed at Excellence Punta Cana December 4-18, 2007. This was our fourth adult only all-inclusive, we have stayed at two Sandals resorts (St. Lucia and Cuba) and loved both of them and the Eldorado Royale near Playa Del Carmen which we also enjoyed. We have also traveled to the South Pacific, Europe and other US destinations, we feel we have realistic expectations for all resorts we visit and always go in open minded the only must is it has to be adults only, so let's get started. I will break this down into arrival /room, restaurants, pool & beach, service and staff, misc. and try not be to long.

Arrival & Rooms(s)

We arrived in Punta Cana a little bit later than expected about one hour, we immediately boarded our shuttle and were off to the Excellence, as all reviews have stated the drive is at least one hour with very poor roads our experience was the same. Upon our arrival we were greeted with Champagne and were checked in very quickly with the one other couple on our shuttle. Our first room was in building 1, room number 1014, this is a garden view room which is what we paid for, the problem with this block of rooms is it looks at a large concrete wall which is the backside of the Casino and Chez Izabelle. That being said before the concrete wall there is a nice garden so we did not complain, as this is what we paid for. We stayed in room 1014 for the first 4 nights and on our fifth day we received a phone call from Edward at the front desk asking if we wanted to move as he was told we weren't happy with our room. We never complained to any employee about our room so we are not sure how this happened we have some ideas but nothing for sure. Anyway we moved one floor up still in building 1 to room 1101 now overlooking the beautiful Cascade pool, the room lay out was the same but the view was 100 times better, this is where we stayed for the remainder of our vacation. The maid service was excellent in both rooms although the times varied from day to day but that never bothered us.

Restaurants

We tried all restaurants except Agave as neither one of us are huge fans of Mexican cuisine, we spoke to others who raved about Agave but again we never tried it. We went to Spice (Asian) 3 times for dinner each time it was wonderful and I highly recommend the Emperors fried rice and my wife enjoyed the Sushi and Mahi Mahi. We visited Chez Izabelle (French) twice for dinner and were equally impressed here we recommend the Portabello mushroom appetizer, the Duck and Lamb. We visited Barcelona Twice (Mediterranean) and this was also good the only disappointment was they were out of veal the entire two weeks we were there. We visited Toscana (Italian) twice my wife thoroughly enjoyed the Manicotti, I was not overly impressed with the food at Toscana. We visited the Lobster house twice for dinner and enjoyed the Lobster both times we met some people before hand that told us to order the lobster grilled instead of steamed, we did this and had an excellent meal both times. We visited The Grill twice for dinner, this restaurant is for meat lovers (like myself) I had an amazing Filet Mignon the only downfall was the gravy on top, my wife loved the vegetable tower.

Throughout our entire vacation we saw Victor the restaurant manager and the head Chef visiting all the restaurants ensuring the staff were providing the service that he expected. Victor came up to our table often asking about the food and service we always gave him an honest answer although we found the service exceptional for the most part. Chez Izabelle did close down for renovations half way through our vacation as they are moving Spice to the current Chez Izabelle location and Chez Izabelle is moving to the current Barcelona location. I am not sure what is happening to Barcelona. There are no reservations required at any of the restaurants.

Pool and Beach

The main pool winds through most of the resort near the beach, the pool and deck was always clean and never crowded, we never had any problems getting a lounger at either the pool or the beach. We actually found the resort to be very quiet, I asked the percentage capacity at the front desk and was informed the resort was at 65% as they currently had 3 buildings under renovation although we never noticed this taking place. The Cascade pool is a lot smaller but very peaceful, quiet and relaxing, this pool was also very clean.

Service and Staff

As I said earlier we have been to 2 Sandals Resorts and although we tried not to compare The Excellence to the Sandals resorts it was inevitable. I have had two great experiences at Sandals and thought there service was great well here is where Excellence has Sandals beat hands down (in my opinion). Let's start with the food, beverage servers and the bartenders. Excellence offers poolside and beach cocktail service which Sandals does not and this service was impeccable, I normally don't mention names in my reviews but these people deserve the recognition. The greatest bartenders I have ever come across were Jose, Braulio, Benjamin and Kenny these guys were very entertaining and provided great service. The food and beverage servers that always brought us our food and drinks with a smile were Gremy, Christina, Ramona, AltaGracia, Yuly, Julia, Victor and the perfect poolside boy Felix. These people work very long hours for little money and they can only be described as amazing, there were many others but there names I can not recall. All the food/beverage staff bartenders were top notch and deserve a pat on the back, thank you all.

Entertainment Staff

Throughout our entire stay we raved about the food beverage staff, the other group that matched them was the entertainment staff. We recommend trying the games that the entertainment staff work very hard to organize, they also organize the "Ice Breaker" which occurs before the main entertainment at night usually around 9:30 PM. The main entertainment gets started around 10:00 PM with such shows as Michael Jackson, Chris Blizzard, Magic show and some other dance shows. Our two favorite shows were Michael Jackson and Chris Blizzard we did not enjoy the Magic show. We only missed one icebreaker as we enjoyed them so much. The entertainment staff are at the resort from 10:00 am until 1:00 am with two breaks throughout the day and always have a smile on there face even though they perform the same dances and games week after week. We became very close with some of the entertainment staff and when we left it felt like we were leaving true friends behind. The entertainment staff were amazing thank you very much Inez, Rey, Mariel, Julio, Jesus, Andres(we may see this guy on a stage someday), Franklin< Rosemarie and all the rest of you, sorry I can not recall all the names. I can not say enough about these people if you make any effort to get involved you will meet all these wonderful people and learn about them and their families. I hope Excellence Punta Cana management realizes the talent that they have in this particular area.

Misc.

There are bugs at the resort that like to hunt at night they never bothered me but my wife got bit quite a few times the first week but next to nothing the second week. There is a dress code at most restaurants for dinner and did see people get turned away for showing up in beach clothes and sandals. I think the dress code is a positive thing and was happy to see it enforced.

Conclusion

We rate the resort a four, we would have would have loved to give it a five but on a couple of occasions the food quality was just not there. The service was always a five or higher (if possible). If The Excellence Company wants to compete with Sandals I think all that is lacking is the food quality and this is only occasionally. Excellence Punta Cana does surpass Sandals in all service areas from food and beverage to entertainment staff. Again this is our opinion. If you have any questions please feel to free to email me at hevymud@hotmail.com

We have more photographs of the resort but I can not find them and my wife is not home(sorry).

Clay and Julie

  • Liked — Service and Staff
  • Disliked — Food was occasionally lacking quality
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank hevymud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2008

After going through several apple vacation brochures, fun jet brochures, and sandals brochures, my husband and I dedided to select Excellence Punta Cana as our destination for our long awhaited honeymoon. I was still hesitant since I had wanted to go somewhere to see crystal blue water and white sand. (It is beautiful water, the beach is georgeous) Although out of all the places I read up on here at trip advisor, Excellence Punta Cana by far got the best stars consistently. I would check it weekly...and was warned about the long rough ride from the airport,(it's really not that bad) the "ok" food, the prices in the gift shop being high ect... Let me tell you, I have a bad habit at looking at the negative side of things and this place proved me so wrong. If you are looking for an absolutely BEAUTIFUL, well-kept, friendly staff, and no hassle all-inclusive resort for a decent cost...this place is highly recommended. I won't go into every detail because I know these can get long, but wow...for both my husband and I the food was AMAZING... I couldn't get over how good it was!!! It is true certain resturants are closed each night- however they give you a nice little newletter each evening for the next days "drink of the day" resturants that will remain open and so on... its very helpful in planning your day/week. I had some of the BEST steak, breakfast food, and seafood (which I'm not usually a fan of)!!! Our room was in building 10 overlooking the ocean and we truely couldn't have asked for a better view. Yes, sometimes we came back at 3-4 in the afternoon and the room had not been cleaned up yet....but who hangs out in their room when its so beautiful outside anyways?... keep in mind the dominicans working there are working for almost NOTHING ALL DAY long!!!! cleaning room after room. We thought the staff was extrodinary. The drinks were phenominal, especially the coco-loco!!! Although we found that the day time drinks didn't appear to have nearly as much alcohol as the night time drinks they would serve during shows or dinners....The michael jackson show is GREAT. If you don't see any..the whole week, see the michael jackson show. If your offered to go on the Saona Island tour..GO..it is absolutely breathtaking in my opinion, but a very long day. Plan to be away from the resort from 7:30am-7:30pm. There was always enough towls and floaty's near the pool and always a "clean bed" to take a peaceful nap on whether on the beach or next to the pool. I will add some pictures soon, but truthfully I couldn't find anythign to complain about...oh except the prices in the "pharmacy" where you would get, contact lense cleaner, advil or bandaids..DON"T FORGET THIS STUFF. I had my contact lense cleaner thrown away at the airport because it was a liquid greater than 3 oz's...well I thought I'd buy a bottle at the resort.... it was $25 dollars..NO JOKE... but other than that EVERYTHING else made up for it and by the end of the trip I it was not a thought in my mind...we were so sad to leave.

  • Liked — The food and the beautiful accomodations
  • Disliked — the cost of the spa and gift shop
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
24 Thank tr0picalprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
1 review
Reviewed 6 January 2008

My friend and I visited the hotel from 12/25 to 12/30 of 2007. Please be aware of the fact that the hotel is geared almost completely toward adult couples, as it can be a little jarring if you come all the way down to the Caribbean downplaying that aspect. Regardless of this, the hotel is a nice, albeit standard oceanside 3-4 star property. General caveat: The hotel is an hour away (70 dollar cabfare) from most places of interest, such as the clubs and activities in Babaro.

ROOMS

The rooms are above average. Very good A/C in addition to a strong fan. Nice shower. Design is mediocre. The couples thing becomes a problem when you turn on the television and there's a set pornography channel - not classy, even for a place geared toward honeymooners and lovers.

SERVICE

By all accounts, the staff and people on the island could not be nicer. But life moves at a much slower pace here, and that comes through in the service. For example, the concierge really does not provide 4 star service. All four of them seem almost incapable of arranging the simplest of requests. I speak fluent Spanish and still found it difficult to get anything done. It's hard to disregard this since the hotel flaunts it's rating.

CASINO

About four tables and a few slot machines.

BARS

They don't water down drinks, but they don't make them all that well either. Some pretty lame bartenders with a limited knowledge of what they are supposed to be doing. Their kindness does make up for this in some ways.

DINING

Coming from New York, we obviously did not expect top cuisine at an all-inclusive island resort. However, some of the food here is simply inedible. The Lobster House, the sushi items at Spice, the dinner options at The Grill, and most of the room service items were downright miserable. Your best bets are the early evening poolside barbeque, Barcelona for dinner, and the lunch buffet at Toscana.

BEACH

MOST IMPORTANTLY, know that this beach is known for its rip tides. The waves are extremely strong, and we unfortunately saw the worst of that this trip.

Two guests of the hotel were swept up in a tide and drowned, one was not recovered.

To make a long story short, emergency personnel never made an appearance, the staff, including the hotel doctor, had no idea how to handle the situation. As a qualified medical professional I can outright say that the hotel physician was utterly incompetent, and simple ignorant when it came to emergency medicine. For about 20 minutes he neglected to inform the knowledgeable medical professionals, who were hotel guests attending to the patient, that the hotel had a medical area with emergency equipment. The sight of a hotel employee carrying a manual defibrillator down to the water, electrical cord in hard, gives you the image of how incompetent the staff is.

The hotel guests attending to the patient did everything they could, with the facilities they had, to revive this individual. Had these facilities been disclosed to the attending medical professionals earlier, the patients chances of survival could have increased.

In my opinion, had the hotel had proper lifeguards this tragedy could have easily been avoided.


If you are a couple, come down for a solid oceanside vacation. It won't be mind blowing.

If you are seeking a real 4-5 star vacation, look elsewhere.

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
Thank Paramedic192
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2008

My family went from Dec. 31- Jan 4.
We chose the option to be executive excellence club members.
BIG MISTAKE. It is not worth it. I saw no difference in treatment for us compared to the other visitors.
There were pros and cons. I will be VERY blunt in my review.
I'll try to break this down as simply as possible.

SERVICE:
* When you walk into the resort you will be greeted with a phrase "Hola welcome home," which I found cute. Service people smile a lot and are nice. Everyone seems like they want to accommodate your needs. However, most of the time they will say "ok" and then disappear. It will take quite some time to get what you've asked for. I was disappointed with their service. Seems like they need better management.

ROOMS:
* The rooms are exactly as pictured on their site. Every room is the same. Turn down service once a day, twice if you're lucky. They give you shampoo, conditioner toothbrush, q-tip, soap, shower cap, comb, sewing kit, iron board, iron, hair dryer, slippers, bath robes, wooden hangers, a small safe, etc.
The rooms are old fashioned, 'charming' would be the word.
You get TBS, TNT and such... good channels.
If you're bringing kids, beware! There is a XXX channel on the TV.
Our bed was not too sanitary. There were old (unwashable) stains on the sheets, they should throw those away instead of reusing them. We found a lizard, fleas, beetles, and ants in our room. The room does has a funky smell to it. Bring air freshener if you can. Room service is good, actually faster than eating at their restaurants.

MEALS:
* Similar to other reviewers, for New Years dinner we waited 3.5 hours for dinner. Our dinner was "quicker" than the others because we were too exhausted to stay for dessert. They ruined our new year's eve mood, and from what I saw at the other tables... a lot of people's new years eve mood was dampened that night.
* Every night was a challenge for dinner. Their "no reservations needed" policy makes it harder for you to eat dinner. Because there is no reservation, people wait in a line to eat. So you don't know how long it will take for you to be seated. Once you are seated, your orders will taken about 20-30 minutes after you've been seated. Service at restaurants are tremendously slow. Even the buffet lunch, there were so many empty tables but it took us 15 minutes to get seated. WHY??!
* Excellence claims they have 7 restaurants but what they failed to mention was that not all 7 open everyday. The French restaurant Chez Isabelle never opened while we were there. And some of other restaurants take turns using one room on different nights. If you're going to eat at the restaurants that are outside: "The Lobster House" or "The Grill" Make sure you've sprayed yourself with mosquito repellent. My family was eaten alive from eating at the Lobster House. Definitely bring itch cream, mosquito bites at night are inevitable there.
* Best meal and service was the dinner at the beach. It is extra $ but was worth the experience. It was the highlight of our stay there. Again, spray mosquito repellent.
* Overall, food was not great but edible. You can see that the chefs are trying but everything was way too salty.
* Free drinks 24/7 is the best part of the resort. Try everything. It's free! You'll never drink so much fruity drinks in your life. I don't drink alcohol, but still had bountiful virgin-versions to enjoy.

POOL
* The best pool I've seen in a long time. It's clean, not too crowded because it's so long. They have huts, tents, pool bar, chairs, and an on-site waiter to bring your drinks. The view from the pool is beautiful. You can see the ocean not too far from the pool. Pool is a plus here.

BEACH
* Did you know that the beach is not included? The sign on the beach says you have to be an Excellence Club Member to go to the beach. But don't fret. Nobody really checked to see if the beach go-ers were members or not. Beach is beautiful. Like a postcard. Do take at least 2 days to stay at the beach. It's very stunning and relaxing.

ACTIVITIES AT HOTEL
* They have program schedules everyday. But most of them are not successful. We waited for beach volleyball but since there were not enough people, it never happened.
Tennis courts are loose gravel, you have to sign in and save a time frame if you want to play.
* The site says you are given free half-hour horseback riding and such. But trust me, they won't call you up and make sure you do it. It seemed like they'd rather you forget about it. Why? Because not enough horses!
* Most program events were unsuccessful because it was not managed efficiently. They don't really initiate events.
* Casino is very small but it's an ok place to kill some time at night.
* Michael Jackson show was entertaining.

ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE HOTEL
* No local sites to see.
* Excellence told us that deep sea fishing would cost $150 per person. Then they changed the time and so gave us "discount" for $115 per person. When we got there we found out everyone else from other hotels paid $85 per person. Top it off, not too confident on how safe these excursions are. Boat engine was smoking, 3 of my family members got sea sick because the captain kept on driving aggressively and he wouldn't slow down when I asked, oh... and we never caught anything. These were not proper travel agency-based excursions. It's like the hotel just made arrangements with some local fishermen to take us. I did not like how they disregarded the safety and welfare of my family.

I don't know if its a economic thing but everyone is trying to rip you off there. If you try to buy jewelry or anything from the townspeople, haggle your way aggressively. I mean it! They wanted me to buy a marble chess set for $105, I talked them into giving it to me plus two small marble turtle statues for $65. They are very aggressive in approaching you. So beware and remain strong!

This resort has potential but unless management shapes up, they are going to barely survive by relying on their beach, pool, and free drinks. There were not too many visitors there, I can only imagine the chaos if the hotel was ever fully booked. They seemed to have difficulty running it half-capacity. With all the extra charges and high priced rates...if you think about it...the "free drinks"and "free food" are not really free.

Would I go back? Not unless someone else pays for it.
To me, it's not worth my hard-earned money.

It's not the worst, but definitely not Excellence.

  • Liked — Beach - Pool
  • Disliked — Service - Food
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
22 Thank NY_Sarah_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2008

This was our second stay at this hotel as we loved it so much the first time on our honeymoon in 2005. Since then it has changed hands (used to be Secrets Excellence).

The room was beautiful, cleaned everyday with lovely big, soft bathrobes and slipper supplied. Turndown service came two/three times a day. We asked for a first floor room as being on the ground floor meant people walking by your room at all times of the day and also the risk of little bugs and lizards getting in your room!

Room service was better than expected - came within 20 minutes of ordering! and the food was lovely.

The service was great overall and staff were helpful at all times. Entertainment was brilliant however it the same every week (we went for 2 weeks - 19/12/07-02/01/08 - and so ended up watching the same shows twice).

Bar staff were all amazingly attentive, with special thanks to Benjamin, Jose and Pablo.

Entertainment staff were always around trying to encourage you to play games and make your stay extra fun (only if you want to though). Ines, Julio, Luciano, Franklin were all lovely people and great fun.

The restaurants were all great, the Grill, Lobster House, Toscana and Spice were all our favourites; all had excellent menus and quality dishes. Barcelona and Agave were okay...the food was brilliant however service was a lot slower there.

We went on two excursions: Catalina Island ($90 per person) - with Franklin and Happy Harry from the diving shack on the beach. The trip was so much fun we would have gone again if we could have stayed another week. They took us snorkelling in the sea, then to Catalina Island which is situated on the Caribbean Sea, this was absolute paradise, great food, company and a nice little trip on a double decker boat listening to meringue and bachata music and watching the staff dance their socks off!

We also went on a private fishing trip (booked through a couple of chaps (twins) on the next beach, a short walk from Excellence (its actually just before Sirenis' beach). It was a minimum of three people at $85 per person however we just paid for three and went on our own (my husband and I). Three chaps skippered it for us. It was equipped with 4 rods, 2 x 225 HP outboard motors and loads of soft drinks and water to keep you going for the days fishing. It was a fantastic day, much better than anything we have ever done before - highly recommended!

The spa was absolutely worth going to. I had 3 massages, a facial and a spa manicure/pedicure treatment. All were fantastic, especially the 'Excellence massage by Matilda which incorporated around 5 different techniques into one massage. We used the actual spa (Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, ice pools etc) quite a few times as it’s great to be able to cleanse your skin after slapping on copious amounts of sun cream and oil throughout the day.

The pool was lovely - not really our thing as we prefer the beach.

The beach was excellent. We went specifically for this as we have been to resorts before where we could not even swim in the water as there was too much seaweed. This beach however was extremely clean; the water was crystal clear and as warm as bath water. The waves were great fun, big fluffy waves to jump and dive under. BUT DONT BE FOOLED BY THIS!!!!!

Whilst we were there (on Friday 28th), two guests got into trouble one afternoon whilst swimming. The two men were spotted quite distressed and so another man went into the sea to try to save them however dissappeared and could not be found whilst we were there. Another guest went in to try and help however also got into trouble and almost drowned. One of the staff (actually Franklin from the Dive shack) went in with a body board and managed to get the rest of them out of the water however one man drowned and could not be resuscitated. Helicopters from all around the country were brought in to look for the missing man over the next few days however he still was not found whilst we were there.

The situation is that there are clear signs on the beach stating that you swim at your own risk, there are no lifeguards and also there are red flags (danger) up at all times. This however does not justify that there is not lifesaving drill if there is an emergency on the beach or in the water. There was no boat or even Jet Ski available. There was no first aid or life saving equipment to hand, only a security guard with a walkie talkie.

Although these warnings were in place, there really should be more done to prevent this happening again (this is not the first time it has happened either! People get into serious trouble every year on this beach).

A Seadoo Jet Ski costs $10,000.....not much for the price of a life! In the UK every beach that has people swimming/surfing on it has one of these. Every couple that stays at Excellence spends on average at least $5,000 a week – it DOES NOT take long to get together the $10,000 needed to buy this Jet Ski!!! Another thing is the drill training...........nobody knew what to do! Once 1 person is fully trained, this person can train others.....leading to at least a few people knowing what to do in the event that something goes wrong......this is not rocket science!

At this hotel the Executive chef ‘Berthold’ is German (i.e. not Dominican). They have employed him on the basis that he trains and coaches all his restaurant staff from 7 restaurants in order to deliver a superb service. I have had enough of people saying that the poor emergency procedure was due to the fact that this is a 3rd world country and they just don’t have the knowledge”! If this hotel can fly in and employ a foreigner to train their restaurant staff then they can also ‘fly in and employ someone to train their life saving staff’!!!

Sadly our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the man who drowned and also the man that is missing; we hope he is found soon.

  • Liked — Food,beach, entertainment and staff
  • Disliked — Emergency procedure
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
22 Thank Sunseekers007
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:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre 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
#14 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 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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