OK, first off I have to say that part of the reason we had such a wonderful, amazing trip was because of all the great advice that I got from the good citizens of TripAdvisor! Thank you all....
The Excellence is a beautiful resort and anyone who books their vacation here is bound to have an amazing trip (unless you are one of those people that is only happy when you are complaining or unhappy - we met a few of these people on our trip and I was so disappointed). I don't think I can say enough good things about the place but I am going to try to give you a very comprehensive, unbiased review.
We stayed from Jan. 2 - Jan. 9. We were booked into the Excellence Club and had an Ocean View Honeymoon Suite...room 10205. So here goes:
We booked a helicopter through Helidosa to take us from the airport to the resort. The first thing was that when we got off the plane at the airport, it was very confusing....people were running everywhere trying to take your bags from you before you even had a chance to figure out what was going on...do not give up your bags until you know who you are giving them to and are sure that you are giving them to the right company. We were supposed to have been greeted with a sign with our names on it so that we would know where we were going but that didn't happen and it was difficult to find the helidosa guy and very confusing trying to figure out what was going on but ....everything worked out just fine and we got our bags on the transport to our hotel and were taken to where we were supposed to get the helicopter....we ended up having to wait 40 minutes for the helicopter to come which was very disappointing because we were taking the helicopter so that we could get there faster...this didn't happen, our bags got to the resort way before us....THIS IS NOT THE RESORTS FAULT!!!! This was an error on the part of HELIDOSA!
When we got to the resort we were dropped off in the back and just kinda left there, with no idea how to get where we were going....we just followed the path and found our way eventually but it would have been nice if someone had showed us how to get where we needed to be....oh well...we found it anyway...not too difficult...
When we finally made it inside, we were greeted with a glass of champagne and eventually taken to the club where we did our check in....The people in the Excellence Club - especially Maria, Nicki, Carlos and Roberto (these were the only ones I talked with) were amazing and extremely helpful! We checked in with them and were informed that we had been upgraded to the honeymoon suite, which I had asked for but had not actually reserved...THANK YOU ROBERTO!.....Nicki brought us up to the club lounge and we were served with the drink of our choice and some snacks while they checked that the room was ready for us (this took about 2 minutes) then we were shown to our room and what a beautiful room it was....huge bed, vaulted ceiling, two balconies....one over looking the pool/ocean and the other overlooking the ocean with a hottub on it....spent most of my time on that one as it was more enclosed and larger! The hot tub was amazing (it leaked at first but maintainence was there in a jiffy to fix it). Everything about the room was perfect...no complaints, and although I read some reviews that said there was a smell and brought a plug in for that, there was no smell except that of the ocean and the tropics! OK that's enough about the room, it was amazing.
The food was terrific, I was not able to eat at Chez Isabelle as the schedule was a little confusing and it was not open everynight and I was unable to have dinner at The Grill but we ate everywhere else and it was all amazing! I had amazing dinners everynight that I ate and have absolutely no complaints about the food. The Breakfast buffet at Toscana was excellent - we didn't get a chance to eat breakfast anywhere else. Lunch was incredible at both the Grill and Toscana! I really didn't have anything I didn't like...I would have to say my least favorite was Agave although the food was not horrible, it just wasn't too my liking....My husbands favorite restaurant was Spice and the food there was delicious, I really liked Toscana....but no matter what the food you get is delicious and if you don't like something you can order something else...one night we went with friends to spice and ordered the whole left side of the menu and half the right. If you are eating at Spice ask for Victor he is the greatest there....You will have a wonderful dining experience...
The drinks were delicious and plentiful...I did not think that they were too light with the alcohol and they were very quick to serve....I enjoyed the different daily drinks. It was a fun way to start off the day....I especially enjoyed the Sammy Sosa!!! Yummy!!!!
All of the bars are serviced by terrific people who are there to show you a good time and they do it! The Swim Up Bar, Cafe Kafe, the Martini Bar, the Pool Bar and the Lobby Bar are all terrific! The bartenders there will make sure you are having fun and take great care of you....Say a special Hello to Baurilo....He seemed to be our bartender no matter what bar we went to....
The beach was beautiful and fun but the waves are strong and the rip tide is very powerful...I was still able to go and play in the waves and I had a great time but I would not recommend that anyone go out much past your waste...and if you aren't a strong swimmer, avoid it all together, it is not worth the risk...if you walk down the beach to the right around the point you will find a spot that is kinda enclosed by a coral reef, it is a nice little "cove" and is great for swimming, not much current at all and you can even snorkel there. BUT BE CAREFUL!!!! The ocean is a living thing and it is not something to be ignored...people can get hurt if they aren't careful.....
The pools were amazing. Much to my disappointment, I didn't get to spend anytime in the cascade pool or the waterfall, but I did check it out and it was beautiful...I mostly stuck to the main pool on the ocean side of the resort. This pool is incredible...you can float all over the place and that is where the swim up bar is. Also cool that you could float underneath the diners at the grill....we had a lot of fun. Lounge chairs at the pool were hard to come by but if you asked one of the workers they would usually help you....I only had a problem finding a chair one day out of 7 and even that was no biggie....because we shared with another couple and it was fine....the beds were hard to find as well but not impossible, in fact, I found a couple but never ended up wanting to use them because I wanted to be in the sun....
OK, we had beach towels in our room everday plus we brought towels from home so we never had a problem...None of the people we met ever had a problem either but I did note that there were a number of towel hogs!! People would take 10-15 towels and go lay them all out on one of the beds and then cover themselves up with two or three and use the rest as pillows! This really bothered me even though it didn't effect me....NOBODY NEEDS 10 TOWELS!!!!!! People need to be less selfish....
They tell you right away, the casino is not owned by the resort...when we met with our VIP rep, Jonathan, he told us DO NOT PLAY THE KENO OR ROULETTE!!! These games are apparently rigged.. I didn't play so I don't know but I heard stories and would not recommend taking the chance. I did play blackjack..I won, but I did notice that they didn't play consistently because sometimes the dealer would their first card face up, sometimes down...I have never played anywhere where this was allowed so I was a little skeptical....the choice is yours. My friend did quite well at the black jack table and I was able to play all week with the $40 I started with and still take home $100....I am a five dollar gambler but it was fun and I didn't lose any money
The disco was fun if you like to go out dancing, usually by that time I was pretty tired but there was a lot of fun stuff going on, I especially enjoyed 70s/80s night...the entertainment staff, especially INEZ and RAUL were terrific! I don't know how they do it, going all day long like they do....There is a lot of fun to be had in the disco
I missed the Michael Jackson show as I was just too tired but I heard that it was incredible....all the shows were nice and gave you something to do...Karoke was the best as far as I am concerned but that was before the shows. There was a Circus, Magician, Chris Blizzard, and different Dancers. Chris Blizzard was terrific and the rest were OK. But they were fun regardless.
I didn't go to any of the shops on the resort but did walk down to the WalMart plaza on the left of the beach just at the end of the hotel.. It was fun bargaining with the shop people and they did have some fun stuff. Say Hello to Nancy at Nancy's number 6 and also to Chris at WalMart....But be sure to visit all of the little shops just for the ambiance.
We did two....the Carribean Festival (HORRIBLE) and SAONA ISLAND (TERRIFIC).
The Carribean Festival is not what we wanted to do, we wanted to do Marinarium but Jonathan at VIP said that Carribean Festival was better and more fun, all I know is it sucked...the boat people were terrific but you didn't swim with sharks and rays, not really, they said you would get to feed them and they would come up to you, this didn't happen either and anytime someone tried to get close to the sharks they would get yelled at.....For the rays, they lined you up on a wall and came around one by one, put the ray in your hand took a picture and told you to move on...not much fun..
Saona Island was incredible, this is where they filmed blue lagoon...we took a catamaran out to the island and that was really nice then we hung on the beach for a couple of hours and had lunch and played in the water then they loaded us up into speed boats and took us out to a natural swimming area where you could look for starfish....it is sad to see how depleted they are but it is nice to see them and swim around, there is some coral so if you have a snorkel it is cool to snorkel around...then we came home...it was a good trip..
I think I have covered eveything but if there is anything I missed or if you have any questions at all feel free to PM me....
Overall, this was an amazing place, with amazing people who were there to treat you like royalty and they succeeded.
- 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