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“30th Anniversary Trip”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #15 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 11 May 2012

All I can say is ALEX!!!! Alex is at the front desk, and if you have ANY concerns about anything- go see Alex, and he will make it right.. My husband and I had a few minor things that happened- like first room was on ground floor we requested to be up high, never enough washcloths, and cleaning of the room occurred very late in the day- one phone call for these concerns and correctly right away!! I do suggest requesting the renovated section of the resort- (I heard it was great) we were in the "older" section, and altho it was perfectly fine- great is always better.. Did I mention ALEX??? seriously he is amazing- we enjoyed the food, the bars, the wonderful waitstaff that comes along the beach all day and is always around poolside to cater to your every need. Bring a lot of one's and fives- small tips go a long way with these very hard working friendly people- (and they do remember you!!) The ocean is lovely but very rough- seemed like whenever we went out in it, lifeguard wanted us back in a little closer- always too rough for snorkeling or boggie boarding- The Spa... UNREAL- truly the best spa treatments I have ever had- hot stone massage... The nightly entertainment was good- just enough - a nice variety of shows. A lot of nice couples we met, many many newlyweds- which seem to gravitate to us "older" couples- It was a to of fun talking with them. We plan to go back next year~~ Did I mention ALex?

Room Tip: request renovated section- or if not that section a room not on ground floor!!
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank shopmom21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7,682 - 7,688 of 13,410 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2012

We just got back from Excellence Punta Cana.....We went there for our Honeymoon, and honestly- I was really dissapointed the first night that we got there. They knew it was our honeymoon (I called several times before we left to make sure they knew), and there was no sign of anything when we arrived....We were chatting with the guy that took us to our room and we said we were "tired from the wedding weekend", and he was like, WEDDING?- That kind of upset me as a female, because they obviously hadn't gotten that right for us. My husband talked to the concierge and we got swans and rose petals, etc. the next day, and they took care of us for the rest of the week we were there...dropped off little desserts and such throughout the week- which was good enough for me.....The breakfast in bed for the honeymoon never came, either- we had that planned for one day, and they just never showed up. We talked to the manager again, and they gave us a bunch of free stuff, which was nice.

The beds are really hard in the rooms, that was the only complaint we had about our room at all.....The A/C worked really well, and we had an updated room with brand new AMAZING shower, and a great balcony with ocean view. I would say best thing to do if you are not happy when you get there is SAY SOMETHING...there were couples we met that just never said anything, and they would have been much happier had they just said something....

The service can be slow, but they appreciate tips, and you will get better service if you tip just a little bit.....

The GREAT things:
The food honestly was pretty good...The breakfast buffet and lunch buffet Toscana are a DO NOT MISS, I would eat there every day if I were you- they were so good...So many options, healthy, too....Agave, the Mexican restaurant is fantastic, as well as the Asian restaurant Spice, and the French Restaurant Che Izabelle....That one is really romantic.....If you like pizza, Oregano was pretty tasty, too....

The service in the Excellence club is great.The private beach and concierge down there is worth it.....the service was great, and we had to fax something while we were there, and the excellence club was so good to us and helped us with everything. They also have free internet service for you there, so I was able to check our flights, etc. on the way back home.

The drinks are GREAT...The drink service is great- and even better if you bring money...Bring a couple hundred dollars in American dollars, $1's are the best for them-they don't expect it,but you will get great service if you do so.

DO NOT FORGET SUNSCREEN, and alot of it- the sunscreen was like $45 LITERALLY there at the resort...Same thing with bug spray. Its muggy and it rains sometimes, and the mosquitos will get you in the open air areas (which is where the best bars are)...So bring bug spray, and definitely some cream in case you do get bites, because the bugs are there!!!!

Take an excursion or two...The extended horseback riding was amazing, and only $45 a person, and the dune buggies are great....

Do not waste your money on the "dinner on the beach"...Our friends did it, it was $400 for the massage and dinner, and their dinner was not that great.....

Do not miss a day at the spa either...The spa was phenomenal....and reasonably priced. Get there early before your treatment so you can use the water spa...

We will definitely be going back.....Just make the trip what its worth and don't freak out about small little things while you are there......

Enjoy!!!!

Room Tip: Ocean view is worth it, and "swim up" is pretty awesome, too because you get your own hamm...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Nikki F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2012

When we arrived after a very long flight, the room we were given our suite and it had a leaky ceiling and the paint was coming off the walls and the tub was rusty. After our complaints we were upgrated to another room the next day, but it wasn't easy. we wasted one whole day of our vacation. The second room was just as large and there was no leek or peeling paint, but it was suppose to be one the best rooms. It needed a facelfit big time. Room service needs improvement. Getting the room cleaned before 5 pm was difficult. The staff at the resort continously said yes not matter what you asked for and then never came across. Out of the 8 restaurants 3 were very good and the waiters in those 3 were great. The intertainment at night was pretty sad. It looked like they pulled the cast right of the street on the day of the shows. There were a few talented people in the show but they sufered from the lack of talent of their cast members. A couple of time a male dancer went to lift his partner and he dropped her, the fact that he looked like he weighted about 85 lbs was probably the reason, that same guy's pants came down around his knees as he danced. Trying to get a chair by the pool was impossible, people must of been waking up at dawn to get a chair because by 7am there were none to be had.
Now for the pros.The view from our room was spectacular. We had great weather and I feel like the resort has put all their money on the common areas which were all very nice. We enjoyed our time there but I would not go back unless I knew that they had updated their rooms. For the price we paid we have had much better in Cancun.

Room Tip: Try to get building 14 which is the club level and ocean view.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Charlotte P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2012

We have been to several all inclusive resorts over the years and decided to try Excellence Punta Cana based on the great value and reviews. Here is a good run down of the good and the bad.

The good: The chairs, beds and umbrellas at the beach and pools were abundant and very comfortable, definitely a step up from what we found at other resorts. They even brought out pads for the chairs each morning which made them very comfortable. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, more so then any place we have been. Eduardo, Tito and Yohanna were especially hospitable and a pleasure to talk with each day. The nightly entertainment and daily activities were also varied and plentiful. We especially enjoyed the daily yoga/vinyasa with Inma and the American Way show. There was also a pretty good Michael Jackson and circus shows that they say are their two best. Also, for those that dabble, the cigar tasting (Tuesdays only) was awesome and if you play your cards right, you can try several high-end cigars during the tasting and even take one or two with you. The spa was a great experience, especially the hydrotherapy portion where they take you through a series of hot and cold rooms ending with a nice soak in the jacuzzi before your massage.

The bad: Let me first say that these are picky and we had a great time and definitely got our money's worth. The only thing that makes me hesitate to go to another Excellence resort was that I met with someone in the management team and asked if he could arrange a surprise romantic room set up for my wife, as we were celebrating our anniversary. He took down our room number and said he would take care of it, but it never happened. That was hard to get over. The rooms we stayed in were not the remodeled ones and were pretty dated. That said, we got glimpses of other renovated rooms on the property that seemed to be much better. If you care about having a nice room, definitely ask for a newly remodeled one. There was a mix up with our room when we checked in and Dario at the front desk was awesome about an upgrade to something much better. The beach was as described by others, rough, but good for a quick dip to cool off. We weren't able to get out past the breaks without being called back in by the lifeguards. The food was average, great presentation with nothing spectacular tasting. While not necessary, we definitely felt pressure to tip for everything! We noticed a difference in service when we did and didn't tip that made us feel awkward at times. While having 24/7 room service is a step up from others, the one time we tried to use it for a bottle of champagne and strawberries we waited an hour and a half and it never came. What made that one sting was that it happened on the night of the busted anniversary surprise as we were trying to salvage the night. The only other downer was the price of everything we tried to buy as a souvenir. Some things were blatant rip offs like sun screen for $40 U.S. (even right on the resort!)

All in all, a great vacation with one or two hiccups that really weren't that bad. The quality of service and amenities was a great value. The only other thing to add is that this is not a couples only resort, so the vibe was slightly different at Excellence where it is just 18 and up. While there were a lot of couples, there were also a lot of groups and weddings which made the vibe a little more cliquish then couplely. If you go, definitely bring a lot of singles for tipping and try the coco loco (coconut rum drink) and the mamajuana (herbal liquor said to be an aphrodisiac). Enjoy!

Room Tip: Ask for a newly remodeled room. The swim up rooms offer convenient pool access, but little privacy i...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Danny S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2012

This was my first trip to the DR. We had a great time. Only complaint was the beds were hard. We did request a pillow top mattress pad and that helped a bit. Chez Isabelle was the best restaurant on the resort. We ate there twice. Spice was good too. OMAR, our beach waiter, was the best. He was so friendly and right on top of things.. Can't say enough good about him. He made us feel so welcome and helped us with anything we asked. Hoping we can go back again some time soon..

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank cindy3582
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2012 via mobile

Let me preface this by saying that I read reviews on here for months before our trip. My husband and I are in our mid thirties & wanted a nice all inclusive resort for our ten yr.anniversary. We found that in the Excellence! We have been to Cancun, Aruba, Nassau & on a few cruises but we will definately be returning to the Dominican. I was a little nervous as we were driving to the resort. The roads have tons of potholes that the drivers try to avoid while passing motorcycles & other cars. There is so much vegetation scattered with very skinny cows & trash.However, it doesn't take long to realize the DR depends on tourism & try their best to make you feel safe & secure. I had emailed the resort 2 weeks prior to our arrival requesting a 3rd floor, remodeled room. We got a 2nd floor room that was remodeled...very nice. The service was great, I called about the air and was told the sliding glass door has to be shut tight for the a/c to come on. Duh! I can't help but wonder if the people on here that complain didn't have their door shut. The mini bar was restocked in 5 minutes one day when I called the front desk. Food is good, you will not go hungry. Just keep in mind it's an all inclusive. We liked Spice & Chez Isabelle the best. Our only bad experience was the Lobster house b/c it took over an hour to get served. We were pretty laid back the entire time b/c we realize they are on Dominican time & service isn't going to be fast. However, on our last night we didn't want to spend almost 2 hours at dinner. Entertainment was good, it was something to do after dinner. The beach is okay, it's not the Caribbean side so it's not the clear blue water but most of the activity is by the pool anyway. We went to the Hard Rock one day to the casino & took a half day snorkeling trip to a reef. Both were great & we felt completely safe. My husband worked out in the gym which is super nice & I got a massage at the Spa which was amazing! The staff is always working on something around the resort. We took $100 in $1s for tips and tried to tip a few dollars for the maid service, mini bar, bartenders, wait staff, etc. They appreciate it very much but don't expect it. We bought our souveniers at Nancy's next to the resort, best prices and friendly, not too pushy. My international calling card I brought didn't work so I had to use my verizon phone@ $2/min.to call home. One more tip, in the morning when you are claiming your chairs by the pool with towels, get 2 in the sun & 2 under one of the huts b/c it will more than likely rain at some point & the huts keep you completely dry. I heard people on the plane complaining about their horrible experiences at Hard Rock & Riu. It only confirmed that we made the right choice with Excellence. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: May 2012
    • Value
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6  Thank Toothfairy6239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2012

Let's start from the beginning.

When you arrive in Punta Cana, yes, there is a $10 entry fee, cash. Once you get your luggage, you will be ambushed by many gentleman insisting that they will take your bags to whichever transport service you are using. I was reluctant, but ended up at the proper desk, Blue Travel, booked though Expedia as was the entire trip. A few minutes later, we were on our transfer shuttle to the resort. The same guy that brought you and you bags to the transfer desk will also bring the to the shuttle. We tipped him then. It is about an hour drive through some interesting little towns, if you can call them that. The second half of the hour is on some pretty bad roads regarding the pot holes. the driver does everything he can to avoid driving in them, thus the swerving maneuvers people complain about. We were the only couple on the bus, so we didn't have to stop at any other resorts do drop anyone else off. We also tipped the driver as a thank you for getting us there intact. Once we arrived at the Excellence gate entrance, the security had us check our name off the list to confirm we had arrived. Once unloaded and out of the shuttle at the lobby, we were indeed greeted with champagne and a cool towel. It seemed that the arrival staff already knew that we were there and that were booked in the Excellence Club. We already paid for that level of room when we booked. There was a group of couples that were also checking in to the Excellence Club and we were all whisked away to the Excellence Club Lounge to check in. A tasty drink and a page of paperwork later and we were all taken and shown to our rooms. We were in Building 11, Swim Up Jr Ocean Suite. Now, onto the key points:

Room:
The room was clean. The shower pressure was awesome. We never had an issue with water temperature. Ceiling fan worked fine. Safe did what it is there for and was never tampered with or taken from room. The A/C works fine, PROVIDED that you make sure the sliding door is shut. The sliding door and screen door SUCK! Screen door fell off first day. We could care less as the screen door in our own home has the same issue. Crappy wheels. back to the sliding door. When you go to close it, the other half of the door tends to move with it, creating about a 1" gap for bugs, heat and humidity to get in. You just have to push it back. You'll figure it out if you have a crappy door, and if you do, you have to make sure to get it closed. T/V had decent channels for when you feel the need to watch it. There are only about 6 hangers in the closet, but I thought ahead and brought some from home. We did have the fancy toiletries since it was Excellence Club. Yes, the shower has a weird glass window, but it isn't floor to ceiling like I thought it would be. We never cared about this. Again, the shower pressure was awesome. We had the in room hot tub, which looked pretty clean, but we never used it. The bed is very firm. Take it for what it is, a place to rest between meals and sun-bathing.

Beach / Pool:
The pool was huge and it wrapped all around the resort. It was always being cleaned in the early morning hours every day. Floaties. BRING YOUR OWN! Seriously, just go to buy some cheap $3 floaties from Wal-Mart. There are some very selfish guests that hoard them under their chairs at 7AM and then do not appear until afternoon. Same goes for the lounge chairs. Sure, you can find many open loungers everywhere, but if you desire some under the shade, good luck. The beach is clean and the sand was soft. As far as the Excellence Club side, there are these super beds, 6 I think. One morning, I crawled out of bed at 6AM to "claim" one and shoot some sunrise pics since I was out there. I hate to play that game of "towel claiming" but in this instance, it was worth it. We slept in the sun for a few hours and it was great and comfy! All beach loungers in the Excellence Club area had shade if needed in this area as well. The ocean was a bit rough and the red flag was out the entire time, but you can still go in, till about waist high, before the life guard starts to flag you in. We had fun playing in the waves. The pool water was just the right amount of warm as was the ocean. The only time the pool felt cold was the day after it rained all day. I imagine the 8 hours of rain water caused that.

Food:
We only ate at The Grill, Chez Isabelle, Tascano and Oregano for dinner. We ate at the Tascano Buffet for breakfast and never sat for lunch. Always pizza at the pool or beach for lunch. We liked the breakfast buffet because of the omelet station. They had tons of choices for other things as well. As far as dinner, it was all okay. Nothing really stood out. We had room service once for breakfast and once for lunch. Both times, food was hot and within the time they stated. Once 45mins and once an hour. All I can say is that we never went hungry nor were we ever sick.

Bars:
Bars are bars. They serve drinks. We were partial to the Martini Bar because I got hooked on the Chocolate Martinis for before and after dinner.

Excellence Club:
Well, I am glad we did it, but for only a couple reasons. First, location of the EC buildings. We were very content with not being in the thick of the resort near the swim up bar and all the goings on. We were there to chill and relax, not get hammered and be obnoxious. Second, the beach area. I just loved that super bed. Lastly, the EC Private Lounge. The snacks and wifi were a bonus.

Service/Tipping:
Service was good. Servers bringing drinks to you at the pool or the beach are working as fast as they can for you. You are not the only people asking for a refill. I never saw anyone rest. Always making the rounds around. Restaurant service was hit or miss. Even when the place was not full. We didn't care too much though. We were on vacation. The bar was still there after we finished dinner. We tipped everyone that brought us something. If I had to get up and get my own drink, I didn't. But I will happily drop a $1 to anyone that brings me a tasty drink so I can carry on being lazy in the sun.

Reason I did not give 5 Stars:
Okay. The Excellence Club. Expedia, Excellence's own website, their own literature..... all list the perks of booking EC. Pillow menu??? Never saw it, was never asked about it. High End toiletries. We had them, for day one. My husband decided to use up the conditioner on the second day and we had ours replaced with what they stock in the regular rooms. They shouldn't advertise the toiletries as a special perk and then only provide them once. Fresh flowers in room? It was a single flower snipped off the bushes from outside the room. Petit Fours delivered to room daily? Nope. Could care less as far as having the snack for eating, but again... don't advertise special perks and then not provide them. I understand that these are all minor, trivial things, but they are the very things that Excellence uses to claim the difference of booking a regular room. They should follow through with them.

All in all, we had a great time. Some of the things I've read here regarding theft and roofies and awful customer service..... I find it very hard to believe. I strongly believe that as soon as you step off the shuttle for check in, you are being sized up on whether you are going to be kind people or people that complain and moan at every little thing. And to put it into even more perspective, look out the window of your shuttle bus when riding in. When you see how some of the local Dominicans have to live..... open your eyes. Have fun, enjoy the sun and sand and let your worries go for a while and you cant go wrong. Oh, last chunks of advise. I got bit by some skeeters at night. Bring a small can of bug spray and also, bring SUN SCREEN!! It really is $30 if you forget and who knows how expired it is. And that sun is hot, hot, hot.


** Side note regarding US Airways at Punta Cana Airport** They charged us twice for the same bags when we were checking in to our return flight home. We called when we saw it at home and its been fixed, but just pay attention. It was for $96.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank MungFish
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

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
#9 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £205 - £451 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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