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“Very nice resort. Very clean, safe, and friendly staff.”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #17 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Helena, Montana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very nice resort. Very clean, safe, and friendly staff.”
Reviewed 4 August 2009

The Good:
Very friendly wait staff and bartenders. Very clean dining rooms, pool, beaches and other public areas. Very clean rooms (excellent housekeeping service). Excellent concierge service (they provided me with pants!)

The So So/Bad:
The bed in our room was pretty firm, a little too much for my liking. Felt like a cheaper mattress. Everything else was great!

The Food:
The food was generally very good. All the restaurants we ate in had great dishes. Our favorite was probably Chez Isabella (the French restaurant). My girlfriend got a slight case of food poisoning (we think) on the last night (stay away from the avocado salad!) Steaks and beef in general are very salty (don’t know why). Other dishes were very good. For breakfast the Grill has a limited menu but sits outside which is nice. Toscana has a tasty variety of foods to suite anyone's liking.

Be Sure To:

For all your souvenirs and gifts (including cigars, rum, paintings, jewelry, etc.) be sure to visit Mark and Lauren at Pandora’s Box. Simply head out to the beach, take a left and look for the tourist stands next to the resort property. You can’t miss ‘em - they’re the only British couple with a store. Best prices on the beach and very informative and friendly and NO PRESSURE to buy (which is a nice change from the other pushy vendors). We had a great time just sitting and chatting with Mark and Fritz (their right-hand man). Tell them that Alex and Shana say “hi” from Montana.

Go to the Caribbean Festival. This is an off-resort excursion and is well worth the $90 per person. You can get tickets at the tour desks in the lobby. You’ll take a shuttle to Bavaro (which is a touristy beach area on the Caribbean side of Punta Cana). From there, you’ll get on a party barge (beer, wine, and rum bar) and be taken to a sting ray preserve in the middle of the bay. You’ll get to snorkel with rays and nurse sharks before being taken to a coral reef where you will swim and feed hundreds of beautiful tropical fish. I was even able to get them to eat out of my hand. Absolutely beautiful water. It’s about a 6-hour excursion and is worth every penny.

The Resort offers a 30 min. free horse ride on the beach. I recommend doing this-it is a little crowded but if you request to ‘gallop’ they will hold you back from the group and let you gallop on the beach several times!

You can also go on a catamaran for free if you go to the club house, they will take you out on the ocean for a ride.

Take a taxi from the airport to the resort. If you take a shuttle it’s going to be a LONG trip due to Excellence’s location (it’s the last resort visited on the shuttle path). A taxi from the airport should cost in the ballpark of $70. I asked the front desk at the resort if this was a fair price and they said that, yes, it was. Even with taking a taxi, it’s still going to take you about 45 minutes to get to the resort.

If you’re a guy, be sure to bring pants! I didn’t see any info on the resort website about pants being required, but you will need them to dine in the restaurants at night. For breakfast and lunch, you’re just fine in shorts and flip flops, but things get a little classier at night. I was able to a pair from the concierge desk - they were very friendly and helpful and it actually made for a funny story as we were meeting other couples during our stay.
Don’t drink water from the tap. Bottled water is very easy to come by (your mini bar will be stocked with it daily).

Bring $100 in U.S. one dollar bills. They are very handy for tipping. You will run into fellow tourists who won’t tip (some who are quite adamant about not doing it). Don’t be cheap. The folks who are working at the resort work very hard and are very appreciative of a couple of bucks.

Pack sunscreen! You can buy it at the resort, but you will pay about $20 for a 6 oz spray bottle. My girlfriend is a red-head with fair skin: 70 spf on her face and 30 spf on the rest of her kept her from a sunburn then entire time! She only applied maybe twice a day and was fine.

Pay attention to the flags on the beach. Red means rough waves. Yellow is so-so waves. White means jellyfish (don’t worry, we never saw this flag). Orange means sea monster (ha). There are life guards on duty throughout the day at the beach, but they will stay in the areas with the flags. If you venture into the ocean outside of those flags, they will come and shoo you down to the flagged area. They were very attentive to people in the water (no slacking off).

Sneak out onto the beach at night (you actually don't have to sneak). It's a nice break from the entertainment, etc. to just sit beneath the stars and listen to the waves.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ABandSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2009

I just returned from a 7 night stay with my boyfriend and to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. The ride from the airport - was not bad - as I've in other reviews. We had a "swim up" room in the Excellence Club. It wasn't a swim up room, but rather a ground floor room with a walk way to the pool which was like bathwater, only covered in flies. Of the 12+ people we met almost everyone was sick for at least 1 day. We met/heard of at least 5 others that were taken to the hospital via ambulance. The food was unedible with the exception of the pizza and shrimp. Room service wasn't prompt, but they were very accurate with their delivery times. We waited for an hour for our dinner at the mexican restaurant before we walked out. They chased us out and sent cheese and wine to our room as a consoliation prize.

The good - we made some amazing friends and if you go - find Carlos! HE IS THE BEST!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BlondeNBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2009

We just got home last night and we really miss the resort. We can't give it a 5 star rating, because it wasn't perfect, but we had a wonderful time. We went with another couple and we are all travel a lot. The weather was perfect (only rained once for 10 minutes at night) and though we brought a lot of bugspray, I didn't get bitten until we stepped foot back in NY.

First Impression: the ride to the resort was the same as any other Caribbean Island. We booked a private bus in advance and the driver was friendly. The cool towel was excellent after a day of travelling. Check in was a breeze and the resort was breathtaking

Room: Emmaculate and cool. We were in the 6000s ground level which was close to all the restaurants and pool.
Pros: Housekeeping kept it very clean and our mini bar was always filled. They even gave us a bottle of rum for fun. The patio was beautiful and private. The hammock was a great place to read and our view was of a nice pond.
Cons: The bed was a little stiff, but not terrible. There was a slight musky smell, which is to be expected. We brought dryer sheets for the closet and drawers so our clothes always smelt fresh

Resort: The grounds were flawless. I can't give any bad comments about this. Plenty of places to layout and relax in the sun and shade. We loved the covered beds by the pool and just lounging by the beach. The botanical gardens were lovely and the flamingos, parrots, ducks, turtles and fish all added to the beauty.

Pools/Beach: The pool was awesome and clean. So many places to go from the swim up bar, in the shade, volleyball, by a mini waterfall.. it was all great.
Beach- We are from Long Island so we are used to/love waves. This is the Atlantic ocean, not the sea, so there are waves. Enjoy them! It's the best balance of warm, clear water and clean, big waves! The sand is wonderfully soft and it was beautiful.

Service:
Pros: Friendly and always looking to please. Wherever you are in the resort, there is always a staffmember to take your drink order. At the beach, they even offer pizza and fruit which was great!
Cons: Language barriers!!! This is our only main complaint of the whole vacation. Not only did you have repeat your order a few times, you might still get the wrong thing

Food: I'll agree with most other reviews. Generally great, but within the first two days, my boyfriend and friend were making multiple trips to the bathroom everyday.

Breakfast: Secret tip most people dont go to the Lobster house for breakfast.. and its the best because they cook to order. The buffet is good for variety but very hit or miss and sometimes cold.

Lunch- Again, the buffet, good for variety, but hit or miss. The pasta station was always good. We are from new york and are used to excellent italian food, so it wasn't perfect, but it was consistantly good. The Grill was also a great place for lunch

Dinner- Our favourite was the Grill for steaks. Then we liked Spice- which was the best experience for service and food. Then Toscana, Agave, and Barcelona.

Room Service- it was nice to have 24 hour room service. Not a huge selection but the club sandwich was good and the pizza was fun finger food at 1am.

Entertainment- The shows were cute. The MJ show was great! The circus show was fun and considering it was free... it was wonderful.
Ziplining- the ride was pretty intense. Our driver, Domingo, was amazing! He bought us beers afterward and let us sit in the cab of the truck with him as we sang along to dominican music. The guys at ziplining were funny and nice.
AT-V- super fun... a little slower than we would have liked because we had slower people with us. The tour started on the beach and we went through a village and up to the mountain. We always felt safe with our tourguide.

Spa: The spa was wonderful and peaceful. We got the Excellence massage which was a blend of 4 different styles. My friend got a hot stone massage which she enjoyed a lot. The only con that we saw was the foot spas weren't in perfect condition. (one 2/3 spas) only one water jet worked well and the bottom of the tub was cracked or damaged.

Activities: There were so many to choose from and we didn't end up doing much, but they all looked fun. I did do yoga one more and the instructor was friendly and knowledgable. The yoga mats were a bit dirty, but most gyms' are. The gym was pretty good and everything was very clean.

Highlight- Dominican day, Wednesday. They brought the dominican culture, food, and music to us so we didn't leave the resort. The food was the best of the whole trip. We were a little shocked they didn't have a Dominican restaurant there. It was an outside barbeque with a band. The drinks were delicious and we stuffed our faces.

Improvements. I do realize we went to a spanish country, however, when 98% of your guests speak English, I'd think the staff would be a bit more fluent then they were.

All in all.. a wonderful trip and it's very hard getting used to home again. I generally don't go back to the same place twice, but I would definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank nhedley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2009

This resort is absolute paradise. Five stars is an understatement. This place is beautiful, the staff are very polite and friendly and the food and drinks are great. Everything from the the towels to the restaurants are immaculate. There were four couples in my group and we all had and Excellent time with no complaints or regrets. I hate to fly but I would stick it out to get back to this resort.. It's truly heaven on earth....
If I had to say something not so positive it would be that you only get pesos out of the ATM and there is nowhere to exchange into US dollars unles you somehow get off the resort to a bank. I can't wait for Oyster Bay to open........

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sassymama22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2009

Just got back on 2 August after 14 days. PLEASE PLEASE do not believe all the negative reviews you read about the Excellence - try it and see you won't be disappointed. We met many people on their 8th and 9th visits and also one couple who were on their 3rd visit this year making it a total of 11 visits!!!!! Says it all for me. This was our 2nd visit, last time was 2005 and we were worried it would not live up to our previous experience because of the reviews. Need not have been concerned - it was brilliant. Negative - Yes some of the hotel could do with a lick of paint but that is minor. Journey from Punta Cana was better than expected as we had a private taxi and it didn't seem to take to long. Bellboys greetiing you with a refreshing glass of bubbly and a face cloth to cool you down was just what the doctor ordered. Thanks to Edwin on reception we had a quick book-in and we had just got in our room when our luggage arrived. Coffee maker wasn't working but was replaced within 15 minutes. Now that is service. We have no complaints about the food. Plenty of choice in every restaurant. We had breakfast in both Toscana and outside at the Lobster House where it was waiter service. We found the staff everywhere were smiley, friendly and very polite. Nothing was too much trouble. Our special thanks to Victor, the overall restaurant manager, whom we remembered from first time round. He came and had spoke to us everyday. We also loved Altagracia our pool waitress. She works her socks off. Always a smile and such an infectious laugh. Our room was beautifully kept and the turndown service was first class. There are plenty of activities if you want to take part or again just chill out at the pool with a great cocktail. The choice is yours. We had the romantic dinner on the beach. Yes it costs extra but it was worth it. We were blessed with a beautiful evening with a slight sea breeze. Our waiter took lots of photos and our meal wasn't rushed. Everyone we spoke to was very sad to leave and felt they had found a piece of Paradise. The hotel is so well named. Excellent by name and by nature. We know many people compare Punta Cana with the 2 in Mexico. We have been at the Excellence in the Riviera Maya and can honestly say we prefer Punta Cana. The whole atmosphere is completely different and relaxing.

We will definately be back

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank livefortheday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2009

Our family of five's recent trip to Excellence Punta Cana was, as the staff loved to say, "Excellente". While the resort was more popular with couples, it was certainly an enjoyable place to vacation for young adults, as well. The grounds, pool, and beach areas were beautiful. We also had great experiences with the food (even as picky eaters), and the French restaurant was our favorite. The evening shows performed at the resort were very entertaining, especially the Michael Jackson tribute. I was especially impressed by the incredible service we received from the staff at Excellence during our stay. They were friendly, polite, and I would definitely recommend getting to know them. They will do anything to accommodate your needs. I would personally like to thank members of the Entertainment Staff, who went out of their way every day to say hello and to get us involved in the resort's activities. Cesar was especially out-going and we looked forward to seeing him each day at the beach, pool, and nighttime activities. Juan Carlos and Manny also did a great job of making sure we all had a great time.

Due to travel in late July, the heat was our only complication. The rooms sometimes were not as cool as we would have liked, and it was difficult to keep drinks such as beer cold for any length of time. However, this certainly was not problem enough to take away from an amazing time. We would highly recommend a stay at Excellence Punta Cana!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sinky17nc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2009

OMG! This was an amazing vacation. From the time we entered the resort, we were treated like royalty. Our private concierge Ana took care of us (party of 6). We didn't have to worry about anything, except enjoy our stay. The entire staff at Excellence Punta Cana was outstanding. It was so amazing to see how hard the staff work to ensure you're having a great time. The resort was ALWAYS clean at every given moment! The staff was non-stop! The food and drinks were great, especially, the Sammy Sosa drink!

I do want to personally thank Ana, Carlos (Pool Concierge), Juan Carlos Degadillo, Cesar, Cowboy Bob, and so many others that made our vacation memorable! My husband and I will be back very soon. I highly recommend this resort, you will not be sorry!

Gracias, Excellence Punta Cana!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank miami33179
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
#11 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 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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