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“Great Place to honeymoon!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Excellence Punta Cana

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #17 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
San Luis Obispo, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great Place to honeymoon!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2009

We just returned from 7 nights at the Excellence resort. We were looking for a relaxing honeymoon after the stresses of planning a large wedding and this place hit the spot. We stayed in the honeymoon suite, this was great, not sure if was completely worth the additional dollars. The hot tub on the balcony was pretty dated and not exactly what I would consider a hot tub, you had to fill it with hot water like a large bathtub, but it did have jets… overall though I would say the large balcony and ocean views were a great addition that we really enjoyed, I would still recommend it to someone who wanted to pay the extra $$!!!

I read about a thousand reviews before booking so I will keep it short and to the point. Overall the resort is amazing. The rooms seemed to be a little dated and smaller than we expected, but that didn’t matter much because you spend the majority of your time out of your rooms. As for the rest of the resort, it seemed to be in perfect condition. The beaches were amazing, and coming from California I enjoyed the little wind waves that the Atlantic side of the island produced, it made for a fun time in the ocean with the resort’s different ocean equipment. The entertainment staff was hilarious and kept the trip exciting and fun. We DID NOT do the Excellence package and I am glad that we didn’t, I really could not see any benefit other than having hard booze in your room, but you could easily just walk 20 feet to one of the bars and order call liquor, so I saw no benefit at all. Also, the resort has a WiFi network that my iphone was able to access, so no need for their internet hotspots, just an fyi… The food was wonderful and drinks even better. And the pools, so fun and LARGE, we had to spend an hour just exploring the all, and the swim up bar!!! The whole staff was fabulous. I would go back in a second. Oh and the adult only is a major major plus, after spending hours on a plane with crazy kids everywhere, we were really happy we didn't have kids jumping and screaming in the pools all day. I can’t imagine one negative thing about the resort. GO ENJOY AND RELAX!!!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank SLO24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3,495)
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england
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2009

We came here in December last year to celebrate our wedding anniversary and fell in love with the place. We had a long journey (which is to be expected) and there was probably about an hour transfer from the airport, but the roads are fine (nothing like St Lucia...if you've ever been there you'll think this is like the M1!), but as soon as we arrived at the hotel we were looked after. Cooled face towel and glass of bubbly on arrival, and the bags were whipped away and taken to our rooms.

The rooms are large and. I wouldn't pay for the upgrade rooms, as I believe these were at the busier end of the hotel and the standard of the other rooms is great!

The food was FANTASTIC! You can eat litterally anything you want. The only thing which annoyed me was that people could be so rude to the serving staff at breakfast and lunch in the buffet. Grunting at them rather than smiling and asking nicely for what they would like.

Just as a note to our American cousins (and I am not lumping you all in here, but as I witnessed, the majority...) it is either 'Gracias', or if you are not happy with speaking Spanish 'Thank You'. They understand that too.

The staff are lovely and so helpful, and if you don't feel a bit guilty for such poor people giving you such unconditional friendliness- you don't have a heart.

The beach is great and private, and you can lie around all day, and the waiters will come and serve you drinks. The beach BBQ is lovely and means you don't have to go inside for lunch if you don't want to.

The only thing I didnt think was great was the room service, but we only did this once when we had out anniversary breakfast in bed. Its such a long way from the kitchen.

Our anniversary dinner was lovely, with rose petals on the table and a special menu printed just for us.

The pools are all clean and lovely. The cascade pool was our favourite as it was a bit quieter. There is a pool bar, which is fine if you like things a bit louder...There are plenty of places to escape to if you don't.

I really can't fault this holiday, the people and place were fantastic. The only thing that let it down was maybe the attitude of some of our fellow guests.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank hickers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Merseyside
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2009

We went here on our honeymoon in June this year...it was the most amazing holiday i have ever had. The food was totally 5 star, and as a chef's daughter i should know. The head chef is often seen walking round checking everything is perfect and in order. The staff cannot do enough for you and always willing to help with whatever you need. The drinks are all brands everyone recognises and the house wine is lovely. We got a little confused as it is an all inclusive resort, when on our first night we were given a wine list that is priced....don't worry just ask for the house white or red. Its just a standard practice as i presume that a lot of American wine conercers prefer the choice. But i love wine and can recommmed the house bottles very much. The spa is amazing and very very tranquil. On an odd note after fainting, due to the heat, the staff in the spa were very vigiliant in calling for the on site doctor who was very nice and spoke good english. Additionally there was no cost charged to myself and my husband. This just make you feel more secure. The entertainment is good...the Michael Jackson show was fab...but very eary when he happened to die the next day. The beach is stunning and says paradise all over it we got up for sunrise and it was very very romantice. In this resort you don't feel trapped or closed in like with some resorts its far to big for that yet you feel so at home from the moment you arrive. We took the excellence club packaged and found this very pleasent. We were able to take a couple of DVD's out to watch in our beautiful room, get a light breakfast, go and use the internet, which is free in the excellence club. They also have webcams if you wish to talk face to face with say your kids....just what i saw someone doing infact, The last part is gift shopping go to pandras box the couple there are great and will make sure you get a good deal. We are definatley going back and i would highly recommend this hotel/resort to everyone.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank wrigglebottom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2009

My husband and I needed a relaxing holiday to recover from recent traumatic and stressful events in our lives. We had hoped for ten days in Mauritius, but were unable to book in time, so seven days in Dom Rep was a last minute choice. Having read the reviews, we were hopeful, but a bit anxious that our choice was going to be appropriate for our needs.

We need not have worried! A week at Excellence was just what the doctor ordered.
Please take more notice of the good reviews. They are much more accurate than the negative ones. Excellence is not perfect, but where is and this resort definitely lives up to the name “Excellence”. I’m torn between giving away the secret of this wonderful resort and singing its praises, but on balance I feel it deserves as much praise as it can get.

So here goes.
To start, I must congratulate the management for the wonderfully smooth and efficient running of this place. I really admired the attention to detail and preciseness of it all. Staff uniforms were always crisp and neat and complete with name badges and I loved the attention to detail and little touches: like rose petals or carnations or hibiscus strewn around the sink in the ladies restrooms; or the violinist serenading each couple in Chez Isabelle, the French restaurant or the pianist playing background music during breakfast in Toscana, the buffet restaurant. The grounds are beautifully maintained and everywhere was spotless.

However, what makes this place extra special is the wonderful staff. All of them were consistently friendly, polite, helpful and professional with a capital P. It is a little unfair to single out any but I will mention those that I got to know or saw most frequently or were most impressed with. First of all, the entertainment staff: the lovely Joannah, my wonderful Spanish teacher who has inspired me to learn the language and her colleagues Caesar and Emmanuel Emilo who worked tirelessly running a variety of entertaining activities throughout the day. I will also mention here the fantastic variety of activities and facilities on offer at this place. Its true what other reviewers had said, there is something to do every minute of the day from yoga at 9.00 am to the disco at 11.00 pm. Or you could choose to do absolutely nothing or just watch the explicit material on Channel 21 or bask in the sun. The shows at night time were excellent and achieved a very professional standard especially the dancing and costumes. There was also an enjoyable singer one night that performed some of my favourite music from the 80s. The Dominican night was very colourful and atmospheric. Unfortunately, we missed the much praised Michael Jackson night as it was on the night we arrived and we fell asleep suffering from jet lag. Thanks to the restaurant and bar waiters, especially Daniella, our waitresses at breakfast in the Toscana and at the bar next to the theatre (sorry I don’t remember your names). I must also mention Carlos the pool concierge and the entire bar staff. I’d like to say a special thank you to Felix, at the front desk, for being so professional and cheerful. A special thank you also to the room maids especially for the daily towel animals – I loved the rabbit!
We took lots of one dollar notes and tipped regularly to say thank you, which I hope was appreciated by the staff.

The quality of the food was on the whole very good especially Chez Isabelle and Toscana. We didn’t get to try all the restaurants so can only comment on the ones we tried. We had only one bad experience. On the first morning, we chose to breakfast at the Lobster House but even though the waiters were speedy, polite and very attentive, the food was cold and inedible. After that, we had breakfast at Toscana, which was excellent – the greatest variety I’ve ever seen and wonderful service especially the cooked to order section. This restaurant was also good for lunch, especially the made to order grilled fish/meat. The special events –the Mediterranean and Dominican nights produced delicious food and you should try the sea bass at Chez Isabelle. Even though we eat mainly fish and seafood, there was always something suitable for us to eat.

While we were there, the beach was wonderfully peaceful as most people seemed to hang out near the pool. The sea was too rough for swimming but we spent many happy hours just relaxing, being served cocktails and pizza and just listening to the sea and soaking up the sun. “That was the life!”

I must also mention the relaxing Swedish massage I had at the Spa which is a haven of tranquillity. Thank you Julia!

For shopping, you must go to Nancy in the flea market at the end of the beach. She runs the most successful stall because she leaves you to browse at your leisure and is helpful when you need it. Also her prices are mostly fair and reasonable. What a friendly pleasant person!

All the guests we met were happy and full of praise for Excellence, including a pair of newly weds whose wedding we had observed on the beach.

The only really bad thing about this holiday, was leaving to go back home to reality.

I was given a questionnaire to fill out on my very first morning but obviously was unable to offer any comments. Strangely, I was not given one on the last day which would have been much more sensible. So I will offer a few suggestions for improvement that would make this resort as close as possible to perfect, on this website which I’m sure is read by managers. Or if its not, it should be.

The rooms are comfortable, clean and were definitely luxurious once upon a time but could perhaps do a with a face life now.
There was a musty smell in our room. This is something that has been mentioned by many reviewers and although I soon got used to it, it should be fixed.
My husband and I both had a minor tummy upset near the end of our stay, again something mentioned by other reviewers. This is a mystery as everything was so clean.
However these things were minor and did not in any way detract from our enjoyment .We were treated like royalty and we hope to return one day. As it is an adult’s only resort, this is definitely an ideal place to spend quality time with your partner.


By the way I agree with the reviewer who wrote that, even though the transfer from the airport was a little long it wasn’t nearly as bad as some reviewers have described and it does give you a chance to see the countryside. And there’s as much champagne as you can drink and a wonderful experience to look forward to when you arrive. Incidentally I was impressed by the new airport with the huge fans and thatched roof.

This is a long review but I felt it was necessary to do justice to this truly excellent resort which offers such good value too. What are you waiting for! If you want t a truly relaxing and indulgent break that is good value for money –go now!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Loragirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2009

The holiday didnt have a great start - 8 hour delay from Gatwick flying with Thomas Cook, and the Thomas Cook plane was the worst plane I have ever travelled on - EasyJet and Ryan Air seats are bigger for short haul - people were sitting by the toilets as their seats were so uncomfortable - anyway, when we eventually arrived at the Excellence we were pleasantly surprised.
Room

We didnt bother to upgrade our room, and had a generic garden room suite. It was absolutely lovely. We were in block 3 which was close to the sea, and far enough away from the theatre and disco to be quiet. The rooms are beautiful, jacuzzi bath in the middle of the room - although the water was a little yellow from the taps sometimes.
While we were there (9th - 24th September) the hotel was at 45% occupancy, and this was perfect for us, we didnt have to queue for restaurants or anything. I am glad we werent there while the hotel was at 100% occupancy as we didnt have to reserve beds on the beach early etc
The people that we spoke to who had upgraded to Excellence said they didnt think it was worth it, and while we were there nothing was out of bounds, probably because it was such low occupancy.

Food
Breakfast in Toscana was a buffet, and there was a large selection, freshly cooked omelettes were delicious, as were the pancakes. The bacon was American style bacon, so streaky bacon with a lot of fat, and very crispy.

Lunch was great too, a big buffet selection in Toscana, I liked the freshly cooked pasta, hubby liked the freshly cooked steak massive selection of salads and other things - hard to fault really.
We had lunch in the grill which was also good, although I had an alaskan salmon wrap and this was more of a starter than a main, but was in the mains section. We liked the friendly loud blackbirds that come in.

Evening meals - our favourite was easily the Grill - the steaks were cooked to perfection. THe carrot cake with White chocolate sauce was also good. Chez Isabelle also did a good steak, and the tuna steak with shrimp risotto was tasty.
Spice was good - the Thai Green Curry (seafood) was to die for.
The Mexican was nice, Chimichanga was good, and we liked the salsa with the nachos.
The Lobster house was the biggest disappointment for us, Hubby sat and watched me eat my lobster (he doesnt like lobster and they do no other options) and when it arrived it was tiny. We went back to the room and ordered room service afterwards!
Oreganos was nothing to write home about.

Without a doubt Victor was the best waiter and we hope he has a wonderful holiday, but the staff are what makes it a pleasure to dine at Excellence - the food is simply not 5 star quality, but it is tasty and there is a good selection - something for everyone.

Weather
I was expecting a hurricane, but we were very lucky to have 10 days of glorious sunshine. The Sunday was a write off - it rained all day, and then the last 3 days were a little cloudy, but we were really lucky overall with the weather - it was boiling, and very humid, you did not need to take anything to cover up in the evenings.

We had no problem with mosquitos either.

The Beach
Yes, the sea was rough, but we enjoyed jumping the waves. We are both PADI qualified divers, but the dive centre was expensive and didnt seem that professional, so we didnt bother doing any diving while we were there, and there was nothing to sea snorkelling from the beach.
As the beach is private, there is no hassle from people coming round selling goods, but walking to the calmer waters on the right of the hotel (looking out to the sea) means walking past Willys shop, and he did try to get you to go in.

Entertainment
We found it to be very american, hollering and clapping aqua aerobics and such like, but you can take it or leave it, and if you dont want to take part you are not hassled. On the beach it was a lot quieter.
Evening entertainment was good when we stayed up for it, the sea air takes it out of us, so we struggled to stay up for 10pm every night, but the Micheal Jackson show is definately worth watching. The only problem we found was the Theatre got really hot, it is not air conditioned, so we would usually watch a bit of the show then head back to our room for the cool air con!
Channel 21 was interesting, and a much talked about channel while we were there amongst guests and staff alike!

Overall Opinion.
The resort was very nice, lavishly done out, and the all inclusiveness was impressive - it was good to have room service included and the mini bar. We spent about $400 in tips over a fortnight.
We had our laundry done while we were there, and the leaflet says to pay at the front desk before you get it done, which we did, and then at checkout there was no record of us paying, so we had to pay twice.
The resort is beautiful, but there is no reason to go back for us - we like to experience a bit of culture and we could have been anywhere in the world, however we enjoyed our total chill out holiday. Excellente!!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Melv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
houston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2009

This place rocks, if you want to just drink and relax. The D.R. is so poor there is not much out there. That being said for the money this place can't be beat. The staff is great, rooms are nice, food is good( after all it is a hotel, if you go to a hotel for 5 star dining then you've never had 5 star food). The tranfer takes about an hour, not that it's that for away, but between the holes in the dirt and gravel rd. and all the motor bikes, it's slow going. Excellence club is a joke don't waste the money, Tell them it's your honeymoon and you'll get fruit and spk. wine anyway. The casino is pretty small but after midnight it's a happening place, same with the disco. If you smoke, take a carton with you, cigs there taste funny and burn. the sun is intense, I don't burn in Texas, I did after an hour in D. R.

SAND FLEAS OR FLIES or whatever they are didn't bother me at all, I never get bit by anything , my girl however got tore up. They look like flea bites. Spray down with off (they have it there) and try to avoid the beach after dark as much as possible.

Tip a dollar or two every couple of rounds, you will be rewarded , if you are brave try the local moonshine "mamawana"

Take the free horse ride, buy the bottle of rum skip the cd, hit walmart(it's a shack, you'll get his card) put a little money into the local economy

One Sunday we were so hung over that we stayed in bed all day and had room service. what a waste you may be thinking, but after 6 srtaight days of drinking, a day off was nice. Besides with direct tv from denver we watched football all day. There also is an "adult" channel that plays all day and night, if your so inclined.

leave a five at the mini bar and never run out of presidente beer

We're going to mexico to get married this year, but to just to relax and eat and drink, save a few bucks and hit the D.R.

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank john7787
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2009

The Excellence is an all inclusive, adult resort. We loved it. Everyone was so friendly and so helpful. There was full time activities planned if you wished to participate in those. Also there were opportunities to take excursions outside the resort for additional costs.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dodayoung
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
#10 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 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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