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“Excellente honeymoon”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #14 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 6 October 2009

We stayed here Sept 20-26 2009 for our honeymoon. After the shuttle ride from hell, we were met with champagne and caviar. We ordered room service the first night and now wish we had tried more of the restaurants offered at Excellence.

The staff was really friendly, even the grounds keepers would speak and say buenos dias. The drinks were plentiful and if you wanted more alcohol in your drinks all you had to do was ask. My wife liked the low octane drinks so she could drink more throughout the day.

Try all of the different restaurants the resort offers. It IS NOT buffet style and you order from a menu. The presentation is set like a 3-4 star restaurant. We tried the Mediterranean, Chinese/Japanese, Lobster House, French and had dinner on the beach one evening. All of the food was excellente! They did not offer a lot of snacks but the three meals a day kept you from needing a snack. Room service was available 24 hours a day and they brought personal pizzas around the pool and beach during the day for snacks.

I would not recommend doing the VIP package unless you are on a honeymoon. Otherwise the hard liquors are always available at nearby bars. The VIP lounge was nice for the Internet service and PCs set up for use. The VIP lounge also had a big TV to watch whatever you wanted. The rooms had nice 32" flat screens but there was not much time spent watching TV. However, if you get a chance, watch channel 21!

We did two different off resort excursions. The first was a ATV/ 4 wheeler ride thru the area. We rode to a cave and swam in the freshwater. The children are waiting for you for tips and will wipe your feet and offer the ladies flowers for their hair. There are also some vendors set up. They will give you a necklace or some other cheap gift in an effort to have you look at the goods they are selling. DO NOT buy cigars from these folks. Some are rolled with banana leaves and have dried out. We went to a small coffee and cocoa plantation and we were offered some hot cocoa. You could buy some coffee or cocoa but no high pressure or anything. We then went to the Caribbean Sea and swam a little while. The beach vendors wear you out trying to get you to buy from them

The second trip was to the mountains. This was with the Funny Monster tour. HIGHLY recommended. We got to see a lot of the country side and see how folks really lived. They are a poor but proud people. This was an all day trip. We got to see a local school. My bride enjoyed this being a teacher herself.

My tips would be to only tip the porters, bartenders and housekeeping on the last day. $1 is a great tip for all of these folks. Don't over pack and you can use the laundry service offered by the resort. Don't bring any food. Bring an exttra pair of sunglasses, nice sandals and a good attitude and you will have a great time.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jake_and_Heather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9,765 - 9,771 of 13,327 reviews

Reviewed 5 October 2009

My husband and I traveled to this resort for our Honeymoon. We were originally going to go to St. Lucia, and I thought I would be disappointed but was I wrong!!! It went way beyond my expectations! The resort is breathtaking and it is really a place you can relax, lay back and enjoy the sun! The restaurants at this resort are top notch and was some of the best food I have ever had! The staff is extremely friendly (so make sure to bring some ones for tips!!) and very helpful. The only thing that I would definitely do again (because the resort is worth it) BUT could do without is the ride from the Airport to the resort. It was a long ride (approx. 40 min.) and they drive really crazy. But other than that it was a very laid back vacation with some fun in the ocean and laying in the sun.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank NYJtr02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2009

The resort itself is lovely and the staff is very friendly. I had read so many reviews on this place prior to going and I didn't know who to believe. I obviously wanted to trust the many people who had the greatest time ever on their trip. But we didn't have that experience. From the moment you get off the place you deal with the locals trying to overwhelm you for money (wanting to take you bags for you, even though you know you are just simply supposed to find your travel rep.) So you give money to have them show you to your travel rep, and then they take you out to your bus. Not sure who all I was supposed to tip, but I think we got them all. It was just a bit overwhelming, but I think our travel agent should've prepared us for all that.

The shuttle ride from airport to resort was very much out of the Amazing Race. Any participant in the Amazing Race would have loved our driver. He was passing people left and right, trailing very closely to a guy on a bike with 3 other people AND a propane tank (doesn't seem smart). We finally made it after a very bumpy, scary ride in an hour. Home sweet home for the week.

Check-in was fine, although I was told I should ask for an upgrade, and was only offered the Excellence Club for an additional $600. Just getting on internet without paying would have been nice. The place where you pay to get on the internet was like a sauna, so you didn't want to spend any time there. We thought internet access was included, but apparently not.

Speaking of the sauna, the whole trip felt like a giant sauna. If we had come during a time that was about 10-20 degrees cooler, we probably would have loved it. But it was about 90 each day for the high (without a heat index that took us over 100 degrees easily. Low of about 90 with heat index. But in the evening, most night would have no wind, so it was sweltering. The restaurants were only slightly A/Cd as was our room. I think our room was between 78-80, which was miserable. We tried to get a new room and then said they'd fix it. Nope, never happened. We just didn't get to enjoy the evening activities because you get so hot and sunburnt from being out in the pool all day, and drinking. Then you go to dinner that requires a dress code for men to wear long pants and you just sweat and sweat. Left little desire for us to do much of anything in the evening. Especially not the casino (which was a main reason we picked this place), which was just terribly hot. And not the discoteca where you melt away from the heat.

The food was really good for the most part, although I did get sick after eating at Spice. I just wanted some american food so desperately and was thrilled when I saw Wendy's at the airport on the way home.

Like I said, if we had been more comfortable with the temperature, it would be a lovely resort. Or even if our AC worked in the room. But we were just too warm to enjoy. Also, the beds were very hard, and bugs were all over in the room. The mosquitos on the beach are a disaster in the evening. Take bug spray!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sandmansgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2009

Great hotel, only wished we had booked more than a week there. The staffs are great, the pools, rooms and beach great. The sea was rough but as mentioned before there is a good swimming spot to the left of the bay. We would love to go back or try the Sister hotel in Mexico next year. Many Hotels might pretend or like to think they are 5 Star but this is justifiably so. Enjoy.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MacpG0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2009

This trip was the best ever. All the staffs were great, pleasant, and always available with great desire to please not just me and my friend, but every other guest. The food was great, the room service, the room, and the pool; I would say I have no complaint. I would recommend this resort to everyone and I will definitely go again soon. Some of the staff that made our trip one of the best so far were Altagracia Gremy at the Martini Bar as well as Juan Manuel. Also Altagracita, Viviana, and Darton who works at the Mexican Restaurant. They were all the best staff I have ever met at a resort, each one of them is what made our trip the BEST one ever. Me and my friend will always remember them because of the treatment that we received from them, they are indeed what gives the name of Excellence to this resort.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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6  Thank yam230607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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12  Thank SLO24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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9  Thank hickers
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
#8 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £212 - £482 (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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