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Reviews (14,350)
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Reviewed 14 September 2017

We have done a lot of all inclusive's, and nothing comes close to this. From the moment you walk in, everything is taken care of. The staff are all amazing, the rooms are stunning, and the food is top notch. Everything at night is ala carte without reservations, so its very relaxing, not a hurry to be anywhere. They do hand out buzzers if you have to wait, but plenty of bars close by to hang out in.

A few of my favorite things!
Bar fridge is well stocked with both alcoholic drinks, pop and juice (minute maid apple & orange) as well as snack baskets with things like cheese & crackers, nuts & Oreos.

Lunch buffet has take out containers so you can make a plate up and take it to the pool......amazing for nachos!!!

Drinks around the pool are served in acrylic glasses instead of those little plastic cups.

There is a party pool & a quiet pool, both are lovely with palapas around them and food carts if you don't want to hit a restaurant up.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank CurlyJenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Excellence G, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 21 September 2017

Dear CurlyJenna,

Allow us to thank you for choosing Excellence Punta Cana as your getaway destination and for taking the time to share your experience with all Trip Advisor readers.

It is delighting to read that you found a fantastic time at our resort and our colleagues were able to deliver a friendly and attentive service, exceeding your expectations. Thanks for adding generous remarks of the positive sides of your vacation with us and mentioning the delicious food & drinks encountered and the gorgeous facilities & ambiance that made your stay memorable.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon for another superb experience!

Please receive our warmest regards from Punta Cana!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2017

Before the review itself, I thought it best to give the context. We have been to the Valentin Imperial Maya (VIM) in Riviera Maya a number of times, but this year decided to try something different. On the recommendation of a colleague we booked the Excellence Punta Cana (EPC). We are necessarily bias and will probably always compare resorts to the VIM simply because it was our first experience and we kept going back because of it. There are frequently questions on the Punta Cana travel forum asking for advice on Riviera Maya vs Dominicana, so I hope to compare and contrast what we’ve experienced.
Facility
The EPC is laid out very strategically for rainy weather, which we got on 4 of the 6 days we were there. We stayed in building 11, so were almost as far away from the central hub of the resort as you could be. Happily, you can walk from there all the way to the lobby and restaurants without ever going out from under cover. But if you want, there are pathways in the back that go through lush gardens and beautiful landscaping. Each building is a set of three buildings with a garden courtyard in the center. They were meticulously maintained and were beautiful. The garden staff works very hard to make the grounds magnificent. One in particular, Raymundo, worked all day trimming a hedgerow with a machete. It was probably the straightest, squarest hedge I’d ever seen, done purely with a hand tool.
Our room was a Junior Suite Ocean View (Room 11203), overlooking the main pool on the far north end. Because it was on the top floor, it had a high ceiling and seemed larger than it was. The bed was comfortable, but the pillows were a little thin. I should have thought to ask if there was an option to get firmer pillows, but I never did so that is my fault. The mini bar was stocked well and they refilled with more of what you seemed to use up.
The “towel game” was in full force. I went out to the pool one morning at 7:30 and there were already 5 palapas “saved” for the day. Because I actually stayed there to read and enjoy the outside, I know for a fact that many of them never came to “their” chairs until almost lunchtime. Also, on the days it rained, people were taking 2, 3, even 4 towels to wrap themselves in sitting by the pool. I saw one couple in a bali bed with 10 towels spread out amongst themselves. Because of this, there were sometimes no towels to be had at all for hours at a time while the staff did their best to wash and dry more. It was pretty ridiculous.
The one thing we found fault with in the overall facility was the lack of places to sit. There is one large open-air theater in the middle of the complex where all the shows are held. On either side there is a bar, one for smaller shows (Sax player, singers, etc) and the other just a large bar. If you wanted to go sit and have a quiet drink, there is no place to go. At the VIM there are a number of smaller indoor bars where you could meet up with friends to have a drink or play a game of cards. Not so at EPC (at least that we could find).
Staff
Because of the aforementioned rain, we got to spend some quality time with the activities staff. I would not be exaggerating to say they were amazing. Some of them were stunning in their ability to remember names and faces. They would see you around the pool area or at an evening event and call you by name, come over and sit with you and chat for a moment to tell a story. Soley, Rosie and Ergie were superb in this manner. They really made the stay enjoyable. Some of the bar staff were just as personable. I had read the reviews before going and noticed many people mentioning staff by name and I could not imagine why, but now I know. We tended to stay in the same area, and the staff must work the same areas as well because we would see the same faces regularly. One of the bar waiters, Hendroix, was able to sit and chat with us on occasion and we learned of his family and he of ours. It was a highlight of the stay to get to know some of the staff and really connect.
Food
We ate at almost all of the restaurants over the course of our stay except for the Asian and Mexican dining rooms. For the most part, the food was mediocre. The lobster we had one night at the Lobster House was tough and chewy. The French food was fairly bland. The tapas were good and they had a good variety to choose from and we had an excellent experience and meal at The Grill (steak) restaurant. One morning we decided to eat at the non-buffet choice and the service was awful. It took nearly an hour to order and get our food. The buffet was fine, with some odd choices for breakfast sometimes (like chicken nuggets). The juice selection was good and fresh. Try the celery juice, you won’t be disappointed. As far as the food service overall, we found it to be variable. I think much of it had to do with some of the staff’s English skills. If they were not comfortable in their English, they would tend to be shier and smile less. Those who felt they could speak passable English seemed more friendly and smiled more. Just my personal observation and may not hold true for everyone. I speak enough Spanish to get by and when I did, the “less smiley” folks would lighten up considerably, even with my poor diction, so I think it is a factor.
Summary
Overall it was a good experience. We enjoyed the stay and the staff. Comparing it to the VIM we found the attention to detail to be the biggest negative. That is, there was nothing large or terribly problematic, but a number of little things that added up. For example: a couple of days the hot tub was not even warm. In the restaurants they played contemporary music instead of something themed for that venue (like French music in the French restaurant). At one point there were two different music selections going on at the same time (the Tapas, Mediterranean and Italian restaurants are in the same building and have an open-ceiling). The warming lights at the buffet sometimes were not great, so the food was cold that was supposed to be hot. Picky things, I know, but things we noticed.
Would we go again? It depends. We had a fine time there and now know better what to expect. A lot would depend on price. There was nothing bad at all in the experience, in fact we had a great time, but for us the level of service and the atmosphere at the VIM is a step above the EPC. That, of course, comes at a price. Their staff is the EPC’s biggest asset. They are trained well and connect with the guests in a way I’ve not seen before. I hope they don’t forfeit this during the shutdown

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
16  Thank Frank-Staunton-VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2017 via mobile

A great vacation upgraded to excellence club ocean view and had a double balcony overlooking beach! Drinks and service were great, we will definitely be back . Good food , not over the top but hey we went to relax and had our sites set on that. The entertainment each night was great and plenty of variety! We never felt the need to venture out of the resort .

Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Denise A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2017 via mobile

My stay at Excellence was pleasant in every direction. The staff was helpful and accommodating, the food was at least as good as I had expected if not better. Ditto for the variety of the drinks which were plentiful and of good quality. And the room in general was perfectly fine for a resort of that kind.

The facilities and the games and the pool will all of extremely fine quality and even better than I had expected.

Finally the most unexpected and pleasant part of it was the zoo and park in front of the hotel that had a collection of animals various kinds as well as a large amount of water and foliage.

Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank IVAN W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Excellence G, Community Manager at Excellence Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2017

Dear Ivan,

First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to write this review in which you share your experience at Excellence Punta Cana with all Trip Advisor readers.

It is very satisfying to know that you had a memorable time in our resort. Thank you for the generous remarks of the positive sides of your vacation with us and mentioning the excellent services provided by our staff and our beautiful ambiance & nature which made your experience enjoyable.

We all look forward to serving you soon and provide you with another amazing getaway!

Receive our warmest regards from Punta Cana!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2017

The rooms and food were fairly typical as far as all-inclusive resorts go. This was a firm mid-range resort. The parts that made this resort memorable were as follows:
- The coy pond out front
- The variety of cuisines available in the sit down dinner style restaurants
- The straw thatch umbrellas on the beach, which so many newer resorts skip, in favor of cheaper, less natural umbrellas.
- The fact that they had a vendor offering horseback riding on the beach.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank DavidD_from_WashDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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