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“Wedding/Honeymoon Trip...Amazing Time!!!!”

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Excellence Punta Cana
Ranked #18 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
minnetonka
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wedding/Honeymoon Trip...Amazing Time!!!!”
Reviewed 25 April 2012

We stayed April 3-8. We came to Excellence to get married, and then enjoy our honeymoon. we read lots of reviews before we left, and felt that anyone that had criticism was very picky. I will break it up so that its easier to follow;
Rooms- Very nice, very clean, and the cleaning staff were super helpful. The minibar was always stocked, and the safe was more than adequate for what we brought, which was just our travel docs and some petty cash. The only thing that was tricky was the toilet, but that wasnt because of the resort, it is a DR thing. The pressure is lower, and you def dont want to use a lot of toilet paper.

Food- As a group we ate at every restaurant on the resort and did not have a bad meal while we were there. For breakfast, I thought the best was Toscana, where you could get ready to make omelets, eggs, waffles, french toast, plus a huge buffet with everything you would need. Some of the other breakfast restaurants had a menu to order from, but I was content with the buffet. We spent most of the lunches at The Grill, just because it was by the pool, and had a good variety of lunch options. Dinner was were the fun was, because they had so many different choices from Mexican (Agave) French, Seafood (Lobster House) Italian, and Japanese(Spice). The resort also has a few other restaurants, like Mediterranean and Pizza, which were also great. The room service was terrific. The food is made fresh, and tastes just as good as the restaurants.

Bars- We tried almost every bar on the resort. The only ones we didnt were some of the random pool/beach bars. All of them did an awesome job of making what you wanted, and how you wanted it. They were always happy to serve you, and it was always nice to get friendly with a bartender/waitress(They would take care of you right back) Just make sure that if you really like a certain brand of liquor to ask for it, because they may make a certain drink with a different brand from bar to bar.

Activities- This is what set the resort apart from the others that Ive heard of or been to. There is always something to do, and many times there will be someone walking around the resort letting you know what activities are happening. If you go, you need to find Willy. You will know him when you meet him. The best guy at the resort. Made the trip incredible, especially if he got to know you a little. He was the equivalent to a cruise director, he knew everything to do, and was a blast doing it. We also took to playing pool volleyball which was a good way to get sun, and also stay a little active.

Overall resort- Everything was top-notch from the champagne at arrival, until the last meal you eat there. The service is exceptional, and we never heard the word NO when we were there. I would definitely go back.

We would just like to send a special thanks to everyone at the resort that made our wedding all that it was. It exceeded our expectations. Griselda, our wedding coordinator was so helpful and so accommodating. The front desk/concierge team welcomed us with open arms, and were helpful in getting us situated.

The only thing that was a bummer were the sand flies. If the beach was calm, they would come out and bite. Some people say they are bed bugs, but the fact they bite you on the beach, and you can see them, they were obviously sand flies. it is just someone that was misled or misinformed. Also be very careful after it rains, the walkway outside the rooms gets very slippery when they are wet.

Room Tip: We didnt have anyone of our 12 rooms that our group had that were not outstanding. Some rooms are c...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ryan Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cumcerland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2012

The staff was incredible at this resort. It was a truly wonderful vacation. If I had one complaint it would be I like a softer mattress.

Room Tip: Love the ground floor rooms with the hammocks.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cstoehr66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alabama
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

My wife and I honeymooned at this resort from April 14-20. Let me preface by saying that the resort is very nice and the service is incredible. My biggest complaint, which there is nothing they can do to change it, is the location. I had heard that the resort was an hour away from the airport so I decided to book the resorts' private taxi option. That basically meant they brokered a taxi to be there waiting on us. So my wife and I hopped into an old van with a cab driver that spoke almost very little English. To say we traveled through the slums of the DR would be an understatement. I'm from a small town in Alabama but the things I saw were humbling and scary at the same time. The ride back was even more scary because on the anticipation the night before. I will say we had no hiccups with either ride; both drivers took us directly to and from the resort. Our only worries were what "could happen" very easily and how no one would ever find out.

Our second issue, which I blame partly on myself, was at the Mini-Mart on the resort. One day we got ice cream and decided to do some shopping. We picked out some items (coffee cup, magnets, lighter, etc) and the salesman, Rafel, told us to continue shopping and he would take our items to the front desk until we were ready to check-out. When we finished shopping we went back to meet with Rafel. He added the sticker price of all our items and said it would be $69. After some negotation we agreed on $35. We shook hands, a gentlman bagged our gifts, and a lady rang us up and jotted down the inventory. We left and my wife even went and got Rafel some ice cream because he said he loved it (in his intial sales pitch). When we got back to our room and empited the shopping bag, we noticed the coffee cup and lighter were missing. I told my wife that maybe it was an honest mistake and to add up the sticker prices of the items in the bag to make sure they equaled $69. Well sure enough the summation of sticker prices came up $24 shy of $69; the exact price of the coffee cup ($18) and the lighter ($6). We went back to store but Rafel was gone for the day. The lady in charge did not believe us and the only one still there was the cash register girl. She claimed to speak no English and did not belive our story when the lady in charge translated it to her. I gave the lady in charge $15 and told her to accept it regardless of the $18 sticker price because I had already bought it one time. The next day was our check-out and I mentioned the episode at the front desk but they basically said "sorry, you had that experience" . In summary, my advice is to simply check your bags before you leave any stores! I didn't and we were taken advantage of.

Now to the positives:

We had a Jr. Swim-Up room and it was fantasic. We did not have any musty smells that I've read about. Aside from the in-room hot tub which was staind (weren't going in that thing) the room was very clean and maid service was satisfactory.The bed was firm but not unmanageable. The shower water took several minutes to warm up and one evening the water had a brown tint. But we felt neither of those were worthy of complaing to management because they likely couldn't do anything about it. Outside our room, we had a patio table, which was great for breakfast, and two lounge chairs and the pool was about ten feet from our sliding glass door. Some touch-up paint could do wonders for most of the buidings and rooms but it's one of those things that isn't noticable unless you're looking for it. Overall, I loved the room and would not consider upgrading any higher. That reminds me, not one time were we asked to upgrade to the Excellence Club. We had already decided not to so I was glad we weren't bugged about it. And speaking of the notorius bugs that some travelers type about, we did not see one our entire trip. I'm not sure if it is a seasonal thing or not, but we didn't see any and never had to use the bug spray I brought with us.

The food was average but I had expected that after reading hundreds of reviews on here. Our favorite was Agave (Mexican; and the bar there even has Coronas) and Spice (Asain). The grill on the beach is great, too. Pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, onion rings, fries, etc. are all available.

All the bars were great and bartenders were quick to make you a (very stout) drink of your choice! The shows each night are also great. The circus show and the very popular Michael Jackson shows were entertaining. Get there early to get a good seat.

We are accustom to the beaches in the Gulf of Mexico (Panama City and Destin area) so the sand and water color were a bit of a dissapointment. It's not the Carribean style that most picture. And yes, I'm sure that's because it's the Atlantic Ocean but it takes away from the island feel, in my opinon. I did get in the water a few times but it was very rough. At one end there is a reef and inside it the water is much calmer and clear.

In summary, we had a great time at the Excellence Punta Cana. The main negative is the location. If you are traveling with a group, which I recommend, I don't think it would be that big of an issue. The main positive is the service; its Excellente'! We enjoyed ourselves but I don't think we will be returning anywhere in the DR unless it is on a mission trip.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank wmellis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Let me preface this review by first saying that I have been to the DR close to 20 times and this is the first time I have felt compelled to post a review base on my experience at a particular resort. I have stayed at many different resort chains, in many different price categories so I have experienced the good, the great, the bad and the ugly. That being said, I believe I have a very good foundation of experiences to base my reviews on and I know what to expect from resorts in the Punta Cana region.

The Excellence resort came very highly recommended from our travel agent and after reading the reviews online, I felt this was the place to book our destination wedding the week of April 7th through the 14th. We also had about 20 of our closest family and friends joining us for our wedding ceremony on the beach that week. Since this was our wedding/honeymoon, my fiance and I decided to spend the extra $1200 or so to book an excellence club ocean view junior suite. Little did we know that these are the same exact rooms as the rest of the resort, you just have access to the excellence club lounge with your own personal check-in desk...not worth the extra coin in my opinion. The phone in our room did not work for the first 3 days of our trip. The A/C worked when it wanted but for the most part the room never was cool enough to be comfortable. The sliding glass doors were so old and worn out that the doors could barely be opened which was apparent from the handle being completely broken off on our room's door. The mold smell in a lot of the rooms was unbearable but especially on the first floor, which was where a lot of our guest stayed.Although the resort grounds are beautiful, the resort's buildings and pools are extremely dated and show obvious signs of wear and damage. The phone in our room did not work for the first 3 days of our trip, the A/C worked when it wanted but for the most part the room never was cool enough to be comfortable. The mold smell in a lot of the rooms was unbearable but especially on the first floor, which was where a lot of our guest stayed. Many, if not all of the pool's ladders were not securely fastened which made entering and exiting the pool very difficult for older folks. Another concern which personally effected my group was the tile used to cover the entire pool deck. When wet, especially with sunscreen/oil, the entire surface was so slippery that I witnessed many people falling and getting severely hurt. My one friend slipped and had to get 5 stitched on the back of his head because he slipped using an unstable ladder to exit the pool. I understand that the resort is old but the maintenance of the facility and it's surroundings is in dire need of repair and or replacement.

The food at the resort was average for the DR, nothing special but nothing bad.

The bars and drinks were better than average.

The shows and nightly entertainment were below average when compared to the ones viewed at other resorts. The shows were almost too embarrassing to watch and poor quality. The music was always distorted and the acts did not seem to be with it except for the break dancers and the MJ show. The same saxophone player played the same songs in the lobby night after night before the show. Other resorts had a different entertainer each night whether it be a piano player, a jazz or mariachi band, they changed it up and kept it fresh.

The beach, pool side, bar and restaurant service was great. The staff greeted you with a smile and did their best to get you whatever you needed. However dealing with the front desk/reception staff was a totally different scenario. When one of my friends arrived, the travel agent goofed and did not book him a room till the next day. This being the case, the hotel demanded he pay a nightly rate of $500 USD to stay the night he did not a reservation. I tried getting a hold of our travel agent but it was Easter and we could not get in touch with her till the following day. I went up to the front desk to explain this hoping that my wedding guest could just get a room for the night and we could work out the charge the next day once our travel agent could handle the mistake. I was rudely told that if my friend did not pay the absurdly high rate that my room would be charged $170 for him staying with me. This was the last thing I would think the resort would want to do to a couple that was getting married at their hotel and bringing them a 20 person group worth of business! But guess what, Alexander, an obnoxious, short bald guy at the front reception desk did just that and would not accommodate my friend and their hotel guest without having someone pay the $500. How Alexander got this room rate is beyond me but the daily rate for someone staying at the hotel is $80 USD so I would assume that if he stayed with me and my fiance on our honeymoon, that would be the highest amount that was unknowingly charged to my room. Either way, he spent the night sleeping in the lobby because he felt bad staying with us and the sad part is that the resort was perfectly content with this situation. Even after we we able to get abhold of our travel agent, they still did not let my poor friend check in till 2pm...over 24 hours after he arrived at the Excellence Punta Cana. If that's not customer service, i don't know what is!

Thankfully the trip was not all bad even though it rained the majority of our vacation. Griselda was our wedding coordinator and she was phenomenal. Our wedding was everything we dreamed of and more thanks to the "above and beyond" attitude of our wedding planner Griselda. She made us feel like we were her only priority from the moment we met her till the day we left. She was the saving grace of our trip and the main reason we are giving this resort 2 stars instead of 1.

Arturo, our photographer from Photo Souvenir, also did an outstanding job and captured every moment of our special day on camera!

There was one concierge that helped our my wife as well that we would also like to give thanks to. His name was Roberto Puello and he let her call back to the US when her Uncle passed our from dehydration at breakfast the day we were leaving. She tried to use the phone at the front desk but the same jerk that tried to stiff my friend, Alexander, told her that she needed a credit card and tried to charge my wife to make an emergency call to her father to see what to do about her unconscious uncle. Roberto came to the rescue and let her call for free and gave her some peace of mind.

If you want to charge top dollar and claim that you are a 5 star resort, then uphold your end of the bargain and maintain your resort as promised! I would not reccommend this resort to anyone in the future, you can spend much less and have an equally good time at a number of other resorts in Punta Cana. Secrets Royal Beach is a brand new, adults only place I have visited twice and in retrospect should have visited a 3rd time this year! The Excellence Punta Cana really needs to learn the meaning of customer service and spend some money on updating/maintaining their resort. As I previously stated, I have been to the DR over 20 times and know what to expect. I expect top notch service when thats what is promised and paid for by my guest and myself. I also understand that everything does not always go as planned but the way things were dealt with and the way I was treated after bringing a 20 person party to this resort is unforgivable in my mind. I tried to even wait a week to let my clear before writing this review but as you can tell, I am still in awe of what happened to my guests and myself on our trip in early April.

Room Tip: The Excellence Club rooms are exactly the sames as the rest of the hotel so save yourself the money...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Michael G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, New York
Level Contributor
114 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

I've been reading reviews on this resort for 4 months, anticipating an exceptional resort with better than average food and fabulous customer service. We experienced neither, and I must say, we are not pretentious or fussy. I've been to enough all inclusives to know that you're not going to enjoy fine dining and 800 thread count sheets.
We were on the ground floor and made use of the hammock and a small patio. The drawback to ground floor rooms is that the air conditioning may not work so well, and it's probably not safe to leave your patio door open all night to enjoy the warm breeze. We brought a container of Damp Rid and agreed that this helped tremendously, although our clothes and sheets were always damp and smelled a little musty. It's the Caribbean, so you get over it quickly.
The positive reviews for Agave (Mexican restaurant) and Spice (Chinese /Japanese / Thai) are accurate; these were our favorite places for dinner. I would avoid the Lobster House unless you can figure out a way to communicate that you want your lobster a little underdone. Otherwise, your lobster will be mealy and inedible. I've had Caribbean lobster previously; it is delicious if cooked properly.
I was so looking forward to the Dominican bar-b-que on the beach that had to be moved indoors due to high winds. The food was just ok. The stuffed pork was really good, but it was a little off-putting for some of us, as the little piglet looked like he was sleeping with his hooves tucked under his chin. If you could get past that, he was as delicious as he was adorable.
Room service was great; 45 minutes is not a long time to wait, and the food arrived hot. Although the Oregano restaurant is supposed to be open until 2am, it often appeared that no one was available to seat us, so we passed it by until the last evening. Pizza was not bad at all, nor was the lasagne. The waitstaff, however, had little interest in taking care of our table.

The huge 800 foot pool is kept clean for the most part. The shows, although a little cheesy at times, were entertaining. It annoyed me that very few guests applauded for the very hard working performers. How hard is it for you to put down your drink a minute and clap your hands? The place is large enough so that it does not feel crowded (even though the resort was completely full), yet smaller than some resorts where you have to take a tram to get from your room to the pool or a restaurant. The maid service was inconsistent at times, and we often had a knock on the door for turn down service after 9pm. I did not care for the fact that our room key did not work if the maid was in the room cleaning, in fact, most resorts encourage the maids to leave the doors open while they are cleaning. I did not find that any wait staff or bartender, with the exception of Jeiffrey at the swim up bar, and a very sweet young man at Spice (whose name escapes me) went out of their way to make our stay more pleasant. The breakfast buffet was good; plenty of choices for every palate, but I've seen much better food in the buffets in Cancun, St. Maarten, and Aruba. If you are deciding which Punta Cana resort to spend your hard earned money on, may I suggest one near Bavaro Beach where it will not take over an hour to reach your resort, and where the beach is calm and turquoise and the sand is snowy white. The roads were extremely beat up and perilous; assorted farm animals would often trot out in the middle of the road unexpectedly. I can't imagine any visitor attempting to rent a car to explore the Dominican countryside.
On the advice of many other trip advisor followers, I brought a half gallon of bug spray, and didn't need it at all, probably because it was breezy. There were, however, very tiny bugs crawling near the room fridge and closets, which were impossible to get rid of. Although this resort does have many positive attributes, you will find much nicer places to stay in other parts of the Caribbean. We tipped our bartenders, waitstaff, maids and mini bar staff exceptionally well, but noticed that most people did not tip at all. I don't believe our service was any better because of it, but it made us feel good doing so. If you do plan an excursion off the property (Saona Island was very nice, for example), expect to be on a bus for an hour and a half before you arrive at the boat which will take you to the island. The people who sell the tours will try to convince you that it will take a lot less time than it actually does. We were away from the resort for over 12 hours, and much of that time was spent in transit to and from Saona Island.
It helps a great deal to learn a few Spanish phrases, as there are some staff who do not speak any English, like the cleaning staff.
A tip for lunch; try the paella at the beach....it's only served once or twice a week, but it was really good and authentic. Do make sure that if you eat the chicken on the beach, it's cooked through. They served it a little raw on more than one occasion.
All in all, we had a wonderful time because the resort was pretty, drinks were great, and we met some great people, but there are much nicer places for the same price available in other parts of the Caribbean.

Room Tip: Rooms on the ground floor tend to have problems with the air-conditioning (as we did and several oth...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank jando24
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
#12 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price range (per night): ₹ 17,259 - ₹ 40,013
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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