Excellence Punta Cana Reviews

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Excellence Punta Cana  

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Favorite, due for renovations.
Posted by: don on Feb 17, 2017
see all reviews

Excellence Punta Cana Reviews
Excellence Punta Cana Pictures and Information
Excellence Punta Cana Punta Cana-Bavaro Dominican Republic

#28 of 80 Hotels in Punta Cana-Bavaro

user rating 4.4

based on 16 review(s)

Excellence Punta Cana Information

At Excellence Punta Cana, all-inclusive luxury is more than a label, and excellence more than a goal. It's who we are, every day, every night, for every guest. Come see what it really means to get away from it all —at Excellence Punta Cana, the all-inclusive luxury resort and spa.

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Excellence Punta Cana Reviews

Excellence Punta Cana Review: 4.4 of 5 16 review(s)
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Great but I kind of like a little more Dominican in my stay.
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 4.50 of 5

Posted by:  Kelly  on Mar 1, 2009  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
690 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Mar 1 - 7
we took a taxi from a week at the palladium palace .Didn't know that the roads could get worse than the airport to the palladium.Also didn't know it is on the atlantic side of the island and near mountains.

We were given the furthest rooms from the lobby on the resort,and it was great.The rooms are very nice and eventually we even got our luggage.4 hours later they tracked them down,in the wrong room.They appologized but it was no big deal.

Restaurants and Bars
Wow,wow is all i can say.What a nice resort.The restaurants were wonderful and the bar liquids and people were unbelievable.The only thing wrong with restaurants was the cuts of meat,not really medalians or fillet men...You know. Although very tasty just not what you ordered.

Beach was not really nice, darker sand,couldn't swim in most of ocean because of strong undertow.Never seen more than 10 people in the ocean at once.Loved the big waves where you were aloud to swim.It is so windy on the beach you could only stay so long , seemed to drive you nuts,the wind and sand in your face.Pools were really nice and well maintained and cleaned . You had to get to the pool chairs before 7:00 to get under a palupa or bed with a lid on it.Grounds were very well looked after.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Never left the resort,Don't know if you would want to .A long ride to do anything off of the resort.This resort is out in cattle country and a long way from towns .

Other Comments
If this resort was on the carribean side of the island you would have to book 2 years in advance to get a room.If you like the beach and swimming in the ocean , this resort is not for you.Too windy and you could wear a jacket and pants at nite .This resort is very american like, booze,food,music.I really enjoyed that but i kind of like a little more Dominican in my stay.I speak fairly good spanish and i listen to a lot of music from santa domingo.I would highly recommend this hotel otherwise,the staff speak better english than some people from canada and the usa.Have never seen staff look after you like they do at the Excellence hotel.Unbelievable!

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Outstanding customer service and very quickly responded to every request
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Kevin from Ellicott City, Maryland  on Jan 9, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
686 people found this review helpful

The name speaks for itself, this is an excellent resort. Definitely book a room in the Excellence Club, the service was outstanding and you have access to your own buffet for breakfast, internet access and a private beach.

Loved our room! We had a swim-up room which turned out to be an excellent choice. Normally, I like to be up high to have nice view of the ocean, but it was even better to be on the ground level, with the same view, but being literally steps from the pool. We frequently sat on our shaded patio and lounged or jumped in the pool to cool off.

Restaurants and Bars::
We visited all the restaurants and each was good, there is a nice variety. The buffet was very good too. Even though every restaurant wasn't open every night, there was still enough variety.

Very nice, especially the pool. The staff cleans it every morning and keeps it immaculate. The grounds are beautiful, make sure to arrange for a photographer to take pictures on the beach, ours looked great.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
We went on the day trip to the Carribean side of the island, via speed boat over and catamaran/booze cruise back. This was a fun trip, with just the right amount of relaxation time mixed in with lunch and leisurely trip back. I don't remember the name of the destination, but the front desk personnel can tell you.

Other Comments::
A special thanks to the staff in the Excellence Club, all gave outstanding customer service and very quickly responded to every request. They were also extremely friendly and courteous.

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Sit back and relax knowing you have chosen a great resort
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Jana from Ottawa  on Jan 10, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
863 people found this review helpful

My husband and I, both in our early 30's just returned from Excellence Punta Cana. We were there from Dec 4 to 11. We have been to about 10 all-inclusives and were looking for a low key, relaxing holiday, without our 3 yr old. We did A LOT of research before we booked and read tons of reviews and were thrilled that we made the right decision with this resort. To sum up our holiday in a few words fantastic, perfect, excellent, and breathtaking.
For those who want a more detailed reviewhere it goes, and it may be a long one.

Our flight, airport experience, and trip to the resort were all as we expected. The bus ride was just over an hour with two stops and wasn't nearly as bad as other reviewers had said. The only thing we didn't like is that we didn't get to see much scenery because we were travelling so late at night. We got to the resort around midnight greeted by our champagne. It was a speedy check-in and went right to our rooms (Basic Jr. Suite, 2nd Floor, building 7, garden view). The building was perfect for us and was close to everything we wanted access to. We were hungry and tired, and immediately found a perfect table in the outdoor courtyard of Oregano and had some beer and pizza. It was perfect, especially for two tired travelers. I was so impressed to find a good place to eat still open at 12:30 at night.

We were very impressed with the food at Excellence. We aren't too picky and didn't have a meal that we didn't enjoy. Everything was great, beyond great. For busy parents on holidays who didn't have to make their own meals it was paradise. We loved that we didn't have to make any reservations for any of the restaurants and could eat where and when we wanted. There was never a restaurant wait that a glass of wine couldn't solve. For dinners we ate at Asian x2, Mexican, Italian, The Grill, and the French. We loved all of our meals and the service at every restaurant was outstanding!!! Our only complaints would be that a few of the restaurants are open air, which makes it very hot on the evenings with no breeze. Our last night we really wanted to eat at the Lobster house, but the air was so still and it was way too hot to eat outside, so we had to give up having lobster. Breakfasts were great. We always ate at Toscana for the main buffet. Everything was great and you could literally have anything your heart could desire. Every day they had champagne and OJ as well as Bloody Marys. Absolutely no complaints about breakfast. Lunch was also great. We ate at Toscana for the main buffet a few times (fav's being sushi, nacho's, fantastic arrangement of salads, grilled fish and meat), we ate at the Grill for a-la-carte once, had pizza around the pool a couple of times (awesome nothing like eating pizza in the pool) and at the beach grill once. You will never go hungry at this place and there is literally food avail 24 hours.
Extra's loved the self-serve soft serve ice-cream machine at café café bar and the hard serve ice-cream at the sports bar. The also had appetizer snacks at the sports bar for Monday night football.

The room was good, for the small amount of time that we actually spent there. It was slightly outdated as other reviews had mentioned, but nothing that really bothered us at all. There was also a slightly musty smell, but you will get that anywhere you go in the Caribbean. The jetted tub had seen better days, but it was very clean, even though you could see water stains in the tub. The bed was great and we had very good restful sleeps. The maid service was great and very responsive. We had asked for a few things (I brought a Spanish dictionary and wrote our requests in Spanish for our maid) and our requests were immediately granted. They came to our room 2x a day and always had fresh towels, restocked mini-bar, and turned down sheets wonderful service.

We tended to spend more time around the pool as we love to be in the water, and the pool was amazing. It was very clean and maintained. Picturesque!!! The bar service around the pool was fast and they are very responsive, always aiming to please. The chairs had great pads to make them nice and comfy and towels were plenty and easy to come by. Never really had to play the towel game as there was always tons of chairs to find at least in the sun, where we preferred. I loved the floating pads to lay around in the pool and, believe it or not, most people were generous and shared them. There were some who hoarded them, which is totally rude, but most were good about sharing. The large pool was definitely the one with more action and where most of the games and activities took place but even at that, it wasn't too busy or crazy loud. It was definitely a bit busier around the swim up bar but that's to be expected. If you are looking for a more fast paced, fun day, try to find some of the groups who are there for a wedding, they are usually more outgoing groups and fun to party with during the day.
We spent one day at the cascade pool which is definitely beautiful, but it was just a bit too quite there for us. We like being close when a volleyball game broke out, or when some pool games where happening. My hubby loved the crazy games and came home with 4 bottles of rum from winning so many games.

the beach was definitely wavy, but stunningly beautiful. The sand was soft and warm, there were tons of chairs to be found, there was great waitress/waiter drink service, wonderful pizza delivery and the grill was accessible for food. We love our daily walks along the beach, and you can literally walk for miles without seeing another resort. The walks were our favourite part.

We went to the spa a couple of times. The first was just to enjoy their hydrotherapy pools, sauna and steam room (which is a great way to spend an overcast or rainy morning) and the second time was for a couples massage. We got a gift certificate to use the hydrotherapy pools etc when my hubby won a crazy game but otherwise I think you have to pay to just use the hydrotherapy. It does, however, come free when you book a treatment. The massages were great and definitely worth the money. We got champagne and choc. covered strawberries at the end nice touch.

We loved that we could get all of our favourite top name-brand alcohol. All you had to do was ask. We didn't find the drinks to be watered down at all. If you wanted more alcohol in them, just ask, they would be happy to do it for you. Martini's was the perfect lobby bar and the drinks were great. The best thing to do if you don't know what drink to order is to ask around, see what everyone else is drinking and what they recommend. You don't have to drink just from their drink menu get creative and try something new. We loved the dirty monkeys, banana mamma's and I added a bit of lemonade to my beer for a nice citrus twist. The will make whatever you desire; just tell them what you want in it and they'll do it for you. The bartenders are fantastic. Their house wines were also good and had a few different types and brands to choose from. Try them all and see what one you like the best that's what we did.

The resort itself is beautiful and well maintained. It isn't a huge resort, and has a bit more intimate setting. We usually travel to very large expansive resorts so this was a nice change for us. Everything was constantly cleaned and there was staff everywhere keeping things beautiful.

We have been to tons of all inclusive resorts, and although we prefer to try a different one each time, we would definitely consider going to this one again. So it must be fantastic for us to break our pattern. We have travelled extensively in the Mayan Riviera, but will definitely go back to Punta Cana for the fabulous weather in December. Major bonus's for us: adults only, quiet if you want quiet but you can definitely find some action if you want it, no towel cards, no resort bracelets that make you feel like a prisoner, the awesome pizza service, excellent bar service, no limitations or reservations at restaurants, excellent food and restaurant choices, 24 hour great room service, slippers and robes in the room, turn down maid service, high end alcohol, free internet, excellent staff service everywhere, and most importantly, we didn't get sick or have any sign of ill effects from contaminated food for water.
Anyone who had chosen to go to this resort will not be disappointed. Sit back and relax knowing you have chosen a great resort. And remember while you are there you are on holidays in another country take each day as it comes and appreciate the scenery and company. Don't sweat the small stuff and enjoy yourself. Before you know it you will be home again, and dreaming you were still there.

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You dont get bored even if you dont go on any excursions
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Laura from Vancouver  on Jan 10, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
978 people found this review helpful

arrival was fine- i didnt mind the bus ride there or back because it was interesting to watch the scenery go by and see some parts of small towns.

Well, this was the worst part.We noticed our room was musty when we entered, but didnt think we really had to request another room. We should have, because when we returned home, ALL of our belongings had been permeated with a terrible musty smell. I tried washing stuff several times, even with bleach, and could not remove the smell. We had to throw away everything we brought;suitcases, swimsuits, clothes,shoes,jacket,underwear, bras,cosmetic bag, a pillow, book, everything. I was really quite upset about that, but im trying to just forget about it. I also didnt like the maid service... they would move my suitcase from where i wanted it to be, and remove my magazine from the bathroom, and take the shower gel out of the shower... it was annoying! They also didnt leave enough water so we had to ask for more.

Restaurants and Bars::
We found the bars to be fine. Most of the restaurants were fine enough.There was a buffet every breakfast and lunch, with a huge variety of foods. I especially enjoyed the fresh squeezed passion fruit juice, and also the bread pudding with warm vanilla sauce.Lunch included an array of desserts,which were really good, including cakes and parfaits.The atmosphere in all of the restaurants was picturesque and elegant. You could order champagne or anything you wanted. The service was always fine. On the downside, i didnt like the chairs: they wouldnt fit under the tables at all, so you couldnt move close to the table, Compounding this, the tables were large and long for 2 people, so you were forced to be uncomfortably far away from your partner. All the restaurants were like this. Also, for breakfast and lunch there were tons of flies:you just gave up swishing them away from your food. The worst thing was that they have this bizarre practice where they force the woman to walk arm in arm with the hostess to the table for every meal. Its just me,but i HATED it beyond words! The rooms are equipped with a scale so you can watch your weight go up from 2 smorgs and 1 full meal a day, plus drinks and desserts. Amazingly, my husband and I spent so much time walking on the beach (several times a day) that we didnt gain weight! Most of the food was good, but we really didnt like what we had at the Mexican restaurant.I dont know what was in that chimichanga, but i sure dont want to taste it again! However, the chocolate mousse at Barcelona was delicious, and so was the key lime pie and baked alaska at Oregano.

We loved the beach! The beach was beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking along the beach, leaving our resort area. We also went in the water, which was warm and fun. At night, we spent more time at the beach (instead of the shows) and lay on the beds on the beach, listening to the wind and the surf, looking at the stars and the waves and swaying palm trees. It was still warm at the beach at night. The rest of the grounds are beautiful and nice to walk around, and look at the pool. I never swam in the pool, because it was always straight to the beach for me, but my husband did and he said it was nice.

Other Comments::
we got bitten by mosquitos, but not tons of times. Repellent DIDNT deter them whatsoever. We didnt take malaria pills, so, i hope we didnt get malaria! The locals selling stuff are so aggressive that you just have to ignore them.Its unfotunate because i actually wanted to look in the makeshift kmart and sears outlet but i couldnt even go in because they are so aggressive! Overall, the resort is beautiful, and you dont get bored even if you dont go on any excursions if you enjoy walking around and eating. Just make sure you get another room if yours is musty (from what ive heard, most are not) because all your stuff will be musty when you get home. It was fun dressing up every night for dinner in a pretty restaurant (no flies at night) and then walking around the pretty grounds and beach all in nice warmth.

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Even Better Than We Expected!
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Elizabeth Carlton  on Jan 11, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1325 people found this review helpful

When planning this trip, I used this site quite a bit. I will try to give as detailed a review as possible, in the hopes that this review will be as helpful to other travelers as the reviews I saw were to me.

This was the best resort I've been to. And I have been to over 50 countries, including beach resorts in Puerto Rico, Thailand, Barbados, Bermuda, Egypt, St. Thomas, Grenada, and The Dominican Republic.

The mood of the resort is laid back and elegant. You won't find a whole lot of partying and spring break type activities here, although the disco and casino can get quite crowded and fun. There is plenty of drinking and having fun, but not in a loud, obnoxious way. Think large dinner party with close friends, as opposed to fraternity party. Because this is a smaller resort, it is easy to meet people and everyone tends to get friendly with each other. The guests are mostly couples, though we did see quite a few family groups. The average age is probably mid to late 30s, but there are many 20-somethings and quite a few people who looked like they were in their 50s.

Your Arrival:
The bus ride to the resort takes about 1 hour, depending on how many other hotels you stop at first. We enjoyed the ride because it gave us a chance to see some of the countryside and small towns of the D.R. It also gave us a chance to talk to our driver and get his opinions of the various resorts. He told us that he thinks Excellence is the nicest in Punta Cana. And he has seen them all. When we arrived at the resort at around 3 pm we were immediately taken to the check-in area and given a cold towel and a glass of champagne. We had booked an Excellence Club room, and were immediately taken to the club lounge. In the lounge, we were told about the resort, given a map, and had a short tour of the club area. The club rooms are in a separate area of the resort and are supposedly nicer than the "regular" rooms. They have nicer toiletries, an expanded mini bar, and flat screen tvs. If you stay in a club room, you also have access to the club lounge, which looks kind of like a gentleman's club. It's dark, very well air conditioned, and has large chairs and sofas and a very large flat screen tv. It also has 4 computers that are free to use (including free internet) and food. The food is in buffet form and is pretty extensive. You could easily have all of your meals here.

We were in building 10, garden view room. Building 10 is attached to the club lounge, but is a bit farther from the restaurants and lobby than I would have liked. We were on the 3rd floor, which meant that we had vaulted ceilings. The room is quite large, with a canopied king sized bed, a small sofa and chair and coffee table, a dresser, 2 closets, a min-bar area, and a jacuzzi that easily fit 2 (very tall) people. It also had a marble bathroom with a separate room for the toilet and shower. The jacuzzi and sink area of the bathroom are open to the rest of the room, while the toilet and shower are separated. All of the rooms have either patios or balconies, large enough for a small table and 2 chairs. The rooms on the ground floor also have hammocks right outside the sliding glass doors. The view was called "Garden View". In many hotels, this means a view of the hotel roof or parking lot. Here, however, it really was a view of lovely gardens with trees and grass and a small pond. You could also see the mountains in the distance. Don't be afraid to get a garden view room! The view is great. Some of the swim-up rooms looked great, but they lack privacy. The patios for these rooms face right onto either the main pool or the smaller cascade pool. They do have the advantage of being only steps from the pool, however. I should mention, though, that if you're not into wildlife, you might want to avoid the swim up rooms. There are numerous ducks and doves and peacocks around the resort, and some of them hang out and even make their nests right outside of the swim up rooms. For an animal lover like me, this would be great. But some people might not love stepping outside onto the patio and running right into a group of birds. Some reviews have said that the rooms have a musty smell. Ours didn't, but when swimming by an open swim up room, I noticed that it did. That may be because it is on the ground floor and doesn't have the vaulted ceilings. I would highly recommend getting a room on the 3rd floor. The high ceilings made an already beautiful room even better!

Restaurants and Bars:
At other resorts I've been to, the restaurants can be far from the beach, so there is no view while you are eating. Because Excellence is set up parallel, rather than perpendicular, to the beach, there is much more access to a view. All of the restaurants are either right over the pool, overlooking the beach, or have a great view of the water. And that is, after all, why we went on this vacation -- to be near the water! There are 8 restaurants at the resort. We went to 6. In general, the food is better than the average all inclusive. That said, don't expect the kind of food you would get at a high end restaurant in a major city. Some of the dishes aren't exactly as advertised. For example, the Pad Thai at the Asian restaurant, Spice, wasn't like any Pad Thai I've ever seen. But it was quite good! Our favorite restaurant was the French, Chez Isabelle. Try the Chateaubriand. It is really, REALLY good. Our least favorite was The Lobster House. Not terrible, but not the lobster most North Americans are used to. There are no buffets for dinner (yay!) but Toscana has a breakfast and lunch buffet. Both were very good. We went to Oregano several times. It is the only restaurant that is open past 11 pm. The pizza (and the pizza all over the resort) is EXCELLENT. As was the lasagna. At all of the restaurants, you can order special wines. They charge ridiculous prices for these. The "house" wines, which are part of the all-inclusive package, were fine for us. I don't know anything about wine, but my boyfriend does and he said that the house wines were decent to pretty good. I loved the house champagne, but I'm clueless about champagnes! There are also beach nights, when the staff sets up elaborate dinners on the beach. During the day, you can either get lunch in one of the restaurants, or eat on the beach. Pizza and hamburgers are always available on the beach, plus a special of the day, like seafood paella. The special beach lunch is excellent. There are something like 10 bars scattered throughout the resort. At all of them, I tried the tropical drinks and loved almost all of them. Every day, there is a new drink of the day. Try them! There is also the local beer, Presidente, which I didn't drink. My boyfriend liked it and said it is fairly light, sort of like Rolling Rock. There is also a small casino at the resort, where we went every night. It is really small: 4 blackjack tables, 1 Caribbean poker table, 1 Texas Hold 'em table, 2 roulette tables, and a bunch of slot machines. The fact that the casino is small makes it easier to get to know the dealers and the other "regulars" who like to gamble. We made lots of friends at the casino and had a wonderful time. When the shows let out at 11:00, the casino can get crowded, but we rarely had to wait for a place at a table. The minimum bets start at $5, which was great for a conservative bettor like me.

One of my favorite parts about the grounds at Excellence is that, in front, there is a nature reserve, with ducks, peacocks, turtles, and doves. There are boxes of stale bread to feed them with. Throughout the resort, you will find animals -- a cage with cockatoos, parrots, ponds in the lobby with turtles, peacocks roaming around, a ducks that occasionally take a dip in the pools. If being around animals enhances your vacation experience, you will love it here. The grounds are incredible. Just beautiful. I can't say enough about them. From many vantage points around the grounds, you can't tell you are at a resort -- the foliage is so lush that you feel like you are in a jungle. The main pool runs the length of the resort, in a river style. Scattered throughout are little islands with trees planted on them. There is also the cascade pool, which is hidden in a courtyard and has a waterfall. The main pool has a swim up bar and water rafts scattered around, for floating. The rafts can be in high demand, but we always found one when we looked. Poolside has many, many lounges, as well as sunbeds, which are like double beds with latticed coverings over them. They are heaven. We went to Excellence at the beginning of the busy season (early January) and didn't have too much trouble getting lounges or beds. There are fewer beds, so they go first, but we never, ever had trouble finding lounge chairs. If you are staying in a club room, you get beach towels in your room. Otherwise, you get towels from little huts scattered around the pool. I don't think you have to get a card and make sure you return them at the end of the day. We saw lots of towels just left on loungers. The beach is gorgeous! One of the things I like best about it is that, because Excellence is a bit farther out, there are no other hotels around. When you look up and down the beach, all you see are Excellence guests and palm trees farther down the beach. In the more crowded area of Punta Cana, as you walk down the beach, you see hotel after hotel after hotel. At Excellence, it feels as though you are on a deserted island. The sand is tan, rather than white. And there are waves here. If you have ever been to the Jersey Shore or The Hamptons, the waves are similar. My boyfriend and I are both fairly strong swimmers, and we got a little worn out in the water, because of the waves. If you want still water, turn right on the beach and walk about 1/8 of a mile, and the water is perfectly calm. There are lifeguards along the beach, and they will make you get out of the water if they think it's too rough. If you aren't a confident swimmer, you probably don't want to go too far out into the ocean in front of the hotel. If you like boogie boarding, though, you will love it.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We didn't go off the resort, and didn't do any special activities. A 30 minute horse ride is included with your stay. They ride along the beach on horses that look like they've seen better days. They look very tame and probably would be fine for inexperienced riders. There is also snorkeling equipment (the water is too rough to see anything, though) and scuba gear, parasailing equipment, etc. It is very easy to set up excursions off the resort for party boats, snorkeling trips, swimming with sharks, etc. We only went to one show and it was, in a word, bad. Just...bad. But we heard that the circus show and the Michael Jackson show are quite good. We just came at the wrong part of the week to see them.

Other Comments:
You MUST bring bug spray. We brought Off Deep Woods, which is the kind that has DEET, and that pretty much did the trick. The resort sprays for bugs, but they are still abundant and they will bite you! The hotel has a few overpriced shops and a spa, which is lovely to look at, but a bit overpriced as well. Look for the spa special of the day for discounts. Or...go to Nancy's. If you turn left on the beach, just a few yards away is a group of shops where you can buy anything they sell in the hotel shops for literally less than half the price. You can also get a massage at one of these shops, called Nancy's. $45 for 70 minutes. And while the setting isn't as elegant as in the spa, the massage was MUCH better. You are in a little hut overlooking the beach while having a massage. You can get a massage alone or a couples massage. I am not sure that the club rooms are worth the price. You do have a private concierge who is dedicated to only club members, and you get upgraded liquors, if that's your thing. There is also a special club area of the beach, but nobody really pays attention to the ropes they've set up, and the club area is pretty much the same as the rest of the beach. There are waiters taking drink orders all over the beach and resort, not just in the club area. I guess it would depend on how much extra you have to pay for a club room. But, to me, it wouldn't be worth more than about $100. Some reviewers have mentioned the lack of English at this resort. Well...yeah...you're not in an English speaking country! The staff speaks enough English so that you can manage, even if you don't know Spanish. As long as you're not aiming to have a conversation about the meaning of life, you can make yourself understood. And the staff is so wonderfully friendly and helpful that communicating shouldn't be a problem.

Photos: http://www5.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=923070025/a=1916349025_1916349025/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/

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Excellence vs Dreams Punta Cana
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Doug  on Jan 28, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1650 people found this review helpful

Stayed at each of these properties for 2 weeks recently (Dreams in Dec; Excellence in Jan). These are both 5 star properties 2 miles apart on the same beach. Both are very nice and far better than most other 5 stars in punta Cana. Both have no dinner reservation policies, no towel cards, 24 hr room service etc. Excellence is Adults only.

I stayed in the preferred area in both properties. Rooms are about equal; large, good amenities. Excellence room was quieter and had flat screen TV plus direct view of ocean. Dreams room had larger bathroom. One note is the exterior of the excellence buildings need to be updates/painted. But inside was fine.

Restaurants and Bars:
Excellence had overall better food, larger menu choices, more consistent quality. Dreams quality was good but after 2 weeks was lacking in choice. However Dreams has a buffet option for dinner (Excellence does not) and the restaurants on the beach are really nice. Drink quality (good) the same at either with lots of choice and many bars.

Both are absolutely perfect. Beautiful quiet location and lots of beach to walk on. Note Excellence has NO water sports/sailing etc.due to wave action. Both have great restaurants/bars/restrooms close to beach.
Excellence property is smaller and much less walking. Dreams is a bit better maintained (walkways/pools/bridges etc)

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Excellence had outstanding nightly entertainment. Since it is adults only, entertainment was more "show" oriented. Dreams had good entertainment but more family oriented.
Why anyone pays for excursions in Punta Cana is beyond me. Nothing to see really and tours are very expensive. Save your $$ and stay at the beach.

Other Comments:
Service at both is very good, perhaps a slight edge to Dreams. Dreams has very nice kids area; Excellence adults only. Beaches and amenities at both are first rate. Really you cannot go wrong at either. But better quality of food and entertainment probably would give Excellence a slight edge.

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Excellence Punta Cana
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Sharon  on Mar 11, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1744 people found this review helpful

We just returned from Excellence in Puna Cana and it was excellent. The bus ride from the airport was about 1 hour 15 minutes but we were in a comfortable bus and the scenery was good and we had smooth roads.
The regular garden rooms were a little tired but we had lots of supplies, towels, a bar fridge with water, soft drinks and beer. The cleaning staff came every morning and we had turn down service every night.
The food was excellent with numerous choices every meal-2 Italian, the grill with excellent steaks, Asian, French, Mexican, the Lobster house, Mediterian and beach grill.
The drinks were great with bar service at the pools and the beaches plus about 10 other bars.
The entertainment was wonderful with a variety of entertainment every night- ABBA show, circus show, Micheal Jackson, Dominican Folk Show, singers and dancers.
The only downside was the flys and moisquittos. We brought OFF and were not bothered by them but a new bride from England was covered from head to toe with bites that swelled up. We have travelled extensively in the Carribean and have never saw so many insects.
The best part of the Excellence resort is their staff-they are so kind and helpful. Some of their English is poor but we managed to get along fine.

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Good hotel, nice rooms, great service, nice restaurants, rough ocean
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Julie  on Jul 28, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1888 people found this review helpful

We had a good time, relaxed and had fun, weather was mid-80's and VERY humid, short thunderstorms almost daily, which is to be expected in July, but was pretty uncomfortable at night when you were dressed up.

Beautiful hotel, no wristbands needed. The resort is much larger than you first think, every time you walk around you discover something new, their map was a little hard to follow. Good service, nice people, great public bathrooms.

The orientation was useful, although they waited too long for no-shows.

Fine, nice people, lobby is beautiful, a nice place to hang out, bellman are great, they give youa warm welcome, champagne and an ice cold washcloth, we checked in and out quickly, although had to wait 2 hours until our room was ready because we arrived early (had a nice lunch and walked around). They provide change, but bring lots of small change for tips (USD, 1's and 5's) because sometimes it takes them a while to find some. Concerge was very helpful.

Great, very clean, garden view King, my husband is 6'5" and was very comfortable, layout and closet space was fine, plenty of room for your stuff, view was OK, giant palm trees, very private porch. Request the 3rd floor! Better view, quieter, high ceilings! Nice Jacuzzi, huge bed. 24x7 room service (limited menu), well stocked beverage bar, coffee maker, snacks were disappointing, TV was fine. Maid service 2x a day (use your Do Not Disturb sign!) Nice maids. They have elevators, but we didn't use them.

Restaurants and Bars:
Beautiful restaurants, great service, no AC - wear loose, cotton clothes! They escort woman to their tables, we didn't get a chance to hit every restaurant, but all were fine, except the Lobster House was full of gnats. Food was good, but we both experienced major diarrhea, do not touch tap water, bring Immodium!!!; do not not ignore warning signs (stomach pains) and stay away from coconuts. Grill on the beach was fun, great ribs. Sports bar was fun, ice cream and snacks. Drinks are good, top shelf.

Pools were nice, but shallow. Swim up bar was fun, and large. People are bad with reserving lounge chairs, and not picking up their wet towels when done. The hotel could have more baskets for garbage and wet towels to encourage clean up, and could do a beter job of cleaning up cups, garbage, etc. on the beach and pools. They often ran out of towels mid-afternoon (and after surprise rain) but would bring them to you when ready. They have nice lounge chairs with cushions, nice towels, and side tables. If you see chairs with rolled up towels, they ARE available!

Beach was fun, nice view, quiet, NO boats (too rough?), a little windy, but that means no bugs and a cool breeze. We received no bug bites (sand fleas) but used bug spray on our feet. Beach and ocean were clean and nice for walking, but undertow / surf was very rough, they recommended NO swimming the 7 out of 8 days we were there (people went in anyway); we walked the beach in the daylight away from the resort and felt safe. The drink service was OK, could be a little better. Public bathrooms were very nice.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We ziplined, which was fun but quite the workout (if you're over 55, overweight or a smoker, or afraid of heights, watch out), you walk through the hot, humid jungle climbing tall platforms. Everyone was dripping with sweat. We bought the CD for $20, it was OK, but 90% is pictures of other people (you can't bring a camera on the rides, you lock up all personnel belongings in a locker, bring Deep Woods off). Guides are excellent (the lead guy is hot!), very experienced, safe and nice. Wear sneakers! The open air bus trip was interesting, dirt roads in the jungles, don't bring a lot of stuff with you. Ladies - this is a glamorous sport (go easy on the makeup). Go in the AM!! We were gone 8:15 to 1 PM, it's not a 2 hour event like they tell some people.

We also did the Somoa Island booze cruise, it was OK but I recommend 1 or the other, and not back to back like we did, the AC bus ride was LONG, and the same roads as zip lining so it was boring to me, bring a change of clothes and leave them in the locked bus, it rained when we got to the island and the entire way back so we were wet and chilly, many people on our boat got very sick from too much rum. The vendors attack you from the bus to boat, very annoying. One way is nice large Catamaran boat, one way is open air, small speed boat.
Again, beware if you're older or overwight, you have to climb up swim ladders and hop over seats. Beach barbecue was just OK, swimming was OK.

The water at the resort was so rough, we did no included water sports. We went horseback riding along the beach, which was fun, go the day after their day off when they're fresh, go in the AM! (cooler), they let you gallop (if you want) and take your pix, horses were surpringly responsive. Don't pay for the extra horse riding.

No golf, but we didn't care.

Other Comments:
We had a good time. A variety of people and ages, most seemed to be from the tri-state area (US) so we had a lot on common. Many honeymooners, some families, some couples in their 40's and 50's, a few older. It was romantic and relaxing. Played a lot of pool volleyball.

The hotel (as they all can) could make a few small improvements, but overall it's a nice place and I would recommend it.

Our only real complaint was the rough ocean. We've been to Jamaica and on the other side of the DR island and loved the water.

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Just booked for a third year
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Gwen  on Aug 28, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Aug, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
1894 people found this review helpful

For many years, have I taken a sunshine winter holiday (from London, UK) with a long-standing friend. We have both travelled extensively and for our special winter break simply want to spend time together lazing by the pool, soaking up the sunshine on the beach, sharing a pleasant dinner, reading lots books. We first stayed here in 2008 and it was the first time either of us had been to an all-inclusive resort. Towel cards (what are they?), wrist bands (we know what they are and we certainly wouldn't want to wear them!) and restaurant bookings are unknowns to us. We're pleased we stay at the Excellence which is still our only all-inclusive experience.

I've just booked for our January 2011 2-week trip so let's hope that nothing's changed for the worse.

Oh - by the way, if you don't like the idea of being escorted into meals (I agree with another reviewer, I absolutely HATE it. Can't think why they do it - it's creepy!) then DON'T DO IT. In fact, my male companion makes a joke of it, takes the waitresses arm and gets escorted himself. AND if you don't like the long tables (we don't because we like to gossip about other people!) then change the seats so that one sits on the short side and the other on the long side. After a few days when the staff saw us coming in to breakfast, they changed the seats and place-setting for us. That sums up the Excellence - good service from the local team.

It's great to hear the "pop" of the fizz as you step into the lobby. Check in has been quick for us and if you are a returning guest they make sure they welcome you "Back". It's a nice touch.

I agree with others, don't waste your time viewing rooms on the "upgrade" tour. The first year we were upgraded to a suite because of a problem with the air con in our room, but in fact I prefer having one large room. If something isn't quite right, have a word with the room maid and it will be put right. I speak a little Spanish (European - my "th" pronunciation for "ci" is always good for a laugh) and know how to communicate in simple, slow, basic English.

Restaurants and Bars:
Essentially ALL THE FOOD IS THE SAME whichever restaurant you eat in, it's just the ambience that's different. I suspect they have a central kitchen and simply apply different sauces and offer different presentations. No, it's not gourmet, fine dining, but hey, it ain't going to kill you and it's mostly wholesome. Better than most meals I've had in the USA (sorry guys, us Europeans eat differently). Breakfast is probably the best meal of the day and we make the most of it after taking a long walk or shorter run (either on the beach or on the road outside the resort - not exciting view but good exercise).

Beach is lovely, cleaned daily. I'm normally not a great beach person (don't like the sand getting mixed up with my sun lotion) but for some reason I like this beach - breeze is great and I love watching the breaking waves. Undercurrent extremely strong. I'm a confident swimmer, but wouldn't swim here. Pools nice. Grounds well kept and pleasant for a stroll.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We just stay on the resort. When I've been in the US, I've bought clothing made in the DR. I wonder where all the clothing factories are situated and why there isn't any outlet shopping??

Other Comments:
Yes, the little shopping area on site is expensive and yes, Nancy's is great. Vendors not nearly as aggressive as in Bali or Africa. A pleasant smile, a "no thankyou/gracias" generally does the job. Small denomination US$ (1s and 5s) useful for tips. When my travel companion was unwell during this year's trip with a heart glitch (a pre-existing problem) the Resort doctor was on hand very quickly - good to know.

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Trip of a Lifetime
Excellence Punta Cana

User Rating:  Excellence Punta Cana Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Patricia  on Feb 11, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1839 people found this review helpful

My husband and I spent 10 glorious days at this resort and really did not want to come home! The weather was perfect, the service was second to none and the food was sumptuous. Our butler, Dionisio bent over backwards to see that all our requests and needs were met. When he had a day off he made sure someone else was there to take over for him. The concierge was just downstairs from our room and although there were different employees on different days, we found them all to be very helpful. I witnessed a fellow Canadian giving the concierge on duty a very difficult time but his situation was handled professionally with a smile and never a cross word or elevetion in his voice. The Dominican people seem to be a very happy people. Even the gardening staff welcomed you with a greeting and smile if you allowed them to. I noticed people haveing problems getting clean towels but some of these people wanted towels relaced several times a day which obviously made it difficult to keep up with demand. There was never a shortage of lounge chairs at the ocean or by the pools.
People attempted to help us to understand their language by teaching us some of the basic greetings etc. I wish I had taken a Spanish course beforehand.

Room Number:

Room Block:

We arrived on 1/24/11 and left 2/3/11. We celebrated an anniversary there and hope to do so again in the future. This is the 4th time in the DR but never
did we have such a wonderful time! Since we are both retired, it may be a long time before we can return.....the sooner the better!
A heartfelt thank you to all staff at this magnificent resort, right down to housekeeping, who all did their respective work with a smile and greeting!

Elegant and beautlfully furnished-made us feel like royalty!

Restaurants and Bars:
We attended the French restaurant on three occasions only to come away with a smile on our face. The food was excellent and the service would rival any high end restaurant any place one could imagine.

Maintenance of all of these was ongoing. If a plastic cup was left by a patron, it was picked up and disposed of almost immediately by the staff.
There was never a shortage of lounges which is definitely a situation we encountered at previous resorts.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There were activities to suit all ages. Something was ongoing every day. If you could not find something that you could enjoy, then you were not looking!

Other Comments:
The only thing that I am afraid of is going on another vacation and not being able to return here....therefore not being able to duplicate this wonderful experience. I would definitely rather wait a few years to travel so that I can return here!

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