Excellence Punta Cana
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
The Excellence Punta Cana is an adequate resort for couples looking to relax and get away in Punta Cana. Great rooms and accommodations. The rooms are cleaned and stocked daily. It can be guaranteed that goodies (chocolate, soft drinks and beer) will always be stocked in the mini-bar. The resort also makes good use of their 24-hour room service, which is always prompt. Pleasant and helpful staff, especially those near the pools, bars and beaches. Good layout of the resort. There are plenty of pools within reach, so you'll never find a shortage of loungers anywhere. The beach is a good place to lounge as well. However, for those wanting to wade along the shores, be advised that the resort often discourages this specifically when waves and currents are strong. There are endless options for both buffet and a la carte restaurants. Make sure to check out the Grill and Spice a la carte restaurants!
4 Stars –here are reasons I couldn’t go with 5 stars. Don’t eat at Los Olas or the Grill. They sucked. HORRIBLE GROSS FOOD. Once we learned which places were best to eat meals at, the vacation went much smoother. I chose this resort based on weeks of looking at Trip Advisor reviews. So I wanted to write my own review. I have stayed at two other similar resorts (Caribbean, adults only, luxury all inclusive), Secrets Capri and Secrets Maroma Beach in Rivera Maya, but that was in 2009. I strongly recommend those resorts also along with Excellence Punta Cana. All 3 resorts will leave you very happy. THE BAD THINGS: Los Olas [Beachside grill - Lunch]– AWFUL! -- they serve lunch only. best location in the resort with HORRIBLE FOOD. It is on the beach, literally on the sand. How do you screw up hotdogs? Just throw them on the grill! How do they screw up taco day? So disappointed in this place. Would have loved to just quickly sit during the day and had a quick lunch on the beach, but the food here was GROSS. The fact they couldn’t figure out how to cook something as simple as a hotdog, is laughable. The seafood paella has flies buzzing in it. The taco day lunch was gross. The Grill [Lunch] – GROSS ALSO. We ordered an app plate, and they left out the chicken wings. Their burgers had a bone in it. I guess whoever is grounding up the meat, isn’t doing a good job. Chicken Burger is some vile ground chicken meat concoction. Why not make a grilled chicken sandwich? WTF? Everything was awful here at Lunch. Sloppy dirty food. Just Horrible. CIGAR SHOP – RIPOFF. Just avoid it. Rude,abrasive, and just a jerk. I just wanted to buy a simple bic lighter. $8? Screw you. Just screw you. When you are done, screw yourself again! Casino – sad little place. 3 blackjack tables. Some dealers don’t really know what to do. I had 20 on 5 cards, and she thought I busted. I had to call over the pit boss. Big commotion for a $5 bet. They look lost and confused. I am actually glad the casino is awful. It helped me avoid pointless gambling. Tables were usually empty. Dealers were rude. Dealer hit me before I made a decision. They have no idea how run a casino. Also, she hit me before I said hit, I busted because of it, again. But I never said or motioned “Hit Me”… then they come try to explain the rules to me. No thanks, I have been playing casino blackjack for 20+ years, it is clear you have dealers who don’t speak English and have no idea what they are doing. ROOMS – Our toilet wouldn’t flush right, you had to push the button a few times (i.e. jiggle the handle). Then after a few flushes, it busted. I called down, they said they would send someone to fix it, we left the room, and went to enjoy at the pool & beach. We returned, it worked for a few test flushes then broke again. End up switching rooms. Room they gave us was not an upgrade (garden view versus cascade pool view, exact same room). We got a “free” dinner on the beach as compensation. The beef they served on the meal was inedible. The lobster and everything else was very good. This is the #1 reason why I am going with 4 stars. I just don’t want broken toilets in rooms, and I feel they did nothing to make up for it. They acted like did me some huge favor by switching rooms. Really? Is asking for a working toilet make me a difficult customer? HOWEVER, [GOOD THINGS] --- Once we got to the 2nd room, everything was good for the next 5 nights. The safe worked. I had our passports, laptop (I never turned it on, thank god), i-phone, and a wad of cash locked up in there. I also would sometimes leave our phones charging, and housekeeping didn’t touch them. Housekeeping was very good. I got annoyed by turn down service, that’s just me. She would always show up as were coming in from a day in the water, and not wanting to be disturbed. My wife thought it was nice. I ended putting the “do not disturb” sign up once housekeeping did their daily cleaning to avoid turn down service. Nothing against the person doing it, or the service, it is a nice little luxury we didn’t need or want. No area rugs? Weird. The bathroom sink needed a bottle of drano. BTW! Tip the maids! On the first day, I left a $5 bill on the empty towel shelf and asked for extra towels on a note (written in Spanish also, use google translate). I got extra towels every day. Housekeeping service is A+.THE POSITIVE: (lots of them)TAXI SERVICE – A+ - I used the taxi service on the Excellence Website. He was there at the pickup spot with my name on a sheet of paper and all that. It was a comfortable air conditioned minivan. Taxi ride was $70. It is was a 50 minute or so drive. So $70 is reasonable considering the distance. The airport is 23 miles away or so.Ride to the hotel was interesting, lots of skinny cows in that countryside. The driver let me use his phone charger, and of course I left my phone in his taxi. He drove off with my phone (my fault, not his). The hotel called the taxi service, and I got my phone back in less than 15 minutes. If I didn’t use their affiliated taxi service, I would have never seen my phone again. Use their preferred taxi service listed on their website, just in case you leave something in the taxi. I tipped the driver $20 out of gratitude and relief. I used to drive Uber part time a few years back, and I always got tipped when I returned someone’s mobile phone. Losing my phone would have ruined my vacation. This was my first experience at the resort, and it set the tone for the whole vacation. The service here is amazing. STAFF & SERVICE – A+. Except for one crazy lady at Agave. The staff knows who tips and who doesn’t. TIP THE STAFF. Yes you tip the staff. What is wrong with the people writing reviews complaining about tipping? At min, tip $5 at each meal, and $1 every time someone brings you a drink at the pool/beach. Bring some $1 bills, stick them in a Ziploc bag, hang poolside/beachside, and you will be King/Queen for the day. The front desk will gladly make change for you if all you got is 20s. I spent $20-$30 a day in tips, and you should also, at minimum. WORTH IT. RESPECT THE STAFF!SPA – Wife and I did a couples massage, 100 minute couples love treatment thing. Original price is $500. I doubt anyone has ever paid that. We paid $300, 40% discount at check-in. Comes with 1 hour water therapy beforehand. Very good. It was a 3 hour session in total. How have I lived this long in life without ever taking a mint shower? Mint showers need to be installed in everyone’s home. I feel bad for the massage lady, she had to touch me for over an hour. She earned the tip I gave her. I strongly suggest the spa. Pharmacy – I went in to buy Aloe, because, well I didn’t listen to my wife and reapply sunblock often enough after the waves washed it off. I noticed the Viagra and Vicodin were sold side by side. This resort knows how to party. Pools – A+ – Love the pools. Huge pools, lazy river setup at some points. Clean clear water, doesn’t smell of chlorine. FYI, All pools are toilets. Everyone is just peeing in place. Admit it, you also do it. Swim bar was quick service. Wait staff would also serve you almost anywhere. Grilled pizza delivered poolside. We were in building 2, balcony overlooking the cascade pool. I love the cascade pool. Stand under the waterfall and get a back/shoulder massage. Look at the google maps satellite view, lots and lots of pool area. Also, we never had a problem finding a nice lounge chair. We even found shaded beds. Pools close at 6pm. I know that sounds weird. But after 6pm, it got cool fast anyway and we were done with the water. ECOLOGICAL PARK / BOTANICAL GARDENS – well this is awesome. What an awesome place. Beautiful. Walked here a few times a day. It was a beautiful place. There is one chicken (El General I think is his name) there who I think was in charge of the whole place. They need to make a Pixar movie about the animals in this little park. Why don’t any of the animals just escape? Why do the flamingos stay in the same area? These things baffled me. The gardens are beautiful.BEACH – A+ - Water in front of the hotel has violent rough waves. If you walk a few hundred yards to the right of the hotel, there is calmer waters. Also, there is no resort directly on either side of this resort. Take a long walks on the beach, you feel like you are on an isolated beach, all I see is Palm trees, sand and water. The beach walks were amazing. Look for dark spots in the water and avoid it. That’s coral. Don’t step on it. The beach isn’t perfect, the waves are intense, but just walk 10 minutes to the right. If the 10 minute walk is too much for you, that is your mental malfunction, it is a walk on a beautiful beach, you will love it. I almost wanted to find a volleyball and name it Wilson. IT WAS AMAZING. I knew the beach layout from Trip Advisor, and looking at google maps, but I did not fully grasp how beautiful it was. I would just walk and walk, jump in the water to cool down, walk some more. IT WAS PARADISE. Restaurants – Once you figure out which places you like and which suit you, you will have a great meal at every meal. LOTS OF OPTIONS AT DINNER. The places to avoid I listed above. GOOD DINING CHOICES: Toscana – Breakfast – eggs to order station at breakfast, good buffet selection. Breakfast was always quick for us. Fuel up, get to the beach and pool. Toscana – Lunch Buffet – grill station (where they do eggs in the morning). Good selection. Lobster House – Breakfast - I had the Dominican Breakfast. Good. Lobster House – Dinner – good, but you get half of a small lobster tail. Want to know a little secret? Ask for more! Slip the guy $3 when you order, and you will be treated like a King/Queen [TIP THE STAFF]Agave – AVERAGE - Good food. Staff got a little over aggressive. Staff ends up learning who is tipping and who is not. I had some crazy waitress try to serve us chips and guac when we already had it on our table. That annoyed the living daylights out of me. I had to tell her to go away rudely (she didn’t listen the first few times when I asked her politely). It was the only time the service annoyed me. Clearly she wanted me to give her $2 or something. She got pulled away and some other waiter and her got into an argument about whose table it was. She was wrong, and she was sent away. Whatever. Flavor Market – This is a Tapas place. My wife and I have done Tapas before, but not all cities have tapas places, some people look lost and confused at the little plates. It was good. Just know how tapas places work. Chez Isabelle – best place overall. Great ribeye steak. Cheutiberand (or however it’s spelled) is prime beef (they claim it is filet mignon, it tasted just as good). Amazing meal here. Go here. Barcelona – not bad. I have had better lamb in my life, and had worse. It was average. Average at best. Dinner on the beach – they list for $200. DON’T PAY FOR IT. If it comes as a package or freebie, sure, the view is great. Our meal was delicious except for one item. We had the “rainbow” meal. The Shrimp ceviche, some veggie soup thing were very good. Main course was a “steak” (it was just rough rubbery beef) and lobster. Lobster tail was awesome. Beef was awful. We didn’t complain. We ate what we liked, and just went to watch the show that night, and I went to Chez Isabelle after and ate a ribeye steak. Aren’t all inclusive resorts awesome!? SHOWS – I had no idea what to expect from shows, and to be honest it really wasn’t a factor in deciding where to stay. But they were fun. It was a pleasant surprise. Thursday night was the “circus” which was really an acrobatic show, which was amazing. They two main acrobats did some amazing feats of strength. The crowd gave them a standing ovation. Those two guys also work the breakfast shift at Toscana Grill. I am fascinated by the subculture of these resort workers. The acrobats must be like the Johnny Castle of this place (Go watch “Dirty Dancing” for the reference). The bar at Santo Domingo Plaze (right outside lobby) had this juggling bartender one night, and I told my wife “this is booooooooooring”, then he lit the bottles on fire, and was juggling fire. I was wrong. It was pretty awesome. Other nights they an Alicia Keys type of singer at the Martini Bar, a guy who looked and dressed like Bruno Mars doing Aerosmith/Bon Jovi covers… I enjoyed their entertainment. Overall, the shows/entertainment were a pleasant surprise and made the trip much better. OTHER GUESTS – good crowd. I chose this place because I wanted a crowd of adults only, and NO SPRING BREAKERS. The only Spring Break college aged kids I saw were at the airport. There was a wedding over the weekend. Seemed like a nice place to have a wedding. The setup they had for the reception was in the Cascade Pool area (we could see it from our balcony), it was a beautiful setup. Some people complained the music from the receptionThe best part of this place to me was the isolated beach walks and the staff/service. Not many resorts in Punta Cana (or anywhere) are located in such a way where you can be on a quiet secluded beach. Most resorts are lined up side by side and the beaches are crowded and messy. The staff is great. They take care of the guests. But tip them. They are working very hard to support families. If you ever worked a service job that was focused on tips you would understand. Of course they are going to gravitate towards people who they know will tip them. Wouldn’t you? If you expect to go to an all-inclusive resort and not tip people, stay home. EXCELLENCE CLUB – I did not purchase club pass, and I think it is not needed. If I hear one more person tell me how great “top shelf” liquor is, I am going to laugh in their face. If you really think there is a difference between Stoli and Absolut vodka when it is mixed with pineapple juice, please reply to this review and explain to me. No grey goose here. Not really top shelf. The drinks are all good, just really no need for this “top shelf” liquor nonsense. I drank Presidente beer, whatever their specialty cocktails were. The club area of the beach is more crowded than the non-club area. Doesn’t seem that great to me. Sitting in a lounge chair staring at the back of someone else’s lounge chair seems stupid to me. Overall, it was a great trip. After we switched rooms, and knew where to eat our meals (we figure it out by end of Day 2), the trip was awesome. They are renovating this summer. This trip convinced me to consider any of the other resorts run by Excellence also. (i.e. El Carmen, the others in Cancun). If we didn’t get a broken toilet in our first room, and Los Olas and the Grill weren’t so gross, they would have gotten 5 stars. These seem like problems they can fix over the summer during their renovation.
The ambiance and mood of the resort is low impact and relaxing. The property is full of lovely, tropical photo ops with a backdrop of exotic trees and shrubbery or the vast oceanfront. It could be seen as a plus or minus that you will do a lot of walking to get from one area of the resort to another. For me, I felt like the layout was difficult to navigate, and it was challenging to find specific locations. I've seen other reviewers remark on the aged appearance of the buildings, but I did not notice any disturbing wear and tear. I thought the cleanliness, appearance, and overall comfort were great. The main disappointment for me was with the food. We tried room service, Dominican night, Spice, the Grille, and the buffet, but I never found an impressive meal. I was hoping for an upscale, luxury food experience, but I found mediocre cruise ship fare. This resort also fell short for me on entertainment and energy. The peace and quiet of Excellence is beautiful, but I would also have liked to see more activities and night life. Overall, we had a fun, comfortable experience. How nice to feel so at ease in another country! However, for the price, I'd love to see better food, and a more proactive approach by staff to check in with guests and ensure their needs are being met.
We stayed for a week and wished it could have been for much longer! The Excellence Punta Cana has everything from the amazing beach to fabulous pools, beautiful grounds, nine restaurants, great entertainment, fun activities, well stocked bars and excellent service throughout.Our favourite restaurant was Chez Isabelle where we enjoyed a fabulous meal and our waiter Joel made sure our evening was extra special. Ordering pizza on the beach to eat whilst sunbathing was also fun!We were part of the Excellence Club, our room was stunning and the view from our roof top terrace was amazing! Coming in to a hot tub filled with bubbles and rose petals was such a lovely touch, in fact the maid service was excellent at all times.The beach was one of the best we have ever seen (and we are both well travelled), it was never crowded and had ample sunbeds. The golden sand, palm trees and turquoise sea really did look like paradise. What a wonderful place.
We travelled March 14-19. Having stayed at Excellence Playa Mujeres we knew we would not be disappointed. And we were not, a few hiccups but not disappointed. If you have travelled to the resort in Mexico (EPM) then it does not meet the standards of there....but having an open mind and know that this is also a different country might help you with the expectations. The food was great, the drinks were always there when you needed a new drink. The staff learned our names by heart and some came to say good bye to us upon leaving! Our room was comfortable and clean, we did request a bed topper for our bed before we arrived and it was soft and comfortable.The best part of our holiday was St. Patrick's Day, with the band Hitters out on the beach.....man could they play great songs!!!!If you are looking for a resort with swimming or snorkelling out in the ocean, don't book here....the waves and under tow is great and the life guard does not allow you out to far. It kinda is silly where they have the swim up bar, why it would be hidden away is something I hope they change when they do the renovating. Other than making the swim up bar more open to the public and in the sun....I would suggest stairs into the pool and not ladders, only for the elderly and persons who have heart concerns would find that hard to go up and down.I guess if I had to make a disappointing comment it would be with Oregano restaurant. I had ordered Cannoli and after about 10 bites I found a small stone in my meal. When it was brought to the attention of the waiter he went and found the supervisor and he came along and said "sorry"......I know in Mexico, I would have had a fruit tray delivered the next day with a note from management, or a meal on the beach planned for the next night, in Mexico it would have been a huge deal.....and I was expecting it still would be. I guess I feel bad that they did not take it seriously, I could have chipped a tooth then my holiday would have been so different???? In any event I over came that and moved onwards to the surrounding and the great people around me. We met new friends that we enjoyed partying with...Angie and Andy, Diane and Bobby, Mom and Daughter team Kim and Liz and Mitch and Liz.....we had suppers out with them and enjoyed playing the games with them. I hope we can meet once again at a different Excellence resort!!!!!Would I go back......I might with my above friends....but again with just my husband-not likely as we are beach people and the waves that make it swimmable would have us choose another resort. I totally however would go back to another Excellence resort.
We so enjoyed our stay with our new friends at Excellence Punta Cana, Wil G at the front desk was extremely friendly and helpful. Rigoberto at the mini bar was awesome. The accommodations were excellent. We did upgrade to the excellence club and we found it was worth it. The food was good but not great, better than Sandals or Rui which we have stayed before. We would go back just for the fact that the staff was so nice and friendly. There were no solicitors asking for us to buy stuff ever. The pools were clean the beach was clean the bars were plentiful, the alcohol was top shelf and was always fresh. They had El Presidente beer and we had Miller Genuine draft in the mini bar. I asked for a bottle of Bacardi silver and they stocked the mini bar. All the bartenders were super nice and attentive. You don't have to tip, but I wanted to. I brought $200 in $5 bills and gave them all away and everyone was deserving. The excellence club was cool, they had Champaign and wine water coffee and a small buffet with breakfast lunch and snacks, a large flat screen. We walked the entire grounds and it was all beautiful. We stayed in building 7 which was near the pool and beach, we found that Building 1 has like a private pool, it's not private but the way the buildings are setup the cascade pool is tucked in between them and they have a bar right there , kinda cool. They have a little nature walk with flamingos, which was nice. Tennis courts basketball pool tables etc. highly recommend. Visit Excellence Punta Cana you will be happy you did!
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
- 24 hour room service
- A la carte dining w/reservations
- Unlimited International & Domestic brand drinks and House Wine from 10am-3am
- In-room mini-bar replenished daily
- Hobie cats
- Pedal boats
- Boogie boards
- Introductory scuba diving lesson in pool
- Tennis with instruction
- Use of bicycles
- Horseback riding, reservations required & subject to availability
- Darts & table tennis
- Use of gym
- Water aerobics
- Spanish lessons
- Dance lessons
- Daily activities
- Nightly entertainment
- 446 rooms in 13 three-storey buildings
- 1 buffet restaurant
- 7 a la carte restaurants: Italian, Texas Grill, Asian, Seafood, Mexican and Gourmet, dress code & reservations required
- Snack bars
- 6 bars including Beach bar
- 2 outdoor pools
- 3 (lit) tennis courts
- Gift shop
- Fitness facilities
- Sauna (fee)
- Beauty salon
- Dive shop on-site
- Scuba diving on-site (fee)
- Internet access (fee)
- Medical services (fee)
Junior Suites include:
- 1 king or 2 double beds
- Ceiling fan
- Cable/Satellite TV
- Coffee maker
- In-room safe
- Full bathroom with Jacuzzi
- Balcony or patio
- Max occupancy 2 persons
Oceanview Junior Suites also available with sitting area and Internet access
Excellence Club Junior Suites include: VIP section within the hotel and Excellence Club guests receive all the all-inclusives plus:
- Private concierge service 7am-11pm
- Private check-in/out (subject to availability)
- DVD & CD player (DVD's available at reception - fee)
- Free internet access
- 2 pairs of slippers
- Beach towels in room
- Superior room service menu & VIP amenities in room
- Stocked mini-bar
- Private lounge 7am-11pm
- Continental breakfast in lounge
- Afternoon & evening hors d'oeuvres in lounge
- Daily newspapers from worldwide selection
Free Wedding! - Amazing free wedding packages, when booking an Oceanview Room category or higher. Arrangements to be made directly with hotel. Please inquire for further details.
Romance Bonus - Honeymooners & Anniversary couples receive: Plate of fruit, bottle of sparkling wine, welcome letter, use of embroidered bathrobes and slippers, flower petals in Jacuzzi, 1 breakfast in bed with sparkling wine, cocktail reception, romantic dinner for 2 and nightly turndown service. Request when booking. Requires proof of marriage certificate at check-in.
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.
Resort Location Map
Excellence Punta CanaPunta Cana,Dominican Republic
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Playas Uvero Alto, Punta Cana Dominican Republic
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.