My husband and I recently returned from a week long trip to the Dominican Republic. I did a lot of research of resorts all over the caribean before finding Excellence, Punta Cana. Overall the trip was very nice, but there were a few things we didn't like.
Excellence, Punta Cana is an all-inclusive, adults only resort. I read a lot of reviews online and found http://www.tripadvisor.com/ to be a wonderful site for information. Acording to that site, this resort is rated #1 out of about 54 resorts in Punta Cana. It has a 4 ½ out of 5 star rating on many travel sites. We took our trip in late May, which was the end of the low season. Because we went at this time, we got a good deal on the stay.
Here are a few of the main things we were looking for in a resort and how we felt about them after the stay:
Resort look and activities:
This resort is very elegant and fancy looking, but they still keep the atmosphere relaxed and fun. It takes a little bit to figure out how get to get to all the places around the resort, but we figured it all out after the first day.
Every night we received a paper with the next day's specials and activities. It was helpful to know what was going on throughout the day, but we weren't really there for constant activity, we just wanted to relax. The activities were basically the same everyday with only a few different ones mixed in. It consisted mostly of beach and pool sports.
There were small waves all day to play in and boogie board on. It was clear, blue water with a nice soft sandy bottom. The beach was so soft and long! It is enclosed in a private area surrounded by palm trees. There were grass hut umbrellas spread all over with loungers and tables. And our most favorite part...CABANAS on the beach! They were awesome! The beach is what drew me to the resort while I was booking the reservations and it was everything I was hoping for!
Dinner was usually wonderful, but that's about it. Breakfast and lunch weren't that great unless you ate at the buffet. Even then it was just ok. Room service....forget it! We ordered it about 8 times and it was wrong at least 6 times! I gave up on it. And it always took at leas 50 minutes to get to your room no matter what we ordered. Because it is very humid there, a good deal of the breads, cereals, and chips were very stale. The drinks are never really cold. I always had to ask for a separate glass of just ice so I could keep putting it in my drink. And the milk was only somewhat cold twice the whole time we were there. One thing we really didn't like was the fact that we couldn't just eat whatever whenever. They had certain time you could eat certain things. There was no place to just snack in the middle of the day.
Most of the staff spoke enough English to communicate well with us, but there was still always a little confusion. It started to get a little annoying. If you speak fluent Spanish you will be just fine.
The surprise we got hit with was the fact that the airport is very...how should I put it...minimal. It's an open air building with grass hut roofs and no gates. You have to get off the plane onto the tarmac and walk to the building. Then when you get in, you instantly get hit with a $10 per person "Tourist fee". No one ever told us about that. We bought ground transportation before we got there, but we didn't realize that it was going to be a 2 hour, HORRIBLE bumpy ride to out resort!