13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Beware Resort Extortion !! Punta Cana Fraud !
"Fraud Alert!! Excellence Puna Cana Extortion ! Do not stay at this resort. We prepaid for our stay through TripAdvisor, gave the hotel our prepaid voucher at check in and nothing was said. When we checked out two hours before our shuttle departure the resort accepted our room key and said everything was fine and thanked us for our stay. However when the airport shuttle arrived the hotel staff approached us and said they never received payment from the booking and demanded that we pay for the ENTIRE stay again ! We told them if we didn’t leave with the shuttle we would miss our fight but they didn’t care . They said we couldn’t leave the property unless we paid them again. We spent an hour on the phone trying to get the booking company and the hotel to resolve the payment issue but the hotel refused to talk to the booking company. We missed had to pay extra to hold the shuttle. We missed our flight. When the hotel threatened to call the police if we didn’t pay their extortion fee we paid just so we could leave the property. We missed our flight home and are at the airport right now with no way to get home. Aside from the horror we endured the food is mediocre, minibar doesn’t get restocked, no swimming pools more than a couple feet deep, beach and water full of seaweed. Do not stay at Excellence Punta Cana and if this has happened to you too please report this resort to your travel agent, your credit card company and all authorities. #DominicanFraud #ExcellencePuntaCanaScamAlert #DetainedLikeCriminals"
- Travel date: 1st August 2018
This hotel is lovely and the location fa...
"This hotel is lovely and the location fantastic. However, beware the beach. 2 people drowned off this beach while we were there. No lifeguards or emergency procedures in place. Red flags on beach but you go to these places to swim in the sea don't you? I certainly do. "
- Travel date: 17th January 2008
Excellence Punta Cana certainly lives up...
"Excellence Punta Cana certainly lives up to its name. We stayed for a week in October and had the best holiday ever. Total relaxation, pure luxury. 24 hour all inclusive which includes free 24hour room service. A choice of about 7 gorgeous restaurants and cocktails to die for. We stayed in a swim-up room which was well worth the extra money. Being able to wander from our room to the pool without packing a bag for the day was great. The beach was lovely, the staff attentive and friendly. All in all a brilliant holiday which I would recommend to everyone."
- Travel date: 14th December 2007
it doesent get any better
"nothing i can say can do justice to how beautiful this hotel is if you are undecided about where to go ,GO HERE!!!!!! you will not regret it."
- Travel date: 28th April 2003
Mostly a terrific trip!
"My wife and I went to Secrets the week of April 19-26, 2003 with my sister and hubby and my cousin and her husband. The trip was mostlt terrific, but it did have its minor problems! Room with pool and ocean view= gorgeous. Meals at six restaurants= good ( not great) but somethings didn't agree with my stomach. Service= very good. Pool= the best ever. Ocean water= warm, but rough enough that my cousin's husband needed help from me and the lifeguards. Surroundings= the grounds are breathless, but don't go too far "off campus" since there's nothing else for miles and somewhat depressing poverty for the "native" population. we took the excursion to snorkeling and swimming with the safe nurse sharks and rays in an enclosed area: glad we did! Entertainment every night, but just o.k. Mostly, though, relaxing vacation; completely forgot about everything at home! Will I return to Punta Cana? Maybe, after we've seen many other resorts, particularly in the USA. Worth the "big bucks"? Comparing the similar costs to Bermuda, not really then! Tom Russoniello"
- Travel date: 27th April 2003
"Unbelievable, one of the best vacation spots I have every been to. No reservations needed at restaurants (who wants reservations when your on vacation) except for one.Food was excellent. (and I'm a very picky eater) Rooms were clean, well stocked (mini refrigerator) were stocked everyday with juice, water, beer, soda andchampagne!!They had bathrobes and slippers in every roomfor your use. Talk about being pampered.I felt like I was in heaven at this resort.The beach was gorgeous. The pool beautiful.Service was excellent with the staff speakingEnglish well enough.This was paradise at it's best. I still get dreamyeyed every time I think of the time I hadat this resort."
- Travel date: 16th April 2003
"I went during spring break (March 18th through the 23rd) and had an incredible time with my girlfriend. I was very fortunate to get an oceanview Jr. Suite and was blown away when I entered the room for the first time. It was very nice. The wide variety of restaurants and the food they offered was fantastic. The scenery throughout the entire resort was lovely and the people were extremely nice. I definitely suggest that you go on the Safari which is an additional 150.00 usd per couple. It was very educational to see how they live and survive in The Dominican Republic. It's definitely a good idea to bring about 200.00 in singles to keep the natives smiling even more as they try to make your vacation a wonderfull experience. Bringing something to control the mosqitos from driving you crazy is definitely a must. I have been to 4 islands in the Carribean and this was top ranking. Hope you enjoy it."
- Travel date: 1st April 2003
We loved Secrets !
"My wife and I visited Punta Cana and stayed at Secrets from March 12-19, 2003. What a great vacation spot. We had a fantastic time. We did not have any problems at all. The food was great, the service was great, the staff was very friendly and helpful. The property is just beautiful, that was the best part for me. Everything is clean and the landscaping is just beautiful. The beach is wonderful. I've read complaints about the waves but my wife and I enjoyed them. We liked to have lunch at the Mediterranean rest. and we always asked for one of the tables on the outside. The view was just spectacular! The pools are great, lots of chairs plus pool bars conveniently located. Our room was very nice, lots of marble. Fresh towels everyday, plus satelite TV. Our deck opened to a wonderful view of the mountains to the west plus a wonderfully landscaped area below. I took advantage of the scuba diving plus my wife and I went on one of the snorkeling trips for half a day. I also did the horseback riding one morning. You have to sign up early for that. Just a note about that, if you have never ridden you might want to pass on this. Lots of trotting, too much for some. Nightly entertainment was pretty good, my wife really enjoyed it. The ride was 50 minutes from airport to resort. We were on a big bus, very comfortable. I don't remember seeing or feeling any potholes as some others have reported. We took some bug spray but never used it. There were a few sand fleas on the beach but most of the time the breeze kept them off us. It didn't stop the ladies from dropping their tops :). Yes, most of the staff didn't speak much English but so what. Hey if you want to talk English, vacation in Florida. If you want to be a guest in another country another culture, expect a few lanquage problems. Relax and go with the flow. I took an English to Spanish book and had fun with it. The staff had fun with me.They have a small casino only 7-8 slots, 3 blackjack tables and two roulette tables plus Keno, but we were warned not pa and I got a nice massage. I used the gym each morning it was pretty nice, get there early or later. They have a few gift shops, plus locals have a few shops just north of the resort. Cigars are cheaper there, plus they have trinkets and other things. It's a great resort and we loved it."
- Travel date: 31st March 2003
The WEEK of my life!
"We flew into Punta Cana on Weds, March 19th. (First hint.......if you can swing a Weds to Weds vacation you will save lots!) We booked through Apple Vacations. I, too, read ALL the reviews, especially the "avoid this sweat shop" one. But the good reviews certainly outweighed even this bad one and my husband and I went into this trip with a positive attitude and a desire to get out of the below zero weather. We packed every bug spray, anti itch cream, and pharmaceutical known to man in preparation for the situations we thought we may encounter. I will tell you that we NEVER were bit by bugs and the only time we used the bug spray was when my husband left an open bottle of coke on the counter and it brought out ants. After that we always made sure any open drink not finished was put in the fridge.We brought a lot of one dollar bills and tipped the maids every day. I actually went above and beyond in this department and always left them a small gift bag too filled with lipsticks, nail polish, nylons, crayons, pencils, coloring books or cheap jewlery. None of the items I put in the bag cost more than 50 cents to a dollar as I purchased them at our Dollar Store. Our room was alway immaculate, we had TONS of towels, including wash cloths (which are a premium in this country), our bed was always turned down in the evening with chocolates on the night stand and they showed their appreciation for the gifts by leaving fresh greenery by the jaccuzi. Yes, they only spoke Spanish but even when I had to use sign language to let them know we needed an ash tray in our room I was able to communicate that need. And a smile goes a LONG way. One other thing I would like to point out is the honesty of these women. One morning I actually left our safe open and there was about $700 in it and nothing was taken! When I realized (about 2 hours later) I had not locked it before leaving, I made a bee line for the room and found the room had already been cleaned. I opened the closet where the safe was and checked the contents and everything was the way I left it. We also left a few dollars in the mini fridge every day. We always had more than we could drink! One day I left $5.00 and specifically requested 10 bottles of Presidente beer and that is what we got! In addition to bottles of rum, coke and always lots of water.We arrived about 2:15pm and were told the room would not be ready until 3:00 (which was the check in time anyway) so we went and had a bite to eat at the Italian buffet and then returned to the desk about 3:15. We had booked a garden view junior suite and when we walked into the room my husband headed for the balcony and immediately called me out to see the view! We had been given an ocean view! This resort was above and beyond my wildest dreams. I thought I was one of the Rich and Famous. I have never felt more relaxed and rested than after spending a week at this tropical paradise! I will say the absolute highlight of this trip was having the photographer at the resort take our pictures! You sign up for an hour "photo shoot" and you have the choice of black and white and/or color glossys. Fotografia Caribena is to be commended on their EXCELLENTE service! We are most definitely not "model material" but Renaud took the most incredible shots of us. I would have been happy if we ended up with even one or two good shots........well, we ended up with 35 fantastic 6"x8"glossys. And the best part is that you will usually get them the same day he takes them. Our session was at 11am and the pictures were available by 8 that evening. I bought the coolest photo album in the gift shop and the photos look awesome in there. I felt like a movie star as he was taking shots in the surf, sand and around the resort. He really knows how to pose the couples to get the most flattering shots. BE SURE TO SIGN UP EARLY FOR THIS. (located by the Apple Rep desk, but not connected with Apple Vacations) The price was extremely reasonable. We signed up for the black and white/color package which was $100.00. You will get 10 black and white and 10 color shots. If you want to buy above and beyond the 20, the pictures will cost you $4.00 each. Remember these are 6"x8" and trust me you will NOT be disappointed. Renaud (does the morning shoots) or Severine (in the afternoon) will make you look like you just stepped out of a magazine! Even my husband was thrilled with the results and he does not like to have his picture taken! This photo journal is priceless memory.We did not do any excursions off the resort. I just could not bear to leave this incredible property. We did the couple massage on the beach at the end of one day and that was definitely worth it. ($40 per per person/ for 30 minutes.) I do agree with one of the other reviews I read about the shortage of rafts for the pool. People do hoard them and bring them back to their rooms. We were fortunate that we met some people on our 2nd day there who had "inherited" a raft and offered it to us as they were leaving the next day. This raft was one that someone had brought from home and it just kept getting passed from one guest to the next as people left. We called it the "good will" raft and we passed it along on our last day as well. It is worth while to actually bring your own raft, ask the Sports Center area to blow it up for you, They Will! and this way you will never be without a raft. There is nothing better than relaxing on your float while your husband pushes you from one end of the pool to the next.....occasionally stopping at the swim up bar. The activities staff was the BEST. Be sure to participate in the nightly dance lessons to learn the Merengue! You want to be prepared if Robinson or Luciani ask you to be their partners.......Fantastic dancers...........They also offer Spanish lessons, water polo and volleyball, water aerobics, beach soccer and volleyball to name a few.....You must visit the disco too. Especially on Toga night. Fun Fun Fun.........The staff is always in the midst of doing contests to get the crowd going and the prizes are great!Carlos does the coolest Henna temporary tattoos! You can find him in the Santo Domingo plaza every afternoon! Average cost: $15! Reaction from your children: Priceless!! 50 year old mothers aren't suppose to go away and come back with a tattoo!If you want to email me with specifics I would be very happy to answer any questions. The only reason we won't be going back to this resort next year is that we are planning to try the NEW Secrets which will be opening in Mexico later this year...........and it will definitely be for longer than 7 days! I don't care if Apple Vacations owns a percentage of the restaurants or not, the food was great, the service wonderful and the drinks were outstanding, especially the Coco Locos.........( a Pina Colada served in a real coconut shell) We NEVER met an unfriendly staff member. I feel sorry for anyone who complains about this resort. Shame on them!!! Life is too short to be so petty."
- Travel date: 28th March 2003
"My husband and spent 8days/ 7nights at Secrets Excellence in Punta Cana during mid March of 2003. We live in NYC and have been exposed to both wonderful food, accomodations and entertainment and I must say we were definitely impressed with the beauty and the caliber of the hotel. The beach and palapas were exquiste, the people were unbelievably accomodating given the long hours they work. The rooms with the cathedral ceilings, marble floors and jacuzzi bath were just as beautiful if not even more so than as seen on their website. Our room faced the gazebo and the ocean and it was breathtaking. The preparation of the food equalled some of the best restaurants in the city and the entertainment on some nights were wonderful. The sound of trickling water resonants throughout the Spanish marble and column architecture due to the cascading waterfalls and the ocean in the background. Although we chose to spend our entire time at the resort since most tours occupy one's entire day, we were never bored. There were more than enough activities to partake of should one choose to do so, but we found the space immensely relaxing for just laying around. Although it is a couple's only resort and it was at full capacity during our stay, not once did we feel as though the resort was crowded. We even had dinner at the "infamous" continental restaurant twice and it is definitely well worth the wait on line. The French photographer at the resort charges a nominal fee for an hour session of photos on site, but they turn out ABSOLUTLEY BEAUTIFUL. I could go on and on about all the wonderful "SECRETS" hidden at this resort but just go and see..."
- Travel date: 27th March 2003
secret excellance was xcellant
"We just returned from 7 days at secrets excellance and we could not be happier. Our room was very nice and in a quieter area which we liked. The hotel itself is beautiful and very clean. We were able to eat at every resaurant and did not have a bad meal at any of them. The breakfast and lunch buffets are hugh. The service was great..they hold your chairs for you..put you napkins in your lap etc. I would suggest that if you eat at the outdoor resaurant you use some bug spray..I got bite quite abit even with it on..but only in the early evening. I would also suggest that upon arrival you take a walk around the property..we were there 3 days before we discovered the cascading pool was a 2 minute walk from our room. The breach is beautiful and we never had a problem getting lounge chairs. I do suspect however that there may be sand fleas so spray. The nightly entertainment was good a bit cheesey at times but you have to remember where you are. The staff are very nice..I never saw a face without a smile and I did not find launguage a problem. The spa is amazing I had a facial and pedicure. I also bought a 14 caret gold braclet in the jewlery shop and it was quite reasonable. I bought t shirts in the gift shop for 12 bucks a piece and some local jewlery from the vendors..make sure you barter with them. All in all we had a wonderful time and will most likely return next year."
- Travel date: 24th March 2003
The Best Vacation Ever!
"We arrived at night so the shows were all finished but we were still able to have a good time at the disco. We had no expectations except that we wanted to kick back and think about nothing and we did! The food is delicious and a great variety to choose from. We were blessed with two beach dinner parties. My husband and I took full advantage of the activities available. The only two times we left the resort were for a bike tour and the lagoon tour, both of which were included. We had a lot of fun, met new people and enjoyed ourselves. My husband was a little dissappointed with the few numbers of topless sunbathers but that ended quickly enough when I joined the group. The only tiny little negative comment I have is the pool floatation mattresses. If you really want one, I suggest bringing your own inflatable one because the ones that are there are hoarded by some guests until they leave. Yes, they take them back to their rooms everyday! If that is the only quam with this amazing place, I know I would recommend it to everyone."
- Travel date: 22nd March 2003
Excellence Punta Cana is also called
- Secrets Excellence Punta Cana Hotel
- Playa Bavaro
- excellence punta cana