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LadyCheese

Ladycheese's Excellence Review (11/24-11/27)

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DH told me to pick any resort I liked for our honeymoon and I picked Excellence, partly because its adults only and partly because it looked very nice online.

 

After our guests left Dreams on Monday, 11/24, we arranged a ride with Cesar from the tour desk (Liberty Travel, etc). He is such a great guy...he is so pleasant, upbeat, and just genuinely nice; we were going to pay a taxi to get to Excellence but instead he arranged for us to get picked up by one of their minivans and taken to the resort (at no charge).

 

Excellence Punta Cana Resort and Spa

 

Upon arrival at Excellence (itâ€s about a 10 min. drive from Dreams, I didn't know this when I was deciding on a honeymoon resort), we are offered these deliciously smelling wet towels; I couldn't stop smelling them...

 

Check-in was easy, we had to wait for like 10 min. for our room to be ready...once we get to our room, we find a "Honeymooners" banner on our door, and it was cute. We had the Excellence Suite and although it was nice (and ocean front) it really did not compare to the Dreams Suite at all. The Excellence Suite was smaller and it felt a little outdated. But we had a Jacuzzi indoors and two balconies. There was a plate of fresh fruit and a welcome letter on the table letting us know that as part of the honeymoon we are entitled to a breakfast in bed, a romantic dinner, and 15% off the spa. Reservations must be made in advance with concierge for the breakfast in bed and the romance dinner. The breakfast is a set menu (it was some kind of egg & shrimp brioche, different pastries, toast, champagne, etc); for the romantic dinner, you choose the restaurant you like and itâ€s also a set menu. (Concierge shows you the menus up-front, in case you donâ€t like the selections and change your mind).

 

A few cons about our room: one of the balcony doors had no lock, the balcony screen were both off the hinges and just leaning against the balcony doors (we couldn't leave the balcony doors open since mosquitoes, etc could get in our room), the phone on the night stand didn't work at all, we found sand on the sofa, housekeeping knocks once & whether you answer â€Iâ€m coming†or not, they come right in (we kept the "do not disturb" card on our door after this happened to us twice!) and the biggest con was a late night visit from a creepy crawler in our bathroom (a big roach!!). On the first day we had told housekeeping about the balcony doors & phone, she said she would tell someone and no one ever came; we also called front desk and no one came. On the 2nd day, we called front desk again and spoke with Matias who assured me everything would be taken care of and everything was.

 

Although we were not impressed with our room, we were very impressed with the resort grounds. Beautiful! The beach was nice…thereâ€s a bar near the beach, ask for a “Coco Locoâ€â€¦they give you a nice drink in an actual coconut. The pool is gorgeous…

 

Food- A

I didnâ€t think the buffet had as much of a selection as Dreams but I found that the food at the specialty restaurants was much better than at Dreams (IMO). We tried to arrive at the restaurants shortly after opening (6:30pm) and we never had to wait. While at Excellence we tried these restaurants:

 

Spice: Its an Asian restaurant specializing in Thai, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. I had sushi for appetizer and a delicious Pad Thai for the main course; I also had a wonderful lychee flan, itâ€s to die for. DH had some kind of spicy soup which he really liked (and he is very picky) and a steak with white rice for dinner. The ambience and décor here are amazing (the pictures do not do it justice).

 

The Grill: Serves continental breakfast and casual à la carte lunch but at night itâ€s a steakhouse serving à la carte dinner (we went for dinner). They served nice warm bread with butter while we waited to order. We both had a grilled combo; it included 2 types of steak, a pork chop, and a grilled chicken breast. It was pretty good and very filling. Nice portions.

 

The Lobster House: This is strictly a lobster restaurant serving à la carte dinner. DH does not eat any seafood so he went just for me to indulge. wink.gif They start you off with bread and butter as well. For appetizer I had something called Lobster Cocktail, it was served in a martini glass (A+ for presentation) but it was a bit on the salty side so I didnâ€t eat it. For the main course you get a lobster cooked they way you choose (steamed, boiled, or pan-fried) with an option of sauces (I had garlic butter). Itâ€s served with very yummy mashed potatoes.

 

Toscana: They serve breakfast and lunch buffet-style but at night its Italian dinner à la carte. We chose this restaurant for our "Romantic Dinner". We had a small table to the side and they decorated it with rose petals (very cute) and a tea light candle; we had a set menu for the romantic dinner and they printed the menu on cardstock and the cover said something like "Romantic Dinner for Mr. & Mrs. Rodriguez" with the date. I believe they brought bread with a red sauce topped with parmesan cheese for dipping. The menu had a choice of Napoleon of beef perfumed with truffle oil and served in Marsala sauce OR shrimps & radicchio risotto; DH had the beef (he enjoyed it) and I had the risotto. Let me just say, that risotto was EXCELLENT. The shrimps were plentiful and a good size, the risotto just melted in your mouth, it was so tasty (I can still taste it now if I close my eyes). It was a big portion also and sadly I couldnâ€t finish it all but I made sure to eat all my shrimps (LOL). Dessert was tiramisu; I took it to go because I just couldnâ€t eat another bite. I ate it later on that night in our room and it was very good as well. What I found out, is that the chef for Toscana is an actual Italian.

I met him the day before when he was working the lunch station (and I had delicious pesto fettuccine) and I asked him where he was from because he obviously didnâ€t look Dominican…and he said he was from Italy, in his cute accent. Heâ€s a very older gentleman but his cooking is great.

 

There were a few other restaurants we didnâ€t get to try (Mexican, Mediterranean, and French plus a pizza shop). We just werenâ€t there that many nights to try them all but Iâ€m sure they are all great.

 

Entertainment- A

They had karaoke one night and that was pretty funny although we didnâ€t go up. The staff walks around and tries to get you to sign up for it. One night they had a Dominican Night and there was a good band playing and again staff did a good job of getting people on stage to dance meringue. Our favorite was the Michael Jackson show on our last night there…wow!! Those guys really went all out…the break-dancers & performers were spectacular and the Michael Jackson impersonators were on point, moonwalk and all! There was a younger Michael (Jackson 5 era) and then the older Michael Jackson. It was an hour show and they performed to some of Michaelâ€s greatest hits. For thriller, mummies came out and were walking around the audience, it was funny and scary. They just did an awesome job in that show; everything was very carefully put together and very entertaining!

 

Spa- A

The spa was very nice...I forgot my bathing suit so I couldnt get in the whirlpool while we waited for our appt time but DH enjoyed himself in there. These are a few of the things you can enjoy while waiting for your massage (or afterwards): 15-person capacity hot-water whirlpool, 2 rooms with hydrotherapy tubs for hydrotherapy bath treatments, Rustic shower, 2 cold-plunge pools (I dipped my legs in there, its freezing cold water!), 2 Swedish saunas and 2 steam rooms, 4 foot-hydrotherapy stations (I tried this, its just a little foot basin to dip your feet). We chose the Excellence massage (50 min), itâ€s a combination of techniques; DH & I were side by side, he fell asleep and started snoring, LOL). The massage felt good but they only concentrated on the upper body, I was expecting a lower body massage as well but that never happened.

 

Overall, we enjoyed Excellence...it gave us time to relax and unwind and of course honeymoon! smile159.gif

 

Here are a few Excellence pics:

Kodakgallery.com: Slideshow

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great review! sounds like it was a nice time. ahhhh, now i'm jealous!

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Great review! My FI and I were at the excellence this past October - that is actually where he proposed to me. :) We've booked this resort for our honeymoon as well! I agree that the rooms are outdated, but the biggest plus for this resort, in my opinion, was the service, which was excellent. :)

 

Glad you enjoyed your honeymoon, and congratulations!!

 

Angela :)

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Originally Posted by Angela139 View Post
Great review! My FI and I were at the excellence this past October - that is actually where he proposed to me. :) We've booked this resort for our honeymoon as well! I agree that the rooms are outdated, but the biggest plus for this resort, in my opinion, was the service, which was excellent. :)

Glad you enjoyed your honeymoon, and congratulations!!

Angela :)
Thanks! :)

Yes, I agree, the service was great!

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I am undecided between Dreams & Excellence for my wedding its just going to be my Fiance and I did you happen to witness any weddings at Excellence and if you had to choose which one for wedding/honeymoon?

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Originally Posted by sandinmytoes View Post
I am undecided between Dreams & Excellence for my wedding its just going to be my Fiance and I did you happen to witness any weddings at Excellence and if you had to choose which one for wedding/honeymoon?
I actually didn't witness any weddings per say at Excellence but I did see a wedding couple who looked like they were by themselves and were taking pictures with Photosouvenir near the beach. Personally, if I were to do it all over again, I would still marry at Dreams and honeymoon at Excellence. Good luck deciding wink.gif

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Thanks for the review. Very detailed!

 

We stayed at Excellence a couple years ago. We loved it! They were upgrading rooms in one of the buildings while we were there. Maybe they're working through the resort to do some improvements. We had no issues with our room. Everything in it was pretty new.

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Originally Posted by foxytv View Post
Great review - although a bummer about your room.

Would you go back or would you return to Dreams as a first choice?
Thats a tough question Tami...my suite at Dreams does not compare to the one at Excellence however the food at the Excellence restaurants was better (IMO) than at Dreams. But I'm a sucker for the room versus the food bc I could always find something I like to eat no matter where I'm at, so based on that I would go back to Dreams as my 1st choice! (I loved the pool and staff better at Dreams as well)

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