Excellence Punta Cana Wedding Review 12/12/09
Posted 17 December 2009 - 03:49 PM
We had never been to this resort or the DR. We only had 2 other couples join us. We did not have a rehearsal dinner, cocktail hour, reception, etc., so I didn't have a lot of decisions to make or details to check on. I am very confident, however, if this is what you're doing they will do a fabulous job.
We had the basic wedding package and we had the Excellence Club Jr. Suite ocean view. We decided to upgrade to the Club b/c our wedding was included and the price difference was only $150. We were on the 2nd floor and our room overlooked the pool. It was very nice, clean. The service is amazing and prompt. Anything we called for they responded quickly and then always followed up with a phone call to make sure we were satisfied. The mini bar is stocked with plenty of water, juice, beer (el presidente, budweiser), soda (coke, diet coke, fasta), coffee, bottles of Jim Beam, Rum, Merlot, Stoli. There's a coffee machine and tea bags. When we got to our room there was a fruit tray and a bottle of champagne. The also provide a beach bag.
The resort is beautiful. they do a great job, you will not be disappointed. It was only at about 50% occupancy so we didn't have any problems getting chairs, towels, cushions, etc. Although the shaded chairs and beds around the pool areas went quickly, I preferred the beach. The water was very rough, they only allowed swimming down by Kafe Kafe. The grill on the beach has pizza (awesome), burgers and a different plate everyday (make sure you try the chicken and ribs). The also have a cocktail of the day (all were very good). The banana mama was very good (pink drink in pics).
The pool bar was a lot of fun! Beware of the Mana Juana, it knocked out my husband, literally! Consider yourself warned! Every night when they come to do turn down service they leave the following days activities sheet, which lists the drink of the days and daily plate. I have a copy of this I have to scan and will add later.
The food was good.
The Grill-Steaks and stuff. I had the rib-eye, kind of fatty but good.
Toscana-We ate here everyday for breakfast, very good! Dinner is italian fare. I had vegetable lasagna, not completely hot, but ok. Ravioli, osco bosco (sic) were very good.
Agave-Mexican-My fave-I had shrimp burritos, awesome. chicken fajitas very good!
Spice-Asian-Ok, not my favorite cuisine anyway but husband wanted to try it. He didn't get what he ordered...but enjoyed whatever it was he ate.
The french restaurant-we ate here on our wedding night, it was very good. there was some confusion about the wine. They put bottles on our table, these ARE NOT INCLUDED, they are extra. We were going to get one anyway, but there was a discussion about how much it was, so we just said forget it.
The weather was beautiful, it did rain a couple days very briefly. There is an umbrella in the room. It was very windy on the beach, which they said is typically for this time of year, their "cold" season. The wind did keep away bugs though, we brought bug spray but never used it, and I get bit up bad at home in the summer, so I was pleasantly surprised.
My MOH and I had hot stone massages the day before the wedding. It was very good, very relaxing. My husband had a mani/pedi on the day of and he enjoyed it (first time). I have the price book from the spa if anyone is interested in the prices for the services.
My MOH, other girlfriend and I had our hair done for the wedding. We were all pleased and the styles held up well on the windy beach.
I got ready for the wedding at the spa. I had a room to myself. I did my own make up. The lighting is not great, so I would suggest a make up mirror. I also had to ask for a trash can and a box of tissues. I brought a bottle of water and my ipod. They didn't offer any snack or anything so I would suggest bringing something with you. I think this is b/c of language barrier, if I had asked I'm sure they would have accomodated me. After much research I used MAC prep and prime base and studio fix fluid foundation. Loreal powder, eye shadow and eye liners, lip gloss and neutrogena waterproof mascara. All held up great, imo.
On our 1st day there we met with the WC, Lisbeth. Since we didn't have many decisions to make and I had decided what I wanted prior to arrival it was a quick meeting. We decided to go with Photo Souvenir as the photographer and you chose your package at this meeting, but we had decided on the "gold package" prior to arriving. Lisbeth set up the spa appointments for me and my girls. I also brought my dress and Ian's suit and they took care of the pressing. The only thing I had to do was show up at the spa on the wedding day.
Lisbeth helped me into my dress and my MOH took pictures of the "getting ready" part. The Photographer, Francisco showed up an hour before ceremony to do the photo shoot while the light was still good. We didn't care about seeing each other before the ceremony, but they did ask us first, so if you don't want to see each other you can make other arrangements. For me, I think doing this took away my nerves
After that Ian stayed on the beach and my MOH and I went to the lobby to meet the horse and carriage. That was fun, do it!
I did not make any decisions regarding the decorations of the beach, I really didn't care, so everything you see was what they chose. I was very happy. We had the lawyer do our civil ceremony and we wrote our own vows, that we emailed to her the week before. They printed them on cards for us to read (very helpful). I also put the Pre-ceremony and post ceremony music on a cd, they set up speakers and you could hear everything fine. I chose Ocean by John Butler Trio for the "walk down the aisle" and the Beatles "all You need is Love" for after. Fortunately the Judge arrived towards the end of the ceremony so we were able to sign our "official" license right then and didn't have to do it later. They bring the cake to the beach to do the pics and then bring it to the restaurant (in our case) to have for dessert. It was the cake that was included in our package. We chose chocolate heart with vanilla cake. The other options in our package were chocolate round, vanilla round, vanilla heart. It was very good, but we didn't eat 1/2 of it.
After the wedding Ian and I went back to the room to freshen up, breathe...they decorated our room, it was very sweet.
So the wedding day itself was awesome! I had NO STRESS, which is why I chose this way. I let it go and enjoyed EVERY SECOND, b/c I knew it would fly by....
The next day we went down and had ALL our pics. Approx. 300 5x7 prints. They are beautiful. We also got a canvas print as part of the package and dvd slideshow, the disc of all the prints and the release, which we got the next day (monday). The service of photo souviner was outstanding, we highly recommend them.
As far as the rest of the stay...
They have people walking around the resort soliciting excursions. Any water related stuff, snorkeling, parasailing etc is off resort about an hour and 1/2 drive to get to the Carribean side of the island where the water is calmer, so keep this in mind. we did not do any, nor did we meet anyone who did either.
We did the 2 hour "sunset" horseback riding, through Mr. Happy's company. You will meet Mr. Happy, you cannot avoid him Ian and I had never been on horses before...it was not 2 hours, but I was not complaining! They take you partially on the beach, partially in the woods and partially on road. You go back to the "ranch" where there is a "gift shop" and then they bus you back to the resort. Total cost $80. It was fun!
We met people who did the zip line (go to the canopy), they said it was a lot of fun. Another couple got a cab through the hotel and went to the city and the cab driver showed them around. Our friends went golfing at Cabarete, they said it was beautiful. I haven't gotten their pics yet, but will post later. It wasn't cheap though and was an hour cab ride, but the cab driver waited all day for them.
As far gifts go, the selection isn't great. Stuff is cheap and cheesy. The are stores right down the beach just off the resort (named walmart, target, sears, etc) which is alittle cheaper than the store on the resort, but not cheap (shot glass for $5) considering the quality. One of the days at the resort they had people selling jewelry, they harrass you, but just keep walking if you're not interested. it's pretty funny actually, they'll give you stuff too (I got a beaded bracelet and all the guys get a tiki necklace) to entice you to buy from them. They will negotiate price, they start ridiculously high and will settle for what you have in your pocket. I got a necklace and earrings for $18 which started at $40. so keep money in different pockets also bring beer to walmart to negotiate with.
All in all everything was great, beyond our expectations. We recommend this resort to everyone and would definitely return. Our wedding was beautiful. Thank you for reading my review and please feel free to ask any questions. I tried to cover everything.
Wedding pics link:
Resort and other random shots:
Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:52 PM
Posted 17 December 2009 - 06:04 PM
| Originally Posted by Boston Bride 2009 |
I would love to see your pics the first link didn't work for me. Sounds like you had a stress free time!
Posted 19 December 2009 - 05:34 AM
Posted 19 December 2009 - 11:03 AM
| Originally Posted by nbulldog19 |
thanks for the review, I cannot wait for my wedding in April! Did you do any excursions?
Posted 01 July 2011 - 05:01 PM
I was reading your review about Excellence Punta Cana..I am also planning to get married away and was interested in this resort. Were a young couple 24 and 25 years old so we want it to be a lot of fun and care freeâ€¦I don't want to have to worry about anything while Im there. Did you find the night life was good? How about the activities and the beach?
Thanks so much
Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:20 PM
Thank you so much for the review! I really enjoyed reading and it makes me even more excited about our wedding. I was just wondering.. we decided to get married at 5 in the evening, but we do not want to see each other before I walk down the aisle. Do you think that there will still be enough daylight after the wedding to get good pictures?
Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:56 PM
Great review - thanks for posting! Can't wait until I can do mine
Can't wait to marry my best friend on April 11, 2013!
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