Dominican Republic

Excellence Punta Cana is truly an excellent, all inclusive property for adults only, its name describes it perfectly, but it's not a nudist resort although topless is faily common at the Cascade Pool



  U.S. Citizens: Passports are required for international air travel to all destinations outside the USA.

Excellence Punta Cana is truly an excellent, all inclusive property for adults only, its name describes it perfectly, but it's not a nudist resort. It's hard to find, off the beaten track in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic (DR) but it's an "excellent" resort. The only downers we could find are: nudity is not yet accepted in the DR (but the Cascade pool there is topless) and golf is not nearby (but an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones-designed course is in the works across the road). This very unusual resort is spread over a long, deserted stretch of beach on the Bavaro coastal region of the DR and is a destination in itself, since the resort is isolated and not near any town .

Even though the resort doesn't condone nudity, it's a great value for those of you looking for a different location, different island in an upscale, adult atmosphere in a five star property. This all inclusive resort, built in 2000 and owned by a Spanish company, opened as the "Royal Uvero Alto" but thankfully changed its name to something a little easier to remember.

By comparison, this luxury property holds its own with the Iberostar, Royal Hideaway, RIU and Occidental Grand chain of upscale resorts throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe. With almost 56, 000 hotel rooms in the DR, you have plenty of choices but Excellence Punta Cana can be counted as one of the best on the island.

  U.S. Citizens: Passports are required for international air travel to all destinations outside the USA.

Excellence Punta Cana is located in the Bavaro region on the eastern tip of the land mass called Hispanola, the second largest Caribbean island which includes both Haiti to the west and the Dominican Republic to the east. The DR is almost 19,000 square miles, or 4-5 times the size as Jamaica.

TRANSPORTATION

The closest international airport is Punta Cana. This modest airport with only one runway plays hosts to flights from cities world wide. The large arrival and departure terminals are really huge thatched-roof buildings, arguably the largest we've ever seen. Flights serving Punta Cana include most major airlines as well as charters originating in USA cities, Canada, South America, France, England, Germany, the Netherlands as well as Spain. There is a large contingent of Europeans in most of the resorts.

Typically, the easiest way to reach the resort is to fly into Punta Cana and use a shuttle transfer or taxi to the property. NOTE: A taxi can be expensive so arrange for a shuttle transfer in advance as part of your vacation package. By taxi or transfer bus, the trip usually takes less than an hour from the airport, over good, paved roads for the most part.

You can also reach Punta Cana from the other international airports in the DR including Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo. From Santo Domingo, you can fly by charter or take a transfer bus, about a 2.5-3 hour ride. Puerto Plata, further east, serves Punta Cana via charter air service which takes about an hour by air.

NOTE: You will need to purchase your air charter flight at the airport in the DR. Charter air service typically serves Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, La Romana and Punta Cana.

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  You will want for nothing at the Excellence Punta Cana. Aside from no nude beach or golf course, this place has just about everything else you could hope for in an upscale, all inclusive resort. Nice touches include an all suite resort, private Jacuzzis, 24-hour room service, premium brand drinks and a great selection of day and night time activities and entertainment.

Here is a list of just some of the services you will enjoy which are included in your room rate:

1. A total of 446 suites in 13 connecting buildings, with about 25% devoted to even more upscale pampering in the Club level. All inclusive room categories include:

Junior suites with mountain or garden view, Junior suites with ocean view, Excellence Suites with ocean view and double balcony, Master suites with pool view and two separate rooms and our favorite, the Honeymoon suites with large private terrace and outside Jacuzzi....this is the one you want even if you're not on your honeymoon!

Nicest touch: EACH suite includes a large Jacuzzi for two at least! All suites are equipped with over sized beds, Cable TV, terry cloth robes, patio or balcony, two telephones, complimentary mini-bar, coffee and coffee maker, iron & ironing board, safety box, hair dryer, vanity and make up mirror and separate shower stall and bath. Note: Room services and amenities subject to change and enhancement.

There is also a weekly management cocktail party for guests.

2. Excellence Club level with 112 suites devoted to an even more luxurious experience includes:
  • Concierge and special services 24 hours
  • Separate check in/check out service
  • Free internet access
  • Luxury pair of slippers per room (2 pair)
  • Superior amenities in each room
  • Superior room service menu, 24 hours
  • Private Continental breakfast service
  • Private afternoon hors d'oeuvres
  • Beach towels already provided in each suite
  • Superior stock in complimentary mini-bar
  • Late check out and early check-in (subject to availability)
  • Complimentary newspaper


3. Seven (7) restaurants ranging from French and Italian to Caribbean, American to seafood, steaks, Oriental and Mexican dishes. Bars and grills dotted throughout the water sports areas will see you through the daytime around the pool and beach. You will want for nothing at this resort. See DINING section below.

4. A total of nine (9) bars and 2 lounges serve a wide selection of Premium brand drinks.

5. 24 hours room service with selected menu. Excellence Club has expanded room service menu.

6. Sports----You will need a vacation after you take advantage of all activities included in your room rate.

Here is just a sample of some of the activities you can use to push and punish your body on land at the resort:
  • Basketball
  • Bocci-ball
  • Volleyball
  • Billiards
  • Darts
  • Ping Pong
  • Squash and racquet ball
  • Tennis (lighted courts, too) with pro
  • Horseback riding
  • Beach football
  • Bicycle tours
  • Croquet
  • Board Games
  • Archery
  • Aerobics
  • Water aerobics
  • Step exercise
  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Fitness classes
Here's a list of the water-borne sports you can enjoy:
  • Body surfing
  • Catamarans
  • Scuba diving introduction in pool (Certified Diving extra)
  • Canoe
  • Windsurfing
  • Sunfish sailing
  • Snorkeling and snorkeling tour
  • Water cycles
  • Banana boat riding
  • Tour to Nisibon River
  • Pool aerobics
  • Windsurfing & sailboat lessons
  • Three swimming pools
  • Paddleboats
  • Sailboat lessons
  • Kayaks
  • Boogie Boards
7. Fintess center includes free weights, treadmills, stair climbers, Nordic-Trac/Universal machines, martial arts, exercise bikes

8. Spa services Without question, this resort has the most complete, exclusive spa services anywhere in the Dominican Republic. Included in the room rate are the following spa services: Sauna, turkish bath, steam bath, whirlpool (warm & cold), use of fitness center. Additional spa services include various body treatments, therapies and massages for extra charge.

Here is a partial list of extra spa and salon treatments available:
  • Swedish massage
  • Sports massage
  • Cellular Renovation
  • Shiatsu
  • Reflexology
  • Deep cleansing treatment
  • Oily Skin Treatment
  • Mature skin tratment
  • After sun treatment
  • Flash sensitive & Hydrate treatment
  • Anticellulitic & Reaffirming treatment
  • Body mud treatment
  • Turkish treatment
  • exfoliation
  • body covered with salt Shel Jah and finish with hydrate tratment
  • Beauty salon
  • haircuts
  • permanents
  • hair coloring
  • waxing
  • manicures and pedicures
9. Weddings and honeymoon packages

10. Laundry, bank, medical services 24 hours/day, shops, car rental, internet center

11. Casino on site

12. Disco

13. Stage entertainment and shows nightly

14. Spanish classes, dancing lessons, cooking classes, theme nights, weekly Dominican market with art and crafts on site for extra charge

15. Conference center, if you absolutely need one, with seating up to 200 in theater style.

  Restaurants: For a resort this size, you will not find such a large variety of dining alternatives. You will not go hungry and you will probably find something you will enjoy with so many meal selections to choose from.

  • Quisqueya Elegant gourmet dining. Dress: Formal but tie is not required, Air conditioned
  • Maria del Alma Colonial Mexican restaurant. Dress: Casual, Air conditioned
  • Cazabito Dominican dishes Dress: casual, Air conditioned
  • Bella Italia Italian dishes and pizza selection. Pizza take out available. Dress: Casual, Air conditioned
  • Madame Butterfly Asian dishes Dress: Casual, Air conditioned
  • Texas Palapa Steak house (imported prime cuts). Dress: Casual, open air palapa
  • Mediterranean Palapa Fish and seafood specialties. Dress: Casual, open air palapa
  • Higuey Buffet for breakfast with an extensive and complete selection which also includes a "light" lo-cal menu with natural juices, low fat foods and cereals. Dress: Casual
  • Palapa Nisibon & Palapa Macao Sandwiches and snacks pool side
Bars: The nine (9) Bars and two lounges include:
  • Lobby Bar
  • Showtime Bar
  • Bar Kafe
  • Wet Bar Palapa Texas
  • Dry Bar Palapa Texas
  • Bar Palapa Nisibon
  • Bar Palapa Macao
  • Bar Disco "Guys & Dolls"
  • Sports Bar
  • Discoteque "Guys & Dolls"
  • Casino Bar
Three (3) pools with bar service

Gee.... Hope we didn't miss anything <grin>

  Packages with airfare, transfers and room tariff are the best value. Room rates for resort only vary with the seasonally, with winter rates (December-April) higher than summer and fall tariffs. Standard suites range from $150-$250/person/night and Excellence Club suites range from $250-$400/person/night.

Check with Castaways Travel for the best value in travel packages that include resort, taxes, airfare and transfers in one economical price.

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  Adults only that range from early 30s to 60s.

  The resort is large with 446 suites but it doesn't feel like it, since the 13 buildings are spread over a long stretch of beach. Access to the rooms from the common areas, registration, restaurants and bars is quite rapid. Thirteen buildings average 30-36 suites each and each building unit includes ice machines and elevators, a nice touch after tennis or sports.

You may be confused with so many dining and sports choices to make. You have a huge array of activities to choose from so there may be little need to wander far from the resort itself.

The main pool is the largest we've ever seen. With such a huge water sports area, you won't notice the walk to or from the common areas.

You will have lots of choices for night life ranging from the casino, disco, theme nights to entertainment in the main theatre as well as late night dining.

Our favorite area is around the Cascade pool. Not only is it topless, but it's built in two levels, with the upper pool area overflowing (cascading) into the lower pool).

Our favorite restaurants are the Palapas Texas & Mediteranean for steaks and seafood in an open air setting with a huge thatched roof.
Tips:

If you plan to enjoy any of the spa treatments, make sure you make your appointments early, like once you arrive at the resort.

To avoid costly taxis, buy your airport transfers as part of your vacation package.

If you want to enjoy some nudity or privacy during your vacation, reserve a honeymoon suite, which includes an outside private Jacuzzi.

You don't really need reservations at the restaurants but it's best to check ahead of time.

If you're a shopper, the signature/monogram shops on site have some of the best fashions we've seen on the island....so save up space on your credit card and shop, shop, shop.

There are no bad rooms in the entire resort but our favorite standard suites are in building # 3, first floor. From there, you can step out of your patio door room to the Cascade pool, which is topless. In addition, you can sunbathe topless on your patio overlooking the Cascade pool, too.

Of course, the most fun accommodations are the Honeymoon suites since you have a privacy wall outside for nude sunbathing as well as a large exterior Jacuzzi, too.

  Golf is available at the Cocotal and Bavaro courses within 30-45 minutes from the resort. The Cocotal includes both 18 and 9 hole courses. Of course, golf is an extra charge.

From the Secrets Excellence Ranch, you can enjoy horseback tours including the Dominican countryside, Nisibon Lagoon and beach, Sunset Beach, Full moon rides every full moon, fine stop horse demonstration.

There are shopping tours available to the local market a few minutes from the resort and more shopping at the Bavaro market at the crossroads.

Day tours can be arranged into Santo Domingo but be prepared for a long ride and a fast trip. If you really want to see Santo Domingo, take an extra couple of days before or after your visit to Secrets Excellence so you won't be so stressed out from cramming and touring. Santo Domingo is a large city with limited quality site seeing there.

Helicopter tours by air are available and believe or not, Go Kart racing is within driving distance of the resort.

Otherwise, there is not a lot of site seeing to do in the area.

 
The resort is beautiful, even the garden view suites.
     
Since the water sports area and the main swimming pool is so large, access to those areas from your room is quite short.
     
There is not a lot to do within a short distance of the resort.
     
Having said that, there is plenty to do on the resort itself.
     
Although the airport is not very far in distance from the Punta Cana International Airport, the paved roads are two lanes, so drive time takes a bit longer than average to reach the resort.
     
  There are numerous choices to make for daily activities and evening dining and pleasure.
     
  Even though there are huge, secluded and deserted beaches, there in no nudity permitted on the resort.
     
  Scuba Diving for Certified Divers is available for an extra charge.

  Anytime is a great time to visit the DR since you're in the tropics. Just take an umbrella and check the weather during hurricane season such as August-October.

  Wish the resort permitted a nude beach.

Wish the resort included scuba diving for certified divers in its room rates.

  View the Photo Album
Click on the Photo Album button to view our personal photo album of Excellence Punta Cana. All the photos in the album were taken by us... but we would invite you to send in yours as well. You can contribute to this section - all you have to do is go to our Contribute Trip Report / Photographs page.

  We need trip reports from from folks who have recently visited Excellence Punta Cana. You can contribute to this section - all you have to do is go to our Contribute Trip Report / Photographs page.

   

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