Inns, boutique hotels and B&Bs hold a certain charm that can captivate travelers and teach…
Upscale all-inclusive resorts are the signature accommodations format in the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana region. An array of deluxe, full-featured properties dot the region’s white-sand beachfront, their decades-long tradition of hospitality generating a high-quality standard and strong popularity among contemporary travelers.
The Excellence Collection’s Excellence Punta Cana stands apart from this prominent competition by virtue of a distinctive character absent from many other Punta Cana all-inclusives.
The 461-room property is replete with charming and distinctive touches, from tranquil garden paths that discreetly connect resort spaces to the use of the white, porous stone found widely across Punta Cana’s lush rainforests in the walls and floors of courtyard buildings.
Fully renovated in 2017, Excellence Punta Cana also provides the wide array of features now considered de rigueur among deluxe all-inclusive properties. These include several upscale restaurants including beachfront eateries, a full-service spa featuring contemporary treatments and modern facilities and deluxe suites in a variety of categories.
The following review is based on a recent visit to the adults-only all-inclusive resort.
Excellence Punta Cana’s guest accommodations feature configurations ranging from swim-up suites to deluxe rooms equipped with private pools and rooftop terraces with Caribbean Sea views. In all, the property offers 461 rooms in 18 categories, with room types based on view, location and amenities.
Guests can also opt for concierge-level Excellence Club accommodations, which offer larger suites, customized services and access to exclusive resort facilities. Excellence Club features include a private check-in lounge, two private pools and a private beach area. Excellence Club guests also enjoy branded liquors in suites and access to Magna restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Accommodations are finished in a contemporary fashion combining mid-century modern furnishings with rich, colorful Caribbean accents. Suite categories include junior garden, mountain and ocean-view rooms, each measuring 550 square feet.
The property’s junior suites with plunge pools and swim-up suites measure between 550 to 800 square feet. Ocean view suites with double balconies and oceanfront terrace suites with plunge pools ranging from 565 square feet to 1,000 square feet are also available.
Excellence Club accommodations come with exclusive services and amenities. Top choices in the category include oceanfront terrace suites with plunge pools measuring 1,000 square feet and honeymoon oceanfront suites with rooftop terraces encompassing 1,800 square feet.
All accommodations feature Internet service and 24-hour room service. Upper suite and Excellence Club accommodations feature exclusive services and facilities including butler service for packing and unpacking, wet bars, complimentary laundry service and terraces equipped with outdoor whirlpool tubs.
Although the resort evinces an intimate character, the dining options are anything but limited. Excellence Punta Cana offers 11 separate restaurants including The Kitchen Table, the main buffet restaurant which offers contemporary breakfast and lunch fare in tranquil Caribbean surroundings.
Agave, which opens nightly for dinner, features contemporary Mexican cuisine incorporating traditional ingredients. Chez Isabelle offers sophisticated French cuisine in an atmosphere of elegant ambiance, while Trattoria-style classics and a carefully curated wine selection are on the menu at Oregano, an Italian eatery open for lunch and dinner.
Spanish tapas montaditos are the featured fare at specialty dinner restaurant Flavor Market. The Lobster House offers fresh breakfast and dinner options daily amidst sweeping beach and ocean views, while Spice offers Pan-Asian fare mixing Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai influences with teppanyaki-style cooking demonstrations.
Steak, chicken and seafood are on the menu at dinnertime eatery The Grill, where Brazilian-style skewered meats are accompanied by salads, empanadas, slow-baked vegetables, soups and pasta. Guests can keep tabs on the big game while noshing on beer, wings, fries, salads, sandwiches and burgers at the Sports Bar, open from afternoon to late night.
The beachside Las Olas offers lunchtime tropical fare, grilled specialties, and gas oven-baked pizzas served under an open-air palapa. Sweeping beach and sea views are on the menu at indoor/outdoor beachfront restaurant Magna, reserved exclusively for Excellence Club guests. Breakfast and dinner selections are drawn from exclusive recipes, and handcrafted cocktails and bespoke service are also part of the experience.
Excellent Amenities and Superior Services
Excellence Punta Cana’s Miilé Spa features serene, light-filled interiors, indoor and outdoor sections and soothing gardens highlighted by a secluded relaxation deck. Deluxe treatments are highlighted by innovative hydrotherapy rituals and holistic therapies inspired by local traditions.
A state-of-the-art fitness center offers lively training sessions and deluxe amenities with areas outfitted for yoga, pilates and cardio classes. Excellence Punta Cana provides professional wedding experts who plan, manage and oversee guests’ nuptial ceremonies, and the property features beach and gazebo wedding locations designed to provide ideal romantic settings.
The Excellence Club concierge-serviced resort-within-a-resort provides guests with check-in at an exclusive lounge and access to Magna restaurant. Guests in these accommodations also receive access to a private beach area, two private pools and two pool area whirlpools.
In-room amenities include Bvlgari toiletries, upgraded minibars and room service menus, in-suite premium liquors, Nespresso coffeemakers, shoeshine service and daily fruit and petit fours.