Written By: Geoff Millar, Owner – Ultimate All-Inclusive Travel Inc.
This month we continue our tour with Excellence Resorts. We will cover the remaining Excellence Resorts located the Dominican Republic and the newest Excellence Resort located in Jamaica. The 2 Excellence Resorts located in the Dominican Republic are located in the Punta Cana Area and the One in Jamaica is located on a peninsula in the Trelawny area 30 minutes from Montego Bay on the way to Ocho Rios.
We are first going to look at the Excellence Punta Cana. This is one of the original Excellence Resorts. They rate themselves 5 stars, but I would put it in the 4 – 4.5 star range. In my opinion very few all inclusive resorts are 5 star quality.
This resort sits on a very nice more remote beach, so it offers quite a bit of privacy. The resort is made up of 463 rooms and Suites in two sections, the standard rooms and suites and the Excellence Club Suites, the resorts concierge level. All Rooms at the resort are Jr. Suite and higher. The standard Jr. Suites are made up of garden and Mountain View, Jr Suite swim-up, Jr. Suite with plunge pool, Jr. Suite Ocean View, Suite with plunge pool Ocean Front. The Excellence Club Suites are Jr. Suite Swim-up, Jr Suite with Plunge pool, Jr Suite Ocean View, Jr. Suite with Plunge pool Ocean View, Suite with Plunge Pool Ocean View, Suite with Plunge Pool Ocean Front. This is one of those resorts with what seems like a million room categories. A tip for qualifying a client is find out what kind of view they want, a garden and mountain view, an ocean view, a swim-up suite, a plunge pool suite or Ocean Front, and do they want the Concierge level. All the other words tend to be window dressing.
Dining consists of 9 dining choices, and a Buffet. The choices are, Mexican, Italian, Tapas, Lobster and Seafood, a Steakhouse, a Beach Grill with Pizza, and 24 hr. Room Service. Reservations are not required at any of the restaurants. Restaurants have Vegetarian menus available. As far as bars there are 7 choices for the whole resort and 2 additional choices that are open to the Excellence Club guests. The bars do include a swim-up bar as well as a pool and beach bar. There is a sports bar and an entertainment bar that serves drinks during the evening entertainment.
Activities at the resort include 4 pools and 4 whirlpool spas. Scuba lessons, snorkeling including equipment, water aerobics, water volleyball, yoga, jogging, Spanish lessons, cooking lessons, dance lessons, tennis, bicycles, a great gym, and a fantastic full service spa.
This resort is great for Honeymooners, Destination Weddings, Adult Groups, Couples. Probably would not be the best for single adults, there are better resorts for this crowd.
The next Excellence Resort we are going to look at is the Excellence El Carmen. This is Excellence Resorts newest resort in the Dominican Republic. It is also located in Punta Cana. This resort is not as isolated as the Excellence Punta Cana. It has the distinction of having 23 pools. They are counting the rooms that have private pools or private plunge pools. It is located on a nice beach although from reports I have seen the beach is not this resorts strong point.
Accommodations here consist of 483 Suites. The range from Pool Views to Ocean Views. The resort does not have any Ocean Front Suites. In the standard Suites they have pool view, swim-up, and two story private plunge pool Jr Suites, Ocean View Suites, and Suites with private pools. In the Excellence Club they have the same room categories but with the Excellence Club service. This is Excellence Resorts concierge service with private pool and 1 dedicated restaurant as well as private beach section. My recommendation, if the clients can afford it, is the 2 story with a private rooftop deck and private plunge pool. The have some of the best views.
Dining offers 10 fine dining options as well as a Buffet and a food truck. You need to know that some of the restaurants offer smoking sections. The 10 options are, Mexican, Asian, French, Tapas, Steakhouse, Seafood and Lobster, Italian, Indian, and a Beach Grill. There is one private restaurant for those in the Excellence Club. There is always 24 hr. room service. As far as drinking, there are 9 choices including a swim-up bar, Cigar bar, Sports Bar, and a Theater Bar during the nightly entertainment. There is also 1 private bar for the Excellence Club members.
Activities abound at the resort including 1 main pool with a total of 23 pools including the private pools and the swim-up pools. On land they have Tennis, Bicycles, Jogging, Yoga, Volleyball, Dancing Lessons, Cooking Lessons, a Gym, a fantastic Spa, and nightly entertainment. There is also a Casino nearby. Remember that Casinos in the Dominican are much smaller than in the U.S. In the water they have snorkeling, Scuba diving lessons, Water Aerobics, Water Volleyball and basketball, and relaxing on the Beach.
This Resort is great for honeymooners, Destination Weddings, Groups, and Couples vacations. I would not recommend it for single adults as there are much better choices in the same area. If your clients are true beach people, then this resort might not be the best choice. There are resorts with much better beaches in the same area
The last Excellence Resort we are going to look at is the fantastic new Excellence Oyster Bay in Jamaica. This resort is located 30 minutes from the airport on a private peninsula in the Trelawny area on the way to Ocho Rios. It is close to the Cruise port. This is Excellence’s first venture from Mexico and the Dominican. This resort has 2 miles of beach in a secluded setting.
There are 322 suites at that resort in the following categories, Jr Suite Garden View, Jr. Suite Ocean View, Jr. Suite Ocean Front, Jr. Suite with plunge pool, Jr Suite with Private Pool, and Jr. Suite with plunge pool Ocean Front. In the Concierge section known as the Excellence Club the accommodations consist of, Jr. Suite Partial Ocean View, Jr. Suite Ocean Front, Jr. Suite with Private Pool, Jr. Suite with rooftop Terrace and plunge pool, Beach House Suite with Plunge Pool, and Beach Villa with Private Pool. WHEW, that was a mouthful. Because the resort sits on a Peninsula there really is not a bad view or location.
Dining is an adventure at the resort with a number of choices. There are 8 dining choice plus a buffet. As with the other Excellence Resorts some restaurants have some smoking and non-smoking section The A La Carte choices consist of Asian, French, Tapas, A Steakhouse, Seafood and Lobster. The lobster is only served during lobster season June 30th – March 30th. April through June is breeding season for lobsters. There is also Italian and 2 restaurants that are for Excellence Club guests only. There is always 24hr. room service. As far as drinking, there are 10 bars available at the resort including a swim-up Bar, a Beach Bar, a Sports Bar, and many others spread throughout the resort.
As with the other Excellence resorts the activities are wide and varied including, a 2 mile beach, 3 pools and another pool at the Rooftop Sky Bar, 4 Jacuzzis, snorkeling, Scuba lessons, Water Aerobics, Yoga, Dance lessons, Cooking lessons, Tennis, Bicycles, Theme Nights, Beach Volleyball, and Nightly Entertainment.
As with the other Excellence Resorts they would fit, Honeymooners, Destination Weddings, Groups, and Couples. Again, not the best resort for single adults. There are better choices. This would be a very good resort for beach lovers. The beach is very similar to the Sandals West Coast Resort, or as most of us know it, Sandals Whitehouse.
This concludes our coverage of the Excellence Resorts. These are very nice 4.5 star resorts. The only negative I have found is that they are not the most agent friendly resort chain. An interesting fact is that the Excellence Resorts used to be managed by AM Resorts for the Excellence Resort company.
Until next month, good selling and safe travels.