Unintentionally, David and I have started on somewhat of a race to try all of the Excellence Resorts around the world. If you aren’t familiar with Excellence Resorts, they have some of the most private and luxurious resorts with locations in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.
When David and I got married in 2016 we visited Excellence Playa Mujeres for our honeymoon and it was absolutely incredible. We dreamed about recovering after all of the planning and stress in paradise and Excellence Playa Mujeres was a perfect choice. We had such an amazing time that we decided to try to visit all of their properties!
Since then, we’ve visited Excellence Oyster Bay in Jamaica for a family trip, and most recently, we had the opportunity to go on a couples vacation with our friends Brian and Hannah to the Dominican Republic! We visited Excellence Punta Cana and Excellence El Carmen. They are two stunning resorts that are unique in their own way and the best part is…they are only 10 minutes away from each other so you can visit both while you are there!
***Update: We loved it so much I decided to bring my family a month later! We decided to go to Excellence El Carmen because it catered better to groups and families! They also gave me a code to you give to you guys!!! Code: Terk20 for up to 51% off Excellence El Carmen and Excellence Punta Cana. The code expires November 2nd and you can use the code to travel from now through December 23rd 2020! Customers can book online at https://www.excellenceresorts.
I have received so many messages asking how we enjoyed our stay, what we think about Excellence Club, how Excellence amenities compare to other resorts, and overall what we think! Today I’m sharing all of those details and more!
Excellence Resort Dominican Republic Review
First things first, where do you fly into? We flew into the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) and it was such a breeze! We were able to book a nonstop flight from Charlotte. We scheduled a car service from Season’s Tours ahead of time to pick us up and take us to the resort. The ride from the airport was only around 35 minutes.
Excellence Resort Dominican Republic Options
Excellence has two resorts in the Dominican: Punta Cana and El Carmen. They’re located on the east side of the DR right on a Caribbean beach, and both properties have all of the top amenities that Excellence is known for! Punta Cana and El Carmen are adults-only and have only suites available for accommodations. They have several international restaurants, unlimited beverages, pool and beach waiter service, 24-hour room service, a full fitness center, daily activities like snorkeling and scuba, and nightly entertainment.
David and I loved our time at both locations, but there are distinct differences between the two that might help you make up your mind between the two!
Excellence Resort Punta Cana
Excellence Punta Cana is their original location in the DR. It is very much a Caribbean destination with colorful architecture, tropical plants, and wildlife (like flamingos!). The entire property feels very secluded because there is not one main building or hub: all of the restaurants, activities, accommodations, and amenities are spread throughout the property with buildings located off of beautiful, winding paths.
Punta Cana is smaller than El Carmen but still has 11 international restaurants, 4 public pools, and a private excellence club pool.
Overall, the Punta Cana experience feels very private and intimate. Most of the time we didn’t even see anyone else at the resort: when we went to the beach, we couldn’t see anyone else from where our two beach chairs were set up right on the water. Made it feel like we had our own private beach all to ourselves!
Given the smaller size of the resort and amount of guests, you receive a very personalized experience: all of the staff members know your name and it feels like they are all there to take care of your every need.
Being at Excellence Punta Cana honestly feels like you have an entire island to yourself and is the perfect resort for a couple’s getaway for a honeymoon or special occasion.
Excellence El Carmen
Excellence El Carmen is their newest and most modern resort location. The architecture is sleek and stunning. The entire layout of the resort lends itself to vacationers who are looking to participate in a lot of fun activities. There are two main buildings that houses all of the restaurants and activities, and from there, there are straight walkways that lead to accommodations and all of the pools (25 total)!
El Carmen also has 12 international restaurants and a huge fitness center that is 4,000 square feet with a full range of equipment and classes. David put us through an hour-long yoga workout here (you can check it out on our vlog if you don’t believe me)! [link]
In comparison to Punta Cana, it is much more obvious that there are a lot of guests staying at El Carmen because everything is more open and visible. There are rows of beach chairs that are put out for guests on the beach and there are casual restaurants by the pool that you can wear swim attire to which makes for a more casual atmosphere. There are also tons of lounge areas for hanging out at all times of the day, but especially at night when you’re enjoying the other night-life options like food trucks, the nightly show, the sports bar (with games and food), and coffee and dessert spots.
My favorite of the two was El Carmen because I love to spend all day by the pool or at the beach so I loved that there were more casual dining options available to me! And I loved all of the night time activities. Excellence El Carmen is bigger, newer, more modern and a lot more to do! But, David’s favorite was Punta Cana because he loved how exclusive and private the whole experience was. Both of the resorts are stunning and will make for an incredible vacation, it all just depends on what your vacation style is! David and I loved both and it was extremely hard to pick our favorite. Both Excellence El carmen and Excellence Punta Cana are incredible and you really cant go wrong with either!
That being said, you don’t actually have to choose between the two! The properties are only a 10-minute cab ride apart from each other and Excellence offers day passes from one resort to the other. You could also opt to spend half of your time at one property and then move to the other one for the second half of your trip which is what we did!
While you can’t go wrong with any of the Excellence properties, one main tip that I have for you is to upgrade to Excellence Club! It’s like being a first-class guest; it’s the ultimate in luxury, privacy, exclusivity, and service. The exact amenities vary at each location, but in general, you get access to private check-in and check out, late checkout and early check-in, a private lounge, private restaurant(s), private beach, private pool(s), and complimentary spa treatments.
All of our exclusive Excellence Club experiences from restaurants to private pools have been some of our favorite activities at each resort location.
It’s honestly difficult to put into words just how incredible the Excellence Resorts at Dominican Republic are! All of our experiences with Excellence resorts have been once in a lifetime. David and I especially loved getting to explore the Caribbean at both Excellence Punta Cana and Excellence El Carmen. All of the Excellence amenities are five stars from the architecture, to the room accommodations, to the pools and beach, to the private Excellence Club upgrades, to the fantastic service…you can’t pick a better all-inclusive, luxury resort for a vacation.