As much as I love Mexico, I knew it was time to experience Punta Cana, located on the Southern Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic! My husband and I vacationed at the adults-only all-inclusive Excellence El Carmen Resort, which opened in 2016. Excellence Resorts is one of my FAVORITE all-inclusive brands, and I’ve been to nearly all of them! They’re located in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. No annoying timeshare sales, no wristbands, amazing customer service and food, and no dinner reservations necessary (exception is for teppanyaki tables) in the specialty restaurants!
Here are my 3 favorite things about our experience at the Excellence El Carmen:
1. Upgrading to Excellence Club: My husband purchased a French-press coffee maker as soon as we returned home, all thanks to our wonderful a la carte (i.e. order off a menu, not a buffet) breakfasts in the Excellence Club’s Magna Restaurant! The Excellence Club is an upgrade option, and provides upgraded in-room amenities, rooms located in buildings closest to the beach, club lounge access, a private beach area and the Magna Club Restaurant for breakfast or dinner. Photos: Our surf n' turf dinner in the Excellence Club's Magna Restaurant and French press at breakfast
2. Our Excellence Club Junior Swim-up Suite: Sometimes finding chairs by the popular main pool at nearly any resort can be annoyingly challenging. A fun solution: choose a swim-up suite room category! We had (2) padded double loungers, 2 deck chairs, AND 2 individual loungers to choose from on our own private patio! At some Excellence Resorts, the swim-up suites are connected to the lazy river that winds throughout the resort. But at their newer resorts, such as the Excellence El Carmen, the lazy rivers are gone and the swim-up suites share their own private pool. Photo: Swim-up suite video
3. My biggest surprise: the food! Historically, the Dominican Republic is not known as a foodie destination. But, I had confidence in Excellence Resorts and their options definitely did not disappoint! Tapas in the Flavor Market, delicious French cuisine & a more elegant ambiance in Chez Isabelle, and a lunch of flatbread pizzas combined with ocean breezes at the outdoor Oregano were all fantastic! Bonus: many of the specialty restaurants offer outdoor seating on a balcony or patio for dinner, such as Chez Isabelle, The Grill, and the Magna Club Restaurant. Photos: Tapas for dinner at the Flavor Market , Flavor Market Menu
Which Excellence Resort might be right for YOUR adults-only vacation? I can help with that, let’s chat! - Christine (630) 448-0720