Excellence Group to Open Second All-Inclusive Resort in the Dominican Republic

The Daily Meal gets a sneak peek at Excellence El Carmen in Punta Cana

Your own private oasis awaits at the Excellence El Carmen.

The newest palatial property from Excellence Group, Excellence El Carmen, is set to open September 1 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The contemporary Caribbean all-inclusive resort is a gastronomic getaway, boasting 12 restaurants and 16 bars, including four pool bars, a swim-up bar, a snack grill on the beach (Las Olas), a buffet restaurant (The Kitchen Table), a coffeehouse, a fruit juice bar, a Sports Bar, a piano bar, and a disco bar.

Excellence El Carmen is the second Excellence Group resort in Dominican Republic and fourth in the boutique hotel group’s portfolio (a fifth resort, Excellence Oyster Bay, is set to open in the near future on the western coast of Jamaica). Excellence El Carmen joins the colonial-style Excellence Punta Cana, a luxurious resort with nine restaurants and 10 bars located north of Excellence El Carmen on a fine white sand beach.

International options for à la carte dinners at Excellence El Carmen include Mexican and Tex-Mex at Agave, which features a hacienda-style courtyard and tableside mariachi entertainment; Pan-Asian classics at Spice, served in cozy teppanyaki rooms and at a sushi bar that offers classics from China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam; French at Chez Isabelle, which offers live music nightly; Italian pastas, calzones, and pizza at Oregano, a trattoria; Indian at Basmati, which specializes in northwest frontier cuisine; grill specialties at The Grill, a beachside restaurant housed in a thatched roof palapa; and semi-private dining at Magna Club Restaurant, an exclusive restaurant at The Excellence Club (an upgraded experience at the resort) that serves a variety of international options.

There is also Flavor Market, a tapas restaurant that offers tasting menus paired with wines, and The Lobster House, which serves lobster and shellfish dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel offers private dining on the beach for an additional fee.

The resort’s chefs have prepared menus for a variety of dietary needs, with breakfast and lunch buffets featuring separate vegetarian zones, and each restaurant that serves dinner offering a selection of vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free options.

Located on Dominican Republic’s east coast, the secluded adults-only, all-suite resort is surrounded by a coconut palm grove and borders a golden sand beach where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Amenities include 23 swimming pools, a fitness center with separate yoga and aerobics classrooms, and Miilé Spa, which includes a fresh fruit and drinks bar, as well as the boutique hotel chain’s signature one-hour hydrotherapy circuit that accompanies all spa treatments.

Resort activities include cooking lessons and tastings in addition to beach, land, and water activities like non-motorized water sports (sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling gear), introductory SCUBA lessons, tennis clinics, water aerobics, bocce, Spanish lessons, dance classes, bicycles, air rifles, archery, and nightly shows. An extended SCUBA experience with instruction and deep-sea fishing are also available for an extra fee.

Each of the 492-suites features amenities that repeat guests recognize across all Excellence Group properties, including an espresso machine; a fully stocked and complimentary mini bar with beer, juices, soft drinks, water, and snacks; an in-room premium liquor and wine bottle selection; and 24-hour room service with an en-suite service box for guests to discreetly tuck away room service items once they are finished with them.

Guests in the know opt for booking rooms in The Excellence Club, which affords additional culinary and resort amenities like a private lounge with concierge service with all-day buffets and premium bar service; a private restaurant for breakfast and dinner and a private bar; two private pool bars; access to 12 private pools and seven Jacuzzis; an upgraded minibar and room service menu; daily fruit and petit fours; fresh flowers and sparkling wine upon arrival; access to Room Service Express, a menu featuring a number of savory items that can be delivered almost immediately; and a complimentary Aqua Wellness treatment per person. Additional room upgrades include a Nespresso machine and upgraded liquor and wine bottle selection. Guests can also secure enhancements like a private beach area, complimentary newspaper, beach bag for use during your stay, shoe shine service, private check-in and check-out, and late check-out and early check-in.

Not all all-inclusive resorts are created equal, but Excellence Group’s properties are quite generous with no restrictions on restaurants (though some require booking for dinner reservations) and alcohol, so guests can leave their wallets at home and focus on eating and drinking 24/7. The all-inclusive packages at Excellence El Carmen include a welcome cocktail and cool towel; full breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks daily with 10 à la carte options for dinner, two for lunch plus one buffet, one snack grill at the beach, and takeaway wood oven pizzas; 17 bars with unlimited natural fruit juices, soft drinks, and premium and domestic alcoholic beverages; 24-hour room service; a fitness center; daily activities; Wi-Fi; and all taxes and gratuities.


Is that all?