Have you ever stepped into a hotel room and just said “Oh. My. God.”
Those were my exact thoughts the moment I stepped into my two-story rooftop terrace suite at Excellence El Carmen.
Excellence El Carmen is an Adults Only, All-Inclusive resort nestled in the palms of Punta Cana. Excellence Resorts prides itself on setting their standards high, and if you’re looking for a luxury vacation this is definitely the spot for you. When I arrived in Punta Cana on my recent trip, it was a short transfer (about 30 minutes) over to the resort. By the time my coworker Jaclyn and I got there, after a few layovers and some unruly seat neighbors on my last flight, we were more than ready to retreat to a quiet room and sleep for hours.
The first thing we saw when we came up to the resort was the smiling faces of the staff, greeting us with hot towels and glasses of champagne. To say I was already in heaven would be an understatement- and we hadn’t even made it into the building yet! Then the doors automatically glided open and welcomed me into the shining lobby. The glistening black marble and elaborate chandeliers set the tone for the luxury that awaited me at Excellence El Carmen.
Some of the other guests were milling about the lobby, drinking at the well stocked bar or relaxing in the plush lobby chairs. As tired as I felt after our long flight, it looked so inviting couldn’t help but want to join them. My love for sleeping won in the end, and I headed over to get checked in.
This trip, we got to experience the perks of the Excellence Club. At Excellence El Carmen, the Excellence Club includes a number of unique amenities beginning with a private check in and continue on to include suites with the best views, private beach areas, exclusive lounge plus a complimentary aqua wellness treatment. Thanks to the outstanding staff, check-in was quick and easy. I was given a brief rundown of the locations of all the facilities at the resort and what I needed to start my stay. Jaclyn and I were then escorted to our rooms: hers a first floor swim-out suite and mine the two-story bungalow.
We decided first check out my room, the sumptuous two-story bungalow over-looking the grounds. That’s where the wow moment first happened.
The room definitely had a modern feel- a subdued color palate with accents of plum. Everything was absolutely pristine from the white marble floors to the sleek dark wood trim. The first thing that caught my eye was that the room had a set of stairs. It’s pretty rare to see in a hotel room, and we couldn’t help but run over to check it out.
The stone stairs lead you up to the private rooftop with a “plunge pool,” an open air shower, a couch and relaxing seating area. Because it was dark when we arrived, I was able to catch a glimpse of the moon reflecting over the ocean and hear the waves in the distance. I could’ve sat up there for hours just listening to the relaxing melody of the beach at night.
Here is a video I took during the day of one of the Rooftop Terrace Suites –
After a whirlwind day it was time for bed, but my Insider’s Tour of Excellence El Carmen had just begun.
Let the Tour Commence…
The next morning Jaclyn and I discovered what everyone who stays at Excellence el Carmen already knows: the best days start with buffet breakfast at The Kitchen Table. With two different omelet bars, endless pastries, yogurts and authentic Dominican cuisine – there’s no way you’re leaving hungry. Don’t forget it’s all-inclusive, so you can have as many plates as you want and trust me, they encourage it.
After breakfast, we met with Jean Carlos who gave us a tour of the resort. Jean Carlos is a young, fun guy whose excitement about the resort was contagious. We started our tour back in the lobby, where the Miilé Spa is located. We were lucky enough to try the hydrotherapy circuit out, but I’ll save the details on that amazing experience for a later post. Following our tour of the spa, we headed down to check out some of the room options that are available at Excellence El Carmen.
The Rooms at Excellence El Carmen:
First up were the more secluded rooms toward the back of the resort. The area where the second main pool is located had an overall quiet, relaxing feel. This pool definitely had a different vibe than the one at the beach – much more relaxed and zen.
The rooms to the right of the pool are the Suites with Private Pools. Each of these have a 250 sq ft pool in its own private garden. These suites are the ultimate in quiet privacy, perfect for couples looking to get away.
After that, we headed out to check out the Junior Suite Pool View. Every room at Excellence El Carmen is a Suite, which gives guests the advantage of larger guest rooms with adequate space for relaxing. The front portion of the resort is set up in a u-shape so that the buildings surround the main pool and garden areas. These buildings are also angled slightly so that while they face the center, you still can see the beach from many of the rooms. Each Junior Suite at Excellence El Carmen is elegantly appointed with modern furniture and amenities.
From there, the rooms just keep getting more impressive. While we weren’t able to tour all of the other ones, Jean Carlos gave us the rundown on them. The top room categories at Excellence El Carmen are the Imperial Suites, located right on the beach. These offer all of the upgraded amenities of the Excellence Club, plus your choice of either the Two Story Rooftop Terrace with Plunge Pool or the 1st Floor with Private Pool.
We ended our tour of the rooms by circling back to our own to check out the other ocean view swim out options. The location of the room was perfect – about a 5 minute walk to both the beach and the lobby, where many of the restaurants are. The rooms along the resort all have a similar feel, but while some of them felt secluded and quiet this one felt right in the action!
I have never stayed in a swim up suite before (a lot of firsts for me on this trip), but I have a feeling it will be something I look for in the future. A swim up suite is really convenient for when you want to cool off and relax, but don’t feel like walking down to the beach or when you’re winding down at night and just want to sit outside and enjoy the breeze. It was so nice to just grab my book and walk out the sliding door, no need to worry if I had my sunscreen or room key. One of the other nice benefits of the swim up suite is that they still have wait service! So, you can be lounging on your deck and still get a nice frosty beverage. Plus, if you swim down a bit, each building has its own hot tub.
The rooms at Excellence El Carmen are stunning and definitely stand out against other resorts. Seeing all the amazing features of all the different room categories was merely the tip of the iceberg. Check out my next post to read more about everything that Excellence El Carmen has to offer.