Grade 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Only opened in 2021 the Finest Punta Cana is the newest offering from the Excellence chain of resorts. The resort was originally meant to open in December 2020, but that date obviously got pushed back due to Covid. The volume of guests through their doors is really only starting to ramp up now as restrictions are removed.
The Finest Punta Cana is another stellar option in the Punta Cana area. Now with three Excellence options in Punta Cana, there are a huge amount of options for you to choose from. The Finest is a 5-star luxury all-inclusive family resort that has a stunning aesthetic too and you can see that the designers of the resort put a lot of effort into creating a luxury feel throughout the resort.
The resort is a brand spanking new and you can see that as you walk around it. There is a superb range of amenities and the resort sits on an idyllic beach.
In this overview, we delve into the resort and review its features and amenities to help you consider if the Finest Punta Cana is worth visiting for your next vacation.
The Finest is conveniently located a 40-minute drive from Punta Cana airport and it’s an equally close distance to the town of Punta Cana. It is located within a minute’s drive of the other two Excellence resorts that are located in the area. The Excellence Punta Cana and El Carmen.
There is a lot to see and do in the Punta Cana area and it’s a great vacation spot with the nearly year-round sun. The best time to visit the Dominican is either April or May when the peak tourist season has ended and the hurricane season has kicked off.
- If you plan on doing treatment in the spa, make sure to check out the offers that they have on the day. Each day the spa will offer discounted treatments that are usually advertised on a board outside the spa. You can also ask in the spa reception, but it’s well worth doing as the discounts are pretty good
- If you have been to the Finest Playa Mujeres, the Punta Cana offering is pretty much a carbon copy of it. They literally seemed to have to used the same architectural plans. As you walk into the resort you will definitely get deja-vu. The resort is a little different throughout with a different design aesthetic and a slightly different resort layout, but its a very similar experience overall
- All the pools throughout the resort are heated. This is something that you rarely see at resorts, but the Finest Punta Cana has it. Although in the summer months this is not as important if you are traveling in non-peak months or the winter where temperatures are a little lower this can be a game-changer
- One of the best things about a resort that is so new is that everything throughout the resort is in immaculate condition. So, if you looking for a luxurious feeling experience you really can’t go wrong with the Finest Punta Cana
- Be sure to download the Excellence app before you arrive. Here is a link to the app – iOS link / Android link. This app is your go-to place for everything at the resort. You see the restaurant opening times and menus and see what activities and events are planned for the day ahead. One of the best features of the app is that for each restaurant it shows you its busiest times and when is the optimal time to go. This is super helpful, especially when the resort is near full capacity
- There are three Excellence chain resorts in the Punta Cana area and the resorts are actually right next to each other and share the same stretch of beach. So, you’re probably asking yourself the question of which resort is right for your next vacation. Let’s start off by saying you can’t make a wrong decision with any of the resorts, but each resort offers something a little different. The Excellence resorts of Punta Cana and El Carmen are both adults-only resorts, while the Finest is a family resort. While the Finest does have an adults-only area, there are kids around the place, but they do a solid job of separating the groups.
The best way we can describe the check-in process at the Finest is “Smooth. It was a really quick process we’re through the main door and checked in, in a matter of minutes. The theatrics of the arrival is also something special. As your car pulls up to the main door. You will be greeted by a bellhop and they will take your bags off you. The main doors automatically open and there is a lovely view down the main staircase looking onto the Martini bar. You will also be greeted with a glass of bubbly and a cold towel. Top marks for the check-in process.
Is the Finest Punta Cana a Child-Friendly Resort?
Yes, this is a child-friendly resort. The Finest resorts are the Excellence collection’s family-friendly offering. They have a stellar kids club on offer and there is a great selection of kids’ choices in all of the restaurants. If your child is too young for the kids club there is also toddler-specific child care that can be used in the evening. It’s the perfect place to leave the little ones as you enjoy a relaxing meal on your own.
One of the elements we like about the Finest Punta Cana is that it’s a great resort in catering for both family getaways as well as couples getaways too. There are loads of areas and amenities that are catered for an adults-only experience. This includes areas by the pool and beach and a few restaurants.
If you want to ensure that you have a completely adult-only experience then we recommend booking a room with Excellence club access. Although this does cost more than the standard rooms, you get a level of luxury and privacy that you don’t get at a lot of resorts. Alternatively, the Excellence chain of resorts also has the Excellence El Carmen and Punta Cana, which are situated right next to the Finest and are adults-only experiences.
This resort was only opened this year, so all of the amenities are brand new and top of the range. With fantastic fitness facilities that include a gym, tennis courts, and running track.
The Excellence group has put a lot of thought and investment into the amenities that they have on offer and activities that you can make use of throughout the day. Every day there is a full schedule of events. An example day would be Pilates or yoga to start out your day. Some beach games or mud therapy in the afternoon to name a few options.
If you have ever been to an all-inclusive you will know the drill here. The evening entertainment is pretty consistent no matter what resort you go to. In fairness to the Finest entertainment staff, they really do their utmost to keep the guest entertained. Each night we were there, there was a new show or theme night on.
The majority of the shows take place in the main Teatro. This is a massive spot that can seat around 100+ people very comfortably. The Finest has one of our favorite options in the evenings with a silent disco on the schedule. They’re great craic.
We were really impressed with the sheer amount of pool and square footage that the pools made up in this resort. In total there are 7 different spots to choose from and they cater to a range of experiences. There is a large adults-only pool
As we mentioned all of the pools are heated. The only caveat to that is the swim-up pools by the rooms. These pools are not heated, but all of the main pools are.
As the resort was only opened this year, the gym is really state of the art. All the equipment is obviously new and there is a wide range of it. Everything is Technogym, the gym is air-conditioned and the space is quite large. From a variety of cardio equipment which includes treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and rowing machines to free and machine weights. They even have cold water bottles and towels for you in the gym. You have no excuse for not getting a good workout at this gym.
Although there is no golf course in the resort there are a few options within driving distance of the resort. Your best option is a 35-minute drive from the resort. The Cocotal Golf and Country Club. The course is well designed and challenging and the upkeep of the course was very good. Rounds here range from $100 – $150 depending on the time of day you play and the season.
Weddings at the Finest Punta Cana
They cater for weddings here and if you planned on inviting kids to your wedding. The Finest is the best choice for you compared to the other Excellence resorts in the area. There are extensive wedding packages on offer and it’s a truly beautiful spot to tie the knot. For more info, check out their wedding page here.
The beach here is a strong offering. The water is lovely and turquoise and the sea is relatively calm, so it’s perfect for swimming if you like doing that. The sheer size of the beach is pretty impressive. There is more than enough space, so no matter what the capacity of the resort, you will always get a beach lounger and there are loads of Bali beds, so getting them isn’t too hard.
Luckily enough this beach also doesn’t suffer too badly from seagrass washing up onto the shore, so it really makes for that picture-perfect experience.
There are drinks and food services available at the beach. The staff is very attentive. Even though the beach covers quite a large area, there was still a frequent flow of staff members walking by to take your order, which was really impressive.
The One spa is the offering at the Finest Punta Cana. They have the full slate of treatments on offer here. Massages, facials, beauty services, and body treatments you name it, they have it on offer. Coupled with the great range of treatments on offer the spa facilities are top-notch too.
The hydrotherapy pools are a relaxing way to spend a few hours. If you are part of the Excellence club you can access the Spa facilities once during your stay without booking a treatment. Every day there are a number of treatments that are on special offer. Be sure to check the info leaflet that gets left in your room on the evening turndown for the offers.
Throughout the resort, you will be doing well to be seeing any area that isn’t clean or dirty. The staff here are on it in terms of cleaning. There always seemed to be a high amount of staff that was walking through the resort cleaning. The bar and restaurant staff were also super diligent in clearing off empties and refilling your drinks.
The housekeeping staff comes twice throughout the day. Once in the morning time and a turndown service in the evening. The room was always immaculate each morning and the team was super consistent in coming around the same time each morning, which we love to see.
When you think about 5-star resorts you think about a level of service that just puts you in a relaxed state. A level that makes you not even think about walking to the bar to get your next drink, knowing that the waiters will be around any minute to refresh your pina colada. This is the type of service that you get at the Finest Punta Cana. The staff always have a smile on their faces too which makes it such a nice experience. There are so many characters and personalities at the resort. By the end of your stay, the staff will be the things you remember most.
Booking during Covid
The Finest Punta Cana opened during the Covid pandemic, so they are well prepared for the requirements of current life. There are all of the typical precautions in place such as hand sanitizing stations at all of the doors, staff wearing face masks, etc. You could see that they are taking every precaution to keep their guests and staff safe.
There are a range of precautions that the Excellence chain of resorts has put in place and if you would like to review these they can be found here.
The one element we are not too fond of at Excellence resorts is the huge range of rooms on offer. The variety of choices is a little much and we honestly just go for the Junior suite each time we visit. All of the rooms at the Finest Punta Cana are really well sized with the smallest suite, which is a Junior suite coming in at 800ft².
The categories of rooms are basically broken out as follows into five main suite types. For most of the suites below, there are optional add-ons like swim-up pools, ocean views, and suites with totally private pools.
These sizes of suites differ depending on whether you are in an Excellence, Finest Club, or Finest Suite. The smallest suite which is the Junior Suite as part of the standard Finest Suite package comes in at 800ft², which is a really good size.
These suites are really special. They are two-story suites and are great if you like spending a decent amount of time in your room. They even have a walk-in closet, which is super unique for an all-inclusive resort.
What makes these suites is the top floor terrace deck. There is an outdoor rainfall shower, a refreshing plunge pool, a nice seating area, and a large day bed with views of the ocean. It’s a private and super luxurious space. If you can stretch the budget to these Terrace suites. It’s well worth it.
Perfect if you’re bringing the kids along, these rooms are a little bit bigger than the Junior suites and a pretty similarly priced. These suites have a pull-out sofa, which can easily sleep two kids if necessary.
If you’re really looking to treat yourself, then this is the suite for you. These suites are really well sized coming in at 950ft². There is a king-sized bed and a spacious living room and it comes with all of the Excellence Club amenities as standard. It’s pure luxury.
Price Range + Packages
The Finest Punta Cana is definitely on the more premium side of resorts when you compare it to other offerings in the area. Considering the quality that you get from this resort, the premium price is well worth the cost.
As this is a new resort and is still finding its feet in terms of recurring clientele. You can definitely get a good deal here and get a seriously good vacation at a low price. When you a nightly rate in the Finest Punta Cana versus the other two resorts, it’s typically around 10% cheaper than them. On average the Finest costs $300 per night during the Summer months.
What’s included in the all-inclusive package
All drinks, food, amenities, and activities are included in the package. Taxes and gratuities are also included, but as we delve into the tipping section you should still tip for drinks and food. You really don’t need to pay for anything additional when you are in the resort. The majority of drinks are included. If you want to splurge on a nice bottle of wine at Chez Izabelle there is an extensive wine list. These bottles do come at an additional cost.
The main other elements that you may end up paying out of pocket for are the excursions and the Spa treatments.
Food + Restaurant Options
With 10 restaurants on offer, you will never be stuck for a place to go to. Due to the variety of choices at the resort, there is really no reason to leave the resort, other than excursions.
The resort is new, so consistency is an issue at times, but one of the great things about an all-inclusive is that you can order multiple dishes and eat at multiple restaurants, so if you are still hungry you can always try something else. We have every faith that the Finest Punta Cana will iron out some of these small kinks once they have a few more months of operation.
Ranking the Restaurants
Opening Hours – Monday, Thursday, Saturday – (Dinner Only)
This is a Japanese-style restaurant that serves up some seriously good sushi, donburi, ramen udon, and yakisoba. This is by far our favorite place to eat at the Finest. The decor for this spot is also very traditional and laid back with lots of softwood furnishings and a general relaxed aesthetic. The sushi here was the stand-out for us. It was fresh and you could see that they were using decent quality cuts. The sashimi melts in your mouth.
As with most all-inclusive resorts, there is a teppanyaki experience available. These tables are in Shoji and are one of the few restaurants that need to be pre-booked. The experience is included in the all-inclusive package, but tables just need to be reserved at the entrance of Shoji on the day you plan to eat there.
Opening Hours – 7 days a week – (Lunch + Dinner)
The location of Dukes is stunning. Situated right on the beachfront there are some lovely views over the beach and ocean at this spot. The menu is very seafood-focused as you would expect from the name of the restaurant and location, but there are a few veggie and meat choices if you are not into fish. The food here is also really consistent with the lobster risotto being our standout dish.
- The Market Kitchen
Opening Hours – 7 days a week – (Breakfast + Lunch)
This is the main buffet of the resort and serves up a mix of cuisines that would rival the best buffets on the Las Vegas strip. This is the perfect spot for breakfast and lunch. There is something for everyone and the food is quite consistent here. The omelet station in the mornings is a staple. If you’re traveling with kids this is a solid spot for any meal due to its laid-back vibe and range of choice.
- Insieme Trattoria
Opening Hours – Closed on Wednesdays – (Dinner Only)
As they describe on the menu, you will be transported to Tuscany and back when you eat at Insieme Trattoria. The menu has all of your favorite Italian dishes with a varied choice of pizzas, pasta, antipasti, and main dishes.
- Gusto (Finest Club Members Only)
Opening Hours – 7 days a week – (Breakfast + Dinner)
Serving up a mix of international dishes is a great spot for breakfast in the mornings if you don’t fancy going to the buffet and want an a la carte option. There is a nice choice of brunchesque dishes that are prepared and presented well. They have it all on choice here with eggs-based options, crepes, and pancakes if you fancy something sweet.
Closed for lunch Gusto reopens in the evenings the dinner menu is a little more international in its options compared to the breakfast service with pasta, local dishes, and middle eastern options to choose from. The food here is pretty good, but the service can be slow at times.
- Melting Pot
Opening Hours – Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – (Dinner Only)
This is a Pan Asian restaurant that is one of the show cooking restaurants on offer at the Finest. We really like the variety they have here. Every resort has the Teppanyaki, which is the Finest does too, but at the Melting pot, there are a number of interactive cooking experiences with three concepts of cuisines to choose from (Korean BBQ, Sukiyaki, and Shabu-Shabu).
Opening Hours – Closed on Tuesdays and Fridays – (Dinner Only)
Billed as serving up Mexican cuisine, the range of dishes here is quite nice. It’s not as authentically Mexican as we would have liked to have seen, but they still produce some decent dishes. The Mariscada here is their standout dish with a selection of seafood served in a tortilla. There are a lot of flavors and it packs a punch.
- Las Dunas Beach House
Opening Hours – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (Lunch + Dinner) Thursday – Sunday (Lunch Only)
This spot is super causal and is located right on the beach. This is a great spot to grab a casual bite to eat at lunch. During the day is like your typical beachside grill with pizzas, quesadillas, burgers, and nachos. In the evening time, it turns into a Dominican buffet. The food here is not amazing, but suitable for a quick lunch by the beach. This is one of the restaurants we hope gets more consistent.
Included in your package is an extensive room service menu. At the moment due to Covid, the hours have been reduced, but we believe that it was initially planned to be available all day and early morning.
The Sweet Spot Cafe
This is a lovely spot to grab your morning coffees and pastries in the morning. The place is open all day and serves an extensive range of caffeinated drinks, healthy juices, sandwiches, and pastries. There is also a wide selection of ice creams to choose from if you’re looking for an after-dinner treat. The coffee is nice, the staff is really well trained and they can make any coffee order.
Bars and Drinks Offering
There are numerous bars on offer throughout the resort. Every corner that you turn there will be a cold beverage available. In total there are 16 options, so you’ll always be a few steps away from a cold drink. The selection of drinks on offer at the Finest is really strong. In the main lobby bar, they have a great selection of cocktails. The Jalapeno Margaritas are definitely our favorites.
What was probably most impressive was the wide selection of premium liquor options. From Johnny Walker Black to Grey Goose and Absolut Vodka there was a really strong selection. Drinks here are also not watered down and they give you hefty pours, which we like to see.
There is also a fully stocked mini-bar that includes snacks, sodas, waters, and three types of beers (Coors Lite, Heiniken, and Heiniken Light). There are also full bottles of liquor in all of the rooms which are included in the package. The bottles you get depend on the room level you have. If you are in one of the Excellence or Finest Club rooms you get the likes of Johnny Walker Black Label, Absolut Vodka, and Barcelo.
At the Finest Punta Cana, there is a dress code. This only really applies to the restaurants and honestly, they were pretty relaxed about it. Each restaurant has a dress code listed on the Finest website and they are broken up into the below categories.
Dinner Dress Code: Casual Elegance
- For ladies: Long pants, capri pants, or skirt with a blouse, or a dress
- For gentlemen: Long dress pants and a collared shirt. Casual shoes or elegant sandals must be worn. T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, beach sandals, and flip flops are not allowed.
Dress Code: Casual
Shorts, Bermudas, sarongs, and t-shirts are welcome. Sleeveless t-shirts (for men), tank tops, wet clothes, and swimsuits are not allowed.
From our perspective tipping at all-inclusive resorts should be considered mandatory. The service at this resort was really impressive. Although when you book it does state that gratuities are included in the all-inclusive price, it is customary to tip. We brought US dollars to the resort with us mainly in the form of dollar bills. We find it easy to tip in US dollars as there is no need to do the conversion in your head to understand how much you tip. The staff will obviously accept any currency if your local currency is easier to bring.
We always tip $1 per drink and between $5-$10 per meal. For dinners, we would typically tip more, while for lunch and breakfast we would typically do a $5 tip. The staff at these resorts don’t make a huge amount of money, so these tips are a real boost to their take-home pay and the service really was impeccable.
Is the Excellence/Finest Club worth it?
Firstly it’s important to distinguish the premium club offerings that the Finest Punta Cana has here. There is the Excellence club and the Finest club. They are both pretty much the same offering except the Finest Club is available for families, while the Excellence club is an adults-only experience. You get pretty much the same benefits in both of the clubs.
If you decide to get a room that has premium club access included in it, there are a range of benefits that you can avail of. To be honest there were a lot of the benefits that we didn’t see a huge amount of value in and the ones that stood out to us were the following
Private Pool + Beach area
This is always the biggest benefit for us when we go for the premium club rooms at a resort. Especially if it’s a resort that we haven’t been to before and want to guarantee a level of privacy and relaxation. There are separate private pools/ beach areas depending on if you are in the Finest or Excellences clubs.
Exclusive Bars + Restaurants
There are a number of bars that are solely for Club members, these spots offer a pretty similar standard of food compared to the standard restaurants, but the access to the club lounges was quite nice as they had an elevated drinks list.
Top Shelf Liquor
One of the things we really like about the Excellence resorts is that their premium liquor offering is really good. When you stay in an Excellence/ Finest club suite you will have access to some really great brands such as Grey Goose, Johnny Walker Black, Hendriks, and Ciroc. You’re in-room liquor offering is also upgraded which is a nice touch.
Overall, this is another top-quality offering from the Excellence chain of resorts. The resort is pure luxury and the food and service are matched. The resort is still in its early days, so it has definitely gone through a few teething problems, but as the Finest irons out some of those creases. It will become one of the top offerings in the Punta Cana region and will be the premier family offering.
It’s definitely worth a visit now, as the resort is underpriced for its standard. As the resort grows in popularity and clientele, the price will inevitably rise, so it’s worth trying for your next vacation.
Q. Does the Excellence Punta Cana offer a shuttle service from the Airport
A. The Excellence does offer private transfers to and from the resort at an additional cost.
Q. Is parking available at the resort
A. Yes, parking is available for guests and it is complimentary
Q. Is Wi-Fi included
A. Yes, Wi-Fi is included in the price of your package. It is available throughout the resort and we found the strength to be very good. We had no issues streaming Netflix at the pool and making Facetime calls from our room.