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“Lovely place but needs a bit more” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sanctuary Cap Cana

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Sanctuary Cap Cana
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Boulevard Zona hotelera, Playa Juanillo, Punta Cana 0809, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
88 hotel reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Lovely place but needs a bit more”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

This is a beautiful resort and is really laid out very well. Our room was lovely. The bed was very comfy and the bathroom spacious and laid out well. The beach is very nice and you can take a walk for about 3/4 of a mile. They have many pools so that is great if you dont want alot of kids. however, the jacuzzi at the pools and the spa are not warm. They need to heat them. Also, they did not play music at the pool which was great. Hate that piped in music. The resort is quite isolated. There is no where to walk to or any small town or village, so either you have to have a car or find another way. The spa is quite nice and the women there lovely. There is one shop on the premises that sells clothes and though they are a bit pricey there is a very interesting selection and they will negotiate. The food was good not great. Need more variety. The staff is very nice but not many speak english and though they are willing to help, they need to learn more about true customer service. Internet connection was very spotty. some days OK, others horrible--both in the room and the lobby. the entertainment director was a young man who goes by Teddy Bear and he is quite good. There are fun shows in the bar and fun karoke. we were there for a conference and the conference space was very nice. Overall, i would recommend this place.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of Sanctuary Cap Cana. We are pleased to hear your stay here was comfortable and relaxing. We do offer shuttle service for a fee of $2.00 that will take you to any property in Cap Cana. The service is run 24 hours. We have informed the maintenance crew regarding the heat level in the jacuzzi. I will share your feedback with the entire team. At Sanctuary Cap Cana it is our pleasure to service our guest with the finest hospitality. We want to guarantee a vacation that will be unforgettable.We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (554)
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English first
Leesburg, Virginia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

.. for those seeking total relaxation from routine life.

We are so glad we cancelled our reservation at "The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real" to stay at this dark horse located just 10-15 mins away from Punta Cana Airport ($30 Taxi each way). It turned out to be our "Dream Vacation" as we were able to upgrade to their highest up-gradable room at the price we paid for the least expensive room at The Reserve. Our experience here is less about the great upgrade and more about the quality of time we had. Great food, insanely beautiful views, coconut tees, pools, structures, pathways, etc. Even their parking spaces are landscaped at the Fortress section. It's more like a natural paradise than a concrete jungle!!

Resort
Don't expect to see a resort like the one's seen in Cancún or Bávaro resort strips that are crowded with cheap buffet's, overcrowded pools, wristbands, and beaches that have people taking up all decent chairs with towels and leaving those chairs wasted with towels more than real people. No pictures we saw online (Flickr, Smugmug, Google, YouTube, Pbase) can do justice to the beauty of this place. The moment the Taxi took us inside the gated Cap Cana region we could feel something special and unique about the region. Roads are wider and region has great landscaping that makes it look so beautiful with boards displaying directions to different resorts and attractions. We had broad impressive smiles on our face as we entered Sanctuary Cap Cana as we already could feel we made the right choice. The bell boy Santos greeted us with a warm welcome and is quite fluent in English. He tagged our luggage and took us to front desk. We were given nice fruity cocktails and juices for kids (11 and 13). I asked for upgrade option and took a tour of different rooms before we decided on the Island Suite located in the Fortress section. It's truly once in a life time experience for us! The gardens, water streams, structures, lighting, colored doors & windows, the stones used to construct the resort including the roads/walkways all added up to our experience of a great stay. Every staff we met only had a warm smile for us. Including the one's doing landscaping and everyone is ready to help if you looked lost.

Pool and Beaches
The resort's beach is very ordinary. Water is quite sandy for about 15-20 feet into the water. Once you go past the sandy area it's nice and still shallow. But what makes this beach still a wonderful place to hangout is the entire setup around it. Beautiful landscaping with a beautiful pool, lots of coconut trees, staff ready to bring drinks to you, Casa Bella buffet only few feet away so you can grab a plate filled with delicious food anytime and enjoy on the beach. Blue Marlin restaurant is open for lunch from 12:15 and it has great views and delicious food and equally good ambiance. Beach side massages are offered and several activities are planned around that area like beach volleyball, ping-pong, chess, etc during the day. The pool looks beautiful with a great view of the ocean and a nice little FreshCo pool bar located in it to hang out when you want to relax under shade with a drink. There is another pool up near the Italian restaurant which is hardly being used that is very beautiful and has great view of the Ocean.

Restaurants and Food
Blue Marlin is right at the pool so, it's our choice for daily lunches. Favorites for lunch were Grouper Sandwich and Pan Seared Red Snapper. Kids loved Chocolate Molten Cake. Unfortunately, we missed the dinner opportunity here as we went to Italian first night and on second night Blue Marlin was closed for wedding party. We tried Wok the second night which is located at the Fortress section next to walk-out swim suites. We liked the food there so much that we just had dinner there on our last night we well. Room service menu was decent and the food tasted good. Breakfasts are typical resort style at Casa Bella with the exception of fresh juices and coffee which tasted awesome. Casa Bella location is very beautiful with pool and ocean views and outdoor tables under vines. Casa Bella has buffet style meals rest of the day and an outdoor grill was setup for lunch. We tried room service breakfast and the service was fantastic. The food is setup on dining table like in a formal restaurant. They brought the food in hot-pack so everything stayed very warm. We are not much into alcohol drinks so, I am can't give my opinions on it. My daughter enjoyed the virgin Spider-man drink which I believe is full of sugary fluids and juices :-). We had dinner the first night at Capriccio (Italian) and it was very very good and the service was excellent. Didn't get to try The Steakhouse even though it was open two of the three nights we were there. The service at FreshCo pool Bar, Love Piano Bar, and Ocean Club are all excellent. We felt sympathetic to see a beautiful place like Ocean club almost having no one there. I liked how they had jars filled with plenty of iced water with lemon and cucumber slices in several sections of the resort. It helped us enjoy cool water whenever needed. At some places they also had a champagne bottle in wine cooler. Again, don't forget, the coffee & orange juice at the resort is very good.

Shops & Activities
We noticed every night around 9:00 pm they had something on daily flyers dropped in the room but we never walked that way around that time. They had things like Dominican Republic dance, some fire show, etc. In the lobby there is a Concierge service selling local tours, and also a photo shoot at the resort. There are several shops selling resort/beach style clothes to beach/pool items, daily needs, painting, etc. Nothing is of great interest but then, we never cared to shop at any resorts or cruise ships. They also had a kids club but didn't check into the details of it. The resort has lot of potential to improve if only it had good occupancy. In a small building in front of the lobby they have a nice lounge setup with computer and printer which was handy to print out boarding passes. Had no issues with WiFi as our room had it's own WiFi router and Ethernet ports. Also, all restaurants have WiFi.

Rooms
We initially booked Junior Suite Ocean View but took the upgrade to Island Suite (Room 1039). Even after seeing Island Suite, Junior Ocean Suite looked very impressive. It had plenty of space with two queen beds, sitting area, balcony, nice size bathroom, and closet space. The top level suites have great Ocean views. Also, I had chance to check out Royalty Villa (Room 1026) and God that was one beautiful room. Two separate bedrooms, two huge bathrooms, closets, powder room, large living and dinning area, huge deck with a large patio setup and outdoor infinity view pool and steps down that lead into the ocean (rocky though). Villas are located in garden environment while Castle Suites, Terrace Towers, Island suites, Castle Swim-Out's, etc are located in one huge building (Fortress/Castle) which also has lovely Spa, Gym, Ocean Club with Pool, Wok restaurant, and Conference Center. Some sections of Castle will have quite a walk to the central part of the resort that has pools, restaurant, and beach. If you stay in Castle, find out the shortest way to walk to the place you want to go as we noticed three ways to get from our Island Suite and one is just about 250 steps to Blue Marlin from outside Fortress. Castle section has an exit to a deck area that leads directly to the Juanillo Beach. A stunningly beautiful beach with a restaurant, lots of chairs and coconut trees, showers, bathrooms and music.

What's around
Marina Cap Cana, Juanillo beach, Scape2Cana, Casino, and Golf are all in the Cap Cana region. While Juanillo beach is just next to the resort you can take taxi for $2 to get to all other places within the Cap Cana region.

Cons
Fortunately, we didn't have any. But, if I have to give one it will be that the elevators in Fortress section was not functioning.

Final thoughts
For now, this is a secret gem of a place in Punta Cana region. Go for it before it starts to pick up as this is a top class resort that is in a different league than the standard resorts on the Bávaro strip.

Room Tip: Room 1026 for Royalty Villa, and 1039 for Island Suite. Wok restaurant a break when needed from took...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
We are so thrilled to hear you enjoyed your stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. At Sanctuary Cap Cana it is our pleasure to service our guest with the finest hospitality. We want to guarantee a vacation that will be unforgettable. Thank you for you kind remarks and recognition of efforts. Please tell your friends about our hotel. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Have spent the past 9 nights at Sanctuary Cap Cana. One of the most beautiful resorts my wife Mary and I have visited. Ocean Front Room in the Fortress. Beautifully appointed. Well maintained. Great view. Flawless internet service in the room. Service throughout the resort was outstanding. Front office took care of one flaw within minutes. Food was very good throughout. Must purchase meal plan (value works in your favor and we are light drinkers). Adjacent beaches are spotless. Swam in five different resort pools. The people of the Dominican seem far more American friendly now then in Mexico. Limited spanish not an issue. For me, the resort is every bit as nice as the Four Seasons in Nevis or Biras Creek in the BVI ... and in comparison ... remains value priced. We will return with friends and family members.

Room Tip: For a young family, villas 1000 - 1006 would be ideal. Private beach. Fortress ocean front was great...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Congratulations on your 25th Wedding Anniversary!! Tthank you for allowing Sanctuary Cap Cana to be apart of your memories. We are pleased to hear that the friendly staff, appealing atmosphere, stress-free setting, and food were just enough to satisfy your desires. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us online. I will share your feedback with the entire team. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.
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Thornwood, New York
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Was very nice, good service--Bartender, Moreno was very responsive. The resort was quite and offered a reasonably good conference area although AV could have been better.

The walk from Lobby to room was a bit long.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
I would like to thank you for your positive comments regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. I am happy to see that the friendly staff and appealing atmosphere were exactly what you needed for your trip. Regarding the long walk from the lobby to the room, we do offer transportation that can be arranged with the bell boy. We have fashion our property for the comfort and privacy of our guest. We hope to welcome you back to stay with us when staying in Punta Cana in the future.
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Youngstown, Ohio, United States
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Overall a beautiful hotel. My wife bought the trip for me. So we went to our room and it was the King and Queen suite over the ocean. Room was well worn and extremely hot. Actually with the Air conditioning up on high, temp was still over 85 degrees. We called the front desk and they stated when they inspected that the Air conditioner was fine. It was unbearable the first night. Also the bathroom and closets were in a open air setting. Nothing like getting eaten alive by bugs trying to go to the bathroom, it was also open air. So they moved us the next day, at additional 2k. I just paid it because I could not stand the heat. This room was a roof top, was very beautiful and comfortable.
The Gym was hot but served our purpose. Spa was Ok, I have had much better service and massage at other places.
The beach was terrible. Tons of seaweed, Could not swim in ocean without being attack by the seaweed. Pool was great because no one was at the resort, we had a pool to ourself most the time.
The second day I got sick. Was sick rest of the trip. Now I did not complain, because what would they do. I am a physician and I prepared for this, but need to go on another antibiotic when I got home to resolve it. So I sucked it up for my wife and did not want to ruin our anniversary. Just spent alot of time.
No when we booked the trip they told us that they had 5 restaurants. But only one was open everynight. And the Japanese was never open. Italian restaurant was good, but only dinner that I could eat. Had room service most of the time because my wife hates seafood and does not eat red meat and that seem to be the best choice to get something she liked. Room service was good.
The staff was very friendly. Pool service was slow unless we gave them a tip.
Overall it was a beautiful resort. But the hassle of the room, misled all the restaurants available, and my wonderful Giardia that I got made for a extremely overpriced vacation.
Even tried to get compensated for part of my trip. They made me an offer and I countered and never heard back from them. Funny thing is that in the aggrement to be compensated they wanted my to not hold the travel agency, the travel broker and the resort at fault. Had to sign off that I agree not to take any legal action against them. Never was my intention and I really did not want the trip completely reinbursed. Just wanted to be fairly compensated for me and my wifes troubles. Did not mention the travel agency or broker, not really their fault, although I thought they could have defended us better.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Dear Guest,

The experience that you have shared is far below what we would hope our guests to expect. We genuinely apologize for falling short of your expectations. We currently had a change of management and are working closely with staff to guarantee proper services are being conducted. We are happy to hear maintenance took action to make certain the air conditioner was working. We are pleased to hear overall you enjoyed our property.

We appreciate your feedback, and hope you give us the chance to make it right. We here at Sanctuary Cap Cana are here to service our guest and exceed their expectations.
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Santo Domingo
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

We had an exciting vacation at this hotel. We spent Christmas and we had a blast. We were a large group and we had a special dinner at a very cheap price! The rooms are magnificent, it was like a small villa near the Spa. The children were taken care off, they would take a ride from the pool to the beach, honestly we hardly ever saw the children and they were six of them! This is a very quiet hotel, but even us were liked and we are a noisy crowd. I recommend this hotel to any one. The food is excellent and the service great!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
We are so pleased to hear you and your family enjoyed your stay here at Sanctuary Cap Cana. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us online. I will share your feedback with the entire team. They love knowing guest appreciates there service. Please tell your friends about our hotel and hope to see you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bloomfield,nj
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We went on a family trip with cousins concerned our kids would have nothing to do.
They are kid friendly: sitting, games and activities helped my 4 & 6 year old have a blast.
The staff is amazing, very helpful with kids and made a very comfortable stay over the holidays.
The hotel and grounds are fantastically beautiful and clean.
All restaurants are good to great, but Sushi restaurant be warned, cream cheese in sushi rolls.
***Rolls not recommended***
Otherwise pretty spectacular. Recommend the trip to The Blue Well, fresh water cave, take a 5min taxi drive there- to get in was less than $20. Was fantastic swim...just make sure you check hours before you go only open till 5 and 2-4pm held for parties.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
I would like to thank you for your positive comments regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. I am happy to see that the friendly staff and appealing atmosphere were exactly what you needed for your trip. With our new management team on board we are exploring new menu options. I will share your feedback with the entire team. They love knowing guest appreciates there service. Please tell your friends about our hotel and hope to see you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Cap Cana

Address: Boulevard Zona hotelera, Playa Juanillo, Punta Cana 0809, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#21 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Cap Cana 5*
Number of rooms: 176
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Its inspired design combines the charm of a Spanish colonial village with the laid-back sensuality of the Caribbean and the stylish sophistication of streamlined, modern design accents. Bougainvillea-lined pathways lead guests through the resort grounds to 176 expansive, private suites housed in replicas of a tower, colonial buildings and fortress. Within the resort are 5 exceptional restaurants, 5 bars, an elegant casino, a half-mile private beach with sugar-white sand, and meeting space for up to 500 guests, while just minutes away lie all the world-class recreational appeals of Cap Cana. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Cap Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Sanctuary Cap Cana Resort

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