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“Beautiful resort” 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 #21 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We read numerous reviews before staying here and the negative ones are ridiculous.

We don't stay in resorts very often, and we have both also put in many years in the service industry. That being said, here is my commentary:

The resort:

Gorgeous. This place is beautiful. We stayed in the Junior Suite Ocean View which is the cheapest room available and it was great. A nice spacious deck and living area, walk in closet, huge comfortable bed, air conditioning, nice tub and shower. We only had three complaints--the water temperature in the shower fluctuated from really hot to cold constantly throughout the shower. This was annoying, but not a huge deal. It is easy to step out of the shower stream if the water temperature is uncomfortable for a minute. The second complaint was that the TV remote would work sporadically. We even replaced the batteries. It was weird and annoying, but didn't hamper our stay much. The last is that there was a sewage smell in the bathroom on the second day. We couldn't figure out what it was until we looked under the sink and saw an open drain below the sink that the smell was coming from. Housekeeping had been in recently, and we moved the trash can on top of the drain and that helped. While this was gross, Central and South American plumbing is a lot different from American plumbing (normally they don't flush toilet paper) and there may have been a necessary reason for this design. I think housekeeping forgot to put the trash can back over the drain after they cleaned, because it wasn't really an issue after we put it back.

The pools were nice. If you are looking for a quite kid-free pool experience, go to the Ocean Club in the Castle. There is a bar and lounge and a small pool by the ocean and no famililes. We hung out there a few times and almost had the place to ourselves.

The staff:

The staff were very nice. I can tell that they go through rigorous training to work there. Anyone having a problem with the staff probably isn't tipping or is rude. If you have a problem with tipping at an all inclusive, don't go. Period. These people work hard for their money and earn way less than you do if you can afford to go here. Tipping is part of their culture and part of their income and livelihood. Tip. We read a lot of reviews about there being a language barrier with some of the staff, and after traveling around other parts of the country we expected to have to use our limited Spanish quite a bit. This was not the case. There were only two instances with servers in the pool area where they didn't speak English and we had to use Spanish, but other than that everyone spoke great English.

To the people who whined about a "cockroach in their room:" It's the tropics. Bugs will go where they want, especially if windows or doors are open. If you saw a fleet of cockroaches, that would be concerning. Personally we did not see one cockroach during our stay. And while on the subject of bugs, mosquitos weren't a problem either.

The food:

The food was very good. We heard good reviews about the steakhouse but that was our least favorite. My husband's steak was overcooked and I ordered a tuna steak, which was way overcooked. We liked the Italian restaurant and the seafood buffet night. The best meal was Dominican night on Saturday. The Dominican food is phenomenal. Definitely go to Dominican night if you are there when they have it. Didn't try the Wok. The breakfast buffet was great-tons of choices and omlettes to order. Smoked salmon and lots of fruits and pastries, meats, and cheeses as well.

Miscellaneous:

We got pedicures at the spa, which was nice. The resort gave us 20% off coupons but when we got to the spa they said that if we wanted to use the coupons we had to use them on the pricing on their "regular" menu, which had 20% higher prices. So it would have been the same either way. Cheesy. I have to call the resort out on this--that's lame. If you're going to give a discount, give a discount. Don't bait and switch. Also, we got a $10.00 off coupon for a bottle of wine, but when we looked at our bill at checkout, they had charged full price. We didn't bother complaining about it, but overall the "coupons" are a joke.

Upon checkout there was an erroneous $720 charge for a room upgrade on our bill, and we didn't have a room upgrade. Upon pointing it out it was quickly remedied, no problem. They probably just keyed in the wrong room number. I believe it was an honest mistake and we had no trouble getting it taken off.

Juanillo beach next door is gorgeous, but there is little shade. If you want to sit in a beach chair you have to pay high prices at the little public bar there. I'd recommend going, but take a hat and plenty of sunscreen and a towel to sit on.

Overall a great stay. Definitely do the all inclusive option unless you eat like a bird and don't drink. The prices are expensive. All inclusive is worth it. Especially when you get all inclusive room service.

Room Tip: It looked like they are all good! The cheapest one is great!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory S, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
We are glad you enjoyed your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana, and we thank you for sharing your experience online.

It is with great joy that we receive your notes, and we are delighted that you got to experience our beautiful scenery as well as the enthusiasm of our staff. We thank you for allowing us to bring you our best service and create for you a memorable vacation.

Our management team will receive your recommendations in order to work with all the departments involved as we are trying day in and day out to improve our guest experiences. We are pleased that our staff was able to help you and provide you with their excellent service.

We hope you can visit us soon, and tell your friends about our hotel. It will be our pleasure to service you again.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
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English first
Columbus, Ohio
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

Visited recently and had a nice time. Room (Villa) was great (Splurge if you can)... Food was good, I would call it very "american buffet"; not very traditional for the region (which would have prefered). Pools and beach are nice. Took the bike tour and had a great time. Look great for families w/kids. Be aware; there is nothing really to do outside the resport, so go all-inclusive and prepare to stay on the grounds.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a villa or the castle rooms
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory S, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
On behalf of Sanctuary Cap Cana, we want to thank you for taking the time to share your review online.

We will share with our staff your kind remarks and will take into consideration your feedback, it is our mission to improve everyday and exceed our valued guest’s expectations.

Thank you for your visit. We hope to host another vacation for you in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

From the very arrival the service was great. They picked us up at the airport and took us to the hotel, within a few minutes we were doing check in, and they gave us a great room UPGRADE!!!
When we got to the room everything was great, every little detail they had with us.
We had the all inclusive plan, and I have to say that I was amazed by the quality of the service and the food; usually the 'all inclusives' dont get to be high quality, but this one really outdid my expectations. We tried all the restaurants, Casa Bella, Blue Marlyn, The Wok, and Capriccio.
They had many pools and beaches so you could choose where to be. The SPA was great as well, i had a pregnancy masagge and my husband had a deep tissue, we wanted to do it again but we didnt had enough time!!!
One of the best features of the hotel is The 'El Juanillo' beach. The crystal clear water and the white sand really makes you dont wanna leave Cap Cana!
Overall the staff was great, always trying to satisfy every need we had and always with a smile and nice conversation!
Definitelly will recommend this to anyone who wants a little bit of paradise on earth, and I for sure will be going back as well!!!!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory S, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your comments online about your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

We are more than happy to learn that you got to experience our beautiful scenery as well as the enthusiasm of our staff. Our staff takes pride of knowing that you enjoyed every detail from our beach, restaurants to a service of excellence.

We thank you for allowing us to bring you our best service and create for you a great vacation.
We truly hope we get a chance to serve you again in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

My family and I just spent a few days at Sanctuary Cap Cana to enjoy a Caribbean vacation. I did not know what to expect, but what a pleasant surprise! Everything was fabulous, from the food, to the views and what a magnificent service!

Great food at the SteakHouse and the Capriccio! Great drinks at the pool and the Love Bar! Great views all around the hotel, I totally loved the sunset at the ocean terrace. Oh I wish I could be there as I write this review! Lovely service from Bernardo, Marlenis & Zelenis!

I would definitely consider going back to sanctuary, maybe for Christmas!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory S, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

We are more than glad that you and your family had a good time in our hotel. We work hard on maintaining an atmosphere for the guest to feel welcomed and like home. It was a pleasure for our staff to serve you during your vacations.

It would be our honor to receive your visit in the near future, and help you experience another memorable vacation.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Oak, MI
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

My husband and I went to this resort after reading the reviews on line. In the past we have stayed at Excellence in Punta Cana and prefer that much more than Sanctuary. The only plus of this resort is location to the airport.
When we arrived, we had to wait 3 hours for our room in the Castle. The room had no power, so they sent a technician to fix it. The tub was filthy. At one point the room had a sewage smell and the last day we had a cockroach in the bathroom. The food was very mediocre at best. The only place decent to eat is the steak house. The staff is unfriendly and there is a definite language barrier.
Room service took forever and the food was always cold and typically not what we ordered.
Considering this is a newer resort, the rooms and buildings are beat up.
The fitness facility is very small and not well kept.
I would not recommend Sanctuary to anyone looking for an upscale vacation!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Cory S, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your comments online about your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

On behalf of Sanctuary Cap Cana staff we want to extend our apologies for the misfortunes you experienced during your stay. These events are not in any way, part of our service standards and procedures. Our new management is working closely with all our departments in new strategies of improvement that will help us exceed our guest expectations. We are also working with all of our Sanctuary Staff to provide our guest with the finest hospitality and a service of excellence. Our target is to improve and provide our valued guest with a memorable vacation. Let this not be a reason for you not to stay with us again.

We sincerely hope that you will provide us with the opportunity to have you back in the future, and experience our improvement.
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Ansbach, Bayern, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

I recently stayed at this amazing property. I would first like to say that the service at the Hotel is amazing. The staff was very professional, they went out of their way to assist my friend and I. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted with smiling faces. Honestly, i was so amazed by the architectural design i didn't really realize how hot it was outside :-). Once we got checked in and headed out to familiarize ourself with the hotel, we came across the entertainment staff. They are fun and veery dedicated to keeping you entertained. The hotel has 5 restaurants, my personal favorite was the Stake house. I do encourage visitors to bring a lot of sunscreen. You will not be board at this hotel. Before my visit most people said that i was a place for couples but now i disagree! If you just was to take a get away as a couple, single or even girlfriends vacation i do recommend the Sanctuary Cap Cana. You will meet amazing people there, Staff and visitors.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory S, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Thank you for choosing Sanctuary Cap Cana for your recent vacation. We appreciate you taking the time to share your wonderful experience online.

We are delighted to know that our scenery and service created a wonderful setting for you. Our staff is thrilled to know they contributed for such a memorable experience.

Will be expecting you back soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

Simply a magical place, excellent instalations, the room was very nice and clean. A place with great ambiance and surroundings. The gardens are simply beautiful and very lush. A place where you can stay and relax with your love one. Also great food, with a very good japanese restaurant.
A place to fall in love an have the time of your life with your couple.

Room Tip: If you can, try and stay in the villas.
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  • Stayed February 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory S, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Thank you you for your kind remarks about your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

It is with great pleasure and honor that we service each of our guests to make their experience unforgettable. We are thrilled to know that our staff and all the effort they put in were able to make your vacation magical.

We certainly will be ready to welcome you back in the near future.
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
#9 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Cap Cana 5*
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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