Why should you read my review? Because my (now) husband and I JUST had 100 of our closest family and friends fly down to Sanctuary Resort for our wedding (!!!) and if there's ANYONE that was nervous and anxious about how things would work out it was me. The bride. And, simply put, Sanctuary was Amaaazing. PERFECT. A dream. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating. From the moment we arrived til the minute we left, the resort treated us so well, really exceeded our expectations in every possible way, made all of our guests so happy, and...at the risk of sounding cliche...made it the wedding, honeymoon, and vacation of our dreams.
History: We looked at other resorts in the area but NONE of them had the charm, architecture, gorgeous pools, ocean, 5 star feel, terrific staff, and sense of culture that Sanctuary offers. We spent a weekend here 10 months ago and at the end of our weekend we both agreed - we found the place where we would get married (and we did, on 4/13/13!)
Resort: Sanctuary should be the #1 resort in the Dominican Republic. It's NOT a sprawling mega resort with 10 pools/20 restaurants and tacky, fist pumping, shots taken, where drunk Frat/Sorority drooling kids go, Spring Break sorta place. And thank GOD for that!! It's 5 star. It's beautifully groomed. Gorgeous Spanish colonial design. Immaculate grounds. Incredible staff. It's a gem. Perfect pools and beach. It's not too small, it's not too big, it's truly the perfect size resort. As you may know other Punta Cana resorts are HUGE and make you feel like you're on a cruise ship - tons of people, 20 restaurants, 15 pools, tacky, fanny packs, tourists everywhere, 20 minutes to walk anywhere...and did I mention tacky? Thankfully Sanctuary is not that. We had so many guests thank us for choosing a perfect destination...and a perfect resort.
Food: From breakfast at Casa Bella or Blue Marlin to lunch at Blue Marlin, to dinners at Carpaccio, Steakhouse, Blue Marlin, The Wok - every food option was delicious. It's the perfect mix of foods that will make every tourist comfortable (steak, pasta, hibachi, seafood etc) yet adventurous enough so you can get a local taste of what DR has to offer. At other Punta Cana resorts the food is awful and you leave not getting a sense of the Dominican food (which is amazing). But Sanctuary resort has it ALL available - if you want it. Definitely try Dominican breakfast - fried eggs, mangu, salami, etc. And all the fish options are great! Also the steakhouse was my personal favorite :)
Staff: This was my favorite part. Literally every single staff member we met were kind, nice, fun, and incredibly professional at their jobs. Whoever does the hiring at Sanctuary should get a promotion :) I saw some other review on TripAdvisor talk about unprofessional staff and that person is simply wrong! It made me mad so let me take a second to clear something up: JUST because a place is all inclusive doesn't mean you don't have to tip!! Some tip is included in the price, yes, but it's customary (umm everywhere in the world) to give an extra few bucks if the staff is doing a good job! As with everything in life, treat them well and they will treat you well too.
Quick story: My little cousin wanted a coconut drink more than anything. Next day at the pool bar, a staff member showed up with a coconut and made my cousin his own coconut drink. Things like this happened ALL weekend. Incredible customer service and attention. They go the extra mile to give you a dream vacation.
Spa: If you have an hour - PLEASE book an appointment. Jennifer and the other spa girls are fantastic. I live in NYC, land of spa options, and Sanctuary Resort blew all of them away.
Wedding/Honeymoon: If you're thinking of doing your wedding or honeymoon at Sanctuary. Just do it. Save your date now and you'll thank me later for it. Scarlet Garcia and Cristina Pareja will be your wedding coordinators - and they are total pros, they are the best!! Check out my longer review on Best Destination Weddings website.
A few of the other staff that made our trip so enjoyable, relaxing and fun:
Alexander @ Front Desk
Carlos @ Blue Marlin
Carlos @ pool bar
Carlos at the beach
Hector at Front Desk
Junior at Pool bar
Junior at Blue Marlin
Bernardo at Pool bar
Ronnie - and an extra thanks for taking care of us at wedding!
Jennifer at spa!
Scarlet - our fabulous wedding coordinator
Maria de Jesus - at Casa Bella
The Arrow (aka Ruben) - can play any sport and knows how to entertain the guests!
Menor - also so sweet and so entertaining
And so many more - thank you!
Honestly I could go on and on...but my review is long enough. We plan to be back for our one year anniversary....and hope the place is as beautiful then as it was for our wedding. Keep up the good work Sanctuary!!
Kathleen & Kevin
- 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