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“Perfect Vacation, Wedding, AND Honeymoon!!!” 5 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
New York City, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Perfect Vacation, Wedding, AND Honeymoon!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

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
Enrique (manager)
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
Saul
Wascar
Niersin

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

  • Stayed April 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 8
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, May 2, 2013
Congratulations on your wedding and thank you for trusting Sanctuary Cap Cana to make your dream come true.

We are pleased to hear that the friendly staff, attracting atmosphere, stress-free setting, and food were just enough to satisfy your desires. We here at Sanctuary Cap Cana are here to service our guest and exceed their expectations.

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 host you back in the near future, and will be thrilled to welcome you home for your 1st Anniversary.
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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 (526)
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English first
Whittier, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

my wife and i visited this incredible resort for our anniversary and her birthday on april 23rd. i cannot say enough about every aspect of this place. the grounds and location are amazing!! the staff is like something ive only seen in a show as a child (fantasy island) hahahhaha.........ok im 39. anyone planning a trip, look no further, you will not be disappointed. must try the steak house and wok and blue marlin. the entertainment group, Menor especially, are so kind hearted and genuinely concerned about making your stay as memorable as possible and definitely succeeded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we are already planning a return trip

  • Stayed April 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 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, May 2, 2013
Congratulations on your anniversary! We thank your for choosing Sanctuary Cap Cana as your destination for such special occassions.

Since undergoing new management we have been working closely with our staff to make certain our guest receives the highest level of service. I am very pleased to read your appraisal of our team, services and facilities and I know my colleagues will be equally pleased to learn of your kind remarks and recognition of their efforts to meet your needs.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of Sanctuary Cap Cana. We invite you back and perhaps we can host your next anniversary/birthday!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

This is my 5th stay at the DR. We recently bought a livingsocial deal for this hotel. I had already booked a 6 day stay Excellence at Bravaro beach. I canceled it to stay at the sanctuary because I had never been to cap Cana. Before, I have stayed at Iberostar (twice), Melia, and Catalonia. The Sanctuary is $400 more expensive than Excellence.
First off, despite what you read...the resort is not adults only.
The beer is not "top shelf". All they have is presidente. The liquor is name brand.
The food is average. The Dominican buffet is excellent on Saturday night. Here is the hang up....the restaurants are open on a rotating basis. In example...you can only go to the steakhouse once or twice during 7 days. If you have a short trip, you may never go. The food at Blue Marlin is very good and it's open all the time. You don't need reservations for the dining.
The service is not excellent. It take forever to get anything. I had a waitress ask me once at the pool if I wanted something. Otherwise, I walked to the bar. This is the REALLY annoying part, the resort is not strictly all inclusive. If you get the all inclusive package , you have to wait for your check to sign. This can take forever. There is an up charge for certain cuts of meat at the restaurants. I know...you're saying...just relax. But it's not me being in a hurry, it's that I don't want to sit at a dirty table waiting for a check that I don't have to pay.
The ocean view room is nice but nothing special.
This is what I'm saying...this is a "boutique hotel" but it's not special. It's small but what it lacks in size...it also lacks in service. We are here until April 30th so they really need to pick up their game.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Cory S, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience about Sanctuary Cap Cana with us online.

It’s regrettable to hear that you did not enjoy your stay here at Sanctuary Cap Cana. 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.

Since undergoing new management we have directed our attention to areas that need most improvement and we are working to provide our guest with the best vacation on the Caribbean.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future and experience our improvements.
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Detroit, MI
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013 via mobile

We weighed the previous reviews and poured over the pictures. After arriving, we had a idea ups and downs, but categorically the staff worked to fix any issues which came up. The architecture and resort grounds are very well kept, the staff are helpful and welcoming to our family - considering we already paid and it was all inclusive- a point of compliment. We had our 2 1/2 year old with us and they delivered milk and fruit to our room each day, the bar tenders at the pool always had fresh mango juice and frozen lemonade for her. Everyone knew her name by the end of the week. Here, I must mention the little-discussed KIDS CLUB which is open every day 10-12 and 2-5. Lots of great games, amazing staff, and don't forget to ask obout in-room babysitting. We got to dine alone knowing our daughter was in good hands.

The pools was kid-friendly, the beach was cleaned continuously all day. The one tip is that the cabanas on the beach are first come, and if you don't get there by 6:45 am, you are out of luck.

The food: breakfast buffet was the best. Something for everyone. Fruit never tasted so good. And nice to dine inside or out. Lunch was always on the beach, so I'm not sure what the buffet was like. But the BLT, fruit and fish sandwich never failed us. For dinner, the about marlin was good, but some of the buffet nights were hit or miss. The steakhouse was a nice change, but remember is is Argentinian and not your topical western Texas meat-house. Unfortunately I can't be as nice for their version of Asian food. Let's just all agree that the Caribbean is not the place to go for sushi.

Finally, the room was nice. People complain about a moldy smell, but that is what porous stone interior smells like. I assure you we saw no mold, and anything that needs touching up or repair was promptly repaired. The housekeeping and in room dining were there within minutes. Everyone was kind and helpful.

I would recommend this to couples or families. Not too crowded, not a booze-soaked teen hangout like other places in punta Cana. Thanks for the great vacation.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, May 2, 2013
I would like to thank you for your positive comments regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

We feel proud and grateful for your compliments on the efforts and dedication demonstrated by our staff. 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.

Please tell your friends about our hotel. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
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New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

So my husband and I spent our honeymoon at Sanctuary Cap Cana and we loved it! As soon as we arrived, we were treated so nice. The people are truly nice and very helpful.
The hotel was super clean, the food is simply delish and the service is awesome.
We arrived on a Monday and stayed for 4 nights and it was so peaceful. Our goal was to enjoy our honeymoon, not stress, forget about work, and real life, and simply enjoy in a peaceful yet fun environment.... and we definitely achieved all of the above.

We did the all-inclusive - so that is definitely the way to go... ;)

I recommend this place 100%. You will not regret spending the money. Trust me!!!

  • Stayed April 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 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 27, 2013
Congratulations on your new marriage on behalf of Sanctuary Cap Cana team!

Since undergoing new management we have been working closely with our staff to make certain our guest receives the highest level of service. I am very pleased to read your appraisal of our team, services and facilities and I know my colleagues will be equally pleased to learn of your kind remarks and recognition of their efforts to meet your needs.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of Sanctuary Cap Cana. We invite you back and perhaps we can host your 1st wedding anniversary!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesterfield
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We stayed here the first week in April, first night was put in a room that smelled like mold, complained, they sent someone up to clean the room, climbed into bed and the linens smelled like mold, next day got moved to a beautifull room and had 3 good days when I came down with food poisoning from the resort, we never left the resort, so it was definately from the resort. I spent the next 3 days in the hospital in the dominican, the day we were to leave we got back to the hotel packed our bags and the airport transfer wouldn't wait for us and left, the hotels way of solving that was to tell us to get a cab. Worse vacation ever, beware of the buffetts at night at the blue marlin, its just recycled food that didn't get eaten from lunch. Definately not a 4 star, more like 2 or 3. Could be beautiful, just needs some good management and better chefs.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, May 2, 2013
Thank you for your review. As you know the Sanctuary Cap Cana management team were aware of this situation and made sure that you were taken care of.

At Sanctuary Cap Cana we take pride on our hygiene, cleanliness, and correct food preparation; it because of this that we make sure all our culinary staff it’s certified and up to date with the proper procedures.

In good will, our management team gave you a great compensation package, which at the moment of receiving, you were very happy, surprised, and agreed on.

Again, we apologize for the inconveniences you experienced during your stay, and we hope you give us another chance here at Sanctuary Cap Cana.
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Houston
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

My bride and I are celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary here at the BEAUTIFUL Sanctuary Cap Cana! We just arrived a few hours ago and were amazed at the property and our room! We arrived a bit before 3pm, so we had a bit of time to kill...went to the Blue Marlin restaurant for a delicious late lunch. Conch Chowder, Cuban Sandwich, Ceviche and Grilled Chx w/veggies were FANTASTIC...oh, and the views are killer!

THE CASTLE is where our room is located and let me tell you, this place could be it's own resort! We went exploring and found more bars, nooks and crannies, secret passages, roof top swimming pools and places to lounge while looking out onto the Carribean 3 stories up! AMAZING. We have a swim up suite which is to die for! Perfecto!

First dinner was at the Wok, we had no reservations for the hibachi style tables so we ate out on the deck near a water feature and were impressed! So beautiful, full moon and the food was great! Don't pass up the Dominican Roll, warm Wakabe Salad or the Catch of the Day! We will go back to the hibachi style with reservations later.

So far, we are very impressed and we have been to 10 all inclusive properties (8 in Cancun and 2 in the DR). If you like surroundings that are similar to a mountainside Spanish village ON the Ocean with great pools, beaches, bars, restaurants and FRIENDLY STAFF, then get your butts over here! Can't wait for the next 6 days! More to come later, thanks Sanctuary Cap Cana!

Room Tip: Get a swim up suite in The Castle! Relax, the environment here is very chill! Staff is very friend...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 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 4
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 26, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments online while vacationing at your home Sanctuary Cap Cana. On behalf of our staff we wish you a Happy 22nd Anniversary!

We are thrilled and delighted to be creating such a wonderful experience for you. It is with great effort and enthusiasm that we work to make your vacations unbelievable.

We are glad that you are enjoying your vacations, and will be sad when you leave. Will be expecting you back soon!
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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 Business 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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