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“Very Relaxing” 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 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Burlington, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Very Relaxing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

We arrived on November 23, 2013 for a 7 day vacation, to a smiling reception and were given a cold towel and drink. From this point on, we were always greeted with a smile from the entire staff. It started with Hector, who had to listen to a tired cranky guy asking to change our assigned room even though we hadn't spent more than an hour in the room. Hector did offer to move us the next day to a different room. As it turned out, our original room (1001) was a Monarch beach front villa which opened up to a little used pristine beach that not many people from the resort knew about or utilized. Glad Hector was patient. The rest of the week, Hector always made a point of greeting us and asking how we were doing. Go Patriots!

The resort looks like an old Spanish village. The grounds were covered with flowers and always spotless. Enjoyed walking the grounds especially at night with the accent lighting. We thought the beach and pool areas were great and again always clean and well serviced.

We were in the all-inclusive package. The only problem with that is having to sign a receipt for every drink/meal. I understand this is because there are guests who are not on an all-inclusive package. Really not that big of problem.

The resort's restaurants were good and were open on a rotating basis. This was never a problem
for us because there were always 2 or 3 open every night. We met a great waiter by the name of Kelvin, who was always friendly, helpful and willing to coach us on our Spanish. The other servers were also friendly but I don't remember all of their names. We enjoyed the Blue Marlin, Steak House and the Wok.

The bars were well stocked with top shelf liquors and friendly bartenders and waitresses. We would like to thank Bernardo, the bartender in the Love bar. He really helped make our vacation fun. Ask him to make you a refreshing drink and you will enjoy what he comes up with.

Overall we really enjoyed our time here. We were looking for a relaxing week and that is exactly what we got.

Make sure you take the walk past the Castle to the public beach. Great water and with the music playing and the waiters bringing you whatever you want, truly a Caribbean vacation spot.

Also, if you take a taxi to the Marina, walk down to the beach area and find the beach bar. Ask for the Mango drink. They cut up fresh mango in front of you, put it in the blender, and then add the rum. Great drink, great beach. Have the bartender call for the taxi before you leave. It's a great experience.

Room Tip: Monarch beach front villa's 1001, 1002 and 1003 are ground level walk out to the quite pristine...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

First of all I would like to thank you for having shared your impressions.

I feel proud and grateful to hear that your experience with us left a memorable impression on you and your family.

At Sanctuary Cap Cana we have a commitment to provide quality service beyond our guests’ expectations, and it is a real pleasure for me to hear that we have achieved our goal. This definitely strengthens our philosophy of seeking the highest level of excellence.

Thank you for the great review and for recommending our hotel to future travelers.

We look forward to your next visit.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,384 reviews from our community

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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 (695)
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English first
Hoboken, New Jersey
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

We booked this trip off of a last minute Groupon, so what we paid for a 5 night all-inclusive stay was fair. From all of the raving reviews here on Trip Advisor, we were definitely expecting more of a 5-star resort, however their were pros and cons to the whole vacation.

Food - I'll start here because this was where we were most disappointed. The only enjoyable meal was breakfast, even though it was a small buffet. You could get an omelette and their smoothie bar was good, but the cheeses and fruits seemed to always have flies all over them. I can honestly say the most I ate all trip was probably breakfast since it was simple toast, butter and an egg. The first day for lunch I tried a "chicken burger" at the grill station which tasted like canned tuna fish and was absolutely disgusting. The next day we tried to order a BLT from the pool, and mine only had the L&T on it, and the woman next to us only got cheese on hers! The lunch buffet in Casa Bella had very limited options, and I could only eat the lettuce there. On the last day we tried lunch at Blue Marlin which was finally decent.. we had the conch chowder, tomato gazpacho, and red snapper which were all good options.

Dinners were OK, but the Blue Marlin (tuna) was terrible.. and I couldn't finish the rest of my meal. My boyfriend's steak was so chewy you couldn't even get it down. This is much better for lunch. The Italian place was fine if you want bread, plain pasta and pizza. Wok (the Asian place) was good the first night... probably my favorite meal there! But when we returned a second night, we waited over an hour for our apps and food, which ended up being so salty it was almost inedible. Last night we did the Steakhouse which we both enjoyed....except we both had mild food poisoning the next morning. If you're a foodie - this is not the place for you. We walked to the public beach next door and actually bought lunch..which was 10x better than anything I saw or tried at the resort.

Rooms - We were in the Oceanview Jr. Suite and really enjoyed it. I saw a bunch of people saying they had issues with their rooms, but we waited 1.5 hrs to check in which wasn't a big deal. There is definitely a shortage on the housekeeping restocking the soaps, and towels, so definitely let the front desk know if there is a problem.

Pool/Beach - I was pretty disappointed with the beach. It was extremely small and very rocky, but nonetheless it was beautiful. We ended up staying at the pool everyday - but you need to be there before 9am if you want to get a good chair. If you want a nice beach, walk next door to Juanillo beach.

Entertainment - We weren't looking to do much, however there is very limited night time entertainment here. 2 nights we were there were karaoke nights in the hotel bar, which were fun - but definitely awkward at first. There was a Dominican dance night, and then a bon-fire which was a little lame.

The hotel staff was very nice, always said hello, but the vendors at the pool were so incredibly pushy you were trying to avoid walking in their direction. You just want to relax on vacation and not be hounded by people who want you to buy things. We had to wait long for drinks at the most part, and signing the checks everytime was pretty annoying.

All in all - it was a nice and relaxing vacation since we spent most of the time in the sun, but it definitely had it's downfalls. Make sure to ask for premium liquor in your drinks or they'll give you close to nothing. We've had much better food experiences at all-inclusives before (mexico particularly), so I probably wouldn't return to the DR in general.

Hope that was helpful!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

I would like to extend you our most sincere apologies for any difficulties you may have experienced during your stay.

I must say that in general our guests perceive our services as an excellent. Nevertheless, I am sorry that your experience was not what you expected. I assure you that the managers of the various departments involved have been informed of your particular observations and we assure you that we will be working on it and are under review for improvement.

Once again thank you for share your experience, and if you decide to give us other opportunity, we will do our best to change your first impression.


Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

This was an amazing vacation. Very friendly and great people. Location amazing, food is great. We stayd in the room 2047 what a great room.
Also Hector was very helpful and an amazing manager.
Thank you for a lovely vacation

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

I would like to thank you for extending us your kind compliments about our property. It is a pleasure to know all your expectations were exceeded. Our main goal is the total satisfaction of our guests, and we are very glad to read that we accomplish that goal during your stay.

We look forward to see you soon at our Sanctuary!

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milford, Connecticut
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

I traveled to Sanctuary with a friend a few days after Thanksgiving. I really wanted to love this resort but there are few things that fell short of our expectations. Here are our pros and cons list:
Pros:
*The resort was at full capacity and still felt like it was empty. There is so much space at the pools, beach and restaurants you never felt like you were in a packed resort.
*Samuel- the only waiter we even got to know by name was very helpful and provided great service.
*The food in general was overall better than some other all inclusive resorts I have traveled to. The Steakhouse and Italian restuarant had the best meals. The Blue Marlin (seafood) was tasty at lunch but really missed the mark for dinner and not only for us but also for the couple sitting at the table next to us.
*The grounds and pools are beautiful and very tranquil and quiet for the most part.
*You never had to wait long for a food or drinks

Cons:
*We had to wait for over 2 hours to get into our room because they were still cleaning and the prior people checked out late, which really set the tone off poorly as we had to keep going back to the lobby to check in. Finally after the third time and sweating to death in our winter clothes we asked for any room and our luggage to change and finally got some help.
*The room was okay, but the floors were run down, toilet seat broken and leaking (which took 3 calls to get fixed), the sliding door was hard to open and close, the room smelled musty, the alarm clock was broken, the tv is not visible from the bed area in the jr ocean view suite and there is visible wear on the furniture.
*SAND FLIES on the beach! Beware. We got eaten alive. And on our 3rd day they drove around spraying pesticides everywhere.
*It seemed some couples were treated a little better than others, which didn't really bother me as much since we were just friends looking to relax but I wondered if they thought we were a couple and were uncomfortable approaching us.


Tips:
*The taxi to and from the airport is $30, make sure you get them to agree to that upfront before getting into the cab.
*To get prime seats at the beach or pool you need to get down there before 8am.
*Bring bug spray for sure, especially for the beach area.
*This is really a couples resort. There were not any other groups of friends we saw there and very few families.
*There is no nightlife at all here. So bring games, deck of cards or something to entertain yourself if you don't go to bed at 9pm.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, December 14, 2013
Dear guest,

I would like to apologize for any inconveniences that you may have experienced during your stay with us. As you may know, guest satisfaction is our top priority and therefore we are very concerned with the fact that we did not impress you with some of our services.

Thanks for sending along your feedback about your stay. Our Maintenance department is working diligently and has corrected these issues as well. We hope to have you back so we can show you the improvements.

We would love to have the opportunity to host you in the future and regain your confidence; at this way we could improve this last experience and transform them into a holiday full of magic.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything at all I can do for you.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager
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Oceanside, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

Beautiful resort just 15 minutes from the airport.upon arrival the hotel was breathtaking, looks like a European Castle. When we went to check in we were greeted very warmly by one of the managers Hector and Enrique. We were 2 couples and he treated us like family. We told Hector we had just celebrated our anniversary and he immediately upgraded us to a beautiful suite with a pool in the room and ocean front deck. The restaurants were amazing!!! Every night Hector checked with us to ask where we would like to have dinner and made sure we were happy. The service couldn't be better. The pools were beatiful the atmosphere was relaxing and the entertainment was a nice surprise after dinner. My husbands birthday was on the day we were leaving, Hector set up a surprise private dinner on the beach on our last night. Dinner for the four of us with our own waiter Eddie, Good food Good Wine Good service, best Birthday ever!!!! We can't wait to go back!!!

  • Stayed November 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.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of Sanctuary Cap Cana.

I am delighted to hear about your recent experience at Sanctuary, as well I would like to thank you for having taken some of your valuable time to write your impressions.

Exceeding the expectations of our guests and offer truly exceptional experiences is our goal. We know that in order to achieve this it is necessary to provide good service and attitude; therefore I am proud to hear that our staff went above and beyond in their effort to fulfill all your needs.

Thank you for the great review and for recommending our hotel to future travelers.

We look forward to your next visit.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

A friend and I went on a girls getaway for 4 nights in November (we booked through Jetsetter).
We ended up upgrading our room (the "partial sea view" promised was no where to be found in the first room they showed us, but they provided a discounted rate on the upgrade). Best decision we made! We had an ocean view suite with private plunge pool in the Fortress (no kids) area of the resort.
Pros:
The room was gorgeous, the views were amazing, the pools were amazing (clean, good chairs/towels/umbrellas) and the property overall was just lovely. It was relaxing & quiet (no kids area was definitely the way to go for us) and dining on the veranda was lovely.

Cons:
We opted for the all-inclusive (definitely the way to go to make a resort visit like this simple and cheaper). No wrist bands, but you did have to sign the $0.00 check after every meal/drink -- this got a bit tiresome, but fine. The food was only OK. I wasn't expecting it to be 5 stars, but I would give the food at 2.5/5. Breakfast buffet was the best meal of the day (omelette & smoothie bar), but I think I had a burger for lunch 4 days in a row due to lack of great options. There were a number of dinner restaurant options - the best of which was the "asian fusion" spot called The Wok. The Hibachi bar wasn't bad, but all dishes tasted pretty much the same. Basically, don't come for the food -- come for the beaches, amazing water & pools.
There are lots of staff available all the time, but I would say the service was "uninspired" - it never felt like they were going out of their way to make things easy and special for us. (ex. we wanted to order room service to the pool - which was right next to our room - and we were told we couldn't because room service only goes to rooms, we waiting in line for about 15 min to check in, waited about 2 hours for our room to be ready (after we requested upgrade) and waited a ridiculous 25 min to check out on our last day. There was definitely no rude staff, just nothing special in the service.

All in all we got what we wanted: an affordable, easy vacation to a STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL spot with lovely, clean facilities and a very relaxing time. The food and the service could have been better.

Room Tip: Fortress rooms have a "no children allowed policy" I'd opt for that to avoid noisy kid...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear Guest,

First of all, we would like to express our gratitude for sharing your observations about your recent vacation at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

I am very pleased to know that you had a wonderful stay with, At Sanctuary Cap Cana is our PASSION to provide the best guest experience to make them feel at home!!!

Concerning your comments and recommendations, we have a strong commitment on continuous improvement; therefore your comments are very important to us, it is the only method that we can improve our service and knows better your preferences. Your notes have been sending to the departments involved in order to work on it.

Hope to see you soon in this your Sanctuary!

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager
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Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

When we booked our trip the hotel was in the midst of changing management companies and therefore the hotel was underbooked. This made it trult spectacular as it seemed that the staff outnumbered the guests. The pool was fantastic and the beach past the Fortress was truly stunning. Food was excellent, we ate lunch every day at the Blue Marlin overlooking the ocean and truly enjoyed the view. Dinner was good in all of the restaurants as well. Room was fantastic with a great ocean view. Quiet as it is it was a perfect getaway hotel.

  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear Guest,

I would like to thank you for extending us your kind compliments about our property. It is a pleasure to know all your expectations were exceeded. Our main goal is the total satisfaction of our guests, and we are very glad to read that we accomplish that goal during your stay.

We look forward to see you soon at our Sanctuary!

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager
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 Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 Luxury 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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