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“Horrible Service and Commit FRAUD” 1 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
1 review
“Horrible Service and Commit FRAUD”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Overall, the sanctuary is in a beautiful location but the food and service are awful! I understand it's an all inclusive resort but the food is simply terrible. There is nothing that is edible at the restaurants except maybe the breakfast. Additionally, they scam you!! I was charged a $200 deposit or "hold" as they called it, upon checking in but what they told me was a "hold" was actually a cash advance charge! I was told that it as long as no damage was done, the hold would be released and we wouldn't see a charge on our card. Well, turns out they not only took a cash advance form my card but never refunded me! I tried challenging the charge and they claim that it's for services rendered. These people are scammers and liars. Don't trust them with your time or money. You will just be cheated out of it. STAY AS FAR AWAY AS YOU CAN.

Room Tip: The castle rooms were quieter but DO NOT TRUST THIS HOTEL
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (526)
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English first
Mount Holly, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

This resort was beyond expectation. The staff provided excellent service and they were very polite and courteous. It was very relaxing, offering quiet areas and other areas where you could interact with the other guests. There was much to explore and we did not see it all. I would definitely recommend the resort if you're looking to get away from the hectic day to day work schedule.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

My husband and I stayed at the resort for our 10 year anniversary in May 2014. The variety of restaurants was great. The nightly activities were also very enjoyable. Johanna Bernardo in the Love Bar became our best friend! Very kind and friendly. The only cons were that we booked through Expedia and when we got there, they did not have our room. We had to move our stuff the next day. If you are looking for quiet, romantic and relaxing this is a nice place to stay. If you are looking for a party-type atmosphere you will be disappointed. It is very far from shopping and other hotels.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

My boyfriend and I just returned from our trip to Sanctuary Cap Cana Resort. We cannot say enough about this resort and the amazing time we had. It truly is it's own paradise and we were blown away the moment we arrived. We have never been out of the country or to a resort of any kind, so this was a brand new experience for us both, and one we will always remember.

First, we arrived at Punta Cana Airport. This took some time as we had to be transported by transit (a quick ride) to the actual entrance of the airport. We then had to wait in line to buy the tourist card for $10. We were given papers to fill out on the plane, so we also had to turn those in. Then, after finding our luggage, we were stopped several times by people trying to sell us excursions and offering us "a free day trip to view their resort". Don't get sucked into this. One guy took 15 minutes of our time that was obviously a waste of time. Also, many of the men working their try to wheel your luggage for you. Definitely not necessary, but I guess that's how they make their tips. You don't need to let them - but being new at this, we were blindsided. We were able to get a cab quickly. It was, however, quite expensive for a very short ride to the resort - $30 for about 8 - 10 minutes.

When we finally arrived at the resort, we were greeted immediately and check-in was a breeze. We were shown to our room as they carried our baggage for us - this was nice since we didn't know where anything was yet. Once we got situated, we explored the resort to find out where most things were. We took quite a few pictures and quickly knew our way around. We met Enrique, Head of Service I believe, during our walk. He was extremely welcoming and friendly and gave us a few tips.

We were ready for dinner by 5:30, but dinner wasn't opened until 6:30. We also didn't realize that there are only specific restaurants open on certain nights - so be sure to read the newsletter they give you every day! This took us about a day to figure out. We ate at the Steakhouse the first night and it was very good. We got an appetizer to share, and they seemed confused that we were sharing an appetizer. We quickly realized why, because portions are much smaller. It seems just "normal" that everyone gets their own appetizer, meal, and desert! Guess that's the point of all inclusive! We also always got the house wine, as that was what was included in the inclusive meals. Brelin was our server and he was excellent!

The rest of the week, our option for breakfast was Casa Bella buffet. This was always wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed the french toast every day! Each day was pretty similar, however, they always had something new. I was expecting a big change in food, as many reviews I read said be sure to take immodium with you, however, we had no problems and most of the food was the same as the states - scrambled eggs, potatoes, fruit, pancakes, french toast, etc. We had Brelin as our server again, and he was just as excellent as dinner the night before.

For lunch, there were a few options - most days we just had the Beach Grill because it was right by the pool, but by the end of the week we were tired of burgers and hot dogs, so we ate at Casa Bella. It was fun to eat right on the beach or at the pool, so I suggest trying to Beach Grill at least once. You can also order from the Pool Bar. At the pool bar, Carlos and Miguel were always helping us. Miguel makes the BEST drinks and we just loved him! Menor and David were also at the pool making sure everyone was having a great time. We loved water aerobics the best! They also had games and competitions, as well as fruit carvings, and dance lessons and Spanish lessons.

Dinner was different each night and we had Brelin a few more times. He was our favorite server! Our favorite restaurant for dinner was probably the Steakhouse. The Italian place was also good, but portions were definitely even smaller there. We didn't have a chance to visit Wok. Blue Marlin was our least favorite. We won a romantic dinner on the beach at the Manager's Cocktail party. This was a fantastic time and we truly enjoyed the awesome dinner. The cocktail party was also fun and right at the pool - so I recommend going to that.

Night time entertainment was not that extensive. Usually we were calling it an early night. After dinner we hung out in the lobby and pool bar for a little bit. They had Dominican Night one night with Dominican dancers that were awesome. Two other nights we played bingo. Other than that, I would say night life is very quiet. There weren't many children and it was mostly couples.

If you're going to do any excursions, make sure you check those out very early on in your trip. We wanted to do Snuba, but didn't know they only did it three days a week, so we missed it and couldn't do it. They have other things you can take advantage of while you're there too if you want such as photo shoots. We took photos with parrots - which will be a nice keepsake of our trip.

When we go again in the future, we will definitely take many many one dollar bills. It was difficult to get change there, but were able to one time from one of the bell boys. We always tipped for dinner. Once in a while for breakfast and once in a while at the pool bar.

We also ventured to Playa Juanillo beach. There were only three other people there besides us, and they left soon after we arrived. The beach is beyond beautiful and just a 5 minute walk from the resort. They have chairs and tents set up. This beach is not included in the all inclusive and we were told it was a $50 minimum to buy food and drinks. We only stayed there for a short time because there was quite a bit of seaweed the day we went.

Overall, everything was absolutely fantastic. Housekeeping, however, was absolutely terrible and is concerning to me. They rarely ever gave us towels. We often had to ask. Some days we were left with no new washcloths or hand towels. This was difficult because the first day using the shower, the entire bathroom flooded. We told the front desk and they fixed it that day. It was completely fixed, however, and still got the floor all wet each time we used it, but was never as bad as the first day. It wouldn't have been that much of a problem, but as I said, we were often left with no towels - or just one - for two people.

Also, a few times ALL of our things were moved in the bathroom. We had our things organized where we wanted them on the sink and in the shower. EVERYTHING on the sink was moved over to one side and all scattered. Everything from the shower was also removed and placed on the sink. I'm not sure why this happened, but I do not believe any of our things should have been moved. This bothered me. Many of our clothes we had hanging on the hooks were taken down and folded too.

There was also a safe in each room, however, we brought a lock for one suitcase. Each day we placed all items we wanted kept safe in the suitcase and locked it each day. One day we forgot to lock the suitcase. I came back to find $140 missing from my purse inside the suitcase. I can assure you we did not tip housekeeping, as whoever stole my money already received a nice tip. I absolutely recommend that you take a lock or something with you to keep your things safe - especially your money. And don't forget to lock it!!

Overall, it was fantastic and we would definitely recommend it to all looking for a quiet, private, couples getaway.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cherryville, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This place is beyond words, we had the best honeymoon that anyone could ask for. Everyone was very helpful. I recommend this to everyone 100% From the Love bar and Paula to Raul and the rest of the gang 2 thumbs up. WE love u

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My girlfriend and I returned from this trip on July 6 after spending 4 nights at the Sanctuary. I wanted to take her there for her birthday. Although my standards are somewhat high, she is very picky. And she LOVED it!

We didn't even have one of the better rooms. We stayed in an apartment style room and wow the bed gave us a good night's sleep every night. As others have mentioned some of the furniture looked a bit frayed, but you know what? You're going to be spending so much time on the beach, in the ocean, or in the pools that you won't even have that much time to notice.

What made this trip stand out for me was the service provided by waiters and staffers such as Maria, Eddy, David, and Manuel. They were terrific. Having been to Cancun before I knew to come ready to tip the staff for good service and honestly, I still didn't bring enough money to tip as much as I would like. David does such an amazing job getting people engaged in the parties we went to and teaching the Spanish "class" by the pools. My man Eddy was so much fun to talk to and took sublime care of anything we needed.

I thought the food was mostly fine. The room service was slow and the food we ordered via room service was bland, but we enjoyed all of the food cooked in the general food area. What was really cool is that several times for breakfast, we saw some birds come to the table and "steal" sugar from the tables! So be sure and cover your food if you step away...

As mentioned before, I've been to a resort in Cancun, but Sanctuary blew it away. The settings are gorgeous and Spanish architecture is a thing to behold. We went to the get a massage and it was terrific...Veronica (I think that's her name) did such an amazing job. We made sure to tip them handsomely.

I had never gone into a hydrotherapy pool before and that was a revelation for me. I'll be checking that out wherever I can find it. Manuel had me and the guests playing beach volleyball and my muscles were sore afterwards. But after I had the massage and the hydrotherapy, I felt like a new man! LOL.

At any rate, my girlfriend was very pleased and did not want to leave by the end of our stay there. We'll be coming back hopefully in the next couple of years and we'll be looking for the folks we mentioned who had us feeling like family by the time we left. As an African American couple, it was great to see the waiters of African descent in the Dominican Republic and as we worked to make sure we saw them as human beings, they showered us with a great deal of affection. And I want them to know that we appreciate them and hope to see them again soon...

I came back to the States and a day later I had traveler's diarrhea, but I did drink the water on one occasion and let some pool water in my mouth...probably not a good idea! At any rate, even with "bubblegut" for a solid week after I returned, I'd still go back. Hopefully next time, it will be as husband and wife. :)

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westfield, New Jersey, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My wife and I stayed here June 21- June 26. I was getting nervous prior to leaving as it seemed for every good review, there was a horrible review of the property. Once we arrived, we were put at ease.

After you get thru customs, go outside and get a cab for $30.00. Walk past the porters at the luggage carousel. There are guys outside in pink shirts holding 'TAXI' signs. Also, before you leave, buy the tourist cards online. These are $10 per person and you can print them out and hand them in at customs. There was at least a 30 minute wait to buy these are the airport, so there is a significant time savings. The website to purchase the tourist cards does not support I.E., so you need to use another browser like Firefox.

We arrived and checked in quickly with no issues. We stayed in the castle on the second floor overlooking Juanillo Beach. The view was beautiful. The room was spotless and comfortable. The room did have some nicks here and there, but when people are staying there year round, this is to be expected. It was nothing that could not have been overlooked. We did not find the castle to be dark and not well lit as others have stated. The castle is about a 5 minute walk from the pools, restaurants and beach, but we did not mind it. You could always call concierge and they would send a golf cart to pick you up. Our room was cleaned every day, and the mini bar restocked. One day they forgot to leave bath towels, but we called and they were delivered within 10 minutes. That was the extent of our issues.

The grounds are absolutely immaculate. We have been to other resorts in the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Aruba and Mexico and Sanctuary by far had the most beautiful grounds we have seen. All of the pools at the resort are beautiful and not crowded. At times, there were only a handful of people in the pool in the afternoon. Never had an issue getting a chair by the pool. Our first morning there, I went out at 8am to play the towel game, only to find that every single chair was unoccupied. The chairs did not fill up until at least 10 am, and even then there were always some chairs available. If you wanted an umbrella, all you had to do was ask the attendant. The beach was a little small, but again, there were always ample seating. There are only 4 covered beach beds so you will need to get out early for those. There is some seaweed and turtle grass on the beach in the morning, but the workers are out every morning cleaning it up. The water at the beach is clean, calm and a beautiful turquoise color. We saw many schools of fish swimming by us daily.

We ventured to Juanillo beach on day, which is again a 5 minute walk from the resort. This is truly the best beach we have seen. You can put this beach on a postcard. Other than us, there were only 3 other people on the beach. If you want to walk on the beach, this is where you have to go. We did not eat at the restaurant on the beach (this is not part of Sanctuary). They have a bunch of chairs set up, but those are for bar/restaurant patrons only and you need to have a minimum $14 tab to use them. Further down, there are chairs available for use.

We found most of the food to be very good. There were some things that were not good, or different that what we would expect in the states, but you have to remember that you are in a foreign country and things are going to be prepared differently. The best restaurant was the WOK. If you want to sit inside at the hibachi tables you do need a reservation. You do not need reservations if you want to sit outside, but there could be a wait. The first time we ate at the WOK, we did not have to wait for a table. The second time, we were told there was a 45 minute wait, but it turned out to be 20 minutes. We found the food here to be the best. We had many of the appetizers including the Dominican rolls, spicy chicken rolls and shrimp tempura rolls which were excellent. The stir fry dishes and desserts were very good as well.

The steak house was our second favorite restaurant followed by the Italian restaurant. We had the mahi mahi and filet at the steak house which were both good. The fried calamari appetizer was a bit small, and had a different breading that what were are used to, but it was fine. If the portions are too small, you can always order more.

We felt the Italian restaurant was ok. My lasagna was good, but the seafood ravioli was not great. They serve two huge ravioli, but the actual filling is only about the size of a quarter. The pizzas here were good, and we ordered them as appetizers. The desserts were very good here as well. We talked to folks at the resort, and some liked this restaurant the best out of them all, so I guess it is just personal preference. We took into the fact that you really can't expect to get NY/NJ quality Italian food in the DR, but overall, it was not horrible. The food at Dominican night was also excellent.

The breakfast buffet was very good as well. There is an eggs station where fresh eggs are made to order. French toast and pancakes are available as well as pastries, cereal, and an assortment of hot items. It's not a huge Vegas style buffet, but just right for a resort this size.

Lunch buffet overall was good. Desserts were very good here too.

As for the drinks, our first day there, we had about 7 drinks each the first two hours and felt nothing. After that, I started ordering a shot on the side and poured it in my drink. Then the buzz started coming.

All of the staff were very friendly. There were only a handful of children which made for a quiet and relaxing stay. We are planning on returning next year.

On an additional note, I was told by one of the managers that they will be starting minor renovations at the end of August. Additionally, they are going to be knocking down the villas to the left and right of the resort and will be adding 100 new rooms. Not sure when this is schedule for.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.

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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
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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