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“Resort takes your breath away!” 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
Deerfield Beach, Florida
2 reviews
“Resort takes your breath away!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed today NEW

My husband and I stayed at Sanctuary Cap Cana or our honeymoon in July 2014. We chose Sanctuary because of the reviews we read here on Trip Advisor and the beautiful pictures we saw online.

The flight from Miami was quick and easy, we arrive in Punta Cana in less than two hours. The airport in Punta Cana was outdoor with a thatched roof and has a nice charm. You immediately felt like you were in the tropics and on vacation. You have to go through immigration and pay the $10 tax, then you get your bags and go through customs. We were stopped at customs and grabbed a cab right out front. $30 and twenty minutes later we were at the resort. Heads up, the airport loses its charm when you leave...you have to go through immigration again! Which took almost an hour in a super long line of grumpy, hot travelers. The airport has no air conditioning, again thatched roof. We thankfully got there early so the wait didn't affect us. You have to walk through all the stores before you get to your gates. About half of the gates are in a semi air conditioned area but not enough chairs for everyone. When you go through the gate you have to wait outside for a bus to take you to the plane. I have never been happier to board a plane then when we were leaving Punta Cana.

We booked the Monarch Ocean Front Villa because we wanted something a little private and romantic. The resort's website does not have that many pictures of each individual suite, if they had we would have booked something different. We checked into our room around 3 and there was two men from maintenance trying to repair the exterior door off the bedroom. They left and we tried to open the door so we could use the back porch and it fell right off the hinges. They came back and worked on it for another hour and it barely hung on so we just didn't use it. Room was updated and beautiful, bathroom and shower very modern and tropical. The view was lackluster though. We could see the ocean but people were walking by our porch and lawn workers were right outside as well. Not as private or close to the water as we had hoped.

The second day we went to the Front Desk and asked to see alternative rooms. We chose to move to the King and Queen Honeymoon Villa which was so much nicer. We had almost double the amount of square footage and a massive deck right on the water which was amazing. We did not need all the extra room but it was a nice plus. The villa has a thatched roof so it stays a little warmer than a normal hotel room would but it was fine. The bathroom is outdoor and one morning we were greeted by a crab! Made us laugh. We scooped him in a trash can and put him outside.

I agree with what others have been saying about the food. Buffet breakfast was wonderful and had lots of options. Italian place was okay, steakhouse was our favorite, sushi was okay, but the Blue Marlin was our favorite. We went there for lunch and dinner a couple times. We did end up getting very sick on our fourth day there, we think from the water or something was bad we ate. We did drink the water from the jugs at the restaurants before that. We were sick for five days until our doctor at home put us on antibiotics. So our advice would be to not drink the water from the restaurants, or salads and to avoid the ice. Also, don't brush your teeth with the water! We did that too.

We spent the majority of our time at the pools and went to Juanillo Beach once. We loved the weather and the pools and wanted to be outside as much as possible. There are many pools and we would suggest avoiding the main pool unless you want to be around kids and/or be nagged by the employees selling things around the pool. Very annoying. Our absolute favorite pool was the castle pool because of the view and almost no one was ever there! It was like our own private pool.

Overall, we loved the grounds and the resort. The views were spectacular and every single person we met who worked there was happy and nice. Even though they work very long hours. We would see the same hostess for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. The employee that we loved and raved about was Bernardo at the Love Piano Bar. He was funny and remembered us every time we came in. We made sure to always stop by and see him everyday.

Room Tip: Book in the castle for the most modern rooms and they have the best view.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (532)
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4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

If you are looking for a quaint spot for a quiet getaway, this is your place. The resort is absolutely beautiful and allows walk-up access to Juanillo Beach. We spent most of our time at the pools and the beach, which was very relaxing. The resort had various activities during the day to participate in: cigar tasting, beach volleyball, dance lessons, etc. However, there was not much of a night life at this resort. The food was also ok. We thought the hibachi grill was the best and the Italian restaurant a close second. Overall, we enjoyed our trip as the staff were very friendly and helpful. We were greeted with a cool towel and a fruit cocktail, which was a nice touch. If we needed anything, the staff responded in a timely manner.

Room Tip: The ocean view junior suite was a very nice room with a back patio. However, we did not have much of...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Richmond, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We stayed there November of last year. It was one of those spur of the moment, let's get away trips. This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic. The resort is a 30 minute or so ride from the airport in a fairly isolated part of Punta Cana. There isn't anything really close to it entertainment wise so the resort is your everything. Our stay was for a week, and looking back it should have been four days. There just isn't much to do.

The resort is very pretty. The landscaping is impressive, and looked very well kept. The staff was always helpful and polite. The room itself was a basic king bedroom, on a 0-10 cleanliness scale I gave it a 7. Room service is a plus. The food was basic, and after a week we were dying for something different. I highly recommend the grouper sandwhich. It was always good. The steak house and Italian restaurants are the best, with the Asian place coming in at a close third. The buffet was only good for breakfast. There were themed nights at the Blue Marlin that was cute and broke up the monotony. The pools were nice, especially the one overlooking the others. The pool bar does not know how to do a basic cocktail, and always for us at least served watered down spirits. I got 5 different versions of an amaretto sour. It was kinda funny.

Activity wise you can lounge on the beach. You can also walk to a beach that is maybe a 10 minute walk. Were they shine are the excursions. There are many good looking ones, and we chose the one where you see the local side of DR. That was the highlight as we sampled local food, cocoa, and went to a school. The ride can get very bumpy on that one so try to ride up front. Going to the the blue hole was awesome. It was FREEZING and there were lots of people there taking the plunge. To get there its a short walk through a forest so flimsy flip flops aren't a good idea.

Overall the resort to me is a solid three star. I thinks it's totally fine for a weekend. Only more if you are doing a lot of excursions, and it is your home base.

Room Tip: Try to get a higher floor.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We just got back on sunday eve from being at this amazing resort with three other families, the service was wonderful everyone was so friendly Raul one of the managers always took care of us no matter where he saw us. The pool bar was always happening Carlos, Jr , Julio and Margarita where always there, and of course cant say any less for Enrique another manager just on top of the game. oh and i cant forget to mention Menor he knows how to party. Thanks guys for an amazing vacation the resort is its own little town and the beautiful landscape is breath taking. Cant wait to be back real soon, We already miss all the staff. The Kondo's

Room Tip: must get the ocean font villas they are perfect.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We just got back from Sanctuary Cap Cana this past Sunday after spending 4 amazing nights there. My wife, her sister, brother-in-law and I wanted to go somewhere to celebrate my wife's 40th birthday where we could do nothing but relax.

Arrival at Airport: DR makes you pay a $10/pp tax to get in the country. Not that big of a deal, but kind of bush league I thought. Also, as apparently is the case with every Caribbean country, there are airport "officials" who start to take your bags for you as soon as their off the baggage claim and will shepherd you to their transportation company line. You need to decline these services if you've already arranged your own transportation, or they will be expecting a tip.

Check-in: Once we got to our correct Transportation company, the ride was only about 10-15 minutes from the airport. This was very nice. Once we got to the hotel, we were offered a drink and brought to the reception desk. The lobby is very beautiful with rustic looking columns and a fountain in the middle, but also has a pretty strong incense smell that was overpowering at times. Otherwise, everyone was nice, and check-in was very smooth.

Room: I thought the room was great. Some commenters have complained that their rooms were beat up. I didn't find this at all, other than the areas that are supposed to look beaten up - like the "distressed" tile floors. The bed was very comfortable and we had a nice balcony overlooking the pool and the ocean beyond that. If I had one complaint, it would be the showers. The water pressure was weak, and wouldn't get hot for about 5 minutes after it was turned on. Then it would get really hot, then really cold without you touching it.

Food: I was very nervous about the food after reading so many reviews complaining about the food quality. I would say it was very good. Not the best I've ever had, but overall I thought it was good. Unless they were going to hire a world-class chef, I'd expect the food to stay the same.

Pool: This was the best part of the resort. The water was the perfect temperature. Totally refreshing. Swim up bar was also nice. There were kids in the pool, but they all seemed to be well behaved (maybe because they were all European?). Otherwise, it wasn't too crowded. There was music going but definitely not a Vegas style pool.

Beach: As some others have said, there is tons of seaweed along the shore. They had guys shoveling it up pretty consistently, but when you first walk into the water your legs will get tangled up in the seaweed for the first 20 yards or so. Also the water churns up the fine-grained sand so it's not clear at all. We also loved having a cabana bed. We were able to snag one in the morning and essentially lay outside on it all day long.

Drinks: While there are your usual tropical selections, they must be putting next to no alcohol in the drinks. I'm a real lightweight, but I never felt buzzed at all after a few drinks. Eventually I had to order an extra shot on the side to dump into my drink. Even the beer (Presidente) seemed watered down.

On the whole, I would definitely recommend this place to anyone. I had some minor quibbles, but they were pretty minor. The tranquility you feel when you're at a place like this makes up for all of it.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Broken Hill, Australia
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

After a hectic few weeks with work, we needed to escape the city for a much needed relaxing weekend. So we booked this hotel through Expedia, no problem. Check in time is 3:00pm, we arrived Friday at 3:15pm, for two nights, to be told that the room was not quite ready, please go and have something to eat and drink in the restaurant. (we had paid in advance for the all inclusive) We were given the room number. The service to seat us at Casa Bella was good, but after that...forgotten. Food which had obviously been sitting since lunch time was terrible. Dry, dry chicken and salad. At 4:15pm we arrived to the room to find that the staff member was still making the bed and was there for 10 mins after we returned. The room looked lovely! My husband is insulin dependant diabetic. So insulin needs refrigeration. Put the insulin in the bar fridge, where there was beer, water and soft drink all included. Then I went to open the doors to the deck but couldn't get them open, asked my husband and he struggled but eventually got them open. Used the toilet, but the toilet wasn't working. Rang reception and they said they would send the maintenance man. While I waited for him, my husband headed to the pool and the pool bar. I would meet him there for a drink when the man was finished. Maintenance man came and he was very good! I go to the pool. My husband is on one of the sun lounges. He said that he had been in the pool at the bar but couldn't get served, so got out and went around the back of the pool bar to order himself a drink. Then went to get a towel, there weren't any. He asked a man who pointed to a female staff member, he asked her and she said give me 10 minutes. Finally he got a towel. The same female staff member then came by where he was on the sun lounge and asked him if he would like a drink? He ordered a scotch and soda. It never came. When I arrived some time later, he told me he was waiting on a drink he ordered ages ago. So I went to the side door of the pool bar to get our drinks, they had the back blinds down and some of the front ones, there were 2 male staff serving and 1 female staff leaning against part of the bar and chatting. She ended up taking my order and telling one of the male staff. Got my drinks went back to the sun lounge to relax, we were nearly finished these drinks when a female staff member comes to take our plastic glasses, then realises that she didn't bring my husband his drink, we know this because a)he recognised her, b) because she hit her head three times and went "oi, oi, oi!!" but no apologies and just wandered off, didn't ask if we would like another drink, given that we were nearly finished. By then the pool bar was closed. On the way back to the room my husband stopped by reception to buy 2 days of wifi, which he did. We went back to the room and go to have a drink, the fridge was not working, the drinks were at room temperature and the insulin was not refrigerated. Rang and ordered room service for a drink, since the others were hot. Rang reception, explained about the insulin, they would send someone immediately. No one came, I went to reception, they phoned the maintenance personal and they said they were on the way. Got back to the room, waited, no one came. My husband was so angry, and said that we will go home! But of course it is not safe to drive on these roads at night because of robbers. Went to reception again, they said they would ring the man in charge of maintenance, they did and he said he, himself, would come immediately. I told the man on reception that we were not happy and would be leaving the next morning and not staying until Sunday lunch. I explained why, the man said we should speak to the Service Manager. I said if the Service Manager is here early, okay but if not, then we won't be waiting around. Went back to the room to find a man working on the fridge. Thankfully! It was late so, we left the man working on the fridge and we headed towards the Steakhouse Restaurant, but first we decide to have a couple of drinks from "Love Piano Bar", the young man behind the bar on Friday evening was very good, happy, gave good service. We had our drinks in the courtyard between Love and the Steakhouse, and it was lovely, but we were already stressed from our ordeal. We were greeted by a lovely young lady at the restaurant and the rest of the staff at the restaurant were lovely, service was good and food okay. Chorizo and Calamari could have been served hot though. Bread stale. Steak was good though. On the way back from the restaurant I thought I should drop off my husbands business card so that either the Service Manager or Manager of the Resort could contact us. So I did this, and explained that if we are gone in the morning before they arrive, please have them ring my husband. The bed in the room was comfortable, the shower recess did not drain quickly. Go to get the insulin out of the fridge in the morning to go to breakfast and the fridge is still not working. Went to breakfast just before 7:00am. Breakfast staff seated us promptly, got our coffee, then we got our breakfast which was good! But had to wait some time before one of the 3 staff came close enough for us to ask for more coffee and there was two other tables with one person at each. Go to book out, the young gentlemen out the front who welcome you were very good and cheerful. The lady on reception wanted to charge my husband for the internet which he had already paid for. So there was an argument. Then we asked about the refund. We were told that Expedia would have to do the refund. We were off the property by 8:00am Saturday and back in the city by 10:15am. I emailed Expedia and they replied promptly, then contacted my husband via email on Monday and advised that they were not able to make contact with the Manager of the Hotel. And they need to do this to be able to give us a refund. We have not heard from the Manager or the Service Manager.

Room Tip: Check everything works before unpacking.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

We choose this resort to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. The service was impeccable! Top notch food and the staff was always friendly. Both David and Menor from the Entertainment staff stood out and made our stay that much better. I would definitely return and stay for a bit longer this time around. The one thing that's need more attention is the bathroom bathtub. Besides that, best experience ever.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.

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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 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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