My wife and I spent our honeymoon at Secrets Sanctuary from 3/27/11-4/3/11. We were very pleased with our stay!
Check-in: Upon check-in we were greeted with all smiles and cool towels. We arrived at the resort at 2pm and were in our room by 2:20pm (check-in is at 3pm). We were driven to our room and given a great overview of the resort. *A small disappointment was that we were not contacted by our concierge until our 3rd day there. While other staff are helpful and the concierge is only a phone call away, it would have been nice to contacted our first day.
Room: We stayed in swim-out room in the Fortress. As advertised, the room had direct access to a swim-out pool. The swim-out pool is not a slim “channel” of water like most swim-outs. The pool is pretty expansive. PLEASE NOTE, while the room was beautiful, most of the swim-out rooms have a ledge that extends out into the water our room however did not. We had direct access to the pool but in order to lay out in the sun you had to get in the water. Most of the other rooms have the ledge. We tried to get another room but they told us they were filled to capacity. We were a little disappointed but it wasn’t a major issue. *I should note, when we requested a room change, Alexandra was very attentive and responsive to our concerns. She came over personally from the main lobby to meet us and offered us other options that weren’t in the Fortress.
We had fun in the swim-out pool and my wife actually enjoyed laying out on the floaties on the water. Our room was 1047. PLEASE NOTE, the swim-out room is on the side of the resort by the parking lot however you cannot really see it. If you stay in rooms 1045-1042, you’ll actually have a swim-out with a nice view of Juanillo beach in the distance (best of both worlds). Grounds/Décor: The grounds are very well kept. There are beautiful flowers and the grounds are well manicured. This place is absolutely breath-taking. Everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity. There are plenty of picturesque water views. The view from the Blue Marlin restaurant is phenomenal. It really feels like being trapped in a screensaver! The architecture is a Spanish colonial theme and the Fortress is quite a sight. The décor is contemporary and tasteful.
Food: We tried all the restaurants at the resort. I’ve been to other AI’s and I know food is often the Achilles heel for most of them. I thought the food here pretty good for an AI. My best meal was at the Steakhouse. It wasn’t exactly Smith and Wollensky but I wasn’t expecting that. It was a great cut of steak and prepared very well. We found the Italian restaurant underwhelming. (Why all Caribbean resorts insist on having Italian restaurants is beyond me. I’m yet to have had a good one). The breakfast is buffet style. Apparently reviewers have major issues with “limited breakfast options”. I’m confused with all the negative reviews about the buffet. The buffet has an expansive selection from bacon, eggs, and pancakes to fruits and pastries. They also have an omelet and waffle station. Breakfast also has a small menu option if you don’t want the buffet as well as a great breakfast room service menu. I found breakfast to be great. There are plenty of options. They even make fresh shakes “batidas” upon request.
Other than breakfast, I did not enjoy the room service food. Most of it tasted bland and microwaved. I would stick to the restaurants.
Activities/Atmosphere: The only activity we tried was the buggy tour. Its lots of fun but not for the faint of heart. The fitness center was on par with most other resort gyms. They did have a smith machine which was a nice plus if you’re into weight training. The evening entertainment was small scale but fun. This is a small resort (which is what makes it so special) so there is no grand theater or huge productions but they the entertainment team does a great job. There were dancers, singers, and magicians that all put on enjoyable shows. There is music and dancing at the love bar in the evening but don’t expect a nightclub atmosphere. Willy Wonka and Usher get people involved during the day with activities at the main pool. My wife and I stayed mostly at the Fortress pool where it was peaceful and relaxing. Whenever we did venture to the main pool we always met other friendly guests.
This resort is great but what really makes it great is the staff. You will see lots of rave reviews about the entertainment team and managers but the unsung gems are the waiters, hosts, housekeepers, and all the other support staff. Even the grounds and maintenance people will smile and say hello! The staff overall are simply topnotch. We had to put the “Ssshh” sign-up on our door only because staff would knock all day with fresh fruit, fresh flowers, chocolates, etc! Many of the waiters you see for breakfast are the same waiters you see for dinner. They work very hard! Tips are not necessary (and no one will ever gesture for a tip) but a few dollars from you is a huge blessing for them.
There are only 176 rooms at this resort. During our stay the hotel was at capacity but you could not tell by looking at the pools, beach, or restaurants. We never waited for a table and there were always empty places to lounge around.
SSCC was everything I wanted. They gave me the greatest honeymoon I could have ever asked for. We chose wisely. Thank you SSCC.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, BookIt.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, TravelUp, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sanctuary Cap Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Sanctuary Cap Cana Resort