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“Great Resort for a Honeymoon”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #41 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Ocala, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Resort for a Honeymoon”
Reviewed May 5, 2011

My wife and I stayed 6 nights for our honeymoon and did not want to leave when the trip was over! It was the perfect, getaway right after a wedding. The beach and the grounds of the resort were absolutely beautiful. It was extremely relaxing, as the staff was constantly at our service any time of the day, while we were on the beach, in the room or in a restaurant or bar. The food at all of the restaurants was incredible and the views from 2 of them were amaizng. We ate at every restaurant more than once and never had a bad meal. The staff was extremely friendly and the rooms were perfect. There truly wasn't anything I would change for a honeymoon trip.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank yancey_ck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jacksonville, FL
Level Contributor
210 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2011

This was our second visit to Secrets Sanctuary. Last year we had a less than stellar experience for the $900 per night we paid, and the management offered us a deal to come back as they had just taken over the resort and were making many changes. We decided to give it another try. We were SO glad we did!! The resort has made HUGE improvements since our visit last February! The spa is new, the gym is new and both are much larger and nicer. The Ocean Bar in the Fortress building is open now, we loved that there were pool floats at all the pools now, the service was improved, the consistency of food and drink was much better and our all around experience was much more in line with what you expect when you are spending that kind of money. I will say that the Private Honeymoon Pool Suites are worth every penny; your experience will be much different than that of a regular hotel room. We spent much of our time at our private pool, and the Ocean Bartender would even run drinks down to us at our pool! Thanks Thomas!!! We will definitely be back, and for those who complain about the hotel beach, you MUST go on the other side of the Fortress Building to Juanillo Beach because if you don't think that is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, then you are really crazy!! :)

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank DHancock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2011

This place was awesome. It was not over crowded, the staff could not have been more pleasant and helpful. The food was great every night. There are several restaurants (each one is not open every night though) and they were all delicious. The swim up bar in the main pool was great. The staff wanted to fill your drink back up before you could finish it. I would go back to this place anytime.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank tt118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2011

Very beautiful resort, buildings, rooms, restaurants, lounges, beach and pools all absolutely wonderful.
This was a special occasion for our engagement. What a great romantic resort. Our room had the swim out pool and was very elegant. Room service took sometime & forgot items on a few occasions. I think it was just miscommunication.
Staff were always friendly greeting with a smile. One particular employee that we will not forget is Willy Wonka. This young man was quite helpful throughout the duration of our trip. Not only to me and my fiance but others we meet talked of him as well. One day when we were playing volleyball a guest was hurt. We inquired about him a few days later & said he went to see him at the hospital during his break and he was doing well! My fiance and I could not believe that he took the time on his break to check on a guest. Now that is a employee that should be acknowledged for his exceptional work ethic! Another individual that was helpful was a female conceiger, unfortunately I do not recall her name. She was great assisting me with a trip to town to shop the local shops. When I visit another country I like to experience the culture so I did not want to go to a shopping mall.
Enjoyed the lazy, relaxing days on the beach nice and peaceful and if you want a little more excitement try the pool area. More activities going on there.
Food was great, especially the Marlin restaurant out over the ocean!
May consider Secrets for the wedding!
I am sure my guests will love it!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank TinktheTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2011

This was the most beautiful place. The beach was gorgeous and clean. Secrets staff was top notched especially Willy Wonka. Willy was friendly, outgoing, and helpful. He was knowledgable of the area and went out of his way to answer any question we had. Not to mention his english was easy to understand.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank donieky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2011

We went to Secrets for our honeymoon and had an excellent time. Vacations are never perfect but this place was beautiful and the service made our trip. We stayed in a castle junior suite ocean front. The view was amazing! When we arrived the room did smell musty and it was very damp. I think all the rooms in the castle part had this smell. However, by the second day, we didn't even notice it anymore. The room was very nice and the view and privacy we had made up for it. We had no issues with hot water or bugs either. We had a nice porch to sit out on and read our books with a great view. They had all the major networks on tv in English but a few were in Spanish.

The food was good but not great. However, we just chalked it up to being in a foreign country and eating bulk service food. We did really like the breakfast at Casa Bella and lunches by the pool were pretty good too. The fruit tasted great! The dinners were not great, similar to eating at the longhorn versus the capitol grill. This was a little disappointing but we didn't let it ruin our trip. The scenery at the blue marlin was amazing and our favorite place to eat dinner. Get there early so you get a good table.

The main pool was the best part of our trip. The waiters there made hanging out by the pool our favorite activity. Yes, if you tip you'll get preferred service but being nice and friendly to them goes even further. We befriended Aramis and he was the best server out there and the most outgoing and friendly. If you treat them good they will treat you very good. I cannot stress that enough. We had no problems tipping them extra if they delivered services above and beyond. Jose was also excellent at the pool. We could not believe that anyone would write that the staff there were not friendly. That was what we raved about the most. Every staff member there said hi with a nice smile and gave us whatever we needed. Communication was an issue at times because of the language barrier but just be patient and speak clearly. Remember that you will be in a Spanish speaking country and English is not their primary language. If you learn some common phrases in Spanish prior to going that would be helpful.

The one thing I personally did not like was when the flea markets were there. They camped out right by the pool area and were relentless in trying to get you to buy stuff. They're very good and making you feel guilty for not purchasing anything and they definitely try to sell high. A recommendation is to look everything up online prior and then tell them what you're willing to pay for the item, especially for the Rum. You can find prices for Dominican Rum online and they do have free internet in the rooms and in the lobby area. Review custom laws regarding transporting back to US before buying. I appreciate everyone trying to make a living so I would suggest to the resort that they set up their stands by the other stores and not by the pool. It was too distracting and you were haggled while sitting out by the pool trying to relax.

Other people we would like to acknowledge are Juan Jose our concierge, Teresa from the Spa, and the waitress at the Love bar whose name I cannot remember. They did a good job and were pleasant and helpful.

If you do go to the spa ladies, skip the mani/ pedicures. They are expensive and nothing like what you get in the US. Spend your money on the massages!!

This was our first resort trip so we didn't have any other place to compare it to but we had an excellent time, the weather was perfect, the resort was not super busy, and the views/setting were amazing. I almost forgot to mention Juanillo beach. It's a public beach right next to the resort and it is amazing! It's the most beautiful beach I've ever seen and we took a walk there each morning and got some great pictures. Beaches there are different then the US. No shells and seaweed but the sand is white and very soft.

If you pick this resort you'll have a good time, great views, make new friends and overall have a relaxing trip.

Room Tip: You must get an ocean front or ocean view room.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kajung24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porto Alegre
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2011

My husband and I went to Secrets in our honeymoon. The hotel is extremely beautiful, but we had many issues with the hotel service, which was just horrible. The food was ok, nothing extraordinary. Blue marlin was the best restaurant and the steak house the worst. The rooms were clean, the spa was perfect and the hotel was beautiful. It is really expensive especially considering the poor service that it is offered. I will list below some of the issues we had.

1- Room. We booked a room with partial ocean view with a honeymoon package. We got to the hotel really tired from our trip and they made us seat with a concierge who gave us many discounts coupons and some wrong information about our honeymoon package. It was really unnecessary, I thought e would show us the hotel, but he didn't, nobody did. Well, after that, they took us to our room without our luggage. We got there and there was a "happy anniversary" sign at the door (which was obviously wrong, it should say honeymooners like in all the other doors), there was no flowers, no champagne (like our honeymoon package included) and a view to a parking lot! After complaining for 2 hours, some tours to rooms, including a person who worked in the reception and could not find the room he was supposed to show us), they gave us a nice room with an ocean view.

2 - Orlando (guy who works at the reception desk): don't believe this guy. He lied to us many times and never complied with whatever we asked. Here are some of the issues we had with this specific employee:
- when we asked why we didn't have the honeymoon package he said it was because we got the the hotel before 3PM. Can you believe it? And we got to the room 10 past 3, because everything is just soooo slow there
- we order something in the room with him (because the room service would never answer the phone) and he never sent it
- we asked him to book a shuttle to take us to the airport the day we had to leave and he never did. We got there and there was no shuttle.

3 - Room Service. Is the worst ever, really unbelievable how bad it was. We order 2 hot dogs and a champagne and after 40 min they delivered 6 beers. I t took another 40 min to bring us the hot dogs and a warm champagne. We order ham and cheese in the room and some bread (when we had the breakfast in the room) and it took 40 minutes to bring only the ham and cheese.

4- Service in general. All the employees pretend they speak English, but they don't. It ends up you speak and ask something and they never bring it to you. The employees, including concierges, know nothing about the hotel. They always give you wrong information about everything (restaurant hours, dvd, hotel activities).

5- Snorkeling. There is an amazing beach next to the hotel where you can do some snorkeling. Well, there was a "snorkeling tour" scheduled in the daily activities, but we got there and there was nobody. After 20 minutes, we found a guy that would give us the snorkeling equipment and tell us we wouldn't be able to see anything.

6- Romantic Dinner. After complaining with the hotel manager, Marco Penha, about all the problems we had so far, he gave us a romantic dinner. They gave us 2 options of menu (where said we would have concha e touro champagne which we thought is really good, considering that the hotel champagne was too sweet). Well, we got there and they had set the dinner in the wrong place and offered us the regular champagne. When we asked, they had never heard about the concha e touro champagne. It is really not worth paying for this dinner.

7- General problems: they gave us a cell phone to talk to the only "good"concierge they had, considering all the problems he had, and the only time we tried to call her, she didn't answer; they didn't really replaced everything when they cleaned the room, for example, one day there was only one towel, they never replaced the coffee cups we used; the concierge told us we would have a dvd in our room, because she believed they had one in every room, but we didn't, when they brought it to the room, the dvd player, the guy looked at us and ask for the remote control of the dvd player HE had brought and said it would not work if WE didn't have.

8- Bribery. We noticed that even we got to the beach really early we couldn't get the best seats in the shadows. Well, we saw in our last day that one of the employees reserved the best place to one of the customers, which is not allowed.

9- Rooms. Be careful we you decide to go there when booking your room. We booked the junior castle suite with partial ocean view. We found out that none of the junior castle suites has ocean view.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank lb_PortoAlegre
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 by AlSol

Property: Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
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
#13 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol 5*
Number of rooms: 174
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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