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“5 Star Treatment; Start to Finish”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #41 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“5 Star Treatment; Start to Finish”
Reviewed May 9, 2011

We arrived in the Dominican Republic and were quickly escorted to our transportation - booked via Apple Vacations. Very coordinated; had private transfer to resort. Resort is 10-15 minutes from airport in a beautiful and private area of DR.
We were greeted upon arrival with a very warm welcome from the entire staff in the lobby; cool towels and beverages were handed to us as we stepped into the lobby.

Check-In:
Check-in was a breeze - they stress during the entire stay that if anything is not to your liking to let them know immediately and they will rectify it - and they absolutely do! The manager even took time to come out and greet us and ensure we had everything we needed. We were driven by golf cart to our Castle Oceanfront suite - impeccable!

Accommodations:
Castle Oceanfront suite was 5 Star accommodations for a resort. During our trip there was some emergency work that needed to occur a few rooms down from ours and we were immediately relocated to an Oceanfront Villa - this is pretty much your own house on the beach. It was again, impeccable. Housekeeping was very good and always timely.

Dining:
We had lunch at the Seafood Restaurant each day - you had a buffet AND an al a carte option which was substantial for a lunch menu. All meals here were excellente!
The Wok restaurant was good; we wanted to be seated at a hibachi station, but we arrived at a time when there wasn't any avaialble, so we sat outside which was turned out to be even better!
Steakhouse was delicious - great cuts of steak and good side selections. Atmosphere was great as well
Capriccio (Italian) was excellente as well. The decor is gorgeous here and the food was even better
Pool bar was great - we love Mario and all of the bartenders/servers here. Very friendly and always made sure you had a cool bottle of water, enough towels, and something fruity to drink!
Love Bar always had great entertainment

Service:
I can not stress enough how amazed I was with the customer service at this resort. From the moment we stepped foot on the property to the moment we left, it was 5 star experience all the way. We have stayed at resorts across the world and this was the best experience with customer service by far. Mario, Frank, Riccardo, Keyla, and all of the servers in the restaurant and the housekeeping team - we will be returning and hope you are all still there. You all made our trip truly something to remember.

We have stayed at other secrets resorts - all of which have been amazing - but Cap Cana was by far the best resort so far out of the pack. We look forward to returning. If you are contemplating staying here, don't wait any longer and book immediately. This resort is gorgeous, provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway, and has a top notch staff to ensure all is perfect! Thank you to the entire Cap Cana team for making this trip one to remember. Hope to see you all again soon.

Room Tip: Castle Oceanfront Suite or Oceanfront Villa
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank NJTravel16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2011

This place is the best ever! Excellente! This was our second time here, last May being the first. We stayed 5 nights this time and did not want to leave when the trip was over! We initially were supposed to stay for only 4 nights, but couldn’t bring ourselves to leave and booked an extra night. We stayed in the ocean view junior suites and the room couldn’t have been nicer or cleaner. The beach and the grounds of the resort are absolutely breathtaking. The food at every restaurant is delicious. You will never find better food at an all inclusive – period. We never had a bad meal. The whole resort is incredibly beautiful. And now here’s the best part of all – as if all that wasn’t enough . . . The staff! They are truly the kindest, most gracious people I’ve ever met. We fell in love with all of them. They will make anything happen for you. I was just so impressed with each one of them. I would like to give a special mention to Javier the GM, Julio, Junior, Melvin, Bernardo, Eucibio, Hector, Santa, Usher, Aramis, Frank, Willie Wonka – you are the best. I wish I could mention every single one by name. Honestly, the employees impressed me the most, and, trust me everything at this resort is impressive. We will definitely return, hopefully very soon. Thank you for everything. - Maria & Lucio.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank MaryD111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TX
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2011

I traveled here with my husband and 3 other couples to celebrate my sister's birthday. I have to tell you that this hotel is beautiful. Cap Cana is kind of isolated but it is gorgeous and really has an upscale feel to it.

We arrived after a long flight to the resort about 2 PM. We had booked a castle junior suite oceanview. At check in we were told our room was not ready yet (that wasn't an issue since check in is not until 3). The big problem was that we were told while we were waiting for our room that we could talk to our "personal concierge" and then go have lunch. I thought this concierge would be able to arrange our golf tee times and excursions however I quickly realized that he was trying to get us to participate in the "VacationClub." I thought this was inappropriate and after being there for 15 minutes and lots of traveling I was not about to buy a time share. After an okay lunch at Blue Marlin we went to our room- Castle Junior Suite Ocean Front. The view from the room was beautiful however I was very dissapointed that the blinds were broken in half and I could not enjoy that ocean view from my bed. The floor was very dirty to the point that I wouldn't want to walk barefoot. I went and talked to the front desk manager (requested Marco Pena but never met or heard from him) and expressed my concerns over being harrased about purchasing the vacation club and my concerns regarding the room and was eventually upgraded to a Honeymoon Suite with private pool. I felt that management handled this situation appropriately and my trip going forward was perfect.

Rooms- I loved the castle. It was beautiful and the walk to the main pool was only a few minutes. The gym, spa, Wok and Ocean club are all in the castle. The Castle Junior Suites with ocean view are beautiful but if you want to splurge the honeymoon rooms with private pool are spacious and gorgeous.

Food- Food was pretty good. I enjoyed the Wok and Steakhouse the most. Never ordered room service. Make sure you order a Bernardo special drink by the pool.

Staff- This is the best part of the trip. The staff go above and beyond to make sure you are having a good time and that you have everything you need. When you ask for something they answer with "It's my pleasure." Special thanks to Willy Wonka, Frank, Bernardo, Ambiorix, Jenniefer, Annalyne and Jesus. The staff here is amazing and the main reason I would come back!

Excursions- We wanted to go shopping and told the concierge we wanted to go to more of a "market" and get local souveneirs. She sent us to Mundo Authentico which was the biggest waste of time and rip off- don't go there. We also did the Dune Buggy tour and would highly recommend. It was lot's of fun.

Spa- Beautiful - seemed pretty empty. Had a wonderful couples massage. When we booked our trip over the internet we were told that we would get a $200 resort credit. Just know that to get your credit you will have to talk with the vacation club folks once you get there.

Golf-Punta Espada is a beautiful course. You can get great twilight rates.

Overall we had a wonderful trip and would come back again. Having stayed at true 5 star hotels I would say this is not quite a 5 star hotel but it is beautiful and I would love to go back.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lovejones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salzburg, Austria
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2011

We Stayed for 10 days at this beautiful resort with the breath taking views of the Caribbean Sea as well as all the beautiful palm trees and foliage. I have traveled a few countries but this by far is the Most Beautiful I have ever seen! I was totally amazed from. A really breathtaking property with an awesome team.

Pro:
-small resort, with intimate atmosphere
-There was never a problem finding a chair at the pool or beach
-complimentary wireless internet at all public areas (Pool, Bars, Restaurant)
-for the restaurants, no reservations are required! awesome!
-excellente meals in every restaurant, I didn't eat one thing that I didn't enjoy
- the staff was always happy to serve us and willing to do their best.

*********************************** Thank you so much for everything what you've done for us, the F&B Staff, Entertaimentteam and the hostess were wonderful! Especially Borys Santos from Casa Bella and the Steakhouse, Junior from the Poolbar, Willy Wonka from the Entertaiment and many others, but I don't remember the names.***********************************

Contra:
- Rooms are not 5* quality, a bit musty smelling rooms, I truly believe it had not been cleaned, however after having the cleaning crew make several attempts, realized that it was as clean as it was going to get.Most days we had to wait until 4-5 pm. For a Hotel in this class, the cleaningservice is not really befitting. Please train this staff for more acurrateness
-the staff at the front desk should be a bit more politely, after a complain concerning our room at arrival we had no follow up from anyone of them, we had the feeling, that they ignore us until departure. We asked for a late check out, just 2 extending hours, the hotel was not fully booked, so I cant' understand why they want to charge 40$ per hour, for a resort in this category it should be self-evident, that it is complimentary
-the menucard for the roomservice should be a bit adapted, the choises for meals was not really satisfying

All in all, we definitely will be making plans to return someday! :-)

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank WebChr31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2011

We found out that Secrets Maroma Beach in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is the flagship Secrets so if you have been to that resort, you will be disappointed with this one.

It is smaller, not as organised, attention to detail is lacking and staff are not as attentive.

To summarise:

•Food is generally good, room service is not great but not bad either and all the restaurants are decent. We liked the WOK best, followed by Blue Marlin. Italian was the worst.

•Although there are 5 restaurants, they only open 2 a night so if the majority of people want to go to the restaurant you want to go to, you may find you are waiting for an hour to get a table.

•Service at the restaurants is not great. The waiters try but they don’t speak English very well and they are not properly trained. Examples are they served us ice cold red wine, gave our food to another table which that table ate so we had wait for our food even longer, one night we had to ask for our menus after being sat down at our table for over 20 minutes.

•House wine is decent so no real need to use the vouchers they give you to buy bottles of wine unless you want to.

•Concierge is generally not very professional. They are pushy, they forget (or chose to forget) to honour your requests and certain concierge members that walk around and sit down and welcome you to the resort are pushy. They will try to get you to attend a presentation which they mis-sell as a tour of the resort. It is not, it is a sales presentation for a time-share like package. They will say it is not a timeshare package, but effectively it is. You bulk buy your holidays for the next 20 to 30 years or you bulk buy a discount for future holidays over the next 20 to 30 years. Go if you are interested in such things or if you want the $200 spa voucher they give you for attending (whether you buy or not) but beware it will take up about 2 hours of your time and you will be sat around a table with one or two sales people selling hard.

•Spa was lovely – I used the $200 voucher and got a great massage and pedicure.

•Resort itself is beautiful but the beach is a little disappointing –small and we didn’t see anyone swimming in it.

•There is only one bar open at night, the Love Bar, it is ok and turns into a disco at 10.

•Entertainment is lacking. Despite having a timetable up for daily activities, a lot of them just didn’t happen, such as beach volleyball, bike rides, and snorkelling. Apparently there weren’t enough people willing to attend which seems strange given when we went the resort was about 80% full.

•It is not difficult to find a sun lounger as long as you are not getting up at 11, you will find a decent place to sit/lay both by the pool and on the beach.

•Waiters around the pool are very good. They are friendly and provide good service.

•Tipping was appreciated but not necessary. We saw that most of the Americans tipped but the Spanish speakers (about half of the guests of the resort) did not. We tipped at dinner if the service and food was really good and we tipped the waiters by the pool, beach and at the love bar. A dollar every round or two seemed to perfectly fine. Some friends we made never tipped except at the Spa and they got just as good as service as we did so I don’t think it matters too much but bear in mind these guys are working hard under the baking hot sun and don’t get huge salaries.

•You will however get better service if you speak Spanish – again staff do not speak good English at all which is fine as you are coming to their country but perhaps brush up on your Spanish.

•All in all not a bad resort, but we wouldn’t go back, nor would we recommend it. If you want to sample a secrets resort, go to maroma beach instead and if you want to go to DR and spend that sort of money, go to another resort.

Room Tip: see if you can get an upgrade!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank itacap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 5, 2011

We had a great time during our stay. The resort was bueatiful, the staff was friendly (my favorite was Willy Wonka), and the food excellent! We will definitely go back.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Balletshoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocala, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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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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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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