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“Overall good, few hiccups”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #40 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
nc
Level 6 Contributor
317 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Overall good, few hiccups”
Reviewed December 26, 2011

Stayed here in June 2011. First of all overall this is a very nice hotel. We started out in the basic room which is just that, very basic, nothing special for the overall price. We decided to upgrade to a better room in the tower and were told they had an indoor jacuzzi. There was an indoor pool but it never got warm. We asked several times what was going on as there seemed to be no controls to turn it on, only when we left did someone tell us that it was originally designed to be a jacuzzi but they could never get them to work, but since it was inside and out of the sun, the water was ice cold and useless. This was the hiccup I was referring to but after several months and persistence from our travel agent, we did get our money back which I think shows the overall quality of this place to be excellent.

So for a more general review:
Food; overall good, but could be a bit hit or miss. This is an all inclusive so i never expect the food to be overwhelming, but it was overall good quality. favorite was the italian restaurant.

Service: very good, an occasional language barrier but I dont care about that as I am in their country. Everyone tried there best. Only complaint was service could be slow at main pool bar for a drink

Grounds: absolutely beautiful, beach really isnt a beach , but the public beach right next door is wonderful;

Night life; very low key, everything kinda dies down after 10,


Overall if you are looking for a nice quiet adult get away you cant do wrong here, next time we are going to stay at hard rock just because we like more night life options. We stayed at paridisus palma real last time and this hotel was very comparable, each had it pluses and minuses over the other.

Room Tip: i like the tower rooms the best
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank drrob2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, January 11, 2012
Than you for your review! Sanctuary Cap Cana is now part of Salamander’s exciting new Grand Resorts at Cap Cana collection. We hope to greet you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Durham, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2011

My husband and I just returned from a 5-night stay at The Sanctuary, and had a truly wonderful time there. As many have mentioned, the negative reviews made us nervous right up until we arrived. However, we decided to give it a chance and were so happy that we did.

The resort itself looks like a postcard, especially the area around the main pool. The grounds are beautiful, and we loved walking around and just taking it all in. Everything is immaculate and the landscaping is impressive. The staff are all so gracious - genuinely friendly and they just want to make sure you are having a great time. We loved the bartenders at the main pool, and the drinks were top-notch. They make a delicious margarita and mojito. The house white wine was also pretty good - better than I expected compared to other all-inclusives we have stayed at. Yes, the beach is small but it's beautiful - and it was really nice to not have a parade of people walking by all the time, as it is at larger beaches - we just looked out at the water. It was also refreshing not to have to play the "towel game" like we've had to at other resorts. There were always open chairs.

The quality of the food was important to us, and a big reason we chose this resort was the array of restaurants and the positive reviews of the meals. We have stayed at other all-inclusives where the food was very poor quality and comparable to a diner or chain restaurant in the US - not what you're looking for at a five star resort. Overall, this wasn't the case at Sanctuary. For breakfast at Casa Bella, they do have an omelette chef and a nice array of fresh fruit and pastries. They also have fresh squeezed juice (watermelon, pineapple, orange) that was delicious and refreshing. For lunch, we ate at the Blue Marlin every day. The view is unbelievable - seriously breathtaking. Overall, the food was good - the seafood was fresh and they have a nice variety. For dinner, the Blue Marlin was actually our least favorite - just "ok." We loved the Steakhouse (top-quality steaks, great sauces, great appetizers) and the Wok was also fantastic. I highly recommend doing the hibachi table, but you need reservations so make sure you arrange them with the concierge. The Italian restaurant was also good - the lobster ravioli was great. Room Service could use a little work - we ordered a chicken quesadilla one night that was terrible.

We went to the Love Bar most nights, and enjoyed the entertainment. We also loved dancing everynight - the DJ is great! We met alot of really wonderful people, and had so much fun. However, I wouldn't recommend this for anyone looking for a big party place - most nights the bar was emptying out by 11/11:30.

We stayed in the Fortress, and our room (2056) was great - wonderful view and the only place that smelled musty was the walk-in closet. A few people that we met did say their rooms smelled a little musty. I packed a candle just in case, or bringing a small room spray might be a good idea.

Since nothing is perfect, we did run in to two situations that were frustrating. First, the staff kept telling us to check out the Fishing Lodge. They have a huge model of this new hotel in the lobby. We asked the bellmen to get us a shuttle (they are supposed to have a free shuttle back and forth) - they put us in a taxi but told us it would be free, but when we asked the driver to take us to the Fishing Lodge, he looked confused. So we said "marina" and he brought us there. However, when he dropped us off, he tried to charge us $20. We refused, and he drove off. The marina is beautiful but empty - we literally felt stranded. Long story short, it took us over an hour to find a taxi to get us back - the resort should have ensured we were being taken to The Fishing Lodge. The second frustrating situation was that we were told the beach had snorkeling equipment - they drove us over via golf cart (it is at Juanilla beach next to the resort). They pointed to the man who was supposed to have the equipment, told us we were all set, and drove off. However, when we asked the man for the snorkeling equipment he said they didn't have any. This was extremely frustrating because we specifically asked the concierge - she assured us they had the equipment, so we opted against going on a snorkeling excursion. A similar situation happened to another couple with the bikes - they said they had bikes to use, and then turned out they don't have any. While both of these situations were frustrating, they were minor compared to the fantastic time we had overall - I just want to avoid others having the same experiences!

Another tip is that the rooms have DVD players - they have some movies you can borrow at the concierge, but you can also bring your own.

Overall, we loved the resort and came home feeling relaxed and refreshed - we definitely plan to return in the future!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Megan H H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, January 11, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write such a valuable review on our property. We appreciate the compliments. We'd like to take this opportunity to express our apologies for the taxi inconvenience and the snorkeling trip issue. We look forward to welcome you back to our property!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 26, 2011

As we drove up to the grounds of Sanctuary Cap Cana our chins hit the floor! I have been on many vacations and this is by far THE RESORT to compare all others to when booking future vacations for myself. From the moment we stepped out of the shuttle, we were treated like royalty. Miami and Eduardo (bell boys/greeters) were full of smiles and extremely helpful getting us and our bags settled into the room. Our room was everything that was promised and any needs that we had as far as service were handled quickly and efficiently. The grounds are gorgeous, well-kept, and expansive...I felt like there was so much more to the resort that we never even got a chance to experience! The food was outstanding and I never went hungry or unsatisfied after a meal. I will say that the meals take a while, but who can complain when you've ordered one item from each category of food, the staff is diligent about keeping your glasses filled (thank you Kelvin), and you are engulfed in beautiful scenery. There are numerous options for R&R at Sanctuary Cap Cana. The beach is quiet and the absolute definition of relaxation with canopy beds and comfortable loungers to rest on while taking in the serene, crystal blue waters. There are numerous option as far as pools, designed for anything you could want from quiet and secluded to fun and game-friendly. The main pool is entertaining and more upbeat with a swim up bar, music, and some of the most entertaining staff on the resort! Which brings me to the people that made our vacation more than a vacation! A VERY BIG thanks to Eddie Murphy, Dominican Usher, Rocky Balboa, Mickey Mouse, Maria, Ms Kayla, and Willy Wonka for the unforgettable memories! Some of the highlights of our day were when we were involved in pool/beach activities with the entertainment team, such as water aerobics, volleyball, and pingpong, competing for prizes against other fun-loving vacationers, getting Spanish lessons from Rocky and Mickey, learning to dance with Usher, Eddie, and Willy, and just being all around entertained throughout the day! Our bartenders for the week, Carlos, Bernardo, and Juan, made the most delicious fruity drinks and were always full of smiles, friendly greetings, and a great time!! The nightly entertainment show was always something spectacular and not to be missed!
We hated saying goodbye to what was one of the best vacations we've ever had.
After 3 weeks, I still have not stopped raving about this resort to friends and family!!!!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank MsRED804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, January 11, 2012
A wonderful review like this one sure makes our day! Thank you for going out of your way to write about out resort in such a unique way. We are excited you had such an excellent stay. I will personally make sure each and every staff member that you have kindly mentioned knows about your review, they will be very happy! We all look forward to seeing you this year again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2011

This is our fourth Christmas in The Sanctuary. The New Management has done an outstanding job in making this resort even better! Last night my wife and my two Daughters ( 20& 22) had the Christmas eve buffet in the Blue Marlin. It was $50 pp which included a cocktail and a five course meal. I had Lobster tail and the filet, which was as good as it gets. Two day ago we did the zip line tour, its about 4o minute ride, but well worth it, much better than the zip line we did in Costa Rica!. I would also recommend Mike punta Cana tour, we did the 6 hour version, we had to make the reservations 4 months ago he fills up fast! If you are looking to be pampered with a great staff and terrific food, that is only 10 minutes from the Airport you have found a great place. The grounds are immaculate. I give this place a !0 and my 2 college girls give it 9! (they are tough) The only suggestion I would like to offer the new management is to put the chocolate chip cookies back in the lobby Also if you are a golfer the course is the best course I have ever played, there are 9 or 10 holes on the ocean, and the whole course is unbelievable, do not miss playing it!

Room Tip: we had a room behind the beach volley ball court
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank BostonLmp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, January 11, 2012
It is a great pleasure to read that you, your wife and your two daughters had such a wonderful christmas stay with us. Your recommendation is greatly appreciated. We look forward to having you back sometime in the future!
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Detroit, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2011

Fabulous resort. Outstanding food. Wonderful service. We are planning on returning next year. We upgraded to a Monarch ocean front villa that is 20 yards from the most beautiful ocean. Love listening to the waves crashing!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank S G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, January 11, 2012
Thank you for choosing Sanctuary Cap Cana this christmas to spend your honeymoon at. Our goal is to not only meet your expectations, but to exceed them. I am glad to see we have reached our goal.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2011

I am not sure I can add a lot to the charm and mystique of this place more than what has already been described in this forum but here goes. You need to possess a very critical eye to fault this resort and it indeed is a resort unlike several other places which pass for a resort under the guise of ordinary beach side hotels. From start to finish you are treated like royalty and nothing is too much trouble for the staff. Their smiles are genuine and their brand of hospitality highly enriched.

I was at the resort for 5 days along with my spouse and several of my colleagues in April this year. The main pool is very comfortable and you get some of the best cocktails at the pool bar. Just aside from the pool is their BBQ station where you can pick and choose your meat and they will prepare it just the way you want it. The staff at the pool kept you engaged all through the day and playing beer pong with the other travellers was fun.

We visited all the restaurants at the property during our stay and the one serving sea food by the beach came out on top which is not to say that other restaurants weren’t as good. The night entertainment at the castle-like foreground was something to behold and you can even get pictures clicked with the dance troupe at the end of the show.

Before I forget, in one corner of the resort, perhaps a ten minute walk, they have trampoline set up in the middle of sea water and it was the highlight of our vacation. You will get a nice kick jumping straight from the trampoline into the water and will have the energy to come up and do it all over again. It obviously helps, if you are a couple of pints down.

If you are thinking about a vacation in Cap Cana, look no further ladies and gents. Like they say, this IS the place.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank RSDelhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2011

Had my wedding at Sanctaury a week ago. All I can say is wow! Everything turned out so perfect. We had 75 guests And everyone was very pleased and taken back with the beauty of the hotel. There are so many room categories to choose from, each so unique! Most of the categories have amazing views. The service was top notch, and everyone in our group was taken care of. Special thanks to Miami, Hector, Pascal Messier (the best chef) so detailed and on top of everything, our wedding dinner was fantastic! And last but not least Alexandra my hotel wedding coordinator! She was so amazing, so detailed, on top of her team to make sure I had the wedding of my dreams! She gets things done and instills confidence. I must admit there were several times through out the year I wanted to cancel everything bc of the lack of communication and all changes, but I am so happy I hung in there. Everything exceeded my expectations! Aside from the staff I mentioned, there were so many others who were so hospitable, everyone was so friendly and always had a smile. They make you feel like family at Sanctaury.
The restaurants were great for an all inclusive, the steakhouse has a great selection of steaks, the Blue Marlin was good for lunch, but even better for dinner. We also enjoyed the Wok, had good sushi and stir fry's; didnt have a chance to sit inside for the hibachi tables so we missed out on the hibachi. Unfortunately not all the restaurants were open every day. We also enjoyed our dinner at the Italian restuarant. The room service breakfast was deee-licious we never made it out to the breakfast restaurants as we were very satisfied with the selection and enjoyed eating in the comfort of our own room and private terrace with spectacular ocean view.
We did make note of this becoming a family friendly resort, while I love kids, I do not feel this hotel is conducive to kids especially really young ones. This is such a romantic and exotic resort I do feel the majority of the resort if not all should remain adults only. Having kids screaming and running around would definately kill the mood.
While the rooms could use some updating here and there, do consider you are in the caribbean and there is a lot of trees and natural beauty that surround most rooms. That being said, it is not uncommon to find some bugs or crabs here and there. The surroundings of the property is what makes this property so beautiful and unique; makes it feel very quaint, rustic and private.
While the beach directly behind the hotel is a little small, there is two rather large beaches on each side of the property. The trump beach is quite secluded and very private, beautiful soft white sand and shallow water.
I love the fact that even when the hotel is booked to high capacity the grounds still seem rather empty, I guess so many of the rooms have private pools people just decide to veg out in their rooms.
Thank you for a wonderful experience Sanctuary we hope to visit with you again soon.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mangie A
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
#36 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Luxury 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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