My wife and I stayed at Sanctuary Cap Cana for our honeymoon. I will preface this review by saying that we had an amazing time at the resort and would definitely return in the future, but only the resort begins to offer what they initially advertise.
We had booked a room in the castle. Upon arriving, we learn that the castle is closed. We were not informed of this. We are moved to a new room, which was great. It had an amazing view of the ocean and a patio that is bigger than my house. I was REALLY looking forward to my plunge pool, though.
The room's outdoor hot tub was lukewarm and borderline disgusting.
One day we had a heavy rain and learned that the bottom of the doors are not properly sealed, thus causing our room to flood. This was promptly cleaned by the staff and caused no damage. No big deal.
There is a major language barrier with some of the staff.
There was only one restaurant open per night, which alternated between Blue Marlin and the Steakhouse. This was a disappointment after learning of the 5 onsite restaurants.
The beach is horrible and full of seaweed that has to be trucked off every morning.
They let people on site to try and sell their goods to you. My wife got drunk and bought some wood carved monkeys. That's her fault, though. I'm making her display them in the house now to relive her drunken shame.
Although only 2 restaurants were open, the food was very good. The paella was amazing and there was enough to feed a small army. When ordering a medium rare steak, make sure to confirm that they have it. The language barrier could lead them to believe you are asking for medium well. Media Rojo is Spanish for Medium Red/Rare and they will understand you.
The service is impeccable. The waiter/waitress never left us wanting for anything, outside of one isolated incident which was taken care of by senior staff.
The views are gorgeous. I cannot even begin to describe what we saw upon waking in the mornings.
Room service is very prompt and polite.
No one bothers you when you have your "Do Not Disturb" sign up.
The pools are great. We mainly stayed around the main pool and had a great time at the bar and swimming around. This will be expounded upon in the "Super Pros" section.
All the staff are very quick to greet you and ask how your day is going, even if they do not have a firm grasp on the language.
The all inclusive package is well worth it if you are anything above a light drinker. Drinks are expensive here and the package included EVERYTHING excluding bottles. Their house wines are good. Nothing exceptional, but better than expected. They have good mid-grade scotch and whiskey options. I didn't really pay attention to the rum and vodka, but it seemed to be similar. The beer selection is lacking, but the Dominican brewed Presidente is very good and much better than Bud/Miller/Coors.
My wife loved the massages. They had a 2 for 1 deal and she was incredibly relaxed upon returning each time.
The pool bar. I'm speechless. The main pool and bar area made our trip a success. There always seemed to be a crew gathered around and everyone was talkative and having a great time telling stories about where they were from and talking trash about college football. Sorry guys, Baylor's wonder years are over.
Carlos, one of the bartenders at the pool bar was quick to greet us every day with a couple of bottles of water before asking us if we would like to drink some Barack Obama's (Presidente Beer). He was great to talk to about the Olympics and he had some great stories about his family. A genuinely great guy. Don't let him talk you into drinking the MamaJuana. It's disgusting.
And last but most certainly not least...
BERNARDO. Bernardo is a bartender at the pool bar. He, along with Carlos, made an amazing team. Always smiling, always quick to help you with anything you needed, and always singing those same songs that play over the speakers every day. He would be there to wake us up from a nap with a bowl of nachos and two beers, along with a reminder to put on sunscreen. On our last day, he even got the cooks to make us an authentic Dominican lunch for a going away present. I am going to do my best to learn how to make it back in the states. It was that good.
In conclusion, if you let the little things spoil your vacation, don't come here. If small things don't bother you and you are able to lay back and enjoy yourself and some amazing Dominican hospitality, then this is the place for you. Sure, there is some work that is needed to be done, but it is still a great time. We plan on returning, only with a much cheaper room (still keeping the all-inclusive package) to make the trip more worth our while. If management is reading this, give Bernardo and Carlos a raise. Seriously. All the money they want.
- 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