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Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
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3,712 - 3,717 of 5,137 reviews
Reviewed September 4, 2012

I am a compulsive planner by nature, so going to a country I haven't been to before, I weighed myself with information and went back and forth between hotels and posted things on tripadvisor to get some guidance to help my overloaded brain. But I kept coming back to this place. The picture were just so beautiful and some of the complaints seemed silly (and they are). They ran a special and I booked our trip for the end of August.

I started emailing with the hotel about transportation from the airport since I had read numerous places that the airport can be a little bit overwhelming. Right away, the manager Jarlin, not only responded quickly and efficiently but she also soothed any looming fears I had about our choice in hotel.

I did book in The Fortress and upon arrival we were upgraded to an Ocean View room and were brought delicious welcome drinks. I had mentioned to Jarlin that the reason for our trip was my boyfriends birthday. Our upgraded room not only had a Happy Birthday sign outside the door, but had balloons all over our room with champagne and fresh fruit. I can not express how much I appreciated that personal touch for him on his special day. Through out our stay, not only were are rooms always cleaned and turned down etc, but they put different little fresh flowers in our room which I loved. Any time we had a problem, someone was there quickly to tend to it and no problem was big enough to warrant any sort of complaint.

People complaining about the seaweed on the beach, I really, I don't get that. 1) It's a beach, it happens and 2) I saw those guys out there EVERY morning with a truck and massive shovels digging and digging away to remove it. Every time we went out to the beach, it was great.

Yes, there is a bit of a language barrier, but I honestly can say that their staff not only speaks very good english but is more than willing to try and help and understand. I speak some spanish and that definitely did help but they do a great job themselves.

You always worry a little bit about food going to some where different, but their food was really really good. I certainly wish we had been able to try all of the restaurants, but I understand not going in peak season that that may not have been an option. The food that we did experience at Blue Marlin and the Steakhouse was great. We even ordered room service one night very late and they were prompt in getting it to us.

I would like to say a special shout out to certain staff members who made our stay that much better, so thank you to Jarlin, Edward, Carlos and Bernardo. For give me if I spelled anyones name wrong.

The purpose of our trip was to get away and relax. We didn't go in peak season for that reason so I expected things to be a little more toned down and we got exactly what we wanted. They do have activities and things still going on which I enjoyed watching and I can only imagine how fun that place is during peak season but for us in August, it was just right.

I do recommend bringing bug spray. While my boyfriend didn't have an issue with the bugs at all, I did. The one night I forgot to put it on and we sat outside, I had to get up and go to the room and put some on, but as long as I was covered I was fine!!!

We loved our trip and we loved your hotel. It is definitely a place we will come back and visit.

Room Tip: If you are hell bent on staying in the fortress than book when its open during peak season but if you want a good upgrade book it any time!!
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Clemsonbelle21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

First and foremost we have traveled the world over....We know bad, good and great....however this experience was outstanding!!!! The location, the reception, the service, the room, the spa, the food, and most important, the people, were the most friendly and helpful in the world. Talking about service... it was second to none...special thanks to Jarlin our host who was perfect in every way..others like Chantal, Yani, Bernard, Junior and Omar our breakfast service provider, were all a delight... When you arrive, make sure Alvin is your pool and cabana service provider, he is the best we have ever had in the world! If you want to relax, eat well and enjoy life to the fullest, Sanctuary at Cap Cana is your place - Have Fun!

Room Tip: THE ocean front rooms are the best
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank beach409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

10th Wedding Anniversary - split our trip between Sanctuary and Paradisus Palma Real Reserve. PPRR was phenomenal, we expected even more from Sanctuary based on their website. We reserved a Honeymoon Suite (which you can still reserve today) but upon arrival were 'upgraded' to a Tower Suite! Impressive balcony, unimpressive room - dirty jacuzzi and bali bed on the very large balcony - 2BRs (not needed for a couple celebrating an anniversary). Moved in, next day asked about the Honeymoon Suite we reserved. We're being upgraded again the next day!!! To an oceanfront Royal Suite! Exciting stuff. Next day, that suite became unavailable due to plumbing problems that couldn't be fixed for several days....read 'duration of our stay'. But.....another oceanfront Monarch Suite was becoming available. Who doesn't want to stay right on the beach, right? BS....it might as well have been a $25 per night cabin on a backwoods lake somewhere - very run down. Worst part was all the doors had a 1/2" gap at the threshold of the front door and patio doors allowing all the local vermin to come in and share your room - and no window or screen in the bathroom - rickety old shutters that couldn't keep anything out! I understand sand crabs are plentiful and indigenous to the area, but they don't belong in hotel rooms, and can't get in if the hotel takes care of the property. Third day we go to the end of the property where our Honeymoon Suite was at only to discover either the building was unfinished or hadn't been occupied in a very long time. Classic bait & switch - for $700 per night! Had enough of being screwed for this trip, so we vacated mid-stay to the Jack Nicklaus lodge at Punta Espada for $200 per night. 1200 sq. ft new 1BR condo that was nicely appointed and clean. And no bugs/animals to sleep with. Sanctuary Cap Cana is a phenomenal property that has potential to be a very grand resort, the wait/housekeeping staff are great, but resort management really took advantage of us. Oh, and if you visit, be prepared to eat the same meal day after day - of the five restaurants they advertise only two are open - each one of the two alternating from evening to evening. And....the casino has never been open. And....the 'beach' is COVERED with seaweed, not white sand like the website depicts. After staying at The Reserve, this was a horrible way to end our trip. We will be back to DR, the folks that live there are great people and it's a beautiful place, but we won't be at Sanctuary until new ownership arrives. Sure hope AMEX gets this resolved, Sanctuary doesn't deserve to be paid for goods they don't deliver.

Room Tip: We took a helicopter tour our last day - Bavaro Beach has some fantastic resorts - unending miles of white sand beach covered with Bali beds, loungers and umbrellas. Punta Cana has the same. Cap Cana has been hit hard by the economy - Fishing Lodge is also unfinished/vacant - advertising shopping/dining on their website - it doesn't exist. Travelers beware of Sanctuary Cap Cana - it COULD be what they show on their website, but it isn't.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank rx4risk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

We have been to Punta Cana five times each time at a different resort. Sanctury is our favorite. There are several room types to choose from, all are very nice. My wife enjoyed the Spa and I used the gym quite a bit. We found the food here superior to most other hotels here. The service was great and the staff very friendly and helpful.The have a shuttle that runs to Punta Espada golf course which is one of the best anywhere in the world. It is just a short drive from the airport.

Room Tip: Most rooms have an ocean view or are ocean front, look at the room pictures and choose the style you prefer. We liked the Castle section but it is a longer walk to the main hotel area and restaurants.If you want to do less walking ask for a room closer to the lobby. The Spa and the Asian restaurant are in the Castle.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank dblbogie5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012

I have to be honest, we visited Sanctuary with a critical eye because we were considering Sanctuary as a potential wedding spot for our upcoming wedding. And after a previous weekend in Punta Cana I had really low expectations with this part of DR.

I can say with confidence now that if there are any flaws at The Sanctuary, and Cap Cana, we just didn't see them. It was perfection. From the moment we arrived, my fiance and I were incredibly impressed with Sanctuary and we had an unforgettable weekend. The hotel itself is just beautiful. The Spanish colonial style of the rooms, the decor, is exactly the look we both love. The staff was warm and accommodating and at every chance along the way they went the extra step to make sure we were comfortable and enjoying ourselves. One day my fiance asked what the weather was going to be for the next day and if there was any threat of storm. The next thing we knew, one member of the staff rushed to get a print out of the weather report for him. Everyone on staff felt like a friend...and that's no exaggeration. They actually cared about us and took the time to inquire if there was anything we needed, if we were enjoying ourselves, etc.

The Sanctuary and La Forteleza are on a breathtaking piece of property. The pools are just big enough (not too big or small) and we felt so relaxed the entire time we were there. It's not your typical Punta Cana resort - and I love that about the place.

After our weekend at The Sanctuary we decided to hold our wedding there next year.

Sarah Morel was our wedding coordinator and we couldn't have asked for a nicer person. Sarah seems smart, knowledgeable, kind, fun and confident - and those qualities made us feel completely at ease when we decided to have our wedding there. We have no doubt that Sarah and the rest of the staff will give us the wedding of our dreams.

Thank you Sanctuary for giving us a weekend that we'll never forget. We simply can't wait to bring our friends and family back with us next year.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kathleen k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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