We loved, loved, loved our vacation at the Sanctuary inside the wonderful Cap Cana resort community. We did not want to leave…….. This is the most beautiful Beach Resort we have visited at and we have traveled a lot all over the Caribbean, Central America, North America, Hawaii, Mexico (Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and 29x Riviera Maya), Europe and North Africa. We certainly can compare. The Architecture with attention to detail, interior design and the pools are the best we have encountered in our years of travel. And the location adjacent to Playa Juanillo is breathtaking. They take you with a golf cart shuttle to their section of the beach but it is also an easy walk. What we loved most is that we were ALONE there on our 2 lounge chairs under a tall palm tree and the kayak most of the time. Some days a few people would be around but it was very private and amazing for us. This beach is got to be one of the most beautiful in the Dominican Republic due to lack of development around it and well groomed (not much sea grass, no trash). Long stretch of white powder soft sand, lots of tall palm trees and the ocean is crystal clear and bright turquoise. I wish I could be on that beach every day. There are actually 3 beaches at the resort. The beach in front of the main pool is a bit rocky but you can walk in well on the very right side in front of the large stone villa and it’s a nice spot to cool off when the ocean is calm.
Than there is another cove with better beach to the right of there where most of the Monarch Villas are located at. And Playa Juanillo is adjacent to the Fortress section of the resort. And the pools at the resort are the most beautiful. Once with swim-up bar and lagoon style limestone rocks, the other with tall water fall and we were usually alone in there and another on top of the waterfall pool with infinity edge. We thought the small pool with ping pong table inside was genius. There is another interesting pool with bar in the Fortress section but it was drained for maintenance. We walked through this section and explored it one night at Full Moon and again it has the WOW factor. It would have looked even more amazing if the swim up canal and all pools would have been filled. There are some amazing suites over there with private pools and some even with a private island and beach bed connected by a bridge to the terrace. Really something special. We stayed non-all inclusive in the least expensive room category the Superior Ocean View Suite for 4 days. Our Suite was on the second floor (top floor) of the yellow building next to the lobby building. We had a nice view of the gorgeous main pool, tropical gardens and the ocean. Our suite was large and very nicely furnishes with tasteful colonial décor in soft light colors and nice lighting. The king bed and pillows where comfortable but we could have used a softer pillow topper like they have at JW Marriott. Large terrace with nice wooden furniture to lounge on. My husband even got excited about the large walk in closet next to the nice limestone tiles bathroom. It had nicer dark wooden shelving than our walk-in closets at home. The bathroom had a separate toilet area with glass door, a decent size shower, good size bathtub and double sinks. The whole suite has this amazing limestone tile on the floors, counters and bathroom walls. I want that at home now. The lobby has a WOW factor. On arrival we felt like you have arrived at some large colonial Hacienda with a Fortress next door. Even so this is a fairly new resort they re-created historic Spanish colonial charm. There are fountains every where inside the lobby and outside. The stone work, wood work, architectural touches, furniture and tasteful art is perfect. Very friendly and efficient Bell Service and check-in with a welcome cocktail. We loved the service overall at this resort. From Bell Boys, Room Service, Maids, Front Desk to the wonderful waiters and the sweet Blue Marlin Restaurant Manager. The General Manager even stopped by our table to ask if we were pleased with everything. We really loved the employees at this resort. They made us feel special and they were so sweet. Ask for the special fish at the Blue Marlin Restaurant perched over the ocean with Palapa Roof. It’s called Labranch (not sure how to spell it) They caught our big fish the day we ate it right in front of the restaurant and prepared it Dominican style. It was so large that they made a wonderful dinner and lunch out of it. Now this is exactly what we want on a Caribbean vacation. All other meals and drinks were great. Since we were not on the AI plan we went to the Caleton Beach and Villas – Las Palapas Restaurant one night. The chef is from Parma, Italy and we had the best seafood linguini loaded with fresh seafood and wonderful tuna tartar appetizer. Atmosphere and service here were outstanding and Caleton is also an amazingly beautiful place. Another time we went for breakfast to the Bistro Restaurant at the Fishing Lodge at Cap Cana Marina. Again very good and interesting seeing that area. Very pretty Marina and very new. It is still very quiet there but with time this will be an amazing place. What we really liked is that you get free shuttle service to anywhere within Cap Cana and it is a large beautiful resort community. We highly recommend exploring the Cueva Hoyo Azul. A short walk through the jungle on the foot of the Cap Cana cliffs is this open cave with a beautiful crystal clear turquoise lagoon to swim in. We were alone with our guide and it was a very special & peaceful place. We split our 9 day vacation between 2 resorts 4 days at Sanctuary and 5 days at an Adults only resort in the Bavaro beach area since we were concerned that children would disturb the romantic, peaceful ambiance at the Sanctuary but we got lucky and there were no children during out stay. We wished we could have cancelled the other resort and stayed the whole time at Sanctuary. To bad Salamander did not keep the resort “Adults Only” because this is a very romantic, special resort and noisy, squirrely kids and stressed parents would sure change the feel of everything. The resort was only about 20-30% full but everyone we spoke to was very happy and pleased with everything. This was already the 3rd visit for a nice couple we met. And a hello to our new friends from Sao Paulo Brazil! Overall I highly recommend this resort and have no idea where some of the bad reviews came from besides that the Fortress section is closed during low season and there are only 2 restaurants open for the AI package people. On departure I could see out of the plane that the pools at the Fortress have been filled with water and we were told that the section will be open for high season starting in November maybe sooner. We are considering a return to the Sanctuary to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2014. I miss this resort already! If you have reservations here have a wonderful time!!!!
- 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