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“TRIP OF A LIFE TIME”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
Ranked #31 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Let me qualify myself by saying my husband and I have done about 20 all inclusives in the Caribbean - always five star or better and 5 cruises also 5 star so I guess what I am trying to say is I am not easily impressed. This trip was truly amazing with only a few minor flaws.It was not without a good deal of research that I choose SCC. Last year we stayed at Zoetry in Mexico so I originally was going to stay at Zoetry in Punta Cana but after talking to many people on facebook and following Trip Advisor chose SCC ...best decision ever. We booked an oceanview junior suite but were kindly upgraded to a Honeymoon suite oceanfront with a plunge pool. We hardly ever left the room as the view was absolutely stunning from our huge deck....the grounds are immaculate and the whole resort is just so peaceful. We were there Jan. 28-Feb. 4 and it was less then half full. I just can't understand why??? The Blue Marlin and the Italian restaurants were our favorites because they were both outside with great views. Not so fond of the steak house as it was inside and overall the food was good but not great. (if you want great food go on a cruise) The Casa Bella for breakfast was really good with lots of papaya and passion fruit and great omelets. We also has a romantic dinner on the beach and this was truly well worth the $99 US.This meal included a bottle of champagne. I even invented my own drink instead of Mimosas I had champagne with passion fruit juice ...delicious.The house wine from Argentina was awful but when I mentioned it the next day to Enrique I had a couple of of other options for the rest of my trip and generally I found any minor issues I had were taken care of promptly. My go to person was Enrique and he was extremely helpful. The biggest issue I had was a number of the wait staff had very poor English and this was quite frustrating at times. I cannot comment on the night life as we did not go. This hotel is not for everyone as it is very quiet but was perfect for us as we had an amazing holiday and will definitely be returning. Thanks again to Enrique and all the staff for making this holiday perfect.

Room Tip: we had a honeymoon beachfront room in the castle 3042 it was stunning had a plunge pool and a huge...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank maggitoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2013

I would like to thank you for your positive comments regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. I am very pleased to read your appraisal of our team, services and facilities and I know my colleagues will be equally pleased to learn of your kind remarks and recognition of their efforts to meet your needs.Please tell your friends about our hotel. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

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3,441 - 3,447 of 4,948 reviews

Reviewed February 8, 2013

My wife and I are seasoned travelers.We have visited most of the islands in the Caribbean.The sanctuary has a lot going for it, but unfortunately, the food service and the lack of language proficiency brings it down a notch. Accommodations and amenities.If you can get a Honeymoon suite,it is well worth it.#s 3044-3047. I recommend 3047 because of its much larger deck and incredible view.All have their own pools.(not heated)..Negotiate the upgrade.3047 also has a good breeze that helps on hot days.They are located in the Fortress area , about 4-5 minutes walk from the main building.This area is quiet and serene. Located in the same area is a pool ,bar Wok restaurant, spa and fitness center. The fitness center has 3 treadmills,3 ellipticals,2 bicycles,barbells,weight machines and 2 tvs. Oceanview rooms. We looked at one that had a very limited viwe of the ocean almost blocked by a building in front of of i.It had dated furniture and a clorox,musky odor.Oceanfront.These rooms are identical to ocean view except for location with a less obstructed view of the ocean. However, people constantly walking by in front of the unit limits your privacy. Pools. If you want quiet, go to the pool at the fortress.The other pools at the main area are good size but not heated and the water clarity was average at best.Beach.Small and some areas covered with algae or seaweed.Not ideal for snorkelling or swimming. Casin. Closed ,but transportation is proved to one nearby. Shopping.A few stores on site with decent prices.Nearby retail shopping is almost nonexistent. Nearest shopping is 30-45 minutes taxi ride. Negotiate taxi fare before going and make sure the driver doesnt leave without you. Food and drink services.Food quality was average for an all inclusive. The major problem we encountered was the language barrier which resulted in many incorrect orders. Ordering mixed drinks had similar outcomes.Wine and beer selections were very limited. Expect to pay 50$ for a decent bottle of wine.The steakhouse restaurant.Serves charbroiled Argentine steaks.Ribeye was not as tasty as the tenderloin. Prawns were actually medium to large shrimp.Flavored cheesecakes were New York style slightly dry with a flavored syrup on the side. Casa bella. Breakfast and lunch. Self serve buffet with cooked to order omelet and eggs station.Both breakfast and lunch selections were average.Blue Marlin. Nice location over the water. Grouper sandwich average. Snapper was overcooked. Wok restaurant. Oriental restaurant located at Fortress area. Serves hibachi and al a carte with limited sushi selection.Shrimp and steak very good at hibachi table(make reservations for hibachi).Bananas flambe tasty but without any flame. Other notes. Menus at restaurants do not change.Tip. If you like to drink, get the all inclusve package. If not try to opt out as the prices are very reasonable.

Room Tip: Get room 3047. It is worth the upgrade.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank traveldocsx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of Sanctuary Cap Cana. We currently had a change of management and are working closely with staff to guarantee proper services are being conducted. We thoroughly clean our rooms upon check out and complete a full inspection. Regarding our menus, we are reworking some of our menu options. We continually try to do our very best for all of our guests. We appreciate your feedback, and hope you give us the chance to make it right.

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Reviewed February 8, 2013

We book with orbits an all inclusive when we got there they said it was just the room. we had to call orbits to fix the problem which they created since it was their website. nothing was solved, until the hotel manager helped us out and with a fairly reduced price we got the all inclusive. and at the same time we got the honeymoon suite, huge with its own terrace and pool.
very nice people, some worth mentioning like, Cory the manager, Carlos the pool bartender, Gilberto bartender at the love lounge, mickey and el menor both entertainers, creating fun activities and gathering people.
the only downside would be the quality of the food in some restaurants, dont get me wrong, everything is neat and clean, just that it wouldnt be called 5 star eating. best restaurant the wok, Japanese cuisine.
overall, we would and are going back, the hotel,, better said resort is huge, lots of pools 1 private beach and 2 other beaches at walking distance.

Room Tip: there are 14 types of rooms we stayed at the honeymoon siute, huge with terrace and pool. and priva...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank superoink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2013

I would like to thank you for your positive comments regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. I am very pleased to read your appraisal of our team, services and facilities and I know my colleagues will be equally pleased to learn of your kind remarks and recognition of their efforts to meet your needs. I will share your feedback with the entire team. They love knowing guest appreciates there service. We look forward to hosting you as our guest soon!

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Reviewed February 3, 2013

They gave us the basic room at first, which would have been acceptable if not for the 2 double beds. We asked to upgrade, they showed us the honeymoon suite at an additional $300/night. No go. All we wanted was a king bed. We settled on a nice swim up suite for an additional $150/night.

We tried all the restaurants, all very good. Room service (after 10p) was the only to disappoint. We did not choose the all-inclusive option, priced at $125/pp. We thought it was high priced but would definitely choose it next time. Every drink we had was $10ea. The meals are good but not quite american portions.

The resort was quite expansive, I would worry for older folks if their rooms were on the outskirts. they do offer cart service but you're at their mercy so you'd better not be in a hurry. It was wonderful that their were no salesmen at all at this resort. NONE!!

The property is adjacent to Playa Juanillo. We walked over there twice. Once for a concert on sunday night. It was like a high school rave. Extremely young crowd but very pleasant. The concert continued til 2a and could be heard in our suite as we were on the edge of the resort. Not a big problem for me, just shrugged it off as a cultural difference.

Room Tip: ocean view junior suite = bargain basement room
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Janice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your feedback about your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. We apologize for the misunderstanding upon check in. With our new management on board, we are working closely to improve the quality of service. Our management team main priority is the guest. We hope you will visit us again and see the improvement.

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Reviewed February 2, 2013

We booked on Orbitz. The site said it was a luxury all-inclusive resort. The front desk was having a hard time getting the people in front of us checked in. While they were getting sorted out, someone can over to us with flutes of margaritas. She dropped two of the glasses on me and they shattered, sending sticky pink stuff and broken glass all over. The manager cleaned up the floor but never bothered to help me clean up my bags or even tell me where the bathroom was so I could wash it off my leg and arm. Weird, considering they offered a damp washcloth when we first entered? It was an unfortunate accident and I wasn't hurt but I was covered with icy, sticky, pink stuff from my arm down to my flip flops.

So, it's finally our turn at the desk. They told us we had purchased the "European package" and it was for the room only. An all-inclusive resort without the inclusive? Huh? They told us we needed to add two $125 options so we could eat and drink. We should have gone ala carte. The drinks were TERRIBLE and the food wasn't super expensive at the Blue Marlin. The house wine at this place is Carlos Rossi. Seriously. What a scam. An extra $250 for Carlos Rossi and the weakest drinks ever??? They used sour mix in the mojitos because they didn't want to muddle limes. Lame and gross.

The beach here is incredibly beautiful. Astonishingly pretty. The staff are not very friendly. Probably because most guests do not tip or even say thank you. This resort is dying a slow, musty death.

The room took an hour or so to get ready. It smelled like old people and mold. The beds had the tackiest iron canopy frames. The beds were comfortable but you couldn't move around very much or the iron frame would hit the wall. I was so glad we only stayed for one night. More than that would have been misery.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank pdxj77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us online. It’s regrettable to hear that you did not enjoy your stay here at Sanctuary Cap Cana. The experience that you have shared is far below what we would hope our guests to expect. We genuinely apologize for falling short of your expectations. Since undergoing new management we have directed our attention to areas that need most improvement. We appreciate your opinion, in effort; we have corrected and improved our hotel policies. We look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.

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Reviewed January 30, 2013

My wife and I just spent 3 memorable days at the Sanctuary celebrating her 50th birthday.The Hotel was spectacular in every way.The rooms are beautiful and spacious,and the beds were heaven at the end of the day.The landscaping and the layout of the hotel,gives a feeling of privacy and your own space.The food was fabulous with a great selection.The Beach in front of the hotel is nice,but all one has to do is walk out the end of the hotel onto a 2 mile beach with hardly anyone on it.The best part of the hotel is the people working there.Always a smile and a hola,and willing to do anything to make your stay more enjoyable.People like Hector at the front desk to 'Teddy bear'(Danelle) arranging activities,this is what sets this hotel apart from the others.(besides the beautiful location,facilities and food).

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank rcarkner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2013

I would like to thank you for your positive comments regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. I am happy to see that the friendly staff and attractive atmosphere were exactly what you needed for your trip. We would like to wish your wife a Happy 50th Birthday. Thank you for choosing Sanctuary Cap Cana to be a part of your memories. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.

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Reviewed January 30, 2013

If you are looking for a relaxing, high class, less noise experience in Punta Cana, this is the place for you. Unlike most resorts in Punta Cana, the size and scale are much smaller at the Sanctuary, however, the grounds are clean, the architecture exciting, the amenities are fantastic, and the weather is great. A big shout out to Marcelo the bartender, who took great care of us during our stay. I would also recommend a "deep tissue" message at the spa, you'll be relaxed for days to come! Only negative, check in took a bit too long, but could be spoiled by my status at American hotels.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
2  Thank SeroCard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela T, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2013

I would like to thank you for your positive comments regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. We are satisfied to hear that the friendly staff, appealing atmosphere, stress-free setting, and food were just enough to satisfy your desires. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us online. I will share your feedback with the entire team. Please tell your friends about our hotel. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

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Additional Information about Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts

Address: Boulevard Zona Hotelera, Playa Juanillo, Punta Cana 0809, Dominican Republic (Formerly Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol)
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
#28 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $303 - $670 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts 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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