We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
Nearby Hotels
$335
$261
Bookit.com
View Deal
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa(Punta Cana)(Great Value!)
$259
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Excellence Punta Cana(Punta Cana)(Great Value!)
$370
$315
Bookit.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Occidental Caribe(Punta Cana)(Great Value!)
$160
$136
Bookit.com
View Deal
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
$465
$337
Official Site
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Melia Caribe Tropical(Bavaro)
$234
$128
Melia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort(Punta Cana)(Great Value!)
$328
$218
Melia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Barcelo Bavaro Beach - Adults Only(Punta Cana)(Great Value!)
$270
Bookit.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Paradisus Punta Cana Resort(Punta Cana)(Great Value!)
$292
$194
Melia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast included
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana(Punta Cana)(Great Value!)
$508
Bookit.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Reviews (5,159)
Filter reviews
5,159 results
Traveler rating
3,633
949
343
138
96
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
3,633
949
343
138
96
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsblue marlinlove barcasa bellajuanillo beachocean barmonarch villataco truckwok restaurantcastle poolcastle suitebaby faceroyalty villamain poolroom serviceblack angelpunta espadaour honeymoon
Filter
Updating list...
3,583 - 3,588 of 5,159 reviews
Reviewed March 8, 2013

This is going to be a difficult review, but I think it's important to lay everything out for anyone looking for an all-inclusive vacation.

First, arrival to Punta Cana airport was pretty smooth. We arranged a taxi with Sanctuary and after walking around for a few minutes we found the transfer area. It took 15 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel.

Upon arrival, I was a little underwhelmed. The reception area is nice, but could use a little updating; it doesn't really scream 5 stars. We were given a strawberry smoothie type drink and a hand towel. Where's the champagne?

Juan Carlos at reception was very helpful as well as Hector. These guys were excellent and you can be sure that they will help you with anything you may need.

We didn't mind having to wait for our room because we received an upgrade to a Castle room. We had a few drinks. If you're a red wine drinker, TIP: opt for the house red called La Vigna. The others are awful. Upon first glance at our room, we were really thrilled. It was a really big room, nice size living area and a HUGE balcony. A Nespresso maker wowed me as well as the trace of flower petals around the room.

As we unpacked, I noticed two huge water spots on the ceiling. Mold and I do not get along. Then, the toilet wouldn't flush. We flushed it by my hubs getting into the tank. So at this point we decided to just go for lunch at The Blue Marlin. The views here once it is dark are hard to top. The food was easy to top. Nothing special at all. TIP: Surf and Turf was decent in comparison to the other options. Paella also looked very good. We saw that they were setting up dinner outside near the pool. Dominican Night. We said we would just walk around, explore a bit, then go check it out. Glad that we did. The food at this buffet was much better. BBQ lobster and the atmosphere of dining poolside were more like it.

The next morning we said we better let them know about the toilet. When I went to take a shower. It wouldn't turn on. What? No shower. Hector said it would be fixed right away and it was.

On one of the first nights cookies and chocolate were left in our room. At some stage, housekeeping or the plumbers ate our cookies. They left the plate with one of two cookies we didn't eat. Weird.

The pool was gorgeous. Love Eddy, Bernardo, and Ruth who all work down there. Great people. A few of the staff members had a difficult time communicating despite my best efforts to speak Spanish and point to things on the menu; I don't expect everyone to have perfect English, but if you're working the bar, you should understand the word vodka.

Dani, our "hermano" who worked every bar, rocked. He always made us laugh, told us a story, fed us some Mama Juana. The other women working at Love Bar were also attentive and remembered our drinks, Elsa being one. We loved hanging there when it wasn't a disco.

The Steak House was the most reliable place food wise. We ate there twice. Filet mignon wasn't six ounces, but it tasted better than the other food at the resort.

Breakfast needs help. The buffet was depressing. Limited selection, egg station was greasy, no poached or even hard-boiled eggs? No berries. The sausage and bacon...were hard. No offerings of mimosa? Bloody Mary? The first day they had smoked salmon, and then it wasn't there again. I just expect a real breakfast spread for a five star resort.

The resort has the option to stay without the all-inclusive. They should really just go ONLY all-inclusive. Having to sign for everything is a pain. I understand giving a room number, but that should be the extent. Have a manifest of everyone staying at the hotel and their room #. Have the guest simply confirm their last name/room. Plus, anyone staying without the all inclusive is paying too much for small portions that are geared to the all-inclusive client.

TIP - Room service breakfast was a little better (we ordered poached eggs, fruit, etc.), but order early as it takes 30-40 minutes.

Capriccio, the Italian place, was NOT good, but I'm Italian and from NYC, so I'm going to be a tough judge. I suggested to many of the staff that they turn it into a Dominican traditional restaurant. Apparently, we weren't the only ones to suggest this.

Every dinner and even some of the food at the pool that we ordered had mistakes. In fact every salad I ordered, they brought a different salad. I didn't bother mentioning anything. Not worth having to wait again.

The beach was small, but gorgeous water. But beware when entering. I fell on my behind twice climbing over rocks. Do NOT let your children just waltz into the ocean, as they will get hurt. There is a special path carved out for entry, but it seems like we all have to figure that out on our own. Would be nice if they had a sign or something.

The people staying at the resort couldn't be nicer. We met so many lovely couples! That was a highlight.

Definitely wander to Ocean Bar and have a cocktail there (before 11pm, as everything closes aside from Love Bar by 10:30-11) or go daytime and take a dip in the pool there. Ask for directions through the castle to this spot. We nearly missed it and it was a few feet from our room. Beautiful at sunset.

Beware of the guys selling paintings, cigars and jewelry, these guys should go. Not very high class / five star to have people pushing product on guests. Totally bizarre.

One thing we missed that is typically available at an all-inclusive is snacks. Nuts at the bar? Chips? Ice cream?

If you're into seafood check out the Seafood Fest. One night a week they do a big buffet. We timed our stay so that we arrived for Dominican Night and had Seafood Fest before we left on the last night. The only place we didn't eat was Wok.

Must haves: three milk cake and coconut sweet - mojitos and coco loco cocktails were sweet but powerful. Other than these things, the food wasn't remarkable. Oh, coconut flan was pretty good and the brownies at the pool. Ask for mango when ordering a fruit platter, it was the best mango I have ever eaten.

The Bad...

A few days into the trip, the Nespresso maker died. Then we weren't given towels on two of our last days. No more room service cookies and they forgot our itinerary for the day/turn down on a few of the nights.

We didn't mention these little things because we loved the staff that we became friendly with. We spent each day meeting up with nice people and lounging at the pool, nights with Dani at the bars.

Up to this point my husband and I agreed that we wouldn't necessarily go back. Maybe if there was an inexpensive deal. The grounds were beautiful, the weather was perfect, some of the staff were great, but the little things added up and then...our last night. Following our Seafood Fest dinner and a drink with some awesome ladies from London, we went back to our room to start packing. I grabbed a tee shirt my husband placed on the bathtub and a gigantic roach came running out of it. Now, I'm from New York and I know a roach. This was awful and big and a problem. It went into the tub and we killed it. I had such a difficult time sleeping that night. And I was a psycho when we got our bags home, opening them in an open space in case something came along for the ride home.

They need to update plumbing; spruce the rooms up a bit, train staff to at the minimum easily understand the menus, and bar staff need to know the drinks. Provide some sort of all day snacks and consider having Ocean Bar open later than 11. Provide some live music in the courtyards. The weather is gorgeous; we don't want to sit in the Love Bar for entertainment every night! Work on the food, especially breakfast. Consistency in room service, towels, turn down. Exterminators. Add some imported beers to the offerings and put some snacks into the mini fridge (after working out the exterminator). If the trip were $1k cheaper I might not have said all that I've said, but I feel that some people are going to save up their money for this trip and be a little disappointed. Other people would have made a stink about the bug, the lack of plumbing, etc. We didn't have the heart to ask for help or relay any bad feedback. I wanted to make the best of it, until the bug. At that point I was ready to head home (be sure to allow three hours for traveling despite what anyone else says).

Room Tip: The views from the castle rooms are lovely, we stayed in the 2000's.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank DMcD777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory-Santana, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments online about your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.


On behalf of Sanctuary Cap Cana staff we want to extend our apologies for the misfortunes you experienced during your stay. These events are not in any way, part of our service standards and procedures. Our new management is working hand in hand with our food & beverage department, implementing new menus that can exceed our guest expectations. We are also working with all of our Sanctuary Staff to provide our guest with the finest hospitality and a service of excellence. Our target is to improve and provide our valued guest with a memorable vacation. Let this not be a reason for you not to stay with us again.

We will share with our staff your remarks about their service. We are sure Eddy, Bernardo, Ruth, and Dani will be honored to know that you enjoyed and appreciate their hospitality. Every time a guest shares their gratitude towards their service, it makes them take pride on their efforts.

We sincerely hope that you will provide us with the opportunity to have you back in the future, and experience our improvement.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

This all inclusive resort is amazing. The property is huge, lush, and beautifully maintained. The food is one of the best all inclusive experiences I have had, a wide variety of cuisines, bars and refreshments everywhere, the service friendly and efficient. Yes, some staff don't speak English but we are in the Dominican Republic after all, duh! Good wireless internet connections in various hotspots around the property and good wired connections in the rooms. We split our stay between the suites in the "main" area and the fort -- two wonderful different lifestyles. In the "main" area you are minutes from the action and food and at the fort, it is all about being chill. Great bar, pool, and view at the fort...and actually you are only a five minute walk to the "main" area. I started writing down the names of all the wonderful staff that greeted and served us but don't think I have enough space in this review to list all the names! Raul Mendez who managed all the areas was always inquiring and making sure we were happy. I'll be back for sure. Hint: the beach area (not hotel property) between the Marina and the hotel is beautiful, great for a walk!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank T C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory-Santana, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2013

On behalf of Sanctuary Cap Cana, we want to thank you for taking the time to share your review online.

We are more than happy to learn that you got to experience our beautiful scenery as well as the enthusiasm of our staff. We thank you for allowing us to bring you our best service and create for you a memorable vacation. We will share your kind remarks with our team, especially with Raúl.

We truly hope we get a chance to serve you again in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

First review in my life!!! This place is elegant, quiet and very service oriented! The feeling of being in Europe as you go in, from the the check in to lunch at the Blue Marlin it was just perfect.

We had a Junior suite and upgraded to a one bedroom castle suite, wow what a view, I am here freezing in Chicago and can get away from my great experience. The food was great, we loved Capriccio.

The resort is as clean ai it could be but the staff is excellent the use the phrase EXCELENTE! That is how your stay will be.

Don't want to mention names because all the staff was great!

See you guys very very soon!

  • Stayed: February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cory S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory-Santana, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

We are grateful for your kind comments about our property and our staff. We are delighted to learn that you had such a pleasant vacation with us, and that our hard working staff served you with excellence.

It would be our honor to receive you in the near future, and help you experience another memorable vacation.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

Our family - my husband, daughter, and myself spent four glorious nights here (February 19-22). We upgraded to a Monarch Villa that had an astounding view of the sea, palm trees waving in the foreground. We even had our own pool. The villa was perfect for us. Our sixteen-year-old had her own bedroom and bath, as did we, and we shared a comfortable living and dining area. We left our villa only for meals (breakfast is great), and to work out in the exercise room. The staff is incredible. Each day they re-stocked our mini-fridge, and greeted us warmly at every restaurant.

The biggest weakness is the food. It's plentiful but not fabulous.

And a warning on the souvenir shop across from the main lobby - - there are no prices advertised on the merchandise but the proprietor asks that you choose several items and then he will "price" them for you. My daughter chose a half inch turtle and another item that the owner priced at $87.00 US dollars. When I laughed and asked if that was pesos, he changed it to $60.00 US. I declined and he was somewhat abusive as we left the shop. He also insisted that several of the carvings, which were all of the same image, were several hundred years old. We felt somewhat sullied by that experience.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Virginia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory-Santana, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

We are more than glad that you and your family had a good time in our hotel. We work hard on maintaining an atmosphere for the guest to feel welcomed and like home. It was a pleasure for our staff to serve you during your vacations.

We are truly sorry about your experience at the souvenir shop. We will speak to them in order to prevent that future guests feel uncomfortable in any way. Please accept our apologies if our food did not meet your standards. We are currently working with our new management and staff implementing new menus and items to meet our guest expectations.

We hope you provide us the opportunity to show you the improvements in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

My husband and I just got back from the Sanctuary (we were there for our honeymoon). We upgraded to a monarch villa which was great. I highly recommend that or any other room upgrade in the castle. We had a double deck that was partially over the ocean and partially over the beach. Hard to beat!
Our mornings started off with a great breakfast, we like to order eggs which were always done great. The man on the "hot plate" was great and new our orders before we even had to ask. The hostess and our waitress/server was always great (unfortunately, I'm not sure of their names.
During the day we lounged by the main pool and were taken care of by Carlos and Bernardo at the pool bar. They are great at their jobs! They make great drinks (also remember your favorites) and are super guys. I suggest ordering food poolside during the day unless you don't mind sitting in the restaurant for a while. "Teddy Bear" and Menor (incharge of activities and entertainment did just that). My husband and I are big into vball so we spent a lot of time on the courts with TB. He is great at organizing and getting people involved. Menor (we called him Carlton) is pure entertainment! He exudes happiness. I missed out on a lot of servers names but Robert waited on us on Dominican night and he was excellent. The food was actually quite good especially for a all inclusive.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank M Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cory-Santana, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2013

On behalf of the Sanctuary Cap Cana staff we would like to congratulate you on your special occasion! We want to thank you for taking the time to share your positive comments about your honeymoon getaway with us. We are thrilled to learn that you had such a fabulous stay.

Our staff enjoys receiving such wonderful remarks from our valued guests. We will share your comments with all them, especially with Carlos, Bernardo, Robert, Teddy Bear and Menor (or Carlton); they receive great joy when guests acknowledge their efforts to make their vacations special.

Sanctuary Cap Cana wishes you a happy and long lasting marriage.

We hope we receive your visit back soon, perhaps before your 1st anniversary.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews