We read numerous reviews before staying here and the negative ones are ridiculous.
We don't stay in resorts very often, and we have both also put in many years in the service industry. That being said, here is my commentary:
Gorgeous. This place is beautiful. We stayed in the Junior Suite Ocean View which is the cheapest room available and it was great. A nice spacious deck and living area, walk in closet, huge comfortable bed, air conditioning, nice tub and shower. We only had three complaints--the water temperature in the shower fluctuated from really hot to cold constantly throughout the shower. This was annoying, but not a huge deal. It is easy to step out of the shower stream if the water temperature is uncomfortable for a minute. The second complaint was that the TV remote would work sporadically. We even replaced the batteries. It was weird and annoying, but didn't hamper our stay much. The last is that there was a sewage smell in the bathroom on the second day. We couldn't figure out what it was until we looked under the sink and saw an open drain below the sink that the smell was coming from. Housekeeping had been in recently, and we moved the trash can on top of the drain and that helped. While this was gross, Central and South American plumbing is a lot different from American plumbing (normally they don't flush toilet paper) and there may have been a necessary reason for this design. I think housekeeping forgot to put the trash can back over the drain after they cleaned, because it wasn't really an issue after we put it back.
The pools were nice. If you are looking for a quite kid-free pool experience, go to the Ocean Club in the Castle. There is a bar and lounge and a small pool by the ocean and no famililes. We hung out there a few times and almost had the place to ourselves.
The staff were very nice. I can tell that they go through rigorous training to work there. Anyone having a problem with the staff probably isn't tipping or is rude. If you have a problem with tipping at an all inclusive, don't go. Period. These people work hard for their money and earn way less than you do if you can afford to go here. Tipping is part of their culture and part of their income and livelihood. Tip. We read a lot of reviews about there being a language barrier with some of the staff, and after traveling around other parts of the country we expected to have to use our limited Spanish quite a bit. This was not the case. There were only two instances with servers in the pool area where they didn't speak English and we had to use Spanish, but other than that everyone spoke great English.
To the people who whined about a "cockroach in their room:" It's the tropics. Bugs will go where they want, especially if windows or doors are open. If you saw a fleet of cockroaches, that would be concerning. Personally we did not see one cockroach during our stay. And while on the subject of bugs, mosquitos weren't a problem either.
The food was very good. We heard good reviews about the steakhouse but that was our least favorite. My husband's steak was overcooked and I ordered a tuna steak, which was way overcooked. We liked the Italian restaurant and the seafood buffet night. The best meal was Dominican night on Saturday. The Dominican food is phenomenal. Definitely go to Dominican night if you are there when they have it. Didn't try the Wok. The breakfast buffet was great-tons of choices and omlettes to order. Smoked salmon and lots of fruits and pastries, meats, and cheeses as well.
We got pedicures at the spa, which was nice. The resort gave us 20% off coupons but when we got to the spa they said that if we wanted to use the coupons we had to use them on the pricing on their "regular" menu, which had 20% higher prices. So it would have been the same either way. Cheesy. I have to call the resort out on this--that's lame. If you're going to give a discount, give a discount. Don't bait and switch. Also, we got a $10.00 off coupon for a bottle of wine, but when we looked at our bill at checkout, they had charged full price. We didn't bother complaining about it, but overall the "coupons" are a joke.
Upon checkout there was an erroneous $720 charge for a room upgrade on our bill, and we didn't have a room upgrade. Upon pointing it out it was quickly remedied, no problem. They probably just keyed in the wrong room number. I believe it was an honest mistake and we had no trouble getting it taken off.
Juanillo beach next door is gorgeous, but there is little shade. If you want to sit in a beach chair you have to pay high prices at the little public bar there. I'd recommend going, but take a hat and plenty of sunscreen and a towel to sit on.
Overall a great stay. Definitely do the all inclusive option unless you eat like a bird and don't drink. The prices are expensive. All inclusive is worth it. Especially when you get all inclusive room service.
- 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