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“Wonderful Honeymoon Experience”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
Ranked #31 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed October 27, 2013

My husband and I arrived at Sanctuary and were instantly greeted by the front desk staff and a free upgrade to the Island Suite! We were told the property was at 80% occupancy; however, we never had to wait for a drink at the bar, to be seated at dinner, and pools/chairs were always open and available! They spray on the property for bugs and mosquitoes, so this was never a problem. And everything was kept clean! Truly, a top-notch all-inclusive experience!

Tips:
-Get bikes through the concierge and enjoy checking out the property
-Go to the Steakhouse as often as possible--we loved the food!!
-One side of the property connects to the public beach. If you walk to the other side of the property you will find a beautiful private beach that will be all yours! We think the Sanctuary uses this space for weddings, when scheduled.
-If you want a cabana bed on the beach, put some personal items out on it around 8:00am. Then, go back to bed for a few more hours. Or, find a willing Sanctuary working who will accept $10 to reserve it for you all week.
-Ask for a room upgrade. Most likely, you will get it!
-Utilize room service for breakfast--the buffet is not worth waking up for. You can call and place your order the night before so breakfast arrives right on time. If you call in the morning, there is usually a 40 minute or so wait time.
-Check out the pool on top of the castle fortress. Great views at sunset and nice bartender.

Our only minor complaints were:
-We booked an excursion only to find it was overbooked and we were delayed to a later time. Partially, this was our fault, since we booked it the day of so make sure to do it in advance.
-The indoor pools we had in our Island Suite room were BEAUTIFUL, but also FREEZING with no way to heat them up. So, the indoor pools in the room are more to be admired, not used.
-The hotel allows vendors on property some of the days, forcing to walk long routes to avoid there sales pitch.
-The water, while beautiful (not many sea creatures or seaweed; pretty blue color), is not good for snorkeling. The sand is so fine that it easily stirs up making the water pretty murky.
-NOT a good place if you are interested in activities and nightlife. Once the sun goes down, guests go to dinner and then to their rooms. There are activities on the daily schedule, but no one seemed to partake. There aren't any shows at night either, which was kind of a disappointment. We tried to stay on the beach until sunset (7:00ish), relax and shower in our rooms, and then do a late dinner.
-Do NOT go to the Casino. We thought this was something near the property, but after getting in a shuttle, we were told it was a 40 minute drive into another town. It was quite an experience, but definitely a little scary and sketchy.
-We wanted to do a spa treatment, but thought the prices were way TOO EXPENSIVE

Room Tip: Definitely get ones with a view. Find a reason to ask for an upgrade. The honeymoon suites with the...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Erin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

Dear Guest,

First of all I would like to thank you for having shared your impressions.

Thank you a lot for the confidence placed in us to celebrate your Honeymoon with us, for recommending us to property to other travelers, and for your compliments; I feel proud and grateful to hear that your experience with us left a memorable.

At Sanctuary Cap Cana we have a commitment to provide quality service beyond our guests’ expectations, and it is a real pleasure for me to hear that we have achieved our goal. This definitely strengthens our philosophy of seeking the highest level of excellence.

Thank you for the great review and for recommending our hotel to future travelers.

We look forward to your next visit.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,067 - 3,073 of 4,956 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2013

After a short ride to the hotel we were pleasantly surprised by the lovely grounds and buildings of the hotel ! We were given a tropical frozen drink that set the tone for our vacation! Checked into a castle room which had fantastic views of the ocean but was a little too big for us .We asked to be moved . We were accommodated the next day to an equally nice room with gorgeous views of the ocean ! Restaurants were good. Steak house and the Blue Marion my favorite. Service was great ! A special thanks to Hector , Manor, Carlos and everyone else for a wonderful time!
Yes we would recommend this hotel and plan on returning

Room Tip: fortress rooms great view or villa by the beach
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank charles w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of Sanctuary Cap Cana.

I am delighted to hear about your recent experience at Sanctuary, as well I would like to thank you for having taken some of your valuable time to write your impressions.

Exceeding the expectations of our guests and offer truly exceptional experiences is our goal. We know that in order to achieve this it is necessary to provide good service and attitude; therefore I am proud to hear that our staff went above and beyond in their effort to fulfill all your needs.

Thank you for the great review and for recommending our hotel to future travelers.

We look forward to your next visit.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2013

GREAT SERVICE !! FRIENDLY STAFF !! Everything was perfect , except the nights !! If u like to eat n go to bed ,and watch tv , this is the place for you !! BUT IF YOU LIKE TO HAVE FUN , this is not the place for you

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank NANCYricard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of Sanctuary Cap Cana.

Exceeding the expectations of our guests and offer truly exceptional experiences is our goal. We know that in order to achieve this it is necessary to provide good service and attitude; therefore I am proud to hear that our staff went above and beyond in their effort to fulfill all your needs.

The comments and suggestion of our guest’s are of the utmost importance and assistance to us and I greatly appreciate the time you took to post your review after having stayed with us.

I am glad to hear that your vacation have been better than you expected and it is clear to me that we have achieved our goal. Notwithstanding, your comments on improvement areas will be part of our daily work.

Thank you for your feedback and we hope to have the opportunity to host you again at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We stayed here end of Aug. 2013 for a week. We went with friends of ours. The staff was wonderful, we asked to be up grated to an ocean from, and we were for an extra fee of course.
We loved our room,it was big and beautiful. Had a couple of crabs, the first day or so, but then didn't see any after that (in the room). We had the beach to our selves the whole week, heaven.
The food was good, the food manager was fantastic, he was always around and asking us how was everything, and if there was anything that they can get us. We really enjoyed all the Restaurants, but I think my favorite was the Asian and the Steak House.You need reservations for both. The Asian you need reservation only if you want to sit at the hot table (to watch how they prepare the food in front of you) otherwise you can sit in or outside.
The pools are nice, and Teddy Bear the activity guy, is so friendly and wonderful. All the staff is always trying to make your stay as accommodating as possible, and always with a smile. We love the Sanctuary, we would love to go back again, and this time we would like to stay for 10 or 14 days. The grounds are kept so clean, beautiful flowers all over. During our stay, it was not so busy, and we really liked that, we felt that we almost had the place to ourselves. We took a cab to the Cap Cana Marine, that was very big, makes for a great walk, around the marine. We also went to the Golf course, beautiful. Our husbands golfed,they loved it. We highly recommend this Hotel, if you are looking for nightly Entertainment, this may not be the place. If I had one complaint, it is that you can hear your next door neighbors, even if they are just talking.

Room Tip: We had asked them to drive us to 3 different rooms,to see them and then we asked the price of all of...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Danila M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for write your comment on Trip Advisor.

We are very glad to learn that you had a wonderful vacations, it is a pleasure to read that you
enjoyed our facilities, the walk through our grounds and corridors and the service provided for our staff.

We truly appreciate your recommendation, our main goal is to transform the holidays of our guests into memorable moments and we are very happy to read that we accomplish that goal with you.

We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the near future at this, your Sanctuary.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

After a ton of research for a honeymoon destination around the Caribbean, I kept coming back to the Sanctuary Cap Cana. Sure there were common things people complained about, but the layout of the resort and consistently positive TripAdvisor reviews had me sold. In short, my wife and I couldn't be happier!

From the moment we arrived on the island, we knew this was going to be a special trip; not because it was our honeymoon, but because the vibe of the people and the island sent out that positive energy. We rented a car, so we didn't have the luxury of a local Dominican guiding us to the resort; we did get turned around a few times, but we ended up finding the resort. They really need to take down the dated resort signage and make the location to the Sanctuary more evident. But seriously, not a big deal since we were on our honeymoon. ;D

Upon arrival to the main lobby, we were greeted by the friendly hotel staff who took our bags and tagged them. Our room wasn't ready, as we anticipated from the TripAdvisor reviews, but we weren't fazed. The front desk gave us our room number, and we simply walked around and explored the resort. We ate at the Blue Marlin and enjoyed the cool breeze off the water.

I didn't tell my wife what room I booked, so once our room was ready, I was pumped! However, upon arriving to our room, I immediately had a sinking feel that we weren't given the correct honeymoon suite. So as we entered our suite I couldn't believe my eyes and I had to open my mouth and say something to my wife; I told her that this wasn't the one I booked. It was infinitely better! It was the Island Suite! Hoooooly! It was the room I wanted, but didn't think it was available. The bi-level suite had two pools, a dinette, two luxurious bathrooms, and an amazing bedroom! Not to mention the view! Wow. Simply outstanding. We felt like royalty, like millionaires!!! The decor, the tiling and wood materials used in the construction of the castle suites just have to be seen. It really is insane. Even the Cisco phones greet you! That's how I knew we weren't on some reality TV show. LOL.

The restaurants weren't over-the-top great, but they get the job done. I wasn't expecting much, since these types of resorts try to cater to all types of tastes. The wait staff were always pleasant and always make attempts to make your smile. I always tipped. Breakfast and lunch at Casa Bella were the norm. I couldn't get enough of the chinola (passion fruit); ate it all the time. I will say, the resort puts on a Dominican Night/Feast that serves delicious local dishes and deserts; this should be a staple of the island. I'd suggest putting a Dominican restaurant in place of the now-defunct Casino. I'm sure non-Dominicans would also appreciate real, authentic Dominican food.

The staff at Sanctuary are hands-down the best. I guess it's just a Dominican thing, but everyone was so friendly and genuine. Standouts were Saul at the lobby valet; Menor, the best and highest energy guy at the resort! He'll bring your smile and laugh to another level. Seferino, who never waited on us, but somehow always managed to say hi and greet us. Kaila and Rocky Balboa, also great guys to see around the pool area.

All in all, it really is hard to capture our total experience in just one sitting. Our honeymoon was a once in a lifetime event that I didn't want to foul up by picking a bad resort. TripAdvisor and the large sample size of reviews totally helped us discover not only the great people at Sanctuary Cap Cana, but the people of the Dominican Republic. We did explore outside the resort and the island is something else. We'll definitely be coming back for a future vacation. We truly miss the friends we made at Cap Cana.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank BradleyMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2013

Dear Guest,

First of all I would like to thank you for having shared your impressions.

Thank you a lot for the confidence placed in us to celebrate your Honeymoon with us, for recommending us to property to other travelers, and for your compliments; I feel proud and grateful to hear that your experience with us left a memorable.

At Sanctuary Cap Cana we have a commitment to provide quality service beyond our guests’ expectations, and it is a real pleasure for me to hear that we have achieved our goal. This definitely strengthens our philosophy of seeking the highest level of excellence.

Thank you for the great review and for recommending our hotel to future travelers.

We look forward to your next visit.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

The two weeks my husband and I stayed at The Sanctuary, were the best two weeks in years. This place is simply superb. The setting is glorious, the layout and architecture are so well thought out. We found peace and quiet with just the right amount of entertainment in the evenings. The first week was as if we had the place to ourselves. Wonderfully quiet beaches, beautiful warm sea and white sands, the hotel pools, all make this place such a perfect 'sanctuary'. Our room was large, the bed was large and so very comfortable, with pillows and quilt from soft down. We had a large patio with sun loungers, our own pool, chairs and foot-stools and coffee table. We split our time between our own patio and pool, and the beaches to try and get the best of everything. Two weeks were NOT enough ! I could live there full time ! The General Manager, Mr Ignacio Perez, must be very proud of managing this hotel and also of the excellent team of staff that adore working there. Their passion is clearly seen as they work and integrate with the guests. The chefs do a wonderful job and produce some very good food. We tried as many things as we could and could have done with another two weeks to try everything all over again ! The house wines were very acceptable and the cocktails delectable ! The only criticism in that area is that a rose wine was not offered, I think red, white and rose should be available as house wines; and, disappointingly, they were serving a 4% perry as 'champagne'. They could have at least stretched to an half-decent cava which would be more appropriate to the class of the hotel. However, any small issues we had on arrival were dealt with / corrected extremely efficiently and without any fuss. Nothing was too much trouble. We thank Mr Perez and his wonderful team, for making this couple from England, so very happy to have been able to experience The Sanctuary. We will return hopefully, in the not too distant future. This is the perfect place for relaxation, peace, beauty, de-stressing and unwinding ! Barbara & Keith, Cheshire, England

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank KayPeeBeePee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your feedback about your recent stay at our hotel.

We are so thrilled to learn that you enjoyed our facilities, your room, the food and the service. We are very grateful with your mention about our associates, thank you very much for recognize their work and comment the details that they have had with you. As you mentioned, our team work is our most valuable value, our staff is always ready to go the extra mile, in order to provide an excellent service and to transform your vacations into memorable moments.

Also, I would like to tank you for your recommendation concerning the rose wine and cava, our guest’s opinion are very important for us, this way we can know about your preferences and improve our service, thank you very much for your notes, have sent your comments to the corresponding managers in order to take them under consideration and improve the procedures at the mentioned departments

We will be waiting for you, here, in your Sanctuary.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

My husband and I just came back from celebrating our 14th anniversary at Sanctuary Cap Cana. We had an amazing experience! I have been to plenty of 5 stars hotels but I have never received the attention and customer service I received here. The staff at Sanctuary is lovely. They are always willing and have a smile on their faces (without being annoyingly fake), and that includes while serving drinks at the beach under scorching temperatures (and while wearing black slacks!!).
Raul Mendez (restaurants and bars manager) is the picture of professionalism, and a perfect example of highly effective managerial skills. Breilin Pierre and Maria (Casabella) were one of the most professional, pleasant, and genuinely nice people we have ever met. Yime is an amazing cook and went above and beyond his duties to make our stay as pleasant as possible. After going home, Yime left us in the hands of Christian, another jewel at Cap Cana. Niersin, Dely, Ioneska, Rebecca, and Yirane were also incredible and deserve a shout out. Junior (beach bar) is just a treasure! We really enjoyed our conversations at the beach. Last but not least, Menor (entertainment) is the sweetest person ever!!

The food is superb! I did enjoy the dishes at the a la carte restaurants a bit more than the buffet. My husband fell ill one evening and Raul allowed us to order at the steak house and had room service deliver our dishes.

We stayed the the honeymoon suite at the fortress. We loved everything about it and highly recommend it. We will try one of the villas on our next vacation (which will definitely be at Sanctuary).

We also give huge props to their highly capable landscape works. They are always on the move, working non-stop.

The weather was hot and humid (typical October at the DR) and the ocean not as clear as I would like it to be, but that is also normal for this time of the year. We will try going in the winter again.

The hotel is REALLY clean, I mean spotless!!! You will be amazed. I could not believe that anyone would give their overall experience at SCC less than 5 stars!! We had the most fun and most relaxing time of our lives!!

Just one thing, Mr. Ignacio:
Please allow your employees to wear shorts! It broke my heart to see them wearing pants in that heat!!!

Room Tip: The fortress and villas are definitely the best places to stay.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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9  Thank JSangy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for share on Trip Advisor your recent experience in our Sanctuary.

We are pleased to read, that you have had a wonderful holiday in our resort, we are glad to learn that you enjoyed our facilities and Service.

We are very grateful with your mention about our associates, thank you very much for recognize their work and comment the details that they have had with you. As you mentioned, our team work is our most valuable value, our staff is always ready to go the extra mile, in order to provide an excellent service and to transform your vacations into memorable moments.

I assure you that they will know about your review and you recognition, and they will be more than happy to know the good impression that they left on you.

P/D: Regarding the uniformity, I'm glad to inform you that soon we will be using a new uniform that is adapted to our climate.

We will be waiting for you, here, in your Sanctuary.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#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: $313 - $674 (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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