We booked this trip off of a last minute Groupon, so what we paid for a 5 night all-inclusive stay was fair. From all of the raving reviews here on Trip Advisor, we were definitely expecting more of a 5-star resort, however their were pros and cons to the whole vacation.
Food - I'll start here because this was where we were most disappointed. The only enjoyable meal was breakfast, even though it was a small buffet. You could get an omelette and their smoothie bar was good, but the cheeses and fruits seemed to always have flies all over them. I can honestly say the most I ate all trip was probably breakfast since it was simple toast, butter and an egg. The first day for lunch I tried a "chicken burger" at the grill station which tasted like canned tuna fish and was absolutely disgusting. The next day we tried to order a BLT from the pool, and mine only had the L&T on it, and the woman next to us only got cheese on hers! The lunch buffet in Casa Bella had very limited options, and I could only eat the lettuce there. On the last day we tried lunch at Blue Marlin which was finally decent.. we had the conch chowder, tomato gazpacho, and red snapper which were all good options.
Dinners were OK, but the Blue Marlin (tuna) was terrible.. and I couldn't finish the rest of my meal. My boyfriend's steak was so chewy you couldn't even get it down. This is much better for lunch. The Italian place was fine if you want bread, plain pasta and pizza. Wok (the Asian place) was good the first night... probably my favorite meal there! But when we returned a second night, we waited over an hour for our apps and food, which ended up being so salty it was almost inedible. Last night we did the Steakhouse which we both enjoyed....except we both had mild food poisoning the next morning. If you're a foodie - this is not the place for you. We walked to the public beach next door and actually bought lunch..which was 10x better than anything I saw or tried at the resort.
Rooms - We were in the Oceanview Jr. Suite and really enjoyed it. I saw a bunch of people saying they had issues with their rooms, but we waited 1.5 hrs to check in which wasn't a big deal. There is definitely a shortage on the housekeeping restocking the soaps, and towels, so definitely let the front desk know if there is a problem.
Pool/Beach - I was pretty disappointed with the beach. It was extremely small and very rocky, but nonetheless it was beautiful. We ended up staying at the pool everyday - but you need to be there before 9am if you want to get a good chair. If you want a nice beach, walk next door to Juanillo beach.
Entertainment - We weren't looking to do much, however there is very limited night time entertainment here. 2 nights we were there were karaoke nights in the hotel bar, which were fun - but definitely awkward at first. There was a Dominican dance night, and then a bon-fire which was a little lame.
The hotel staff was very nice, always said hello, but the vendors at the pool were so incredibly pushy you were trying to avoid walking in their direction. You just want to relax on vacation and not be hounded by people who want you to buy things. We had to wait long for drinks at the most part, and signing the checks everytime was pretty annoying.
All in all - it was a nice and relaxing vacation since we spent most of the time in the sun, but it definitely had it's downfalls. Make sure to ask for premium liquor in your drinks or they'll give you close to nothing. We've had much better food experiences at all-inclusives before (mexico particularly), so I probably wouldn't return to the DR in general.
Hope that was helpful!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sanctuary Cap Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Sanctuary Cap Cana Resort