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Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
Ranked #31 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed July 19, 2010

Nice Quaint Resort with 175 rooms.. all inclusive.. a dollar goes a long way. (Great hotel for honeymooners or people on a special anniversary or special occassion.. it is very romantic). The grounds are immaculate. Be greeted with a cocktail and a God bless you or its all my pleasure... The manager was sure to come out and greet each guest as they arrived and left. The room was amazing "Castle Suite".. over 1000sq ft.. with swim out pool (PRIVATE). Great to rekindle with hubby on our 10 yr anniversary. No kids all adult play :O). We needed this trip. Even with 175 rooms if each room has a couple that is less than 400 people.. you will never be crowded and will always have your own time.. whether its on the private beach that we had all to ourselves, or a stroll in the castle or on the roof of the castle (shh!!) what a view of some amazing sites. So many staff members... never a glass half empty.. and that is good when the booze are free. Food at Blue Marlin was great.. fresh fish, amazing calamari and shrimp tempura.. BTW: The pool bar is great with the outdoor pool entertainers "Carlos, Tony Macaroni and Miami.. they are sure to make your stay so much fun and entertaining.. with alcohol of course. Be sure to introduce yourselves to all the bartenders "Carolina, Denise, Eusabio, Carlos, they are great people and there to serve you all. (Tell them all we miss them) Beach is calm and pretty private with very few guests in the water.. very romantic... salt water pool is beautiful and very romantic... the tiki lounge chairs are so cute and cozy after you had a few too many and need a break from the sun.. but for the most part the party is in the pool.. at the swim out bar around 4:00 you may be lucky to meet friends for life as the raft crew floats around with cocktails enjoying each others company... Everyone was so nice and we had an amazing relaxing time. BTW: The hamburgers at the Casa Bella Grill are the best in the world.. with all the fixings you can think of.. Also, I was worried and prepared with antibiotics to get sick to my stomach in Punta Cana.. because of something that makes everyone I talk to sick.... Not here... they serve bottled water and use imported ice. (I didn't even get a belly ache). We had a great time at the Love Bar.. (nightlife).. and they are opening the Ocean Club and that will be insane... (with a pool and an amazing view). After dinner every night we took a walk into the lounge of the blue marlin just to enjoy each other.. it was nice to feel the ocean breeze and lounge for a little bit after dinner.. I wish I was there right now.. You are going to love it here. We are planning to go back with a few couples within the next 6 months.. to get away from the crazy NY lifestyle. BTW.. this is coming from someone that is not very romantic... so to see that I mentioned it quite often should say something it self... In addition, my husband and I normally don't stay at All inclusive hotels.. we usually stay at the Ritz, Marriott, Hiltons.. this was all that and then some minus the stuffy guests you always see at the RITZ. Enjoy!!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank vttrimarche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventassescc, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2010

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your impressions and suggestions about our resort, it’s great to learn that you had such a wonderful time with us and we hope to be able to host you many more times in the future.

We are lookng forward to your next visit!

Best Regards
Carlos Del Pino
General Manager

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4,264 - 4,270 of 4,954 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2010

If you want to get away with your spouse/partner for a nice, relaxing time, this is the place to go. The hotel architecture and location is awesome. The hotel's best asset is their managers, Carlos Del Pino and Cory Santana, who really go out of their way to get to know all the guests to meet their needs . The hotel is on the water, the food is good, the attention is spectacular, drinks are top shelf. For golf lovers, Cap Cana has one of the best golf courses in the world,also has nice tennis courts, horseback riding, and an awesome Marina. I'd highly reccomend this hotel, which without a doubt with Carlos and Cory's handwork will become the hottest escapade in the Caribbean.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Balaguer22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventassescc, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2010

Dear Guest
Thank you very much for sharing your comments and experience with us. I will share your message with our entire staff!! Our main motivation and satisfaction is to received this type of emails it makes our job wayyy much easier. It´s a pleasure to serve you! We are looking forward to host you again in te near future.

Best Regards

Carlos Del Pino
General Manager

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Reviewed July 19, 2010

Wow we just came back from a great vacation at the new Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana!!! we stayed at a beautiful honeymoon suite with a private pool and it is awesome. The staff is great an very pleasant. The restuarants are ell decorated and service is very good- we really enjoyed their sea food night! as well as the blue marlin and the david crokett -steakhouse. We played 3 days in a row at punta Espada golf course designed by jack nickclaus and it is incredible golf course FOR ME THE BEST IN THE CARIBBEAN!!!! BY FAR - The pools are great- they have a great selection of alcohol they even have american beer budweiser, miller, presidente not bad!!!! They are starting to built a spa and it will be ready at the end of the year but for now they do offer great treatments in one of their huge suites. This hotel is great!!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank orangecrush0910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventassescc, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2010

Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for sharing these wonderful comments about your stay with other travelers. We are very pleased to receive such a positive feedback. Comments as yours motivate us to constantly do our best not only to maintain the quality of the service we provide, but also to go beyond our guests’ expectations.Looking forward to your next visit!

Best Regards

Carlos Del Pino
General Manager

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Reviewed July 18, 2010

We stayed at Secrets Cap Cana from July 10-16. We actually cut our trip short and came home early due to the terrible experience we had at this resort. I read the reviews before going and almost changed resorts but due to little time to research and cancel, we took our chances. It is by far the worst resort- no luxury, no service, and lots of problems. I am really surprised there are positive reviews on here. This place is a 1-2 star hotel at best.

Day1-We stayed in the honeymoon suite with private pool. We actually chose this resort because of the private pool and modern decor offered at the fort. We arrived to a run down room and algae in our pool. It looked like a swamp. We were told it was because of the rain and 3 hours later maintenance arrived to take a look. There was nothing they could do with the algae so we were moved to room 3041 (much nicer room than 3045) late in the evening- 1 day wasted. We ordered room service because of the late night move and were disappointed with the results. I ordered a veggie wrap and it showed up as a mini tortilla with 2 tbsp of lettuce and tarter sauce. Where was the avacado, sprouts, and whole wheat flat bread? This is also good to know, the tarter sauce is the sauce for everything, even when it says marinara or mango salsa. The fries were good, if you are fan of fries and beer as your meals then room service will work for you. It didn't work for us. It was rather humorous when we ordered sliders and they brought 3 orders of sliders instead of 1 that we ordered and 20 minutes later a 8 ounce anges burger. You may want to brush up on your spanish before visiting, it will come in handy. I did not and therefore all of our orders were wrong. It was like rolling a dice when ordering food in the restaurants too, you never knew what you were going to get.

Day 2-4The new room was more modern, similiar to Hyatt place and the pool was clear. The only problem in the new room was the constant sound of dripping water in the walls and the "ok" air conditioning. We stayed in this room for 3 days and did enjoy the pool but after many problems with the food and service we decided we would just cut our loss and go home. We received overly processed and sometimes frozen food from the restaurants. There is a long wait time from appetizer to dinner. As a side note- If you are staying in the fort, you have to go to the main resort to get your drinks. Room service will not bring them unless you order a bottle of wine. This was not luxurious and so not worth $800 a night.

Day 5- We decided to go home. We went to the front desk to ask for an early checkout but management wanted us to stay. It was a nice gesture as they offered us a royal villa if we would stay. We were overwhelmed by the beautiful views from the villa and decided to give it another try. We should have went home because we soon discovered the so called "royal" villa contained crabs inside the bathroom, no ac in the bathroom at all, and the floors were so damaged they looked dirty. I should probably also mention mold on the pillows and furniture. It was so disgusting I got towels to sit on the living room chairs, etc. Our a/c went out in the bedroom later that evening and we asked to move after they tried fixing it. At that point, management then acted as if we were looking for things to complain about and practicaly said that to us. Who would want their a/c to go out so they would have to move yet again? Day 5 evening- we got moved to another villa where the a/c was working only to discover the same mold problems but add broken toilets (wouldn't work all night) and a party of roaches and the smell of roach spray to the scene of this royal villa. Also, an army of crabs (15-20 big and small) took over the pool so we weren't able to enjoy it. I have NO IDEA how this is considered a royal villa and the best room at the resort, the fort room was so much better!

Day6- woke up to a roach on my toothbrush, construction outside at the pier, 2 hour wait on cushions for our loungers, broken toilets again (no water, no flush) and a crab in the living room. I went to the computer and booked us a one way ticket home.

As with the other reviews- lots of bitting gnats and mosquitos that are immune to Off, lots of problems overall with mold, mildew, dirty, old, and run down rooms.

Lastly, the pictures are true to the website, but what you cannot see is the overall filth and underlying problems. The villa shows a nice spa in the bathroom that looks out at the ocean. It does look that beautiful, but its 150 degrees in there because there is no air. That is a prime example of what the pictures cannot tell you.

Positives- the exterior architechture is nice and the grounds and views are beautiful.

My advice is to save your time and money and go elsewhere. I wish we could do our vacation over again. We were refunded for some of the nights we had issues, but we could never be paid for our time lost on this terrible vacation. I will take the reviews on tripadvisor seriously next time. Good Luck.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank travelbug4fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2010

Dear Guest

Thank you for your comments. We were under the impression we had resolved your issues to your satisfaction at the time it was brought to our attention via our Food and Beverage Manager- Mr Santana. We pride ourselves on providing genuine, caring service and apologize that the stay did not meet your expectations. You can rest assure we will continue to work to achieve our goal of total guest satisfaction. Once again thank you for taking the time in writing to us.

Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino

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Reviewed July 16, 2010

We have been around several of the most luxurious hotels in the Caribbean, and this is probably the best. The facilities are incredible, the quality of the food and the service surpassed all our expectations. At the same time the attitude of the employees made us feel like home, smiling and willing to meet all our requirements.
We will certainly go back in the not too distant future, and will recommend it to all our friends and associates

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Gabriel1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2010

Dear Guest

Thank you for the positive review. We are pleased you had a most enjoyable stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you back soon in Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana!

Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino
General Manager

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Reviewed July 16, 2010

I went there last mont and I have to say that the Dominican Republic is a great place for vacations. Nice people, nice views and incredible beaches!. This hotel in particular is exceptional and I recommend it to anyone that wants to go to the DR for some nice vacations. I hope this review helps someone.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank xmoonrakerx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2010

Please take my advice and do not stay there. Why would you with so many other Caribbean options? As you can see from the reviews, there are varying experiences but I am very suspicious of the glowing ones. There is no way one could stay there for a week without experience many of the negatives already discussed in other posts. We went the week of July 1-7 and had the same comedy of errors that tells you they are not ready and shouldn't be charging the premium prices at this point in their development as they are not providing the value. New things that happened to us include the following: We reserved a beachfront premium room, When we got there we found we were actually behind the pool near the outdoor grilling area. If you were sitting down in the loungers you could not even see the water. Further, they call it beachfront because they cut out the grassy area and filled it with hardpan sand. Voila-Beachfront!. We asked to change rooms as we really wanted a balcony and view of the ocean, which we thought we would have had when reserving a "beachfront" room. We wound up liking a 3rd floor room in the main building which was actually a downgrade. However, mgt. would not give us the $200 differential for downgrading. We had to call our travel agent who spent 1/2 hour on the phone trying to negotiate the reduction to the cost of the downgraded room. The travel agent finally got so disgusted she ate the cost herself. Other things included no towels available at the pool after noon, not enough floats for the pool, not enough chairs at the beach. Hard to understand as the resort was only 1/2 full. Restaurant service was so slow we actually dreaded going to dinner. Three times we finally ran out of patience and made a fuss and each time our food miraculously appeared within minutes. Almost made us feel they were toying with us Americans. You have to get mad to get action. Oddly, on our last night, we got wonderful service. I think they recognized us and didn't want to have a scene. My other chief complaint is that if the bartenders and waiters do not speak english hardly at all there is no way to provide good service. A hotel of this caliber should be giving english lessons to the staff of incur the cost of importing english speaking staff. The staff is well meaning but the language barrier led to wrong orders, missed orders etc. Also, on the topic of alcohol, the house wine is so bad you are forced to buy wine at dinner and only beer (Presidente) is stocked in the minibar and only two cans per day. At Couples, you get a stock of liquor, two bottles of wine and beer at all times. There are some plusses. The grounds are beautiful, truly magnificent. The private beach to the right of the resort is a gem and to the left is the public Jaunillo Beach which is so deserted it may as well be private. We spent most of our time there and could take a mile walk. To summarize, there are way to many basic resort problems with this place to ever recommend or go back to and Secrets should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to tarnish their reputation. The manager said the intend to make this a signature property someday-good luck. Go somewhere else. They do not deserve your business.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank vagabond3025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#4 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $314 - $671 (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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