Just returned from Secrets Sanctuary, which was just awesome. The grounds are really spectacular, the service is great, and it is about as fine an R&R place as you could ever hope to find. A few notes:
We stayed in a castle ocean view suite, and the room totally exceeded our expectations. It was a masterpiece of stone and wood with clean lines, giving it a very natural, yet contemporary, feel. We had a large balcony, walk in closet, separate sitting area, and a great bathroom. Check out the pillow menu in the services binder -- you can actually ask that specific types of pillows, some of which have aromatic qualities to them, to your room. That was an unexpected treat, not sure I've ever seen that anywhere.
The grounds must be seen to be believed, photos really don't do them justice. Completely immaculate, and beautifully landscaped. They've even identified a number of "Romantic Spots" on the property map, and they are just that. If there's one knock on the place here, it's that the beach is just so-so directly in front of the resort. The sand is great, but it's pretty rocky at the water's edge, and even with water shoes, it can be pretty uncomfortable getting into the water. That said, there are beaches on either side of the resort that are wide, also have gorgeous sand, and are much more accessible. Our favorite was the beach to the south of the resort -- if you walk all the way down to where you're almost down to the next resort, there is an area where you'll find more conch shells than you've ever seen in your life -- really amazing. Aesthetically, the beach in front of the resort is great, though.
Across the board, everyone we encountered that worked there was friendly, helpful, and eager to do whatever you needed to make your trip perfect. Hats off across the board to everyone. A side note -- and this is not a criticism, just a note -- while English is spoken amongst the people with whom you interact regularly (i.e., reception, restaurant staff, bartenders, entertainment staff), I noticed that it tapers off the further you stray from their job function, or if you're asking for things that require straying from the menu. Other members of the staff speak pretty limited English, if any. With that said, we were always able to make ourselves understood without too much trouble.
The food at Secrets ranged from pretty good to excellent at the a la carte restaurants, which is where we ate the overwhelming bulk of our meals. The lunch buffet was probably a notch above what you'd get at most AIs, but we ate at the Blue Marlin for lunch every day but one, which had some really nice dishes. For dinner, I think I probably preferred the Italian place to the others, but they were all very good, and you should be able to find something you like at all of them. I was a bit disappointed that the sushi menu at the Asian place offered very standard and uninspired fare -- we generally like to take advantage of the opportunity to get uber-fresh sushi when we're that close to the water, but we didn't even bother to try it. Que sera sera.
If I'm being completely honest, the minor shortcomings with the beach and the food would probably merit rating Secrets Sanctuary as a 4.5 star resort rather than a 5, but it's closer to a 5 than a 4, so I'm going with a 5. It's really a spectacular resort, and if rest and relaxation is your thing, you'd be hard-pressed to do much better. We had an awesome experience, and we'd absolutely come back here.
Feel free to float any questions my way.
- 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