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“You Won't Be Disappointed”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #42 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“You Won't Be Disappointed”
Reviewed February 24, 2011

We stayed at Secrets from Feb. 11th – Feb. 18th. Eight of us went there for my husband’s 50th Birthday trip. We have travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean and stayed at many all-inclusive resorts (approx. 16), as well as many other hotels/resorts around the world.

I can honestly say that this is a five star all-inclusive resort, and one of my favourites so far. I have heard other reviewers (who have never been to an AI) compare Secrets Sanctuary to five and six star hotels in North America and Europe. This doesn’t make sense…..it is two completely different experiences and expectations……….you might as well compare apples to oranges. This review is in comparison to other all-inclusives.

The resort itself is just beautiful, with stunning flowers and landscaping everywhere you look. We did get upgraded to a Monarch Villa which was very nice. We had a separate living/dining area, with a good size bedroom and large bathroom. We also had a little backyard with a large deck, which was very peaceful. Maid service was great. Room was usually done first thing, and then a turn down service in the evening.

The food on the whole was very good, ranging from good to excellent . Our favourite was probably the steak house, followed by Cappricio and Blue Marlin (tied), and then the Wok. Show table (hibatchi) at the Wok was great, but when we went a la carte, a couple of people from our group were not thrilled with their main dish. I loved mine, with the only thing wrong being that the rice was not cooked properly. Almost like it was friend before being steamed and/or cooked. No big deal, everything else had been amazing so far. We did order room service a couple of times for breakfast. It took about a half hour and was very good. Other people in our group ordered late night room service and said it was good as well.

The staff at Secrets is amazing. A big shout out to Frank from the entertainment staff, Carlos and Jose from the main pool, Thomas from the Ocean Bar, and Denise from the Love Bar. They were so many other people, but cannot remember all of their names. All the wait staff at the pools, restaurants, and Love Bar, were fantastic, as well as the hostess’. We were constantly asked while sitting around the pool, if we needed anything. A couple of times we ordered lunch by the pool. Service was top notch. While our whole group always tips, we talked to some people who didn’t think it was necessary at an AI. The staff does deserve it, and we all took turns tipping at dinner, as well as a couple of dollars here and there for drinks, lunch, etc.

We were drinking Canadian Club, and after a couple of days, they had run out. My friend mentioned to the bartender that we usually drank Crown Royal, and he said he had a bottle in the office and got it for us right away. My husband later talked to David, and he made sure there was a bottle at the Love Bar and pool bar. This was really appreciated, as you do want to be able to have the drink of your choice. We were extremely pleased at how fast David rectified the situation. David, The Food and Beverage Manager (I believe), was visible our whole trip…checking in on the restaurants and bars, as well as the guests.

I did see a couple of people complaining, and I now know where some of the bad reviews come from. These people were rude and it was disturbing to see how they treated the staff.

The beach while very small, was beautiful. If you want to go for a long walk on the beach, then it’s not for you. I loved it and enjoyed sitting on a lounger while looking at the turquoise water. The colour of the water is just gorgeous. There are two other beaches on either side of the resort.

The ocean bar/pool at the top of the Fortress was great. Small pool with approx.. 12 lounge chairs and seating on the side with comfy chairs and tables. The view was stunning. Great service from the bar as well….thanks again Thomas.

All in all, it’s a wonderful resort, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. If you’re thinking of going…do it, if you’re already booked, ENJOY!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank JenAy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarcoPena, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, March 5, 2011
Dear Guest,

Fantastic Review, really appreciate that you had an opportunity to enjoy our resort from diffrent areas. You are absoulutely correct Mr. David Barreiro and his staff have done a great job at identifying guest needs and meeting their expectations.

We also appreciate your comparison to other all inclusive hotels, this gives us a good indication that we are doing things correctly and that we are satisfying guest expectations.

Once again, thank you for sharing your experience, we look forward to your prompt return.

Sincerely,

Marco Pena
Rooms Division Manager
mapena@secretsresorts.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2011

About us:
We are a professional couple in our mid 40s that have traveled extensively for both business and pleasure over the last 20 years. We usually travel to the warmth 3 times per year and have stayed at many all inclusive properties. We have ‘elite’ status at several competing chains. This was our 3rd visit to the Dominican Republic, and our 4th stay at a Preferred Hotels property.

We stayed at Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana February 11 through February 18th

The property:
This property is gorgeous. The main lobby is not very large or ornate, but you walk out of it toward the property and the views are amazing. This is one of the prettiest and cleanest properties we have seen. In the seven days we were there we never saw a cigarette butt, scrap of garbage or even an errant dish or glass anywhere on the property. The bathrooms were all immaculate - even in the public areas near the pool/beach. All the public restrooms had actual hand towels (versus paper towels). And everything smelled so good - there was always a potpourri pot in the bathrooms or incense burning in the lobby, etc.

Also, they really made sure that no space was 'empty'. For example there are rooms in the tower that have exterior doors along the top of the tower walk - they could have left this walk area unadorned, but they put in interesting large benches and planters. It was great that everyplace you went had pretty little touches.

The property is fairly spread out (was it once two or three separate properties?), and you could always find a quiet spot, a cool spot, a sunny spot, etc. At times it felt like there was no one else there. It was nice to walk around, and if you didn't want to walk, they would take you around in a golf cart.

The pools/beach
The beach is small-ish, but never a problem finding a chair. The staff does a great job of raking the sea grass every morning. There are also beaches on either side of the property - that are public but empty. They are very nice if you like to walk or run on the beach.

The pools were all very nice and a good temperature. The main pool is a zero entry pool with some faux rocks, etc. along one side, making it look interesting. You can see the ocean from the main pool.

There is a quiet pool that actually is a top infinity pool and a lower pool. Also beautiful and very clean! We only saw someone in the infinity pool once.

In the tower there is the Ocean bar pool - it is up at the top of the tower - once again - beautiful view of the whole grounds - and never a soul in it.

Rooms
The villas all have ocean views but some of them are set up on a hill and not directly ocean front. The beachfront rooms front the beach but are not directly ocean front - there is a long piece of beach that leads in – but still a nice view.

Tower rooms seemed to be very popular. The ocean view ones have views from the top of the property (great view overlooking the whole property to the ocean). There are also swim-out suites that are at the back of the tower. They don’t all face the ocean but, they put in the swim-out lagoon and landscaped it very nicely so that it feels very cozy and tropical.

There are several styles of architecture and rooms which makes it seem like it might have been multiple properties at one time.

Food/Bev/Service
The food in general was very good. We dined at all of the ala carte restaurants and had room service breakfast every day. We loved the paella and gazpacho at the Blue Marlin. The Italian restaurant was very good and even the Steak house was good (always surprised to get a good steak in the Caribbean). There was only one sit-down restaurant for lunch, so sometimes service there was a little frenetic - but they were certainly trying.

Beverages were plentiful and after the first day or two, the bartenders knew our names, our drinks and our liquor preferences. The bartenders refer to the local beer 'Presidente' as 'Barrack Obama'.

Overall the service was very good and got better as the week went on (funny how a few kind words and a sincere thank you get you remembered). All the staff we encountered were very friendly, helpful and kind.

Spa
Brand new and gorgeous - we didn't spa, but the prices looked pretty typical for a resort. Even if you are not having a treatment, they will let you walk in and take a look around

Golf
A round is $390 a person but if you stay at the resort it is $195 for peak time and $125 for 'twilight'. We played the first time at 10:30 and it was a looong round (well, long for us - 5 hours). We played the second time at 2:30 PM and finished in 3 hours. The course is beautiful, extremely well maintained with great ocean views. Our caddy Benny was very good, very professional and actually paid as much attention to the female golfer as the male one. Make sure to book through the hotel concierge to get the discount.

Mega Muchos Gracias to the following Excellente employees:
All of the employees we met were friendly and gracious but there were some we got to know better than others.
Marco Pena – Rooms Division Manager – made sure we had a gorgeous room that far exceeded our expectations
Merona and Carlos – our favorite bartenders at the pool bar
Luis-Carlos – the bellman (or is that professional golf cart driver?) who was our nighttime (and sometimes daytime) ‘designated driver’, making sure we got to the restaurants and got home safely
Our housekeeping crew – we rarely saw them, but they did a wonderful job cleaning up our sandy floors and wet towels!

We usually like to try different properties within a chain, but with Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana, we would definitely go back!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank WIGolfers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarcoPena, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, March 5, 2011
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana.

GREAT REVIEW, its nice to see and experienced traveler that has visited the Dominican Republic multiple times and share their experience on Trip Advisor.

On behalf of the entire staff we thank you and it was our pleasure to serve you.

We appreciate the positive feedback and we are extremely pleased that your vacation was a great experience.

We look forward to a possible future visit.

Sincerely,

Marco Pena
Rooms Division Manager
mapena@secretsresorts.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlothian, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 22, 2011

My husband and I vacationed at SSCC from Feb17-21-2011 and I can say one word that would sum up our entire stay "EXCELLENTE'"... From the moment of our arrival until the day of our departure, we were treated as royalty. We wish we could have stayed longer. We really appreciate Frank, Usher, Miami, the ladies and the whole entire staff for being so attentive to our every need. The food was only one of the great things that we experienced on our stay. Not to mention the 24 hour unlimited room service. The scenery was so beautiful in every inch of this place that there is no way you could take a bad photo. I am already speading the word of this great place to all my friends and family. I want them to all come and visit so they can experience all that we had the opportunity to enjoy fully.
Kudos to the entire staff of the Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana Resort and thank you for showing us such exceptional hospitality.
STAY HERE AND YOU WILL HAVE NO REGRETS!!! ONLY CHEERS!!!
JJames, Texas

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mjj8957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarcoPena, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, March 5, 2011
Dear Guest,

"EXCELLENTE" reveiw, thank you for sharing your experience on trip advisor and please do continue to spread the word with your friends and family.

We are really dedicated to making each guest experience a positive one.

We look forward to your prompt return.

Sincerely,

Marco Pena
Rooms Division Manager
mapena@secretsresorts.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 22, 2011

We planned a last minute, much needed getaway with the help of American Express Travel. They suggested Secrets All Inclusive Resort in Cap Cana DR. I was apprehensive because i had never been to DR before and had never heard of the resort but the flight was short (3hrs 15 min from NY), the hotel was about 15 minutes from the airport and the people were so friendly. When we arrived at the resort we were welcomed by the friendly and informative staff and were immediately made to feel comfortable. Our accommodations were perfect! The food was delicious with 5 different restaurants to choose from there was always food available and it was delicious. The staff was amazing, friendly and attentive at all times. The spa was a great treat. we had facials and massages and all was geared toward making the guest feel relaxed and pampered. There were many types of rooms to choose from with different price points for every budget. We stayed in the villas right on the beach. The water was 10 feet from our back door!! I would definitely go back as well as recommend it to my friends.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank micheleconnelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio
1 review
Reviewed February 21, 2011

We enjoyed our stay at Secrets. The service was "Excellente", food was great, and the weather ideal. We loved the pool and the beach. Our rooms were beautiful.
Would I come back? Absolutely!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank calvinmein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarcoPena, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, March 5, 2011
Dear Guest,

Greetiings from sunny and warm Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to provide you with your Dream Vacation.

We look forward to your return.

Sincerely,

Marco Pena
Rooms Division Manager
mapena@secretsresorts.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 21, 2011

We booked the trip for our wedding/honeymoon, staying 2/10-2/17. The wedding planning process was quite difficult-dealing with multiple coodinators & discrepancies between our contract & what the resort was requesting we pay for. Luckily we had saved every correspondance & were able to point out the discrepancies. Resort managers & corporate were then willing to adhere to our initial contract. It was a long, stressful road for planning but once we arrived & met with Maria, the coordinator, most everything fell into place. The actual ceremony went off without a hitch & turned out so beautiful-Thank you Maria!

The resort & our room as a whole were amazing. Pretty much ocean views from every aspect of the resort. The grounds were beautiful, the architecture amazing. Special thanks to Marco for the upgrade! The honeymoon suite in the castle with private pool was so special. It was as if you were sitting directly above the ocean as you lay out on your private deck.

The staff was wonderful. The entertainment crew, Willy Wonka, Usher, Frank-thank you for all the activities. I highly reccomend people take advantage of these! Everyone from the front desk, wait staff, to the maids were so helpful, polite, & happy. Everyone was always smiling & it was "their pleasure" Thanks to all of you!

My overall experience was fabulous & I would love to return!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EJK_212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarcoPena, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, March 5, 2011
Dear Guest,

Warm regards from sunny and warm Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana.

On behalf of the entire staff we "CONGRATULATE" you and your significant other on your commitment to each other and wish you a long and happy life together.

Thank you for sharing your experience, we look forward to your prompt return.

Sincerely,

Marco Pena
Rooms Division Manager
mapena@secretsresorts.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed February 21, 2011

Had a wonderful time; the weather was perfect, the food was much better than expected and the staff was always pleasant and eager to assist in any way they could.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spgriffy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarcoPena, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, March 5, 2011
Dear Guest,

Warm regards from Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana.

Thank you for sharing your experience, please visit us again.

Sincerely,

Marco Pena
Rooms Division Manager
mapena@secretsresorts.com
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 AlSol

Property: Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Address: Boulevard Zona Hotelera, Playa Juanillo, Punta Cana 0809, Dominican Republic
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
#37 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol 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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