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“Best all inclusive resort I've ever been to...”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #39 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best all inclusive resort I've ever been to...”
Reviewed 15 June 2011

Amazing! This is a huge resort..a compound/castle/fort. Simply beautiful resort...hands down picturesque in every aspect. Beach area is a bit small but they make up for it with the amount of lounge areas they offer on and around the sand. Areas were never crowded. Amazing pools! Staff is incredibly accomodating. They were hands down the most attentive, fun group I've ever experienced at any all inclusive resort. They actually made the trip what it was for our group. Food was better than good, not excellent but that's par for the course sometimes at all inclusive resorts in DR, Mexico, etc. Beer (El Presidente) and liquor (Grey Goose, Belvedere) was top shelf....all cocktails were made to order unlike other all inclusive resorts where most everything comes out of pre-mixed blending units. Rooms were musty smelling. That needs to improve.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dominicanfanforlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 review
Reviewed 15 June 2011

My husband and I stayed at this resort last July. This is the first time I have felt compelled to write a review after travelling to tropical resorts for many years.

Vacation experiences are subject to many factors and I've always read reviews with an open mind. A good vacation is what you make of it. That said, our experience at SSCP was outstanding! There are no words to describe the natural beauty and first class service by the staff and management.

We are now anxiously looking forward to another amazing visit to the resort next month. As a matter of fact, I have not been asked by management to submit this review but I thought it was only fair to provide an honest description of one of our most enjoyable vacations.

  • Stayed July 2010
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Helpful?
Thank SDwil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Carolina
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 June 2011

My wife and I spent 6 nights at Secrets Sanctuary and had a great time. This all inclusive, couples only resort provided OUTSTANDING service, food, and accommodations. We had stayed at numerous resorts over the years, and this was by far one of the best (better than the Sandals resorts, which have gone down over the past few years). There are a limited number of rooms, which means there were no crowds at the pool, beach, or restaurants. We even had pool side waiters! our concierge, Luz, did an outstanding job taking care of us...as did Miami, Juan, and all of the staff! We would recommend that you try this resort for your next vacation.

Marty & Judy

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lexus7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lee's Summit, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2011

My husband and I stayetd at the Secrets Sanctuary for 10 days for our honeymoon and it was perfect! We stayed in the beach front premium suite and it was really lovely with a beautiful view of the beach. The last three days we were there we upgraded to the honeymoon suite with a private pool and it was absolutely amazing! The view of the ocean was breathtaking and the pool was a dream come true! The staff members were very helpful, polite and fun. They were like family, welcoming us "home" when we first got there! We loved the room service and used it a lot! The food/drinks were outstanding and we loved how we got waited on when we were out at the pool or beach. This was a very romantic trip and we appreciated how everything was kind of geared towards couples. We would absolutely go back and stay at this resort, it was everything we wanted.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank amcfarland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2011

My husband and I experienced our honeymoon in this beautiful resort and we are so happy we did! This resort was perfect! I am usually picky about service and cleanliness and I had absolutely no complaints about that while staying at Secrets Sanctuary! We booked a Junior Suite Ocean View and were suprisingly upgraded for no charge when we arrived at the resort since they had availability! From the moment we stepped foot onto the resort, the staff were always smiling and very friendly. We rarley needed to ask for anything because everything we needed was already in the room. The mini fridge was stocked daily and we always had extra towels.

The resort itself is so peaceful and relaxing. It's the perfect place for couples to getaway. There are 5 different restaurants and each restaurant is open on certain days. Blue Marlin is by far the most delicious restaurant! Their seafood, specifically the shrimp is amazing! Capriccio has great dessert. This resort offers 24 hours room service which is great however the food from the room service menu just doesn't taste good. We ordered four different times and each time the food was honestly nothing like the restaurants they had. On the other hand, it's an all-inclusive resort so you can eat at the restaurants and not have to worry about that! :)

If you are looking for more than just relaxation, just talk to the concierge! She was very helpful in giving us many ideas of what type of activities we could do off the resort for an extra fee. They will arrange the transportation for you. We went snorkeling, speedboating, horseback riding, swimming with dolphins and sting rays, and ziplining! This was truly a trip of a lifetime. Our 1 year anniversary is coming up and we are thinking about going back! You will not regret this trip!

Room Tip: I would recommend a monarch villa! Perfect!
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  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank HabibiYa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakeville, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 June 2011

My husband and I chose Secrets because we wanted to leave our 3 young children behind and celebrate our 10-yr anniversary at a beautiful kid-free destination. From the tasty fruit smoothie and moist towel handed to us upon arriva, the upgrades and hospitality just got started. We were blown away by the politeness of the staff, cleanliness of every inch of the property, enthusiasm of the "entertainment committee"(Frank the Tank was our personal favorite!). We enjoyed days lounging on the beach and by the pool while sipping delicious drinks, trying windsurfing and other water sports, dining out whenever we wanted, working out in the gym... the list goes on. It was simply paradise for a week!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kmeyer23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Haven, CT
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2011

We just returned from a 9 day stay at Secrets Sanctuary, celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary. We travel quite regularly and have fairly high expectations in a resort. Based on our overall experience compared to our expectation, we feel the hotel is between a 3.5 and 4 out of 5.

What we loved:

The grounds were beautifully manicured and well kept. The location on the ocean was quite expansive with a large breadth of ocean front coverage in a secluded and private location. The suite was decorated nicely, the bed was very comfortable.

The staff was very pleasant, always trying to be helpful and the Entertainment staff was so fun to be around. Lively and fun without being overbearing. We loved Rafael and Oscar at the pool, Frank, Willy, and Mickey made us laugh and kept us as busy as we wanted to be with fun activities. Our concierge, Luz was very sweet. It is clear that the staff works tirelessly, day and night to ensure that guests really have a wonderful time and memorable vacation and for that we are thankful and did have a great time.

We spent a couple of hours nearly every afternoon at the Ocean Club pool and bar in the Fortress. Loved the bartender Thomas, he made excellent drinks, and it was such a quiet secluded spot that was perfect for winding down in the afternoon. Additionally, the Love Bar in the main lobby was also a cute spot, for a pre-dinner drink or game of checkers and later in the evening for some of the night shows, which we enjoyed.

We enjoyed the fitness center each morning, and although a bit warm in there for our taste, the equipment was quite nice and well maintained. The spa was very nice and I truly enjoyed having services there, it was very tranquil and the pricing was fair.

The public beach next to the resort is so nice and nearly empty. You could run or walk for miles without seeing anyone. The beach was frequently raked and the water nice and shallow for several hundred yards.


What we didn't love:

The food was SO inconsistent. We had the ability to eat dinner at each of the four restaurants twice. Earlier reviews had warned us that the food really wasn't on par with 5 star resorts in general and so we did not expect to be wowed, but even so, we left some meals just confused. For example, we have travelled the Florida Keys quite a bit and have a joke that we are always on the quest for the best cooked conch, so at the Blue Marlin restaurant we were skeptical to order the Conch Chowder but it was delicious. Really, really delicious. On the other hand, at Capriccio, the Italian styled restaurant, something so simple as the Cream of Tomato and Basil soup literally had NO cream in it. We have many other examples as well. Some things delicious, others so disappointing. Frequently, we found that despite the menu listing what the entree actually included, we often found unmentioned substitutes or flat out omissions. We generally do not like to dine at buffets, but found the breakfast and lunch selection at the Casa Bella to be plentiful, fresh and with many healthy options. Food is one area of the hotel that truly needs MUCH improvement. There is so much opportunity for the resort to be a wonderful wonderful experience, if the cuisine could be improved.

Despite touting an extensive wine list, the wine which was actually included in our "unlimited luxury" was quite meager. One can not even order a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. They just aren't even offered - forget a couple of choices. Additionally, white wine was often served in red wine glasses and red wine was often served in white wine glasses.

There are vendors which descend upon the main pool area about every other day. They are very pushy and extremely overpriced. I really can't believe that the resort is ok with this. People feel like they can not get up from their pool chair because they do not want to be harassed.

Lastly, we heard from other travelers with whom we became friendly of the very intense sales approach towards the Vacations Club membership. We learned early on of which people in the lobby we should avoid and move quickly when we saw them coming. Really - how terrible is that? We were fortunate to avoid them for the entire trip but cringed for others when we saw them getting wrapped up in it all.

All in all, we had a very nice vacation, really enjoyed ourselves and didn't allow the things that would make us crazy at home impact us too much. We just accepted them and hope that for future travelers, some of the feedback left both as part of the reviews as guests depart and here on Trip Advisor will lead to some changes taking this nice resort with hiccups to the amazing resort that it has the potential for. There is a bit of a language barrier with some of the staff, but with even just some Spanish speaking ability, it goes a long way.

Because we need to say whether we would recommend the resort or not, we had to ask ourselves if we regretted our decision to go here, which we did not, so we would recommend it, with the caveat that people have a realistic expectation around the food.

We truly hope this review is helpful to others and are happy to answer questions anyone may have.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Talia F
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 AlSol

Property: Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Address: Boulevard Zona Hotelera, Playa Juanillo, Punta Cana 0809, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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
#35 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 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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