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“Luxury”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #41 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
46 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Luxury”
Reviewed 22 August 2011

Superb luxury hotel in the fabulous Cap Cana resort. You really could not fault anything at this place, it is superb. Absolutely beautiful. The only downfall is that it is VERY expensive

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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1 Thank Donstallione
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2011

This resort was top notch in every sense of the word. From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty. The staff was very attentive, the facilities were gorgeous, and the food was great. We actually got married at the resort and the ceremony they put together for us was beautiful. We cannot wait to go back for our anniversary trip.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4 Thank Meganand22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wheeling, West Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 August 2011

My husband and I were looking for a quiet and romantic place to spend our 10th anniversary. We researched a number of locations and resorts, and Secrets Sanctuary seemed to have all that we were looking for: beauty, tranquility, relaxation, romantic accommodations and delicious dining options. We were looking for something small and removed, yet we didn't want to get bored. Secrets Sanctuary surprised us and was even more than we had planned!

Before we even went, I had emailed Marco Pena (because I had seen him on this website which was my Bible for really figuring out the pros and cons of different resorts) and asked him some questions. Within days, I received an email with the information I had requested and he even took the time to look at our reservation and filled me in on some perks that I didn't know we had. I already knew at that point that I wasn't going to have any complaints about customer service!

First of all, I must say that if you are looking for constant activity options and a "nightlife" kind of place, this is not it. If you are a couple looking for romance and a quiet place to re-group and relax, then keep reading :-)

When we walked in, we were greeted by bellboys who took our bags and a welcome crew who immediately gave us ice cold towels and drinks of the day. We checked in, but our room was not going to be ready for another hour (still 3 hours before check-in time), so another staff member offered to show us around the resort and lead us to lunch. We soon learned this friendly atmosphere would last the entire trip as we never passed an employee who didn't greet us with a hello :-) I hadn't even seen beyond the entry area and I was already hooked by the kindness and outgoing spirit of the staff! Actually seeing the grounds only took our breath away! The foliage and stone work was perfect and really made this resort into a Spanish Village. It was perfectly groomed and always clean. I don't think I ever saw a single piece of litter in our entire week. The main pool, waterfall pool and infinity pool are just gorgeous and are kept at perfect temperatures. We spend nearly all of our time in the main pool because of the bar. I'm not sure if it was just our timing, but we were never without lounge chairs or a raft to lazily float the day away. There were never more than 25 people in the pool... I would definitely go at this time of year again for that reason!

Our room was perfect. We just got the "basic" room but it was very comfortable and pretty and it seemed anything but "basic." Our fridge was always stocked, our amenities were plenty and the space was more than enough with a nice walk in closet, a big bathroom, a comfy king size bed with lots of pillows and a cozy comforter, a living room area and a huge balcony overlooking the main plaza, gardens pools and the ocean. The view was amazing!!!!

There were just enough activities to keep me from sitting around all day. Though we didn't do any excursions, we found that those who did them through the Apple rep's suggestions came back talking about them very positively. That being said, we may not have left the resort, but we weren't bored by any means. When we weren't busy relaxing, they had daily spanish lessons, special lessons (including merengue, salsa, cocktail and fruit carving), and some fun activities to get you up and moving (beach volleyball, bocce ball, ping pong, beer pong, morning stretching, daily walks and twice daily zumba in the pool). The entertainment team was outgoing and friendly and tried to get everyone involved. Hello to Frank the Tank, Mickey Mouse and Willy Wonka!

The restaurants were cozy and romantic and the service there was impeccable. There was one lady who was the maitre d for several of our meals... She took the time to learn our names and always asked how our vacation was going and if there was anything we needed. The food was outstanding and we never had a meal we didn't like. We got to try every restaurant, but my only regret was not going to Blue Marlin for dinner. I especially recommend Cappricio. The foods melted in your mouth and we never walked away hungry! In fact, the last night, my husband and I couldn't decide on what we wanted since everything we tried there was so good so we ended up with 4 dinners between the two of us! The mushroom risotto is a must try :-) Breakfast at Casa Bella was wonderful as well. We ordered Eggs Benedict and they had a wide variety of pastries, fruits, and local foods for the tasting. My husband especially liked the waffle and omelette station :-)

The spa was a hidden gem. We bought the 4-pack massage bar and split the package between us. We each got a swedish massage the first trip and then I got an aromatherapy massage and he got a deep tissue. Mine were easily among the best I had ever had. They were very careful to keep as peaceful of an atmosphere as they could and I came out feeling like a new person. The second set, we went early and did their hydrotherapy circuit which is posted on the wall by their plunge pools. I definitely recommend this before any massage treatment! It wakes up your muscles and allows for the full effects of a massage!

I must say, as beautiful as this resort was, as yummy as the food was, as breathtaking as the pools were and as relaxing as the spa was, nothing impressed me more than how the staff worked together and worked hard to ensure the quality of their resort. The bar team, the restaurant teams, the hospitality teams and the entertainment team worked together as one fluid family and sincerely took care of every detail. One prime example was this: I noticed on reviews that many of the resorts in the area were having trouble with seaweed coming in because of storms that loosened it all up. Sanctuary was no exception. However, there was NEVER a time when I didn't see employees out on the beach trying to keep up with the waves of it that came in. They went from pitchforks and wheelbarrows to front loaders, but it just kept coming in. On Friday, one of the ladies who had also been there that week came over and said to come over to the beach-- we had to see this! There were over 30 employees-- some in work clothes, some in office clothes, even the entertainment team was out there!!!-- out there with boots and gloves on loading huge garbage bags full of seaweed onto a big dump truck. By that afternoon, Secrets Sanctuary guests had a beautiful, clean beach to lounge on and an ocean they could swim in. The teamwork was not only impressive, but it was a moment that showcased the levels the resort team would go to so their guests could enjoy themselves.

I could honestly go on and on about this resort and relive my vacation over and over. My husband, who went into this thinking it was a one time deal, spent a good amount time as we floated around the pool talking about how we were going to be saving up to come again and when :-) So, to sum it up, if you are a couple seeking romance, tranquility and a place to TRULY get away from it all, you will NOT be disappointed with Secrets Sanctuary! We can't wait to go back!!!!

Room Tip: 3030 has AMAZING panoramic views of the property and ocean!!!!!
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Akron, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2011

I can't even begin to explain the experience. The food was fantastic, the room was beautiful, as was the entire facility. I think, though, the best part was the staff. After about one day we felt as though we were with a large group of friends. Oh, that sounds weak, I really can't explain how wonderful the staff was. I had several "favorites" but have to say that Luz really topped the list.
I've been trying to convey to my staff what a fantastic and relaxing time we had, but just don't have the words. I guess you'll have to see for yourselves!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank snarfoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2011

The property is beautiful and well kept. The room was nice with great maid service. Some days she left petals on the bed and lit the incense. One day the toilet overflowed and they came right away, but a maid on her way home dropped her bags and came in to help. The service is really terrific. One night we had a lizard in our room and they came right away and helped search the room. It's a good idea to roll up a towel and put it up against the bottom of the door. We did find him hiding behind the molding around the door. Sprayed him with hairspray then kicked him out the door. The beach was clean and the water was just beautiful. When we first arrived the ocean and beach had tons of seaweed where we couldn't even get into the water. They said it was from a tropical wave plus It rained many days before we got there. They hand cleaned the seaweed off the beach. A few days we headed to the pool because my boyfriend couldn't stand how slow they worked. They were getting on his nerves. The service on the beach was terrible. In our 9 day stay, she (I called her Prima Donna) only came over to us 3 times. She was busy talking to the spa girls that hang by the entrance to the beach. We went up and got our own drinks and food. The pool service was fantastic. The guys were so nice and so attentive to everyone's needs. The service at the quiet pool was also exceptional. They need to get more rafts for the pool. I couldn't believe how grown people were stealing rafts right out from others and even rolling them up and hiding them under their lounge chairs. Getting more rafts would solve that problem. The food was exceptional in all the restaurants. There is such a variety of great food that no one should have a complaint. My favorite was the steak house even though I don't eat meat. The fish was great, the service was great and just liked the atmosphere in that restaurant. They have 2 guys that go restaurant to restaurant that sing and they are very good. If you eat outside make sure you use bug spray. Go to the buffet on international night, the food and entertainment was great. They have vendors around the pool at different times and the prices are outrageous. They know you probably won't leave the grounds to shop so they really try to take you over. The shops that are on the premises also are very over priced, so be careful. They have no books in the shops, so bring enough to read for your stay. The one shop with the cigars and Mama Juana, the owner will quote you an outrageous price, don't pay it, if you really want it, bargain with him. He gave me a headache, I walked out of the store. A girl bought a cigar for 100.00, her husband went back to get the money back, it got real loud. If you want to print out your boarding pass or confirm your flight before leaving, there is only one computer in the little store. It is very,
very slow, took me 40 minutes. One more thing, the concierge sent us on a shopping trip that got cancelled because the town people were demonstrating and no one told us. We got in the van with other couples and they took us to a marina. There is hardly any stores there and they were also not open. After a few phone calls they finally came back to get us. So, don't go to the Marina, that wasted a half day. Other than a few little things, the vacation was great, most of the service was great, food was fantastic, check out was easy, transportation to the airport was on time, suitcase pickup was on time and we met some fantastic people. Wireless is free in all the lounges and bars. Ipad fits in the safe in your room. Best tip: get the grouper at the Blue Marlin for lunch, and a Miami Vice to drink on the beach. Fantastic!
One more thing, entertainment every night at 9:45. Good variety of shows but if it rains they bring the shows into the bar which only seats about 45 people. They show a movie every night outside the lobby. Again, if it rains they cancel.

Room Tip: We booked late so we were all the way in the back by the lobby. It doesn't bother us, you only s...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank MsTeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2011

My new wife and I stayed at secrets for our honeymoon in late July. We were a little nervous after reading some of the negative reviews here on trip advisor, but were so glad we decided to go. The resort was gorgeous and service the was outstanding. Pictures truly do not capture how truly beautiful Secrets really is.

The Food
There are five restaurants on property, all of which are very good. We tried them all and didnt have to wait more than 15 mins to be seated at any of them. We loved the steakhouse, more specifically the surf in turf. The skirt steak and grouper burger, for lunch at the blue marlin, were also awesome.

The Beach
Yes the resort beach is small, however it was never crowded and always easy to get a chair. Juanillo public beach is literally a 5 minute walk from the resort; so if walking the beach for miles and miles is your "cup of tea" it's right there.

Nightlife
Each night at the piano bar, around 9:30 pm or so, there is some kind of entertainment. Karaoke, dancers, elvis, hypnosis show (very funny) were just some of the shows we saw while there. Shout outs to the entertainment team Usher, frank the tank, mickey mouse and willy wonka. Also if you need a strong drink go to Lenny and Elsa at the love bar, awesome wait staff.

Some stuff I wish I would of known

Cabs - We debated for awhile on whether to pre-book transportation or just wing it at the airport. We just caught a cab upon arrival and it was 30 dollars both ways. A little cheaper than some online estimates we got.

Love bar - we are 20 somethings so we do like to go out on occasion. Around 11:00 pm each night the bar turns into a club/disco, playing current music upon request. Just ask the dj what you want to hear and he can play anything.

Reservations - the resort offers a romantic breakfast in bed and a romantic dinner on the beach. If you want to do these book them through the concierge as soon as you arrive. Times fill up fast and your first choice may not be available.

Drinks
There is only one beer offered, which is called Presidente. All varieties of liqour are offered, including top shelf. If you want it just ask.

Hope this review helps a bit...we had a great time.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Cookienupe5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2011

We had a terrible time at the Secrets Cap Cana Resort. This over priced hotel is not worth your money. The hotel is in the middle of nowhere with nothing around it. It is overstaffed so you would think the service would be good. No! Cleaning service and room service is not consistent. The food was the worst; we got sick the very next day. The drinks were watered down to the max. The beach! What beach? Joke! Please do a little more research prior to booking your trip and PLEASE go elsewhere! We will not be going back, ever!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank linda s
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, 19 August 2011
Dear Guest,

Warm regards from Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana, thank you for sharing your experience with others on TripAdvisor. Its unfortunate to learn that your experience at our resort was not a positive one, we would like to apologize on behalf of the entire staff at Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana.

Please know that we take guest comments seriously and I wanted to share you that we have noticed a few concerns with regard to room service and the appropriate actions have been taken to make sure that service levels improve drastically in this department. We have restructured the entire department and have placed a new manager in this area to oversee the entire operation and expect service levels to improve quickly.

In addition, I have personally sat down with our Executive Housekeeper to reevaluate training, procedures and standards to ensure that we continue with the levels of cleanliness and staff development that our guest have come to expect.

Furthermore, I would like to reassure you that our Executive Chef Mr. Pascal Messier has been inspecting daily food quality and presentation. He takes pride with ensuring that food quality and presentation are preserved, that is why he monitors the opening and closing of each restaurant daily. Please know that most travelers are sensitive to minor things when traveling, sun, water, alcohol and even a simple change in food seasoning can upset a stomach.

We understand that your experience was not a positive one and we sincerely apologize for the inconveniences, it was never our intention to disappoint you in any way. We are a group of professionals dedicated to meeting or exceeding guest expectations, we take guest comments seriously and this is the recipe for our success, we immediately monitor and place corrective measures.

Once again, thank you for sharing, we hope that we have a second opportunity to host you as a guest at our resort.

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
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
#37 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 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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