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“Paradise!”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #42 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Paradise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2012

Sanctuary Cap Cana will always hold a special place in me and my husbands heart! We got married at this amazing resort a year ago with our closest friends and family. It had everything we wanted in our dream wedding settting! From the breathtaking private island where we said our wedding vows, to the gorgous setting for our reception at the Blue Marlin Lounge and Restaurant. It was a day we will never forget! The scenery/the grounds/the staff/ truely a GEM resort! At the time this resort was under different management, Secrets. So as our 1 year anniversary approached we were excited to return here. We were a little hesitant if the new management would work with us and honoring any contracts we had with our wedding package that included free nights to return for our 1 year anniversary. After reaching out to the management team in the US, they put me in contact with Norberto Garcia in reservations and they did just that, honored our return stay. We were so pleased and excited. Upon our arrival @ Sanctuary we were greeted by Joseph, Max and Hector. Right away they knew we were returning for our 1 year anniversary upon meeting us and we felt very special. These guys are great and were so accomidating. They upgraded us to a honeymoon suite which obviously was more than we anticipated in a room. It changed the entire feel of our vacation and we couldn't have been more pleased. Our room had breathtaking views from the top of the fortress/castle. Very private setting with our own private pool on our deck. The room was top notch!! They had champagne in our room to greet us, rose pedals on the bed, 1 year anniversary sign on the door, champagne breakfast the next day on our patio for our 1 year return. We were very impressed how this resort just goes above and beyond to make sure your stay is perfect, and that it was! Everything here was just as we had remembered it but even better! We were very impressed by the service. Yissel @ the concierge desk answered all requests/questions we had during our entire stay. She was fabulous! I really enjoyed talking to her daily. Make sure if you go here you ask for Yissel. My husband and I wanted to get pictures taken at the resort as they have a company Tropical Pictures on hand there. Yalitza Garcia Avila, with Tropical Pictures worked with us and was a pleasure to work with. I have to give kuddos to this photography company they have partnered with as they do fabulous work. Very impressed and would say to future brides I would highly recommend using their company at the resort for your wedding pictures. Yalitza will take care of all your needs. She is very attentive to everything. She even got us permission to go out on the private island where we got married at the year before so we could go get pictures taken out there again. So special! If you get pictures taken here, request Rolando as the photographer. His work is amazing!!
As far as the resort accomidations go you really can't go wrong with any of the rooms. For those that do not know, they have 14 different room types here and all have great views of the resort/ocean. The food was good. Our favorite was was the blue marlin of course. Both for the scenery and food. Johnny and Ruth waited on us every day either at the pool bar or beach and were a lot of fun to talk too. Honestly I cannot say enough about the staff at this resort. My husband and I have traveled many places and I have to say the service/staff here is our top. The scenery here goes without saying the prettiest setting in the carribean. I would say for anyone looking to get married, this is the dream setting for you and your guests. Anyone looking for a romantic getaway, this is your resort. My husband and I are already planning to return for our 2 year anniversary. This is our special place and its truely a hidden GEM of the Caribbean!!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Christy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 7 February 2012
Thank you for such an inspiring review of your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana! We highly appreciate that you have considered us as yours and your husbands "GEM Resort".

Thank you for choosing our property for both of your very romantic and special events, we hope to remain in your hearts forever!

Everyone that you have kindly mentioned has received a copy of this review and we are all very proud of our hard working team. Your wonderful comments and the perfectly described details of your stay are all very valuable to us, we will use them as the perfect example of the results that we achieve when we strive to exceed our guest's expectations.

We are so happy to read that this stay was another great one for you and your husband. We will wait anxiously for both of you to return and live with us the second year anniversary celebration.

We promise to continue delivering great service and we look forward to enjoying with you both another special moment next year.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
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  • Cleanliness
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English first
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2012

A paradise in Punta Cana, quite and relaxing. Leafy and stunning views. The accommodation was exactly what I was looking for. The ocean was very lovely, clear and clean. The staff were very attentive and polite, always upbeat, and made the stay absolutely outstanding. The restaurant served the best . Wonderful stay here in Sanctuary Cap Cana. Would truly stay again.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank kevinsadler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 4 February 2012
We greatly appreciate your review and we Thank you for sharing it with all of us. It is a pleasure to read that your stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana has been a nice and memorable one.

We can't thank you enough for mentioning our staff and our service. At Sanctuary Cap Cana, our goal is provide our guests with World-Class Service to not only meet but exceed their expectations.

We promise to continue the hard work in order to maintain and to daily improve our facilities until it reaches its highest levels. We truly hope you give us the chance to receive you again at Sanctuary Cap Cana.
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Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2012

Just spent a week + at Sanctuary and had a fantastic time. The property is exquisite. There were hardly two dozen guests altogether, so while I can't comment on what the place is like when it's fully booked, I can say that it felt exceptionally private, quiet, and luxurious. Sanctuary was a perfect place to decompress. The property is beautiful, with lush landscaping and several great pools -- all painstakingly maintained. It was a great getaway.

Many thanks to the folks at Jetsetter.com, who helped move my reservation over to Sanctuary after I booked the neighboring property, Fishing Lodge Cap Cana, in a flash sale. As many reviewers have pointed out previously, FL is not ready for prime time -- it's basically a construction site with a gorgeous pool.

I cannot emphasize enough just how friendly and professional the staff at Sanctuary is. From the waiters to the spa attendants to the poolside "entertainment team" to the concierge to each and every individual puttering around the place on a golf cart, staffing the little market, or working in the garden, everyone was incredibly friendly and accommodating. Perhaps a little too doting at times, but in kind of a cute way.

My only complaints:

1) I may be a food snob so take this with a grain of salt, but the food is just ok. Breakfast was always wonderful with a huge display of fresh local fruit and ready-made omelettes etc. There were always 2 choices for lunch and dinner, rotating among the restaurants on the property. The asian place, Wok, was pretty bad. The seafood place, Blue Marlin, was mediocre on a first visit, and I had much better meals once I figured out what to order (the paella, for example, is quite good). The steakhouse is probably the best. I heard complaints about a bad ribeye steak, but I enjoyed the chicken, the pork chops (chuletas), and the skirt steak (churrasco). Poolside grouper sandwiches and burgers were pretty darn good and always hit the spot, but room service was a little hit or miss. One half-eaten vegetarian wrap, left outside for pickup, was enjoyed by the resort's resident cat.

2) Sanctuary has clearly not quite figured out how to handle guests who are not on the all-inclusive plan. I heard all-inclusive guests complaining about filling out receipts for positively everything (and every receipt includes a line for a tip). After reading other reviews, I arrived with a pile of one dollar bills figuring I'd need to tip in cash, so I didn't really mind adding a buck or two to everything purchased -- but some people clearly didn't appreciate this and didn't know what was expected or appropriate (especially since a marginal service charge is already added).

I'm honestly not sure whether paying a la carte for everything was a good value, and on a couple occasions it was awkward -- for example, when the poolside bartender billed me for a bunch of drinks, figuring I was on the all-inclusive plan, and I had a tough time explaining that I wasn't comfortable actually paying cash for a round of drinks for a huge group at the pool. I also had to contest a whole bunch of inexplicable charges for a dozen or more minibar beers I never touched, room service meals I never ordered, etc. Luckily, with some repeated prodding, the staff at the front desk looked into it and I wasn't charged -- but it did kind of make me anxious and made me start hanging on to receipts for everything, which was a drag.

3) I misunderstood from previous reviews the nature of the souvenir sales on the property -- I thought commenters meant that individual salespeople were allowed on the property to hawk their wares, like you might expect to see someone selling roses in a restaurant. In fact, there were several tables set up poolside in a kind of twice weekly, sanctioned "bazaar" sort of atmosphere. The salespeople were extremely pushy -- one actually grabbed my arm -- and they were selling jewelry, liquor, and random souvenirs at a pretty steep markup compared to what I saw in the airport. I walked away and avoided these guys ... but just generally, I would caution visitors that it's hard to get away once you give them the time of day.

4) Finally, I would warn cigar smokers (or would-be gift givers) that the on-premises tobacconist in the market square a few steps from the main lobby sells counterfeit Cubans. I bought and smoked a few, and they didn't taste quite right, so I went online and checked out the labels, which were obvious fakes. I confronted the salesperson (a bit sheepishly, I'll admit) and didn't make a scene or ask for my money back or anything -- but I did ask whether he had any real Cubans for sale amidst the rather impressive collection of Cohibas, Romeo y Julietas, Cuabas, Partagas, etc in the humidor. He shook his head no.


... Hope this review is helpful to prospective Cap Cana-bound travelers. Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions!

Room Tip: Reception offered us a $200/night upgrade to the Honeymoon Suite but we stuck with our original room...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank waitfortheword
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 4 February 2012
Thank you for such a detailed review on your stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. Your feedback is very important for us to continue our efforts to position ourselves on the level that our guests expect us to be at.

We are working tirelessly to promote the Fishing Lodge. The construction has finished on December 31st 2011. We are only working on details and decor to polish our facility to improve the areas that need to be leveled to the rest of the property.

Our Sales and Marketing efforts are being focused on the Fishing Lodge product and we hope to continue rising our occupancy levels very soon.

Every detail of your review has been presented to our staff and we greatly appreciate that you have taken the time to share it with us. Our Executive Chef, our Director of F&B having been working hard on changing the menus and upgrading our options.

Our staff is delighted to see that their efforts to provide a personalized service have shined during during your stay.

Thank you again; we trust that when you return you will see the results of a great team that is putting together all their efforts to position ourselves on the best level.
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Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2012

My husband and I just celebrated our 12 anniversary at the Sanctuary. The resort was beyond beautiful and the people were amazing. You could not possibly ask for a better concierge service. Any question we had,item we needed, event we wanted to schedule - they were quick to assist and always with a willing smile and attitude!! Our room was just gorgeous. Would love to return. Had a great time!!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank m24s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 28 January 2012
We appreciate your review and thank you for sharing it with us and all the Trip Advisor users. It is of great pleasure to read that we have exceeded your expectations. We promise to continue improving our service standards and maintain the high level that our guests expect.

It is an honor for the Sanctuary Family that you have chosen our property to spend such an important date. Congratulations for you and your husband,!!!! we hope to continue greeting you for many more years and we look forward to seeing for your 13th anniversary.

Your "10 star" rating on our Royalty Villa, service and grounds is of great value to us.
We would like to thank you on behalf of Pascal our Executive Chef, for your kind compliments, this review drew a big smile on his face.

Thank you, see you soon!
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minneapolis, mn
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2012

this is a beautiful, very large property which was quite empty when we stayed four nights in mid january. i selected this place as i assumed at the price point, we'd have no worries.

the staff is kind and friendly, and made the stay very enjoyable.

the grounds and buildings are absolutely lovely.

the food is good, not great, but mostly appetizing and pleasant.

the rooms are clean and well-appointed, but not extraordinary considering the price-point.

the hotel's beach area is quite small - perfect for lounging, but impossible for long beach walks - or ANY walking. after a ten minute walk through the hotel grounds, there is an adjacent public beach called juanillo beach which you may continue on... but there is a guard posted about 1/4 mile down this beach whom tries to restrict you from walking beyond him. at first we listened, and then on day #2 we just plowed forward and walked a two-mile absolutely gorgeous beach. we never figured out who hired the guard - probably private homeowners, but the coastline in DR is public, so he really has no authority. some days we had to argue with the guard, but we were determined to get some exercise.

the website boasts "all-inclusive" and lists many restaurants and bars and 24 hour room service. in actuality, only two restaurants are open each evening; they rotate the staff amongst their eateries and you may only choose from two each night. there is a pool bar which closes at 6 p.m. for the day time, plus two choices for lunch. the room service is fast but you are not allowed to have any cocktails or wine or good beer delivered to your room, so that is a disappointment at the price-point of the hotel. the mini bar has a cheap dominican canned beer and that is the only option. we ended up ordering large plastic cups of wine at the pool bar and carrying them to our room so we could have a drink on our verandah at sunset - seemed very silly for an $800 a night property. the house wine is fine, but you cannot order a bottle without paying extra.

a huge issue is the menu at the beachside restaurant (the blue marlin); the paella and lobster are not available for the all-inclusives unless you pay more. and the other options are not very exciting. i ordered the surf and turf and have never seen a smaller or more charred lobster tail - never did find any meat. just a shame at a property where you pay for an all-inclusive and feel "nickel and dimed". this same restaurant (blue marlin) is nice for lunch, but awful for dinner.

we told the front desk manager their website and literature are misleading. it isn't fair to list so many restaurants and bars when only a few are open at any given moment on a given day. also, not being able to order completely from the menu of the one restaurant which is open, and not being able to have a rum punch or glass of wine or nice beer to your room - well, that is just unacceptable at a property which touts itself as total luxury.

if you go, plan wisely and get a room near "the action" (which is minimal) - so expect a nice, quiet getaway. enjoy the staff, grounds, beach, and sun and plan to "let go" of the closed, empty shops....sparse offerings of restaurants and bars, language barrier which crops up continually, & the parts of the property which are shut down and unkempt. this is a hotel which could be phenomenal but is just too empty and slow (& large) to get it right.

there is an evening show each night at the love bar, and the hotel seems to be trying it's best to keep things going despite low occupancy.
there's a nice effort being put forth by the kind staff at sanctuary cap cana, but there is just an undeniable disconnect here. the guests we spoke with all just sort of shook their heads about the quirkiness of what they encountered each step of the way.

as a side note, we have traveled extensively throughout the caribbean & globally, so we have much to compare this to!

Room Tip: i'd stay close to the pool area & avoid the "castle" - we started at the castle an...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank pumpkin6543
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2012

I have to thank first: Noberto-reservation manger, Hector-front desk manager, and for most our dear Jarlin-chief concierge also our little Silka'las new friend and babysitter. For making this our dream vacation. We were upgraded to a royalty villa, our second home from now on!! It's a 10 star room. On the ocean with a private pool on the deck. All glass living room. It's so amazing. The staff always made sure we have the best of the best. Within minutes we need something - we got it. Our room was cleaned a few times a day, or upon request. The chef Pascal is always there for you. The grounds are so beautiful, we stayed in 5 star hotels in the past and well only be back here. This is a 10 star property. The service is what gives us the feeling that we are the only guests. If you are still debating were to go, this is the place. You won't regret it.

Room Tip: The hotel concierge will help you choose a room when you tell them your needs
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank Rivky B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 25 January 2012
Double-WOW for this review! THANK YOU for such a nice review regarding your stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. As you mentioned part of our staff that attended you and your family personally are very excited to see that their effort has been seen and appreciated. Jarlin enjoyed so much babysitting her little princess. On behalf of Norberto, Jarlin and Super Chef - Pascal, we want to thank you dearly for your review; we look forward to greeting you and your family once again at Sanctuary Cap Cana.
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Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2012

Everything I was seeking I found at The Sanctuary! Peace, beautiful surroundings in nature and in the hotel, perfect weather (even the brief showers were welcoming--like a mist to cool you down when sunbathing). The food in each restaurant was delicious and the staff was very willing to make changes when dietary restrictions required. Can't say enough about the sincere, attentive, delightful staff. After 5 days I feel like they are my friends. Cap Cana has less activity, but would always be my choice over the much more active Punta Cana. If you chose to go "into town" many times, I recommend renting a car, though maps are less than desired. Everyone we encountered was helpful and nice about giving directions if you made a wrong turn, though. Am eager to go back!

successhc

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank successhc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 4 February 2012
Thank you; we are honored to read that you have described us as a "Relaxing Paradise". Your review is very important to us and we highly appreciate your effort to write such a nice paragraph.

We will always be delighted to serve our guests and provide them the highest level of service.
To learn about your experience, encourages us to continue our efforts and to polish the areas that require improvements.

We hope to have to opportunity to see you again at Sanctuary Cap Cana in the near future!
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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
#38 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 On the Beach 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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