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“It was Paradise!!”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #39 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 6 May 2012

I just back from amazing vacation in Sanctuary Cap Cana Celebratting my Birthday with my High School body!
In one sentence "It was paradise!!" We absouletly loved it! We will go back again and again .
We would like to express our feeling about all the staff working in this resort!
Excellent, friendy , peace environment and specially thanks to Angi, Marlenis, Odoli, Maiami, Manuel and the rest which we may forgot their name! But all so hard worker, nice, polite!!
The hotel was so beautiful every corner looked as a piece of art. Interior Design of resort was incredible.
It was so relaxing.We are happy that made a decision to go there!:)

We DO RECOMMEND to plan a trip to Punta Cana and stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana!! WE LOVED IT AND WE WILL GO BACK THERE NEXT YEAR!!

Room Tip: Ocean View!! Awsome, so beautiful.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank nini_ocean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 May 2012 via mobile

Sanctuary Cap Cana is a pristine place in an amazing location wih amazing people. The grounds are immaculate and the views spectacular. We stayed in the Fortress honeymoon suite ocean front view and it was definitely worth it. I recommend getting the all inclusive package since it will make things easier, more enjoyable, stress free, and hopefully save you some money (depending on how much you eat and drink). The drinks are awesome and the staff is willing to make you anything you want, even if not on the menu. The one recommendation we have is to stop or change the process of signing a receipt after every meal/ drink bc it can get really old.
Location: could not have asked for a prettier location with calm beaches but it is away from civilization (especially if you don't have a car). Since we went to Bavaro for an excursion, I can say the Sanctuary is by far the prettiest of all and in the most exclusive area
Kids- while it is unfortunate that they allow kids at the resort, if you stay at the Fortress, you are less likely to see them. We only encountered the yelling and screaming while Se were at the main pool but it was a quick fix since there are many pools including the one in our room
Food- the food was pretty good, nothing fancy and definitely eatible. The Blue Marlin is by far the best of the five. It is open every day for lunch and alternates with the other restaurants for dinner. Definitely recommend the ceviche, grouper burger, paella, calamari. Another plus is the view. The steakhouse, unlike other reviewers we thought was pretty good. I had the churrasco, ribs, and onion rings and were all very good. The chimichurri sauce makes the meal. The Italian rest was out least favorite. The food was very heavy and not many options to choose from. Casa Bella is one we went to every day since it was open for breakfast and lunch (both buffet). Really golf spanish food with fresh fruits and a big assortment of salads. The fresco bar is the pool bar and also has a good selection of food you can enjoy while laying out. The Wok is nothing like American hibachi so don't expect that. Good sushi and ok food. Don't try the fried ice cream.
Golf- if you are a fan and/or like to a play, go to Punta Espada. This place is amazing and since it is in cap Cana, there is free transportation to and from. If you are planning on playing, do so after 2pm and it will be 50% cheaper. La Cana course also good but nowhere near as pretty and a little further
Excursions- since SCC is 45+ min from Bavaro, it will take that long if not more to get to most excursions you want to do, not including the time it takes to pick people up at their hotels. We did the snuba/snorkel/speed boat tour and it was a blast but since our hotel was kinda far, we were not allowed to buy the video from the excursion since it was to be delivered the following day.

We did drive by Bavaro Resort and this is what we saw: way too big. So big that to go around the resort people had to wait for a tram to take them to and from. They have an adult only section but it's very small in comparison to the rest of the resort. This place is kept up nice but seems to lack personal touch and is very touristy. The people we saw had wrist bands for access in the resort.

We are 100% glad we chose Sanctuary. The staff made us feel right at home. They remembered our names, our favorite drinks, and even our favorite places to lay out. It would be unfair to mention a few names because everyone we met had a smile in their faces and made us feel like we were the only ones there. We appreciate all the kindness and great service and hope to one day come back to Sanctuary.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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2  Thank Lina333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

My wife and I just returned from SCC and while it was a generally enjoyable vacation, by the last day we were more looking forward to leaving then staying.

Our room was located on the second floor of "the fortress", junior suite. Gorgeous view, nice enough room, but in their quest to be "green" when you leave the room and take your room key it shuts the power off in the room. This is a bit of a problem because it also shuts down the refrigerator. So much for enjoying a cold El Presidente when you get back to room.

There have been some reviewers who mentioned the large abundance of small sand crabs. While we had a few here and there on our deck and somehow showing up in our room to big of a deal, however I will warn you, if you're on the first floor of the fortress that could be a different story. There are hundreds of them on the little walkout area from those decks.

Also, other reviewers had mentioned the musty smell, yes there is one in most areas, you're at the ocean in the Caribbean, so that's to be expected. However it's much worse in certain areas. The men's lavatory near the Ocean Club on the top of the fortress, the elevators in the fortress and the elevators in the main resort are so musty and moldy it actually had me gagging a few times. So if you're an asthmatic or someone with allergies to mold or mildew this could pose to be a problem.

While we had selected the "all-inclusive" plan, upon check in we were informed that we would have to sign all bills and settle at the end so as to "be fair to all guests". I have no idea what that actually meant, however yes you do sign for everything. Very often. And you tip. You tip a lot. Even when I requested if a tab could be started and I would sign at the end, certain servers told me that was not possible. So it becomes incredibly frustrating.

In regards to the food, let me start this off by saying before traveling, I lowered my expectations so as not to be disappointed. Upon leaving I would say lower your expectations and then lower them a bit more and you will leave satisfied.
Blue Marlin really is the shining gem of the restaurants not only for location but the food. The cerviche and grouper carpaccio was amazing. Why a flag-ship restaurant like this isn't available all week is a crime to the guests based upon the other dining options:

The Italian Place: Pasta and such, if you're looking for a light dish, not the place. This perplexes me a bit. Pasta dishes advertised as "tossed with cherry tomatoes" were actually served with sauces. Lots of cream sauces. Pana Cotta is actually flan.

The Japanese Place: Where do I begin on this one? They describe the restaurant as
"Asian Fusion" . A better description would be "Asian Collision". Unless you're actually at a Teppan table, you're fried rice will not be fried rice, more of a white rice with soy sauce. Shrimp in a garlic ginger sauce was devoid of garlic and ginger and just in a soupy brown sauce that was the same sauce as the stir fry vegetables that my wife ordered. And the tempura fried ice cream? I can honestly say that will rank in my top 10 of worst things I've ever eaten. While it sounds good on paper, similar to something like Mexican Deep Fried Ice Cream, the result is a cold soggy batter mass with warm chocolate-like inside that tasted more like the chalky liquid you drink before a colonoscopy. (Thankfully without the same results)

The Steak House: Can't really answer. After receiving a cold congealed bowl of corn chowder as an appetizer our servers abandoned us and the rest of the tables. After waiting an additional 55 minutes after our appetizer plates were cleared we finally flagged down someone who informed us that "the kitchen is not working". Clearly neither was anyone else, and on our last night we didn't want to spend it waiting for meat.

Room Service Menu: Bad, very bad. You would think there could be a few options to enjoy a nice simple appetizer, perhaps a cheese plate, or call me crazy but maybe something that's actually Dominican? (aside from the breakfast) The chicken quesedillas are from frozen, so you can't get any fresh, or something simple like a queso quesedilla. I learned this the hard way after a 20 minute debate with room service as to quesedilla making 101. Food more suited for children and mostly microwaved.


Call me crazy, but when I travel to the Caribbean the last thing on my mind is heavy meals, or Italian meals, or Japanese. What I do look forward to is very fresh fish, rotating specials (A "Catch of the Day" should change daily not be the same all week) and more dishes to educate me about the food and culture of the country I'm visiting. They the say that Dominicans are a proud people. You wouldn't know that here.

There's so much more I'd like to add but I'm running out of time today so let me just close in the following:

Food: 2 Stars out of Five (Would have been One Star but Blue Marlin saved that, however lost as well in the fact that Blue Marlin is not always open)

Resort: 4 Stars: Really beautiful place, but there's a serious problem with mold/mildew in the areas mentioned and signing for everything get's incredibly maddening. Best spot on the resort is the Ocean Club and pool, but it's just wasted space and not used effectively.

Entertainment: 2 Stars: Another Dance Troop really??? Doing the Can-Can??? How about telling us the history of dance and Meringue in the Dominican Republic.

Spa: 3 Stars: A bit pricey compared to some of the other hotel spas I've been to in the Caribbean with similar service to other resorts.

I'm glad we went, however for the price, food, and value? I definitely wouldn't return.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank nycinoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

This was our 2nd trip to the Dominican Republic. First time we stayed in Secrets Punta Cana which was lovely, but Cap Cana is loads better. Sanctuary is such a deal for the money. We pulled up and they said "Welcome Home". Loved that home for that week! The front desk staff could not do enough for you. ALL of them. The beach was calmer and the sea more beautiful since you are more in the "Caribe". Our room was absolutely fabulous, we had room service (courteous and totally happy- that early even) for coffee each morning and drank that out on the deck. We stayed in The Castle. I would stay there again! The room was a suite so lots of room and luxurious. We loved our favorite, efficient , friendly and obliging waiters Ernesto and Junior! HI GUYS..thanks for the eating fun!!! Delicious meals every day..loved the days you made cheeseburgers on the beach. At night we were entertained not only by the "official" entertainers which were fabulous and made us tired just watching them, but also by our favorite bartenders, Luis and Moreno. Hi to you two fun guys too! We had another fantastic bartender at the bar on top of The Castle, but we did not get his name. He can really mix them and will deliver to the bar there. BTW, that pool is so very private if you want to get totally away. I called him Slick because he had a great, thick head of hair that he slicked back. Classy guy! Rocky Balboa..in charge of all things fun, was there from sun up to sundown and beyond. I think he was everywhere. EVERYONE in the entire staff does a fabulous job and are sooo friendly, you always leave them with a smile on YOUR face. We hope all of our new friends there at Sanctuary are doing well. We needed this break soooo very badly and it was a wonderful time. Hated to leave and return to reality. As we state in the title and it is truly meant..THANK YOU SANCTUARY CAP CANA..your name befits you!

Room Tip: Don't take the trip into the countryside in the jungle truck. SOOO much wind in the ride and it...
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank seahag331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2012

This was our first trip to the Dominican and we stayed at the Sanctuary Cap Cana. We spent 6 days here with our two young children and had a very lovely trip. The staff was so attentive and kind. Petra, the concierge, was just fabulous! She set up an amazing day for us swimming with dolphins - the kids loved it.
Our room was very nice and had plenty of space for the four of us. The grounds, pool and common areas were beautifully kept. There was no lack in activity in keeping the resort looking its best at all times.
The restaurants were varied, Italian, Japanese, a steakhouse and a seafood place. As well as the restaurant where the breakfast buffet took place each morning and the pool bar/al fresco bar. We most often frequented the Blue Marlin (seafood) and the pool bar/al fresco bar. The food was good but not spectacular. Highlights were the tempura shrimp roll by the pool and the Blue Marlin burger at the Blue Marlin restaurant.
We had a really lovely vacation here!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank CLNR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We have spent 10 days in paradise...such a lovely place, with impecable service permanently.
The gardens are stuning, the Villa like accomodations remember you of Italy , the rooms are so comfortable and well kept, and everyone is there to please ans pamper you.
The pools wonderfull, and the turqoise sea delicious!
You will remember concierge Angie, all the waiters and ladies who handle the place and your wellbeign. As well, the good food and drinks all trough the day. Qill return with family!

Room Tip: If you dont mind not beign on top of the sand and sea, better aim for second floor..what a view!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank lirene7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

My Sweetheart and I just returned from the most wonderful vacation we have ever taken. We were overwhelmed with the friendly hospitality and outstanding service we received while guests at the Sanctuary Cap Cana. We spent 7 wonderful and glorious day's at one of the most beautiful resorts we have ever stayed in. Much to our surprise when we arrived we were met by the wonderful concierge Jarlin and much to our surprise were upgraded to a suite in the Fortress. The views of the Caribbean were unbelievable and again, much to our surprise we discovered that we had our own private swimming pool just steps from the room. The service at the Sanctuary is first class as is the food. We have never experienced such marvelous food anywhere we have stayed as we did at the Sanctuary Cap Cana. Executive Chef Eddie Williams is outstanding and extremely attentive to your culinary desires. Chief Concierge Jarlin and her staff were attentive to every detail of our visit as well as to anything that we requested. This resort is certainly one of the most "Customer Friendly" resorts we have ever experienced. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained and the pool area and ocean beach are romantically beautiful.The resort is close to many wonderful daily destination site's as well as some of the top golf courses in the Caribbean. Sanctuary Cap Cana should be a "must" on every travelers destination "wish list " . We will be returning. More than a 6 star resort !!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Rksuper
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

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: £251 - £529 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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