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“Amazing Vacation Experience”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #40 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
NYC
Level 4 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Amazing Vacation Experience”
Reviewed 20 September 2012

Let me start by saying that I am NOT easily impressed. I am super picky and I have very high expectation. I like getting my money's worth and we spent a lot of it. I have also travel extensively and have stayed in many beautiful places. But Sanctuary Cap Cana has thus far topped them all.

My husband and I are not much for entertainment so we can't review that area for you. So let me tell you about the rooms we had at Sanctuary. Yes, I meant rooms. We stayed in two rooms while we were there. Our first room was the Junior Suite Ocean View room. What impressed me most was the terrace we had. It was the roof of the building. It was huge and had a nice jacuzzi on it and was TOTALLY private. The ocean view from this huge terrace, with a Bali bed and 4 lounge chairs with cushions, was amazing. We didn't have to leave this room at all. The living room, bedroom and bathroom were alright but that terrace was impressive. Perfect for me because I love tanning and just laying out and enjoying my time alone with my husband.

While there, my husband (celebrating 36 years of marriage) and I decided to ask if there was a Royalty Villa Room by the spa available for us to see and check out. There was. And they were more than willing to show it to us. Well...that villa was truly amazing...every part of it. So we upgraded to it and we had an amazing time in that villa. Every part of that villa was beautiful. Now, we really didn't want to leave that room. The view from that villa was amazing (right on the beach) and it was very private. I know I am using the word 'amazing' a lot, but I just can't help it. It was amazing. The big round jacuzzi with big windows allowing us to look out into the ocean was truly amazing.

Their restaurants were beautiful and their service was great. Food is important to me because I am a picky eater. The food was fantastic. And the service was the best we've ever had and we have had some pretty good service in the past at our other vacations spots.

I do not recommend room service. It was just OK.

I highly recommend Sanctuary Cap Cana. We stayed in the main hotel. We also checked out the Castle which is part of their property and there are just no words to describe that area. We will go back for sure! We loved it!

Room Tip: The Royalty Villa #1006
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank SistahE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Hobbs, New Mexico, USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2012

Sanctuary Cap Cana is my new favorite place to go in DR and way near the top of my favs in the world. I cannot say enough about the management and staff at this property. For all us travelers, we know we are occasionally going to run it to some detail that is not quite perfect even at the nicest properties in the world. The difference between good places and great places is the manner in which these little details are resolved. This is a great place! That, plus the peaceful setting, great suites and really great food added up to a wonderful trip. I'll be back.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Larry N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brazil
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2012

Its a big complex where you can see and feel how much money they spent there.
But during the 10 first days of September, we couldn't define if the slow motion of the place was due the low season or if its a really dying spot (which would be a pitty). Many places yet to be finished or the $ is over to finish it.
Per option, we barely used the service of the resort so cannot say much about it. We've chosen to drive our own subsistence on that place.
In this case, I highly recommed you to rent a tiny car because the place is kind of remote from where the life is.
However, as we looked for seclusion, we came to the right place.
About 6 miles (10 km) from there, you may find a small commercial spot close to the airport, where you can find some cozy international restaurants (italian,mexican,caribbean, pizza, etc) and a nice supermarket to buy your supplies.
Hotel staff is very friendly but be aware that anything you consume there, you will pay. And a lot. There is this tiny expresso machine in the room...US$5 each sachet. Don't worry, they will NOT advise you that it isn't complimentary. Just be aware and all will be good.
The stunning view and direct access to the beach sand from the cottage we stayed at, really paid off.
By the way, this right at the edge location put us towards a public beach that doesn't belong to the hotel. But the access is limited so you basically have this beach for your own, like a private beach.
Some russian fellas drive small symbolic wedding's at this place but they don't really bother you.
About this so called "Trump beach", they could just keep it cleaner though, despite the "cleaning staff" going there like twice a day (but their vagrancy is really scary). Not much of "human's dirt" on the beach but more like sargassos that the caribbean sea spits out there.
Seclusion and quietness..this is the place.

Room Tip: If you want an exclusive and quiet place like we did, go for the 1001/1002 rooms cottage at the very...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank BobbyFred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2012

Words cannot describe what a wonderful resort this is! There is something for everyone. Whether you want to join in on fun list of activities or just enjoy some alone time with your loved one, this place is amazing!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Michele N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2012

We were originally booked into the Fishing lodge, but were offered the availability to stay at Sanctuary in order to have access to more restaurants. The service went above and beyond our expectations, at the bar, at the restaurant, housekeeping, etc. We purchased the all-inclusive and did not find the a bother to sign the tickets for their recordkeeping. After our second lunch the wait staff knew we would take our last glass of wine over to the lounge area overlooking the ocean and spend time there relaxing. There was never any indication that our long lunches was a bother to anyone. Meals were much much better than what we have previously found in Caribbean resorts in terms of variety and execution.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank JackieLynnAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakville, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2012

We stayed at Sanctuary Cap Cana from August 16th to August 30th, 2012. This was our first visit to The Dominican Republic. Our party consisted of three adults and three children (under 2, 9 and 11 years old). Our decision to stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana was made using the Trip Advisor service. The feedback posted was generally positive and had the criteria we were looking for.

We were impressed by the magnificent property that is well maintained on a daily basis. Our rooms were ideal as they had a spectacular view and were centrally located. What we appreciated was the cleanliness and attention to detail throughout the resort. The staff are outstanding in their welcome, hospitality and ability to meet and exceed expectations. The consistency in service is incredible as is their "can do" attitude which we admired. Their professionalism and evident training on customer care was obvious as they knew the level of interaction that was appropriate for each situation.

Vianel and Uroyoan both work tirelessly with their teams to give each guest an enjoyable vacation. Our accommodation met our needs and was spotless. We also liked the dining experience with table service. We got to experience hurricane Isaac and were reassured by the preparation that was done by the staff.

August and September are off peak months. The fort is closed as are three restaurants which is understandable due to the low occupancy at this time. Most of the negative reviews may be a result of miscommunication between the resort, travel agents and guests. We fully understand the disappointment and frustration guests experience as they have a different expectation based on what has been communicated to them by their travel agents prior to arrival. Management at the Sanctuary Cap Cana provided accommodation that was far superior to what was booked at the fort. We got to see first hand how the honeymoon suite at the fort compared to the luxurious penthouse at the main resort. The upgrade far outweighs what was initially booked and surpassed our expectations.

Having a hectic life, we were looking for a peaceful, relaxing holiday with our children and were pleased to have the tranquility and serenity the Sanctuary offered. This resort is true to its name and family friendly. For those who enjoy scheduled activities during the day, with loud music and crowds we suggest other resorts particularly at off peak months. There is a free shuttle service available to Punta Cana and other local attractions.

The best compliment we can give the staff at Sanctuary Cap Cana is a return visit which we have already booked.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank MA M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Elsinore, California
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 300 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2012

We loved, loved, loved our vacation at the Sanctuary inside the wonderful Cap Cana resort community. We did not want to leave…….. This is the most beautiful Beach Resort we have visited at and we have traveled a lot all over the Caribbean, Central America, North America, Hawaii, Mexico (Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and 29x Riviera Maya), Europe and North Africa. We certainly can compare. The Architecture with attention to detail, interior design and the pools are the best we have encountered in our years of travel. And the location adjacent to Playa Juanillo is breathtaking. They take you with a golf cart shuttle to their section of the beach but it is also an easy walk. What we loved most is that we were ALONE there on our 2 lounge chairs under a tall palm tree and the kayak most of the time. Some days a few people would be around but it was very private and amazing for us. This beach is got to be one of the most beautiful in the Dominican Republic due to lack of development around it and well groomed (not much sea grass, no trash). Long stretch of white powder soft sand, lots of tall palm trees and the ocean is crystal clear and bright turquoise. I wish I could be on that beach every day. There are actually 3 beaches at the resort. The beach in front of the main pool is a bit rocky but you can walk in well on the very right side in front of the large stone villa and it’s a nice spot to cool off when the ocean is calm.
Than there is another cove with better beach to the right of there where most of the Monarch Villas are located at. And Playa Juanillo is adjacent to the Fortress section of the resort. And the pools at the resort are the most beautiful. Once with swim-up bar and lagoon style limestone rocks, the other with tall water fall and we were usually alone in there and another on top of the waterfall pool with infinity edge. We thought the small pool with ping pong table inside was genius. There is another interesting pool with bar in the Fortress section but it was drained for maintenance. We walked through this section and explored it one night at Full Moon and again it has the WOW factor. It would have looked even more amazing if the swim up canal and all pools would have been filled. There are some amazing suites over there with private pools and some even with a private island and beach bed connected by a bridge to the terrace. Really something special. We stayed non-all inclusive in the least expensive room category the Superior Ocean View Suite for 4 days. Our Suite was on the second floor (top floor) of the yellow building next to the lobby building. We had a nice view of the gorgeous main pool, tropical gardens and the ocean. Our suite was large and very nicely furnishes with tasteful colonial décor in soft light colors and nice lighting. The king bed and pillows where comfortable but we could have used a softer pillow topper like they have at JW Marriott. Large terrace with nice wooden furniture to lounge on. My husband even got excited about the large walk in closet next to the nice limestone tiles bathroom. It had nicer dark wooden shelving than our walk-in closets at home. The bathroom had a separate toilet area with glass door, a decent size shower, good size bathtub and double sinks. The whole suite has this amazing limestone tile on the floors, counters and bathroom walls. I want that at home now. The lobby has a WOW factor. On arrival we felt like you have arrived at some large colonial Hacienda with a Fortress next door. Even so this is a fairly new resort they re-created historic Spanish colonial charm. There are fountains every where inside the lobby and outside. The stone work, wood work, architectural touches, furniture and tasteful art is perfect. Very friendly and efficient Bell Service and check-in with a welcome cocktail. We loved the service overall at this resort. From Bell Boys, Room Service, Maids, Front Desk to the wonderful waiters and the sweet Blue Marlin Restaurant Manager. The General Manager even stopped by our table to ask if we were pleased with everything. We really loved the employees at this resort. They made us feel special and they were so sweet. Ask for the special fish at the Blue Marlin Restaurant perched over the ocean with Palapa Roof. It’s called Labranch (not sure how to spell it) They caught our big fish the day we ate it right in front of the restaurant and prepared it Dominican style. It was so large that they made a wonderful dinner and lunch out of it. Now this is exactly what we want on a Caribbean vacation. All other meals and drinks were great. Since we were not on the AI plan we went to the Caleton Beach and Villas – Las Palapas Restaurant one night. The chef is from Parma, Italy and we had the best seafood linguini loaded with fresh seafood and wonderful tuna tartar appetizer. Atmosphere and service here were outstanding and Caleton is also an amazingly beautiful place. Another time we went for breakfast to the Bistro Restaurant at the Fishing Lodge at Cap Cana Marina. Again very good and interesting seeing that area. Very pretty Marina and very new. It is still very quiet there but with time this will be an amazing place. What we really liked is that you get free shuttle service to anywhere within Cap Cana and it is a large beautiful resort community. We highly recommend exploring the Cueva Hoyo Azul. A short walk through the jungle on the foot of the Cap Cana cliffs is this open cave with a beautiful crystal clear turquoise lagoon to swim in. We were alone with our guide and it was a very special & peaceful place. We split our 9 day vacation between 2 resorts 4 days at Sanctuary and 5 days at an Adults only resort in the Bavaro beach area since we were concerned that children would disturb the romantic, peaceful ambiance at the Sanctuary but we got lucky and there were no children during out stay. We wished we could have cancelled the other resort and stayed the whole time at Sanctuary. To bad Salamander did not keep the resort “Adults Only” because this is a very romantic, special resort and noisy, squirrely kids and stressed parents would sure change the feel of everything. The resort was only about 20-30% full but everyone we spoke to was very happy and pleased with everything. This was already the 3rd visit for a nice couple we met. And a hello to our new friends from Sao Paulo Brazil! Overall I highly recommend this resort and have no idea where some of the bad reviews came from besides that the Fortress section is closed during low season and there are only 2 restaurants open for the AI package people. On departure I could see out of the plane that the pools at the Fortress have been filled with water and we were told that the section will be open for high season starting in November maybe sooner. We are considering a return to the Sanctuary to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2014. I miss this resort already! If you have reservations here have a wonderful time!!!!

Room Tip: Most suites have ocean views but ask for a second or 3rd floor unless you are in an ocean front of M...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Munichchick
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
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Spa 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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