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Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
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Reviews (5,145)
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3,628
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3,192 - 3,197 of 5,145 reviews
Reviewed 2 December 2013

Had a great time.

Excellent dinners and lunches and bar. Many premium liquors like Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker Black and Grand Marnier. Breakfast was good, but could have a little more variety.

Public beach beside the Castle was very nice, but only 1.5 KM (1 mile) long, so we would walk up and down a couple of times. Also another uninhabited beach to the other side of the hotel with a path to the sister ASOL property which is worth a walk to if you are looking for a longer walk.

Room was good and I'd say about 80% of rooms have nice views of the ocean. We stayed in the Castle Ocean Front and had a nice sitting area in front of the room and crossed a small wooden bridge to a grassy area in front of the ocean. It was about 100 feet in total from the water and you could see and hear the waves come in. Wood needs some repair as it is getting old and soft in places. The room itself was very stylish and A/C and water were great, but the toilet seat was loose and needed replacement. Service in the room was outstanding.

Because the resort is smaller, it had great advantages like always being able to get an ocean front table at lunch at the Blue Marlin Seafood restaurant and not having to book any restaurants for dinner and just showing up when hungry (we did have to wait once).

Activities were somewhat limited but Miss Mamajuana (Ismilsa) did a great job of organizing things and getting everyone involved who wanted to be. The volleyball was always a lot of fun and well-attended. Bike tour was OK, but bikes were old and for some reason we were not able to take them out on our own outside of the tour times.

One other thing - there was a nice bar and pool at the top of the Castle which had great views and service if you wanted a bit quieter place.

Room Tip: Castle Ocean Front rooms are great with 2 sets of sliders looking out to the ocean
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank brent57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 7 December 2013

Dear Guest,

I am very pleased to know that you had a wonderful stay with us and it is a real honor for me to hear your comments and it is a pleasure to read that you enjoyed our facilities, the walk through our grounds and corridors and the service provided by our staff.

Thank you for preferring Our Sanctuary!

We look forward to welcome you back in the near future.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013

We stayed for the first time at Sanctuary from 11/23/11/29 2013. Our arrival early in the day on 11/23/13 was early in the morning. Front desk reception were very kind and prompt upon arrival no problems their at all. We went to have some to eat and went out to the beach no problem. Our room was ready shortly after lunch. Our room was a beach front walk out which was nice. The room was very dated though. Our phone by the bed did not work but the one in the bathroom did so we did not make a big deal out of it. The tub was filthy. Looked like it had not been cleaned in awhile. Also in the bathroom and around the resort was a sewer type of smell. Maybe something to do with the resort. Our housekeeper came at different times so the room was always cleaned. Ordering a pot of coffee in the morning was hit or miss. Sometimes I had to call three or four times just to get coffee but eventually it did get their. Again we felt these minor things were not a big deal to complain about so we just dealt with them. The food: Dinners were very very good. We ate at the steakhouse several times and Capricio also. Dominican night was fantastic too. On Thanksgiving, they had a huge spread of food at the pool bar. It was very good. Breakfast was at the bella casa. Small selection although the food was good. They need to improve the buffet and have more food available. The grill by the Bella Casa had burgers and French fries. The food was good but when I went to go and get a plate it had red ants all over it. I did not eat their again. Overall the food was good. They work very hard to get everything ready for a lot of people so I do understand this. If they offered more options for breakfast and lunch it would be nice. I think the Blue Marlin may have been open but they only serve seafood if I remember correctly but the food in their is very good. The beach is very nice but very rocky so be careful. They have bali beds but no palypas. Towel game is not an issue at this resort but to get a bali bed get out early. I got burned even with sunscreen on. They could make some minor improvements maybe putting up some palypas, a boardwork to avoid the rocks, bathrooms on the beach which would be an asset. The resort itself is beautiful, in structure, employees and service. Everyone we met was very kind. I would like to thank Brelin, waiter at casa bella and capriccio, Junior, Carlos, Menor, Fast Eddy, Martha, Robbie at the beach bar. Marta and Maria and the Casa Bella, Juan at the front desk. All were very kind and helpful. We also got to meet and talk with Ignaciao Perez the GM and his assistant Enrique Ventura. They are very helpful and always out and about on the resort making sure things go smoothly. Very nice resort, needs improvement in a few areas but we would go back.

Room Tip: Get something beachside if possible nice rooms
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank crittercat1205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 7 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your feedback about your recent stay at our hotel.

We are so thrilled to learn that you enjoyed our your stay. At Sanctuary Cap Cana it is our pleasure to service our guest with the finest hospitality.

Also, I would like to tank you for your recommendations, our guest’s opinion are very important for us, this the only way that we can know about your preferences and improve our service, thank you very much for your notes, have sent your comments to the corresponding managers in order to take them under consideration and improve the procedures at the mentioned departments

We hope to have the honor to host you again in the future.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

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Reviewed 29 November 2013

I wish I could give a higher rating but that would be misleading. The property is physically lovely and well maintained. My room, a honeymoon suite, was spacious and nice but showed signs of wear. The beach is relatively small but fine. But overall the facility is quite nice.
My issues have to do with service. I know some of the staff was trying but they just don't have it right. It seemed like they were doing you a favor by serving you. I don't really want that experience when I'm at a resort and there is no where else to go for drinks and meals. Nobody was outright rude but very few were overly accommodating. And the drinks. What a scam. I don't think there is a drop of alcohol in anything that was poured. My friends and I were laughing with a group of people on the beach because we all experienced drinking Champagne at breakfast that was without doubt sprite or 7 up. Others complained about the food -- this is an all inclusive so my expectations were adjusted accordingly and I was fine with the food. The resort has so much potential but falls short. I hope they can get their act together because I'd like to see them succeed.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank tribecadoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 7 December 2013

Dear guest,

I would like to apologize for any inconveniences that you may have experienced during your stay with us. As you may know, guest satisfaction is our top priority and therefore we are very concerned with the fact that we did not impress you with some of our services. I assure you that I have taken a good note of your particular observations.

Thank you for your valuable comments, I do hope to have the opportunity to serve you again here at our; although I know that impressions are hard to change, we would love to have the opportunity to host you in the future and regain your confidence; at this way we could improve this last experience and transform them into a holiday full of magic.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything at all I can do for you.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

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Reviewed 27 November 2013 via mobile

We were at Sanctuary in July and the minute we came back we booked our thanksgiving vacation . We could not wait to return , we had the mo Most amazing time of our lives we enjoyed it so much we picked this as our every vacation spot , now we are back ,the place and the people have not changed. service better people are better ,place still the best.With the help of Enríque , juan , Mets , Raul, Jorge and all the other staff members we are so excited to be here. The second we arrived it was hugs and kisses from all to my entire family . They all remembered us by name and were genuinely excited to see us . At every restaurant and bar the friendly staff remembered what we like to eat and drink . They welcomed us like family . This is seriously the BEST spot for a vacation on the planet , trust me when I say you will not be disappointed . You will be amazed at every single aspect of your trip . The STAFF is number 1 . I am a business owner and I deal with the public daily , I only dream of employees such as these , especially Enrique , Raul, Juan at casa Bella , Jorghe and Metz , I don't want to leave anyone out , the entire staff AMAZING . This is HEAVEN. We just booked our summer reservations . We been all over the world , no other place comes close . We LOVE LOVE LOVE Sanctuary , it feels like home away from home

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank AJdalu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of Sanctuary Cap Cana

I would like to thank you for being assiduous guests and for selecting us one more time as the perfect place to host your Holidays.

I feel greatly proud with the fact that during your several stays at Sanctuary we have fulfilled your expectations and created beautiful memories.

It will be always a pleasure to welcome you back, and you can be sure that we will never cease in our efforts to constantly improve the quality of services provided.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

Recent reviews of this resort seem to be pretty spot on, a lot of potential but falling short in a lot of areas. The resort itself is nice, the castle side is absolutely beautiful from the outside and aesthetically pleasing but they choose to use the older, Caribbean style buildings as their main focal point. Walking through the castle area at night is a bit creepy as huge rooms and hallways aren’t lit up, the elevators aren’t functional and there is no security presence from the public beach, which is right next to the resort. I had a junior partial ocean view suite on the castle side and wasn’t wowed in the least bit. Upon arrival, we played the room upgrade game with the front desk. After being shown their best 2br 2ba suite on the property followed by “our room” which faced a parking lot, we settled on something with a tiny view of Juanillo Beach (which is absolutely gorgeous). The room took 6 hours to be cleaned and once we were able to get settled in, the room had 4 sodas as their “mini bar” (with no bottle opener to open them with, even after asking room service numerous times to bring one with orders), zero towels and a shower that wouldn’t drain.

Restaurants: The food was pretty good at the restaurants but the service was sub par. Some restaurants need more options, such as blue marlin. During lunch, only two restaurants are open, Blue Marlin and a buffet. The buffet was terrible, so we ate at the Blue Marlin every single day and by our 7th day, had the entire menu twice. The host only understood and cared about your room number and nothing else. One night I tried to get reservations at Wok, only to be told by the hostess that there were no reservations. I called the front desk, who were able to get us in at 8:30. We arrived and we were the ONLY PEOPLE at both hibachi stations, no reservations huh? The resort often rotates which restaurants are open, which leads to overcrowding and poor service during dinners. We waited at the steakhouse for over an hour, both times we went, between our appetizer and entrée to come, while the front of the house had over a dozen servers doing absolutely nothing. One thing to note, the resort only has two house wines – red and white and ordering any bottle is a surcharge. Also, some restaurants charge additional for select cuts of meat and menu items. I thought this was an all inclusive? Tipping is also an issue. I’ve never been to an all inclusive where they expected you to tip after every little thing. Ordering a bottle of water, you had to wait for your bill and sign your name, print your name, add a tip and the total. If anything was illegible, they would chase after you. I don’t understand why this resort doesn’t just do wristbands to show that you are part of the all inclusive, it would alleviate so many headaches and stress of bills. I must add, Carlos at the main pool bar is amazing; super friendly and always made drinks exactly as asked.

The pools were pretty awesome; they have a main pool and a few satellite pools that are never too crowded. The beach at the resort is tiny and has huge rocks in the water. Go to Juanillo beach, its public, but you are the only ones on the entire beach. Ismilsa & Menor are two amazing entertainment hostesses. They would greet you every morning, joke around and set up activities throughout the day for everyone. Two people that honestly made the days at the pool a lot of fun and enjoyable.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with my stay. We had a great time at the pool and beach, ate a ton of food and drank a lot of presidente’s (the only beer option), but the service and overall lack of attention to details really turned us off. Not being greeted by employees when you walked by, constantly waiting for hotel staff (at the restaurant, front desk, housekeeping, room service, etc etc.) Wifi is only at the restaurants, you have an Ethernet cord in your room (which obviously doesn’t work for anything but a computer).

Pro Tip – Make sure to go to Dominican Night for dinner, really amazing. Bring koozies or your own mug for drinks. Spend a lot of time at Juanillo Beach, it really is amazing in every aspect. Bring bug spray, they are extremely aggressive and you will get eaten alive. Wake up early and secure your spot at the pool, everyone does it and if you go at 10am, every chair is taken. Take a taxi from the airport to the resort, only costs $30 flat rate. Make reservations at Wok, the chef is hilarious and you are guaranteed a good laugh. Apparently you can get wireless internet in your room if you pay for a router (or bring your own!). Bring your own toiletries; the resort’s are no name brand garbage. The gym is very grimy, hot and smelly; don’t expect much out of this.

Room Tip: Castle side is much newer, but the beach front rooms aren't very exciting. The Junior suite swim outs have private pools, but there is nothing between your room and a public beach, so security is an issue. Junior suite partial ocean views are decent, you could face a parking lot or a little bit of the beach, whatever is available.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank DJGFunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ignacio P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 7 December 2013

Dear Guest,

I would like to extend you our most sincere apologies for any difficulties you may have experienced during your stay.

I must say that in general our guests perceive our services as an excellent. Nevertheless, I am sorry that your experience was not what you expected. I assure you that the managers of the various departments involved have been informed of your particular observations and that appropriate measures will be taken wherever possible.

In reference to your experience at the Wok restaurant, I must clarify that this is the only restaurant in our resort which requires reservation, unfortunately at the time you reserve this restaurant also had been booked by a group that decided at last moment cancel their reservation without notify to the Restaurant, as you will understand these cases make difficult to us the correct handling due we must honor the reservations.

I hope the situations described do not deter you from visiting our resort on a future stay. We appreciate your feedback, and hope you give us the chance to improve your last experience.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

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