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Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
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Reviews (5,160)
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Reviewed 10 December 2013

It's a ok place, but I was expecting much more. If you have a family with small kids (1-10 years) this is not the place for you. Pools are great and the bar by the pool is awesome, beach is just ok, food is average. We had few problems is our room (we stayed in a villa): toilet flush not working, tv broken and a major leak in the ceiling. Bottom line, I think the Sanctuary is a good place for singles or couples without small kids.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
3  Thank RafaelSTL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2013

My husband and I spent 5 nights at the Sanctuary Cap Cana and the resort was absolutely beautiful however we cannot return for two reason…

1. Vendors... They have vendors that come right up into the resort. They were everywhere and at the pool they were incredibly pushy. My husband and I were trying to avoid walking in their direction. But its impossible they are at every exit area. If you need to use the restroom, go back to your room, to the bar… they are there. You will not be able to avoid them and they even call out at your when you are laying in your chair. You just want to relax on vacation and not be hounded by people who want you to buy things.

2. Having to sign for everything…This was way to annoying. We are at an all inclusive and they make you sign everything even though you are not having to pay. If you get one drink you have to wait and sign a ticket. We have been to very nice resorts and we have never had to sign. We were at dinner one night and asked for our check we waited and waited. So we left and then they came chasing after us. At breakfast we would have to wait a least 20 mins when we were done to get a check. Then at the pool bar you have to sign. What is with this? We will never go back for this reason alone. If hotel management does away with the vendor and signing we would return.

The food at dinner and lunch at the Blue Marlin was really good. However the breakfast buffet was not that greatest. We loved the view at the blue marlin, it was right over the water and absolutely beautiful. Service is very spotty sometimes good, sometimes horrible. Around the pool no one every came around to ask if I wanted a drink. They had people working but they never asked you what you wanted. You would have to go up to them and ask. Most of the time they never came back.
We thought the property needed some maintenance but all in all it was very beautiful. We had a great time and spent most days at the pool. Note to management buy some more towels. They complain if you take to many. The beach is extremely small and very rocky, but it was beautiful. We ended up staying at the pool everyday.
This is an absolutely beautiful resort and could be a 4 1/2 star if management would step up and listen to the costumers about the signing and vendors on property.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Shellyl
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 14 December 2013

Dear Guest,

First of all, we would like to express our gratitude for sharing your observations about your recent vacation at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

As service-oriented company, we have a firm devotion to accomplish our guest’s satisfaction; therefore, after we have finished reading your notes, we are truly sorry due the fact that we did not accomplish with our main goal: your total satisfaction.

At Sanctuary we have a strong commitment on continuous improvement; therefore your comments are very important to us, it is the only method that we can improve our service and know better your preferences. Your notes have been send to the departments involved in order to work on it. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences you have experienced and I assure you, that corrective and preventive measures have been determined with all the departments involved, in order to avoid, similar situations in the future.

Finally, I would like to ask you to give us other opportunity, will be an honor host you in the future and exceed your expectations.

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Beautiful views and beach.
Lovely selection of pools and eating places.
Excellent entertainments and daily Spanish lessons from Miss Mamajuana (Ismilsa), Menor (Emilio) and Rocky.
Excellent waiting from Emanuel.
A very relaxing stay, lovely food selection.
We didn't use the spa but it looked nice and the gym was ok but the flooring needs a little attention.

Room Tip: Try to get a corner suite.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SylvioM
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 14 December 2013

Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for your review on Trip Advisor.

It is a pleasure to read that you had a wonderful experience at our Sanctuary, we are very pleased to know that you enjoyed our facilities and the service provided for all our staff. Our main goal is the total satisfaction of our guests and we are very glad to read that we accomplish that goal during your stay.

We certainly look forward to welcoming 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 8 December 2013

We arrived on November 23, 2013 for a 7 day vacation, to a smiling reception and were given a cold towel and drink. From this point on, we were always greeted with a smile from the entire staff. It started with Hector, who had to listen to a tired cranky guy asking to change our assigned room even though we hadn't spent more than an hour in the room. Hector did offer to move us the next day to a different room. As it turned out, our original room (1001) was a Monarch beach front villa which opened up to a little used pristine beach that not many people from the resort knew about or utilized. Glad Hector was patient. The rest of the week, Hector always made a point of greeting us and asking how we were doing. Go Patriots!

The resort looks like an old Spanish village. The grounds were covered with flowers and always spotless. Enjoyed walking the grounds especially at night with the accent lighting. We thought the beach and pool areas were great and again always clean and well serviced.

We were in the all-inclusive package. The only problem with that is having to sign a receipt for every drink/meal. I understand this is because there are guests who are not on an all-inclusive package. Really not that big of problem.

The resort's restaurants were good and were open on a rotating basis. This was never a problem
for us because there were always 2 or 3 open every night. We met a great waiter by the name of Kelvin, who was always friendly, helpful and willing to coach us on our Spanish. The other servers were also friendly but I don't remember all of their names. We enjoyed the Blue Marlin, Steak House and the Wok.

The bars were well stocked with top shelf liquors and friendly bartenders and waitresses. We would like to thank Bernardo, the bartender in the Love bar. He really helped make our vacation fun. Ask him to make you a refreshing drink and you will enjoy what he comes up with.

Overall we really enjoyed our time here. We were looking for a relaxing week and that is exactly what we got.

Make sure you take the walk past the Castle to the public beach. Great water and with the music playing and the waiters bringing you whatever you want, truly a Caribbean vacation spot.

Also, if you take a taxi to the Marina, walk down to the beach area and find the beach bar. Ask for the Mango drink. They cut up fresh mango in front of you, put it in the blender, and then add the rum. Great drink, great beach. Have the bartender call for the taxi before you leave. It's a great experience.

Room Tip: Monarch beach front villa's 1001, 1002 and 1003 are ground level walk out to the quite pristine beach. Living room, bedroom with king beds, walk-in closet and bathroom with large tub, shower room, double sinks, room with toilet and bidet. Thatched roof lets you listen to the waves all night.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Paul M
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 14 December 2013

Dear Guest,

First of all I would like to thank you for having shared your impressions.

I feel proud and grateful to hear that your experience with us left a memorable impression on you and your family.

At Sanctuary Cap Cana we have a commitment to provide quality service beyond our guests’ expectations, and it is a real pleasure for me to hear that we have achieved our goal. This definitely strengthens our philosophy of seeking the highest level of excellence.

Thank you for the great review and for recommending our hotel to future travelers.

We look forward to your next visit.

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 8 December 2013

We booked this trip off of a last minute Groupon, so what we paid for a 5 night all-inclusive stay was fair. From all of the raving reviews here on Trip Advisor, we were definitely expecting more of a 5-star resort, however their were pros and cons to the whole vacation.

Food - I'll start here because this was where we were most disappointed. The only enjoyable meal was breakfast, even though it was a small buffet. You could get an omelette and their smoothie bar was good, but the cheeses and fruits seemed to always have flies all over them. I can honestly say the most I ate all trip was probably breakfast since it was simple toast, butter and an egg. The first day for lunch I tried a "chicken burger" at the grill station which tasted like canned tuna fish and was absolutely disgusting. The next day we tried to order a BLT from the pool, and mine only had the L&T on it, and the woman next to us only got cheese on hers! The lunch buffet in Casa Bella had very limited options, and I could only eat the lettuce there. On the last day we tried lunch at Blue Marlin which was finally decent.. we had the conch chowder, tomato gazpacho, and red snapper which were all good options.

Dinners were OK, but the Blue Marlin (tuna) was terrible.. and I couldn't finish the rest of my meal. My boyfriend's steak was so chewy you couldn't even get it down. This is much better for lunch. The Italian place was fine if you want bread, plain pasta and pizza. Wok (the Asian place) was good the first night... probably my favorite meal there! But when we returned a second night, we waited over an hour for our apps and food, which ended up being so salty it was almost inedible. Last night we did the Steakhouse which we both enjoyed....except we both had mild food poisoning the next morning. If you're a foodie - this is not the place for you. We walked to the public beach next door and actually bought lunch..which was 10x better than anything I saw or tried at the resort.

Rooms - We were in the Oceanview Jr. Suite and really enjoyed it. I saw a bunch of people saying they had issues with their rooms, but we waited 1.5 hrs to check in which wasn't a big deal. There is definitely a shortage on the housekeeping restocking the soaps, and towels, so definitely let the front desk know if there is a problem.

Pool/Beach - I was pretty disappointed with the beach. It was extremely small and very rocky, but nonetheless it was beautiful. We ended up staying at the pool everyday - but you need to be there before 9am if you want to get a good chair. If you want a nice beach, walk next door to Juanillo beach.

Entertainment - We weren't looking to do much, however there is very limited night time entertainment here. 2 nights we were there were karaoke nights in the hotel bar, which were fun - but definitely awkward at first. There was a Dominican dance night, and then a bon-fire which was a little lame.

The hotel staff was very nice, always said hello, but the vendors at the pool were so incredibly pushy you were trying to avoid walking in their direction. You just want to relax on vacation and not be hounded by people who want you to buy things. We had to wait long for drinks at the most part, and signing the checks everytime was pretty annoying.

All in all - it was a nice and relaxing vacation since we spent most of the time in the sun, but it definitely had it's downfalls. Make sure to ask for premium liquor in your drinks or they'll give you close to nothing. We've had much better food experiences at all-inclusives before (mexico particularly), so I probably wouldn't return to the DR in general.

Hope that was helpful!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kristen r
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 14 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 we assure you that we will be working on it and are under review for improvement.

Once again thank you for share your experience, and if you decide to give us other opportunity, we will do our best to change your first impression.


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
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