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“Fantastic vacation”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
Ranked #30 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed 4 June 2014

My husband and I recently came back from this resort and had a fabulous time. It was a clean, friendly, and fun place with great people. The staff was not only attentive, but engaging. We had unbelieveably great service from the bell hop to the events coordinator. Menor and Ramon were two of our favorites. They tried to keep the day filled with little events that allowed you to be involved, but still relaxed. The facility and amentites were clean and beautiful. We highly reccommend this resort. We only hope that you have pleasure of the same great staff we did.

Room Tip: Loved the ocean view. It is right above the love bar, so if you are an early turn in, it may be lou...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank anna s
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 June 2014

Dear Guest,

I would like to thank you for your positive comments regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

I am very pleased to read your appraisal of our team, services and facilities, and I know my colleagues will be equally pleased to learn of your kind remarks and recognition of their efforts to meet your needs. I will share your feedback with the entire team. They love knowing that our guest appreciates there service.

We look forward to see you soon at our Sanctuary!

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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2,721 - 2,727 of 4,957 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2014

My boyfriend and I just returned from a four night stay for his birthday that was absolutely fantastic. I do firmly believe that if you had a "terrible" vacation here then it was a combination of bad luck and a bad attitude because this property is truly beautiful. That being said, some of the less happy reviews I read do have some valid points. I'll offer up my opinion of them.

I like doing pretty thorough research of a resort before I go so I had emailed concierge ahead of time to request a specific room and to request birthday decorations. We originally booked a Honeymoon Suite with Private Pool and I had read that 3047 was a particularly beautiful version of this room type with an over-sized terrace. Concierge forwarded my email to Hector, the front desk manager and I followed up with him shortly before our stay. He assured me that if that room was not available, we would have a very nice room. Man oh man did he deliver. We got upgraded to the Imperial Suite and it was beautifully decorated with champagne, a cake, and balloons. This room is STUNNING. Many thanks and bravo to the Front Desk and Concierge team.

We're not particularly needy people when it comes to housekeeping and I was pleased with ours, especially turn down. It's a cute little touch to place the slippers by the bed and have it all decorated with little flowers. We were struck by how empty the resort felt, possibly because it was off season and an odd week to travel (we arrived on memorial day) but we didn't mind in the slightest.

I thought the food was good, though not amazing. A couple things stood out - the tres leches cake at the Steakhouse, the grouper sandwich at Blue Marlin, and everything at the Wok, which was our favorite. We had lunch once at the buffet, Casa Bella, and were not pleased with it. All the servers were incredibly friendly. Ernesto, Naurys, Manuel were all wonderful.

As for the drinks, the suspicions I read in other reviews that the liquor is watered down are real I'm quite certain. I saw how much liquor was poured into the glass each time a drink was made for me and if it was typical liquor I most certainly would've felt a buzz at the very least but I had several without feeling a thing. My boyfriend was drinking Dewers on the rocks the whole trip and he also felt nothing. We finally went and bought our own bottle of rum and then we had a grand old time for the rest of the trip (ha). Bartenders are a friendly bunch too, though the pool bar service is quite slow, despite it never really being busy over there during our stay.

My recommendation would be to contact the hotel before your trip, instead of waiting until you get there to ask for an upgrade, especially if you're celebrating something. Regardless, this property in general is truly beautiful and it's not difficult to have an incredible time. I hear it's changing management hands so I'm curious to see what's in store for this resort.

Thanks again Sanctuary Cap Cana, for the amazing memories!

Room Tip: If at all possible, stay in an Imperial Suite. Breathtaking.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Sandra164
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 June 2014

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 in our Sanctuary, we are very happy to know that you enjoyed our facilities, our culinary experience and the service provided for all our staff. Our main goal I 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

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

The hotel itself is gorgeous - straight out of Travel and Leisure, 5-star appearance. At check-in, we inquired about hotel occupancy (70%) and then upgrades as all the reviews recommended. We were only given 1 option, one of the 'villa' style places, at an additional $400/night. Clearly that is more than they cost (confirmed by other guests we met during our stay) but no issue, we were fine in the room we had (ocean view, same building as reception). We would have paid an add'l $100/night otherwise not worth it.

The staff was hit of miss, not rude but not all 100% welcoming and accommodating. The bartender at Love Bar was awesome, the Steak House staff all wonderful, the staff at the pool bar were on their own schedule and didn't listen to your order, gave you whichever mixed drink they felt like making (all tasted good but none seemed to have alcohol). At an all-inclusive, you'd think they'd give you a strong drink to manage their work load but we had to start requesting shots and mix ourselves. Housekeeping took a couple days to really get it (had to ask for towels, mini bar drinks every day) but it's a small annoyance on a vacation with a view like that - island time is totally fine.

The food was sub-par, and I had high hopes from all the reviews. We have NYC taste buds so that could be about 30% of it but the consensus amongst other guests was similar. Since occupancy was about 50% most of the trip, only 2 restaurants were open per night so choices were limited. The Wok was the best (everyone else seemed to like Capriccio, 2nd best for us) but me and another couple we met had trouble sleeping after meals there - not vacation tummy but something was up...The Blue Marlin was not good. Fish bad everywhere but the shrimp at the Wok. Steakhouse was ok, filet mignon mediocre, fish bad, sides good, bread great, service and wine great. I heard the other fattier cuts of beef were better. Breakfast was the best - enough choices for everyone but what in the world is wrong with the bacon!? Overall not the worst A-I food and worth it for the price and location.

The MAJOR DOWN SIDE was the gym - there was mold and I actually ended up with an allergic reaction to which I've had to seek medical treatment. They should not leave that open until they fix it (if they can - it's surrounded by underwater pools), a huge health hazard and caused me to miss a day of work.

Overall I'd give it a 7/10 stars - pluses for location, minuses for food and overlooking the mold as, once fixed, would be a 7/10 place.

Room Tip: Request ocean view rooms in the main building if you're not doing a Villa or Suite as the buildi...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Carrie 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 21 June 2014

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 knows better your preferences. Your notes have been sending 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 31 May 2014

We just returned from our trip to Sanctuary Cap Cana and we had a great time celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary! When we arrived, we were greeted with a cool towel and refreshing drink and many warm smiles which continued throughout our visit. We stayed in the Beachfront Premier Suite and were very pleased with our accommodations! There was a banner across our door wishing us a Happy Anniversary..nice touch! We also were treated to a complimentary "champagne breakfast in bed" which was very nicely done! The grounds are beautiful with the Spanish Architecture..I felt like I was in Spain! The staff was very friendly and worked very hard to make us happy! Menor was so much fun and the entertainment crew all did a great job! Eddy and the rest of the beach/bar crew were amazing making sure that whatever we needed was taken care of. The food was good and needs improvement as the quality at times was inconsistent from restaurant to restaurant but there was plenty variety and we really didn't have a "bad" meal! They do need to provide "fresher" food options as well. Thank you to our wonderful hostest Ynoca and our server Socrates who smiled every morning and made us feel right at home! :o) We had a wondeful vacation and will definitely will return to Sanctuary! Gracias a todos! Hasta luego! :o)

Room Tip: We enjoyed the Beachfront Premier Suite..nice and private yet close enough to everything with beauti...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
1  Thank Carmen F
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 13 June 2014

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 in our Sanctuary, we are very happy to know that you enjoyed our facilities and the service provided for all our staff. Our main goal I the total satisfaction of our guests, and we are very glad to read that we accomplish that goal during your stay.

I am aware that every customer that visits our resort forms their own opinion and what is important that we take those comments and suggestions acknowledged them and try to improve upon with the guest that mention them and for our future guest. Your notes have been send to the departments involved in order to work on it.

We certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,

Ignacio Perez
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2014

My wife and I just got back from four days at this resort. When we arrived, we were escorted to a room in the main building which smelled like mold. We were then driven to an out of the way room in the castle which of course was more money. We didn't like the deserted feel of the castle. There was absolutely nobody around and we were walking through these barren corridors and then all of a sudden a man came out of nowhere to shake our hands and welcome us to the castle. It was out of that Jack Nicholson movie where they were running through corn fields. The room in the castle had not been used in quite a while. There was this soft jelly like substance covering the entire first step of the stairs leading to the pool and the room was very dark. We felt a bit spooked in the castle and opted to see room #3. The third room we were shown was an ocean front room with a large deck which of course was $250 more a night. We were not offered this upgrade for free by any means. We negotiated the front desk person down to $125 a night. This was a birthday celebration, yet we were not offered anything for free. The hotel while we were there was at less that 50% capacity.

Housekeeping: When out all day at the pool we would return and find our room was not cleaned. So each day we had to personally go to the front desk and request that someone clean our room. When shampoo and conditioner were used up, we had to personally ask housekeeping to replace them. This is just crazy…...

Food: The food overall was very below average. The best restaurant is the Wok. We went there twice. The chef at the hibachi in the Wok has a routine that he does over and over and over again and is loud and obnoxious. He makes off color jokes which were just not funny.

On the second night we were there, a mariachi band came in to serenade the various tables. The leader of the band looked at us and actually turned his back to us and played to the people at the hibachi table and essentially ignored us. He could have quite easily moved to a corner of the room and played to the entire room, but this was not done. I guess playing to two women was a bit much for him, but we found this to be very rude.

The food at the other restaurants are just very below average. The breakfast is boring and overall very tasteless. They had an omlette station, but everything else appeared to be prepackaged. The fruit was not that sweet and appeared to be underripe.

We found a bit of bait and switch going on with many of our meals. What was on the menu was not what we received. The tartlets did not resemble "little tarts" in the least. I asked for salmon and got mahi mahi. The orange chicken at the Wok did not taste like orange in the least, but here was some pineapple on the plate.

Concession store: very limited supplies (unable to get simple amenities like dental floss) and when we went in for some pre-packaged ice cream, the woman behind the counter could care less that she had a customer in the store. The ice cream case was locked (don't want to steal that ice cream!!!!) and when I asked her about it, she handed me the key to unlock the cabinet. When I wanted to charge the cost to my room she looked bothered and said her shift was ending. I offered to return later with the cash and she again looked annoyed and frustrated. I do not work for her. She should be working to satisfy her customers and the customers should not have to jump through hoops to get some ice cream.

Customer Service: the men were nicer to us than the women were. Many of the waiters around the pool did not speak any English. Someone else would have to be summoned in order for us to place our drink or food orders.

Drinks: we are not big drinkers, but most of the drinks do not taste at all like there is any alcohol in there at all. I usually get a "buzz" with one drink, but no "buzz" happened here after several drinks.

Entertainment: the man who does the exercise class around the pool each day stopped us in the lobby as we were checking out and asked us to "give him a good review". We did not participate in his classes so I have no idea how good or bad he was. I think it's strange to be approached requesting a good review while on vacation.

Would we go back, "no". The grounds were beautiful but I need everything to be in place for a return trip.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Fanilow
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 13 June 2014

Dear Guest,

Warm regards from Sanctuary Cap Cana.

First and foremost, I would like to begin by offering a sincerest apology on my behalf and the entire staff at the Sanctuary Cap Cana, it was never our intention to disappoint you in any way.

Thank you for taking the time to post your opinion TripAdvisor. Our ultimate goal is to always to meet and exceed our guests’ expectations, so please be assured that we take your comments very seriously. We pride ourselves on providing clean, luxurious accommodations to our guests and sincerely apologize that you experienced any inconveniences during your stay.

I am aware that every customer that visits our resort forms their own opinion and what is important that we take those comments and suggestions acknowledged them and try to improve upon with the guest that mention them and for our future guest. 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

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2014

We had a perfect trip to Sanctuary Cap Cana in March of this year. I have been meaning to write to thank all the wonderful staff for a perfect spring get away. The grounds are gorgeous. We stayed in a Castle Swim Out room. It was beautifully decorated, private and spacious. We did not mind the 5 minute walk to the main pool beside there was a pool on the roof, bars and a restaurant at the Castle. The bar staff at the main pool were great. The staff greeted you with warm smiles and always asked how your day was going. Of course, the answer was always perfect. Cap Cana is away from the hustle and bustle of Punta Cana. We did take a snorkel trip in PC, recommended by the hotel and that was wonderful. Thank you to all the staff and hotel manager. You run a top notch resort.

Room Tip: Our castle swim out room was perfect.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Nancy W
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 June 2014

Dear Guest,

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

I am delighted to hear about your recent experience at Sanctuary, as well I would like to thank you for having taken some of your valuable time to write your impressions.

Exceeding the expectations of our guests and offer truly exceptional experiences is our goal. We know that in order to achieve this it is necessary to provide good service and attitude; therefore I am proud to hear that our staff went above and beyond in their effort to fulfill all your needs.

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 30 May 2014

This was our first visit to the DR and Sanctuary Cap Cana was exceptional. While we booked a Junior Ocean View Suite, when we got there we were upgraded to an Villa. Three big rooms, a walk in closet, a deck with furniture and a "fenced in" yard. (Fenced in with bushes.)

The privacy provided by our own thatched roof house made for a romantic getaway. It is highly recommended.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank DivemasterPJ
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 June 2014

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 in our Sanctuary, we are very happy to know that you enjoyed our facilities and the service provided for all our staff. Our main goal I 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

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts

Address: Boulevard Zona Hotelera, Playa Juanillo, Punta Cana 0809, Dominican Republic (Formerly Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol)
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:
#13 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#27 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £235 - £493 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts 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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