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“Best Honeymoon EVER!”

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #41 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Best Honeymoon EVER!”
Reviewed 11 October 2010

We just returned yesterday from our honeymoon at SSCC. We were so sad to leave and the 6 days we were there just didn't seem long enough. The resort is in a gorgeous location and breathtaking views of ocean and beaches. It was a short ride from the airport and when we got to the resort, we were quickly greeted with a yummy welcome drink and a cool towel. We got all checked in and we were quickly escorted to our room. We had booked a Castle Oceanview top floor room and had an awesome view. Since they were doing construction in the castle/fortress area, there was no one else booked there so we basically had the entire place to ourselves. We swam in the pool that is for the swim up rooms, but since they were vacant, we basically had our own pool. We were close to the Juanillo beach to kayak, swim, etc. In the castle there is the Ocean Bar and it was awesome. At the most, there were maybe 4 couples plus us at any given time, so it was very intimate. Estuvio was our favorite employee out of the whole place! He is the bartender at the Ocean Bar and was super awesome to hang out and talk to. We learned a lot about the resort and DR in general. Be sure to go by and meet him, you won't regret it! We layed on the beach and soaked up the sand, sun and breezes...didn't do any excursions or anything because the resort was just too nice to leave. The food was really good at all of the places we ate at...the only one we didn't make it to was the Italian food place. The steak house was nice and had awesome cream of tomato soup, the Wok was great and we sat at the Tepanyaki table (you have to make reservations) and we ate all of our other meals at the Blue Marlin. Be sure to hit Lobster Fest on Thursday night...that is the only night they have fresh, grilled lobster! Also, room service was great as our last night we stayed in and watched college football and ate room service food. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone! Of course with any place you travel or go to, there will be issues that arise as nothing is perfect and we did encounter some; however, they were all taken care of very quickly and it was nothing out of the norm. Don't listen to the bad reviews...sorry, but if you can't go to a beautiful resort with friendly people and have a good time, maybe you should just stay home! October was a perfect time to go because there was hardly anyone there and it was much more intimate. One note of advice...take bug spray! Enjoy!!!

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sunsoaker13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 18 October 2010
Dear Guest

Thank you very much for taking the time in writing and sharing your great experience with other friends through trip advisor. It was a pleasure to serve you and we are looking forward to your return in the near future.

Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino
General Manager
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Florence, South Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2010

I couldn’t begin to say enough about this resort. I have traveled all over the Caribbean, and stayed in quite a few “5 Star Resorts” Secrets Cap Cana has it hands down. I spent months planning this trip because I was proposing to my girlfriend during our stay. SSCC went above and beyond anything I ever expected. They catered to everything I requested without any hesitation what so ever. I read a lot of reviews prior to travel, and was a little skeptical about things. I might have considered changing resorts due to other feedback but the concierges communication and cooperation was A+. The entire staff here is remarkable. I really can’t say enough about this place. “WOW” From the Butlers to Carlos (General Manager) everyone who worked here did anything and everything to ensure all were enjoying their time in Cap Cana. Simple, “you want it, you got it” If they didn’t have it, they would find it, or at the very least, they would try. I’ve never been anywhere where people would go so far out of their way to ensure your satisfaction. I spoke to numerous people, as well as have read many reviews of people not being happy with their original accommodations. In every case, Secrets, without question, did everything possible to make it right. This is something you really don’t find. This is the first resort I have been to where you can find the GM wondering the resort and personally checking on guests satisfaction.
Special thanks to Marco. I really can’t thank him enough. He made sure EVERYTHING, and them some was taken care of for my proposal. Couldn’t have been better. We will be seeing them in August on our Honeymoon. Marco, and Carlos, if you guys ever need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ILDSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 12 October 2010
Dear Guest

Thank you very much for sharing your experience through trip advisor and for selecting our hotel. We haver a great team in place and we are working hard day in and day out to exceed our clients expectations. We really appreciate your time and your comments and we look forward to your return.

Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2010

My wife and I recently stayed at SSCC for our honeymoon at the end of September for one week and I couldn't have been more happy with our decision. I almost did cancel our reservation at this hotel due to prior comments I read on TripAdvisor, but after deciding to stick it out I was very happy with the results. There are always some things that do not go perfect during your stay, but overall our experience was fantastic.

When we arrived we were surprised how close we were to the airport and that we had to go through a security gate just to get into Cap Cana. We were originally booked into a Swim Out room, but due to the room upgrade option we were moved to a Jr. Honeymoon Suite with our own deck and private pool with a great view of the ocean. The rooms looked great and I havent slept that well in a long time. The room was cleaned twice a day on most days and the mini bar was re-stocked each day. The only issue we had with our room was that the hot water was not working most days. However, everytime I called for someone to look at it they responded quickly and were working on the problem. That was really our only problem the entire trip.

The grounds of the hotel are amazing and I was very surprised to see that it actually looked like the pictures I saw online. The pools were great and what we really liked was that you could spend time at the main pool at the bar and meet people or sneak away to the other pools at the hotel and have some alone time. I recommend the pool by the Ocean Bar for some great private time with your husband or wife. The drinks at the pool bar were top notch and the service can't be beat. These guys definitely make sure that your drinks are full and they do have a heavy hand. Thanks to Moreno, Tomas and Bernardo for some great memories. Watch out for the Mama Juana shot, they also call it Dominican Viagra.

The restaurants were a great surprise. The food we received was very good at each restaurant we ate at and we never really had a complaint. The only issue I had was with the New York Strip at the Steakhouse. It was pretty fatty and not very easy to eat. I did go back a 2nd time and had the filet mignon and it was awesome. Our favorite place was the Blue Marlin. We enjoyed the shrimp cocktail and tempura for appetizers and loved the catch of the day. The Red Snapper was delicious. We did stay in the room two nights and ordered room service. I recommend the Club Sandwich and my wife loved the margarita pizza.

We did check out both private beaches on each side of the resort. Juanillo beach is pristine and if feels like you have the whole beach to yourself. You can snorkel or kayak for free from this beach which we did, but couldnt really see anything when we snorkled. We stopped by the casino a few times, but it was empty. We gambled a little bit, but wish more people would have been there for some much needed background noise and excitement. I also recommend checking our the Buggy tour or Marinarium off the hotel if you are into some excursions. Feel free to email me directly with questions.

Overall, we had an awesome stay and loved every minute of it. I wish we did 10 days, but I guess it just means we will have to come back and see the hotel and its staff again. Thanks to everyone who made it a wonderful stay including Willy Wonka, Miami, Yillian and all the guys at the Bar.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank cubsfan34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 11 October 2010
Dear Guest

Thank you for the positive review and for selecting our hotel for such an important event(Honeymoon) in your lives. We are pleased you had a most enjoyable stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2010

This was my first lazy, relaxing vacation and I have to say it was wonderful. The hotel is quiet and not near other resorts. It is quaint, with a Mediterrean look. It's spotless. The liquor is top shelf and the food was great. The service was wonderful as well. It was a perfect romantic get away. It would also be fun to go here with a few other couples. It's definitely not a place for singles or people seeking nightlife. I would definitely recommend. Also the price was very reasonable for all inclusive (we went during hurricane season but the weather was perfect. Also we had the junior suite which i believe is the cheapest there but it was perfect for two people.)....and while it was all inclusive, the only buffet was for breakfast.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AMR25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 8 October 2010
Dear Guest

Thank you for your post on Trip Advisor. We appreciate your wonderful comments of our property and our Secrets Brand and are delighted that we have exceeded your expectations. We look forward to welcoming you and your clients back soon.

Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 October 2010

We just returned home from our honeymoon at Secrets Cap Cana! It was paradise! We regret not booking another week. We had a 3.5 hour flight from St. Louis. We loved all the food because we love fresh seafood. The Blue Martin's Red Snapper was our favorite! The staff is amazing! They will do anything for their guests. They work very hard and I can't thank them enough for our enjoyable stay. The beaches are breath taking and the 5 pools are just wonderful. The whole hotels is well decorated and very clean. I would recommend this resort to anyone wanting a relaxing and fun vacation in paradise.
-Erin and Doug Meckfessel

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Meckfessel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 8 October 2010
Dear Guest

Thank you for the positive review. We are pleased you had a most enjoyable stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you back soon. It was a pleasure to serve you!!!

Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san juan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2010

We just returned from an excellent stay in the beautiful SECRETS SANCTUATRY CAP CANA. We stayed on a Honeymoon Suite with Private Pool and it was spectacular, private, very romantic and with an incredible view. The staff is very accomodating, the golf course Punta Espada designed by Nickalus is one of the top golf courses I have played in!!!! The service, the grounds , the food was amazing my favorite restaurant was the David Crockett!!! very god, nice variety of dishes. I would recommend this property without hesitation to anyone loking for a romantic and relaxing vacation. I almost forgot it's only 15 minutes away from the airport which is very convenient. I'm already planing a second trip to Secrets next time will be for a week!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SanJuanNatalia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 6 October 2010
Dear Guest

Thank you for sharing your experience with others through Trip Advisor. It is extremely important for us to offer unique and incredible experiences. We have taken your comments into consideration in order to continue to delight our future guests. Looking forward to your next visit!

Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Merrick, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2010

My wife and I recently stayed at Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana for our 20th Wedding Anniversary and I would describe SSCC as an “up and coming” resort. The progress that the staff and management has made since this resort became a full-time all-inclusive in April 2010 is spectacular. We encountered one couple who were at the resort this past April and had rave reviews for the changes made in such a short time.

I will try not to repeat what other posters have stated about this resort and I will strive to give you a different perspective about this resort.

While you can nit-pick this resort to death as some other reviewers have I almost think you have to almost work at having a bad time at this resort. My wife have been to all-inclusive resorts such as Diamond Cozemel , Ciboney Ocho Rios and Wyndham St.Lucia (all three no longer exist); Beaches Turks & Caicos (visited twice) and El Dorado Royale, Secrets Capri and Royal Hideaway (all in the Mexican Maya Riviera) so we have experienced the full spectrum of all-inclusive resorts.

We were originally booked for a Castle Junior Suite Swim-Out room but due to construction of the new spa we were switched to a much superior accommodation. Only after exploring the fortress and finding the construction site did we hear any noise. Any construction noise was negligible and construction was limited to during the day while most guests are the pool or on excursions. The resort is taking great strides to keep noise down to a minimum.

Nowhere else have I seen management so accessible and willing to address any problems that you may have as I have seen at SSCC. Before you even step foot on the property you can find the manager of the resort posting on the resort’s Facebook page and responding to reviews on TripAdvisor. On-site you can always find a member of the resort management walking the grounds. In fact, if you wish to find a member of the management team you can always find them at the weekly guests versus management volleyball game. This is where I met Carlos for the first time as I watched the game. My volleyball skills are abysmal so I abstained from participating but Carlos actually took time out between serves to introduce himself to me, shake my hand and ask if there were any problems with my stay.

I also encountered Cory the food & beverage manager and had several chats with him about the food and resort in general over the week. In speaking with Cory I found out that he has re-provisioned much of the food out of Atlanta, Georgia (USA) in order to get a better level of product consistency. His current goal is overcoming several cultural perceptions of the staff and getting the restaurants to provide a consistently excellent dining experience day in and day out.

I met a few guests who had a tough or rubbery steak at the David Crockett Steakhouse but I had the mixed grill twice there and found all the cuts in the selection to be excellent. I frequently attend a lot of vendor “dog & pony” shows for work at several steak houses in New York City like Ruth Criss, Morton’s, Bobby Van’s and actually found the quality of the mixed grill to be as good as, if not better than, the fare served at these Manhattan venues.

In my conversations with Cory I also found out that he plans on changing how the mini-bars in the rooms are resupplied after actually going out with his team and determining how inefficient the current process is. He plans on ordering rolling cages to pre-position throughout the resort to speed up the resupply of the mini-bars.

Most of the problems that we did encounter at Secrets Sanctuary were tied to the physical plant and others are simply what I would call “fifteen minute” fixes. The previous owners took a few shortcuts with some of the construction of the resort and now some of those shortcuts are giving the Secrets staff an undeserved black eye. I have seen the staff debug an electrical nightmare, malfunctioning doors, broken or uninstalled (in the fortress) elevators, air conditioning odors and broken pipes. In no way should you think that the place is falling down but the Secrets engineering staff is diligently swatting every little Gremlin that pops up as promptly as they can while the management invests in upgrading the infrastructure they inherited when they took over the resort.

I must extend kudos to the engineering staff personally. One day during our stay the private pool on our balcony dropped a foot in depth and began making the worst sucking noise you could imagine. Within minutes of reporting the problem we had two engineers hopping the fence so as not to disturb us like two maintenance Ninjas. A few dashes to the bowels of the fortress and back by the staff the problem was remedied within the hour. You could have used these guys on the ServPro TV commercials because when they were done “it was like it never really happened”!

I found the staff to be very motivated and genuinely friendly. They are not friendly because they have to be or fishing for tips – the staff is truly friendly because they want to be! My wife and I had an in-depth conversation with one member of the staff who had worked for several resorts in Punta Cana prior to coming to Secrets Sanctuary. The staff member said that of all the resorts he has worked for in Punta Cana, he stated that Secrets Sanctuary treated him the best. This same employee postponed his days off in order to assist with a large group that was checking in when we were checking out of the resort.

Of the fifteen minute fixes I mentioned before I would recommend are: wiping the caps and tops of cans clean before being placed in the mini-bar (being addressed by Cory, the F&B manager); a bagel cutter in Casa Bella or pre-slice the Dominican Republic version of a bagel (I kept forgetting to mention this to Cory); better music at the pools – maybe a little more local Salsa and Meringue music too. The music at the Ocean club pool definitely needs upgrading. I get the Zen experience but some of the stuff is coma inducing. I would also suggest checking the music selection that plays in the restaurants too. Playing Italian music in the Wok restaurant can really kill the mood. Placing a chalk or marker board near the pool with a schedule of the daily events, what restaurants are open, etc. would help too instead of trying to remember where we placed “The Sundial” newsletter that is placed in our room each night.

I could go on with little criticisms of the resort but I think the foundation and dynamics are there for this resort to be a top tier contender in about a year. My wife and I would not hesitate to return to this resort – and we hope to do so as soon as we can.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank gnm1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SecretsSanctuaryCC, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 6 October 2010
Dear Guest

Thank you for your post on Trip Advisor. We appreciate your wonderful comments. We are delighted that we have exceeded your expectations. We look forward to welcoming you back to the beautiful Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana.


Best Regards

Carlos A Del Pino
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 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
#37 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Spa 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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