This is far from a 5 star luxury resort more like a 3 star property We were there the week of christmas to new year's eve and it was far from what was expected Booked a massage and it was given in a room with no ventilation or music after the massage was completed the staff announced the new spa was opening the following day(they should have told me that before services were rendered and I would have waited to enjoy my massage in the new facility) Our Tv was not visible while laying in bed because the case was broken that it sat on (it was reported but never fixed) The food options were terrible Blue Marlin had the same fish daily Casa Bella the buffet had eggs prepared to dry Capricio the italian restaurant was very good the first evening so when we returned for a second visit the steak was sent back due to over cooking and the other plate was cold The beach and pool had limited seat cushions for the chairs so it was very uncomfortable without a cushion When asked to speak to the manager he was not available Although the staff was very friendly many told us that management had recently changed obviously they are in transition We had used cheap caribbean for our previous trip to the dominican republic and were very pleased with the rating not this time!
My fiancee (now wife) and I stayed at Sanctuary for our honeymoon. Upon catching a van at the PC airport to the the resort, we were put onto a golf cart and taken to "the Castle". We checked into the resort there and were greeted very warmly by the concierge (All smiles, all the time). We met our butler, Emilio (5+ stars), who gave us champagne while we waiting for everything to be processed. He escorted us down to our room and our honeymoon began. I think it's easier to do smaller bullet points on Pro's and Con's of Sanctuary at Cap Cana. Positives: -We can't say enough about Emilio. He checked in with us every single day to see what we had planned, if we were okay, what we planned for dinner. He was beyond great and couldn't have been happier with him. A true professional that we owe most of our enjoyment to. -US Dollars are accepted pretty much everywhere not just in the resort but also wherever we were in the DR, so don't worry about converting to Dominican Pesos. The stores on the resort were good. Little trinkets, clothes and the market sold toiletries, sun tan lotion (check for expiration dates before buying) and candy - The resort is next to immaculate (see Con on current construction) - Everywhere we went, we were greeted with a smile. - The food was very enjoyable. Casa Bella was great for breakfasts and lunches. Buffett style with lots of choices, including omelettes for breakfast and pasta for lunch. My wife enjoyed The Blue Marlin while I enjoyed Carpaccio's the most. Steakhouse was good and so was the Wok place. - Drinks were great. Presidente was a great DR discovery and my wife enjoyed the resorts different "Drinks of the Day" (Banana Mama was her favorite). They are not short on the alcohol and are liberal pourers, so be careful - Our last night we did dinner on the beach. Very romantic. We had a friendly waiter who was great. Worked hard and left us to be alone as much as possible to enjoy our meal and scenery. -If you do stay in the Castle, we recommend using the pool by Oceans Tapas Lounge. While Oceans wasn't open, the pool and bar were amazing. A one minute walk from our room. They have limited seating so get there early, well before the bar opening at 10-10:30am. A great view of the ocean and coastline, but it's much more quiet and low key than the main pool area. -Met with a rep from CC to discuss excursions. I had previously signed us up for Zip line and the rep talked us into doing the Hoya Azul Eco Tour at Scape Park. It was a quick, 15 minute ride to Scape and we had a blast for the 6 or so hours we were there. We did the zip line first and then the Eco Tour. Zip lining was amazing but the Hoya Azul stole the show. You take about a 15 minute slow paced walk to a cave where you get to swim in a fresh water spring. Felt absolutely amazing after the very hot zip lining. Couldn't recommend doing the Hoya Azul more. -Lots of pools to choose from so if you don't like one, there are plenty to try out -Kid Free!!! Negatives: - The Castle was under construction during our stay (Mid Oct 2016) and the noise and dust took us a while to get used to. Rooms were being worked on throughout the day and noise, while not horrible, was a little disappointing. - Some employees struggled with the language barrier. I hate to sound "so American" and 99% of the employees, we were able to interact with easily, but one or two were limited in their English. - I came away a little disappointed in the beach. I can imagine it gets very crowded during the peak season, it was sparse in attendance but heavy in chair being "saved" with blankets but no occupants. The same goes tenfold at the main pool. While leaving Casa Bella after breakfast (9-10ish), we noticed that most of the chairs by the big pool were almost all taken with towels reserving spots for other resort goers. - A point of note that disappointed me was there was not much in the way of surf/waves to enjoy any sort of body surfing. If you want a calm, wave free beach, this place is you dream destination. I was left a little disappointed. - Having to pay for the (in-room) wifi in todays day and age was a little annoying but we probably could have gotten away with it as most common areas (lobbies, pools) have free wifi. We spent 6 days at Sanctuary. We never felt like we were doing the same thing twice. We were always relaxed and looked after, while still keeping our autonomy.While I did list several Con's, they were far outweighed by the Pro's of our experience. Hope to return very soon.
So many things are great at Sanctuary Cap Cana. Overall, it is a very good value for a relaxing vacation. Facilities - The photos on their website are realistic and our Junior Suite #3019 was more than enough space for a week’s stay and had a direct view of the ocean and pool. The room was clean and the bed comfortable, though the upholstery was a bit tired. Facilities were not at all crowded. No need to get up early to stake your claim on a beach chair. And we liked that there were no “bracelets” required. Staff - The concierge staff went above and beyond to help retrieve the luggage American Airlines lost. Special thanks to Melanie and Francesca! Food & Drink - This was our first experience at an all-inclusive property, so we have no basis for comparing the food or drink. The food was attractively presented and we would compare it to the quality at a TGI Fridays, Olive Garden or Red Lobster. La Yola Snack Station on the beach offers a whole fried fish that is not advertised, but is definitely worth asking for. I could not detect any crab in the crab bisque at the Steakhouse and the crab cannelloni at Capriccio, but other dishes all seemed as described on the menu. Mixed drinks were all good, but I did not care for the house white wine - stick with champagne. Guests were generally very friendly and it was a diverse crowd in age and geography. We are not late nighters, so only saw one evening’s entertainment - a Brazilian buffet followed by a dance show. It was energetic and well attended. This is not a large Vegas-like property, so there was virtually no noise from loud guests at night and no large groups of drunk college students roaming around. The name Sanctuary really does apply to this resort. Activities - Yoga and water aerobics were included with our Dominican teacher Mr. New York. He is very friendly and goes at a pace that anyone can follow. CJ led our bike tour and is very personable. The exercise was good, but the resort is somewhat remote and there was not a lot to see during the ride. We also took advantage of the paddle boarding at nearby Juanillo Beach. However, there is virtually no instruction given on how to use the boards, so you are on your own. The couples massage we had at the Spa was excellent. The Spa itself was very clean, but the pools at the Spa are not as well maintained as those on the rest of the property.
The Santuary Cap Cana is a wonderful resort, but I would say for adults not children. There were several children there, but they seemed out of place in with their pool play and restaurant manners. We were recommended this resort by Cheap Carribean as an upper scale resort (one of only several in the Dominican Republic). The staff are great but speak little English. Deal with the front desk or concierge with any requests so as not to become frustrated. The food is wonderful except for the Wok which we did not visit but were told was terrible. The Steak, Italian and Blue Marlin restaurants are all fantastic as well as the buffet for breakfast in the Casa Bella. Make friends with the waiters as they circulate in the evening venues as well and will treat you with special care if you make an effort to be friendily and try to speak a word or two in Spanish. The ocean view jr. suites are perfect. We were in the ones to the left of the lobby if facing the ocean. Get a second story room as the view is fabulous. I recommend 1033,1034,1035, 1036 (ours) or 1037. If this is a special occasion (honeymoon or anniversary), let the front desk know in advance of coming and champaigne and fruit as well as a breakfast in bed during your stay will be provided. Chairs at the main pool are pretty much taken by 10:00-11:00. But check out the upper pools under the suites I mentioned. Less noise and more chairs available. My favorite pool is the infinity pool right under the above-mentioned suites. Talked to several people who were put in the castle rooms and they hated it and moved to villas which are literally on the beach. Small beach but wonderful. Check out the Blue Marlin bar area with comfortable chairs and great ocean breeze so as to get out of the sun. The Dominican Republic is very hot. 88 degrees and very humid. You can sweat just leaving your room for breakfast. Have breakfast inside even though you will be tempted to have it outside. We did that the first day and quickly realized how uncomfortable the heat was. Note that the Punta Cana airport is not air conditioned. Prepare accordingly. All in all a wonderful time - oh, there is no shopping unless you go via free shuttle to the cigar factory/store which is worth doing. Check with the concierge to schedule. A most beautiful resort!!!!.
Our stay was very relaxing and I definitely recommend this resort. I should start by saying that we are not resort people. Typically our vacations involve traveling to different cities and trying out some of the best bars/restaurants those cities have to offer. So I don’t have a great frame of reference for this review (no comparison to other resorts). The staff at this resort is extremely friendly and helpful. Many speak very good English (or at least enough to easily communicate if you aren’t a Spanish speaker). They often crack jokes and make the stay a little more fun. We started out in the Jr. Beach View suites. It was a perfectly fine room with a nice view. We spent two nights in this room and would have been perfectly happy finishing our stay there. My only complaint about those rooms is that they look at the tops of the other buildings and main pool area. The main pool area can get pretty loud during the day and that sound carries into the room a bit. I could see it being a bit much if you were trying to take an afternoon nap maybe. We had a coupon offer for money off an upgrade. So we went to the front desk to check on upgrade options. The only upgrade option available at the time was the honeymoon suites in the Castle. They took us to see them and we couldn’t say no to spending our last two nights in one of those rooms! Private infinity pool and an incredible view. It was a pretty significant price to upgrade but looking back I would definitely do it again. 10x the experience of the standard rooms. And so quiet and peaceful. It was on the other end of the resort and felt like a totally different world! I consider myself a bit of a foodie I guess and I really like flavor. The food at this resort was really well prepared for the most part as far as how things were cooked but everything was a bit bland for my taste. But I completely understand that since a place like this has to appeal to a huge range of taste buds. I think the amount of food options is great. I know some resorts have way more options but I like not being overwhelmed with choices. We were able to try all the restaurants at the resort. The sushi was by far the best of the trip. The beach front grill area was honestly pretty tasty especially considering you only had to take a few steps from your beach chair to grab a bite to eat. We also did a couples massage. The spa is very well appointed and the staff seem well trained. It was a relaxing experience that I’d say is well worth looking into. We were fortunate enough to have coupons towards this service so that also saved us a few bucks. The beaches are amazing. White sand everywhere. One things is that it does get a bit of seaweed. They've obviously done their best to block it with nets and its not terrible but still comes ashore. They have guys out raking it most of the day to keep the beach clear and clean. A few tips: 1. The mini bar is not what I expected. Just soda/water and beer. I’m a beer drinker so that’s not a huge deal but my wife would have loved to see some wine or mini bottles of something. If you were ready to settle in for the night you had to go to a bar and grab something before you headed back to the room. Or you’d have to pay for a bottle of wine. 2. I’d suggest taking a large cup if you plan on drinking. I saw a few people that had done this. We had the all-inclusive open bar but they pour the drinks into really tiny containers. You can make a million trips but it would be more enjoyable to sit for a while with a huge drink instead. 3. If you are looking for peace and quiet, definitely stay in the Castle. The other side is great and has easier access to the pool/lobby areas but can be loud during the day. 4. Get to the beach a little early if you want a cabana or umbrella. We had no issues getting a chair at any time but usually it was full sun which can be pretty brutal for more than a short period. And we were told our trip was during the slow season, so I imagine this gets worse during the busy season. All-in-all we had a great time I’d absolutely consider this resort again if I were planning this type of trip. I loved how small it was in comparison to others we looked at. You really get to remember a lot of the staff and they get to remember your face as well. Makes it feel more comfortable and welcoming.
Went for only 4 days with my girlfriend and another couple. Had an amazing time with great service a d spectacular views. Only problem was the trip was too short :) Had a private walkout which made our vacation even more memorable.
I don't have one bad thing to say, I would really have to reach since it was such a wonderful time. I would say maybe the website for the resort should provide some more detail so you can better plan out your trip, but overall it was great. Food, service, weather, location, etc.... was top notch!
Absolutely wonderful vacation. Awesome food and service. Beaches weren't crowded....exactly what we were looking for! We can't wait to go back to Secrets Sanctuary!
Just got back on the 20th and wanted to make sure I wrote something about this great resort. I was there with my wife celebrating our 22nd anniversary and we had a great time. Great looking facility and the service is outstanding. Definitely not for people that are looking for night life and not for teenagers. Hope this helps.
Overall, it was a very beautiful resort. We stayed in the castle and it was well worth the upgrade fee. It is slightly separated from the main resort (5 minute wa'll) but it has it's own rooftop pool (with a bar) that overlooked the ocean and a restaurant. The resort is located on a different part of the island than most other resorts. It was quiet, low key and very relaxing. It was exactly what I was looking for. The staff was amazing and not pushy or trying to sell you any timeshares or anything. I went with the all inclusive package. Having said that, food was average-good. I think if I didn't have the all inclusive and had to pay the price they wanted on their menu, I would of been slightly disappointed. But I never left the restaurant hungry or disappointed. I do wish they had water sports equipment to use (i.e. kayak, sail boats or paddle boats). The beach was nice but had a sea weed issue. They had a floating barrier to try and prevent the sea weed from reaching the shore but it came apart half way through our stay.