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Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
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Reviewed 8 December 2017

My wife and I visited the Sanctuary from Dec 2 -7 for her 40th birthday and were blown away by the beauty of the resort the moment we arrived. We were greeted with a cold drink and check-in at the castle was very fast.

Once we were taken to our room, a Honeymoon Suite w/ private pool, we knew we were going to have a great week. The room was very good size and the outdoor patio and pool provided a private and relaxing place to take in the amazing views. We stayed in room 3041 and I would highly recommend this room or any in the same category.

This was our first trip to the DR and an all-inclusive, but we’ve traveled all over the US and have a good feel for quality and service. Here’s our take:

Resort- Absolutely stunning . The number of individual buildings make it feel like it’s own little town and it’s anything but a cookie cutter layout. A+

Room- Very clean and comfortable. Cleaned daily, mini bar restocked daily, turndown nightly. No issues with A/C or hotwater.

Food- To our surprise, the food overall was great. Breakfast is a buffet, similar to what you’d expect at most hotels. For lunch, there’s a buffet on the beach with roasted chicken and hotdogs, along with made to order hamburgers, chicken breast and vegetables. The Blue Marlin is also open for lunch if you’re interested in a sit down option and there’s also an indoor buffet available at another location For dinner, everything was great. The steakhouse was our favorite, but all were very good.

Staff- Very friendly, helpful and hardworking. After 2 days, many knew our names and made us feel even more welcome.

Room Service- We only used it once for breakfast. It took about 25 minutes and all of the food was delivered hot and with a nice presentation. The two gentlemen who do the room service are a lot of fun.

Like anything, it’s not perfect, but awful close. I do have some constructive criticism to point out:

Service around the pool and beach can be hit or miss. Very friendly, but certainly not reliable enough to keep your drink full at all times.

It would seem much more logical to have Sanctuary Town open at noon and perhaps close by dinner time. It’s an awesome set-up, but seems grossly underutilized because most people are going to choose a steak or sea house over a burger joint. With that said, the pizza and taco truck were excellent.

We would absolutely recommend this resort to others and hope to return ourselves.

TRAVEL TIPS:
-Be sure to check with your cell phone carrier for coverage options in DR. I have ATT and for $10/day I was able to use my data plan just as if I was in still in the US. I had a great cell signal the whole time and never had to worry about messing with Wifi.

-We used Dominican Plus for airport transportation and they were right on time and had very clean vehicles. Can book online.

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank skylineview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kawana P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2017

Dear skylineview,
Taiguey!!

On behalf of the staff and Management of our resort we would like to thank you for choosing our resort as your host on your recent gateway to our destination. It was a pleasure having you and we appreciate that you have taken the time to share your experience on Tripadvisor.

It's our most pleasure to learn that your stay was a wonderful one while you were impressed with our service and facilities. We appreciate your gracious comments as it shows our consistency in maintain our Resorts brand standards. Your feedback has been shared to the team as a motivation to keep up our work.

We sincerely hope we can have the honor of being your hopes in not too distant future.

Kind Regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2017 via mobile

We stayed five days in the castle and SCC is certainly much larger than I prefer a resort to be but it didn’t take away from it. The walking served as exercise. Whenever necessary we would hop on the little golf carts if we saw one. The grounds are beautiful! It’s obvious there is some work to be completed or maybe the size of the hotel requires a lot of maintenance, which we saw but it didn’t take away from the lux feeling of it. The look is rustic and minimalist.

Our room was spacious and comfortable, the bed and the pillows were perfect. We had a large balcony which looked out to the swim-out pool rooms and Juanillo beach. Amazing view every morning! I didn’t like the fact that there were no sheer curtains, just the blackout so if I wanted privacy I had to close the curtains and have the darkness and no sunlight. I think having both options (sheer and blackout) is ideal.
The bathroom was spacious with a tub, shower and small enclosure with a toilet and a bidet. The water pressure was amazing!!! Perfect for relaxing after a day of doing nothing by the pool and/or beach.

The food was delicious and there are many options, we tried the steakhouse and Italian restaurants as well as the buffet on Friday night because they had Dominican night with native dishes. The sanctuary Town was pretty cool but we didn’t have a chance to taste the restaurants on that side.
Breakfast was delicious but pretty much the same every day but then again that’s anywhere. I enjoyed all the natural juices, the egg station and the oatmeal.

The shows were entertaining; we got to see the Brazilian night, the circus which was the best in my opinion. There was also a Dominican show which was pretty good too and karaoke night which was fun but went south because some guy wanted to sing devil-worshipper music! He cleared out the entire area… but we were told that going forward the content of the songs will be reviewed which is great news. There was a lobster night which we did not participate in due to shellfish allergies but we heard that was fun and we were also at the Foam party which was tons of fun! Foam in the main pool, music and drinks, everyone playing with beach balls and singing was a perfect way to end the afternoon.

The pools were great and the main pool has a bar. The beach was full of seaweed on one of the days but we saw men trying to clean it out and it was evident the hotel was on top of it.

And saving the best for last I wanted to mention the staff at this hotel. I consider myself a seasoned traveler and know that no hotel is perfect and you get good and hopefully very little bad but the staff and how people make you feel, goes a long way.
First off our check-in was quick and the gentleman who did it got us on our way as fast as possible. JT our butler was AMAZING!! He was helpful and always friendly and insistent on doing anything we needed even if it was something minimal. One day we drove out to a nearby town to see the basilica and he insisted we take his number in case of any issues. We didn’t foresee any issues but he went as far as saying he would get to us if necessary or get someone to us because he had family in that town. We were extremely comforted by that and felt if that if that is not going above and beyond, I don’t know what is.

The girls at the breakfast and restaurants, Jazmin, Brillis, Yari, Karen and Jhoanna were excellent and beyond friendly and polite each and every day. No request was too small, they treated us as if we were part of their family and they all made it clear that they were there to help us enjoy ourselves. They wanted us to be comfortable and enjoy our stay and it was so much more than the usual morning greeting and “coffee or tea?”… We chit chatted with them and were happy to go because we knew it would be enjoyable. But they truly looked happy and not just like workers who are there for the money, they were truly a pleasure to meet.

On two nights we met Leonardo and Israel who were extremely helpful and polite as well and Kevin Hart Menor was a riot!! He had us laughing hysterically at the shows and foam party and just whenever we stopped to chit chat with him. I also want to mention Melissa who works in the café in sanctuary town.

All these individuals went above the call of duty daily and it stood out for us. I hope if management reads this they know what a difference it made to me to see that they are enjoying what they do and how valuable of an asset that is. Hotels are a dime a dozen especially in Punta Cana but I would certainly return to Sanctuary because of how I was treated on top of the hotel itself.

If I could criticize something in the hotel it would be the wifi, nowadays that should not be an added cost and $45 for 5 days I think is a bit extravagant. I paid it since I needed access to home but I was reluctant to. Also on Friday when it was evident more people arrived, the quality of the wifi certainly suffered. And lastly, the spa…. I live in NYC where overpricing is part of life, but I have never seen such prices. While I consider being on vacation relaxing enough, I would (and have) gone to a spa in a hotel ‘just because’ but this hotel was ridiculously priced. The hotel should either increase the time (after all no one wants a 20 minute massage) or lower prices.

Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Lamururira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kawana P, General Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2017

Dear Lamururira,
Taiguey!!

Thank you very much for choosing our Resort as host to your holidays.

On behalf of the staff at our Resort it is my pleasure to let you know how satisfied we are when receiving this kind words about how much you enjoyed your holidays and how we exceed your expectations by providing you the service you expect and deserve during your stay.

Please be confident that we’ve shared your kind comments with our team as motivation to keep up with our commitment to offer truly remarkable experiences in our guests. We thank you on behalf of our team and Management.

Thank you very much for highlighting our Resort facilities and room as well as the varierty of food and beverages we carefully choose for you to delight. In the meantime, we have noted your comments about the Spa and internet with the concerned department in order to ensure we maintain our usual high standards.

I look forward to welcoming you in the near future and create many more memorable Sanctuary experiences.

Best Regards,

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Reviewed 7 December 2017

My husband and I have come to the Dominican every year for the last 10 years and the Sanctuary Cap Cana was the first resort that we visited. I made the decision to revisit to celebrate our 10 years together. Don't want to take away from any of the other reviews, but this was the trip from hell. The property is as beautiful as remembered and the grounds are impeccable. Some of the rooms have been updated and they now offer Butler service. It was amazing and unplanned that we had the exact room, 10 years ago, 1011 (Monarch Oceanfront Villa) that now comes with a butler. The butler service is a waste...If you have been to any other resort that offers butler service, you will be very disappointed. The butlers have too many couples (10+) to properly service each guest properly. Never saw my butler and the few items that were requested, were not accomplished. So what was the point ? The mood of the resort was different from many years ago. It appears that this property has had many owners/management changes and it currently going through another change, so maybe this was the cause of some of the employees not being very friendly or engaged. It was shocking that most of the employees had less than 2 years, which probably explained the poor service at the Blue Marlin. 40 minute wait for a hamburger and club sandwich. We were also informed that employees were given the impression that certain guests should be catered to over other guests, which caused me to go straight to property management. The management team did not appear to be engaged in what is going on or chose to ignore the concerns that were being brought to them. The General Manager Kawana Polanco, did not appear to really care. I understand that we were 2 guests out of thousands; however I paid a tremendous amount of money for a vacation that was ruined. I appreciate Lucia Nunez (Resident Mgr.) for contacting me, unfortunately the damage was already done; . Although my husband and I will not be returning to Sanctuary Cap Cana, there were a couple of people that helped us through the remaining days of our trip that if you decide to go, please look these employees up.. They are ONLY reason, I did not leave and take a loss on the pre-paid trip. Restaurant Captains (Casa Bella) - Jasmin La Capa - Absolutely wonderful women, I felt that she was genuine in making sure I enjoyed my time, whenever I was in the restaurant. Virmaly Mateo - (Capriccio Italian) - He knew that I did not want anything special... He made me laugh, every day, all day.. Tyler (Recreation Coordinator) - 20 yr old kid that has the wisdom of a 50 yr old man. He will be a resort manager one day. Caesar Rodriquez - Bell Man... If anyone knows how to treat a guest, it is Caesar. He is just as professional now as he was 9 years ago when we first met. Very knowledgably, very professional. All of the employees above made me feel like we were part of their family. We wish them the very best.
Also, special thanks to: Rosario, Conan, Yaris, Israel, Carlos, Manuel, Rayna, Antonia, Eddie, Moises, Kevin Hart,

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank ceeceegray1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SanctuaryByPlaya, Gerente at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2018

Dear ceeceegray1,

Taiguey.

Thank you for sharing your feedback through this mean. Your comments are truly valuable for us, as this allow us to improve our service levels and product. We regret to know that we have not fulfilled your expectations during your visit.

Please be certain that we have taken your feedback seriously and we will work in our opportunity areas in order to deliver better service to our guests. We kindly would like to invite you to reach us at info@sanctuarycapcana.com.com with further details about your stay.

Overall, we take such comments very seriously and you can be assured that the necessary re-training measures are being instituted to prevent recurrences in the future.

With this said, we look forward to have the opportunity of hosting you back on a renewed opportunity to redeem your confidence our resort and service.

Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2017 via mobile

We visited this fabulous hotel on October 28th, 2017.
Starting of with a gorgeous junior suite 3031. Oh my god! Amazing! Didn’t want to leave my room.
The welcome was stunning, front desk during check in gave all information needed to start our great weekend.
Food, delicious!!!!!!!! Entertainment staff! Superb. El menor was so funny and made our stay enjoyable.
Carlos and Gilbert from the main pool! Best bartenders ever! Amazing
Niersy at the buffet very professional. Rosario, he attended us at the Marlin restaurant. Excellent service and delicious food. Leonardo food and beverage assistance very helpful and friendly every time I saw him!

Can’t wait to come back and enjoy that peacefulness and enjoyable place.

Best resort ever!!!!!!!!

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Bibia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SanctuaryByPlaya, Gerente at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2018

Dear Bibia M,

Taiguey!

Many thanks for taking the time to leave your kind words and observations following your stay with us at Sanctuary Cap Cana.

I was delighted that you’ve enjoyed all the details we take pride in offering our guests. As are our regular practice, we’ve been happy to share your lovely remarks to our team who take so much pride in ensuring that all of our guests only receive the very best in service.

We look forward to have the pleasure of having you back home in the near future.

Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2017

This resort is amazing! The food was great, the room was great, and our overall experience was wonderful due to the excellent customer service. Angel our butler was awesome. The entertainment can use a boost but our swim out room at the castle was great!

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Tanisha J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SanctuaryByPlaya, Gerente at Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2018

Dear Tanisha J,

Taiguey!

We would like to thank you for choosing our resort as your host on your recent gateway to our destination. It was a pleasure having you and we appreciate that you have taken the time to share your experience on Tripadvisor.

We sincerely look forward to welcome you back on a future occasion and provide you with the exceptional quality and service that characterizes our brand and resort.

Best Regards,


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