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“Classy All-Inclusive” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol

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Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
Ranked #4 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Classy All-Inclusive”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

My boyfriend and I just returned from a five-night stay (traveled with another couple) at the Sanctuary. We had been to the Excellence Punta Cana and the Magestic Elegance (both adults-only) but wanted to try out an all-inclusive with a smaller feel. It's true that the beach at Sanctuary is much smaller than the other resorts. The beach at Excellence was unbeatable. But the Sanctuary beach never felt crowded and the beach chairs, beds etc were top-notch. We spent an afternoon at Juanillo beach, where, if you walk a little ways down from the noise, is an area for Sanctuary guests with chairs. I'm not sure why some reviewers are so upset about the seaweed. It's the ocean, people. There was seaweed but the water was blue as could be and the sand was incredibly soft.

We stayed in a Beach Front Suite, which was well-outfitted (though not modern) and had a view of the beach/ocean. If you need to be directly on the water, a Monarch Villa would be your only option. But we were able to walk back and forth from our rooms to the beach/pool in seconds, which was very nice. If you're staying at the castle, it's a further walk and not beach-front, which, even with more modern decor, I would not have wanted.

There were rotating restaurants with one breakfast option, three lunch options (the bar, blue marlin and beach) and two dinner options each day. Breakfast was fine, nothing to write home about, the best items being plantains, mashed mango or some of the more local options. For lunch, the Blue Marlin is definitely the best option. The grouper burger and grouper ceviche are not to be missed. You can also order from the bar and have food brought directly to the beach, which was great. The beach buffet was disappointing. Our favorite dinner was the Blue Marlin: grilled whole Pampano fish, ceviche, paella etc. The Wok habachi was fun to do and on par with Benihana (sushi was definitely not). We also had a regular dinner at the Wok which was good. The Italian restaurant and the Steakhouse were okay. Again, totally fine but not five-star cuisine.

The bars always had plenty of drinks flowing although they were often out of limes for some reason. I recommend the pina colada, mojito or a bananas con leche. There were kids around, more so during the week, which wasn't a problem but would have preferred otherwise.

All in all it was a very classy way to experience an all-inclusive. And, despite a smaller beach, we had an amazingly relaxing time with little to no issues whatsoever.

Room Tip: The beach front ocean suites were perfect if you want to be close to the beach and pool and don'...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank csc1818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 12 April 2012
Thank you for choosing Sanctuary Cana for your five night stay with your boyfriend.

We appreciate that you have taken the time to review your experience in such a detailed way.
We are sure that your highlights on our beach, your tips on room categories and locations, the restaurants and bars will be very well accepted by other reviewers.

We would also like to thank you for categorizing us as a "very classy way to experience an all-inclusive".

We hope to have the opportunity to have stay with us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Star, Idaho
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

My family and I just left Sanctuary Cap Cana after a very relaxing week of vacation. Our three boys, ages 7, 8, & 11 had a blast playing in the ocean. But their favorite thing was the volleyball net in the pool and swimming up to the bar for lemonades. The staff is very friendly, professional, personable and ready to serve. Service is fantastic. The restaurants were all tasty. The rooms were beautiful and well-maintained. The views of the ocean and across Dominican Republic are stunning. We would definitely recommend Sanctuary Cap Cana!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kellodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 12 April 2012
Thank you for choosing Sanctuary Cana for your recent stay with your family.

Your compliment towards our staff really shows the readers the true results of our efforts to provide a "World Class Service".

We hope to have the opportunity to pamper you and your family at our property in the near future and that we “Exceed your Expectations” again.
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Galway, Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

Sanctuary Cap Cana is amazing. The experience we had there will never be forgotten. We are a young couple and we had a fantastic all inclusive holiday. The food was of a high standard and the drinks were constantly flowing. The staff were great fun and the entertainment was above and beyond what you would expect. Overall , great value for a fantastic experience.

Room Tip: They have 14 room types but all rooms are suites. We chose the castle and it was amaze-balls
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ColinWatters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 12 April 2012
Thank you for selecting Sanctuary Cap Cana as your vacation destination this past February. It is a great pleasure for all of us to have had you stay at our property. We are very happy to read that we have not only met, but exceeded your vacation expectations.

Thank you for highlighting our staff and our distinctive entertainment team.
The castle is a very special sector where many of the couples that stay with us greatly enjoy staying at; it is truly a romantic and exclusive place.

We sincerely look forward to welcoming you back home again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

sigh. My husband and I checked into Sanctuary yesterday and have spent the last hour trying to find a place nearby that has nicer beaches to switch to.

All we wanted was gorgeous, white sand beaches that we could relax on. The hotel's website boasts 3 miles of pristine beaches, but we haven't found that yet. We arrived around 4p and immediately went to see the beach, but it was covered in brown seaweed. We asked if it gets combed and they said yes, every morning... well, I think they need to comb it every morning AND every afternoon. This morning around 10a we walked out to see how nice it would look once it was combed and were disappointed to find the seaweed got worse since the day before and there were 2 guys with rakes and wheel burrows just starting the process. It's now 11a and they still aren't even close to finishing and I know they are working very hard, but even after it's raked it doesn't look pristine. :(

The water is a murky turquoise (check out google maps and you can see on the satellite view that it's not crystal clear turquoise) and the beach is literally about 1/8 mile long, not 3 miles. They tell people about the public beach Juanillo Beach next door, but it was packed with people, loud music, way more seaweed than the hotel's beach and it SMELLS terrible. It smells like rotten seaweed. :( :( :(

We travel a lot and on this trip the one and only thing we were looking for was a gorgeous beach and tranquility. I will say, it is tranquil, but it is far from a gorgeous beach. I've seen much prettier beaches in North Carolina.

A couple other negative points - most of the rooms smell like mildew. It is incredibly humid down here, so I can understand why, but mildew smell is gross. We upgraded to a beach front room and feel like we got jipped because what they call a "beach front junior suite" is actually on sand, but in a sand garden type of area where you look at other buildings, palm trees, and volleyball nets.

The service is amazing amazing amazing. Really - every single staff member is smiling and genuinely looks happy and they go out of their way to help. They switched us to an ocean front room in the castle, which, if you're going to stay here, stay in the castle rooms - the rest of the rooms are just cheesy, old-looking, and smelly. Our castle room still smells like mildew unfortunately and I am now all stuffed up because of it.

The food has been very good as well. Breakfast this morning had a nice selection and all tasted good. The dinner last night at the Italian restaurant was the same - good quality, excellent service.

It's weird... this place is really nice - the pools could be bigger, but they are nice and clean. The chairs and patio furniture is all nice looking, quality furniture and walking around, it's really impressive.... but if you're looking for a nice beach, do not go here, you will be disappointed like we are.

Oh! And the hotel says it's ADULTS ONLY... but there are a BUNCH of kids here. It is NOT adults only anymore and no one apologized that there are kids running around everywhere.

Overall, we are pretty disappointed that we just dropped $5k+ on a 5 day trip... we feel this hotel is a overpriced for what you get. It's lacking something and we just don't know what. Oh, it also says it has yoga and Pilates... but they don't, they just have a small open room where you can do it on your own if you want.

This is not a 5-day $5,000 trip - most, I'd say $1,800. We went to Dreams Tulum in Mexico and spent about $2,300 for 5 days and that hotel is far, far superior to this one in every area - beach, rooms, pools, choices in restaurants.

Oh - and it says all inclusive, and if you go to their website, they make it sound like you can go to the restaurants at their Fishing Village nearby, which sound like nicer restaurants, but alas, that is also incorrect.

On their website they need to make the following changes:

- not 3 mi of pristine beaches, it's 1/8 mile of okay beaches
- not adults only
- all-inclusive is only for 3 restaurants at Sanctuary (that aren't all always open)
- the beach-front suites are not actually beach-front, they are garden-back of another villa-front suites
- most of the resorts coast line is rock and un-swimmable, and not sandy beach
- no yoga, no Pilates equipment

bummmmmmer.

Room Tip: most rooms smell like mildew. Stay in the castle to at least lessen the mildew smell
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tracy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

Me and my fiancee traveled there during mid March. We actually initially stayed at another hotel. We were visiting 4 resorts in the DR to pick a final for our wedding. Sanctuary Cap Cana was my favorite from the pictures and I had to see it in person. After being told by 3 resorts, they could not host a symbolic lesbian wedding, Sanctuary welcomed us with open arms and agreed to host our event. Special thanks to Kary Gomez and Sarah Morel - they showed us around - took no rush to point out every detail. They also invited us to stay complimentary one night to see what our guests/us could expect. We hadn't even agreed to have the wedding there/signed any paperwork!!!!! Their driver drove us to our hotel, waited until we gathered our things and checked out, then took us/luggage back to Sanctuary Cap Cana to stay. The room was gorgeous. We took part in the room service and had lunch at the Blue Marlin the next day. The Blue Marlin has the best food ever. I had a jerk chicken salad w/ mango, Texas BBQ Chicken Breast, fruit plate for dessert. Fruit plates include watermelon, pineapple, papaya and passion fruit. We wished we could have stayed from the beginning of our trip. They even had an onsite Blue Travel representative to switch our reservation from the original hotel to their hotel to take us back to the airport. Everything was perfect! This is why we have decided to host our wedding here July 2013.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kirstin_small
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 10 April 2012
Thank you so much for staying with us here at Sanctuary Cap Cana. We’re glad you enjoyed your trip to Punta Cana and got to know our very attentive and friendly staff!

We also want specially thank you for choosing our property to celebrate your wedding on July 2013.

We can't thank you enough for such clearly detailed review and for your kind recommendation to other reviewers. Kary and Sarah, together with the rest of us will wait to celebrate this special event with you and your girlfriend.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2012

My Girfriend and I spent 4 days at Sanctuary Resort, the last week of March. I ordered a bottle of champagne for the room several days before our arrival. We were greeted by the wonderful chief conserge, Jarlen who made sure that our every need was fullfilled. the bottle was in the room, which had been upgraded for us and there was also a remarkable plate of local fruit sculpted into a great floral design. The place is huge with a number of resturants which are open at different times of day and several beach areas to roam, including the one near the pools which also freatures an outdoor bar. Every staff member always stopped and asked how things were going and called me by name. We even got a bottle of complementary wine on our last night. Beautiful skies, lovely beaches with servers roaming from the bar, and a staff who worked hard to make it a great visit. I would easily rate it one of my best beach resort trips ever.

Room Tip: The only issue there was getting enough hot water but that was fixed once we asked abou it.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeffrey A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 10 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to let us know your comments from your four day stay with your girlfriend at Sanctuary Cap Cana, as we are deeply committed to not only meeting but exceeding guests expectations, your opinion is very important to us. We are delighted to read that your expectations were met or exceeded.

Jarlin was very happy to coordinate your stay with us and to have been part of the overall experience.

Thank you for rating us as your "best beach resort trips ever". We hope to have the opportunity to service you again in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2012

I work in hospitality, so I have a lot of expectations. I'm glad they were all met during my stay at the Sanctuary! From the moment you arrive, you are greeted with "Welcome Home", and that's just how they make you feel. They're all very attentive to your needs, and go above and beyond to make sure you're enjoying your stay. Each and every one of them have made my stay more memorable. Special thanks to a few of my favorites: Kary Gomez, Frank "the Tank", Rocky and Keyla. They seem like they're always working, but happy at all times. They're a lot of fun and I definitely won't forget them!

As you drive up, you're blown away by the beauty, charm and elegance of the entire resort. I've never seen cleaner grounds, and they obviously put a lot of hard work into every detail and the upkeep. There are so many different room types, all beautiful in their own right. We stayed in a Monarch suite, and you really feel like you're in your own little oasis.

We did the all-inclusive plan which I highly suggest. You have a few different options of restaurants each night.. All of them are a completely different experience. My favorite was the Blue Marlin.. the food was great and the ambiance couldn't be better.

The resort has everything you need. I don't usually like to repeat vacations, but I will definitely return to the Sanctuary! When you want a worry-free vacation, surrounded by beauty and a staff that makes you feel at home... this place is unmatachable!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank S L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SalamanderHotelsPR, Manager at Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, responded to this review, 10 April 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience at the resort with Trip Advisor readers.

Thank you for taking the time to put together such a detailed summary of your stay at Sanctuary Cap Cana. We are all deeply committed to achieving our guest’s total satisfaction; therefore your point of view is very important to us.

I will pass to our "AMAZING" team your compliments; our staff strives to provide the highest levels of service. Thank you for acknowledging their hard work. It sounds like you really enjoyed your time here; we appreciate your business and hope to welcome you back again soon.
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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 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Romantic 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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