More about Sanctuary Cap Cana Golf & Spa
Keep The Secret(s) – It's A Secluded Paradise
I am an international business and pleasure traveler for over 30 years, having stayed at no less than 100 hotels. I am an avid TripAdvisor review reader – why not get the scoop from folks like us who have no reason but to give an honest review. I admit I am a TripAdvisor review writing virgin – but I had to tell my fellow TripAdvisor devotees about the secluded luxury of Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana (formerly Sanctuary Cap Cana – under new Secrets management as of 1/1/10) – it was a fantastic resort/vacation experience. I was there 2/7-11/10.
Keep It A Secret(s)
The best things about the resort are: it is a gorgeous, luxurious, secluded and hardly occupied tropical paradise; it is a 10 minute drive from Punta Cana airport; the entire resort is new (opened 12/07), so everything actually works (room air conditioner, fast Internet, room safe, telephones, hot water in the rooms. etc.); the 3 beaches are a pristine dream; the rooms all have ocean views, the resort architecture is stunning, and the staff was super friendly and helpful. It is more of a romantic luxury spa/resort than a kids’ resort, but for couples or business retreats – it was a dream.
The Resort has 176 rooms in 14 room categories, ranging from 2 bedroom homes sitting on the ocean, to spacious junior suites with ocean views on the low end – but what a low-end it was. My (low-end price) junior suite was gorgeous, with a master bed area, a full sitting area, and a big balcony. All the rooms have a great ocean view (better to ask for a 2nd story room for a better ocean view). The 14 room categories seem overwhelming at first, but ask the front desk to show you around when you get there – there’s a room type for everyone’s taste (private pool on your deck,; private island for your suite only; etc.).
You can choose an All Inclusive food and beverage package (all meals and drinks included in one price per person), or you can choose a European Plan (meals and drinks paid for as consumed). The food’s not cheap if you pay for each meal – the All Inclusive seemed a much better way to go to me.
There are 3 beaches – all of them a tropical dream. The beach in front of the resort has beverage service, lounge chairs, and shaded huts. On either side of the resort are mile long empty beaches of pure white sand, palm trees and blue-green Caribbean Sea. I ran both adjoining pure white sand, palm lined beaches from end-to-end and didn’t see one person– it was amazing.
The good news is that for the most part the food is high-quality and well-prepared, especially the salads and fruits were very fresh. The fresh fruit , pastries, and fritata at the breakfast buffet were a dining highlight. The fish and meats were good, but not off-the-charts excellent. Try lobster and squid-ink paella at the Blue Marlin Restaurant on the ocean - delicious. The not so good news is that the 5 resort restaurants were not all open on the same nights; the Italian and Asian restaurants were closed a few nights while I was there. I was told as the resort occupancy increases (there were hardly any guests there), so will the number of restaurants open each night (it was my only complaint for 5 days).
The Resort sits on what I estimate to be 10 acres of gorgeous beachfront property (not too big and not too small), and is modeled after a classic colonial Spanish settlement - consisting of three separate parts/building sets that run contiguously alongside the oceanfront: a large fortress like structure (guest rooms and conference center); a large church-like structure (reception, lounges, and several dining facilities); and a village-like buildings (ocean view junior suites). Scattered throughout the property are also beachfront villas. If you have the money (the Fortress has some 2 bedroom suites that sit on a private island - very swank).
Can’t Wait To Get Back
Having visited several resorts in the DR over the years – I’ve found my DR home at Secrets. The other resorts I visited were sprawling and overcrowded - some even require a tram ride to the beach from your room. The yoga retreat friends I met at Secrets loved it so much – they booked their next years retreat before they left. My TripAdvisor recommendation – get to the Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana before the Secret is out – it was a secret tropical paradise.
Beautiful Location with Horrible Management
Supposedly this is a 5 star hotel and I will say that the location is beautiful, but the service and maintenance is more like a 2-3 star hotel. They have sand fleas on the beach, termites in the closets, and furniture that is so worn that they put 2 twins together for a make-shift king sized bed and only 1 nightstand in our room. And the pool is riddled with algae and what could be a scenic view is obstructed by a huge inflatable, in-pool volleyball net.
The main manager quit during the week of our stay (no notice and without a replacement), and the staff that ran the activities and the poolside bar only paid attention if you learned their "cool" handshake and tipped them (at a no-tip, all inclusive resort) for drinks all day. They blasted the music and we actually had to argue with them to turn it down for the majority of the clients to be able to read and relax by the pool!
The food is generally ok, and the wait staff is very congenial, but how can an all inclusive resort like this run out of vanilla ice cream for a week? I would recommend dining early (or be ready for an hour plus wait to be seated, never mind the 20-30 minutes between courses).
How can this be called "Sanctuary" and be advertised as a romantic 5 star hotel? Avoid this resort unless you want a spring break kind of vacation. Walking around the surrounding beaches is the one redeeming feature. They are beautiful, pristine, and not crowded (other neighboring resorts have failed to break ground due to the economic downturn).
My stay was great and thought I did not have to write a review but after seeing other reviews people have to be fair, this resort is amazing, great spacious and clean rooms, My wife and I stayed from Dec. 20th to Jan. 5th 2010, Food and Beverage service was second to none specially Raul in the morning which spoke good english , Eddy at the pool bar was super and Maria our housekeeping person which did a great job even though we are very messy on vacations, they had a Lobster Fest at the Marlin restaurant twice for $40 bucks that was unbeileivable we sat under the stars and on the ocean, I have travelled to the best resorts in the world and this was the best by far. The resort is in an amazing complex Cap Cana with a huge marina and many other restaurants as well as breathless Golf Course, just a 5 min free shuttle from the hotel lobby. Beds are on the same level as the famouse heavenly beds by Starwood.
All in all this is a place to relax, have great meals and relax. It is crazy that people write bad reviews about his property. Did not mention that the resort was going through a transition to all inclusive, it was offered to us by one of the managers, we went to front desk and for 75US per person we got the unlimited luxury package (they call it that way) and we then had a blast, we ordered anything we wanted drinks, food, room service and all was included. This plan will make the resort a steal. after paying 10 bucks for a grey goose, I just got it included.
We recomend this resort, highly. If you need more info about our stay pleas contact us.
A movie set could not be more perfect and picturesque than the Sanctuary
Reasons to come:
1. This hotel is 15 minutes, $30 taxi from the airport.
2. Offers variety of suites all with ocean views, our favorite are the ocean villas, where you will wake up to view the sunrise and waves washing under your deck
3. Perfectly manicured grounds, trees, and flowers, make you feel like you are in paradise
4. A swim up bar at the main pool, plus 3 other pools, and sandy beach gives you plenty of choices
5. Always a breeze, plenty of sun, and shade provided by coconut palms for a shady nap.
6. The ability to walk the adjacent beaches (future Ritz Carlton and Trump) with amazing beauty and solitude.
7. The friendly, professional, and attentive staff makes your smallest concern theirs.
8. An 8 minute free shuttle ride puts you at Punta Espada Golf Course, a course more scenic than Pebble Beach. Don't forget your camera, it's a must to have lunch or at least a beer on the deck outside the 18th hole.
9. The best sushi I ever had at the Wok Restaurant at the Sanctuary.
10. Location within the CapCana resort which offers unmatched security anywhere in the Caribbean.
Go soon, as the hotel has changed ownership and is now called Secrets. Get there before the Secret gets out about this pristine location and exquisite vacation experience. I have been there on 3 separate occasions and I have never been disappointed.
Relax, Have a Sense of Humor and Enjoy!
First I would like to say that we have stayed at a Four Seasons in the Caribbean and multiple Ritz Carlton locations. If you desire that level of service then I would suggest that you wait until The Ritz Carlton Punta Cana completes construction. ---My review: 1) We got off to a bad start because we found out on trip advisor on 12/31 ( thank you to whomever posted this info!) that The Sanctuary was becoming a Secrets all-inclusive resort a week before our arrival. We were quite angry that we were not notified as we chose The Sanctuary because it was not an all inclusive. I got silence on the other end of the phone when I called to complain. Then I had to argue to get the Secrets all inclusive rate rather than a higher rate that they wanted to charge to get all meals and alcohol included. This was very poor PR!--2) The beach is a lovely cove beach and not a beach for people who want long beach walks-3) Someone on trip advisor noted poor quality beach towels. The resort must have read the review and they are gone--4) The food was great! The Blue Marlin Bar overlooking the ocean was a great place to have a drink at the end of a day on the beach. We never ate at the Italian restaurant but other guests raved about it. Never ate at the beach bar. --5) Service: This island as you know is Spanish and not all the restaurant servers are fluent in English. Thus, there are mistakes with food orders. However, they are very friendly ( especially , Raul,one of the restaurant managers) and really do want to get it right. The mistakes are not due to indifference but to miscommunications. We realized this early on and decided to go with the flow, have a sense of humor ( or another glass of wine), realx and enjoy our vacation ( especially considering the Haiti tragedy was enfolding on the other side of the island)--6) We were upgraded to a beautiful villa ( we requested a beachfront jr suite). We specifically asked not to be in the Fortress as the whole concept of it was too weird for us. After seeing it we felt this even more strongly. Definitely not a tropical feel in that area. I can't imagine what the hotel designer was thinking!--7) Played golf at Punta Espada ( awesome) and La Cana which we played about five years ago and again loved the course and would highly recommend --8) This resort is not a place for older person with ambulation problems: beautiful stone pathways were uneven and slippery when wet and there were lovely long stairways with no railings. In summary, if you are looking for great food, very friendly restaurant personnel ( even though there are mistakes) , great golf and a lovely resort ( except the Fortress ) I think you will be happy with your choice.
Absolutely Fabulous - beyond expectations!
We stayed here in May 2009. Upon arrival we were warmly greeted and given a free upgrade to a room with our own pool in the fortress portion of the hotel. We loved everything about our stay and the staff was incredibly accomodating. We ate at 3 of the various restaurants and the food was amazing!! It was a little bit pricey, but worked out to what you would pay per night at an all inclusive.
If you are looking for some crazy nightlife, this is not the place for you! It was incredibly serene and quiet - the perfect getaway!
There was always plenty of room at the pool and an open beach next to the fortress great for long walks.
This wonderful hotel and staff made this a vacation we will never forget!!
Quiet for now, and wonderful
Just returned from a 1 week trip from Sanctuary. The property is painting and detailing the resort daily. It will be perfect in another 2-3 months. The Fortress area was closed and there were very few guests the week we were there 2/12 - 2/19. We loved the quiet atmosphere. There were some children but by no means did they hinder our stay except for one afternoon.
The restaurants are wonderful except we did not enjoy the table cooking at Wok, although, the sushi was good. Throughout, they offer something for everyone.
There really is nothing to do on site, day or night. NO kayaks, or watersports and the beach is very small but we liked the pool so all was well.
The language barrier is significant but we were not in the US and did not act like it so we did not let that bother us. If you are planning to go here soon, work out a deal because the top level of service is not yet there but will certainly be there within a few months.
Amazing experience overall...
We came here for a wedding in late January. While we had a difficult time reaching the hotel (our cab took us to the wrong hotel - then couldn't find this one) we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Our room was amazing- huge, modern, with a large sitting area and a deck running the entire length of the room. Very modern and upscale furnishings. The resort itself was stunning with fantastic views and beautifully kept grounds.
The food we had at the wedding itself and the welcome dinner the night before was amazing.
However, the food at the pool left something to be desired. Also- the service was extremely lacking. We couldn't tell if they just didn't like us- or didn't care.
In terms of entertainment, it was great to have the casino on-site- we spent plenty of time there. And the additional bars/lounges were fantastic as well.
Overall- we had an absolutely fantastic time- the resort was stunning and very relaxing!
The service, the cleanness of the "entire" lodging was pristine. The rehersal dinner was absoutley beautiful, my hat goes off to the Chef and all his assistants. They were flexible the evening of the wedding and had to work around the rain....it was a perfect evening! The landscaping was pristine. I would go back in a second.
Wonderful stay in paradise
Hotel with beautiful grounds. The staff were very friendly and I received exceptional service. My room was spacious and well appointed. The ocean view, the pool, and the restaurants were wonderful.