Well at last here is my review of here. I have to say that this in some ways has been the hardest review to write. I don’t think I have been able to sum up in even the length of this review about how special we think this resort is and how much we want to return. I do hope I have managed to do this justice though.
Firstly let me apologise about the length of this review as I will try and include as much detail as possible. I will try and split this into sections to make this easier.
This is my 1st stay here, we stayed for 4 nights, this was the 3rd hotel in a tour of 3 that we did over a 2 week period. We checked in on the 21st of June after leaving Dreams Punta Cana.
We transferred from Dreams Punta Cana to Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana. It was an easy transfer of about 1 hour.
The 1st thing I can say about this place is WOW! As soon as I saw it I was like an excited child. It was stunning. I had completed lots and lots of research, seen 100s of photos but being here for real took my breath away. It was out of this world.
As we were in a private taxi it was only us checking in. We had arrived early, about 2.30 the room was ready but before we headed there Kary came and greeted us. She showed us a quick tour around. And made us feel very welcome straight away. It was great to meet her after having emailed her before we left. She told us we would love our room and might not want to leave it…she was right and I’ll come to that. There is a golf buggy transfer from the lobby to the fortress or it is a quick 5 to 10 minute walk. With it being out 1st day we got the transfer.
Check out was easy, we had arranged for our bags to be collected and then got a buggy to the lobby. I was so sad to leave that day. It had been a trip of a life time and definitely had ended on a high.
We were in room 3040, I’d emailed before to ask for room with a view and WOW this couldn’t have been any better. Kary was right as soon as I saw it I didn’t want to leave. Words alone can’t describe this room so please check out my photos. It was a honeymoon suite with a pool. And it was HUGE. The massive bed, the big living are, the huge bathroom with separate bath and shower and double sinks. And then there was the balcony, about the same size as the bedroom and living area together, with an amazing pool 2 sun loungers and a shaded area with a table and 2 chairs. We spent hours by our pool every day, I didn’t even want to put on my ipod as the stillness of everything was wonderful and I wanted to enjoy it. It was just perfect.
There was a good supply of toiletries in the bathroom, a great mini bar with Fanta, sprite, coke, coke zero, water, juices and some beers. There was a great espresso machine which a couple of coffee shots, the 1st day I left a note and tip asking for “mucho café” and they happily obliged.
There was a great walk in closet for cloth storage. The safe is free and we made sure we locked everything valuable away; we always do this just for our peace of mind. Maid service was always excellent as was turn down service; I love the nice petal and rose touches they did at night.
We had a fruit platter and a bottle of champagne delivered to us, which to celebrate having arrived in paradise we enjoyed on our balcony. The view from that was out of this world.
This deserves its own section; the attention to detail here is phenomenal. I have never been to a hotel that is so stunning that no matter where you turn there is something else that takes your breath away. The fortress area with a water fall in the middle, art pieces around every corner, the shopping area, lobby and steak house which feels like you have stepped into Italy. Then the more tropical feel as you head towards Trump beach. I recommend taking the time out to walk around and explore there is so much to see. The crab pool is a must see.
I’ll only cover off the options that I actually tried here, however there are different options as well such as pool service for food and the Italian which we didn’t try.
Casabella – Buffet and A la Carte option
This was a great place to enjoy breakfast. They have takeaway coffees here as well as being able to sit down for breakfast. I enjoyed the buffet but you could also choose to have dishes cooked as you wished. It was nice to sit outside here and enjoy the morning sun.
This was fantastic for breakfast we ordered this twice. Enjoying a cooked and continental style option. As it was our anniversary we were given a champagne breakfast which we ordered from the concierge at the lobby. I recommend ordering this early if you can or you might have to go for a different day or time than you initially want. It was a brilliant champagne breakfast though and a fantastic way to start the day.
Casabella – Buffett
Great choice here and it was brilliant to have something light before our trip to the airport.
My favourite spot for lunch, service was great and the food was fantastic, the crab cakes are a must try. You get a beautiful breeze from the sea sitting here. I love the fact that the menu changes from lunch to dinner later on as well. We met some guests who didn’t know that so they’d missed out on trying here at night time, please go its worth trying.
The restaurants are on a rotation basis but there are copy’s of what the rota is around the resort, outside the steakhouse, fortress and near the reception are a couple I can remember.
As we were in awe of our room we choose to enjoy dinner on the balcony the 1st night. There is a great room service menu with a wide range of options. It did take longer than they had said but it was worth the wait.
I was really looking forward to trying here after reading so many great reviews but I think we got it on a slightly off night. How they seated people was a little strange with everyone getting shown to one small section. It would have been nicer to have been more spread out until it filled up. There were lots of different waiters serving us, our orders got mixed up with the steaks cooked the wrong way round and sides mixed up. The steak was ok but not the best we had this trip. Hubby tried the 3 sausage starter and WOW that is a huge starter. I asked to check if the brownie had nuts in it, I’m not allergic just don’t like them, luckily, the waiter tried to check with a couple of people then without getting an answer said it didn’t and took my order….it did have nuts, the ice cream that came with it was ok though.
Brilliant setting for having evening meal and enjoy the sun set. It was beautiful. One of the best starters of the holiday was the seafood trio, the lobster cake was fantastic and I could have eaten more of them. I had the paella and hubby the lobster. I finished with the chocolate fondue which was also the best desert of the trip. It was great watch the sky turn different shade of purple and red and the sun went down and the lights under the blue marlin and the romantic dinner spot were beautiful.
This surprisingly for us was our favourite here, I say surprisingly as we are not usually sushi fans however this was great. As choose to sit outside and not at the show tables. We asked for a sushi platter to share then for me spring rolls and hubby won ton soup followed by stir fry for us both. We really enjoyed these and when I do go back here I will be eating here more than just the once.
We didn’t drink at the swim up or at the blue marlin bar so I will just report on the rest.
Love Bar – at the lobby
Great barman here, I think it was Javier (but I lost all the names I wrote down sorry). He was fantastic. Again the attention to detail is beautiful, it is a church style and during the day nice and cool. We often sat outside here, by the top pool and there was no one else around. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. The other outside area is also nice, one night we sat here and it feels like an Italian courtyard.
At night the entertainment happens in the Love Bar or on the terrance by the love bar. We were early risers early back at the room so all we saw was the piano player one night. Which was still a lovely touch.
Ocean Club Bar – in the fortress
This was a great place to have a drink during the day or on an evening. It was quiet but you always got talking to the same people here and the bar staff. My husband enjoyed watching the tennis here, as Wimbledon was on, while I lazed by our pool in peace and quiet.
There are 4 pools in total, the Ocean Club pool, the swim up bar pool, a pool outside the love bar at the top of a waterfall and then a lower pool. We always saw plenty of seats at the Ocean club pool. We never saw anyone at the upper pool, so not sure if it is really used. The swim up bar pool did seem the busiest but I’m not sure what time all chairs are taken by. With only 4 nights and our own amazing pool we didn’t use any of the others.
The team are amazing, always walking around with a smile on their faces. They start early and always say hello as they walk through. They are never pushy though at trying to get you to join in. Everyone down by the swim up bar seemed to be having fun though.
The resort beach it’s self is quite small and with only a little shade. However it did look very nice. We are not beach people so didn’t spend much time here. There are 2 great beaches either side of the resort though and some of the rooms looked as if they actually walked out on to the start of trump beach.
Other information and tips
There is an internet cable in your room; there is no wifi in the rooms. There was wifi around the resort and found good signals at the love bar and ocean bar.
Please tip if you can afford it and if you feel the service deserves it. Tipping for us didn’t give us better service but rewarded good and great service.
VIP/Unlimited Vacation employees – yes they do look like the staff, you can see on their badge that they work for unlimited vacations though. Even though I knew about them and had spotted them at both dreams resorts it wasn’t so easy here. It was only after talking to one person for a while that I was able to work it out. He was not pushy at all though, was very nice in fact.
Vendors – A quick no thank-you and continuing to walk on worked great. Generally we don’t make eye contact or look at the stalls and this works, we are not rude just firm in our response. We never felt hassled or that we had to change our route.
I would like to say a massive thank-you to Kary and Marco, it was a pleasure to meet you and I am so happy that the hard work you are putting into here has been paying off. You truly have an amazing resort here and it has definitely jumped to my number 1 hotel. There are other staff I wanted to thank as well but I have unfortunately lost my contact names I wrote down. There was a barman who would cover at Ocean Club I think his name was something like Browlon (bad spelling I’m sorry) as well as all the other staff at the hotel, you are all amazing and I am constantly day dreaming about returning.
I am HUGE fan of AM resorts having celebrated my honeymoon, 1st and 3rd anniversary's & 3 birthdays between Sunscape Punta Cana, Dreams Punta Cana and Dreams La Romana.
Most exciting was that 2011 will saw me, my husband complete our Secret Dominican Dream Tour in June 2011. Celebrating our 4th anniversary and another of my birthdays...WOW it was a Dream come true.
I am a HUGE fan of AM resorts having celebrated my honeymoon, 1st and 3rd anniversary's & 3 birthdays between Sunscape Punta Cana, Dreams Punta Cana and Dreams La Romana.
Most excited that 2011 will see me, my husband and friends complete our Secret Dominican Dream Tour in June 2011.