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  • kimcoyle1012

A Sanctuary in Paradise

Disclaimer: This blog post is not about writing. It is about a recent trip, but it is part of my story, which includes travel. If you are not interested in this type of content and prefer when I provide writing advice, I completely understand and won’t be upset at all, if you don’t continue reading. I just wanted to write something different and a bit more personal. After all, I do encourage and advocate storytelling to let your audience know more about you.

As a business owner, I pride myself in clear, frequent, professional communication and top-notch service with my clients. I would like to take a moment to share a bit of my experience as it relates to communication and service, while on a recent trip to the Dominican Republic.

My husband and I recently celebrated an early 10-year anniversary at the breathtaking and luxurious Sanctuary Cap Cana. The service from every staff member we met from the moment we arrived until the minute we left was exceptional! The staff at this resort are hands-down the best and are what make the resort so special. You are made to feel like family! Each and every staff member would greet you with a smile and ask if there was anything they could do to make sure you were having the best vacation. They would be happy to assist you in any way possible or get you anything you needed. These hard-working individuals genuinely cared about their guests and were a pleasure to get to know and have conversations with.

Overall the communication was better than expected, despite the occasional language barrier. However, two areas the resort could improve on, in my opinion are the check-in and check-out processes. Both of these are important as they provide a first and last impression. These key times should be positive experiences for guests, but, unfortunately, they weren’t as smooth as we hoped or expected.

If you want to hear more details about the trip, keep reading.

A swimsuit, flip flops, sunglasses and a good book to read (and our course my husband), were all I needed for our recent vacation. Oh yes, I must not forget sunscreen and a hat. At the end of March, we thoroughly enjoyed spending seven days at the stunning Sanctuary Cap Cana. We had an amazing week at this resort five years ago and knew we wanted to return again someday. Since our first visit, there was an expansion on the property (which we knew about), but after reading reviews it sounded like it still had a small, quite feel, with impeccable service. Based on our recent vacation, overall, Sanctuary is still a peaceful/relaxing spot, but, it did feel a bit busier this time around. With that being said, it was still relatively easy to find a quite spot to rest, relax and recharge. In my opinion, there truly isn’t another resort like it that ticks all of these boxes – small, quiet, adults only, all inclusive, close to the airport (15 minutes). If you are looking for a loud, party vibe, this is not the resort for you.

We wanted to stay in the castle again, as we loved it so much last time. We opted for the Castle Junior Suite Oceanfront and our room was on the ground floor with a beautiful terrace and walkout onto green-space overlooking the ocean. The suite was spacious and comfortably furnished. As fantastic as our room was, it did have a drawback. The corridors were narrow and the flooring was uneven concrete, which created an echo chamber that resulted in a lot of noise in the halls coming into the room (ie. room service/housekeeping carts, luggage and conversations from guests/staff).

The Ocean Bar/pool was our favourite spot to socialize with guests in a quite/relaxed atmosphere, or sit back, relax and read a book. The main pool/bar was a short walk (5 mins or so) from the castle and had a bit more of a lively vibe with music and activities. Getting a pool lounger/cabana in the shade was a bit of a challenge, as most of them were taken early (7:30am).

For a relatively small resort, there were plenty of restaurants and dining options. The breakfast buffet had a great selection and I loved the cooked to order omelet station. For lunch there was the beach grill, Blue Marlin or the buffet. For dinner we really enjoyed the Italian restaurant and the Wok (not the cooking show), as well as pizza or burgers in Sanctuary Town. The Sweet Shoppe was a great spot for dessert. I can’t forget the coffee shop in the main lobby, which was great for lattes (sometimes with amaretto) which were delicious.

The drinks were yummy and the bartenders would always have a smile as they made your drink of choice, or suggest something based on your preference. It was nice that each restaurant had a feature drink to try something new. My favourites over the course of the week were the blue marlin, passionfruit daiquiri, frozen lemonade or a mojito.

The weeklong vacation in paradise was just what we needed – to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to relax and rejuvenate. We also took it as an opportunity to disconnect from social media and to refocus. I will admit it was tough for me to completely shut down, but it was very much needed and I am so glad I did. I embraced the slower pace of life and appreciated the little things that much more.

Have you been to the Dominican Republic? Have you stayed at a luxury resort? I would love to hear from you.

Follow me on Instagram @kcoyle1012 to see more photos.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with nor being sponsored by the companies mentioned in this post.

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