Salamander Hotels & Resorts selected to manage Sanctuary Cap Cana

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Sheila C. Johnson’s company chosen to attain AAA Five Diamond ranking for magnificent and luxurious Dominican Republic beachfront resort Sanctuary joins Salamander’s new Grand Resorts at Cap Cana collection, which features sister properties Fishing Lodge and Ocean Club

Sanctuary Cap Cana

Sanctuary Cap Cana, a Salamander Resort

“We are delighted to unite our collection of resorts under Salamander’s unique style of management,” said CHI President Juan Pelayo. “We will make this transition carefully, fully respecting our existing and future guests."

Salamander Hotels & Resorts has been selected to manage Sanctuary Cap Cana, with the goal of making the luxurious Dominican Republic oceanfront resort an American Automobile Association (AAA) Five Diamond award winner.

Effective immediately, the Virginia-based company will manage the magnificent 176-suite oceanfront resort, and adds the property to its exclusive Grand Resorts of Cap Cana collection, which already includes nearby sister properties Fishing Lodge and Ocean Club. The group’s new website is

Existing business at the Sanctuary will not be affected and all existing reservations – including wedding and group bookings – will be honored. Salamander will gradually transition the resort from its current all-inclusive, couples-only format to a traditional luxury experience, with a la carte dining offered by October 31. The Sanctuary will also begin welcoming families on December 12, just in time for the busy holiday season. The resort will honor all aspects of existing all-inclusive reservations, no matter when they are scheduled to stay, while introducing luxurious new packages that include full meal plans and an array of recreational activities. And, because of its unique design, the Sanctuary will feature a one-of-a-kind, adults-only experience in “The Castle,” an upscale hotel within a hotel featuring swim-out villas, its own reception, bar and lounge, and infinity edge pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

“The Sanctuary is one of the most stunning hotels in the Caribbean and is a jewel of the Dominican Republic,” said Salamander CEO Sheila C. Johnson. “We will work with the existing staff, elevate the already high levels of service through extensive training and create new, indigenous programming to achieve AAA’s highest rating – which is what Resort Owner Corporacion Hotelera Internacional (CHI) deserves.”

Developed at a cost of $110 million dollars and featuring architectural designs that reflect both Caribbean and European influences, the Sanctuary features beautiful suites and villas with ocean views and swim-out access, five restaurants and bars, five pools, a lavish spa, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf experience at Punta Espada Golf Club and 18,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Sanctuary becomes the latest property to join Salamander’s new Grand Resorts at Cap Cana collection, which already features Fishing Lodge and Ocean Club. Opening October 12, 2011, Fishing Lodge Cap Cana includes 298 villas, is located within a masterfully designed village surrounding the largest inland marina in the Caribbean, and offers a variety of real estate opportunities. Ocean Club Cap Cana will open in 2012 as a 113-room boutique-style hotel, romantically situated where the marina meets the Caribbean Sea. The collection is being led by Managing Director Hendrick Santos, a highly respected industry veteran whose experience includes 19 years with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where he served as general manager for many luxury properties including the Hyatt Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico; Hyatt Regency Aruba; and Hyatt Grand Champions Resort in Indian Wells, CA.

“We are delighted to unite our collection of resorts under Salamander’s unique style of management,” said CHI President Juan Pelayo. “We will make this transition carefully, fully respecting our existing and future guests. The Sanctuary is a very special resort and provides the type of luxury experience which is rare to find.”

Salamander was founded by Johnson, who also has ownership in three professional sports teams: the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. In addition to the Grand Resorts at Cap Cana, the company’s portfolio currently includes the recently renovated Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, FL., host to the PGA TOUR Transitions Championship; the Forbes Five Star- and AAA Five Diamond-rated Woodlands Inn near Charleston, SC; and the under-construction Salamander Resort & Spa, a 340-acre equestrian-themed resort located near Washington, D.C. Salamander’s management team, led by Prem Devadas, features numerous executives with Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond experience from luxury, independent properties like Kiawah Island Golf Resort, SC; and major luxury hotel brands like The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

The Sanctuary is located just 12 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport, which is served by 38 airlines offering flights from 100 cities from around the world. Twice the size of Manhattan, Cap Cana is an ecologically pristine, 30,000-acre exclusive retreat featuring ocean, beach, cliffs and forest. In addition to hiking trails, an unsurpassed array of water-based activities and a variety of nature-based adventures, it has been hailed as the “World’s Greatest New Destination.”

As well as Punta Espada Golf Club, which is the highest-rated course in the Caribbean and Mexico and features more oceanfront holes than any other layout in the Western hemisphere, the area’s numerous other courses – designed by such luminaries as P.B. Dye and Tom Fazio – create an unrivalled golf vacation destination.

Sanctuary Cap Cana provides a number of memorable dining options, all of which will open to the public, including the architecturally stunning Blue Marlin restaurant. Perched above the Caribbean Sea on stilts, it offers the area’s finest seafood and most romantic location. Other restaurant themes include pan-Asian, Italian and a signature steakhouse, while continuous poolside and 24-hour room service are available.

The resort’s luxurious and spacious accommodations range from 650 to 5,500 square feet and feature beautiful local stone bathrooms, with separate tubs and water closets, satellite television service and walk-in closets. Many include expansive ocean views, secluded beach access or even their own private islands.

The resort also features an array of unique meeting and conference facilities, including a 4,800-square-foot ballroom, several stunning outdoor function spaces that overlook the ocean. Already a popular location for weddings, the addition of the picturesque Dominican-style chapel at the Fishing Lodge will make Cap Cana the most sought-after wedding destination in the Caribbean.

“The amenities and meeting facilities at Sanctuary Cap Cana are spectacular,” said Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, who has personally developed and managed four independent Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond properties. “At nearly 20,000 square feet, there is ample and flexible space for all types of groups. Combined with the new energy of Fishing Lodge and the stunning marina, there is now a fresh option for planners looking for a dramatic new location with fantastic airlift.”

Special introductory guest rates of $249-599 per night at the Sanctuary are available from October 1-December 31, 2011, ranging across most styles and sizes of accommodations. Usual rates range from $375-725 per night. Introductory rates at Fishing Lodge Cap Cana begin at $99 per night.

For more information, visit or e-mail sanctuary(at)salamanderhotels(dot)com. To call, use 1-866-855-4886 (within the US), 1-888-751-8544 (within the Dominican) or 1-809-544-4343 (other international countries). For the US-based group sales office, call 1-540-687-3710.


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