Essentia by Emotions
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
First off, Emotions is NOT a 4-star resort. I have been to countless 4-star resorts and Emotions does not have the level of accommodations, meals, or service to meet a 4-star level. This resort is at best - 3 stars.The resort overall is relatively nice. Although, from an accommodation standpoint, the rooms are in some serious need of repair and maintenance. The cabinets and fixtures were "worn out" in my room - and I was in the adults’ only section which is prier than the regular rooms. Just in my room, the shower door, refrigerator door, and the safe were both broken. It took six phones call to the front desk (seriously) before I could get someone to come to my room and make the necessary repairs.In the adults only section, there is a small private pool and Jacuzzi. The main pool was overrun with children and families. Not sure how this is other times of the year, but for Memorial Day weekend it was packed with children. Next, the food leaves much to be desired. I arrived on a Friday and all the restaurants were closed for dinner. The only option was the buffet - which is very limited in choices (not ideal for a vegan or vegetarian) and very average in quality. The second night I dinned at the Italian restaurant and was not impressed at all. My Caprese salad had regular (pizza) mozzarella and my date actually sent back her seafood lasagna. Being Italian I know something about Italian foods and needless to say, I did not return to the restaurant.Finally, the level of service leaves much to be desired. There is no sense of “urgency” when it comes to the service. In fact, there are a group of service people at the resort and all they do is walk around and attempt to get the guests to attend an information session on the additional services that the resort offers. These services are pay services. How they attempt to entice you is to offer you a free 20 minute massage – which is really a full massage that is discounted. I had to constantly tell the workers that I was not interested. It’s one thing when people on the street or beach solicit you for goods and services, but when it happens constantly at the resort that is extremely frustrating and takes away from the vacation. This brings me to the beach. Be prepared to get bombarded by natives trying to sell you bracelets, jewelry, scarfs, paintings, sculptures, and globes. This happens every few minutes.The only advantage I can see at this resort is the price. Although, I would much rather pay more money for a better experience. I would never go back to the resort. In fact, I checked out one day early because I had enough. At least they refunded my last day.
I had a great time. The activity team is great. Always so much fun and things to do at the pool. Everybody so friendly. Loved them. Had so much sun. Always someone available to help and talk to us. Swimming pool had great temperature and weather was great. Thanks to Melvin, Ruth, Carlo, Franklin , Mario. Xoxoxoxo
I thought this was a great hotel. I really enjoyed my stay. The service was great, the bar service was great, amazing disco. Food was decent. I wouldn't say amazing food but definitely always had something to eat and was satisfied when done. The smoothies were to die for. Get your food from the grille and ask for a little extra seasoning. Everything I wanted was pretty much at my finger tips or I could find it somewhere. Hard workers always cleaning the beach. Nice clean beach. Massaging ladies on the beach are awesome. Hustlers on the beach trying to make a living just like anywhere else you go in the Caribbean. They're actually quite annoying but eventually they get the point. Then you see the same guys the next day hustling you again. I met amazing people when I was on the resort. Everyone was friendly. Very entertaining shows. The staff was also amazing. Located in a very safe area. Only issue I had was finding Wifi that actually worked. Wifi only works in the lobby but extremely slow. Rental car, restaurants, banks and shops down the street. Extremely safe. No consistent connection from the room as stated. Aside from that, excursion guides etc were great as well. Learn that Spanish!!! This was my first time in DR, almost heaven!
While we enjoyed our vacation in DR at Emotions overall, we are conflicted about how to review our experience because there were many little things about the trip that added up and negatively impacted our vacation. Here are both the pros and cons of our time at Emotions:Pros:-OFF SEASON: We went to the DR from Monday-Friday in the middle of May. This seemed like the perfect time to visit, because we felt like we had the beach and pool to ourselves for most of the week. I guess this was just simply a benefit of visiting during non-peak season.-FRIENDLY STAFF: Most of the staff, from front desk personnel to housekeeping to restaurant employees were incredibly friendly and accommodating. Shout out to Dionisio who works in the buffet areas; he was so joyful and genuinely happy to help us with whatever we needed!-EXCURSIONS: While we were disappointed that we could not seem to find a way to sign up for excursions online before our trip, it turned out to be really easy to book excursions once we got to the resort. We did a half day trip to the city of Santo Domingo that included a trip to Los Tres Ojos caves. This was a really fun experience. Cons:-DIRTY BEACH: For the most part, the beach is beautiful. The resort has a pretty large beach area and the water is pretty clear. However, we often wished that the beach was cleaner. As I mentioned earlier, there were not many guests at the resort when we were there. Despite that fact, we often noticed trash, cigarette butts, and empty plates and cups scattered among the resort's beach chairs. As far as we noticed, the resort did not seem to have any staff members cleaning up the beach at all. In addition, there was a ton of driftwood and pieces of bark that you had to tip toe through to get into the water. While I understand that this is natural and may be hard to constantly maintain, even cleaning along the shoreline a couple times a day would drastically improve the cleanliness of the beach.-CIGARETTES: Guests are permitted to smoke cigarettes in dining areas, on the beach, and in the pool area. As nonsmokers, this was really off-putting, especially while we were eating. In general, I'm an advocate for prohibiting smoking in public areas. If you are bothered by the smell of cigarettes, this is not the resort for you.-CLEANLINESS: the resort itself is pretty clean and well maintained. However, the rooms themselves don't feel particularly clean. In fact, we often wondered whether or not our sheets had been changed or the floor or bathroom had been cleaned after housekeeping was in our room. For example, we could feel sand on the floor of our room, even on days when we didn't spend time at the beach. In addition, despite the fact that the rooms are "nonsmoking," there was a distinct smell in our room that someone, at least at some point, smoked cigarettes in the room. Finally, our shower drain and sink drain were both clogged upon our arrival. The shower did not have a tub, and the water would often fill up and spill over into the rest of the bathroom within the first couple minutes of showering. Every day we had to put several towels on the floor to mop up all the water. Overall, the rooms just didn't have a clean feel or smell.-BEACH VENDORS: there are about a dozen beach vendors who walk up to you while you're trying to relax and beg you to buy the items they are selling. While I support their drive to make money, this is really annoying when you're on vacation! Literally every 5 minutes someone is walking up to you asking if you'd like to buy a scarf or wood sculpture, even if they have asked you 10 times before! This really ruined our experience on the beach. We went to a resort in Jamaica a couple of years ago that held a vendor fair on the resort where vendors could set up tables for people staying at the hotel to have an opportunity to buy from local people. I suggest Emotions do something like a vendor fair to give vendors an opportunity to make sales, while allowing their guests to actually relax in peace on the beach without constantly being asked for money.-GOLDEN TRAVEL: After getting annoyed by the vendors on the beach, we decided to escape to the pool to have a real opportunity to relax without being bothered by people trying to sell us stuff. Boy was that wishful thinking! As it turns out, Emotions has their own version of beach vendors, and that is the people who work for Golden Travel. They wear white shirts and come up to you wherever you go asking you to watch a 90 minute video and sign up to come back to the resort next year. These people are super annoying, too! Just like the vendors on the beach, they come up to you when you're trying to relax at the pool, and also try to stop and talk to you wherever you go on the resort. All day, every day, no matter where we went, it felt like we were being pestered to give our money to someone or sign up for something that we didn't want to sign up for.Overall, Emotions is a fine resort and we are happy we vacationed here in DR. Unfortunately, the cons about this resort really added up for us. We would not vacation here again.
We have been to Puerto Plata several times and decided to try something in the south so that we could see Santo Domingo and experience another part of the country. We selected Emotions by Holdelpa resort and in particular we booked to stay in the Essentia section because of the extras provided.To begin, check in was efficient as we in the Essentia section had our own check in area. We arrived around 12:30 pm and the room was available to us at 3:30pm.Beach area is small but there are lots of chairs available. Essentia has its own section and this is where we usually camped out. We found the beach to be clean. I know there are complaints about seaweed but really, it is the sea and the resort can only do so much to keep it clear in front of the beach front where the resort resides.The grounds for the resort were always clean and spotless. We have no complaints about housekeeping like others have had in their reviews. Our regular housekeeper was fantastic and we did notice a difference in the cleanliness of our room during her day off and another person cleaned.Food: We found the food to be mediocre in the two buffets and it was generally dried out. I will give points to the resort for having beef tongue which is something that we don't normally see when we travel so that was a nice change to have something both of us like. There were lots of choices of dishes on the buffet I might add.Speciality restaurants: There are 4 speciality restaurants, 3 of which are no extra charge and one that is an additional fee.The Dominican and Mexican speciality restaurants were very good. The Italian one wasn't very good.The system in place was that you could only book the day of for any restaurant. If you went off on a day trip and left early you couldn't book. We found that most nights we were able to get into the speciality restaurants with no problem. One night they had 2 speciality restaurants booked with private parties. That is not acceptable. What about the other guests at the resort? They are paying customers as well. There is a conference centre, why not have special parties there.Lastly the steak and lobster specialty restaurant. Part of our Essentia package was a meal there. We were not impressed and if I had to pay for it, I would have been really upset as it was quite pricey and not worth the cost.Staff: We found the hotel staff to be very friendly and helpful. We did notice that some staff seemed to spend too much time on their cell phones, which they shouldn't be unless of course a guest had asked them about something and they were looking it up.Entertainment: We found the entertainment to be a bit boring. Much of the same every night. This is no reflection on the entertainment staff as they can only work with what they have. But really having guests do stuff every night is a bit much. Why not bring in local musicians to get a flavour for the local area and its customs and vibe?
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- Daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Unlimited a la carte lunch and dinner (preferred reservations)
- Room service (light menu breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Unlimited domestic and premium brand drinks (house wine included)
- Personalized mini-bar restocked daily
- Daily sports and activities program
- Select non-motorized watersports
- Nightly entertainment
- Free shuttle service to golf course, disco and casino nearby (2-minute drive away)
- Free WiFi
- Private check-in at the ESSENTIA private lounge
- Welcome VIP cocktail
- Private pool
- Exclusive bar/lounge
- Bathrobes, slippers and beach towels in room upon arrival
- Turndown service
- Anti-allergy pillows and blankets
- iPod dock in room
- Colonial City Tour of Santo Domingo
- Free 30-minute massage
- 300 rooms
- Restaurants including 2 a la carte (Dominican Fusion & Italian)
- Snack bar
- Coffee house
- 3 Swimming Pools
- Tennis Courts
- Kids Club
- Climbing Wall
- Serenity Spa (fee)
- Bicycle Rental (fee)
- Scuba dive centre (fee)
- Club & Casino
- Business Centre
- Laundry Services
- Free WiFi throughout property
- 1 king-size or 2 double beds with anti-allergy bedding
- full bathroom
- flat screen TV
- personalized mini-bar
- pool towels
- turn-down service
- in-room safe
- steam iron
- balcony or terrace
- maximum occupancy 4 persons
Resort Location Map
Essentia by EmotionsSanto Domingo,Dominican Republic
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Boulevard Juan Dolio, Juan Dolio Dominican Republic
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
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