Essentia by Emotions
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
I just came back to Windsor from a fabulous week spent at Emotions by Hodelpa in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic. From the great staff at the front desk who moved us from building 9 to building 4, because we wanted a king bed , to the great bar staff at the beach, (Juan), our experience was top notch. The resort is small easily able to walk everywhere in little time, to the modern rooms and great food at both the a-la-carte restaurants and buffets, the week was pretty damn awesome. The beach is a great place to relax, with our only issue being no music at the beach to enhance the experience. If you have an opportunity to travel to Juan Dolio please stay at Emotions.To the golfers out there. The front desk arranged a fun day at the local course, (Las Lagunas/Metro) and it was not too expensive. $80 for round/cart and rental clubs. Hit them straight and you can score well. nice course.
To summarize, my boyfriend and I spent a very enjoyable and relaxing week; I will try to highlight the good and bad points as precisely as I can.To start with the good:1- Our building (#6) was great - we were far enough from everything that we had no sound issues. We went to bed at 11 every night and except for the rowdy people next to us on night 1 (we had to call front desk it was so loud), we slept perfectly well. However, clearly the soundproofing is subpar. 2- No issues with the showers/flooding/AC etc. 3- The buffets were great (sliding doors to inhibit flies/bugs to enter) - food was always hot. Pasta bar was cool. I am VEGAN so i went there with extremely low expectations and although I ate potatoes, veggies, rice and beans all week, not once did I starve and everything I ate was always tasty.4- Beach lunch bar - fries were amazing - my boyfriend loved the burgers.5- À la carte restaurants - we had great service (even if other people's reviews state otherwise; maybe we were just lucky). Food was "OK" according to my BF. 6- Cleanliness was good.7- Never had to chase down pool or beach chairs.Now for the disappointments:1- Breakfast service - I think we got offered coffee or water once during our stay (note: we did in fact tip all the time).2- Vendors on the beach - not sure anything can be done about this.3- Stray dogs and cats - my heart broke every single time I saw them sleeping in the hot sun. I just wish they had loving homes.This is all I can come up with at this time. We cannot comment on the entertainment seeing as we went there to relax rather than party. We were in our rooms everything around 10pm. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a smaller, updated hotel with a great beach, great food and nice atmosphere.
My boyfriend and I stayed at this resort for 7 nights from January 6th-13th, 2017. In all we had a great time, but there were some kinks and mishaps that could have made our trip less enjoyable if we chose to let them. (I'll elaborate more later). Firstly, I'll start with the positives. The resort was very nice, obviously new designed. It had a very modern feel with wood and stone accents everywhere. The restaurants were nice, the buffets were enclosed in rooms that had to be entered and exited by automatic sliding doors (no bugs flying around the food!) which I thought was a smart touch. The coffee shop was cute, they seemed to had a lot of different types of coffees and flavoured syrups but since there wasn't a menu we stuck with getting lattes and frozen coffees. The snack bar always had fresh burgers and hot dogs on the grill, and the french fries and pizza were usually fresh and hot. The beach was very nice, beautiful water and plenty of beach chairs so we didn't have to search long for one. They seemed to have many games to play during the game, but they were closer to the resort side of the beach, so if you didn't want to be bothered by the speakers you could move closer to the water and you wouldn't really notice it. They have a nice pool that is right next to a bar and all of those little shops (coffee shop, beer house, wine & cheese) and pretty close to the tropico buffet. They have a little pond with two flamingos, which were always nice to see when we walked by. They had a bunch of table games (pool, air hockey, ping pong, basketball) in front of the buffet to play with as well. Now for the negatives...The staff weren't very helpful or friendly, and the front desk really didn't seem to care about our needs/problems. For example, our first night there we got in late so the only food we could eat was from the snack bar. This would've been fine, we aren't picky, until the group of dancers from the entertainment show butted to the front of the line (there were about 5 people in front of us waiting for burgers) and got served their burgers right away before any of us who were staying at the resort. We decided to let it go, but for the rest of the trip there seemed to be a preference for the spanish speaking couples and families over us (we are a young couple from Canada). In the mornings we were only offered coffee or water from the waiters/waitresses in all maybe 3 times (keep in mind there was 7 mornings), the same happened during lunch and dinners (I'd often have to wave them over for water, and we were only offered house wine once). I've been to many other resorts, and I've never had to constantly wave over a waiter to be poured a glass of water. It is not like we didn't tip either, we'd leave a tip for our waiters and bartenders that would serve us kindly and especially the bartender if we asked for a more 'complicated' drink (such as a strawberry margarita where they would use the blender). I just got the impression that the staff didn't really want to cater to us, and I am not trying to sound like I am high maintenance, but I do expect a minimum amount of catering to when I am at an all-inclusive resort. To elaborate on the front desk, the first night we were there we noticed we couldn't change the temperature on the air conditioner. We called the front desk and they said there was a remote that went with it, and I told them there wasn't a remote in the room. They said they'd send the maintenance man over to help us. 30 minutes later the man showed up, and only spoke spanish. This was okay since I can speak a bit, so I (badly) explained to him that we didn't have a remote. He tried connected to the air conditioner with what seemed to be a universal remote, but nothing worked. He called the front desk and spoke to them, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. He then left with the impression of coming back, but never did. We waited for an hour for him to never show (this was at 1 am the night we arrived, so we were tired from travelling and didn't want to wait longer). The next day we went to the front desk on our way to the beach to complain again, and they took our room number and said they'd send someone to fix it. Once again nothing was fixed when we returned to our room that afternoon. We tried to call the front desk and noticed that the phone wasn't working (no dial tone) even though it was plugged in. We decided we'd get ready for dinner (shower) and go to the front desk on the way to the buffet. After my shower, I stepped out from the shower to find the bathroom completely flooded with water. As I stepped out of the bathroom I realized that the water had not only flooded the bathroom, but also the first half of our room (the water ran all the way to halfway under the double bed closest to the front door). It shocked me so much because while I was in the shower (it's a walk in shower so it isn't in a tub) the water hadn't accumulated at my feet, which means that it would partly run down the drain but the majority would leave under the glass door. Since our phone was broken, we had to walk to the front desk to tell them our room had flooded and that we wanted to change rooms (flooding shower, broken phone, and missing air conditioning remote were enough reasons for us to want a new one). They told us they would send someone over to check and then would see if they could accommodate us. We went back to our flooded room and decided to take initiative and push most of the water out by the front door with the towels we had. About 30 minutes later I heard a maid and maintenance man outside of our door talking and then beginning to sweep away the water from in front of our door. I am still not sure if those are the people the front desk sent, but since they never knocked on the door (I had to open it to talk to them) I assume they weren't sent. They moved the rest of the water out of our room and we went for dinner. We came back to a mostly dry floor and decided to deal with it in the morning. The next morning we went back to the front desk, and they explained that some of their rooms had been made improperly and the shower floors don't slope towards the drain (meaning they know they have flooding showers and still put people in those rooms). They also told us that we cannot change the temperature in our room (which is strange to not say the first time we asked? Why send a man to our room if the remote apparently doesn't exist). We then realized that they weren't willing to accommodate us, and we didn't want to fight them for a better room. We had wasted too much energy and time into it as it was, and we wanted to focus on our trip and the beach instead of our room. In the end, we found a way to inhibit the room from being flooded (the bathroom still would fill with water, but we'd close the door and stuff the bottom with a towel). The temperature in the room was tolerable, and we didn't use the phone since we never tried calling the front desk again. We focused on our time together, and the positives of the resort and had an amazing vacation in the end. I realized that I wrote a lot longer paragraph about the negatives of the resort, but keep in mind this was only our experience. Maybe you will be put in a room that doesn't flood and that has an air conditioning remote, and maybe the staff will treat you better than us. I realize that maybe since we are a young couple (both 19 years old), the staff might have not taken us seriously and maybe treated us unkindly because they didn't expect tips from us? These are only my assumptions and I could be wrong. For what we paid, ($1100) the trip was worth it to us. The food was good, the drinks were good, the resort was modern and nice, and the beach was amazing.Also our room was 8107, just so you know that shower floods.
We stayed at this hotel from the 26th of December to January 2nd. There were a few minor issues for overall the service was great. The staff is very polite but they don't seem to speak English very well or understand it. As we spoke a little bit of Spanish, we managed. The resort has to buffets and one grill on the beach. The food is average in both buffets and service is very slow if you order drinks. The a la carte restaurants are not good at all. The Mexican one (Lolita) is awful ! We waited 1 hour and a half to get our first plate. The hamburgers on the grill at the beach are great, they should extend this service to the other buffets. The beach is rocky and not well cleaned. You get harassed by the vendors trying to sell merchandise every 2 min. The rooms are clean and spacious. The cleaning crew is very effective. We were in building no. 4....we could hear the stage music every night until 11h00 like the stage was in our room! Wayy to loud.The coffee shop is ok as long as you take a basic coffee (you need to explain to them how to make a multi-tier coffee or any kind of specialized coffee). There is not a menu or explanations anywhere. Beware! Don't purchase the Catalina Island excusion! Not worth the 260$ price.
We stayed at this hotel around Christmas, and we had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There were a few minor issues we've experienced, but overall, I still think this hotel deserved to be rated highly. The first nuisance was the trip from the airport, as we flew into Punta Cana rather than Santo Domingo. For some reason this seemed to be the only option flying out of Montreal or Ottawa, not sure what the deal is there, as Santo Domingo is much closer to the hotel.Anyways, we were prepared for this little hurdle, so it wasn't a big deal, I WOULD however advise you to be careful at the airport when buying refreshments. It's possible that you'll be approached by random people, sometimes wearing badges, offering to get you a drink, but if possible avoid them and either buy your drinks directly from the bar, or if there's not enough time, get it once you get into the bus and leave the airport. I was approached by one such person, who charged me $5 and asked for a tip. I told him to take another $2, and he just reluctantly returned $2, bringing my total price for the beer up to $8. I didn't have time or the will to get into arguments, but keep this in mind so it doesn't happen to you too.Onto better things, the hotel is well worth the hassle of getting to it, it's very modern and quite unlike any other hotel I've been to. It looks like the target demographic for it was mostly younger people, but we've seen people of all ages and kids, so it's not exactly like on the posters/promo videos. The rooms are very clean, as is the exterior; we've seen people working on it's maintenance pretty much every day, and as a result, it really is a clean resort. The food was great throughout our stay, with Christmas dinner being the highlight. The selection for Christmas was amazing, and food was superb, There were so many outstanding looking dishes that you almost felt bad for not being able to at least try them all. During regular days there was a good variety, and most of the things had a really good taste as well.A la carte restaurants were alright, except the Mexican, where the service really sucked (and food wasn't great either). It's possible that they just had a bad day, but it basically took us half an hour after sitting down to place an order, and we spent an hour and a half there for a 2 course meal, which was really underwhelming compared to the other a la cartes or the buffets.The coffee shop is a superb idea, and we really took advantage of it every day. You can get pretty much any kind of coffee, and there's also freshly squeezed juices, but you'll have to pay for the juices ($4), which makes sense.One problem we had to wrestle with constantly during our stay was changing our money. We always tip well and often, but prefer to do it in smaller bills ($1 or $5). Well, we had $20 bills mostly, and boy, was it ever a pain to get smaller bills. We tried to get the smaller bills at the reception multiple times, and were never once able to do it. The only way really was to buy things at the hotel, or to go to a bank which was about 10 minutes away from the hotel. Even at the bank, they won't exchange it in bulk, you'll be lucky if they change 2 $20 bills for you, and you'll probably end up with a few $10 bills...I'm sure this was the main reason behind people not tipping much, and I'm not sure why the workers in the hotel don't organize better and work with reception to bring their small bill tips and get bigger bills from the reception, I'm sure they would end up with more money in the end but whatever. The shows at night were a bit underwhelming, with the exception of Michael Jackson show (I know everybody has it), which was the best MJ show we have seen. The beach was better than we expected, but there were some rocks, and overall, well...it's no Cuba. Still, it's fairly decent and clean, and if you love seashells, well, you'll be able to get plenty here, without even trying hard. The entertainment team did a good job, and they had various games, stretching exercise, dancing lessons, but i mostly stuck to playing volleyball and taking occasional shots at the basket (yes, they have a basketball hoop right on the beach). There's other sports fields as part of the resort, along with a gym, but we didn't bother with any of them.As mentioned before, they do a good job of mosquito control, and during our stay there definitely weren't that many at the resort itself, but If you have to leave the resort make sure to put some repellent on.All in all, I'd say it was a very nice trip, and i'd definitely recommend Emotions to anybody who's thinking about visiting this area, or if you you just saw a good deal for this hotel.
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.
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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.
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