We went to the Dominican Republic for a week, and stayed at Emotions by Hodelpa. ([TripAdvisor]). Here’s some information about the hotel that you might find useful if you’re considering this resort for your trip.
The place is always referred to as “Emotions by Hodelpa”. Hodelpa is a chain, and they recently bought this resort and have put a lot of resources into renovating it.
“Essentia by Emotions” is part of the hotel, but shows up as a separate hotel in the booking sites. It’s actually just one of the Emotions buildings, the closest one to the beach. Essentia guests get some nice perks, including being steps from the beach, the 24 hour beach bar and one of the buffet restaurants.
The beach is beautiful, and there’s a 24-hour all-inclusive bar right on the beach. Most of the guest rooms are across the street from the beach, but it’s a short walk and there are guards at the crossing 24 hours a day so it’s never a problem getting to the beach.
The primary language spoken at the resort is Spanish. They will try to accommodate English-language speakers, but it would be worth brushing up on some basic Spanish phrases. All the signage is in English, menus and printed materials are available in English, but the staff all speak Spanish.
The common areas, restaurants and some of the buildings with the guest rooms are new (in January 2017). The renovations are ongoing, and not everything is perfect yet but the design is nice (if stark) and I expect the rough edges will be smoothed out. The rooms are large, but could use more storage.
A lot of reviews mention a lack of hot water. The buildings have solar water heaters on the roof, and I suspect they just aren’t up to the needs of everyone showering at the same time. Try again later, I guess.
Emotions is a small resort. It has one main pool, the one you see in the photos on their website. There’s an adults-only pool, a small Essentia-only pool, and of course the beach.
There’s a nice pond with two large pink flamingos that are always there. I don’t know why they don’t fly away, but they seem perfectly happy there and it was cool seeing them every time we walked past.
It’s in a small town (Juan Dolio) with nothing to do. If you’re looking for adventures or excursions, expect a long drive to one of the larger nearby towns.
WiFi is not available in the rooms, at least, not in our room. There are WiFi repeaters at each building, but the signal doesn’t make it through the concrete walls into the rooms. You can get online on the balcony, but it’s frustratingly slow.
The coffee shop is great. Hand-made espresso drinks including alcoholic coffee drinks, and pastry snacks, no extra charge. The coffee shop doesn’t open until 9am, but there are in-room coffee makers.
There are some specialty restaurants that are included in the all-inclusive package, but you have to make a reservation one day in advance. There’s a lineup in the lobby right at 9am. The restaurants were a nice change from the buffet, but didn’t have a kids menu.
This isn’t a full review, just some notes from our trip. We enjoyed it, but did find it a bit lacking in entertainment and things to do. If you’re looking for a quiet week, this is your place.