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Reviewed January 20, 2016

Depends a lot on your expectations ...
We were happy with the food, even though a small buffet there was enough food to choose from . Service a bit slow , depending on the shift , but they do make efforts to improve . (let's not forget -things move at a different pace in the Caribbeans ... :-))
If you are looking for a not too crowded resort , this is a good place .
Beach was nice , water was nice , some algae and rocks but they are trying to keep it as clean as possible .
Coffee shop was great , there were also the wine and the beer shops on the strip ,but we haven't tried them, nor did we try " a la carte" restaurants ,as we were happy with the buffet ...
The bar had generic brands , but if you asked them they could find a good rum for you ...
All in all , reasonable quality/price ratio ..
We stayed in building 5, clean rooms, water, wi-fi were OK ..

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
7  Thank popdanaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2016 via mobile

So when I read reviews of resorts, I always think to myself that people are being picky etc when giving reviews. We got here last night and this is what I see thus far....

This is BY FAR not like the Grand Bahibe Principe that we stayed last year. We got such a good deal here though that it is difficult to complain too much.

The food is fine. Pasta was good last night. Yes, it does not have the selection in the buffet like a 4 1/2 star advertised resort should but it is ok and the food handling practices seem sufficient as well in light of all the illness going on in Cuban resorts.

When we checked in, the process was quick but there were only us and another couple arriving at the time. We weren't overjoyed to have a ground floor room so we had asked to be moved up a floor. (Always nervous about ground floor)TWO HOURS LATER, and a room change, we ended up back in the ground floor room as they tried to move us into a room with 2 double beds. (As a married couple, unless getting a little tipsy, we prefer to sleep together on our one vacation a year!)

People need to understand when booking that the 'Emotions' portion of the resort is across a small street from the 'Essential' part of the resort including the beach. The upgrade to move to the Essentia part of the resort is $78 USD PER night which would be almost the amount we paid for the entire trip per person.

The beach is nice enough, there is algae right now but they are out there working hard to get rid of as much as possible.

They don't have change for money so expect to walk to the bank which is about 10 minutes into town.

The rooms are clean and new but about half the size of any other resort rooms we've been to. I asked for someone to co.e clean the bathroom as it wasn't overly cleam when we got here. Still not done. Our view is crap. But again, such a great deal, don't get ocean views for that amount!

The service has been alright. I do notice the difference from any other resort we've been to. The people working here do not seem to be as happy to see you as say the Bahia Principe which made us feel like family!

Will update as the week goes on but be prepared to go to a 3 star as opposed to a 4 1/2 star. I was a bit shocked when we got here but will do my best to make it a great week!

Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
7  Thank BarryandJanalee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2016

Beach: beautiful almost white sand, although at times full of algae which they try to clean but not always succeed. Also beware some rocks and corals at the bottom, you could hurt your feet, again they are trying to clean them up but the waves are bringing more. Water temperature was perfect while we were there. Plenty of beach chairs, and bar right on the beach. A waiter is always working the beach to collect your orders. The entertainment team tries to motivate the guests to participate in their activities, but because the schedule is not displayed, there is limited success in doing so. Locals are trying to sell you their stuff but if you decline they will not be persistent. There is a lot of security staff on the beach, and they will watch for everything which moves. We used to leave even camera,cell, money on the beach while walking or swimming and nobody ever touched it. There is not much to see even if you walk along the beach to both ends as this is not the most pitoresque beach area in Dominican Republic.

Rooms: Newly renovated (used to be Talanquera Resort) with some brand new buildings, Zen decor and very spacious, cleaned daily. The room service was hit and miss regardless of tipping daily, with the maid forgetting either hand towels, or giving us just 2-3 bath towels (we were a family of four), or missing shampoo/soap etc. The wifi does not work in certain buildings (i.e. works in building 4 and 5 but not in 6). Also certain buildings do not have enough hot water pressure at the upper floors so we took cold showers all week long. Due to some issues, the electricity can go off at times, it did one night and the AC along with the safe kept turning on and off by itself, for about an hour or so waking up all of us.

***Please note, as this resort is new, they still do construction - and seemed to bang exactly at nap time, ruining our baby's nap daily, other parents complained about the same thing.***

Food: the buffet area is VERY small, so don't expect a lot of variety. Also, except the theme of the day, food is pretty much the same every day. Makes you think they reuse food. This is a small resort, you are not in the Bahia Principe type of resort. They did not even have the staples which other resorts offer 24/7 like fries, chicken nuggets and ice-cream, This presented a problem to my 9 year old who ordered the above at each meal to no avail. How can a Carribean resort not serve fries and ice-cream?

Service:Service is the poorest ever, regardless of tipping (and we tipped!). They are not only understaffed, but also not trained properly. Certain services which are advertised are not functional yet (i.e. children centre was closed and we looked inside, it still looked unfinished)

Entertainment: very good. Their Michael Jackson show ("Bad") was amazing. Also their 60s,70s,80s show was good, and so was the Carribean music night.

As a side note, their Essentia club (extra $$) is in the newly built building right on the beach (ocean view), has a separate but tiny pool and the sun beds which are advertised on their website. False advertising for the folks who think everyone will get that!

Overall, our stay was ok, but the services and amenities are certainly not a 4.5 star, we can give it a solid 3 to 3.5 stars.

Room Tip: Essentia Club with ocean view (pay extra) or building 4 and 5 are best
  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank torontogosouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2016

Spent a week at this all inclusive hotel from Dec 25 to Jan 1st. Hotel grounds were pretty, our room was modern, spacious and clean, everything worked.
The beach is ok, the ocean quite rocky but nice white sand. They are experiencing the algae issue currently common in central america costal, so the ocean is not crystal clear, but they do a good job of burying the algae so the beach looks clean.
The animation staff was awesome, especially Gucci. There was always something fun to do, aerobics, beach volleyball, basketball, etc... The evening shows were fantastic and so was the NYE party.
One negative: we booked a snorkelling tour with the company that has a beach structure by the hotel beach bar, paid upfront, woke up super early and our driver never came to get us (as well as 4 other people). We were told there was a misunderstanding and the driver picked up the wrong people from the hotel. They gave us our money back but we were quite disappointed as we could not go another day and missed our only opportunity. The hotel took no responsibility for this, saying they are not connected to this company even though they are located on the hotel beach.
By the way, the other beach vendors are friendly, entertaining and respectful. They will not bother you if you say you don't want to buy anything. When you talk to them, they are great and it's a nice way to connect to the local community.
The coffee shop at the hotel offers amazing local coffee :)

  • Stayed: December 2015, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank CarolinaToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2016

I am from the U.S. and work here in the D.R. I stayed here with a large group and am happy I chose Emotions! What really stood out to me was the service--Alejandro, Rosa, Braulio (and more whose names I wish I could remember!) were all great and went out of their way to help. The group commented on that as well--staff seemed genuinely eager to please, and there was always someone available.

Rooms were clean and, as commented, very new. Bedding was comfortable and bathroom was nice. The pool and of course the beach were lovely and could not have been more convenient. One unexpected highlight was the Starbucks-like cafe, where you could get espresso drinks and pastries for free. So fun! Although I was working on this trip, I felt I also got to relax and enjoy my stay, thanks to the wonderful staff.

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank annierose210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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