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“Stellar staff, the best family vacation!”

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Franklyn D Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
boston
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Stellar staff, the best family vacation!”
Reviewed 6 June 2014

We love this place, have been coming here for eight years now (started at Pebbles). The staff is just exceptional. I'm a travel agent and can go anywhere, offers appear daily in my inbox... but keep returning here because of the intimate vibe, personal service, roomy suites etc.
Everyone has touched upon the awesomeness of the nannies, especially if you are a single parent. I wanted to also go on about other lovely features that I have learned over the years.
No annoying towel cards/signing towels out etc-here they treat you like an adult, no having to return them by 6p etc.
It's not endless buffet! There are many sit down meals, and no having to make reservations!
And, if you are adventurous, you can try lots of authentic Jamaican cuisine including breakfast!
I don't eat meat and am mostly vegetarian (I eat fish) and I can tell you the veggie options are terrific. Fish too!
They do your laundry for you for only $10! This way you can bring less stuff, just have them do a load halfway through your vacation. You drop it off and it's delivered back to your room all fluffed and folded!
If you have any kind of medical issues, there is an awesome nurse right there on the property! (I twisted my ankle last year and she wrapped it for me). There is also a pediatrician's office next door, and the hotel can assist in making an appointment, if its something the nurse can't handle
There is a photographer onsite named Perry who takes great pictures, and is very reasonable.
They are prepared for rainy days, there are two kids clubs (one for younger, the other for teens) that show movies etc.
You can snorkel right off the beach next door, or off the dive pier-amazing snorkeling, I have seen
sting rays, moray eels, squid etc. No need to take the boat if that makes you queasy (like it does me). They also sell Dramamine at the gift shop.
The bartenders are amazing, so talented. They make so many drinks from scratch with fresh tropical fruit, not the endless mixes at other hotels.
The snack bar has wonderful ice cream and that special Jamaican treat...patties!!!
The staff watches ALL kids, the nannies work together beautifully, you can really truly relax..
and did I mention the hammocks!!!!!
I was especially impressed one year by the kitchen staff, there was a guest there who was on a low sodium diet and they prepared chicken or fish for her at lunch and dinner. After a couple of days they asked her if she was getting bored and would she like to try some beef? So sweet that they worried about her palate like that!
We bring our own snorkeling equipment, but they provide it here for free. Also beach toys, no need to bring your own.
Did I mention that they have goat races? !!!! so cool!

I want to mention several of the staff, but they are all exceptional. I just don't remember all the names!
Tamika, Kevin, Karlene, Marcia, can't wait to see you all again soon!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank mrchillybeans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2014

We just returned yesterday from our week long trip to FDR. This is the first review I've ever written even though we've travelled to 6 all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean now. This was such a great experience that it deserves at 5 star review- especially while things are fresh in my mind. We loved the resort. We stayed in room 38 which was an oceanfront two bedroom junior suite. It walked directly onto the sand and I could see the ocean from my bed in the mornings. It was very comfortable and we had everything we needed- including beer, juices and snacks refilled daily by our Nanny.

Speaking of the nanny- OH MY GOD- she was AMAZING! We had Janice who had been at FDR for 14 years. She was so calm and patient with my two year old son. She somehow knew how to blend in with our family and be there when we needed her and took a step back when we wanted more one on one time with our son. She really made our trip stress free. My son instantly connected with her and I 110% trusted her when we were not around. We kept her around most nights after 5 pm to eat dinner with us. She would also take him to the Kids Club to get out of the sun and was diligent about sunscreen and mosquito cream/spray when needed. My favorite was when she put him down for naps and stayed in the room with him so we were completely free. She also cleaned around this time.

Speaking of dinner- the food was excellent! We went in with low expectations since we'd read mixed reviews. I thought every meal we had was delicious! I loved the breakfasts, the kids buffets, the Overproof restaurant (Jamaican), the beach buffets, the Beach Grill- everything was served quickly, hot and very, very tasty! I had the most of mangos, bacon, fish and rice, jerk chicken wraps (grill), and my son had a lot of fruit, chicken nuggets, spaghetti and pizzas.

We also loved the drinks. The bartenders are friendly and Ryan makes great Dirty Bananas. They have Red Stripe on draft which was great. We liked to take the drinks to watch the sunset or out on the big blue floats in the ocean.
The beach is small but perfect for the kids. There is a dock you can dive off of and swim/snorkel anytime you wanted. The beach next door is also very easy to access and we went there a few times for swimming too.

The staff was great. Everyone was so helpful and I loved that they started to call us by name on the second day. We were there at low occupancy so it was easy to get to know everyone there, make friends, and participate in all the activities. I really enjoyed having the place to (almost) ourselves. We had no problems with hot water and if we had little maintenance issues (clogged toilet) then someone was there to fix it in 5 minutes.

We also loved fishing on the pier, snorkeling and fishing boat rides, games by the pool, the entertainment/music/dancing at night, bike rides, sitting on our deck, and the BIG BLUE- an awesome waterslide. There are actually four waterslides there and my son lived on them the whole week.

I can assure you we will be back next year. Maybe even this year if possible. We had a wonderful time and I can't thank the staff enough. WE LOVE FDR!!!

Room Tip: We loved Room 38! Rooms 1 and 2 looked nice too. Those are all oceanfront first level rooms.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank cwh915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

I had 4 amazing trips to FDR with my family of 5. The activities for children are out of this world and our nanny was always amazing....We had 2 different ones over 4 trips and we loved them both! We loved the fact that we could let the teens sleep in and we could enjoy water aerobics right outside our condo door! Our youngest would go to breakfast with the nanny while we worked out and then we'd all meet up mid morning to start our "family time". Fishing off the pier, hunting for hermit crabs, building sandcastles, swimming, arts n crafts, and Dale the kids acitivities director, made everyday special for my daughter! She is 12 now and last year we did a mega resort down near Montego Bay....she had fun snorkeling but told us she wished we were at FDR. She will never forget the incredible experience she had. Now we just can't wait to take a vacation with my eldest and his wife and our granddaughter. FDR has a deal for grandparents that I would love to take advantage of....hopefully next Fall! Thank you FDR for wonderful memories!

Room Tip: If you are able to let the kids sleep in....pick a room facing the pool. They have am water aerobics...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank BarbaraG4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Muscatine, Iowa
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2014

I had read every single review on FDR before seeing for myself. I enjoyed reading them! I read some detailed reviews multiple times. I felt I was completely prepared. That I knew exactly what I was getting, the good and the bad. I "knew" to expect rooms that were nice, but somewhat dated, that the food would be just okay, but improved upon what it had been 6 months ago, that the staff would be friendly and know my kids' names, and that I would fall head over heels in love with the nanny. Pretty much the summation of every review on here.

Not one single review, no matter how glowing, could prepare me for what I would feel at FDR.

I am a stay at home mom of 2 (3 and 5). We stayed at FDR from 4/23 to 4/30. First of all, a week is not long enough!! If you CAN stay longer, DO IT! You will not be ready to leave after just 7 days! Now to address what I thought I knew!

The rooms:
I suppose one could say dated, but I think homey and comfortable is more suiting. They are larger than any suite you will find at other resorts. We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite. You will read all about them in the subsequent reviews, so I won't bother with layout details. This suite was wonderful! It was spacious, well stocked, and most importantly CLEAN!! We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the balcony each morning and evening. If you are expecting the newest shiniest finishes, you will be disappointed. So don't expect that. Read the reviews! As they continue to update, it will just INCREASE how pleasantly surprised you are!

The Food:
The reviews on this topic are poor, at best. Apparently, the food used to be pretty lack luster. But this new Chef is incredible! Anyone who has left a negative review of the food while this man has been in charge of the kitchen, I truly question their taste buds. Yes there were a couple of dishes that were not my cup of tea. But of course not EVERY item on the menu is going to be. I can not tell you enough just how much I enjoyed the croissants at breakfast. My sister is a baker. I KNOW a good bread, and these are incredible! A MUST TRY, on my list!

The Staff:
They were wonderful! They were kind, sweet, accommodating. I could go on and on. Out of an ENTIRE resort, the only people we encountered that were not what I described were the ladies in the gift shop and salon. Absolutely EVERYONE else was great! I especially enjoyed our bartenders and the delightful ladies from karaoke that got all of us girls up to sing some Whitney Houston. (I wanna dance with somebody!)

And, of course, The Nanny:
You are going to read review after review RAVING about the Nannies, and every word is true. And every single one will gush over their Nanny. Though, I have a hard time believing any Nanny in the world could be as wonderful as Ollisia. There is just not enough words to adequately convey what these ladies give you. FDR advertises the Vacation Nanny as their "gift to your family". You can have no idea how true those words are until you relax enough to let the Nanny be YOUR Nanny. I am the quint-essential over-protective Mommy. I had every intention of NOT leaving my kids alone with a stranger while I went on excursions. Oh...how quickly I changed my tune. She is wonderful! Sweet, attentive, caring...FAMILY!

I know that saying her name on here could mean someone else will request her for the dates that I plan our next trip. But she deserves for everyone to know how wonderful she is!

My family cannot wait to come back. As I told the woman that took my reservation back in February, we are Future Repeat Guests. I knew what I was getting with FDR, but NOTHING could have prepared me for how wonderful it would feel! Thank you to Ollisia and all of the FDR staff! You gave us an incredible vacation! Time to plan our first return trip!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Meagan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodbridge, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

After four years of marriage and having 2 babies exactly one year apart, it was time for a break. This was our first getaway as a family of four. I looked high and low for a toddler friendly resort that will allow us to relax as well. I considered the Beaches resorts but there was still the issue of juggling a 2 and 3 year without losing our cool in a hot place. An extra pair of hands is an absolute must for us although we do not have a nanny at home. Then I discovered FDR by googling high & low for the right getaway for our young family. It was the perfect choice.

Let me begin by pointing out that I booked a one bedroom garden view that comes with a King bed, sofa bed and a crib at your request. We arrived around 4pm. Check In took no time at all. The lobby itself is just 2 desks under a canopy with seating for maybe 10 people. Not big at all since I have been accustomed to the grand lobbies of the resorts I have visited before. When we were escorted to our room, we easily maneuvered our double stroller through the outdoor walkway gardens. Unfortunately we had to climb a set of stairs to our room but were extremely surprised when we got to our room. There were stroller parking everywhere so we left the stroller at the bottom of the stairs.

We had a full 2 story, 2 bedroom condo style suite. It was huge! A large full kitchen, dining room, living room, verandah, powder room and twin bed on the main room. The stairs to the top floor had child proof gates but required gates on the main floor. The second floor had 2 spacious bedroom, 2 twin beds, 1 king, 2 full baths and 2 cribs! A home away from home indeed! Definitely more than I requested. These rooms cost double than what I booked but FDR's peak season is during the summer when the kids are off school so they upgraded us free of charge. The decor is a little outdated but the only recommendation I have is that the washrooms be renovated. They were very old but functional. Overall, the rooms were clean.

Our Nanny, Janet, arrived shortly after we settled in. She was a sweetheart. She explained all of the hotel facilities and rules to us and took us on a tour of the grounds. The kids were understandably apprehensive at first but her warm nature melted them in no time. My 2 yo dd is a picky one too so a pretty great feet in my eyes. They were building sandcastles and playing with her while we relaxed at the pool bar. That set the tone for the rest of our trip.

Each morning, we headed for the Verandah restaurant for breakfast which was decent. Janet also made our room so she met us at breakfast. Now the beach at the resort is rocky and small but just a few steps away was the Jewel resort that had the magazine cover white sands and clear shallow turquoise waters. We were allowed to use the beach but not the chairs. I didn't mind since we spent all morning wading in the beautiful waters while the kids played safely and happily with Janet. One afternoon, my son requested pancakes for lunch. Janet spoke to the friendly chef who went quickly and made the little guy a batch of pancakes even though we protested. The kids are absolutely spoiled here!

Lunch was always at the beach Grille for us. There was a buffet at the Verandah as well but I couldn't get enough of the chicken wraps and hubby had to have jerk chicken served fresh from the grille everyday. I could go without the burgers though. The Grille also offered a kids buffet full of local fruit and veggies. I still preferred the a la cart grille menu options.

We spent the afternoons at the pool bar and the kids were with Janet little kids park, the small resort beach or in the pool. The park need a some upgrades as well but had the feel of a a local community park. I saw that they were working on adding some more murals. They had scheduled arts and craft programs at the park as well as daily kid's itinerary.

Janet would stay with us until 6:30pm each day at which time the kids napped while we got ready for dinner. Every evening, Janet had stocked the kitchen with milk juice, fruit, cheese & crackers. We usually had dinner on the verandah which was a la carte and delicious. There were 2 other a la carte restaurants on premise but adults only. However, we could request menu items form the other restaurants! On our last night, my exhausted 3 yo ds had a tantrum so we had to stay in. My husband ordered 2 entree's from each restaurant and we had a wonderful feast in our spacious room while the kids slept. They never say NO at FDR. They accommodated our every need.

This place was as intimate as you can get. Everyone knew who you were and treated you like family. I loved that my kids were familiar with the staff and even knew some of their way around, at least to the fish pond and kiddie pool.

If you are looking for a glossy, state of the art, modern resort, this is not the place for you. However, if you are looking for a cozy, safe and relaxing getaway for you and your babies, I highly recommend it. Most of the visitors we met were repeat customers whose kids have grown up here and still have the same nanny.

I should add that you can second nanny for only $25/day. You can also have a professional photographer take family pictures at the beach which I found out about too late. Just more to look forward to the next time we visit ;).

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MzTan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

I have always been reticent to travel with children and our experiences with my now 4 year old have been fun, but exhausting. So when I gave birth 4 months ago to another child, I knew that there would be no way for us to have a vacation whatsoever unless we brought a third party to watch the kids, namely the infant who would need to spend the lion's share of his time indoors. Trading off between my husband and myself was not ideal for us and regardless, someone would always need to be entertaining the 4 year old who may or may not agree to a sub-par "kid's club" regardless of whether Thomas the Train was the host!
So when our Travel Agent (Mary Jarvis of Ancaster Flight Centre- use her- she's great!!) suggested a small but intimate location in Jamaica called FDR (I was sure it was a reference to the ex-President…FDR actually stands for the name of the owner "Frank" who, no kidding, is there on the property EVERY DAY walking around making sure things are going well), we decided to look it up. FDR is unlike any place you have ever been and if you have children aged 0-6 especially and have any interest in having a moment's peace to yourselves, this is a must visit.

That said, I am going to compartmentalize this review for ease of the readers.

Resort Overall:
By warned: this is NOT a fancy place AT ALL. It has a small lobby, a very dated pool (that is full of chlorine), cement decor with pipes showing everywhere, a tiny and seaweed addled beach property, extremely outdated rooms and occasionally hot water loss. The property is intimate and small so you are never too far away from anything.
But while the resort has a rustic appeal circa 1996, it is what's inside that counts that makes it so special. You must note that this is barely a 4-star resort (that is generous), so if any of those things matter to you (and remember, you have JUST given birth and have a pre-schooler) then don't read any further- this place is not for you. But if you are dying to get away and have literally "no worries, mon", read on.

Staff:
Not enough can be said about them. They are truly the resort's shining jewels and made cracks and the bumps worth staying. Firstly, they are genuine to a fault. No one is looking for a hand-out or a gratuity, though it is very appreciated and suggested (perhaps at the end of your stay so that you don't have to feel obligated to carry around $1s all the time). They are a part of the fabric of the hotel that make the essence of the place from your front desk greeters (Janique and Adrian- shout outs) to the overseer of all (Trish) to all the wait staff in between (Joseph, Samantha, Lorna Gay, Kevin at the omelet bar, Althea) to the entertainment staff (Tamika), to of course the invaluable and remarkable nannies which I will get to later in this review but here are some shout outs (Soshana, Patrina, Tanya, Nardia). It is such a pleasure to be around people who are intelligent, kind and really down to earth. Also, if you can speak Patois with them you will have friends for life though these staff speak wonderful and clear English with no issues understanding anything. The staff are outstanding and truly bend over backwards for you and don't make a big deal out of anything. If you need a towel and you are at breakfast, likely your server will go and get it for you. It is unlike anything I have ever seen and was truly the make or break for our time there.

Food:
It isn't Cordon Bleu but let me put it this way: the food is always fresh, varied and very well maintained. I never saw one fly or bug on anything and every piece of lettuce was freshly cut and extremely edible. The best food was the breakfast (amazing banana bread and great a la carte omelettes as well as fresh fruit and decent pancakes) and then there is always something as a fall back (pasta bar, jerk chicken etc.). The Jamaican Buffet night is varied and good (try bammy, mutton and "festival"). They once even had delicious donuts on hand! I suggest getting off resort to "Flavours" down the beach or trying "sharkies" in town lest you get bored w the food. Best thing though, you never need to scramble for a reservation to one of the restaurants (not all are open ever night and most were decent) and service is great.
The Cotton Tree Grill, where you can get burgers, chicken, wraps etc. was hit or miss and the 2 guys working the hot grill were tireless and very nice. They need a larger venue, better food (burgers were awful) and some fans to cool them off as the grills were crazy hot for them. Also, they need better "snack" food as the only thing you can get is popcorn which is fun for the first 3 days but then chips or other munchies would be nice.

Nannies:
This is a game changer esp if you have kids under 5. If you have any hope of spending any time away from them, this is the only resort for you. For some reason and I don't know what, you feel naturally comfortable leaving your newborn, preschooler ten year old, whatever in their care. They are as adamant about sunscreen, sun care, safety, swim safety, food etc. as the child's parent would be and somehow have infinite patience for every little request and quirk a child might have. They are dedicated and kind and the kids just go to them. Meanwhile of note, they are also your housekeeper and this is a negative because they somehow can't seem to manage the excellent childcare with the immediacy of room tidiness and sometimes you would wait till nearly end of shift to have fresh towels, beds made etc. Regardless, you quickly take on a "no worries" attitude because at the end of the day, it doesn't much matter and towels and other sundries are a phone call away if needed.
Sometimes, nannies can be a bit tardy for their shift (supposed to work from 9am-4:40 with a 1 hour break in between) and you only notice it because you are so excited to give your kids over and have your break (which is absurd because where else could you give your kids over??LOL!). But they are never "by the clock" and while we were always present to relieve them of their shift, they are happy to spend an extra 15 or 30 minutes with you or your kids.
As well, they are available for $7/hr until whenever to carry on their shift if you want to have night alone time at an adult's only resto etc. or so you don't have to end your time so early. Very important to note: some of these women go 2 weeks-2 months without work because work is based on occupancy so they so appreciate they extra wages and rely on this too. It is completely symbiotic and they are so grateful (most just sit on your patio and check on your kids from time to time to make sure they are ok) and you are too because you aren't trapped in the room at 6pm.
Also, a second nanny is available but CALL AHEAD because on peak weeks you will have a hard time, and possibly no availability to get that second nanny. It is so worth it for $25 extra/day and it goes without saying that tipping at the end is appreciated and definitely a must do (if you use your nanny every night for "babysitting" where they are just sitting and waiting for you to come home and you are spending upwards of $40/night, anywhere between $50-$100 for the week is likely a fair and nice amount for the week of care). As well, nannies are allowed to eat with you but I am not sure are allowed to get food at the top of the hour so it is a nice gesture to ask them if they would like something and always grab them a drink from the bar, food from buffet or a little snack. A little human kindness goes a long way and they deserve it for all the hard work they do.

Other options:
You will see that literally a stone's throw away is a beautiful pristine beach that is of use to the guests. It is "owned" by the 5 star resort next door called "The Jewel" and you will be swayed to try to use it (disclosure: we paid the Jewel guard some $$ to look the other way, but sometimes you can get in and sometimes you get caught and ultimately you don't want them to risk their jobs for you). You are not allowed to use their chairs, which is dumb because if FDR just paid to have 40-50 chairs right at the edge between the 2 resorts, people like me wouldn't try to sneak on them. Meanwhile, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter because the ocean is AMAZING and on days that aren't windy like glass full of clear, white fish and white sand and if you are lucky the odd crab may come to greet you. You can spend hours there and not realize that the time has gone by. It totally makes up for the lack of beach on the property though that beach is always full of sand toys and paraphernalia for the kids to play with and that is all you should care about because the nannies are there with them anyway.

Waterslide/Pool:
You should know going in that the pool is terrible. It is circa 1996 (can't say when it was actually built but is not fancy) and is probably full of child fluids (gross). That said, your kids will go crazy because every pool has some type of slide attached that is relatively safe and even a tiny wade pool (all cement though) where the really little ones like my newborn could go for a few minutes at a time. The ocean is really where you'll want to swim and just jump in and jump out to get cool in the pool vs. really "swimming". Great note: the water aerobics guy is so hard core and hilarious- it is hard not to get sucked into his beats!
The big draw is "Big Blue" the windy waterslide which my son must have ventured 1000 times on his stay. It is lots of fun with a shallow pool to catch you and you can feel secure if your child doesn't have water wings, they are able to use one of many to-size life jackets which helps them get around no problem. The only caution is that the water staff sometimes is not around to make sure that the path is clear for the next slider so if you don't self-regulate there could be a bad situation, esp if your kid is little and hard to spot. I did mention this to Trish and the staff 3 times and eventually (while I was there anyway) the gentleman in charge of making sure all is good went to the top and regulated but this should have been second nature to them. There are a bevy of nannies at the bottom "watching" your kids but no one telling the next one they can go down which was a bit disconcerting. Regardless, nothing happened so there is nothing to really be concerned over but I believe it was because I was fastidious about safety and not because it was top of mind. Make sure if you have any issues with this to mention it immediately and often and they will do something about it.

Rooms:
You will read that some rooms at some times did not have hot water. This is true. However, you quickly get over it because you recognize that with only 78 rooms on the property and everyone showering at the same time (between 4:30-6) that inevitably something's gotta give. So to avoid this, take your shower half an hour earlier and I promise you will have scalding hot water and have no issues.
The rooms are very dated, but always clean and free of debris (we had a strange ant problem the second last day on my son's bed not due to any food being eaten on it which was gross but it got solved and was not an issue most of the time). Bring your own conditioner and shampoo because they have some but very little and also it isn't the gourmet brand. They always provide ample towels and the safe in the room works well. Be warned there is no "keycard" to get into your room- just an old fashioned lock and key and a latch for really safeguarding!!! But you will find that most of the time even if you left your door unlocked no one would ever dream of taking anything of yours and it would be your own stupidity if you left any valuables outside the safe anyway, just like any hotel.
Great point about the rooms- the tv's are brand new, flat screen and you get all the channels from back home, even 2 channels from Toronto so if that is something that is important to you, it is a nice comfort to see.

Entertainment:
We didn't partake a lot in this, but the last night was a game's night and we had a nice time. They have an in-house band, makeshift DJ at the pool side (apparently there was a disco but I never saw it) and the ability to kick back with karaoke and dollar wine contests too. The best part of the place is that the guests are top quality so you can easily make friends with people and just "hang". We will definitely keep in touch with many of the people we met.

Kid's club/activities:
If you are lucky, your kids will be invited to a birthday party literally every day and they will love that! The staff go out of their way to ensure that there are creative arts and crafts, toys, balls, and lots of games for them to enjoy even though they will likely spend most of their time in the water. The playground is rudimentary and needs major updating but a 4 yr old doesn't care so I guess neither should you. They have bunnies for petting and during Easer when we went a host of bunny-related activities for them to enjoy. It looks a bit inner-city around the kid's area but overall they do have everything that you might want for your kids incl a tennis court and basketball court too.

So much more:
There is so much more I could say and I am not sure if you stopped reading after the first 2 lines but I feel that I can sum it up like this: If you are used to 5-star resorts with sprawling grounds, teppanyaki restaurants and all-night nachos, then this is not it. Day 1, you will just get your bearings and set up yourself to get comfortable during your stay. You will start to notice that it is not the Shangri-la very quickly, and even though you "know" this inherently because the website and the reviews are totally transparent, you think maybe it will be different. Day 2 you will start to question why you came even though in that time period, you had not changed a diaper which is unbelievable. DAy 3 you will swear you will never come back because the pool is murky with chlorine, you are missing your swim up bar and you are dying for a beach area that allows you to use the chairs. But by Day 4 you are totally aware that all that other stuff is just a lot of bells and whistles and the fresh drinks, kind staff and beaming smiles on your kid's faces is starting to rub off. Day 5-6 are dreams because you realize, "hey, I have 2 kids and I have actually had my own time" and by Day 7, you will find yourself crying to the owner in the P lot because you have been profoundly changed by the staff, the relationships you have built, the weather, the essence of the place and the real dedication that you had "no worries, mon" for your entire stay.

My husband and I couldn't understand why people are 5, 10, 14-timers and now, having had this outstanding experience we now are emphatic that at least until my 4 month old is 4 we will be coming back here every year. There is no other place like it and you just have to experience it for yourself to get it.

Thank you FDR for showing me that this "type A" Canadian chick could have a really enjoyable and relaxing FAMILY vacation that will ensure us a lifetime of positive and happy memories.

Room Tip: If you have an infant or a stroller, ask for a room on main floor.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Jodie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trishawana, Director of Sales at Franklyn D Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 May 2014
Thanks for such a detailed report following your recent stay with us at FDR. Your comments are constructive and will be of great help to the Hotel.

We use powdered chlorine to supplement when there is a high usage of the pool; as was the case during your stay. This ensures that the pool is always chemically balanced and all our pools are chemically checked 3 times per day.

We plan to update and extend the main pool when we close for renovations in September and October. We are already putting in alternate walkways to facilitate this. Also, we have started to update the kid’s playground by adding an aquarium and more toys.

We serve chips and dips in the afternoon at the bar; the grill is always open and offers Pizza’s, Patties, fries,wraps, samosas in addition to popcorn.

We would like to thank you once again for having taken the time to write a review. FDR aims consistently to deliver a professional and hospitable service to our guests and trust you will visit with us again in the near future.

We are committed to providing the greatest family holiday on earth.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ithaca, New York
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Very good place for families with kids up through HS age. Nannies for every family - the HS kids mightn't need them, but my 10yo loved our nanny. Plenty for the kids to do: daily crafts, playground, pools (one with large slide), beach (small but perfectly fine), games, talent shows, feeding the resident bunnies, etc. Plenty for parents to do: activities (beach or pool volleyball, karaoke, trivia games, scuba/snorkeling, glass-bottom boat cruise, optional excursions off the premises, yoga on some mornings, sea kayaking, etc. You can do the scheduled activities or you can do your own thing - read in the hammocks, grab a yoga mat and do yoga, take your goggles and see fish and urchins at the reefs very near shore, sit at the bar where the wi-fi is best, etc.

You should arrange the shuttle bus service (through Jamaica Tours Ltd.) instead of taking a taxi.

Once you get there, you'll have a chance to sit down and grab something to eat or drink. Your nanny will introduce herself and give you a tour of the facility, including showing you to your room. Our room had a great sea view (4th floor, Block #1) and the king-size bed was super comfy.

Food was plentiful and quite good (although my husband was less impressed with the overall quality; he did, however, love the breakfast bacon). I don't eat meat and I found plenty of really good stuff to eat, including the fried plantain sticks and the callaloo. The verandah restaurant was open for breakfast and lunch (both buffet style). There is a pier at the western end of the property that offered a Jamaican or an Italian restaurant on alternating nights. On Wednesdays there was a beach BBQ and the other restaurants were closed for dinner. There is also a grill that has wrap sandwiches, burgers, pizza, etc. and a buffet for kids. The grill chef noticed that I had ordered a veggie burger, asked me if I was a vegetarian and if I liked tofu, and went out of his way to create a nice curry tofu dish for me.

Our nanny was lovely. The nannies are on duty from 9 to 4:40, but in that time is also a lunch hour (12:30-1:30) and the time it takes her to clean the room (our daughter went up to the room with her while she did that, but I think that's uncommon).

We were somewhat unclear as to the protocol for tipping. At the beginning, we were handing out tips like Halloween candy. Eventually we realized that this wasn't technically necessary and we tapered off. They say "only tip for exceptional service" but that is really not helpful as a guideline, I don't think. We did tip the nanny pretty generously at the end.

Something to be aware of: If you are a highly scheduled sort of person, this resort may not be for you, but then again neither may Jamaica as a whole be for you. Things sometimes start on time and sometimes don't. For example, on two of the three occasions, the spa treatments we'd scheduled ended up being a bit messed up b/c of double bookings.

Also: "all-inclusive" doesn't mean you never have to pay for anything. We did the excursion to Dunn's River Falls (see separate review; go on Monday morning) and that was $60 for the two of us. The spa, hair braiding, handmade woven bracelet, and so forth are extra.

Finally: If you require wi-fi, be aware that it's kind of spotty. My husband wanted it to NOT be spotty and he had the tech guys come up to put a router in our room.

Lots of people seem to come back to this resort year after year, and I think it's quite possible that we will go again too.

Room Tip: All rooms are light at sunrise due to white curtains, so bring an eyeshade if that bothers you. We h...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LisaLyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Franklyn D Resort & Spa

Property: Franklyn D Resort & Spa
Address: Main Street, Runaway Bay 99999, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Luxury Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Franklyn D Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique all-inclusive family Resort where each family is assigned a dedicated Vacation Nanny to care for the kids from check-in to check-out. All- Inclusive package includes accommodations are in large 1, 2 or 3 bedroom suites with separate living areas,kitchenette and balcony or terrace. Continental, Italian/French/ Indian and Jamaican cuisine from a choice of 4 restaurants, top shelf bar, kayaking, snorkeling, tennis, 4 pools, 100' waterslide, separate kids, tweens and teens programs with supervised daily activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Franklyn d Resort And Spa
Franklyn d Hotel Runaway Bay
Franklyn d Resort All Inclusive
Franklyn D Resort & Spa Jamaica/Runaway Bay, Caribbean

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