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“Exceeded our expectations in every way! Chicago, IL” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Franklyn D Resort & Spa

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Franklyn D Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Scott Larson
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Exceeded our expectations in every way! Chicago, IL”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2010

This vacation was planned as a celebration for my wife's 40th birthday. When I originally called the travel agent I had every intention of staying at one of the Beaches resorts. Our travel was able to quickly talk me out of it by saying that it would be about 40% cheaper to stay at FDR. A resort I had never heard of, but was intrigued by the 40% and the nanny service. My wife was skeptical to say the least. We have two young boys ages 4 and 2. She really didn't have a lot of faith in a 'nanny' service. The funny thing is that when it was time to go...there were two people in tears - my wife and are oldest son - that is how wonderful everything was. I will breakdown some points of interest that I think people would be the most interest in...

1) Travel - We arrived via Air Jamaica direct from Chicago - no issues. We were concerned about the complimentary shuttle service as we had read a couple of horror stories on lengthy delays. Again, no issues...we were on our way within about 10 minutes. We had been told that we could request a car seat for $10 dollars each way. it was there for the trip to FDR. Unfortunately, it was not there on our way back and that was after 2 calls from the resort to the transport co to make sure they were bringing it. We were disappointed and have been told that there will be a refund...time will tell.

2) Nanny service - this was the reason we chose this resort. We weren't sure what to expect and we had our reservations...but everything turned out great! Your nanny is with your children starting at 9 AM. In some respects, this will prove to be a little late for folks with small children. Our youngest tends to be up almost at the crack of dawn...so 9 AM seemed to take an eternity to arrive. They will stay with you until 4:40 PM, but will come back and stay with the children in the evening for $6/hr. Do it! This is a small price to pay to have some nice dinner time with your spouse...and quite frankly the nannys like the extra money. OK, the fine print...they all take their lunch break from 12:30 - 1:30 PM and then clean the room for another 1/2 hour or so. This was a bit disappointing...but not the end of the world. The nice thing is that for only $20 a day you can have a 2nd nanny. My wife was resistant to this for the first couple of days, but then we did on the next to last day of our vacation and IMO it was pure bliss! The second nanny arrived at 8 AM and then the nannys staggered their lunch break to give us the perfect day. At the end of stay, we tipped our nanny the equivalent of $20/day on top of the money we owed her for staying late. She seemed very happy and was very grateful.

3) The room - was very adequate. We weren't expecting the four seasons, and we didn't get it. But for what it is, the room was perfect! I opted to splurge and get the multi-floor 2 bedroom unit. As I mentioned, our 2 year old tends to wake up at the break of dawn so this gave us another floor to operate in the early morning hours and not wake up our oldest son. This is one area that I would do differently and get a smaller room if we come again to save some money (and yes there is a good chance we will be back).

3) Stuff for the kids to do - the kids were never board! Between the beach, the pool, the kids play room, the play ground and the arts and crafts center - well let's just say the kids had an amazing time and never had any problems falling asleep!

4) The grounds - nice, not over the top, but nice. I have no complaints with anything. Everything is well maintained and comfortable...perfect for a family setting. The beach took a little getting used to...but in the end it was perfect for a small family. It is not the endless white sand beach that you may get accustomed to at other resorts. You can walk out about 10-15 ft into the water or so and then you start to hit the rocks. It does take some getting used to but the kids loved it and that was the most important thing. One thing to note is that there does not seem to be an overabundance of chairs to layout in so do your best to reserve one early by simply placing something on top of it...but do it early - like when you are heading to breakfast.

5) The staff - all the way around they were fantastic. Very, very friendly. We didn't have many needs but the ones we did request were met quickly.

6) Food and beverage - we thought the food for most part was quite good...and we never left a restaurant hungry. The drinks at the bar were great! I never had a bad one...I was very impressed!

7) Lasting impressions - we were blown away with how many returning guests FDR has each week. We met many people who had been coming for 5 years straight or longer. The same week...and they meet up with other families that were at the resort that same first year - and now the kids are growing up with each. We were one of maybe 3 or 4 families that was there for the first time. We met two other families where the kids hit off completely as well as the parents, so we may be starting are own tradition. I better start saving now...

The day of our departure, as my wife and I were hanging out with our new friends and watching our kids play in the water (sipping a FDR Cooler of course) I asked her what she would rate this vacation on a 1 to 10 scale. She said a 7 to 7.5. This was really impressive...reason being is that for almost half of our stay - it rained and rained and rained. This prohibited us from snorkeling, kayaking or going for a glass-bottom boat ride. i think her score would have been closer to coveted 10...but mother nature had other plans. But, in the end it was an amazing time (even with all the rain). Given the total cost of the trip (over 4K for a 4 night stay) we had said this was going to be a one time trip. We don't have to live on a budget, but we feel that is a lot to spend on a 4 night vacation. However, we are giving a return trip some serious consideration...especially if we can meet up with our new friends.

On the last day, almost as we were leaving, I met owner of the resort. A very nice man to say the least. He asked if we had enjoyed everything and I said absolutely!!!

Happy traveling to everyone!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank theswede71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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681 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
USA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2010

This was our third time at FDR and it was the best yet. The food has gotten much better and the service continues to impress. You truly feel like they cannot do enough for you. Our nanny Latasha is the best and we HIGHLY recommend her. Our children ask for her almost daily and they consider her part of our family.

This place is not fancy and at first you may be taken back - there is no large and gorgeous lobby, some of the facilities look a bit rundown (although you are ALWAYS seeing people painting, pruning, cleaning, etc.) but once you get past that (and I have yet to meet anyone that has not!), then you will have one of the best family vacations ever. We truly cannot say enough about FDR. One thing that really impressed us this year is that there was a gentleman in a wheelchair and we started to notice some changes being made around the resort - new concrete being poured, some walkways being made larger. I was talking to his wife and she said that Frank (the owner) was watching how he was able to get around and immediately set to work to ensure he could make it as accessible as possible. I thought this really spoke wonders.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank FamilyTravel1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Island, NY
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2010

Having read up on all the reviews prior to arriving I was pretty sure what to expect. That said, FDR over delivered in almost every area. We were there for 5 days with our two year old and grandparents.
We started with a bit of extended wait for the transfer service to the hotel which was a letdown. The bus people at the airport kept saying it would be there in 5-10 minutes, and an hour later we finally boarded the bus. Once we got the hotel (after about a 70 minute bus ride) we were greeted warmly and shown our room. It was a great 2 bedroom suite right overlooking the beach. It was as close to the ocean as we've ever stayed at any beach resort. Plenty of room for all of us and it was nice that they had child safety gates on the top & bottom of the staircase. We met our nanny who showed us around and then we ate dinner and relaxed.
I'd say we had a bit of awkwardness at first with our nanny as we tried to figure out how the days and activities would play out, but after the first day our daughter and nanny got along great and they'd be running off and doing all kinds of things together. She had an amazing time and it was really all thanks to the nannies and staff there.
They had lots of great activities, both organized and spur of the moment, so it always seemed like there was something going on.
The restaurants and food were all better than I expected. I did wish the breakfast menu would vary a bit more, but otherwise the food was always average-excellent (except one breakfast special they called sausage something, but was just hot dogs in a sauce). The grill was amazing and the guys working it would create whatever it is you'd like to try so we really appreciated that. In general the entire staff would go out of their way to help make things memorable. Whatever we requested could always be done, whether it was a special boat ride, locating an item or just some help with something.
The beach and property were all great. It was perfect for the kids. The bit of rockiness sometimes bothered us, but wasn't a huge issue. And it was easy to get next door and use the nicer beach.
Overall we loved it and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bbbzzzLongIsland_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2010

Excellent suite with impeccable staff and exceptional service! The food was great and drinks out of this world!

Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank rellco40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asheville NC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2010

We were at FDR during Thanksgiving week 2009. Our kids are 2 y.o. and 8 mos. old. We ended up hiring a second nanny (at $20/day -- very reasonable) so the 2 y.o. wouldn't have to be on the baby's nap schedule etc. The nannies (Olecia and Jasmine) were so sweet with the kids, and also very professional in addition to being moms themselves, so I felt very comfortable with our children being in their care.

Service was great -- staff are friendly and attentive to adults and kids alike. This helps create a wonderful, fun family atmosphere. At the same time, it has a great laid-back feel. It was great to be around other families with young kids too.

The only thing I'd change about our week there was the trip we took to Ocho Rios. It took us to a strip mall of tourist stores. We were not in the market for t-shirts and souvenirs. Fortunately, we found an artists' market across the street and a local grocery store nearby so we made the best of our morning there.

We will definitely go back again this year -- it was a great fit for our family!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ashevillemama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2010

Our family traveled to FDR resort in September of 2009 for a 6 night stay. Our party consisted of myself (35), my wife (28) who was 4 months pregnant at the time, and our 18 month old son. From the minute we got off the bus, we were impressed with the beauty of the resort. But we were also given a fairly disappointing welcome. We had booked our trip through www.bookit.com and were given a fantastic rate. The rate turned out to be too good to be true. When we booked the trip, we originally booked to go the FDR Pebbles resort with an all inclusive package. When the Pebbles resort got shut down and condemned in the summer of 2009, we were automatically transferred to the Montego-Bay location, but this time not with an all inclusive package. They called our package the European Package (something they did not advertise). The European Package does not include beverages or meals. We had no idea of the European Package until we arrived and began the check in process. We tried to make the case that we paid for an all inclusive package, which was reflected in all of our bookit.com provided itineraries, but it was no use. The hotel staff was not even willing to allow us to use their phone or check in to our room without paying for a $900 pair of meal/drink packages on top of what we had already paid for. This was a huge let down and really impacted our budget to the point that we had to cancel all of the excursions that we had planned and spent most of the trip confined to the resort. My first day there was pretty much ruined due to the emotional drain that being ripped off for almost a thousand dollars will have on a family. It wasn't until my Nannie took a "field trip" down the beach and returned with presents to help me relax "Jamaican" style that I began to look past the $900 ripoff and see the beauty of the resort.

Speaking of the nanny, just like most every visitor who reviews this place, our nanny was great. Our son truly did enjoy spending time with her, and if she had had any place with air conditioning to take him, we would have easily allowed him to spend the entire day with her. But he was always a sweaty uncomfortable mess who couldn't find a way to relax in the heat of the day long enough to nap, so we would always keep him with us for about half the day when the heat was bad so that he could rest.

Going in September has it's draw back. We almost had the resort to ourselves. There was only one other family with young children there. Everyone else was adults, or adults with teenage or older children. All total, there were only 26 guests or less throughout the entire week. That is great because there are no lines or anything, but the downside is that they cannot afford to dish out the normal capacity accommodations. The meals were limited and recycled again and again because nobody was wanting to eat them. Breakfast was good, and the food at the grill was good, but the buffet dinners were very spotty and hit or miss. Frequently the bar was without a bar tender, a few times I even fixed my own drinks or had to have the manager fix one for me. The night shows were either small, or canceled do to lack of interest. I have heard that they are decent shows, but I wouldn't know because the only night we had the nanny stay late (our anniversary) so that we could go out and enjoy the show they canceled it.

Our room was nice, spacious, but a showed it's age quite a bit. Everything worked, but all the furniture and appliances seemed like something you might haggle over price on at a yard sale. Our room was supposed to be ocean view, but you could only see the ocean from one spot on the front porch, and only if you stood on your tip toes. The gardens around our room were very nice. The master bed room is on the back side of the building, and right behind the building is an area where the staff go to take breaks, sleep, or relax. It was always noisy back there and a few times we were woken up by their songs and laughter ruckus. But we still enjoyed ourselves as much as we could. We probably could have complained to the management about the lack of an ocean view and the noise and perhaps gotten a better room, god knows they had enough empty rooms to spare. But when we asked our nanny about this, she said she could check but doubted that they would move us and that we were in fact in one of the nicer rooms.

We did go in for a couple’s massage, which was expensive, but relaxing. Know before you go though, apparently massages are a bit different than they are back in the states. They offer extra services that were perhaps too exotic for our tastes. We just politely declined and laughed it off and enjoyed the basic massage.

We liked our trip, and have more good memories than bad, but the unexpected meal/drink charge and all the hassle that came with it put a bad taste in my mouth that lingered throughout the trip. The management staff were so uncivil upon our arrival and our dispute over the meal/drink charge, that we didn't want to have to deal with them for the rest of the trip. We really felt that we were given the ocean view room as a punitive measure for being a difficult customer during check in. It makes it difficult to give an objective review of the property. All in all, it was our family trip for the year, and despite the problems with the resort in the off season, we did find that a great value is actually spending time together as a family

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Argyledragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fdrsales, Asst. Sales Manager at Franklyn D Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 10 February 2010
We sincerely apologize to you and your family for any inconvenience experienced during your stay at our property. We do agree that there was some delay in the check-in process due to the fact that we had to verify with your tour provider about your package. After your tour provider confirmed by fax and telephone that you did not pay for the all-inclusive which includes all meals and drinks, we offered you the opportunity to speak with one of their representatives and you declined.

We do apologize that the view of the ocean from your suite was not as good as it should have been but we have trimmed the landscaping to afford visibility and are willing to offer you a complimentary upgrade to an Oceanfront Suite on your next arrival. We also spoke to your Vacation Nanny and she clearly remembers you and spoke fondly about your son who was consistently cheerful and took long naps everyday while you went to lunch or a walk on the beach.

During slow periods, our breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served on an A la Carte basis - freshly prepared always. There were two dinner buffets during your stay and your nanny remembers you enjoying them thoroughly. We pride ourselves in upholding high standards in every area of our resort and we have an excellent safety record and our families are dear to us.

You were right on target when you stated that a manager was serving you at the bar. Past guests will attest to the fact that the Bar Manager is always present at the bar serving his renowned specials and getting to know his guests on a one-to-one basis.

We are a proud family resort with all our amenities, activities and environment founded on the premise of decency. With that said, it must be noted that we do not offer exotic massages and have never done so. We only offer Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy and Swedish Massages.

Franklyn D. Resort & Spa has been around for twenty years and we have been known for our warm and friendly nature, our readiness to assist and exceeding our guest expectations.

We are also pleased to announce that Pebbles Resort reopened on January 27th to a full house and all the guests are very happy.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richland, WA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2010

Our third trip to FDR, after a lay-off of four years, was like coming home again. Our kids, now 7 and 9, remembered where everything was and instantly bonded with our new nanny, Russhell. Occupancy was a little down, which gave this already cozy resort a very intimate feel. The staff, as always, was wonderful and accommodating. Thanks especially to Kervan, Samantha and Sabrina. We look forward to coming back many times!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Zoren55
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
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#3 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Franklyn D Resort & Spa 3.5*
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. One upfront price includes accommodations are in large 1, 2 or 3 bedroom suites with iPOD Docking Stations and DVD Players, Continental, Italian and Jamaican cuisine from a choice of 4 restaurants, top shelf bar, kayaking, snorkelling, tennis, 3 pools, 100' waterslide, separate kids, pre-teens 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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