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“Kids the focus at FDR Pebbles”

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N-Resort All Inclusive For Adults
Reviewed 25 July 2008

Won a 7-night stay at FDR Pebbles from Regis and Kelly and got to take the trip last week. Hubby and I were prepared for kids, kids and more kids (we were childless on this trip) and we weren't disappointed! Vast majority of guests were families and it was very inspiring to see. We saw kids with nannies all day, kids with parents all day, kids splitting time between nanny and parents, teens socializing at teen club activities, teens hanging with parents, everything and anything you could imagine. It all works extremely well at FDR Pebbles, you just go with the flow, it's Jamaica, mon! If you take your kids, you will have lots of opportunities to make friends with other families. Dinnertime in the Oceanside Dining Room usually brought some sort of kid-oriented show, i.e. a fashion show, Little Miss Pebbles contest, limbo, trivia night with families competing for points, etc. Lots of fun! The kids were all so cute and well behaved and were having so much fun, it just put a smile on my face each evening.

Cleanliness isn't a major concern here, the room was made up nicely each day but for instance a gob of hair which had escaped a wastebasket lay on the ground in the middle of our outside stairway for a few days. Quick service is also not an emphasis, it took three calls to the front desk to dispatch a tech to our room to help us with the a/c, but when he got there he couldn't have been friendlier ( You will be asked "Your first time to Jamaica?" by everybody.) Food is decent, very repetitive night after night, day after day, but nothing to complain about. We are simple eaters and we did fine. Complimentary snorkel and glass bottom excursions book up, so get your name on the list at the beach hut a day in advance.

We recommend FDR Pebbles for families! Go and have fun!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tischclan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 July 2008

We returned to FDR Pebbles after last year's wonderful experience. We had a new addition to our 3 and 5 year olds, a 3 months old baby son. We hired an additional nanny and with the help of two nannies had a fantastic, relaxing time! I would recommend our nannies TeriAnn and Trisha. We had TeriAnn last year as well and my kids loved her. She is a mother herself of a young boy and is wonderful, hard working and willing to help. We hired both nannies outside of their regular hours as well. They charge $4 per hour. So it was a paradise, my husband and I relaxed, scuba dived, went kayaking, older kids were happy and the baby was well cared after. I like the luxury of having a personal nanny instead of a camp, it works really well with little children and babies. We also had a junior suite this time, two connecting large room which helped a lot too. We enjoyed the resort, it is prety low key, no frills, which we like. We would definitely return next year again.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank Krupa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2008

Before booking at Pebbles, I read dozens of the other reviews on this site. I just returned from a week there with my wife and kids (son-12, daughter-14). In general, I agree with other reviewers. My entire family had a good time, especially the kids. If I were to go back to a Jamaican AI with my kids, I would probably return to Pebbles.

In case you don’t read any further, here are the most important things I want to say: First, although the drivers are very nice (in particular, Morgan), the transportation arranged by Pebbles is much more expensive than taking a route taxi or a hired driver. For example, my wife and I went to the Martha Brae rafting trip, which is about 10 minutes from the resort. The price using one of the resort’s drivers was $40 round trip (just for the transportation). This was partly because the driver waited for us the entire hour we were on the raft. (This is the only way Pebbles would arrange it.) With a little leg work, you could probably take a route taxi for under $10. (A route taxi is similar to a bus in that it more-less follows a particular route and you share it with others.) Later in the week, I walked out the front gate at Pebbles and waited only 3 minutes before catching a route taxi into Falmouth (about 10 minutes away) for $1 US. Second, don’t be afraid to leave the resort and mix and mingle with the locals. After my first few days there, I sensed a real “us and them” mentality between the guests, behind the resort’s fence, and the locals, outside. In order to experience the “real” Jamaica, I went into Falmouth and roamed around and had lunch. I saw only 2 other people that were obvious tourists. I felt safe. Over the course of about 2 hours, I was approached by only 1 person requesting a handout. (To provide a little context, note that I am a white male.) I also went to the Bamboo Village, but because I had already purchased my souvenirs elsewhere, I wasn’t shopping. However there was a vendor who had a look that I thought personified Jamaica, and I respectfully requested a picture. Initially, he wanted me to buy something in exchange for a picture, but I instead offered to buy him a Red Stripe. We ended up shooting the [--] at the Bamboo Village bar for about 20 minutes drinking our Red Stripes with another vendor. They were extremely friendly. (And yes, they let me take a couple of pictures.)

Ok, now for the other stuff:

Food: As many other reviewers have said, we found the food to be pretty average. Fortunately, my son, who is an extremely picky eater, was able to subsist on grilled cheese sandwiches and fries while we were there. The highlights of the week were: the jerk pork at the poolside grill; the beach barbeque (just once during the week we were there). The Jamaican food night in the Main Dining Room looked promising but we already had plans to go out to Nazz in Falmouth. (More on this later). The Jamaican and Italian restaurants were ok, but note that they aren’t open every night.

Staff: Everyone was friendly and eager to please. Due to the age of our kids, we didn’t really use our nanny except when my wife and I left the resort for a few hours. Shane the teen coordinator was great. He works hard to ensure the kids have fun.

Teen activities: every morning in the game room, there was a long list of activities scheduled for the teens that day. However, a fair number of the activities didn’t actually take place. I had read this in other reviews and was a little concerned that the resort wasn’t offering the activities they advertised and that my kids might get bored. After having been there, I now understand that not all of the organized activities take place because the kids were happy just to hang out in the pool, at the beach, or in the game room. Also, since we were there off-season, there were fewer kids. In more crowded times perhaps there would be more willing participants for more of the activities. For the older kids (in our case 12 and up), the best part of the resort is that it’s small enough that you can let them roam around on their own yet it’s big enough to offer plenty to do (whether organized or not.) And as I mentioned above, Shane, the teen coordinator, was great.

Excursions: The Falmouth Historical Tour: a good intro to Falmouth. Despite what other reviewers have said, I thought the stop at the grocery store was worthwhile, especially if you need something. Plus, it’s next to a Juicy Patty restaurant, which you MUST try. (I recommend the beef and cheese.) White River Tubing trip: my kids did this as a teen activity and everyone liked it so much they offered it again. This time our entire family went. It was a lot of fun and very scenic. Martha Brae Rafting: this is not a tour organized by Pebbles. It’s a relaxed ride on a 30’ long bamboo raft with just you & your loved one, with a captain piloting the raft and describing the flora and fauna. My wife and I enjoyed it. There are a couple of “jungle bars” along the way to buy refreshments and souvenirs. At the end of the trip, you will have an opportunity to buy a calabash shell artfully carved by your captain. He can personalize it for you right there on the spot. Others: we hired a private driver to take us to YS Falls and the Black River Safari. The falls were fun and very scenic. The rope swing was a blast. The Black River Safari was less interesting. We saw a few crocodiles. On our last night (Saturday), my wife and I went into Falmouth with another couple for dinner at Nazz. The food was good. We sat outside on the patio and watched the Falmouth night life. After dinner, we went upstairs to the night club and had the place to our selves. Apparently, it doesn’t start filling up until 10:00 at the earliest, with many revelers arriving after midnight. Too late for us. And last, we hooked up with Cockpit Country Adventure Tours (www.stea.net/ccat.htm). This is an ecotourism company that offers various tours in Cockpit Country, which is a couple of hours south of Pebbles. Another guest and I went on their Quashie River Sink Cave Exploration tour. This tour if for the truly adventurous only. Just getting to the cave entrance was a challenge: you must descend a steep ravine using a couple of ladders bolted into the hillside. The cave itself is fairly scenic. You will get wet. Afterward, you can swim in a great swimming hole. The drive down to Albert Town (where our tour originated) was quite scenic, passing through many small towns. Again, another way to see more of the “real” Jamaica. We used the Pebbles driver Morgan to drive us down there, but if you can arrange to use an outside driver, you may be able to get down there more cheaply than the $80 it cost us. However, I will say that Morgan is a good driver who knows a lot about that area and an all-around nice guy.

Mosquitoes: During the day, it was too windy for the mosquitoes to be a bother. However, at night, the wind was calm. My wife ended up with a few dozen bites, and I ended up with only a few (which is typical for us). Note that we did not use the netting at night when we slept. Next time, we won’t make that mistake.

Some tips: If you want Guinness in addition to Red Stripe, your nanny will stock it in your room upon request. The resort bars don’t have it...Bring some 16 oz plastic beverage cups. The cups the bar will typically give you for mixed drinks are quite small...Bring lots of $1 bills for tipping. We brought 100 of them and went through them all...Each adult in your party should bring a blue or black pen for filling out the immigration form on your flight into JA. Also, fill out both the top and bottom of the immigration form before arriving at the Mo Bay airport. (The flight attendants on our flight said we need to fill out only the top; that was incorrect.)

So in summary, if you have kids, tweens, or teens and want a relaxed vacation, Pebbles is a good choice. If you’re feeling adventurous, make some excursions off the property to experience the “real” Jamaica.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank ViennaVA4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AsstSales, Sales & Reservations Manager at N-Resort All Inclusive For Adults, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2008

Thank you very much for the wonderful review of the FDR Pebbles Resort. It was truly our pleasure hosting you and your family and are truly happy that you and your family enjoyed your stay with us and do hope you will be returning very soon. Your review was both complimenting and eye-opening and we will strive to make your main conerns/dislikes our top priority. You ventured outside the resort which encourage most of our guests to do and found the real Jamaica. We hope that you have not only taken back the memories of your vacation inside the resort but the memories outside the resort as well.

We'll stay in touch as we do with all our past guests.

Love and Sunshine,
Asstsales

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2008

If you lived on the East Coast with kids and loved the sun and sand, there is NO excuse to not visit here every holiday you get!!! This resort concept/business model/holiday idea/whatever whatever of "vacation nanny" (particularly on a beach vacation) will change the way you think of holidaying!

Having traveled widely in developed as well as developing countries, our experience has always been that while the system is perfected in the developed, the people and service is closer to impeccable at closer to affordable in the developing countries.

Overall (Room/Infrastructure) - Yes, the water is luke warm (but you are in Jamaica, mon!), the grout on the bathroom tiles are spread like my 3-year-old's painting, there are bugs in the gardens (and in your room if you don't keep your doors closed diligently), there is not too much "storage" space for a family of 4, the massage-by-the-sea table has bird poop on it, the (included) drinks are pretty watered-down (we could not distinguish between plain pineapple juice and one supposedly with vodka in it), the (included) historic tour is watered-down as well (from a seasoned traveler's perspective), the (FREE!!) snorkel trip is not as funtastic as in Cayman, the front desk staff is completely inefficient (did not know the exact cost of tours, was not sure of how much had already been charged to our card, and what balance to charge at check-in, did not even have our request for one of two specific nannies we had read abt on this forum) and what not....BUT, BUT, BUT....

If you have even one single kid and have ever thought "gee, how can I/we have fun and be sure our kids are having fun too, and we can all have fun together when its convenient, and we can continue to have fun when its not so convenient for any one of us in the party" - this place will answer your prayers!

Food - We are vegetarian and the chef went wayyy out of his way to ensure we were well-fed (when DD rejected his made-from-scratch mac n cheese, he ordered someone to bring *eight* boxes of Kraft from the town, and guess what the kids ate *everyday* for four days?) Of course the taste may not suit everyone's palate but I enjoyed it. The tropical fruits are to die for!! The pineapple and papaya - phenomenal!! The dinner by the poolside as well as the one on the beach (esp the latter) were *really* cool! (It was all the more enjoyable knowing DS was happily asleep in the room :))

Nanny - Sheryl was our nanny. She was very soft spoken, asked good questions about the kids and their schedules/preferences etc on the first day and stayed close to us without crowding. She made sure my daughter brushed her hair and teeth *well* before going to bed, both always a struggle. There - enough to give her five stars.

On nights when we were out with either or neither kids, she would sit in the dark, manage to stay awake, and watch the kids very attentively... I doubt that if I did all the work she did during the day, that I can sit in the dark for over five minutes and stay awake!! Brilliant!!!

Our 1-year old kept his schedule, our 3.5 year old switched to a really relaxed Jamaican kinda schedule, daddy kept his active, fit routine going, and mommy had her elaxation (body and mind) knowing everything was cool, mon!

Sheryl was also the housekeeper - bringing in the extra pillows, making the beds, stocking the fridge, cleaning the shower (that one activity though took her over an hour!) and most imp - sweeping the floors every evening (otherwise we might have had an indoor beach everyday!) She also made sure the chef had the vegetarian food, and mac n cheese going every meal (though she would walk all the way across the property to do this, than call them - guess she deserved the break from us ;))

We took her on our trip to Dunns River Fall and she watched the kids very carefully as they played at the beach for the 2+ hours we hiked (??!!) up. We asked her to stay 4 of the 5 nights we were there till about 9-10 PM. On our last day there (heading out to the Caymans - with *no* nanny), we were scrambling to see if we can book Sheryl a flight ticket as well - unfortunately she needed a visa to visit CI! Bummer.

Other Staff - Manager always greeted guests personally, remembered information from our conversation to the next meeting, restaurant and bar staff are very, very patient with guests, snorkel staff - very fun, tennis coach - patient as well, front desk staff - totally inefficient.

Tips/Info -

Don't bother bringing sand toys. There is a TON out there. Also soccer ball and the like. They were supposed to have cricket on a couple of mornings, but no one knew why it was not happening... They also have pool floats and life vests for the kids (I guess guests just left some behind).

Ice cream (only vanila and coconut during our entire stay) and pop corn at the poolside grill (though quite sad) are available till 11.

Call ahead to request microwave and coffeemaker if you need. Speak directly with the manager, not with front desk!

The wireless Internet connection was pretty good, but no one ended up working anyways!! ;)

Take a ton of $1 bills and quite a few $5 and $10 bills to tip at the resort and outside (you will not be permitted to venture out on your own. We arranged with our driver Patrick during our historic tour to take us to Dunns and see the Trelawny stadium the following day).

The immigration line at the airport is really lonnnnnnnnnnnng. If you are lucky and your tired/ hungry /frustrated-after-10-hours-on-a-plane child screams his/her lung out like mine did, they will move you forward in the queue ;)

Relax, enjoy and have fun - if possible, plan your next trip already ;)

For the West Coast folks though - I'd consider that Hawaii trip instead... (or even Asia!!)

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with family
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Thank sunnyvale_dude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2008

If you don't have high expectations for the service/food and want to find a place to spend vacation with small children this resort might be very good for you.
We have 2 children 3- and 6- year old. They spent wonderful time at the resort
The best from our vacation experience is the nanny. Her name was Monique. She took care of kids and our kids loved her. It was nice to know that our kids have fun with Monique when they didn't see us.
This resort is intended for small kids. They have plenty of activities in kids club which is open from 9 am to 10 pm. There is a portion of the pool for very small children, life jackets, toys to play in sand, nice beach virtually without any waves, bouncer in the sea (very close to the beach), children hight table to pick up food in the buffet, etc.
Things to improve:
- service (e.g. you could wait for drink for a long time), although if you ask anything at the front desk they are trying to give to you as soon as they can
- restaurant's hours are not too children friendly and food is eatable, but mediocre (in my opinion). It is open for breakfast at 7:30 am (and they always were late to open it, for example, at 7:50 am), our children wake up at 6 am and the fact that they have a small refrigerator didn't help for our kids, our kids like hot/warm food for breakfast. For lunch restaurant is open at 12:30, my 3 year old son usually takes nap at that time and it is late for him to have lunch. Surely resort management says that grill is open before, but this is junk food, they cold not offer salad or fruits even though I asked the management a couple of times; for dinner is open at 6:30 pm, which is late for our kids and on the top of that they have disco for the kids of our age at 7 pm. And if they say 6:30 pm it usually means 6:40 - 6:45 pm. And if you want your kids go to the disco they would need to finish eating in 5-10 minutes.
If you want to go out to eat I highly recommend a place called Cool spot. This is Jamaican restaurant 10-15 minutes ride on taxi.
- Don't ever go to historical tour which is offered for free. It is waist of time. The guide knows nothing.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank amedvedovski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2008

We just got back from our week long stay at FDR Pebbles in Jamaica. It was awesome, the nanny service was EXCEPTIONAL......Our nanny was KARI-ANN, and if you're booking now ask for her...she was the best.....This was our first trip with our son who is 3 years old, we chose this resort because of the nanny service. It was a great experience, my husband and I usually go to Sandles, so I knew this wasn't going to be high end, but it wasn't as bad as i had orginally thought. The rooms are very clean, my only problem w/ them is that they have pine walls which makes the room dark. The food is plenty and ok, they have something for everyone. The staff is very friendly and courtious.......Jakob loved his nanny and she took excellent care of him. She seemed to be a no nonsence nanny but friendly at the same time.........he wasn't getting away with anything with her. the first couple of days i tried to get him to nap and he wouldn't for me, the third day i asked her to try and she had no problem, after that she put him down for his naps every day. Some little tips we found out about are that if you're sending the nanny to eat w/ your kids, they are not allowed to eat the food unless you go the the front desk and request a food voucher for her. Ours didn't tell us this, another couple did, I guess they are not allowed to mention it. We tipped her $100 and had her stay 3 nights which we gave her a great tip, they make so little and can be off of work for a month at a time if the hotel is not busy enough. Alot of them have little ones, so if you can leave toys and medicine it is appreciated. Ours had a 2yr old boy, so we left alot of Jake's books and medicine. Will definately be going back.........

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank reubenNovaScotia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2008

This was our second trip to Pebbles and we are already talking about going next year! We had a fabulous time! We had the same nannie that we had last year, Arlyne. She was WONDERFUL! She is happy to do whatever the children want to do and keeps them happy and taken care of! We have a 2 yr. old and a 6 month old and she was able to accomodate both children so my husband and I had some "alone" times ourselves! The many activites Arlyne did with the kids included, making bracelets, hunting for seashells and crabs on the beach, taking the kids to the petting zoo, feeding them dinner, face painting, dancing, putting them to bed and hanging out in the room while they took naps so I didn't have too!!! It was an awesome vacation for everyone....we all got a break from our lives at home! I would highly recommend this hotel for people with children under the age of 5 or 6.....the activities are more based for this age group. The accomendations are not similar to a five star hotel in any way, but, it's clean and the nannies and staff make up for the lack of new and polished hotel rooms and lobbies. We had an ajoining room so the kids were in one side and we had the other.....which was perfect for the nights we didn't have the nanny stay after with the kids. Each room has a balcony so that is another great feature! If you are looking for a fun, safe, relaxing place for you and your young children, call Pebbles and request Arlyne for your nanny! Hope you have fun!!!
Jenn
Medina, OH

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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Thank jadam242003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about N-Resort All Inclusive For Adults

Address: Falmouth, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Trelawny Parish > Falmouth
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) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Falmouth
Price Range: £162 - £234 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 96
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Also Known As:
n-Resort All Inclusive For Adults Hotel Falmouth
Fdr Pebbles Falmouth
Fdr Pebbles Jamaica
Fdr Resorts
N-Resort All Inclusive For Adults Trelawny Parish, Jamaica - Falmouth

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