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“Returnees!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Franklyn D Resort & Spa

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Franklyn D Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Main Street, Runaway Bay 99999, Jamaica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Returnees!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

As the above states we are return guests to this hotel. I think this last time was our 7th! We have kids, 13,9,3 and 2. This is the only place where we get a vacation as well. When you take your kids to Disney or another resort , you are just parents in a different place. We get to linger over coffee at breakfast as the kids take off with their nannies or to the teen room as soon as they can. We eat lunch with our little ones and then we always have our nannies stay and have dinner with us (on Jamaican and beach nights) and then on the other nights we have dinner...with adult only conversations!

Now some parents might read this and think, that we are bad parents for not spending all our time with our kids on vacation. I cant help that opinion, but for those parents who like to have a life outside their children as well sometimes ( face it at home , you are always together), then FDR is a great place to Experience some adult freedom.

Our two older children, love it here and as soon as we arrive, they are gone! They know their way around and where to get their drinks from. We still get our 9 year old a Nanny, as she loves her Sharlene! They are both high energy and full of fun. Our teenager, on the last 3 trips, has been basically wrapped up in the teen program from the moment we get there! She gets up early to go have breakfast with friends she meets each time she goes. The teen co-ordinator walks the teens home at night to make sure they get to their rooms safely, if we are not still at the bar.

We get 2 Nannies for the boys , to allow them to do things at their level. Carmelina and Coretta are so great with them. We have had all our nannies before, as we do request them ahead of time, we have only missed not having Coretta once. We have also had Shawn as well and she was great with the kids. If there is anything I can say to a new FDR visitor, don't be afraid to let go of the kids. These ladies, are so attentive and caring and loving that you do not have to worry about the safety of your kids. We have had our kids there from as early as 6 months and it is great!

I have read many of the reviews and yes there are short comings with anyplace you go, but they really do try and fix anything and everything you ask them to.

I think many of the US and Cdn travellers need to remember is THIS IS NOT HOME!! There is cultural differences. I read one review complaining about having to wait for food. The ONLY place I have ever had to wait a long time for food is at the grill, btwn 12-130! Everyday, it is busy with the lunch rush. These guys work like crazy to get the food out. Relax, put your order in and go get a drink! Come back 20 min later, you can see the grill from the bar! What we do now is get there before the rush, or wait until after. 10 min to get lunch which is good eating from here. I see so many people getting so frustrated on the time thing.....YOU ARE ON VACATION!! Relax, you will not starve or be hungry ever at FDR! Sometimes the omlet bar and pasta bar are a bit backed up, but again when there 200 people in the rush time you expect to wait. Sit down, get a coffee or whatever, wait for the line to die down and get what you want!!

I wanted to address the tips. We do tip here and there, $1-2 at the bar, a few times a day. Leave $5 at dinner. Nothing big, but we learned was, just so some simple courtesy, it's was the way you respected them! If you want to have great time and service in any Carribean island treat the staff with respect. Not like some kind of servant put there to serve your every need! Greet them , say HI, how are you?, thank you very much, hey I see you are really busy! Acknowledge them as if they are humans. I take our Nannies fruit smoothies when I get my drink at the bar! At first they used to look panicked, but I quickly let them know I wanted to do it!! I take my lunch plate and cups back to the dinning area so they are not around the pool area! I know we are on vacation, but really you cant take your beer mug back up with you to the bar, when you go to get yourself another!!!???? Common decency really gets you treated well! Secondly, what is wrong with tipping, it happens at every all-inclusive resorts all over the world, so why it is such a taboo thing at this resort on these reviews. If you can afford to fly and stay at FDR you can afford to throw a few dollars at the staff. It makes a difference to them in their life.

As all most all the reviews state...this is not a 5 star hotel....so if you want a butler and someone to be falling all over you calling you Sir or Ma'am then don't go here! If you want to be treated like a member of the family, getting to the know staff by first name and feeling comfortable with them giving you a fun hard time about not participating in the morning run, or tennis or ring toss and having them come by and sit on the end of your lounge chair and chat and make sure you are okay and having fun AND try and learn a bit about their lives...then this is the place for you!

We go there to feel comfortable and calm and relaxed! In my opinion, you wont find a better place to go as a family, spend time together and spend time apart to re-group, re-energize and feel like you were on vacation !!!

Room Tip: Ground floor is what we prefer. We have stayed in many different rooms, our Fav was 24 it is a 3 be...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

We recently came back from FDR. It was not our first time visiting Jamaica but the first time there so i know what to compare it to. I have to say in all it was an great experience. We met people who have used the resort 12 and 18 times! I start with this because the problems I will list should not deter people from using the resort assuming it is taken care off.

The Bad:

1. Water – The bathroom shower has a trickle. Literally. It was torture taking shower, let alone for me and my family of 5. This by far was the worst problem. Though they tried to fix it, it was not.

2. Service – The service was off and on. Resort staff at the bar and restaurant made it very clear that those who tipped got served. Knowing Jamaican medium income it almost created a resentment in me because it seemed like the attitude was “your American and can afford it” rather than “Your American and we appreciate you spending your money here” . I would rather tip out of service not requirement. However I have to also state that once I accepted that my vacation got better. I would have rather known that going in.
Also Speed – The speed in which you got a simple sandwich or drink was ridiculous (which resulted in large tips). We once waited over 1 hour for a meal that was the size of frozen food inner. The excuse was that the chef was busy. We also waited for a drink that took 45 minutes. The excuse again – the bartender was busy. It seems one chef and one or two bartenders handle the whole resort. Not good when the resort is full.
3. TV – The tv’s were small and the reception was horrible for the kids stations. Normally this would not be a complaint but in 8 days the kids need down time and with prices as cheap as they are or TV’s – get bigger ones – at least 21 inches.

4. The bus/van travel. In Jamaica it costs $1.25 to take a cab. We had to negotiate $80.00 to go about 15 miles with everyone in one car (they started with $155!). The was steep and I felt that not only did I have no choice, but that it was the one of many ways they get tourists. I have money. I do well. But I don’t like to be “got” – unrelated but as a further example At the airport they charged $6.00 for a stick of gum. $6.00!

5. Food – hit or miss. It was obvious they were reusing 1-2 day old food. I would see the refried beans served days prior for dinner show up at breakfast as If it was a delicacy. Really? To Get an omelet in the morning took easy 30 minutes with only 1-2 people in front of you. (the omelet problem I blame on low propane pressure the. It seems there gas is even weaker than the showers

If this resort can get people not to feel ‘gotten’ – e.g. tips, cab fare, food and fix their water pressure and TV’s they would be the premiere resort of the Caribbean. I go to relax but these problems pull you back to reality. However if posed with would I recommend it? I would say if I knew they were working on these issues, because again, the good does outweigh the bad.

The Good:
1. Nanny - I can’t say enough. It’s genius and they are happy to help. We had Selena. She is a star. When I asked her if she would be OK working New Year’s night – she said yes. When I asked her what she would be doing had she not been working with us on New Year’s – her response was “be in Church”. She got me right in the heart. Later I asked her if she was hungry, she said a little. I asked her if I could get her some food. She said She must follow the rules. I said what if I bring left overs back to the room. She said, she wouldn’t feel right because she appreciates rules. That was priceless. I had no problem trusting her with my kids. Selena was amazing. Ask for her if you go, but no if I’m going because I will have to arm wrestle you for her.

2. Location – Unbelievable – it’s a small beach but what a location. Gorgeous. Picturesque. I absolutely love going out on the pier and feeding the fish. In all my travels – I have to say this location was among the top 5.

3. Food – When it was on time, and fresh – they could do no wrong. Plus the servers (once tipped) were super – super accommodating. They greeted you with a smile and constantly filled your drinks

4. Kids activities – Amazing . My kids want to move to Jamaica

5. Scuba Diving – Christian, Fruity and Dave are the best. Too good. My son who scuba dived for the first time will ask me no less than once a week to go back. We literally trained him in the pool and were diving in the ocean and feeding fish with a 2 hour period. I have gone out with professionals that take that long to get ready.

6. Certain Staff members – they all stand out but some better than the rest – again once you tip – they will go above and beyond to help you.

7. Massage – OMG. I have had few in my life – but this was mesmerizing – she really took me to a different world. It seriously was an out of body experience. The trip is worth that alone.

8. The grounds – always clean – the plants, flowers, tress and vegetation was better breathtaking. I was taking pictures of that alone.

Here is the thing; If I go to other resorts I have opulence but I have to hire a nanny and worry about the kids. You get the opposite here. But if they changed certain things you could have the best of both worlds.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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, January 10, 2014
Thank you for your detailed review following your recent stay with us. We appreciate your comments about the nanny, the amenities and the facilities.

There is always an abundance of food here at FDR and there is no restriction whatever on the amount of servings any family wishes at any meal. There were lots of Buffets at Breakfast, lunch and dinner during the period of your stay and we tried to ensure that there were lots of choices at every meal, plus snacking at the grill all day until 10pm.

We do apologize for the lack of water pressure and hot water on New Year’s eve- Our records indicate that there was a problem with the shower downspout and this was fixed right away and no other problems of this nature were reported from this room thereafter.

The taxi drivers are independent contractors and their rates are set by their Association. The rates reflect the miles for the trip as well as the waiting time. For example: a tour may include up to 3 hours of waiting time, while the distance may only be 15 miles return. The Front desk receptionists try to work out less costly options to pass on good savings for the families wishing to go on tours.

We have never had a problem here with staff needing tips to provide excellent service. We will however,pay immediate and careful attention to ensure that this does not become a problem.

We do regret that you found some of our services less than satisfactory and rest assured that we will endeavor to be worthy of your future support.
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Clarksburg, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

Maybe we just had some bad luck, but during our stay we had multiple issues. I don't typically write reviews, but I felt it was important to share our experience with others.

When we arrived at the resort around dinner time, we were welcomed graciously to our room. Although the rooms were very warm, we assumed that was a simple thermostat adjustment to fix. Unfortunately the front air conditioning unit didn't cool the room, so we reported this to the front desk the next morning who promptly had maintenance come to the room. They came to the room, but in fixing the air conditioning, this caused a constant water drip on the floor, and maintenance reported they didn't have the tools to fix the leak until the next day.

Also, although the resort was well aware we were traveling with 3 and 5 year old children, our 2 bedroom oceanfront suite only had showers, and no bathtub. In our first room, we never had hot water. Occasionally we had slightly warm water, and other times it was very cold. Due to having a dripping air conditioner, no bathtub, and no hot water, we requested a room change. Although they had multiple rooms available after checkout, only one had a tub. If you are traveling with children that take a bath (as most of us do) please make sure you check with the resort to make sure you get a bathtub in your room.

They were able to find a different room in a different building (with the hope of consistent hot water), but this room also had a front air conditioner that didn't work. With the assistance of our nanny (who stood in front of the front desk reminding them to get it fixed) it was eventually fixed and ready for us 6 hours later. Although this second room did have a tub, there was only cold water in the tub. The sink and other shower sometimes had hot water, but this was not consistent. I had to fill the tub with jugs from the sink warm water to give my children a bath each night. We spoke to multiple other families who confirmed that they only had hot water sometimes. I must admit that expecting luxuries such as a bathtub, working air conditioning, and hot water seemed reasonable. Needless to say, my wife and family were not very pleased by this.

Food: This was very hit or miss. Sometimes the food (especially the local dishes) were quite tasty. Other times we couldn't even cut the meat with a knife it was so tough. Even the kids buffet was very hit or miss. They apparently take fresh ingredients to make pizza, and then put it in the microwave. One time they must have left it in too long because it was hard as a rock. And then that same grill area served me a tasty jerk pork wrap. The breakfast was consistently good- especially the omelette/egg station. The Italian adult only restaurant was not good, and the Jamaican adult only restaurant was outstanding one night and very mediocre the next with soup that tasted like water. They have the potential to have great food, with some minor adjustments and probably better management.

Grounds: The grounds, pool, and beach area were great for what we needed. I have no complaints.

Staff: Every staff member (with the exception of the slow fixes to our room situation) we encountered were excellent. They were truly wonderful people.

Nanny: Our nanny, Natalie, was absolutely fantastic. I think the nanny experience is the one shining area of this resort, and that goes for every nanny we saw.

It is true that the owner of the resort is there daily, and loves children. Hopefully he will read this review and make the necessary adjustments to make a mediocre resort fantastic.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with small make sure you request a room with a bathtub
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, January 6, 2014
We appreciate your feedback following your recent stay with us.

We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences experienced. The owner has since taken action to correct our short comings following your departure on December 7, 2013.

Our new Executive Chef has been well received and the food has improved drastically. An Engineer has also been employed to oversee the Maintenance Department. New A/C units have been installed in many of our Suites and each room block has been equipped with additional solar water heaters to prevent any further hot water issues.

Thank you for your kind comments about our staff and facilities and we look forward to hosting your family again in the near future.
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New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

We just returned from a 4 day stay at the FDR. I'll start with our first night, but keep reading, it does get better.
After arriving near 5pm we were told our room wasn't ready. This was frustrating; after traveling all day, you just want to kick off the jeans and put on the flip flops.
We were guided to the grill near the beach and told that someone would come get us when the room was ready. We ordered a drink and at that moment a toddler at the table next to us decided to throw a screaming tantrum. To pacify the child, the bartender put a radio on the counter and played, really loud, the soundtrack from the Smurfs. For a minute I thought I had died and gone to hell.
We eventually returned to the front desk to inquire about our room, as nobody had come to get us as promised.
We were led to a room that had a lovely view of the basket ball court, with the tennis court on the other side. Surely this wasn't the 'ocean view' room we had booked? I was told that unless it says 'ocean front', then views can include courtyard or pool view. This is extremely mis-leading!!

After looking at our room, which had: a clock that didn't work, a television from the 70's, an over-flowing toilet, no tub, broken coffee pot,and white plastic curtains, a hard 'bed' in the living room (I am not even kidding….it was unbelievably AWFUL). I went to request a different room and was told that something may be available the next day. We are not picky people, but when you are paying over 600$/nt on a room, THIS wasn't what we were paying for!!!
This was room 10A. Don't let them try to put you in there!
Fast forward to the next day, 4pm, we are moved to another room and can finally unpack!
This room was MUCH better. It had a separate bedroom, lots of space, a lovely balcony overlooking a lush courtyard, and if you turned your head, you could see the ocean. It was much quieter as it was away from the basketball court and pool. The air conditioning was rattly, and one of the bathrooms had a funky odor, but it was a huge improvement nonetheless.

Now things look up.
Our Nanny, Dena, was super. We immediately felt comfortable around her, and our 8 year old daughter was very excited to go and play with 'her Nanny'. She was great about keeping her sunscreen on, keeping hydrated, and all those things moms worry about. We have never had a stranger care for our daughter but upon meeting her, it was just one of those feelings that it was all GOOD, and it was! They made tie dye shirts, played in the sand, went in the water, Dena even went on the water slide, b/c our daughter was begging her to! They danced at the beach party, and even participated in GOAT RACES! How cool is that! She kept our 'fridge stocked with snacks, and was right next to our daughter the whole time. If you want your Nanny to be able to eat though, while on the clock, you will need to write a note to the supervisor saying it is ok. This seemed strange to me. Why does the Nanny need 'permission' to eat with the family? It felt a little degrading. You can have the Nanny stay later, after 4:30pm, for 7$ an hour. (Make sure to tip her, it is well deserved)! We did this one night and ate at the Overproof.

Food: The Jamaican buffet on Saturday night was the best. Everything we tried was excellent.
The Overproof restaurant was nice too. This, and the Italian restaurant are adults only and on the other side of the resort, where it is more quiet. There is a long pier there, you can walk to the end and look up at the stars. I recommend it!

Pool: I didn't like the fact that by 8:30am, all of the chairs were 'claimed' and yet nobody was around. If you are at the pool and need to leave, sure, save your chair, but don't come to the pool, put a book on a chair, then leave and return hours later. That's not right.
The pool itself, was nice. Right next to the bar so you can sit and keep an eye on your kids and enjoy a drink. The little slide seemed fun for the kids, but the BIG water slide was the most fun. Our daughter loved it and was content to slide the day away. Garfield was attending the slide and he was really nice, took the time to learn your name, and had a playful attitude with the kids.

Beach: The beach is very small, the water is shallow. Lots of sand toys. Perfect for small children. If you want a big typical Caribbean beach, go next door to Cardiff hall beach. You have to sign out to go, and there are no chairs for you, but no big deal. If you walk far down the beach, there are local vendors and you can buy your Jamaican souvenirs here-some legal, some illegal. I was upset to see black coral rings being sold, and bracelets made from sea-turtle shells. FYI, you aren't allowed to bring these thru customs, so please don't buy them and support killing turtles for jewelry.
You can't access the beach early morning or late night. There is a padlocked gate keeping you OFF the beach. Bummer! No sunrise or late night beach walks for you! I think the hours are from 7am-6pm. Or close to that.

Staff: 98% of the staff here were SO friendly and kind. The best part of this resort are the people who work here. Ask Marsha to make your daughter a bracelet with her name on it. It is well worth 5$.

General: The resort is nothing fancy, but mostly well maintained. I wish the lighting was more controlled. It is bright and shines out everywhere, with those new 'environmentally friendly lightbulbs'. There is a swing set near the kids club, a covered out-door area where they do crafts with the kids, (really fun tie die shirts, bracelets, et.), the aforementioned basketball court, and tennis court. There is a small fish pond and a rabbit hutch, the kids can feed both fish and rabbits.
The pool, bar, Verandah restaurant, grill, are all together near the water. The bar has a nice section where you can have a drink and look out over the sea.
Because the resort is small, you can usually hear the night time entertainment wherever you are, but it is over by 10:30 I think. Also, as this is a child friendly resort, you may hear screaming children at early morning hours, so that quiet cup of coffee on the balcony isn't a given.

Would we go back? Probably not. In the words of our daughter, it was 'A dream come true'…..she had an absolute blast. We got some quality adult time, family time, plenty of food and relaxation. The main reason we probably won't return is only because we don't have young children. I really think this place is PERFECT for those with kids under 5. For us, we have one child, and now that she's older, I prefer to not be surrounded by other peoples small children while on vacation.

Recommended improvements for resort:
1. Have the room ready at check-in! Travelers want to unwind, and are tired after traveling. Having the room READY makes all the difference.
2. Get rid of that bright light behind the entertainers. The light should aim AT the entertainers, not at the audience. A small thing yes, but it would make such a difference. And put shades on the lights to control where it shines. Light should point down. Not out everywhere.

Know before you go:
'Soon' can mean anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours in Jamaica, lol!

Room Tip: Avoid 10A. We had 126A and it was up high and quiet. We liked it.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, January 13, 2014
Thank you for sharing your review about your recent stay with us.

We regret that you encountered the short comings aforementioned during your stay and for this we apologize.

Your visit was during our peak period and on the day of your arrival December 26, 2013; there were no other 1 Bedroom Suites available. Our ground floor Suites on Block 6 have a lot of flexibility with easy access to the Kids Club, tennis and pool area. These Suites are also very popular for persons with infants or who are unable to climb stairs.

The bathtub in the Suite you were relocated to was recently sprayed prior to Christmas which may have caused the scent in the Kids room of your Suite.

We only have two room Categories. The suite you reserved which is an “Ocean view suite” has a view of the ocean from the balcony, while the Beachfront Suites are located right on the beach.

We have been replacing the older televisions with 32 inch LED TV’s. We have successfully been adding 18 new TV’s monthly and should complete this project by the middle of March 2014.

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We certainly hope that you will afford us the opportunity to exceed your expectations during a future stay with us.
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Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

My husband and I just returned from an amazing holiday at FDR (Nov 29-Dec 8) with our two young kids. I am a stay-at-home mom with a 3 1/2 year old daughter and very busy 1 year old son, so we were looking for a holiday that would be a true vacation and not just a re-location. I am happy to report that FDR delivered and that I actually got my much-needed vacation and was able to turn off for a while. Here is my review, it is long but I tried to break it down and comment on all the things that I was looking for when I was doing my research...

Weather (Nov 29-Dec 8) - This was our first trip to Jamaica and the temperature was around 30C everyday. In the evening a summer dress was comfortable, I usually carried a light sweater but never put it on. There were a couple times that it poured rain, but it only lasted for about an hour and there were umbrellas provided.

Dress - We call this a "barefoot resort", you can wake up and put your swimsuit on, a cover-up and maybe shoes, then you head to breakfast, in the evenings a casual summer dress or even shorts or pants are fine.

Rooms - They are clean and comfortable in a cottage kind of way. We had a 2 room pool view which had to bedrooms and a kitchen. Each bedroom had its own ensuite. Neither bathroom had a tub but our nanny got us a baby tub and my daughter took showers. I believe that some rooms have bathtubs. The room also had two entrances so when my son was asleep we just used the kitchen entrance to come and go and that was really convenient.
The ground floor room worked really well for us, but the crickets are quite loud from pretty much dusk until dawn and although our son loved it, we spoke to some guests who were light sleepers and they preferred to sleep on an upper level.

Nurse - While we were there both of our kids and my husband got sick (our home pediatrician thinks we likely took the bug with us). Over the course of a few days we saw quite a bit of the nurse and had a few visits with the doctor. The costs for the doctor and medications added up, we have travel medical insurance and I highly recommend that you don't travel without it. Our kids are totally fine now and the illnesses did not ruin the trip like they could have in a traditional resort setting. I had two sick kids and had extra sets of hands to help, plus a nurse available 24hrs. I might have been up a lot of the night but I could rest the next day, it actually worked out quite well for all of us :)

Nannies - Amazing, of course. We decided to hire an additional nanny (US$25/day), and it was the best decision we could have made. My son naps twice a day and the second nanny allowed my daughter to still do her own thing and I didn't have to sit in the room during naptimes. With two nannies, they alternate lunch hours so we always had an extra set of hands and we asked for one of them to stay each evening to help with meals and bedtime so we could go eat on our own (US$7/hr).
Before we arrived I was a bit unsure of how I would feel with the nanny, I was anxious about having to make small talk or missing out on quality family time. Somehow our nannies made it feel totally natural. If we wanted to play with the kids, we did and she assessed the situation and would stay close by but somehow in the distance, always there for a trip to the bathroom or with a dry towel for each of us if we were in the pool. It is remarkable how well they do this. I feel our nannies both went above and beyond for us and our kids. When my kids were sick, I was comfortable leaving them in their care and they would come to find me if they thought I was needed. The resort was such an intimate size that most guests and staff knew each other quite quickly and it was easy to find anyone. They were also very respectful of rules and parenting styles. An added bonus of having the nanny was that it was like having your own guide, I learned so much just by chatting and asking questions.

Service - I felt pampered with all the attention and effort that was given to making me comfortable, it actually took some getting used to!I have stayed in a few 4/5 star resorts over the years, one blends into the next, but I have never been treated as well as I have been at FDR. Our nannies, were exceptional but the service did not stop with them. Everyone learns your name and you begin to feel like you are a part of a family. My son has recently been diagnosed with a food allergy and there was never any problem getting food from the kitchen for him. Each time I asked for specially prepared food they were gracious and ready to help.

Excursion - Near the end of the week we felt comfortable leaving the kids at the resort for a few hours and going to Dunn's River to climb the falls. It was great. If you do this, you will need water shoes (which you can rent) and take a waterproof camera!

Beach - The kids beach was small but it was perfect for the kids. There was a little playground and lots of toys right on the beach. There was room for the kids to wade around in the water and one day my daughter fed the fish with some bread and they were swimming all around us. The beach just next door was the nicest beach I have ever seen. The water was warm, clear, clean and there was nothing on the ocean floor. Dreamlike. It was convenient and there were no problems with the resort next door.

Pool - There are a couple waterslides in the main pool for the kids and there were lots of pool toys when we were there, guests (us included) brought pool toys and leave them for everyone to enjoy. My daughter is quite close to swimming on her own and can swim with a life-jacket on, the nanny always kept a very close eye on her and offered to get in the water with her if I wanted. There is also a small baby pool and slide which was a big hit with my 1 year old. We spent a bit of time on the large waterslide too, lots of fun.

Travel from airport - we chose to use a private transfer (Reggae Tours) and they were great too, they had good car seats for the kids and they even had a children's CD on hand which was a big hit with the kids. I think the trip was about an hour each way.

Tips - Although it is all-inclusive and as a guest you do not feel any sense of the country's poor economy or any sense that tipping is expected, we know that every dollar is appreciated. I read somewhere to consider $20/day for the nannies and we used this as a guide.

We knew shortly after arriving that this place was different. What I loved the most was that it was a family resort and it allowed us to all vacation together and all have a vacation. Thanks FDR! We hope to see you again next year!

Room Tip: We had a 2 room pool view and we had a full size kitchen with sink, kettle, coffeemaker, fridge (wit...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

Nnannies --

This is perhaps the most unique offering, and the largest draw. If your nanny is not able to travel abroad with you for various health and/or visa reasons -- or your little ones are typically in daycare -- this resort is perfect.

You are able to enjoy your own children as your grandparents do. You are there and enjoy watching them running around playing, but you do not necessarily need to do the same. It could be from the comfort of your hammock! The nannies keep them out of trouble. Or, with 2-3 kids, you can have an extra set of hands to help the younger one first learning to wade around in the water, while knowing the older one is also safe and engaged in play of their own. Or of course, you also have the option of dropping them all off altogether, and going off to enjoy one of the many day time activities offered!

The nannies know what they're doing, you can trust them, even with bath and bedtime. Our children were asleep without much of a fight by the time we were back from dinner. How much better can it get.

For $25/day you can also get a second nanny to assist with kids with sufficiently different ages and schedules.

The core hours of the nannies can easily be extended for only $7 USD / hr.

I should note that since most nannies commute in, we moved up the "evening babysitting" hours to be earlier, since they typically do not leave the premises to have dinner with family or anything like that. They leave at the end of the day, and often share cabs, so we tried to have them leave no later than customary so they can cab share.

Also, this may be obvious, but maybe not -- the nannies are the ones who clean and re-stock the room with supplies and food requests. They typically work it into the day when the kids are napping.


Food --

I live in the center of a large city and go out to top restaurants often. I'm also spoiled by frequent cruising. I also have various dietary preferences (I wouldn't call them restrictions because I'm not strict). I belong to a CSA/farm share. I can tell you, the food was memorable. I loved it. More importantly, my stomach liked it.

Bold authentic flavors, but not too spicy. Quality fresh local ingredients. There was always some sort small white-flesh fish, different veggies (collaloo), a rotation of different grain porridge for breakfast. Fresh local papaya and other fruit at breakfast. Ackee. Boiled yams. Overproof restaurant turned out great oxtail, plantain sticks, and other imaginative takes on local specials. Because it is a smaller resort perhaps, they are able to achieve this. You can tell it is prepared from scratch, and not mass-produced. It is not overcooked. The soups have al dente veggies. Of course, also because it is a small resort, the selection was limited, but all of us in our group agreed that we preferred a few daily "stars" on the menu over a larger list of mediocre items.

I feel part of visiting a place is not complete without eating local ingredients, and I was able to do that. And of course the staples (more popular with the kids) were great as well -- my wife actually ate the mac n cheese at the kids dinner every night, along with our daughter, because it's the best she's been able to find, to-date. Pizza, wings, fries, jerk chicken, all solid.

As most people already said, caribbean night (saturday night buffet) is typically best, so make sure your stay includes a saturday night =)

I should add that some rooms have a kitchenette, and some even have a full kitchen. They make the room feel like home, but I was not quite clear on their purpose. There were no pots and pans to utilize for the stove, nor was cooking oil present in the suite, and for good reason -- this is an all-inclusive with plenty of amazing food options. So while it's nice to have a fridge for keeping milk and other necessities for the kids (or simply for beer!), the rest of the kitchen will likely not get much use on your trip, so selecting a room that has one is not really necessary.


Drinks --

If you have specific cocktails, it is better to order them at the bar, which is always nearby anyway. This way, you can offer feedback as the drink is made, and avoid any confusion. There are some stylistic differences open to interpretation, so the drinks may taste unfamiliar from back home. e.g. subbing in rum where vodka would normally be used. But the bar is fully stocked -- including aged rums and scotch and premium liquors like grand marnier, all included! -- so with sufficient instructions, any drink can be achieved, no problem!


Activities --

The bike tours, glass bottom boat tours, kyacking, fishing trips are all included. So is (I believe) scuba diving. The kayaks were a great way to explore the shoreline and my wife called it a "team building exercise" (we rented the 2-seater =) There various daytime and evening games by the bar (name that tune, battle of the sexes, scavenger hunt, etc).

Entertainment --

A few singers were brought in during our week there, so was a performing duo with bamboo stick dance and drumming. One night had texas hold em poker. In general, the adult activities coordinator rivals most cruise directors on larger ships. She kicks off karaoke with a few songs, mingles with and engages guests throughout the day by the bar, joining them for meals or various games, and is your overall fun ambassador!

Tips:

No need to pack beach toys, most stuff for sand castles like shovels are there.

There is laundry for $9/load so no need to overpack clothes either.

Bring medicine proactively, though there is amazing nurse station that has various first-aid sterile things and is staffed surprisingly a full work day, for a relatively small resort (especially off-peak at low occupancy).

Bring white t-shirts to tie dye for the kids.
Bring cash for the nannies after-hours.
There is an ATM a short drive away, or a cash advance on your credit card, if it does come to that, but I believe the latter can carry high bank fees.
The spa and gift shop does take credit cards, fortunately =)

There is a gym (this was hard to find into ahead of time). It has a couple of weight stations and mostly aerobic equipment. It is outdoors. There is also apparently jogging meetup every morning at 7 or 7:30 at the front desk. So you can pack sneakers if interested.

There is ping pong, pool tables and foosball as well, in the teen center (which, depending on the time of year, can be free for adults as well).

Do not read too closely into the printed booklet you'll find in your room -- the rates and hours (of the bar, etc) are a bit outdated, and in any case, can vary. For instance, the bar may close earlier than midnight if the crowd breaks up, and the gym may open on sunday if there is demand. Your preference will typically be met.

Room Tip: It depends what you're looking for. Those by the pool get the best WiFi reception, nicer view...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

Got a toddler and a 3 year old who had the time of their lives. This was the first vacation we've taken with the kids that was actually absolutely enjoyable. The nannies know their stuff. A small resort lends itself to a fairly intimate feel. The staff will know most of you by name, and the owner eats with everyone else. Watch out for the dollar wine contest.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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

Address: Main Street, Runaway Bay 99999, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#3 On the Beach 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 Hotel Runaway Bay
Franklyn d Resort And Spa
Franklyn d Resort All Inclusive
Franklyn D Resort & Spa Jamaica/Runaway Bay

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