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“Best of Both Worlds”

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Franklyn D Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Best of Both Worlds”
Reviewed June 6, 2006

We have a 14 month old daughter that went with us to FDR and it was the perfect family vacation! It was slow season (May 21-28 was our trip) which ended up being a blessing in disguise. We met every family there (most were repeat visitors - that really makes you feel good when getting comfortable with leaving your baby with the nanny, etc.), never had to wait for drinks or dinner, never had to worry about towels or chairs, etc. It's a good family atmosphere where you get to know everyone's name - guests and staff.

We say it was the best of both worlds b/c we had plenty of family time with our daughter and then plenty of couple time by ourselves. My husband and I snorkeled, jumped on the water trampoline, shopped in Ocho Rios, did Dunn River Falls, played games put on by the entertainment staff (and won bottles of rum for it) and lounged to enjoy ourselves. Our daughter played in the Yellow Bird Club, toddler slide, beach, crazy dress up, and beach olympics (as much as a baby could do!).

Downfalls:
Not the newest complex, so you're not going to be wowed by the beauty the minute you walk in
Beach - it's not a big huge, white sandy beach where you can lay around all day; you can go next door to Breezes but they don't let you use the chairs
Aiport & ride to the resort get long especially when traveling with a child, but that's not FDR's doing
Nanny timing - our nanny was a little late in the mornings and took longer lunches on occasion but we really didn't mind b/c it gave us time with our daughter. However, if you go I suggest talking with them and finding out the schedule up front so you're not always wondering.

Perks: the nannies make it all worth the trip! Use them and enjoy!
Remember, it's Jamaica and everything is NO PROBLEM!

All in all we had a great experience and can see going back again at least until our daughter is old enough to really travel.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank dpthrows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (132)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 3, 2006

FDR is a must vacation if you have a family with young kids. My wife and I vacationed at FDR May 13-17, 2006 for the first time with our 2 kids (4 year old girl and 1 year old boy). The staff is extremely professional, very customer focused and always pleasant. I will single Keisha (our nannny) for making our stay memorable, however FDR staff strives for excellent customer service and very responsive to requests. We choose FDR after reviewing several hotels online and then recommendations from friends in JA who had been there. You will not be disappointed. FDR is not a Ritz Carlton, but if you are parents who need a relaxing, no stress vacation this is the place to recharge the batteries especially if you return to work in Corporate America. It was "slow season", which was great as the busiest day was Mother's Day when several families visited just for the day. There are lots of structured activities for kids every day (fishing, arts & craft, tie dye, painting, pajama party). The beach is not great compared to other locations, but we enjoyed and didn't need to walk over to Beaches. My wife had a wonderful early morning massage by the sea which she absolutely loved. We got on the glass boat and Carlos took us on a really informative ride through the reef. My wife organized a wonderful birthday surprise, much thanks to the catering and enterainment staff. Food is good (the menu and selection cater to kids and adults), although we wished Jamaica night was more often!! We recommend FDR to our friends with young kids. Several guests were repeat customers and we'll be in the future.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2006

We have just returned from a very relaxing time at Franklyn D Resort, Runaway Bay. I had read all the reviews and knew the weaknesses of the resort but felt the positives outweighed it. Certainly, this is not a gorgeous super flash resort but it was perfect for our three year old daughter and 10 month son.

The review before me said that they forgot the booking and the same thing happened to us. A worry there has been two of these incedents so close together. Luckily, it was the slow time of the year and there were other rooms. Something to note in any event. We did hear repeat visitors (and there were lots of repeaters) saying that the service was not as good as in years before.

The major plus of staying here was the vacation Nanny. Our nanny was Monica and she was wonderful. We wrote a note to let Monica eat with our children but you need to do this every time. Just put up a bit of a fuss that the note is to cover all the time you are there and they accept it.

The kids activities kept my daughter very busy. I'm not sure it would be the place for teenagers but younger ones were having a great time.

Dale the tennis coach was fantastic. I was the only person taking lessons the entire week so if you want a private coach for yourself for a week, go in the off season.

I did the introductrion to diving course and it was also great.

The food was much better than I expected. The bar tenders were awsome and there was never any problem waiting for drinks. Those Dirty Bananas were delicious.

On the negative side - the resort was perfect for the 20 odd families that were there when we were there. I'm not so sure how it would handle all 74 rooms being full. We had no problem with towels or pool lounges. Noone was rude enough to hog a lounge all day.

The water slide pool was very cloudy. I did the start of the scuba course in there and you couldn't see the walls until you nearly swam into them.

My daughter was eaten my mosquitos (?) in her room one night. Monica brought us some insect killer but you might want to spray the room before you sleep in it. I didn't see anyone else with lots of bites but it still might be something to think about.

Finally, something that noone else seems to have mentioned. We were given room 120 after presenting proof that we really had booked the resort. The rooms in that wing are close to a sewerage treatment plant that you can see whenever you leave the room. I went on the shopping trip to Ocho Rios (I wouldn't bother unless you are after some herbs) and noticed that all the resorts have a sewerage treatment plant, but none seemed as close as ours. Also, where were they releasing it? Ask for a room closer to the sea water.

And finally part 2 but not related to the resort, Montego Bay airport was the pits. Huge waits to go through, lots of touts making me think I'd got off the plane in Delhi. Check it was the worst I've ever done anywhere in the world. We spent 1hr 45 mins lined up for the American Ailines flight to JFK. My baby was screaming but noone bothered to help. It would have been very easy to get all the New York passangers checked in before starting the next flight. Then you had another half hour wait for passport and security check. At least the road to the resort wasn't as bad as reviews have said but it still took 90mins.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank wombatinnewyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2006

We just returned from FDR Runaway Bay. We had a very nice time with absolutely wonderful weather. This is an awesome place for families with young children. The nannies work so hard with the children and the staff are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. The food was delicious. My kids (ages 15 and 10) absolutely loved the grill (and Andre). There were always activities going on for both the kids and adults. Our two-story villa was very clean and very comfortable. We were dissappointed with the beach as it is not a white sandy beach and there was alot of seaweed. If you are looking for that stretch of white sandy beach, this is not it. As far as walking over to the beach next door, please be cautioned that you do have to walk over rocks through the water, around a fence and definitely past the nude beach. Also, make sure to bring a good pair of water shoes. My husband did not wear his and he unfortunately stepped on a sea urchin from which he is still healing. The transfer from the airport was an absolute nightmare for us. It took over an hour just to get a bus. Our driver was a crazy driver and the roads are not great. The scene outside the airport upon arrival was a bit overwhelming and shocking for anyone who has never been there before. Overall, I would return to FDR if my children were younger. I loved the easy, laid back nature of the resort and the feeling of being "home" while I was away.

Helpful?
7 Thank Joan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2006

We had an overall positive experience at FDR. I am glad I read these reviews, it really helped me know what to expect! We loved our nanny Phyllis and thought the food was above average to excellent. We never had a long wait. The rooms were clean, not super fancy, but comfortable. There was plenty to do both for the adults and kids. Because most people at FDR seem to have been there before, we did feel like we had to ask a lot of questions about what to do, where to go, etc. I really loved the atmosphere, activities and warmth of the staff there. We did not have problem getting towels or beach chairs, if we got up early ( by 8:00).

This would be the end of the review, had it not been for the nightmare of the trip back from the airport. The a/c in the bus was not working which caused our daughter to get quite sick ( she is one).We eventually got to the airport, and the bus driver let us out first which was nice. I believe that the ride to and from the airport can be beyond uncomfortable and inconveniant which anyone on vacation can tolerate. It can be dangerous if you have babies who may get heat stroke. We would love to return to FDR for all of the activities, loving nannies and good food. Hopefully the a/c is fixed on the bus!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank odeaec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA. USA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2006

I'll try not to repeat what has already been covered in other reviews...what I will say is that if you have young children, you will not find a better holiday experience anywhere!!

We have 3 boys, aged 2 through 9, and vacations never end up being all that enjoyable as we are constantly entertaining and picking up after them. So we headed to FDR for school spring break and my wife's 40th birthday. I can honestly say it was the best family vacation we have ever had. Sure, although nice, the place is not pristine or meticulously decorated...it has more of a genuine Island look and feel to it, which I personally thought was great. And there were some minor inefficiencies with the service and facilities. But we were able to relax and have fun, and enjoy some FANTASTIC food and drinks!

My advice:
If you have more than 2 kids, get an extra nanny. It's worth the $20 per day and will make it easier on nannies, kids and parents alike. Have them babysit after hours so you can enjoy the resort's bars and wonderful restaurants (meanwhile there is a kids buffet and plenty of evening activities for them). Some nights there are family dinner shows on the boardwalk or beach- have the nanny stay with you to help with the kids, and get her a dinner pass so she can eat with you. Tip the nannies well, and if somehow you're not happy with one, ask for another.

My biggest complaint is that FDR does a poor job of communicating general property information, available services, amenities, guidelines, nanny policies, etc., etc. But next time we go there we will know, and yes there WILL be a next time!!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Rover3001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2006

Just returned from our second trip to FDR, the first was 2 months ago. We liked it so much, we bought a timeshare there (we initiated the purchase, there was no "hard sell").

In no particular order, here are some thoughts:

We had fantastic nannies again, Hodette Radway & Marie Whilby. Although I didn't see any people who were disappointed with theirs, I would definitely recommend asking for these 2, they were very caring and accomodating with the kids (age 5 & 6 1/2). Invite the nannies to eat with you, you need to write a note giving them permission to do that, but they certainly appreciate it, and help the kids do everything from cut food to take them through the buffet line. Also, have them stay in the evening, for $4 an hour (paid directly to them, it gives them a chance to earn a decent living, and allows you to have some adult time in the evening while the kids have fun at their events.

Since our trip in January, their was a storm that wrecked the glass bottom boat, which the debris from then popped the water trampoline. I assume that both of these will be replaced, and I understood that glass bottom boat rides were being done in another boat as well. Also, the Jamaican adults only restaurant has opened, it is small, but very nice and the food is excellent. In addition, a honeymoon suite is a new addition there.

Dale, who is one of the people in the kids club is a very talented artist, he painted everything in the kids club. I asked him to paint me an oil on canvas beach scene and in an hour, he had a beautiful picture made up, willing to work for whatever I thought was fair. I gave him $60 US, although I should gave given him more (next time). Ask Dale to paint something for you, he also does pictures on plates (he has samples).

As for the negative things that people bring up in these reviews. I truly believe that if your expectations are set properly, you will have nothing but a fantastic experience. Regarding the lack of towels, this seems to have gotten better, plus if you ask the nannies, they will grab towels so you won't have to worry. Lack of lounge chairs by the pool? Maybe, but since I would die of boredom sitting at the pool all day, it wasn't an issue since I never tried to get one. Wait for food, it wasn't McDonalds where it was there in 60 seconds, but then again, I was on vacation and didn't need to be someplace in 10 minutes. That being said, a 45 minute wait was a bit of an exaggeration in a previous review. As far as the condition of the rooms ... The Ritz, it's not, but it was certainly clean and comfortable and other than that, we spent 15 minutes after waking up, and maybe 1 hour before we went to bed in the room, other than that, we were out enjoying the place. People complaining about the ride from the airport? Come on, your on vacation, sure the roads are brutal, but in many places the road is in great condition, and the rest of the places, what do you care, you aren't driving, sit back, have a Red Stripe beer and relax on vacation. [Side note: The one thing that did get me quite mad, and it had nothing to do with the resort, the bag porters at the airport are ungrateful both on arrival and departure. I gave a guy $3 for taking my bags 100 feet and he started giving me a hard time that I should take better care of him. I saw someone else getting the same treatment. Odd, I wouldn't get that reaction in Chicago which I believe has a higher cost of living.]

Take some tennis lessons, Dale (a different Dale than from the kids club) and usually a guest instructor give great lessons or will play along with you.

One other thing, if you have never been to FDR and you notice people in these reviews mentioning people at FDR by name, its because it is a small cozy place that has a very friendly atmosphere where staff will meet you once and remember your name the rest of the trip.

Lastly, the most amazing thing one can say about the way people feel about the resort is that when I was there this time (our second time in 2006), we met another couple who was there for their 3rd time, another for the 4th, another for the 7th and another for the 14th!!! This was out of a total of 70+ rooms. I have never heard of a resort that demands that kind of repeat visitation, all these people can't be wrong.

Hope this is helpful to someone despite the lack of cohesion.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank noahas
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:
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 Luxury 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:4 star — Franklyn D Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique all-inclusive family Resort where each family is assigned a dedicated Vacation Nanny to care for the kids from check-in to check-out. All- Inclusive package includes accommodations are in large 1, 2 or 3 bedroom suites with separate living areas,kitchenette and balcony or terrace. Continental, Italian/French/ Indian and Jamaican cuisine from a choice of 4 restaurants, top shelf bar, kayaking, snorkeling, tennis, 4 pools, 100' waterslide, separate kids, tweens and teens programs with supervised daily activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Franklyn d Hotel Runaway Bay
Franklyn d Resort And Spa
Franklyn d Resort All Inclusive
Franklyn D Resort & Spa Jamaica/Runaway Bay

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