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Reviewed May 7, 2019

This place is amazing! We had the best family vacation due to the warm hospitality of the staff, the great location of the resort, our lovely nanny and tons of amenities (fishing, kayak, pool, slides, tennis & basketball). The only thing anybody should be aware of is what they are getting and what they are not getting. At FDR you are choosing a vacation nanny over a modern resort. The vacation nanny wins that decision EVERY time. With the nanny you get family time with help, alone time with your spouse, help taking the kids to the bathroom and MANY more wonderful things that make your vacation super special. Also, we did not put sunscreen on our 3 kids at all during our week in Jamaica. Why? Because the nanny did instead. That alone is amazing!! The only thing somebody can criticize about FDR is that it is a little dated. Not bad, but just not modern or renovated with granite. If you want a super fancy place I would advise going somewhere else.

I would also like to call out that the food was delicious and plentiful. A great variety of foods for lunch and dinner every day. The drinks were awesome also- great bar tenders.

The staff were super friendly and went out of their way to make your time special. The kids club brought all of the kids together in the evening so my wife and I could have a cocktail and dinner by ourselves while our kids played with other kids at the resort with adult supervision.

FDR was the perfect vacation for us. We will definitely be going back!!!

Date of stay: April 2019
Thank Daniel_NJ_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trishawana D, Executive Manager at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

We truly appreciate your fantastic review! It warms our heart to know that you and your family thoroughly enjoyed the amenities and greatly value your commendation of our staff, be assured that they will all be acknowledged.

We trust we will be given the opportunity of host your family again in future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2019

We stayed here April 21-27, 2019 with our children (5 & 9) and my mom (Oma). We were recommended this hotel by friends who have been multiple years every February so we had a good understanding of expectations (yes, its dated, WHO CARES) and a few good tips.

First, definitely look into the Mobay Club for the airport- hands down best money you will ever spend on vacation. And this goes for if you just go to Jamaica and don't even choose FDR. Imagine a long day of travel with two kids and you get off the plane to a HUGE line at customs...but then you're whisked away to the Mobay red carpet line and bypass that entire line. That is worth its weight in gold. You get drinks too and a great place to hang on the other end of your trip too, but bypassing customs lines gets your vacation off to a great start.

We also booked our own transfer, Byron's Jamaica Tours. Check it out.

Arriving at the hotel around 2:30pm after 11 hours of travel, it was raining, and even though we had been warned, I did at first feel like uh, oh, are we going to enjoy this. But that was quickly diminished when we met our AMAZING nanny Tamara. She gave us a tour of the resort, walking us through everything and then to our room.

Request room 104- its two floors and has two patios. Amazing. Great location although you can hear the noise in the evening from the club at the resort next door, but only on the first floor.

Our days were so relaxing and we still got to spend time with our son and daughter. Our typical day went like this:
Kids up by 8am, off to breakfast (which is amazing btw- if you order something be prepared to wait, but eating off the buffet is yummy and quick. and make sure you get a smoothie- FDR energizer is the best).

Nanny would arrive at 8:30 and take the kiddos to do an art project, or home to get ready for the pool, etc. Parents off to the gym or 9:30am yoga. Do this. Ms. Champagne is the best yoga instructor in the world. no joke. Amazing, amazing benefit. We'd be on the beach next door - beautiful beach and Javan helps you with your chairs, etc. He is super - by 10:45am. We'd inevitably meet up with the kids at either the big blue slide or the pool at 12ish.

Then 12:30 Tamara would take her break and we'd have lunch with the kids at the honeycomb- great salad bar and our son loved their pasta options. We'd take the kids to the pool or slide after lunch and Ms. T would meet up with us after she looked after our room (Your nanny does everything for you including stocking your fridge with whatever snacks you'd like, changes towels, sheets, etc.) Then we'd have time on our own until 4:40pm.

We'd meet up with the kids again, more pool or slide or basketball, etc. and then get them showered feed them (there is a kids buffet each night at the grill- they ran out of hamburgers every night we were there so that was a negative) and Ms. T would return at 6:30pm and take them to the night activities and put them to bed for us. We were typically home by 10pm.

I think this was our only disappointment in that there was no nightlife for parents. And even some of the adult activities during the day (bingo, beach volleyball, games) did not take place because we were there during a low occupancy time and there just wasn't enough interest. We still had a blast but it was disappointing.

Overall if you're looking for a relaxing vacation and not just another family trip, book FDR. The food was amazing every day, and the staff are superb. Request Tamara and your kids will love their nanny time. Get a drink from Miguel at the bar, go for a run in the morning with Omerci, take a yoga class with Ms. Champagne and bask in the beautiful paradise of Runaway Bay.

Date of stay: April 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Marna813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trishawana D, Executive Manager at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago


We are thrilled that you had a relaxing vacation with us! Thank you for your commendations about your Nanny Tamara.

We are delighted that you enjoyed our delicious food, bars, amenities and our kind and courteous staff, thank you for giving us five awesome stars.

We apologize for the inconvenience of the hamburgers being limited in the nights throughout your stay. They are so popular in the evenings especially with the kids and teens, However, we will be sure to follow up with this so that it does not happen again.

We eagerly await seeing you again for another relaxing yet adventurous holiday!

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Reviewed April 28, 2019

The title of my review is the exact question I asked the sales and reservation agent Kerine before we even left for our trip, when I heard about all the "perks" included with our stay. It's the same question I'm asking now, a few days after our first of what I hope will be many trips to FDR. If you like reading long, detailed reviews like I do, this one's for you.

WHY WE BOOKED: We found FDR after pricing out other family-friendly, all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and either finding out they were booked, or more than we wanted to pay - usually the latter. Frustrated, I did a Google search for "best all-inclusive family resort in the Caribbean" and this one came up #1. Intrigued, I began my research. Honestly, they had me at nanny service included. We have 3 young children - ages 5, 3, and 1 - so "free time" is definitely a thing of the past for us. When we thought about the idea of taking a real vacation, where the kids could have fun too, we figured we'd give FDR a try.

ROOM: We booked a one-bedroom, garden/pool view suite for one week under the "Family Recess" promotion that included a bunch of excursions and a couples massage for my husband and I. If you have a chance to book through that promotion, I HIGHLY recommend it. But back to the room. It was WAY bigger than what I expected and (unless they upgraded us without me realizing it) included the best perk of TWO full bathrooms which, for a family with young kids, is absolutely necessary. We stayed in Room #28 which overlooked the Overproof (Jamaican) restaurant on the west side of the resort. It was perfect in that it was still a quick walk to the main activity areas, but far away enough not to hear any nighttime noise. Our girls loved sitting on the balcony every morning to eat their breakfast and having the separate area for the kids to sleep was absolutely awesome.

TRANSPORT: We opted to stick with the transfer service arranged by the resort instead of book a private transfer. After reading through literally every review about FDR on this and other sites, I was a little nervous about that decision as people's experiences were pretty split. Some said the bus that picked them up at the airport made multiple stops at other resorts, elongating an already hour and 15 minute trip from Montego Bay Airport. We decided to try our luck, and are so glad we did. The Jamaica Tours Limited staff person who greeted us at the desk after the looooooong line at customs (I have a separate review on Club MoBay that may be of interest) may have seen the exhaustion on our eyes, or we just got lucky, but the car he led us to was a private van and we were immediately on the road. What a godsend. We also had the van to ourselves on the way back to the airport at the end of the trip so I'd advise sticking with the transfer service included in your resort reservation. The JTL drivers also took us to all our excursions included in our stay and the drivers were super nice and helpful.

THE NANNIES: Holy smokes, they are awesome. Our nanny Shawnnet made our trip. She has been with the resort for 13 years and I see why she has so many repeat families. Our kids immediately took to her, even my momma's boy 1-year-old. She picked him up immediately upon meeting him and it was as of he could feel her aura of love because he went with the flow all week. And oh my goodness the way she looked at our kids -- she didn't tolerate them, she loved them. She was totally engaged with the kids all week, playing with them at the kids club, arts and crafts, tie dye, dancing, etc. This is not a babysitter who sits and stares at her phone or her watch the whole day; this is someone who your kids will ask for each and every day because they have so much fun with them. Both she and Tanesha, a nanny who was in training at the time, accompanied us on our excursions when we took some or all of the kids, or stayed back at the resort when we left our little guy. Before we traveled to FDR, we thought we'd ask our nanny to stay beyond 4:40 some nights. Nope, we decided day one that was going to be every night and I'd seriously recommend every family do the same. SOOOO much is still going on at night and a couple restaurants are adults only, plus there is a kids buffet. It was great in that we would get the kids squared away with the nanny at their dinner, or she would take them herself, and then my husband and I could shower and change before heading to our dinner and meet up with them later. Some nights Shawnnet gave the kids baths and put them to bed. She's amazing! But don't request her because we want her all to ourselves - kidding!

THE STAFF: The entire staff is just amazing. When we arrived our room wasn't quite ready which after a long travel day was not totally ideal, but by the time the eighth staff member apologized for it, it didn't bother me anymore because I could tell they were doing everything they could to expedite it for us. At one point during our trip the executive manager Trish (who rocks by the way) sat down with us at breakfast and asked our opinion of our experience. And she was totally receptive to our feedback. Where else does that happen?! Certainly not any of the 5-star resorts I stayed at. For all the grievances I've seen listed in some of the reviews, the majority of them could probably have been dealt with had someone asked the question or expressed a need while they were there.

THE RESORT ITSELF: About 50% of the reviews I read before traveling referred to the rooms and property as "dated", which I didn't really see. Is it a totally modern hotel with all the bells and whistles? Absolutely not. But I thought the grounds were beautiful, and our room was gorgeous with no apparent signs of wear and tear. The only areas on the property where I did see some wear and tear was in the game room above the bar and some of the pool floats were probably a bit past their shelf life. It was refreshing to feel like we were staying in an authentically Jamaican resort, and I loved that all the restaurants were open air. There is a very laid back feel to Jamaica and the whole "no problem mon" vibe is evident here. We never had to wait too long to be seated for dinner, and never more than 15 minutes for our food to arrive. Honestly, we quickly adopted the laid back vibe and it was an absolutely refreshing change from the go-go-go mentality of the East Coast US. It's hard not to be happy here if you let yourself be immersed in the experience. As far as the resort amenities, the kids loved the Big Blue waterslide, as well as the smaller slides in the other pools. We loved the little cove beach as well as the beach at the resort next door you are able to use. We also did fishing one morning which was fun; I did the snorkeling excursion myself; and the kids played in the playground and kids club a ton, as well as tie dye and arts and crafts. The kids also loved feeding the bunnies they keep on the property.

THE FOOD: We loved the food, especially at the Jamaican restaurant (Overproof). I loved my freshly made smoothies every morning at breakfast, and jerk pork from the grill for lunch. The kids own dinner buffet was a huge hit, and my husband and I both tried new dishes every night for dinner. The staff quickly learned how my husband was a huge fan of coconut water, so started bringing him some whenever they had it. And I think we both drank our weight in Red Stripes. I never got tired of the food or felt that the selection lacked.

SOME TIPS:
- Loved the Konoko Falls and Dunns River Falls excursions. The latter is a bit more of an intense experience and not small kid friendly (our nanny stayed with ours in the water park there) but Konoko is great for small kids.
- Bring a waterproof cell phone case. I wish I had. It would've come in handy on some of these excursions and even enjoying the beach and the pool at the resort. Also bring white T-shirts for tie dye as the ones in the gift shop are $8.50/each. I got ours before the trip at Walmart for $2 a piece.
- Bring more sunscreen than you think you'll need. We went through so much so quickly (mostly because of me) and the sunscreen in the gift shop is over $20. Yikes! But it's not unlike most hotel gift shops where things cost more. But they do have a good selection of emergency supplies, like medicine, that is good to have if you need it.
- They offer laundry service for $20/load, which comes back washed, dried and folded. Totally worth it. Ours was back the same day.
- I would skip the Ocho Rios shopping trip, which the resort provides complimentary transport to. Both the stores they drop you at and the craft market across the street all offer the same cheap crap, although at the craft market you can haggle. On our next trip I'd rather go to a small Jamaican town and see more of the culture.
- If you go to Puerto Seco beach (NOT the beach next to the resort, it's one about 10-15 minutes away), note that you have to pay extra to use their chairs and umbrellas. They do have the Dolphin Cove experience there now too so next time we go we'll probably do that.

Most of all, the best advice I can give, is BOOK YOUR VACATION THERE! It's ideal for a family with small kids, families with special needs children (their nannies are great with special needs kids), and also single parents, which I saw a few of. I'm so glad we found this resort when we did and can enjoy it in our children's younger years. We will be back for sure.

Room tip: Would advise rooms away from the pool area and kids club/playground area as those areas tend to be the noisiest.
Date of stay: April 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank KCR1115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trishawana D, Executive Manager at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

We would like to express our appreciation for the time that you have taken to send us your excellent and detailed review. It is through feedback such as yours that we can continue to maintain our excellent standards.

We want to express our satisfaction to know how delighted you were with our hospitality and services throughout your stay! The fact that you had a wonderful family Holiday with us, is an excellent confirmation of our efforts. Our constant engagement with our guests is one of the many ways that we continue to improve the FDR Holiday.

Thank you once again for sharing your review and we hope you will return soon for another memorable FDR experience!

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Reviewed April 26, 2019 via mobile

Was worried that my son would be bored and I'd have to take him to the workshops but he loved his nanny Josephine! She was patient, kind and creative and my son wont stop talking about her...our server javonie was helpful and pleasant...the rooms are clean and comfortable! Staff overall was friendly and helpful! From the entrance at front desk! Will definetly be coming back! P.S. ask for Josephine to be ur nanny! The kids will love her!

Date of stay: April 2019
Trip type: Traveled on business
Thank Sephonia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trishawana D, Executive Manager at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Your feedback following your stay with us is greatly appreciated!

It is indeed amazing to read that Josephine your vacation nanny was the best fit for your family and your son was happy with her. Thank you for your kind comments about Javonie. Josephine and the staff, rest assured that they will be acknowledged.

We look forward to hosting your family again soon.

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Reviewed April 25, 2019 via mobile

I’m torn by this place. Would I come back? Maybe. It’s definitely not the place we would normally visit because the accommodations are so outdated. They put plastic pitchers of juice and milk in your refrigerator which we did not touch.
There were so many activities and it’s close to the falls so you can do excursions with the kids. Having the nannies was a really nice touch. Some nannies were better than others. The kids club was a small little room which was kind of a joke. Food was a hit or miss but the Carribean restaurant had food to die for. There were tons of kids activities which my kids loved like kite flying, glass boat viewing, fishing etc. The people here are so friendly too. Fdr resort has its charm. I’m glad we visited for sure!

Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Traveled with family
1  Thank aak1004kim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trishawana, Executive Asst. Manager at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2019

Thank you for sharing your review with us.

We abhor plastic. However, it is used as a safety measure in the Suites with children.

We are happy that you were pleased with the activities and the entire family was able to enjoy.

We are delighted to read that you loved the food at the Overproof Restaurant. We appreciate your kind comments about our staff and the nanny concept being a really nice touch.

It was a pleasure hosting you and we hope to welcome your family again in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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