Franklyn D Resort & Spa
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Travel Blogs from Runaway Bay
After two weeks, we chose today to finally sleep until a reasonable time! We woke up at 8! We got dressed and went to our last breakfast. We filled up and then went back to the room to pack. Such a sad moment. It took some time to pack, but we were still in the lobby checking out in our Golden Club room at 10. The bus was due to pick us up at 11:30 so plenty of time to kill, updating the blog and browsing ...
... by our sunbeds and got in the water. I had the bread in my little goggle bag so again, as soon as I was in, they all swam over! Both me and Sven spent ages in the water feeding and swimming amongst the fish! It was brilliant. After the bread ran out we went fish spotting. Among the others we had already seen we saw a long trumpetfish, yellow goatfish, more French grunts and even a peacock flounder!! We had ...
... my camera out and snapping. Having my Aunt with us was comforting to say the least as it was clear everyone could tell we were tourists. On Thursday I will take pictures as we plan to leave early morning to visit my Aunt and hopefully less people around as I do not want people thinking I am snapping them.
When we got back to the Resort and my Aunt and Jessica had left I needed about 3 soft drinks to rehydrate myself!
At 1700 we collected the kids ...
... takes long. I am almost constantly in motion. The landscape is intensely green. Wooden huts with minute verandas stand in gardens that have long ago overgrown their boundaries. There is an incredible energy on the road. Everybody seems to be going somewhere, building up something. The eagerness is almost physical despite the lack of housing schemes, scheduled transportation or government networks. I realise that I could easily be in on in Africa.
The mountains, to ...
... the slower pace like we had in Maui. After the zip-line adventure there were refreshments for us to purchase. Soon after our short rest, we got to hike back through some of the Jamaican forest on our way back to where the bus would be waiting for us. Along the way, there were lots of picture taking opportunities. It was a fun adventure and it was worth the time and money.
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Historical Traveler Reviews Franklyn D Resort & Spa Runaway Bay
I traveled with my two children ages 9 and 12. I must admit at first I was scared... the outer entrance was nothing special. We got there early so the room was not ready so we were invited to have a buffet lunch outside on the beautiful deck The food was great! The kids had the advantage of havng a seperate grill for hamburgers and hotdogs and specials of the day with french fries. It was hot and we traveled in jeans so we were not happy, very hot campers at first....but then our bags were delivered to the room and what a nice room it was. The furniture was nice and the rooms were clean. Our nanny came out to meet us before you got to the room. Her name is Andrea and she was really nice, caring and polite. She gave us a tour and took our grocery orders for our refrigerator. We received a bottle of rum, 2 t-shirts, ground Jamaician coffee, half hour massage certificate, safe deposit box (if you lose the key it is $100) and information on special children's programs. This included a disco at night for the various ages. There was also nightly entertainment for the whole family and an adult only piano bar and visits to the clubs off the resorts for adults. The children loved the 100 foot slide and the pool was only 6 feet deep at the most with a life guard on duty. There were 2 beaches.. one smaller for the smaller children.. you felt safe. the large beach was for the water sports all included! ky-yaking, glass bottom boat ride, sailing, fishing snorkling and scuba diving (1 hour) included. The nude beach right next door kind of took me by surprise. To get to the water where the fish eat right out of your hands you had to go pass them... your call. The adults going alone could also enjoy. There was separate eating for adults only, a hot tub for adults only and special trips off the resort for adults only. The nanny was available for $4 an hour to include all children! My cautions: Do not leave out any food in the room for even 5 minutes or the sugar ants come out of no where and become part of your plate. Keep food in the refrigerator and the trash sealed and all will be well. The balconys gave a place to dry your clothes and the airconditioner stayed on all day long in the bedroom cooling the outer rooms. The nanny cleaned the rooms everyday and a cleaning crew came in as well. The satellite TV was awesome and you felt at home in Jamaica with plenty of movies. The computer room was a fee of .15 cents per minute. There were two gyms, one teen center, one kiddie center, a place to buy souvenirs and the children were free to order any frozen drinks they wanted. The electricity went out twice but the staff never blinked.. everything was set to candles and the night went on with planned activities. This was a great vacation. I would truely recommend this vacation for adults and children alike! The adults also have a separate piano lounge to go to. I spoke to a family that have been coming there for 8 years.. that speaks for it's self.
FDR Resorts: Highly Recommend for families with small childrenOur family stayed at FDR Resorts the first week of June 2003. We had a wonderful time! We had a real vacation, something for everyone. Hubby fished, kayaked, read books. I swam, laid on the beach anything I wanted. When I heard a nanny came with the room, it was a no brainer for us. We had originally booked for Cancun. I call my TA (Kathy At MYB)and we switched ASAP! We have three small children under 5. Our youngest was 22 mos. For an extra $20 a day you can have a second nanny. So that's what we did! Great decision. The nannies are great with the kids. My oldest is very shy, but by the end of our first day she love her nanny. My husband and I were able to have a relaxing dinner alone. Like real grown ups :) The nannies would arrive around 9AM and bath the children, sunbloced them, (We had a nanny for the two oldest and one for the baby.) then dress them. (usually they assisted me) Then off they would go. The first day we kinda followed and they were great. There are tons of activities for the kids. And FDR really wants you, and especially the kids to be happy. The staff was away asking if everything was okay. While the nannies went to dinner, we had family time in the pool. I always had the nannies come back in the evening for $4 per hour. So we could do our thing.. One day in the beauty shop, we were having our hair braided, a woman started chatting with me, come to find out she was Mrs. Rance the owners wife. Very nice people. She took notes on my comments. We later had drinks together. Personally I loved the rooms at FDR. We had two bedrooms and two baths upstairs. The living area and kitchenette and another half bath on the lower floor. It is not like a hotel. It is like a Jamaican Townhouse. Very clean and more than enough room. The fridge stayed stocked. We had all kinds of juices, sodas, beer, wine and cheese. Also crackers. Our TV worked perfect, the kids got to see some cartoons, if not they showed movies at the kiddy center. The beach area is great for small children. My kids loved it. I braved it and went next door to the clothing optional beach (kept my clothes on) beautiful water. There is a gate a you just walk in. Food was adequate, there was a very nice breakfast. Made to order omelets, and fresh fruit smoothies. Fruits, croissants anything you could want. At lunch we usually ate with our children having burgers and fries. Very good. My husband liked the jerk pork and jerk chicken. Dinners were one of my favorite. Our alone time. We did go to teh Piano Bar a few times. Did a little Karaoke. We made so many friends. When one would leave we would cry. You have a choice of the Adult only restaurant or family. The family dinner was also great. Singing, skits and etc. Ummm, the beach bar b que was wonderful. We only took one tour. That was to a private beach. Had a wonderful time. Our nannies went with us. Can you imagine, they would be waiting for the children with towels and hotdogs and soda. What more can I say? I guess I could go on forever. It was a fun packed short 7 days. Will I go back. YOU BET! Thank you FDR!
We stayed at FDR in late May 2003 and had a very good experience. If you have small children, this is a great value. The vacation nanny was terrific - gentle and kind with the children, very competent, and conscientious with the sunscreen applications. Consider asking the nanny if she'd like to work extra hours - (beyond the 9:30 through 4:40 standard work day). For $4 an hour, it's a bargain, and I think the nannies like or hope for the opportunity to make extra money this way.I would also consider hiring an extra nanny during the regular working day if your children are of the number or varying ages that they're likely to want to be in different places. Our nanny really was an all purpose helper - she washed some laundry for us by hand, sewed a rip in our son's swim suit, and seemed always to be on the lookout for anything she could do to help.The resort itself is very pretty, though not on a huge piece of property. I don't like high rise hotels, and found FDR's four story buildings to be quite attractive. The outside of the rectangular buildings is softened by pretty curving balconies and it does give the impression of a gracious older style Jamaican estate home. If you have the upper two floors, you will be climbing a long staircase daily, but the breeze on the balcony is nice a little higher. Ask for a lower unit if stair climbing is a problem.Inside the units are bright and airy, with high ceilings and tile floor. Our unit, and I think most others, had two floors. The lower floor had an ample kitchen, dining, and living room area, plus a half bath and the balcony area outside. Upstairs were two good sized bedrooms, each with decent full baths. Our stairs inside the unit had a good toddler gate at the top, but if you're paranoid or have a very small wiggly toddler the lack of risers on the stairs might concern you.Contrary to what some reviewers wrote, our king size bed was really a king size bed, with a good mattress; and the air conditioning was more than adequate. The tv reception is lousyugh" beneath the fuzz and you didn't go to Jamaica for the tv. I appreciated the original art work on the walls, and the nice curtains. Somehow, between looking after the kids (we have 3) the nanny managed to find time each day to clean the rooms and stock the frig.Outside, the resort has a good sized pool for adults and kids, flanked by two mini pools, one with a short slide, for kids. There is also a mid size pool at beach side with a large water slide. The beach area is quite small - FDRs ocean frontage seems to be mainly over coral, and there is really no spot at all where one could easily get in deep water and actually swim. However, it's all relative, if you have toddler size or small children, you appreciate the shallowness and lack of waves in the cove the children play at. My husband and I both had no problem making the short walk off to one side of the property and accessing the sandy beach next door to take our long ocean swims. There were very few people on that beach, maybe a reflection of the off season, and just a few innocuous nude sunbathers. FDR also has several non beach/pool related areas - like the kiddie center, craft shop, playgrounds, which are pleasant. The property has many large shady trees that make sitting outside pretty nice no matter how hot and bright it is in the sun.I found the employees of FDR to be very helpful and gracious. I can't imagine there either being a "crabby nanny" or the management not immediately providing a new one at a guest's request. The nanny supervisors were obviously vigilant - a few times when I was sitting with the baby by myself I was approached nicely by a supervisor and after some pleasantries, asked "where's your nanny?". I'm sure this was just to be sure that if I needed help I had it.I didn't stir off the property the entire week and was very happy, but there are many activities and little trips posted that guests could go on. Yes, there is an "inane" scavenger hunt at the pool some days, consisting solely of findinound the pool that have "prizes" written on them, but what's wrong with that? It lasts 15 minutes, and you might be sitting on the slip that wins the bottle of rum. Or you might get the slips we did: "Kiss your wife" and "take a splash in the pool."We went at a time the resort was not full, but I think it would hold up well with more guests. The guests who were there during our stay were generally friendly and pleasant to talk to. There were many guests from the UK and, refreshingly, a fair amount from Jamaica, which I think speaks well of the resort.Three small points would make the resort better, in my view. First, there should be restrictions on smoking cigars anywhere near other guests, especially children. The gift shop sells cigars and for the first few days we were there, some lout (who came with numerous children!) was parked in a prime poolside chair puffing away non stop on a smelly cigar. The main pool is the hub of the resort, right next to the beach bar and dining area, and one just couldn't avoid this guy's cigar smoke. If he'd been there the whole time, or had a like minded pal, it would have substantially taken away from my enjoyment of the resort. It would be nice if management could restrict cigar smoking to one out of the way area. Secondly, the meal times bothered me. The food I like to eat, and would like the kids to at least have access to, was at the dining room buffet that wasn't open for lunches and suppers until one hour (12:30 and 6:30) after the "kiddie" meals began at the Beach Grill (11:30 and 5:30). Kiddie food was heavily based on the "greasy" food group: hot dogs, burgers, chicken nuggets, fries, buttery or cheesy pasta with almost no availability of a selection of vegetables, fruit, or lo fat stuff. Inevitably, the kids - and parents - would end up eating the junky food in part just because it was available sooner. If you could hold out, and convince the kids to also, there was always a great selection of non fried main dishes, fr have a uniform start time for both areas? Additionally there is "fancier" order off a menu style dining available, but with kids buffets work fine for me... My third small complaint would be that the main pool didn't open til 9 or so, and that the water slide pool was open only about 2 hrs. in am and 2 hrs in pm. For whatever it would cost to hire another lifeguard or two it sure would be a plus for the guests to be able to go in the pools earlier before the sun gets blistering hot. The hours of 7 am through 9:30 would be a prime time for kids to use the pool instead of midday. Also, the pools close relatively early, around 5:30 or 6 - again, why not extend the hours a bit especially when the sun is not so fierce.All in all our family had a good experience and would return. Finally, I should add that from Boston you can get the 7:30 Air Jamaica flight direct to Montego Bay and be lying by the pool by noon (after the transport to the property, which takes about 1 1/2 hrs. and is quite a scenic trip). Returning you don't have to leave the property til 2 pm, so you have a nice day the last day to spend as well. Depending where you're coming from, you might have an even easier trip. One last word, be sure to bring your passport or your license plus certified - the one with a raised seal - copy of your birth certificate to the airport. (Kids need only a certified birth certificate.) We messed up and brought an uncertified birth certificate for one of us and found out we wouldn't be allowed to board the flight to Jamaica with it, had to return home for the real thing.
I stayed at FDR, I thought it was the best place for me and my 2 younger brothers and younger sister. The staff was amazing, they always were rying to help you or do something for you. My little 7 year old brother, had so much fun with our nanny, he would do lots of different activities each day. My brother and I both hung out with the teens, and we had sooo much fun, the teen cordinators: Sadiki, Leon, Rick, Sheldon, laurance, and many more, treated everyone fairly. But of course there were bugs, sorry but not to be rude but yes you are going to get bitten if the restruants are outside, it is a common fact. There is nothing they can do about it. It is called bring bug spray or dont stay out at night. When i would stay out late a night chillin with the other teens, we did not get a lot of bug bites even with out bug spray. I mean everything was clean, the people were very nice, and it was a fun place to go. Overall, I think this was the best choice for a resort, great staff, great enviroment, great people, great food, great service. Thank You~Elizabeth Hedrick
We stayed at FDR in runaway bay from Fe. 2 - Feb9, 2003. It was truly a couples vacation within a family vacation. My kids 4,10, and 12 were kept busy from 9:00 to 4:45 everyday either with our terrific nanny Patrina(mostly the little one) or on their own at all the constantly changing activities. They enjoyed fishing at least once a day, tie dying, leather crafts, tennis, basketball, swimming, video games (of course), and many other things. We usually got a wave or a quick hello as they passed by us. We of course were either sitting by the pool with one of their many fabulous drinks in our hand, laying in a hammock, snorkeling, scuba diving, or even taking an afternoon nap in the airconditioned bedrooms. The food was not terrific but it was fine for the kids and we are not too picky. The adult only restaurant was a very enjoyable evening with better food. We hired our nanny to stay late that night and a couple of other evenings as well. The entertainment was very child orientated but that was fine for us as we had our time during the day.The resort was only about half full at that time of year and that was terrific. The kids always found someone to play with! We thought our accomodations were great as we got a 2 bedroom unit overlooking the pool. The three kids shared one large room (with a cot brought in) and each bedroom had it's own bathroom as well as a small one on the main floor. The t.v channels were very limited but we didn't watch much anyway. One thing I would have liked was the pool to be open later than it's 6:00 P.M. close time. The beach area was small but perfect and safe for our 4 year old (who was our biggest concern). Lots of sand toys, life jackets, loungers were available. We will definitely be back again probably next year.
The Franklyn D Resort was the answer to our prayers! We just returned from a week there (March 3, 2002). We found that even though we were initally unimpressed with the resort, our expectations of the place were absolutely exceeded based on our first impressions. We had done as much research on this resort as we possibly could before leaving for Jamaica. And we found that we were prepared for what we saw....The resort itself is quite small - intimate, actually. In our case, we found that to be a real plus. We never felt that we were very far away from our children...which was important since they are only 1, 2 and 3 years old.Our first impression of the room was that it was "early Howard Johnson." Kind of rustic, in a Caribbean sort of way. We stayed in a two-story, two-bedroom unit, 3 bathroom unit. We had more than enough space to spread out! Our room featured a full kitchen, a dining room and a spacious living room with ocean-facing balcony off of it. We spoke with one the "residents" there (they own one of the units) and were told that they were built as large as they were so that if you wanted to have the nanny cook a meal for you in your suite, she would have the facilities to do so. In addition to the king-size bed in the master bedroom and two twin-size beds in the second bedroom, there were 4 pull-out trundle beds and a pull-out couch. It could easily have slept 8 people! The resort was also very accomodating in supplying us with two roll-away cribs for our wee ones. All of the upholstered furniture looked like it had been recently re-covered. The bedding and bathroom linens were a bit more worn.Our baclony overlooked the ocean and just to the left of our balcony was the Verandah Restaurant. Which brings me to the food. We thought that even though the buffets were not as extensive as many we have seen at all-inclusive resorts, the food was generally good and there was definitely enough for everyone to find something that they liked. Our top choices for dining while we were there was The Pier (adults only Italian restaurant) and the Beach Grill, which served up my absolute fave...meat pies. The Grill also serves hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, popcorn, etc. The Kiddie Buffet featuerd "kid-friendly" items (pasta, pizza, fresh fruit, cookies, etc.), but wasn't so overwhelming that no one could decide what to eat! My children ate like champs the whole time we were there.The nannies are fantastic! One nanny per family comes with the package deal. Because we have 3 such young children, we opted for two nannies. (The resort only charges $20 US per day for an extra nanny.) The nannies are also in charge of cleaning your room while you are there (no additional housekeeping staff) so they end up feeling like part of the family! We utilized their services in the evening ($4 US per hour)...especially after finding out that the evening babysitting hours are really where they earn their money. They were so gentle with our children and really seemed to enjoy what they were doing.Our two nannies (Lorraine and Tameika) kept the "older" two children (ages 2 & 3) busy at the kiddie pool, beach and Kiddies Centre while our youngest napped. We were able to play on the water slide, go kayaking and build sandcastles with the kids. The beach was pretty tiny, but perfect for not losing your small children! There were other guests that complained about the small size, but we thought it was great. As for the adults...we got to enjoy several activities ourselves! We snorkeled and could have gone scuba diving if we would have signed up for the classes earlier. The adults only restaurants were really nice...good food and wine and a terrific view! We enjoyed spending time at the main bar by the pool with the new frieds that we made. We didn't hang out in the piano bar or disco, but others who did said they really enjoyed themselves.I treated myself to a one hour massage, and it was terrific. The sound of the waves lapping against the rocks and the breeze as it blew through the cabana were perfect. I can't think of anything more relaxing!A couple of complaints we had....the hot tub wasn't in service all week and the service wasn't all that fast in the bar. Things that could easily be fixed.The resort is a bit dated, but I think it adds a little to it's charm. It is a family resort, after all...not the Ritz Carlton! It isn't as luxurious as places my husband and I visited before having children, nor did we want it to be. I would have been worried sick all week that our kids were going to break something or bother someone if it had been any swankier! We would definitely recommend this place to anyone with young children. It was perfect for us! We plan to return this same week next year.Bridget
We stayed here with our three boys for 5 nights. (aged 5,11 and 12)The nannies are great and the kids preferred to be out with the nanny! The nannies also wait on the kids and bring them drinks, cut their food, take them on tours and have games. They have snorkel trips, glass bottom boat rides all included. There is a very nice reef off the beach where you can see plenty of fish in about 4 feet of water. Bring your own snorkel gear if you have it. No problems with chairs or other amenities as in other resorts. On the right border of the resort facing the bay there is a nude beach . Nothing that the kids would do would attract them to that part of the resort. Beaches are public in Jamaica and nudity is legal so leave Junior with the nanny and take a walk next door and go skinny dipping! Our room was older but cheery and comfortable. We actually had an ocean facing 2 story 1/2 bath townhouse. Our bedrooms had AC and the tradewinds and tree shade kept the living room comfortable. There was a full kitchen and a snack plate made up for us when we arrived. The nanny will pack and unpack you if you ask. The condition was very good considering that it's on an island. It had more of a condo-cluster home feel than that of a hotel. Beautiful gardens...wedding gazebo..you could renew vows in front of the kids. Awwwwwwwww.I always wonder why people complain about Carribean island foods. You aren't in America! Get over it! The smartest thing is to eat what the locals eat and dont try to get what you eat at home while you are away---it wont taste right! As far as all inclusive resprts go, this was High Average. The restaraunt on the pier was delightful. We also had a beach barbeque with an ice sculpture. Picky eaters? Stick with the fish and jerk chicken. The bread and cheezes were very good. Drinks and bar service is excellent at FDR. Bring big insulated cups from home.We went in June---it was VERY VERY hot. We spent as much time as possible in the water. Ladies and girls---go for the hairbraids. They make the most sense.
This resort is especially great for families with very young children. The nannies are generally attentive and caring. I would not recommend this resort for the over 8 set. There are limited activities, no beach to speak of and the nannies aren't needed. The facilities are somewhat run down. The place needs an overhaul especially the rooms. There is no air conditioning in the rooms which was very uncomfortable at times. This is a small resort which is it's strong point along with the nannies. The food is just ok. I've stayed at some very beautiful resorts before and I just don't understand why you have to sacrifice luxury when on a family vacation.
Need a break from the kids, but have to take them with you? FDR has a partial solution. As parents of 2 young children in dire need of a respite we booked our vacation with childcare in mind. FDR offers vacation nannies as part of their all inclusive package. Stress free the vacation was not. We still had the kids at night,the little one woke at 6.30am like clockwork and we had the occasional meltdown from our 4 year old. However, short of taking a vacation without the kids we got the next best thing. Our nanny arrived promptly at 9am and took the kids off our hands until lunchtime. After lunch she returned and cheerfully carted them off to whatever activities they were most interested in doing. In the evening, she took a break and then, at our behest, returned to babysit (for an additional charge of $3 per hour) so that we could enjoy that ultimate of parent luxuries - dinner without the kids. There were lots of interesting things for the kids to do. The Kiddie Center had a daily itinerary of arts and crafts activities and for the older kids there were competitions and talent contests to prepare for. Even the most computer-game addicted preteen was catered to with a goodly number of computer consoles available.
awesome place. wife and 4 kids just came home from here 2 days ago, and we all had a fabulous time. i recommend for children 10 and under with their parents. those with older children, check out franklyn d resort pebbles. the nanny's were great. i had 2. they give you one, and for only 20.00 US a day, you can have another. it's worth it if you have 3 or more children. the children are treated like little kings and queens. the nanny's work from 9- 4:40, with a 1 hour lunch time in between. you can also have them stay from 6pm(after a dinner break) till whenever for only 3.00 hour. you can't lose. the food is awesome. the service is awesome. the activities are awesome.