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Franklyn D. Resort & Spa

Family All Inclusive Resort in Jamaica, with Vacation Nannies

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Photo courtesy of Franklyn D. Resort.
Photo courtesy of Franklyn D. Resort.
Reasons to visit:
  • each family has their own vacation nanny during their stay!
  • kids club, entertainment, games
  • watersports
  • good promotions
Bottom Line: the "vacation nannies" make FDR terrific and families love the place. (But you won't find a huge stretch of beach or the fanciest pools.)

Background

Franklyn D. Resort & Spa -- on the north coast 45 miles from Montego Bay airport-- is a mid-sized property with large suites "in the style of an elegant Jamaican home." Sister resort FDR Pebbles is also on the North Coast.

FDR's smaller size makes for a friendly, relaxed ambiance. Kids have the run of the place, nannies are never far away... FDR felt the most "Jamaican" of any resort we visited in Jamaica, probably due to all the nannies!

Vacation nannies are the standout feature that makes this resort different from other choices. Other features include a spa, an adults-only restaurant right on the beach, and a scuba center on-site.

Review
Our visit was in April, off-season. Windy weather had limited watersports before our arrival, but we had fine weather.

Pools
FDR has one main pool, a small kiddie slide nearby, and a 100-foot waterslide near the beach.

Beach
FDR doesn't have an extensive beach, and much of the beach area is taken up by a watersports zone, a waterslide, and a boardwalk restaurant. Still, there's an area for lounge chairs (under shade trees, if you like) and beach games. Also, guests are encouraged to walk a few steps off-property to a beautiful gentle beach where kids can snorkel with colorful fish.

Kids Programs
The supervised kids' center is open day and evening, and has a baby-area, crafts area, movies, computer games. Kids program activities included Virtually every kid-guest does a tie-dyed t-shirt, which makes a good souvenir making a tie-dyed t-shirt-- great souvenir.*

Vacation Nannies

The "vacation nanny" idea is super, especially for parents of babies and toddlers. Your nanny will care for your family as much or as little as you want, for eight hours a day, and she'll continue in the evening for a reasonable cost per hour. She also cleans your room, and is generally helpful-- for example, signing children up for activities.

My 9-year-old happily spent time with our nanny, which allowed my 12-year-old and I to sample more activities. Nanny Roxanne also-- on her own initiative-- gathered material for my 12-year-old's school project on Jamaica.

Read guest comments about nannies (at a site like TripAdvisor, or at the FDR site) to see how much families appreciate their nannies.

Activities
Do as much or as little as you wish. The daily list of activities might announce fitness classes, bike rides, a poolside magician show, family bingo, scavenger hunts...

FDR had coordinators for different age groups: if a group of teens arrived, activities will be posted for that age.

Some of our favorite activities:
  • early morning power-walk
  • bike-rides (we could ask to be taken at any time)
  • glass-bottom boat: all ages could see coral and fish
  • snorkeling boat to the coral reef
  • windsurfing, with instruction
  • sunfish sailing: a staff member took us out; instruction was available too
  • kayaking, mainly done in a small sheltered bay
  • for an extra charge: scuba with instruction for ages 10 and up. "Bubble-makers" for younger kids introduces scuba gear in the pool.
Kids and grownups also enjoyed the games room, with foosball, air hockey, and pool tables.
Meals
During our visit, breakfast buffets were great, with cereals, omelet bar, Jamaican breakfast (such as saltfish or callalloo), blender smoothies. The Verandah restaurant is airy and by the sea, and you can't beat "buffet" for speed with hungry kids.

For lunch, the Seaside Grill is another option: a cute place, with a tree growing right through it, stocked with hot-dogs, hamburgers, jerked chicken and pork. This restaurant had evening kiddie buffets, including spaghetti with or without sauce.

On one night a five-course dinner was served on the Boardwalk with items such as conch soup, ginger sushi, fresh seafood entrees. Children welcome. (Some families fed kids first at the Seaside Grill, or carried food from the Grill to the boardwalk dining) Another night saw a Jamaican buffet, with show. Adults can also dine at the adult-only restaurant.

Another plus at FDR: your fridge is constantly replenished with the snacks and drinks you choose, including cheese, pop, juice, etc.

Entertainment
During out visit, a small stage is located by the boardwalk; most nights, a small band plays, and once a week it's Jamaican show-time complete with dancers, limbo-under-fire, and flame-eater. Later in the evening, grown-ups can head to the Piano bar or Disco; there's teen/kid disco, too.

Check for updates at the FDR Site, and at a visitors' comment site.
Waterslide - photo courtesy of Franklyn D. Resort.Waterslide - photo courtesy of Franklyn D. Resort.
Suites
Our huge suite similarly had full kitchen, dining area, large sitting area with tv and french doors, large master bedroom, with more french doors, kids' bedroom with two single beds;,two (smallish) bathrooms. Two-story units are larger still.

Find Our More:
  • See the Franklyn D. Resort site
  • Check recent visitors' comments at TripAdvisor.com
  • Check prices at Kayak.com

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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