Franklyn D. Resort & Spa Reviews

Main Street, Runaway Bay,
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92%
families recommend
515 family reviews

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Fourth time staying here!
by JenSteventon
I returned to FDR with my husband, and our 7 and 5 year old boys for the 4th yr in a row. We have stayed for a range of 9-14 days over the 4 trips. In prior years we have gone during the same week(s) and have overlapped with other ... more returning families - not planned. We are nicely surprised each year by updates and additions to the property. We see FDR as a solid 3-4 star family oriented all inclusive. The pillows are lumpy, so pack your own! The staff and nannies and service are all reliable and good. Our boys love the pools and catching ghost crabs on the beach and make friends with the other kids easily. Me and husband dive with the shop on the premises and get to go to special dive locales when there are no other divers (thanks David!). There are plenty of day trips you can make from here, too. We (me and husband only) did Dolphin Cove and a zip line tour and some shopping in Ocho Rios. The kids stays with the nanny back at FDR. Highly recommend it especially for families with kids 0-10yrs.

Date of Stay: 04/25/2016
Children in Party: 2


Kids (3-6)
Kids (7-9)
Accommodations
Dining
Kids Play Area
Money Value
Pool & Water Fun
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Our Christmas Present
by amanda22
We decided to forego presents this year and do a Christmas vacation. We had a wonderful time at the resort. Everyone was so nice and friendly. The kids/teen directors were great and our children had a blast. This definitely is a place ... more for adults to relax while their children are cared for. The nanny service is a huge feature, our children however, 9-11-15 where a little too old. They didn't like the Nanny following them around and rubbing lotion on them. The resort was very small and the kids were easy to find when they did escape the Nanny. My husband and I had a very relaxing time. The resort is a little out of date and the grounds could use some maintenance. There was a piece of trash that I walked by every day of our trip ! Regardless, we had a wonderful time!! And I would highly recommend this resort, especially for families with children 0-8.

Date of Stay: 12/22/2015
Children in Party: 3


Kids (7-9)
Tweens (10-12)
Tweens (13+)
Accommodations
Dining
Kids Play Area
Money Value
Pool & Water Fun
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ACTUALLY CAME BACK RELAXED FROM A VACATION WITH 3 YOUNG CHILDREN!
by yaccova
We recently returned from our first visit to the FDR resort. This place is ideal for families with children and also wonderful for extended families (i.e. grandparents) who want to spend time together, have old-school fun, and also enjoy "grown-up" time. We had an AMAZING time!

We have 3 children (ages 7.5, 5 and ... more 3) and have traveled a lot with them internationally and domestically. We have stayed at beautiful hotels with delicious food, as well as high-end All Inclusive ("AI") resorts with decent kids' clubs. By far, this was the most relaxing vacation that we have had since we had children! We LOVED our vacation at the FDR! While we had breakfast and lunch with our children (sat with them while they ate dinner) and spent time with them playing throughout each and every day, it was great to be able to quietly read a book while rocking in a hammock, take a nap, take a long walk on the beach with my husband, and have adult-only dinners each night! We knew that our kids were well-supervised and having fun doing various age-appropriate activities.

Before you read any further, this is NOT a resort for: (a) adults who do not have young children with them; or (b) families with children who expect fancy accommodations and great Italian food (or insert another cuisine other than Jamaican food). Any people who fall into either category should stop reading now and look elsewhere. They will not be happy at this resort because this AI resort is designed for families WITH young children who can kick back, relax and happily go with the flow. (Note: We have never been to any AI resort with great food.)

What makes FDR so special are the amazing nannies and the attentive resort staff. Truly spectacular.

NANNIES: A nanny is assigned to each family room. The nanny is also responsible for cleaning your room, making sure that your fridge is stocked with items that you request, and arranging for any maintenance issues that arise (if any). The nannies are experienced and are very concerned for the safety and well-being of your children. If you have more than one child and want to hire a second nanny, the cost is $25 per day. Nannies arrive between 9-9:30am each morning and stay until 4:40pm. They take an hour break for lunch. Extra nanny time is $7 per hour. The nannies really want and need the extra work. We saw a bunch of families with children who have severe disabilities and also special needs. There are nannies at the resort who have experience with ALL types of children. It was wonderful to see.

We hired an extra nanny for our stay as we have 3 children with varying interests. Our two nannies, Yolando and Kristane were warm, attentive, caring, hard-working, and extremely responsible. We all adored them and were extremely grateful for all that they did for our children and for us! We had our nannies come back at 6:30 each night for 3-4 hours so that we could have grown-up dinners. (While tipping is not required, most families tip their nannies at the end of their stay between $20-$25 per day, per nanny.)

I was really impressed that all nannies kept a "third-eye" out for the well being of all the children around the resort.

RESORT STAFF: Everyone at the resort was wonderful and always smiled. The bartenders were super friendly and made excellent drinks. The guys at the grill were always smiling and busy. The gardeners and cleaning staff always said hello and were constantly sweeping the resort area and cleaning the pool chairs and pool area. The gardener gave us a delicious coconut from the tree and cut it open for us. The wait staff throughout were attentive and helpful. The lifeguard at the pool was really concerned about everyone's safety. Wonderful guy! Omerce greeted everyone each day at the pool and was always moving making sure everyone was having fun. The female MC - I don't remember her name - was bubbly and tons of fun! The security guy at the rear gate took his job very seriously and made us feel secure. The night manager (the mature gentleman with the sweater vest) was also very helpful and memorable. (Tipping is not required or expected but even a dollar or two is tremendously appreciated by staff who do a great job.)

CLEANLINESS: The resort and rooms were very clean. They were always staff around cleaning. The food was always appropriately kept hot or cold. I was very impressed.

ROOMS: The nannies kept the rooms very clean and stocked the fridge with food that we requested. Instead of a normal "room," all "rooms" are actually mini apartments. We had a lovely and HUGE two floor, 2 bedroom apartment. MUCH BETTER than other AI resorts with small "suites." Two large bedrooms upstairs with a large living/dining room area and small kitchen area downstairs. We also had a large balcony overlooking the pool. A surprisingly comfortable king bed in the master bedroom and very comfortable twin beds in the kids' room. (We were grateful for the comfy beds.) Both bedrooms had their own full bathrooms, which were stocked with shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, and soap. There was a hairdryer in the master bedroom as well.) There was also a toilet room on the first floor. While the rooms were VERY clean, they were dated with small boxy televisions. Yes, they are definitely in need of an update, however, we did not come to the resort to hang out in our room. Overall, we really liked our huge comfortable and clean space. It was a comfy place to hang out. Lovely to open window and hear the ocean and the birds. No problem whatsoever with bugs or mosquitos even though there were no screens on any windows. Room had a small safe. Also, the AC was great! Lastly, any issue that we brought to our nannies' attention were immediately resolved within hours. For example, when we first got there on Sunday evening, the master shower did not have strong water pressure. This was fixed before the following morning.

KIDS' DINING: Lots of food geared towards children. Pizza, Hot Dogs, Chicken, burgers, fries, veggies, cupcakes, etc. Reminded me of birthday party food. However, kids were always happy and full. Staff in children's dining area are wonderful! They constantly took drink orders and brought over drinks.

DINING & FOOD: Staff in all restaurants were superb. They were constantly filling up our water glasses, drink glasses, taking juice orders, and providing great coffee. The food overall (except for the Jamaican food) was similar to food in AIs -not great. Smaller selection than some of the larger AIs as the resort is significantly smaller. Abundant amounts though. Lots of snapper. Kitchens cooked fish for us that we caught! Extremely happy with all kitchen staff and restaurant staff.

Food at breakfast: Excellent. Fresh egg station. The guy will make whatever you want. Selection of 3-4 cold cereals, a delicious rotating hot cereal (with a few toppings), a small selection of fresh fruit, yogurt, bagels, English muffins, regular muffins, French toast, pancakes, hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. Breakfast was yummy every day.

Lunch: While there is a decent fresh lunch selection, I did not enjoy the lunch food in the main restaurant. The resort needs a salad bar. I ate the grilled food, but it was really meant for kids. Beef patties at the grill and the jerk pork and chicken were good.

Dinner: Like all AIs, the food was not great as it was prepared for the masses. Except for the Jamaican food - which was delicious, I was not impressed. The Jamaican food at the adults' only restaurant was the tastiest and was actually very good. We really enjoyed the local cuisine. Indian food was pretty good. Appetizer bar at the adults-only restaurant was tasty. However, the resort needs to work on their salads. Very disappointed and bored with the plain salads.

BAR AREA: Terrific environment! Very clean. Can get alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at the bar. Strong enjoyable drinks. No one was drunk or loud or obnoxious. They have family games and cards for everyone to enjoy. Everyone played. I loved playing these games with the kids as well as with the adults. Everyone - young and old - hangs out there and chats! At night, the area was free of children. Good music and lots of fun. We met wonderful people hanging in the bar area.

BEACH: If you want to walk out of your room onto a great beach, you will be hugely disappointed. The small beach on the resort is not great at all for adults. It IS good for very young children. Much of the resort overlooks beautiful rocks. There are two piers to walk out on hovering over the ocean, along with beach chairs and tables. HOWEVER, if you walk no more than 4 minutes from your room/apartment, you will be at the property's edge. Pass the resort's security guard by the spa and you are on a beautiful beach with clean sand and warm water. We went there a lot with the kids as well as without the kids. There is over a mile of great beach walking and very safe. If you can overcome not having a pristine beach directly in front of you, you will be fine at this very special resort.

POOL: Nannies and lifeguards were everywhere watching everyone. Pools and pool areas were very clean and maintained multiple times a day. Lots of sunny areas as well as shady areas However, the pools are all dated and definitely in need of a complete renovation. The large wooden chairs need new cushions but we covered them with towels (which were plentiful) and were happy. We were always able to find chairs. The large pool slide was a HUGE hit with our 7.5 year old and 5 year old. It was the best "pool" there. The baby pool was ice cold, though the little ones liked it. I was told that the "Jacuzzi" was recently renovated. However, it was also ice cold and ugly. There appeared to be a "bar" area, however, the bar there was not used by staff and the bar itself did not overlook the concrete tub. Lastly, the main pool with the smaller slides was cold. Very few grown-ups went into the water due to the low temperature. I do not understand why the pools are not heated by solar heat panels. A resort without a great beach needs a great pool (preferably a pretty one with blue mosaic tiles instead of ugly concrete). My husband and I as well as the other adults traveling with us missed not having a great pool to go into to enjoy. Hopefully the resort will change this significant problem. All that being said, the kids had fun in the cold pool and the grown-ups relaxed.

KIDS' CLUB: All my kids LOVED the kids' club. Tons of nanny supervision. Adjacent to the nurse's office. Kids had the freedom to choose to participate in anything that interested them. It was not fancy, but the kids all had the best time there.

PLAYGROUND, BASKETBALL COURT AND TENNIS COURT: While it was a bit run down, the kids LOVED it there and spent a lot of time there each day. They played on the swings, monkey bars, climbed, ran around and were simply active kids. There is a LOT of supervision by the nannies, however, the nannies let them be kids and play independently unless a child wanted the nanny to play or push him or her on the swings, which they enjoyed doing. They children had a lot of supervised freedom. No helicopter moms or helicopter nannies there. The children were all making up imaginative games - very old-school. It was not "pretty" but the kids did not notice. The playground was next to the bunny hut where the kids fed and held the bunnies. (The nannies made them clean their hands afterwards.) They kids did arts and crafts and made tie dyed clothing. (Bring white t-shirts, dresses, socks or anything else you want to tie dye - otherwise you will have to purchase them at the gift shop.) They also had a foosball game there which the bigger kids used all the time. Next to the kids' area is a basketball court and a tennis court. The bigger kids were constantly playing in those areas - with or without adults. GREAT tennis instructor - she was wonderful with my boys! They loved their lesson with her and she always said hello to all of us when she was around other areas of the property.

SPA: My husband and I had a couple's massage. We both had great treatments by wonderful and experienced massage therapists. The female therapists got out all of our knots. The massage rooms were located on a pier over the ocean at the edge of the property which is off limits to kids. Great ocean sounds. No music. The room we had was large with high open windows. The massage beds were standard and comfy. No frills. No hot tea was offered or a place to sit after the massage. It was not a beautiful or luxurious spa, but rather clean, very simple, and relaxing. Again, if pristine aesthetics and extra frills are very important to you, this is not the resort for you.

HAMMOCKS: Located near the spa. Great quiet place to unwind. Wish there were more hammocks hidden among the property!

OTHER PLACES - OFF SITE: We walked to the lobster shack down the beach and had a lobster meal. I would not recommend going there. Food was $29 a meal and merely average or below average. We do however, recommend either going to (or for about $10, having someone pick up food for you at) Scotches. Outstanding Jamaican food! Not to be missed! You can eat it in the resort's bar area or restaurant area!

OVERALL: This is a small charming resort (under 80 rooms) to stay at with your family if you have young kids and need some extra sets of hands so that you can relax and be a grown-up again. The kids have real organized fun activities, supervision, and old-school fun. More than half the people we met have been going back there for YEARS! Everyone we met is down-to-earth. Most guests are well-educated professionals, business owners, or stay at home mothers. Our 7.5 year old and 5 year old easily made new friends and became a bit more independent. It is a very safe and comforting resort where kids can be kids. The staff knows you and goes out of their way to make sure that you are having a great time. While it is not fancy or luxurious, we loved this very special family resort. We hope to all go back again next year!

Date of Stay: 02/15/2015
Children in Party: 3


Kids (3-6)
Kids (7-9)
Accommodations
Dining
Kids Play Area
Money Value
Pool & Water Fun
Staff


We just love this place!
by AnnetteMac
Just returned from FDR Resort in Runaway Bay. This was my 4th year and my new husband's 2nd visit to FDR Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. Is this a fancy resort place...absolutely not! It's just comfortable and home and most important, ... more very clean! It's designed with children in mind. We go with my daughter and her 2 children who have been coming for 5 years. I'm called "mom" and my husband, "grandpa". It's a place for young families who just keep coming back together with their grandmas and grandpas. The children look forward every year to seeing their "old" friends again. Your children are safe and having fun. The nannies are better than wonderful especially Keisha Gregory who always looks after my grandchildren as if they were her own. The Jamaica Dive group is nothing short of superb. They will very safely turn you and your children into divers. I can't say enough good things about this place. Oh yes, we're absolutely going back next year!!!

Date of Stay: 06/15/2013
Children in Party: 1



We added a Nanny to our family!
by jill67will@yahoo.com
Franklyn D. Resort is an older property of very large, but slightly shabby rooms. I hesitate to write shabby in fear it will turn some people off, because the shabbiness gave the resort a cozy and quaint feel. We booked a one bedroom, but were ... more upgraded two a two bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom suite after a three hour wait for our room to be ready. The three-hour wait was worth it for the spacious upgrade with a balcony overlooking the pool and with an ocean view. The abundant foliage on the property was beautiful.

The staff were all kind and accommodating. The food was very good; nothing fancy, but abundant and had the feel of local cuisine. The best part of the resort is the Nanny service and activities. Each family is assigned a Nanny and you may book more than one. We had one for our three children ages 8, 10 and 12 and she was wonderful. (Thank you, Korona!) She was involved with the kids and suggested activities but was never intrusive or pushy. The activities were broken down into four age groups: kiddies, pre-teen, teen and adult. There was always something to do or not....you could chose to just hang out at the pool or beach.

The little gift shop had everything you may have forgotten plus some reasonably-priced souvenirs. The one downside was the hot water heater for our building was broken and we had to take cold showers for the entire stay. However, everything else made up for it and I would not hesitate to return.

Date of Stay: 03/26/2013
Children in Party: 3


Kids (7-9)
Tweens (10-12)
Accommodations
Dining
Kids Play Area
Money Value
Pool & Water Fun
Staff



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