Editor’s Review of Franklyn D. Resort & Spa
Situated on three acres fronting a small private beach on Runaway Bay in Jamaica's north coast -- about 20 minutes west of Ocho Rios and an hour east of Montego Bay -- Franklyn D. Resort (or FDR, as it's called) pretty much epitomizes family-friendly, no-fuss vacationing. So focused on families is FDR, that it's almost impossible to believe that anyone without kids would come here. However, empty-nesters who've been visiting since their college-aged kids were in diapers still do.
The property originally belonged to an architect, who designed the buildings and grounds with a Mediterranean and Tuscan feel. In 1990, Jamaican hotelier Frank Rance took over and turned the property into Jamaica's first all-suite, all-inclusive resort targeted
specifically at families. The owner implemented the concept of personal vacation nannies into the hotel's offerings as a way to set FDR apart.
All-inclusive rates include three meals daily and all snacks, your vacation nanny between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:40 p.m., kids camp, shopping tours to Ocho Rios, use of land and water sports (including bikes and tennis and kayaking instruction). Special tours such as glass bottom boat outings, snorkeling and booze cruises are also provided free of charge. The spa and scuba diving are excluded from the all-inclusive rate. However, the first thing to know is that this is not a grand, ritzy chain resort kind of place.
Compared to other all-inclusive resorts up and down the coast, FDR has an intimate (they say "boutique," we say more like vintage-charm) feel. You're not going to find the huge poured concrete spaces and vast grassy lawns of a Beaches resort here. Protected by jetties and roped off for safety, FDR's beach (really two small coves) is a small but suitable place for families to swim in safe, sheltered surrounds. Despite its size, most things you find at larger properties -- from a comprehensive kids camp, good water sports and multi-cuisine dining options -- are available here.
There's not a whole lot to do in FDR's immediate surrounds, other than hop on a bicycle for one of the guided tours offered every morning. Ocho Rios -- with attractions like Dunn's River Falls, Mystic Mountains and shopping -- is only 20 minutes away by taxi.
The lush property is thick with pretty flora with paths winding from building to building and past the pool area to the beach. The 78 suites all have an airiness about them that's typical of the tropics. All rooms have full or partial ocean views and separate living areas and kitchenettes. All of the wood furnishings in the rooms were refinished in 2010, the pool was re-tiled in 2010. All in the all, the resort is in quite good shape for the years under its belt. less
Our Editor Loves
- Kids' club
- Personal vacation nanny included
- All-suite accommodations with kitchenettes
- All Inclusive
- Water Sports
- Horseback Riding
- Children's Program
- Connecting Rooms
- DVD Player
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Kids'/Theme Meals
- Laundry Service
- Onsite Dining
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 ...
Read full review
Our Christmas Present
Reviewed on 01/09/2016
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 ...
Read full review
As a TripAdvisor company, we searched 200+
sites to find the best
Enter dates for best prices
Compare best prices from the top travel sites
All 78 suites at FDR have balconies or patios with full or partial ocean views and family-friendly amenities such as separate living areas, a dining table, refrigerator and full kitchenette with a stove, microwave and pots and pans. Suites all have tiled floors with throw rugs in the living area, dark wood furniture, Jamaican artwork and bathrooms with tub-in-shower configurations. There's also satellite TV and a complimentary Wi-Fi. Your refrigerator and pantry comes stocked with crackers and cheese, sodas and juices, fruits, yogurts, cereals and more that you can have replenished at no cost throughout your stay. These are great for between meal snacks before naptime and hors d'oeuvres on your balcony.
You can opt for one-, two- or three-bedroom suites, and while connecting suites aren't available the resort makes an effort to arrange adjacent rooms if you're traveling with friends or family. One-bedroom suites can accommodate two adults and three children. Two-bedroom suites have room for four adults and three children. And three-bedroom suites can host six adults and three children. Rollaway beds, cribs, bed rails, child gates (for split-level suites) and DVD players with kids' movies are all provided upon requested at no extra charge.
Vacation Nanny and Housekeeping
Your nanny can take care of household chores such as laundry (for a small per-load fee) and washing dishes, and she's also the one cleaning your suite on a daily basis. She'll have an hour lunch break each day, at which time you can take your child to the kid's camp. Children under 6 years old stay for free at the resort.
Other hotels you might like...