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I just found your next family vacation! If you are looking for an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean to take the whole family, look no further than Franklyn D. Resort & Spa. This slice of paradise is my new favorite travel destination designed for the whole family.
It is the perfect blend of family time, tropical paradise and a couples retreat. As soon as you check in, everything is included! The food, the drinks, the fun – everything!
Where is Franklyn D. Resort?
The Franklyn D. Resort & Spa is nestled in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. It is approximately an hour east of Montego Bay and the Montego Bay airport. My family and I flew Spirit Airlines from Asheville, North Carolina. We stopped off in Ft Lauderdale, Florida to change planes and flew straight into Montego Bay.
I highly recommend Spirit Airlines if you are flying into the Caribbean. I had great service and flights are super duper cheap! With Spirit you get #MoreGo for your buck! Check out all the destinations that Spirit flies to now! (https://www.spirit.com)
As soon as you clear customs in Jamaica, you check into a tour desk and transportation has already been arranged by the Franklyn D. Resort! You step outside to your private car and immediately feel the warm sea breeze. A kind woman with a big smile will try to hand you a “Red Stripe” (which is the national beer) as you walk to your car escorted by your driver.
It is a 60 min drive through some beautiful mountainous countryside on your right and the ocean to your left. When you arrive to the resort you feel the tropical vibes as you drive through the long driveway lined with palm trees and blooming bougainvilleas! The gate keeper checks you in and you drive right up to the open air lobby!
Check in Process
Checking in is a breeze with the friendly front desk staff. They offer you a drink, juice for the kids and maybe a pina colada for the parents? Your pre-assigned Nanny greets you in the Franklyn D. Resort lobby. (That’s correct, you read “nanny” more on this invaluable amenity later!) Your Nanny gives you a quick tour of the resort as the bell man takes your luggage to your room.
The Nanny gives you your keys and then gives you an in depth tour of the suite or “cottages”. There is also an important “child medical and physical questionnaire” that she will request you fill out at the beginning of your stay.
Tour the Resort
I had researched the resort before arriving but I was blown away when I arrived. I read all the reviews and I thought I knew what to expect. This resort needs to be seen to be believed! It is directly on the water, gorgeous sandy beaches and reefs you can snorkel and dive to! The foliage around the grounds are so beautifully maintained. It feels like a tropical jungle.
There is a ton of stuff to do at the resort! Aside from simply sitting on the beach and basking in the glory of the crystal clear Caribbean – there is always something going on at the resort!
What is there to do at FDR?
Let’s break down the entertainment by “who is having fun”. I want to tell you all the kids activities, adult fun, and family amenities! I promise, you will never be bored at the FDR.
Depending on how old your kids are, there is something for everyone. As I mentioned earlier, you are assigned a Nanny for the duration of your visit. The Nanny can take your infants, toddlers or kids to all the planned daily activities. There are planned activities from 9am – 8pm every day.
There is a large beach area with sand toys and play houses for the kids. There is also a game room with ping pong, pool tables, and foos ball tables. There are 4 pools and two water slides. One for toddlers and one for older kids or adults! There are two large pool and two very shallow pools for little ones. There is a playground, outdoor craft area, and a kids indoor play area. The kids indoor play area has a ball pit, tons of toys, and a reading area with books!
For older kids, there is a teen hut with video games and dance classes. They offer supervised teen games like volleyball on the beach and a few “field trips” around the area.
Adult & Family Fun
There is a bar located between the pools that opens at 10am every morning! They can make nearly every drink you can think of. But the locals recommend anything made with the local Jamaican rum. They can also make blended drinks for the kids like virgin pina coladas and strawberry daquires! (Which btw my kids ordered a daiquiri at almost every meal!)
If you’re wanting to get out on the water, the resort offers a variety of activities. They have kayaks, small sailboats, snorkel and dive gear.
If that won’t keep you busy enough there are yoga classes, bike tours, shopping trips, guided tours to local attractions, a full gym for that morning workout and so much more! There are also tennis courts, basketball courts and a mini golf area. I want to highly recommend the 30 min bike tour around the area, you get to bike by some beautiful houses and a golf course!
There is a seaside Spa where you can book some treatments. They offer a variety of facials, body scrubs and massages. The best part of the Spa is that is it located in a separate building, secluded on the far east side of the resort and it is on the water. Imagine hearing the waves roll over the shoreline as you receive a great massage! I think Franklyn D. Resort is my personal version of heaven!
They have all kinds of rooms ranging from small villas to huge family suites that can sleep up to 9-10 people! Each suite has a private balcony, a full kitchen, a living room, strong wifi and a view. My family and I stayed in the 2 bedroom / 2.5 bathroom cottage with a balcony view of the ocean.
It was room 101 and when I return to FDR, I’m going to request that exact room. It was perfect. I don’t know if it was the sunshine, after dinner pina coladas or that mattress – but I had the best sleep of my life every single night!
I was probably exhausted from all the fun in the sun! I am almost tempted to call them and ask to buy that mattress and have it shipped to me.
This is what you all have been waiting to hear about. The best and most VIP part of a stay at the gorgeous Franklyn D Resort is the free “Vacation Nanny”! This was something that I wasn’t too sure about at first. I loved the concept but I was worried about how my young toddlers would take to her and if they would feel comfortable.
Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. Our Nanny was Mrs Coretta. As soon as we met Coretta at check in, we knew she was a kind and loving person. She gave us an in-depth tour and answered all of our questions with patience. Then she walked us through our room and showed us how to work everything.
She also handed us preference cards to fill out. These cards tell her your preferences about how you want your kitchen stocked. Every day she would bring us extra coffee, a plate of fruit, a plate of Jamaican cheese and lots of fruit loops for the kids.
Coretta also found out it was Alex’s birthday and arranged for champagne and a cake to be delivered to the room! I cried, it was such an unexpected surprise. It’s little personal touches like this that make Franklyn D. Resort, the best Caribbean resort!
Our Nanny has definitely chosen the right profession! She is an expert at what she does! She has a pure soul, so my kids took to her right away. She was fun but also knew how to corral the two of them. Let me give you an example of a typical day with a vacation Nanny.
Every morning at 8:30am Coretta would meet us at breakfast. I would hand her a bag for the kids (with bathing suits, sunscreen and change of clothes). She would take both kids anywhere they wanted to go, do the daily activities (crafts, face painting, tie dye, crab races, etc.) and we would meet back at 12:30pm for lunch. We would have lunch as a family and the Nanny would take her hour lunch break.
At around 1:30pm, the Nanny would meet us back at the room. She would take them again for a fun filled afternoon. We would meet back at the ice cream tree house around 4:30pm and Mrs Coretta would go home for the day.
When the kids were with the Nanny, Alex and I would work on blog stuff, go snorkeling, take a yoga class, go for a bike ride or just have an uninterrupted conversation. I cannot tell you how incredible it was to have time alone with my spouse while on a family vacation. This is the feature that sets FDR apart from all other destinations!
The nannies that work for Franklyn D. Resort are high skilled and carefully trained. Many nannies specialize in multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), kids with severe allergies, special needs and autism. The nannies I saw were smiling and patient with each child. Each nanny is also CPR certified.
I did notice that a few families had more than one Nanny, you can hire an extra Nanny for $50/day. You can also ask your Nanny to stay past 4:30pm for $12/hr. On our last night, we asked the nanny to come from 6:30pm-8:30pm so Alex and I could go to the adult only restaurant for a quiet dinner. It was jamaican night and we ate everything on the menu with jerk sauce or plantains! It was delicious, but honestly, all the food was delicious!
The Franklyn D. Resort has 4 restaurants. The food at the Franklyn D. Resort was all fresh and made to order. Each meal is served in a different covered open air dining area. I loved being outside all the time, I was never hot or uncomfortable because there was a slight breeze always blowing. There always seemed to be a vegetarian option on each menu. Let’s start with breakfast!
Every morning at 7am there is a continental spread of fruits, veggies, cheese, breads and pastries. You are seated and handed a menu of smoothies and hot breakfast dishes. They have everything from eggs, omelets, waffles, and pancakes. I still think about that homemade banana bread with guava jelly.
For lunch there is a grill open. They can make fresh pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, Jamaican patties, jerk chicken, jerk pork, onion rings, fries, chicken sandwiches, wraps and more! It’s all made to order on the open grill. I think lunch was my favorite.
Dinners are different every night! There are themes like sushi night, Italian night, or Jamaican night. Each night there is a family restaurant and an adults only restaurant open for a quieter dining experience. All of the food was good, but the best meal I had at Franklyn D. Resort was the classic curry chicken over peas and rice. It was so delicious that after I was full and finished, I requested a whole other plate to take back to my room. That’s how good it was!
There is a kids buffet that opens just after 5pm. This is buffet style with all the things those little kiddos love to eat! Chicken nuggets, pasta, pizza, rice, veggies, etc. In all the kids dining areas there are booster seats and highchairs if needed.
If you forget anything, there is a gift shop stocked with anything you need. Snacks, sunscreen, clothes, shoes or souvenirs! It is not the cheapest but it’s reasonable.
In case you have a simple medical emergency, there is a nurses station with a nurse or doctor on call 24/7. The resort is also located next to a pediatrician and doctors office. On property they can give basic first aid, nebulizer treatments, and can escort you to the nearby hospital if you have anything serious after the doctor has examined you on site. Having proper medical care on hand is a “peace of mind perk” to staying at the Franklyn D. Resort.
My stay at the Franklyn D. Resort was not long enough. I stayed for 5 days and it still wasn’t enough to experience everything to the fulllest! I need to go back soon. I can see why some families return every year for a week, minimum!
Staying at FDR means a perfect balance of family fun and romantic couples time – and its all on the most beautiful beach you’ve ever seen. I literally want to move there for the entire winter. The water is just so aqua and clear!
I loved the Franklyn D. Resort & Spa. I recommend it with all my heart! I also suggest you choose Spirit Airlines to get you there. Maybe you can book a few extra days at the resort with all the money you save flying Spirit. To start booking a stay at the Franklyn D. Resort, click this link to see the latest promotions: fdrholidays.com/promotions. Don’t forget to mention that megforit.com sent ya! Don’t wait to have the beach vacation of your dreams!