Choosing the right place to stay has a huge impact on the quality of your vacation, ESPECIALLY when you have kids. We have had some successes and some failures when it comes to our selection of accommodations, and when we have an incredible experience, we want everyone to know.
The Franklyn D Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica is one of those resorts that can transform a standard vacation into becoming a much more adventurous one. Everyone has their preferences while traveling. For us, we want something that is authentic to the culture in which we are staying. We prefer something that architecturally fits in with the place that we are visiting. We prefer an ambiance that makes us feel that we are really in a different part of the world. From the second you pull up to the reception, the FDR reminds you that you are in Jamaica. From the plantation blinds and doors, along with the architecture, to the paintings and furnishings in each of the rooms, this resort is as culturally authentic as you get. It is set on a private beach, and the rooms have incredible views of, and balconies that over look the Caribbean Sea.
They offer a good variety of Jamaican food, which we prefer to eat while we are in Jamaica, but also have other options, for travelers who prefer to stick to their normal diet (like our kids). The best part of the resort is that they include a vacation nanny in the price from 9-4. That means that whether you like adventure, or just need a few hours to yourself at the pool or beach, you get that downtime that you have been dreaming about since your last vacation! Since we prefer adventure, we utilized this time to the best of our advantage, taking excursions and trips daily, so we could enjoy the natural beauty and splendor of Jamaica but still be with our kids all afternoon and evening. We were able to surf incredible reef breaks by ourselves, visit off the beaten path waterfalls, hike in the jungle and drive into town while our kids were being taken care of. The nannies here are also great. Sherene, our nanny was so good when we visited in 2015, that we requested her again in 2016. Our kids preferred to be with her and doing all the fun kid activities at the resort (like disco parties, playing with animals, painting, etc..), instead of us, which made separating each day easy and guilt free. She was not the only nanny that was maternal and great with the kids. The whole resort was full of them. You can also pay them to watch the kids after hours for 7 USD/hour.
If you are going to the Ocho Rios area in Jamaica, I would HIGHLY recommend staying at the FDR. We had two great experiences and are already looking forward to planning our next trip there.