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Now that a few weeks have passed by since we were in Jamaica, I've had some time to really think about what a unique island Jamaica really is. The people here are all very hard working with big hearts. No place on the island did we think this was especially true than during our stay at our travel partner, Franklyn D. Resort.
Franklyn D. Resort isn't your every day place to stay. It is very unique and possibly the most family friendly hotel on the planet. The first thing that really stands out about FDR are the vacation nannies.
When I first heard about a resort that gave each family traveling with children their own vacation nanny, I just knew that we had to stay there soon, before Emmy was too old. It turned out that the vacation nanny was truly amazing… but that was just the beginning of what makes FDR so special.
When we pulled up to the gates of FDR, I was a bit confused because they are not that impressive. We are used to resorts where the entry ways are grand! Huge columns, lush landscaping and just the feel of entering paradise, FDR was off a main road and had none of that. It is guard gated, but the entrance is very understated. As we drove in we were unloaded straight into a traditional Caribbean building, and instantly greeted and welcomed. This is the point where I knew this was going to be a very special place.
Emmy looks forward to the resort welcomes so much. From cool towels, fruit infused waters, to
rum punch, she loves to be pampered. We joke that she is an aficionado of sorts in these things, and she said this was the best punch ever. She even wanted me to ask them for the recipe!
After we were quickly checked in, which took less than 10 minutes, (including the time we were enjoying our welcome drinks,) we were taken on a tour of the resort with our vacation nanny. This is the point where it all became real… we were going to have this amazing person with us throughout our entire stay!
If I wasn't already in love with Jamaica and FDR, I was after seeing this view. The colors of the water here were indescribable. From turquoise to deep blues, and then they changed as the clouds passed overhead.
After seeing the ocean views we were shown our suite.
Our two bedroom, bottom floor suite was right on the ocean. We could walk out our doors and be steps from the water. This was mine and Pete's master bedroom…
This was the girls room… I love the traditional Caribbean colors! So vibrant and bright!
Here is our beloved vacation nanny Claudette. This is what having a vacation nanny is really like. You wake up in the morning and head to breakfast. We always shower first, including the kids… but you could totally wait and your nanny will get the kids ready for you when she arrives at 9am. Once your nanny is here, you can do whatever you like. Read a book on the beach, get a massage (for an additional fee), have a drink by the pool, take a nap in a hammock overlooking the ocean, pretty much anything you want to do. While you are relaxing, your children are also doing whatever they like. Your nanny can take them to get a snack, to play with other children in the pool, to splash in the waves on the beach, to do a craft… really the possibilities are endless! Even Ashley at 13 loved having the Nanny around. Emmy of course adored her too. It was the best feeling to know that the kids were safe exploring the resort while we worked and relaxed.
This was the view from our bed. The ocean was right there!
I could not draw Emmy away from the water… she just loves it!
For a day during our stay it rained as it does on a tropical island. At times, it was pouring down and other times it was perfectly sunny. Pete and I sat in the storm on the hammocks looking out over the water. Not something I would normally do since we were soaking wet after, but totally fun. The rain was warm and since we don't get much rain in California, we loved it.
Right outside the over the water spa and massage area, is the quite beach where you can find some tranquility.
FDR has a private lagoon beach area and then to the right of the resort is a long stretch of beach where you can go. The security guard will even bring you beach chairs and towels. FDR takes security very seriously and we were checked in and out when we went to the beach, and I could see that they were looking after us while we were there. Having said that, we felt extremely safe the entire time were in Jamaica. There were even some huts at the end of the beach were people sold little hand made trinkets. Another thing that I was warned about before coming was that there would be people trying to sell all sorts of things on the beaches and that they could get pushy. Not once on our entire stay in Jamaica did anybody try to sell us anything. We didn't venture into unknown areas or out after dark, which is what we do even back in the states, so I would say to take the same precautions you always take when here.
Here is FDR's private beach…
Every morning these boards are filled out with the day's activities. You are free to join as many, or as few as you please. The nannies take the kids to the kids activities if the children would like, or you can take your kids while the nannies straighten up your suite. The nannies act as your housekeeper too. Even stocking your refrigerator with snacks for the evening based on your choices. We had fresh fruit and cheese platters each night for a late night snack, and we also had soy milk and cereal if we got hungry before breakfast. They even can bring beer and water!
Our first night there Emmy joined a dance party!
The girls made bracelets…
Played in tournaments and watched talent shows…
They also have a teens club where they can getaway and hang out.
There are multiple pools too. This is the main one and there is a kiddie pool off to the side for them to splash around in.
And this is the big blue slide pool. It's practically on the ocean!
The girls challenged each other to go down it 100 times each… and they did!
Menus are also posted for each meal. The dining is set up where breakfast is at a certain time each day. It is a buffet with an omelet station and then you can order smoothies, coffee, and other drinks from a server. Lunch is a buffet and an a la carte option, plus the snack bar is open then with pizza, burgers etc. For dinner it is either a themed buffet dinner on the beach, or in the restaurant if there is rain, or an a la carte menu for families and an adult only restaurant with a fancier menu. You can pay your nanny to stay later to watch the kids so you can enjoy dinner with the other adults, or you can all dine at the family restaurant as we did. There is also a kids dinner served buffet style at the snack bar that opens a little earlier than the main dinner. Emmy LOVED it. She would walk through the buffet, order a pizza at the snack bar, and then sit down at the children sized tables and enjoy her food. Then she would come with us over to the main dinner area and have a drink with us…or finish eating her kids food.
I wanted to note that the majority of the food that they serve is for the typical westerner. Lot's of meats. However, as soon as they found out we were vegetarian and vegan, they brought out a special menu just for us that we could order from at each meal. We had a bunch of delicious meals and I would recommend that everyone try the “Rasta Pasta”. It was delicious and packed with all sorts of veggies!
They even made us tofu!
Maddie and I are still craving the spicy red rice. I have never had rice cooked so perfectly!
This is where we enjoyed most of our meals. So beautiful!
A few more things to share.
- There is an onsite nurse available for no charge and if she feels you need additional care they have a physician on call for a fee to take over. Emmy had a bug bite that was really bothering her and the nurse was able to treat and provide relieve right away. We did pack a bunch of bug spray, but I have learned it's never 100%.
- This resort also caters to multi-generational travel and it would be perfect to bring your big extended family to.
- The resort is about an hour from the Montego Bay airport and the drive to the resort is beautiful and on a newly upgraded road.
- They can arrange for off site tours and there are certain ones just for the teens to take too.
- Kids of all ages will love this resort. Parents of little ones who need a break will especially love this place.
- Wifi is free and very strong. So are the drinks!
Here is a video tour of our suite:
Here is a video tour of the resort: