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Reviewed 29 January 2018

We love everything about FDR! So much so that we have been here six times. Our kids have made life long memories here that will ensure our return for years to come!
The nannies are attentive, the food is amazing and the drinks are tasty!

FDR is our home away from home!

Date of stay: January 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Joe H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trishawana, Director of Sales at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2018

Thank you for this awesome review Joe!

We are delighted that you have chosen FDR to be your home away from home. We appreciate your patronage to us over the years and look forward to hosting your family year after year.

Thank you for your kind comments about our nannies, drinks and food.

We look forward to hosting you and the family for your 7th trip!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2018

I'm a little delinquent in writing this review. We travelled to FDR in April 2017 with our girls aged 7 and 4 for the third time, this time staying for 10 days.

The enhancements they've made to the layout of the restaurant are great. The expanded covered area is perfect for those times when there's an outdoor dinner or evening event and makes dining and entertainment so much less weather dependent.

Once again we were treated to excellent service by the staff. They strive to make the guests happy. After being there a few days you start to notice things just start happening as the people working at the resort get to know your preferences - where you like to sit, how you like the table set, what drinks you want, and so on.

Michelle was our nanny this time and helped make our trip very relaxing and kept the kids entertained. She also joined us to help with the kids when our family went to swim with the dolphins. It's nice to have someone to help when you're trying to get the kids changed and ready for the swim.

One of the special things about this resort are the activities for the kids - the talent show evening, crab racing on the pier, goat racing on the beach and so on. It's a unique experience that the kids love and talk about.

My wife and I love the Karaoke nights - probably a little too much.

The food is interesting and good, with changes throughout the week in terms of which restaurants are open and what cuisine or menus they are serving. They also have special events throughout the week - Jamaican night and the beach party night - that feature a tasty and varied buffet. One of the benefits of the small resort is that the food feels more personally prepared and less of the mass production feeling you may find at some of the larger resorts.

The gardens on the grounds are beautiful, lush, and well maintained.

We continue to travel to different resorts and destinations with the kids, and they offer different experiences. FDR is not especially fancy and if you want to focus on minor imperfections you will find them. What it offers is a very friendly, homey, comfortable atmosphere where the entire family, including the parents, get to have fun, unwind, and enjoy. If that's what makes you happy you won't be disappointed, and in my view it's the main reason there are so many 5 star reviews (including a couple of prior ones from me).

We're returning for our fourth visit in March this year, this time staying for 12 days. Maybe it's the -10 degree weather and the snow talking, but I can't wait.

Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank 42_Z_Beeblebrox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2018

I’ve never experienced anything like this, and could easily be described as the worst night of my life. Upper management continues to not acknowledge affected guests had a traumatic event and offer sympathy at a minimum. What about this says hospitality? Either management staff is not empowered by the owner to make significant customer service decisions; or they are directed by the owner to do very little to solve customer service problems.

On the second night of our vacation a firework or flare went off in the dining area right behind our baby’s highchair and landed at the table next to us. Everybody was very shaken up but OK. Then, later that night the power went off around 9 o’clock and we smelled smoke. (I think these were completely separate events, but ironic all the same).

We were using a Wi-Fi video monitor for our toddler and the Wi-Fi went down, so my husband went to check on the baby. After another minute I saw people grabbing fire extinguishers so I went to go check on the baby too.

I heard nervous staff murmurs wondering if people were trapped in a burning building, and so I started sprinting towards my room. The stair entrance to our block of rooms was in flames with a smell of burning plastic in the air. I tried to go up the stairs but the smoke was too thick and staff members were pulling at me to come back away from the building.

I was screaming and shouting to let them know to go in our room to check on our baby. I did not see anybody go towards our room so I ran around the building looking for ways to get upstairs. There were no extra fire escapes or ways to get to the second story of our burning building.

The noise, fire and smoke increased. My primal fear instincts were fully charged and the fear of losing my child was all I could focus on. Luckily the staff had knocked down the railing and placed an extension ladder up to the second floor.

My husband pushed through the crowd and followed a staff member up the ladder, and found my sleeping baby. He followed other guests down the rickety wet ladder that was installed up side down. Luckily no one broke their neck falling from the ladder during the rescue.

After several panic attacks we were located to a new guest room for the night. I noticed the baby was coughing so a nurse and doctor came to our room and did a physical inspection, and the baby was deemed healthy. My sweet husband managed to get my toothbrush and a few other items from our old room so I could finally go to sleep around 1 am.

Unfortunately, by noon we realized we had been downgraded to a lesser quality room. It was smaller, fewer amenities, and both showers had problems. The front desk manager helped get our stuff moved to the new room, listened to our complaints about the new room, and saw us moved into a second new room over the course of the day.

My body was still in shock after coming down from that type of dramatic experience and after the fire and 2 moves in 24 hours I was exhausted and ended up going to bed and sleeping for 12 hours.

The next day was filled with more crying, and reliving the situation over and over and thinking about what if she did not live. I could not believe how much more stressed I would become, than before we left to come on this vacation.

My husband reminded the management that nobody from the hotel had visited us to apologize about the experience, or the fire. He reminded them that we would want the owners or somebody with decision making ability to acknowledge how we had already lost 2 days of vacation due to trauma, moving and stress.

We were told that the owner was on site the night of the fire and has been here every day since. They described him to us, but we insisted that it should not be our responsibility as guests to go look for the owner. Management knows our complaints and they should help us.

Additional issues were:
A winter storm produced cloudy skies, rain, and ocean chop most of the five days we were there.

The waterslide was down during the short time the sun was actually out and the hot tub was down several times during our stay.

We had trouble getting our original room key the first day and a half.

On day four of our vacation, we have still not been on the beach once. The gate is locked because an city storm drain line divides our property from the beach. All of the rain for the past four days means mud slides in the mountains, a 2 foot storm drain turned 8 foot swift flowing river, and
closed beach access. We can’t even walk on the beach!

The poolside grill only had one employee, and the long line meant it would take 30 minutes to get your food. Plus there was no system for keeping track of orders so people would get food you ordered after you, it was kind of chaotic.

The shower’s hot water gets scalding hot without notice and worries me for kids alone in the shower.

The spa area was relaxing, but the only place to put my clothes was a soiled chair. Nothing says $100 ocean side massage like bird poop in the massage room.

Our third and final room was much larger and nicer, but it still had a small flood in the kitchen from the rain the night before and we all slipped on the tile. Luckily we just threw some towels down and they mopped it up later that afternoon.

I get it. Part of the reason you come to Jamaica in January is to escape the cold.
It just seems like the general consensus is that you can overlook and forgive a lot of shortcomings of this resort when it’s beautiful and sunny and there’s beach activities. But when it rains four days straight you start noticing all of the things that are broken or don’t work, and it adds up to be too much to be able to recommend this place or want to come back next year.

We are still in awww that part of our family was trapped in a building that was on fire, suffered emotional trauma far beyond anything we’ve ever experienced and the resorts upper management took 4 days to acknowledge us. We had to retell the story multiple times a day to different staff members in order to convey our grievances. No one even offered up a free massage.

Long story short, this was our second and final stay. Although we love the nannies and had a decent time last year we just can’t see spending our hard-earned money to come back to a place that is just mediocre on so many levels. The staff that you see day-to-day tries to help and are very kind and thoughtful, but without any back up from upper management I don’t expect them to be able to handle situations like those that we’ve experienced while staying here.

As a follow-up, we resolved the incident with an appology and a two night credit with the resort, and the owner never greeted us. In an effort to let go and move on we signed their release. However, in no way does it feel like a compensation for the worst week of our lives.

We are moving on, but we want to warn families looking for worry free vacation to look elsewhere.

Date of stay: January 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
26  Thank STRAINADVENTURE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trishawana, Director of Sales at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2018

Incidents such as these happen from time to time but our staff was up to the task and properly trained. The fire was restricted to the electrical panel room at the bottom of the staircase on Block 1. All our guests were safely evacuated from the block and no one was injured. All other blocks remained untouched and operational within half an hour of the incident.

The owner was ill with a bad hip and came down every day, night and day to see that everything was back to normal as quickly as possible.

Guest Relations staff was assigned to deal with the guests who were affected and they did so by apologizing for the inconvenience, getting a Doctor to come in and check up with the guests and followed up with the guests daily to ensure they were comfortable and enjoyed the rest of their stay.

The owner refused to meet personally with this couple because their child was left alone in a locked room while they enjoyed themselves at the bar. The bar is approximately 200ft away from Block 1. The guests tried to capitalize on their own negligence and took no responsibility for endangering the life of a 16 month old infant. A report is being prepared to be submitted to the Child Services in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the insistence of the owner.

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Reviewed 8 January 2018

We came back for our third year. No need to restate all the wonderful things that I and others have already said. But I did want to say that while I was never unhappy with the food, they have stepped it up. The lunch went from buffet to table service from a select
menu. The food was served quickly and was very good. It was beautifully plated and you could order as much as you liked.

The strength of this resort is the staff. My shy 14yr old could no longer resist LaToya (teen coordinator) and her invitations to activities. She joined in and had a great time. My 12 yr old son skews a bit more mature and he also got to join the Teens and had so much fun. They basically disappeared for the entire evening. My 11yr and 12yr old boys went on a preteen/teen outing for tubing and lunch at Margaritaville. This is such an awesome experience they get to do every year. We stay at the resort relaxing while they have a great time.

We had a different nanny this year but Carlene was a seasoned pro. My 3 yr old is precocious to put it nicely. Carlene knew how to keep her entertained and when to distract if a bad mood hit. When we went on an outing that kept us out longer than expected, Carlene was completely flexible. As nannies also take care of your room, Carlene would stock our fridge with sodas and beer and snacks. And she was like a ninja with getting us pool towels first thing in the morning. She was awesome.

Packing note: bring bug spray, the bugs bit the heck out of us this year. Also I'll bring a small fan next year as there was not one in our bathroom and it got very steamy while taking a shower.

Absolutely cannot wait to return next year!

Date of stay: December 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Jamie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trishawana D, Director of Sales at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2018

It was an absolute pleasure hosting your family once again. We are grateful that you have been so loyal to us year after year by making FDR your vacation destination.

We really appreciate your positive and constructive comments about our property. It is exciting to read that your preteens and teens were able to enjoy activities and excursions while you were able to relax and also have a great time. We are also happy to read that you liked the changes to our menu options at the Honeycomb Shore Restaurant. I will be sure to share your amazing feedback with Carlene and the rest of the staff.

Looking forward to hosting your family for your return visit next year!

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Reviewed 24 December 2017 via mobile

This is the most relaxed I’ve been since my kids were born. A great assortment of activities. Our nanny Sharlene was so energetic, fun-loving and thoughtful. She helped us have so much fun! The food is the best I’ve had at a resort - such a great selection. Drinks are included. Trafari was such a prompt and kind waiter. I highly recommend this place as a family-friendly resort!!!!

Date of stay: December 2017
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank Simone D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trishawana, Director of Sales at Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2017

Thank you for sharing your review with us Simone. It was an absolute pleasure hosting your family with us. It is great to read that you were able to relax and have a fun family vacation. We are delighted that you were satisfied with your nanny Sharlene and I will be sure to share your kind comments with her.

We cant wait to host your family again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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