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matkat Aug 5th, 2004 12:13 PM

Nice Resort w/2 very small children
We are lookign to go to the Carribean in November for a week with our 2 children ages 1 & 2. We are looking for a really nice resort with a great pool, a wading pool, a nice beach, and lots of food choices on site. Our main goal is not to have to leave the property too much, especially for dinner when the kids will be tired. We'd also like to be able to get either a large room or preferably some sort of suite. We've been to Aruba, St John, the Bahamas, St Croix, & Jamaica. We liked all of them but wouldn't mind trying something different. We're trying to avoid anything too remote as we'd prefer not to have to have to make several connections to get there. Price is not really an issue, it could be an AI or not. We were looking at Beaches in T & C but there is so much negative feedback on that it kind of scared us away. Are there any other all inclusives that people actually have positive comments on? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

brijax Aug 5th, 2004 01:18 PM

Cehck out Franklin D Resort - runaway bay in jamaica. It is beyond great for the kids (went last year with a 9 mo old). The hotel is fine - suite style rooms with kitchenette. It is an average island room. Not dirty or anything at all just not "jazzy". But included in your price is a NANNY for the kids from 9-5. It is a total kid friendly resort, kid friendly food (and regular meals too)
would happily give you more info and check out their website I think

Kimberly Aug 6th, 2004 04:56 AM

How about Beaches Negril?

Cicerone Aug 6th, 2004 05:21 AM

El Conquistador Hotel, Puerto Rico. Has about 12 restaurants, its own island for the beach, numerous pools, kids programs, babysitters, lots of room choices (including villas), golf, tennis and a great spa. Many flights to San Juan, including many non-stops from the east coast of the US. Take a look at or Wyndham has several other resorts on the island.

marymarra Aug 6th, 2004 06:12 PM

Hi Matkat,

wanted to give another vote to FDR Runaway Bay--it is very nice; I want to be clear--it is not luxurious, but it is clean, comfortable and you will get a little time away from your kids; we brought our 2 1/2 year old and it was perfect for her. The nice thing is that they have accomodations with an extra bedroom so you can get some sleep away from the kids. The nannies are fine during the day and then will sit for you for a ridiculously small fee at night so you can go the (actually) good restaurant which is adults only.

Hope this helps,


matkat Aug 10th, 2004 01:52 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking into the FDR but had a few questions. Is your nanny with you all the time or can you just use her services when you want to? If she's with you all the time, does she eat with you too? Can you have some family time alone? Are you able to switch nannies if your kids don't seem to take to her?

Also, has anyone been to both the T&C and the Negril Beaches? Is the Negril one much better, it seems to get somewhat better reviews. Alos, has anyone stayed in a suite at Beaches? Are they nice & worth the extra $$? Finally are either T & C or Jamaica in a rainy season in November?

Anyone have any thoughts on Almond Village in Barbados or Half Moon in Jamaica?

Thanks for the EL Conquistidor suggestion as well. My husband was recently there for a conference and he agreed it would be great for teh kids but he wanted to try something new.

benj Aug 10th, 2004 02:27 PM

We stayed at Beaches Negril in May. It was nice & would be good for young kids. The food was so-so but a wide variety. We stayed in the Savannah building in a 1 bedroom Beachfront concierge suite. It was basically like they combined 2 rooms. Part one was a living room setup with 2 sofabeds (crappy mattress according to my kids), a mini-fridge, armoire with tv & separate bathroom. Very nice looking & spacious with its own balcony. Part two was a bedroom with a kingsize bed, armoire with tv, separate bath & also a balcony. We figured it cost us about $240 a person per day (4 of us). Having unlimited access to watersports was nice but if you don't drink then they make more money off the deal. They have the Sesame Street promotion going on now so young ones might like that. If you decide to go there make sure to ask for the Montpelier building. Where we were in Savannah (611 & 612) was right by where they were building the waterpark. The beach view is now obscured. Montpelier is the least noisy. That's where we were supposed to be but didn't get it on arrival.

You might check into Moon Dance Villas in Negril. For about the same money you get your own villa on the beach with a cook & bartender. They make whatever you want to eat even if everyone wants something different. It is served in your villa. They will watch your kids while you walk the beach if you want. My sis-in-law took her 2 kids & said it was wonderful. She had reserved a 2 bedroom villa but got upgraded free to the 3 bedroom one. I think it cost her about $75 more to do AI. The kids are cheap since they are so small.

brijax Aug 13th, 2004 04:51 AM

Hi Matkat. To answer your questions the nanny can be with you from 9-5 if u choose. She does take a lunch - without u and the kids. Basically is you want her around she will be around. If you dont then she will go off and clean your room.....I have only heard of one family who did not like there nanny (was not outgoing enough for their kids) and switch "no problem" These nannies work hard as it is a hard job to get and hundrends of others are waiting in line to take over.....

the one thing I ask - please let me know which you choose -as we are looing at similiar options - with a 2 1/2 and 1 yr old. FDR was great but kind of would like a change and are looking at the same kid friendly hotels but also Clyb Med Ixtapa

marymarra Aug 13th, 2004 10:11 AM

I think you have your nanny questions answered; plus, she is available to sit for you at night for a ridiculously small fee--we paid her more--if you want to eat at the adults only restaurant out on the pier; we did that twice and it was very nice.

We also stayed at Half Moon which is not quite as little-kid friendly; the kids program was fine, but the property itself is more upscale and while noone ever said anything, there was more pressure for your kids to be on their best behaviour. Also, it took forever for food to be served at Half Moon and that is always a problem for a toddler. At FDR, there is kids food available all the time and very little waiting. Also at Half Moon, the concierge desk twice messed up getting sitters for us which was irritating to say the least.

Let me know if you have other questions.


GettinBye Nov 21st, 2004 11:19 AM

Hi... curious if you went to Franklin D Resort. I am currently planning our March vacation. My kids are 3 and 5. What did you think? If you didn't go there, where did you go? I like the idea of all-inclusive. THanks...hope you had fun.

emtravel Nov 22nd, 2004 05:37 AM

we've been in Beaches and it is OK for families but too commerical for my taste. Our kids grown up now.
As a travel agent, we sent many families to Caribbean and per previous replies, I agree that FDR is a good choice for families with little kids. I visited it and I did not like the beach. Too small. Not sure if this matters for you.
One resort I can suggest with a nanny which was not mentioned in previous emails, is Windjammer Landing. It is more upscale and nicer than FDR if you can afford it. This was the resort where we sent the clients with the younger kids we've helped to arrange travel - the twins were 8 months old. They had a villa with a nanny and at the same time the parents were able to enjoy resort's facilities and restaurants. So I think it is a perfect fit. It is in St. Lucia .

Michaelpl Nov 22nd, 2004 07:47 AM

FDR in Runaway Bay is tough to beat in the areas of being kid friendly,safe,large clean rooms, ok pool and a TERRIFIC staff that goes all out to help kids have a good time.
What it does not have however is a beach that you can really call a beach.
Rather there is a very small "cove" that has an area for kids and room enough for some chairs. There is however a very nice, long walkable beach directly to the east that you are able to walk on.(take you 40 min to walk the whole thing and back. (the down side is that you must walk past the nude beach at Breezes. This did not make any difference what-so-ever as our child did not even realize it.)
Have fun!

matkat Nov 22nd, 2004 11:04 AM

Gettinby-We did not end up booking the FDR. We're actually leaving in 2 weeks for the Sands at Grace Bay on T&C. There were a lot of deciding factors for us:
1) cost- Beaches T&C was going to cost us about $5000 more than the Sands and that was for a 1 bedroom vs a 2 bedroom at the Sands. We just couldn't justify that, especially with the poor reviews for Beaches.
2) food- our kids are extremey picky so we decided a kitchen was a must have so we could at least feed them some meals in the room
3) flights- we could get a direct flight to T&C and its a short flight so that was a big draw for us. Teh flight to Jamaica was just a little too long.
4) baysitting, kids club etc- our kids are too young to use most facilities and our older daughter does not do well with us leaving her with strangers so we decided this wasn't a priority for us. Plus we love spending time with our kids and they're very used to eating out, being with other people, etc so we just didn't see this as an issue.
Hope this helps!

matkat Nov 22nd, 2004 11:25 AM

By the way, thanks to everyone for their thoughts & suggestions!! We will definitely keep them all in mind for our next vacation!

joannmarrero Nov 22nd, 2004 04:10 PM

Try the DR (dominican republic) we've been going for 5 years now. 3 times to club med (awesome kids club!) they also have a baby club. went their 2 times within 6 months. they are a bit pricing right now, but hopefully they'll come out with some deals. We also did the iberstaro bavaro -- another fantastic all suites, all inclusive resort (crappy kids club). this coming april from the 20 -29th we're going to the Bahia Prin. I got an AWESOME DEAL
from my travel agent $3800 includin air, taxes, resort all inclusive and transportation to and from the hotel. Ya can't beat that!!! We typically go to the DR because it a short non stop flight, it's beautiful and all inclusive. Our group is usually 20 people with 8 kids ranging from 1 to 11.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me.

cartera45 Nov 23rd, 2004 03:52 PM


Please post a trip report when you return. I have friends who are concerned about an upcoming T&C trip because they're afraid it might be chilly.

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