All-Inclusive Family-Friendly Resort on the Caribbean Sea
Some all-inclusive resorts cater to young families by offering amenities such as kids’ camps and organized sports, but the Franklyn D. Resort & Spa—located on the north coast of Jamaica—goes one step further, providing you with a personal “vacation nanny” to assist you during your stay. Specially trained and CPR certified, these nannies supervise children of all ages from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., accompanying them to arts-and-crafts classes and playing with them on the beach. When you want quality time as a family, they’ll tidy up your suite and stock the fridge with snacks and drinks. It’s because of this devoted service and a list of other standout amenities that Parents magazine named the resort the second-best family-beach-vacation destination in the world.
Every morning the resort posts its hourly activity schedule on two blackboards—one for kids and one for adults. With enough demand, they’ll also organize a separate program for teens. During your stay, you’ll have access to all land and watersports equipment and facilities, including three swimming pools and two beaches, one of which is located just next door. While the little ones take a ride on a glass-bottom boat or barrel down the 100-foot water slide, you can snorkel in the coral reef or head off to Ocho Rios for an organized shopping tour.
The Franklyn D. Resort & Spa features four dining venues, two of which are adults-only and open only on selected nights. The Sea Cotton Tree Grill—which stays open until midnight—serves casual snacks such as jerk chicken and paninis, and hosts a nightly kids’ buffet” giving adults time to enjoy tropical drinks or remember one another’s names. You can sample traditional Jamaican fare such as Escovitch fish and braised oxtail at the legendary Saturday Jamaican buffet. After dinner, check out the night's live entertainment, which might include cabaret singers, fire-eaters, or a guest talent show.
Runaway Bay, Jamaica: Quiet Resort Town near Natural Wonders
Runaway Bay is tucked into the northern coast of Jamaica, between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The secluded town is one of the island's smallest—Lonely Planet calls it "a one-street village”—and it's noticeably quieter than its tourist-clogged neighbors. But what it lacks in size, Runaway Bay makes up in natural attractions. Some of the best underwater sights in the Caribbean can be explored during scuba-diving tours of the coral reef just offshore. And about 4 miles (7 km) west of town, you can explore the limestone vaults and subterranean lakes of the Green Grotto Caves, which were used as a hideout by Spanish die-hards during Jamaica's 18th-century colonization by the English.
A scenic 25-minute drive brings you to one of the island's most popular attractions—Dunn's River Falls. This natural wonder consists of a series of terraced waterfalls cascading from the mountains to the sea like a gigantic flight of stairs. Thousands of travelers visit the site each year, and it even served as a filming location for the first James Bond movie, Dr. No. Today, tour groups frolic at the bottom of the falls or make the 600-foot climb to the top behind local guides.
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