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'Beaches' Resort in Jamaica - has anyone been?

14 replies

whitfield · 13/12/2002 23:13

We are considering a family holiday in April with ds - 4yrs & ds 18 mths at the 'Beaches' resort in Jamaica. Can anyone recommend it or any other resort?

We have been to Antigua, pre children, but have heard about the dangers with Jamaica. Our view at the moment is since we are only planning on a week's holiday we are happy to stay within our resort so hopefully wouldn't encounter any problems. Has anyone had any bad experiences with Jamaica?

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aloha · 14/12/2002 01:14

I've been to Jamaica a couple of times. Some of the all-inclusive resorts can be a bit tacky - lots and lots of Americans & semi-compulsory fun! But haven't been to Beaches, so I can't say if that is true of this resort. I do think the dangers are wildly overstated. Places like Negril and Ocho Rios are nothing at all like downtown Kingston (which is dodgy) - it's a bit like comparing Brixton or Toxteth with Brighton or Bournemouth. The resorts actually slightly play up the 'danger' IMO because they want you to stay there all the time and not explore at all, but there is lots to see and do and the beaches and sea and the mountains and countryside are very beautiful. I really like the liveliness of the place - local 'jump-ups' on Saturday night are great fun - street parties with food and music and dancing in the street. Very jolly. Also there are big houses to see, the old plantations, waterfalls etc. I would say it was quite sad just to stay in the resort all the time - the locals hate it because it destroys the small businesses that people rely on. Even little roadside cafes can be great places to stop off and have some jerk chicken and a beer and the owners will be very laid back and friendly in the main. And of course, Jamaica has some fabulously grand hotels and resorts, like Round Hill, where supermodels and superstars and people like Ralph Lauren go, which gives you an idea of how different the resorts are to Kingston. I have also been to St Lucia, which is very beautiful, tropical and sleepy in comparison, but it is volcanic so the beaches are mostly artificial and don't compare IMO with Jamaica.

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SueW · 14/12/2002 09:05

I don't know the Beaches but my cousin and his family and a friend with 5 kids have been to Franklin D Resort in Jamaica and both recommend it.

There's a review here .

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SueW · 14/12/2002 09:06

And click here for FDR's website.

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valleygirl · 14/12/2002 12:30

No problems visiting Jamaica if you've no intention of visiting the gettos of Kingston!! Jaimaicans are very friendly, if a little too laid back!! All those resorts like Beaches and Sandals are VERY American, big, brash, probably very good value for money as it is All-Inclusive, but it's whether you want that really artificial feel. I've also heard good reports about the Franklin D Resort - has good kids club for children of all ages, and is also All Inclusive. Agree with Aloha that All Inclusive Resorts do very little to encourage economic growth of local communities, as the resorts are always foreign owned, so no money goes back into the local economy when you don't venture outside the gates of the enclosure!!
Have stayed at Round Hill - gorgeous, but bloody expensive. Again has kids club, nice private beach, new spa, but EXPENSIVE. I work in travel so I get freebies!! So, alas I am not a super-model or member of the jet set!!
If you want to go back to Antigua for some of the best beaches in Caribbean then St James Club has reputation as good family-friendly resort.
Hope this is useful!

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Rhiannon · 03/01/2003 20:22

whitfield, if you need a nanny, I am available!

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prufrock · 03/01/2003 22:59

No Rhiannon. You are not allowed 2 Carribean holidays in one year

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cos · 06/01/2003 16:07

Whitfield, i've been to FDR and really enjoyed it. The nice thing about Jamaica is that the tourism is locally owned, sandals and air jamaica are owned by a jamaican guy and the staff are jamaican. Ive been elsewhere in the carribean and the "middle management " up is american with the locals as maids.
Dont underestimate the danger in Jamaica, i love the country but Kingston is not safe, the yearly homicide rate is about 1,000 a year.

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SamaraG · 19/09/2006 14:09

I would recommend St Lucia over Jamaica. The girls at www.childfriendlytravel.com should be able to help you though or their forum recommends too.

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cod · 19/09/2006 14:17

Message withdrawn

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claraq · 29/09/2006 13:59

Hi
Just to add to the above - money from these all-inclusive resorts DOES go back into the local economy as they employ a LOT of people - including the builders who build them, as well as the staff that work there. In an ideal world, tourists would spend more time outside of the resorts at local road-side bars etc. But it is not an ideal world, it is a world which panders to our cousins across the atlantic and they love the all-inclusives so at least they are going to jamaica and not staying home. I also agree that Jamaica is fine as long as you avoid Kingston. I lived there for 3 years so know what it's like. No reason to go there unless you want to see how the other half really live!

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jetsetmum · 29/09/2006 22:10

I've stayed at Boscobel Beach (Beaches)in Jamaica.

Fantastic resort - absolutely loved it.

Yes all inclusives are full of Americans but UK folk equal them and to be honest if you treat the staff well they love the British. And you are supporting the economy by giving them all jobs!!! You can get on well with the staff, I was in a group & when the lads went sea fishing & caught a Marlin they ensured it was given to the staff to take home to their families.

We even arranged a tour with the barmen - they arranged for their mate to drive us to Port Antonio in a minibus - fantastic day out with the locals - and they stocked the minibus up with drinks from the Hotel!

We did get invited out at night but declined this as this is where I think you are safer in all inclusive and it didn't really bother us.

The child facilities are fantastic - the babies can sleep in an air conditioned nursery full of cots near the beach during the day and they have loads of activities from toddlers up - eg dressing up as pirates to hunt for treasure they have already buried in the sand.

I think Beaches Negril though is suppose to be the best - it has a water park.

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angmarie · 12/10/2006 11:54

We went to Boscobel in june and had a nightmare there , we found the service terrible the staff were very friendly and great with the children but you had to queue at the bars because there was about 2 staff on , no where to sit properly to watch the night entertainment you had to sit on the sun loungers.
The food was fantastic and the actual resort was out of this world, but for the money we paid the service was very poor not what we expected at all and to top it off the floor was that dangerous around the pool with slippery tiles my daughter slipped and cut her chin open and had to have it glued together.
There were other people there that felt the same as use considering it was an all inclusive one family had to pay for bottled water to make up there babies bottles , which I thought was appalling

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AMerryScot · 28/12/2007 17:56

Haven't been to Beaches, but have been to an all-inclusive resort specifically targeted at families with young children. It is called FDR, and is near Ocho Rios. Thereils a sister resort called Pebbles. If you look up FDRholidays, you will f) ind both resorts.

What is special about FDR is that they give you a Vacation Nanny with your suite. The nanny is responsible for cleaning your room (1 hour per day) and the rest of the time taking care of your children.

The children are not in day long clubs - either you or the nanny takes care of them according to your wishes. If you want to play with your children, you just tell the nanny to bring them to you at whatever time. It's the best of both worlds.

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AMerryScot · 28/12/2007 17:58

Just read SueW's post and wondering if I am the friend with 5 children

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