Runaway Bay, Jamaica:
Jamaica’s allure as a tropical paradise has taken hold of a New Jersey family.
Richard and Kim House and their son Andrew of Teaneck, New Jersey, USA have vacationed at the family-oriented Franklyn D Resort and Spa (FDR) in Runaway Bay, Jamaica for a record 22 years.
The couple first vacationed at FDR in 1996, when Andrew was just one-and-a-half years old and has returned every year since then, except in 2003 when Andrew was ill and the vacation was canceled.
The House family says when they first decided to visit FDR in the mid-to-late nineties, they had no plan to return the following year and never could have imagined vacationing there, every January, for 22 years.
But they say what brought them back after the first visit and every year since then, was the feeling of being among family whenever they are at FDR.
Added to that, with each of the 79 suites on the property being assigned a nanny, it meant that couples on vacation there, like the Houses, could leave their kids in a friendly and totally safe environment while they scuba dive, or enjoy themselves otherwise on the property.
Franklyn D Resort is located around 25km west of Ocho Rios, along Jamaica’s north coast.
The Houses have vacationed at other destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, and North America but to them, FDR is tops.
“The people who work here are so wonderful and so loving and so caring and when we come they greet us, and they hug us, we feel like we’re coming back to visit our own family,” explained Kim.
“So we’re family here and we know all the waiters, the waitresses, the nannies, the management, the chef. Each time we come it feels like coming home again, so you can say we’re Jamericans.” (Jamerican is a term that means Jamaican and American.)
Richard concurred, stating: “They treat you like you’re one of the family, that’s the great thing about this place. You come here you get special treatment, you get special rooms, the food is just Jamaican, it’s not Americanised. That’s the reason, it’s family, we’re all family. And it never changes, it’s always the same. It’s laid back and it’s Jamaican.”
As for Andrew, who is now 23, what he really likes about FDR is that there is always something to do, not just for the kids but adults too. And one of those things is scuba diving and he has been doing it for five years.
“For me, I do scuba diving now and I just got one of my certifications today,” Andrew revealed, with a satisfying grin.
Janique Johnson, assistant sales manager at FDR, said the endorsement by the House family is a true testimony of the hard work, professionalism and dedication of the staff at the hotel, especially the nannies.
Visit FDR at www.fdrholidays.com