The island of Jamaica, a gem in the Caribbean
, is home to many all-inclusive resorts
for the traveler looking for miles of pristine beaches
, exotic food and native hospitality. Here are the best all inclusive resorts, whether you are a family of four, a businessman looking for an exclusive spot, or a couple about to be married.
The Franklyn D. Resort and Spa
This family-friendly resort in Runaway Bay is located on the beach, with suites overlooking the Caribbean Ocean. It is newly opened and is the first inclusive resort that offers all suites in a family setting. Whether you have preschoolers or teens, the resort has programs for all ages of children so that parents can relax and enjoy.
Each family is assigned a "Vacation Nanny" who remains on site for housekeeping and child care needs. For families with older children, there is a teen club which offers adolescents a game room complete with video games, a pool table and ping pong.
The resort offers plenty to do on site with its children's beach, a 100-foot waterslide and three swimming pools. As of 2009, the all inclusive rate for a family of four is approximately $380 with tax, for stays from January through April of 2010.
Runaway Bay also offers a variety of attractions to see as a self-contained area of the island. There are the Green Grotto Caves with a 100-foot drop to Green Grotto Lake. Or enjoy an open air museum at Columbus Park. If you want to venture out, there is Ocho Rios for shopping. After a roughly half hour drive, find nearby Dunns River Falls, which at 600 feet is Jamaica's most popular attraction.
The Franklyn D. Resort and Spa
201 Runaway Bay
Runaway Bay, 99999
Built on 400 acres by a group of investors, which included the designer of Radio City Music Hall, the Half Moon is a luxury resort that opened in 1954. The exquisite destination has been a beacon for many of the world's most famous people, including Queen Elizabeth II, John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy, actress Joan Crawford and George H. W. Bush when he was Vice President.
Named after the crescent shaped beach the property was set on, Half Moon was designed to be a premier and exclusive resort. While it can accomodate families with a children's program and available nanny service, there is not a teen club, so plan accordingly with children over 12.
The facilities and grounds are practically unmatched with 51 swimming pools, a championship golf course, tennis courts, water activities, a two mile beach and on-site equestrian center.
Guests at Half Moon have a wonderful selection of food, as three signature restaurants offer anything from Italian cuisine to authentic Jamaican dishes with live music in an upscale ambiance. There is also casual dining, with a British pub for fish and chips, or stop at La Baguette for continental breakfasts, and there is beach barbecue. Rates for winter 2009 through 2010 begin at $495 for a single per day up to $2240 for a double, depending on the package.
Half Moon P.O.
Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica W.I.
Phone: (011) (876) 953-2211
Toll Free: 1-888-830-5974
Couples Resort Negril
On the other side of the island in Negril, Jamaica, you'll find Couples Resort, named in 2009 as a "World Best" by Travel and Leisure magazine. Set on 10 acres, Couples is a great romantic facility that offers several wedding and honeymoon packages, including private wedding ceremonies on the Couples Island Tower. The resort also has conference facilities. Winter rates for 2009 through 2010 begin at $503 and go to $597.
Couples entertainment includes on site evening music, and there is an activities schedule that will keep you busy if you chose. There are classes such as reggae dance, hat and jewelry making, or simply enjoy the pool and nearby beach.
P.O. Box 35
Norman Manley Blvd.
Hanover, Jamaica, WI
(011) 876 957-5960
Jennifer Bioche has been a freelance writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. She is the former host of "The Parent Rap" radio show and is currently a contributor to the "Cedar Rapids Gazette." Bioche holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of Southern California.