Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My trip to Jamaica

Like any FAM trip a travel agent takes, I went to Jamaica to learn about this island and tour the options that are available for my clients. I will be honest my only impression I had of Jamaica prior to this trip was my visit to Jamaica from a cruise ship. And I really wasn't impressed. I can tell you if you have only seen Jamaica from the cruise ports, then you haven't seen Jamaica! This island is a beautiful, tropical, and mountainous. You turn your head to the left and see blue/turquoise water and then turn your head to the right and see the mountains. While I was there, we toured 10 resorts which included RIU Ocho Rios, Bahia Principe, Iberostar, Sunset Grande, Sunset Beach, FDR, Russell Villas, Beaches Boscobel, Holiday Inn Sunspree, and the Ritz Carlton. All resorts were very nice, but some of them may not be right for everyone. Feel free to contact me to learn the pros and cons of each of these resorts.

Two pleasant surprises were in these tours. The first one is FDR (Franklyn D. Resorts). When I first walked into this small Jamaican boutique resort, I looked around at the area and my first thought was "this is a little run down". But then again, I just toured the Bahia Principe and the RITZ, so of course it looked rundown. But when I got inside, I discovered this resort was a magical, tropical, true caribbean experience. So, what makes this resort so special? First off, the hospitality was amazing. I just wanted to hug everyone when I left. Secondly, if you have kids, this is the place to go! Because every room/suite comes with a Nanny included in the price. Yes, a NANNY! The Nanny will eat, play, watch, swim and entertain your kids as little or as much as you want. I watched the Nanny's in action and they are truly engaged with the kids. And guess what the price of your child would be to stay in this all-inclusive resort? If your child is 6 and under it is $0. Kids under 16 is $50/night, and kids 16-18 is $80/night. And that includes all your meals, snacks, drinks, activities and water sports. Adult prices are very affordable and suites are available up to 3 bedroom. This charming resort makes you feel like you are really in Jamaica. I loved that because sometimes when you are in some of the 4 & 5 star resorts, you could almost be anywhere. The FDR is a no-frills resort, but it is so charming. And the suites just make you feel like you are experiencing the Jamaican way. I also wanted to mention they are plenty of activities for kids of all ages including tons of water sports. If you like marble floors and granite countertops, this may not be the resort for you. But if you are looking for an affordable, tropical, magical place to take your kids! YOU WILL LOVE IT!

The second pleasant surprise was visiting one of the Russell Villas....Serendipity. Sitting high up in the mountains with a view to die for, this two level Villa will bring you true serenity. The Serendipity includes a two level villa with 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 2 powder rooms. It will easily accomodate 14 adults. Every bedroom had a balcony or a walkout to the pool. The Villa's PROPERTY AMENITIES which are included in the gross quoted rates are the following:

Swimming Pool
Staff – Cook, Butler, Housekeeper / Laundress, Pool Attendant
1 Crib
1 High Chair
1 Cot
Airport Transfer
Access to famous Doctors Cave Beach
Wireless Internet

The prices for this villa was affordable starting at $5000 per week. Six couple sharing the Villa would only be $833 per couple for the entire week! So, whether you are coming to Jamaica in search of true relaxation, complete escape or exhilarating adventure, Serendipity will offer unpredictable and delightfully pleasant discoveries as well. If you would like to see a video of the Serendipity, feel free to contact me and I can email it over to you.

So......now when am I going back?

Cyndi Hansen
BYT Vacations
KHM Travel Group

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