I was struggling what to rate Half Moon, it was almost a 2 but I thought about it more and I want to fully explain my experience so hopefully they can improve and people reading the review know what to expect. First, I won a corporate trip here so the only money I spent to be here was to extend my stay. Second, I read many reviews on here to know what to expect. Third, this is considered a high end resort which hosted world leaders. So when you read my review understand my factors going into it, where they fell short and where they did well.
It seems like they cater to many corporate events and do that well, hence their push for the villas, where we stayed. The pros for the villas are private pools you have 24 hour access to and great social interaction with others staying there, and if you are all inclusive the stocked bar and snacks saves the drive to the bar. The cons I will go into in more detail so they can fix them. The rooms are smaller (can’t change that) than the cottages and further from the beach (can’t change that) so they try to make up for it with the butler and cook but unless you are going with a group of friends that is looking to be around each other a lot I don’t see the benefit. You are required to have breakfast in the villa but it is just eggs and pancakes vs much better choices at the Sea Grape restaurant and with everything, you need to use the golf cart to get anywhere. The hot water was lukewarm at best, for the quality of this resort, a bigger hot water heater is seriously needed. Air conditioner was VERY noisy, REAL detractor! Higher quality toilet paper and tissues are things they shouldn’t be cutting corners on at the nightly rate they charge. I would NEVER pay their advertised rate for these villas.
There are 400 acres they maintain immaculately, and they are to be lauded for this daunting task. They take GREAT pride in their compound and ALL of their staff are friendly and always say hello when passing. They have a TON of great on premise activities such as an AWESOME dolphin experience, equestrian ride I heard was great, great golf, scuba, and a TON of pools that are well maintained. Their spa was exquisite. But, they did fall short pretty hard in a few places, mainly the beach. The resort has been around some time, one would think they would groom the beach and swimming areas better but there are a lot of large rocks that make it difficult to walk into the water without falling/tripping or getting hurt. The beaches look beautiful but going into the water, it lost the beauty. They should also invest in a better volleyball net, one commiserate with the rest of their resort. Their all-inclusive aquatics didn’t include the Hobie Cat. Being non-powered I was surprised as with the price they charge for their packages, this really should be free like the kayaks, especially because the wind is hit or miss so there was limited time to sail due to non-sufficient wind. One of the days they said the water was “too rough” and every water activity including swimming was cancelled. I thought this was odd. It didn’t look that bad and what better day to sail than a windy one. I’ve seen much worse in Virginia with open beaches so they are overcautious.
Ok, now for the 2nd most important thing, food. First, the swim up pool bar had WAY to limited of a menu. For someone who doesn’t eat meat, only fish, the only item I could order was shrimp cocktail. They REALLY need to enhance that menu! Second, the quality of the food….I read the reviews and expected “AH!” but when I ate it, it was “eh?”. Let me clarify, their dessert chef is a GOD! Their deserts were INCREDIBLE, but their food was average at best. Whether you do their VERY expensive all inclusive or order off their PRICEY menu on the European plan, you will be disappointed if you were expecting Presidential food like JFK or Bush received. This was the most glaring disappointment. Half Moon is much higher priced than other resorts nearby rated higher, and from what I heard from others who stayed at other local places before our event, Half Moon’s food was not any better. At these rates and 4.5 ranking, I expected good food, so I think some of the other TripAdvisors don’t go out to eat much. If you like wine, forget about having any here. They have no selection and at most events just served Merlot and not Cabs, never mind a Malbec. I would assume that if you earn enough to afford a vacation here, that they would know that and at least have a good wine list. There are good inexpensive wines, but one cannot live on rum or Red Stripe alone! I was also thinking that with the dress code, the quality would match – not so.
So, because of the pros I couldn’t bring myself to give it the 2 stars it probably deserved and even if I did, with all of the reviews, it won’t budge their ranking. This is not a 4.5 star vacation resort, more like 3.5. Read more of the lesser reviews to get an honest review and if you are spending your money to go to Montego Bay, from what I heard from my friends, look elsewhere.
Hibiscus cottages over villas for sure if you must go!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.