My husband and I hadn't been able to make up our minds about where to stay in Montego Bay - we had made reservations at Half Moon and also the Hilton, which was cheaper. But I had seen reviews about Hilton that it was way too crowded and the staff wasn't friendly. On the other side I was worried that Half Moon would be way too expensive and being a vegetarian, I wouldn't get enough dining options. When we landed at the airport, we decided to check out the Half Moon arrival lounge and maybe even see the resort before making our decision. Guess what - they already had a shuttle waiting for us. And once we rolled into the resort itself, we were hooked. We ended up getting the all inclusive Good Life package because it was a much better value than only paying for room - all food & drinks at their 3 restaurants, room service, a complimentary couples massage, beach-side dining/beverage service, free bike rentals, free non motorized water sports, fitness club. At $140 per person for the all inclusive plan, it was a steal.
Beyond just the cost savings though, we were very impressed with the rooms, the plenty of open, private beach space and above all, the impeccable service. The staff went above and beyond what might be expected to ensure that we relaxed and had a good time. If we were walking anywhere, they'd stop their shuttles and golf carts to see if we needed a ride and often went out of their way to drop us off somewhere. The resort is vast so we used our bikes everywhere. And the food was excellent - the chefs prepared special vegetarian dishes for me - the best restaurant by far is the Sugar Mill but the Seagrape where you take breakfast and lunch is also good. When one of the servers (Dudley) heard that we wanted to try Jamaica's famous Blue Mountain coffee, he went and brewed us a pot himself. The biggest relief was that you don't have to tip for any service so we didn't have to walk around carrying money. And you didn’t have to worry about spending – we made full use of their bars, probably more than we should have but that’s what vacations are for We did end up doing a lot of tipping on our last day because we felt that the staff had earned it.
In terms of activities, we tried mini-golf, used the fitness center and also tried kayaking and hobie sailing – very fun! The hobie sailing wasn’t included in our package but was worth every penny. I also have to give high marks to the Fern Tree spa where we got massages – awesome! Our masseuses were fantastic – no slacking, no breaks, perfectly relaxing massages.
The only downside is that this is a quiet resort – people come here mostly to relax and everything closes by 6 or 7 (shops, water sports, pools) so there’s not much to do in the evening after dinner. They do sometimes have a band playing in the evening and it was fun to listen to them while sitting at a bar. But after 5-6 days, you’ll start feeling antsy. Of course, you can go out to downtown Montego Bay but we didn’t want to try it. And the resort too feels slightly deserted in the evenings once people go back to their villas.
We talked to a few people who had gone to check out the Ritz Carlton next door and they reported that it didn’t even come close to Half Moon. All in all, one of the best vacations we have ever had. And I have to give full credit to the high standards of hospitality and service displayed by all Half Moon staff. The resort is over 40-50 years old and has hosted royalty as well as guests like Jacqueline Kennedy (there’s a fun fact that links her to the resort – Google it). I didn’t want to leave and am looking forward to going there again next year. It's the best in luxury stay in Jamaica!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on a two-mile, crescent-shaped beach on Jamaica's northern coast, Half Moon, A RockResort, is truly paradise found. This spectacular, 400-acre luxury resort features pristine, whitewashed cottages surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and the sparkling Caribbean Sea beyond.Expertly combining Old World charm and elegant modern touches, Half Moon offers 197 guest rooms and suites, and 31 private four- to seven-bedroom villas. Its world-class amenities include the renowned Fern Tree Spa, an 18-hole signature golf course, a Dolphin Lagoon, fitness centre, equestrian centre and more. With its spectacular seaside location, rich Caribbean heritage, warm and attentive staff and exceptional array of amenities, it's no wonder that this iconic Jamaican destination has set the standard for luxury Caribbean resorts for 60 years. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Half Moon, a Rock Hotel Montego Bay
- Half Moon Jamaica
- Half Moon Resort Jamaica
- Half Moon Bay Jamaica