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“Can't wait unitl next year!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Half Moon, A RockResort

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Half Moon, A RockResort
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
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Half Moon Summer Getaway
Ranked #4 of 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Bethesda, MD
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Can't wait unitl next year!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2006

My husband, and my two daughters -- ages 1 and 3 -- stayed at Half Moon for a long week at the beginning of December. Here are my two cents:
Our accomodations were superb -- our room was so fabulous, I don't even want to disclose which one it was fearing it will not be available next time we book our trip. We moved twice before we arrived in our final and most lovely suite. It was at the far end of the resort and provided us with our own private beach.

We ordered room service for breakfast and lunch every day and ate on our terrace overlooking our little beach -- marvelous!

We had a babysitter -- provided by the resort -- come every evening to watch our girls after we fed them at the Seagrape Terrace -- Back to that in a moment. Our babysitter -- Sandra -- was very good -- kind, gentle and energetic. I hope to see her next time.

I took one look at the "kiddie" menu the first night and was not impressed -- all fried food and no veggies. I custom ordered their dinner every night after that and the staff was happy to oblige -- simple requests like grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli. A small band of three men was there on the terrace every evening (early) playing music and singing. They were very kind to migrate their playlist to kid-friendly songs at the hour we were there with the kids. They played songs like Old MacDonald, etc... Very nice and the kids loved to dance on the raised gazebo right there in the center of the terrace.

The food on the regular menu(s) is typical resort food -- mediocre and expensive -- no big surprise. The Sugarmill restaurant was the best bet, although my best meal the whole week, surprisingly, was the last night at the Seagrape -- just a simple grilled snapper -- delicious! Breakfast and lunch were better meals than dinners in general. The "Italian" restaurant was the stinker.

The resort was under some renovation -- the children's center and parts of the grounds -- so I don't think it was in the best shape, but they are working on it.

The resort has nice stables -- the kids had pony rides and we visited almost every day just to pet the horses and ponies.

We rented a golf cart for the week, and this is a MUST. We all had fun riding around day and night from one end of the resort to the other -- made rainy days fun.

Satff was very friendly and warm. Houskeeping staff was particularly attentive and made sure they fit into OUR schedules.

I have one major complaint -- there is no food available during the day! There are plenty of drinks to go around all day long, but nary a morsel of food to go along with it. If you want food, you have to go to a restaurant or go to your room and order room service. I loved having a nice cold Red Stripe on the beach in the afternoon, but would have loved a little something to eat along with it. I can understand that the management does not want to encourage rodents and other critters to feast on leftovers on the beach, but I believe this resort has to work something out. I heard other guests ask bartenders the same question over and over -- "Do you have a snack menu?"

Overall, we had a wonderful time at Half Moon and we will return next year. I should also mention that we arrived right before the "high" season started so we could take advantage of reduced rates and still had perfect weather and the resort was quite quiet -- LOVED IT!

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,553 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (491)
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English first
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2006

Almost 20 years since we had been to Jamaica . . . but this wonderful resort of Half Moon had been recommended by some friends back in Toronto and we both would highly recommend it to anybody. It was not a disappointment. We ate lots of seafood, took daily horseriding lessons, got massages (to soothe those aching bodies), rode our bicycles around the 400-acre property daily, and just had a ball. We would definitely come back! Our stay was in the Hibiscus suites, As a birdwatcher, I had a large tree out front so some marmalade became 'bait' for the bananaquits (little black birds with yellow bellies)...sheer delight! The spa was not up to par (could be more organized and serene) but the people were good at what they were doing. All restaurants had good food bu the food at the Sugar Mill Restaurant at Half Moon's golf club was superb......Solomon Gardner the dashing maitre d' keep his staff in tune with the 5-star needs. Everywhere at Half Mooon, the staff are sunny, friendly, informative...a treasure, really! I would go back.....wonder if same time, next year is available???? Book far ahead. People have been coming for years...feels a little like a camp reunion. Superb kids' program and babysitting services (I heard we don't have kids), great tennis courts, soon to open mini-golf is being built beside the tennis courts. We saw director Spike Lee and his family as well as Iman the model and hubby Davie Bowie...a great non-pretentious atmosphere where they kicked back at the bar too! You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto,canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2005

My husband and my three year old daughter just returned from Half Moon on Dec. 14th after enjoying a fabulous 7 night vacation..we were at Half Moon back in January and we were a little tentative at returning too soon for fear of disappointment..Needless to say we were not disappointed in the slightest and had all of our expectations met.. The food was terrific (make sure to dine alfresco on your private patio), and the staff were kind and attentive..In fact the staff was even friendlier this visit!.. Make sure to look out for Veronica in Seagrape for she is sure to make your trip a little nicer..( a truly fabulous woman) The horse back riding was a wonderful experience (try the beach ride) and the golf was a tremendous asset to my husband.. Our 3 year old loved the kid's club and the instructors there are top notch..I did have a nanny come for one evening and she was also terrific..We stayed in a hibiscus suite and it was spacious and delightful in every way.. Next time I would like to try the west cottages though, as they are quite original and quaint.. They also are situated with better proximity to the beach. The restaurants are all good, and enjoyed them all equally..You really don't need to leave this expansive resort although a brief trip to the spooky plantation house "Rose Hall" was quite interesting and worth the trip..All in all Half Moon truly is the "complete Carribbean resort" and you will never be dissappointed with its charm and not so perfect plantation style elegance...

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penfield, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2005

My husband and I just returned from Half Moon--we stayed 6 nights, 12/7-12/13.

Having traveled quite a bit around the Caribbean, without a doubt I would return to this resort.

Here are my thoughts on the hotel, staff, food, rooms, etc...

First, if you are expecting the caliber of rooms found in high end (Four Seasons, Ritz) resorts, you must stay in the new Hibiscus Suites. These rooms are as lovely, if not nicer, than any Caribbean room that I've stayed in. They're new, spacious, and the location & views are perfection. That said, if you arrive at Half Moon and find yourself in one of the West Cottages older rooms (as we did our first night), you will be enormously disappointed. Had we not changed rooms, I would have been VERY unhappy at the resort. (Room 66 in the West Cottages was run down, the bathroom was NYC TINY and in disrepair, the patio doors banged in the breeze, one of the toss pillows on the bed was stained...)But the Hibiscus suites are heaven! (The photos don't even do them justice.)

The food at the resort is average to good. Eat local, don't order hamburgers or steaks (you're in the Caribbean--that's a pretty good rule anywhere on the islands) and ask what the servers recommend. Seafood is a good bet. Food prices are insanely high, so also make sure to travel via the Platinum Plan when at Half Moon--and also make sure to get details at check-in about what is or is not included. (We ordered bottled wine before discovering it was not part of the plan.) **One dining tip: If you're staying in one of the beautiful guest rooms, order room service at least once for lunch/dinner. With a view of the ocean, no extra charges, and your own personal waiter who sets up the patio with tablecloth and all the details of the restaurants, it's a wonderful experience!

The staff, in our opinion, make this resort. Having traveled to 7 or 8 other islands in the Caribbean, I have NEVER encountered nicer and more eager to please personnel. I am shocked that other reviewers had anything negative to say in this arena. From the front desk to--in particular--the bartenders, we loved the staff at Half Moon. (Bear in mind that even small tipping and a friendly attitude on your own part go a long way.) We found ourselves anxious every day to catch up with our "friends" and chat. Even those staff that we had no lengthy contact with were ALWAYS there with a big smile, a warm "Hello", and inquiries as to if we needed anything. The positive attitude and smiling faces was a JOY to be around! (If you're reading this and on your way soon to Half Moon, say hello to Dalbert, Sheff & Fitz from Amy & Brad!)

My only reason for the 4 versus 5 star review would be the under-par room we were first put in, the limited dining options, and the slight lack of detailed explanation regarding the Platinum Plan. Otherwise, A+... we'll go back happily.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2005

Let me start off by saying that overall our experience was very positive and we are planning to return next year. We just returned from Half Moon where we went on the all-inclusive Take-Me-To-The-Moon package.

Positives

1)The staff is very friendly and pleasant. If you are polite, the staff will bend over backwards for you. I encourage you to bring at least $50-$100 in singles for tips. Its amazing how far a $2 tip will get you. You can put tips from the restaurants/bars on your room tab as well. Please note that the hotel automatically puts a 10% gratuity on your bill (at least for the all-inclusive plan it does) . We always left extra to bring it to 20% (the service almost always warranted this). The staff at the reservation desk, concierge, restaurants, and the porters all were top notch.
2)The rooms - we stayed in a suite in the Oleander section. Our suite was very nice although not nearly as nice as the Hibiscus Jr Suites. There is quite a bit of construction in the Oleander section, but we were never really bothered by it. We tipped our maid $2-$3 dollars a day and she was very gracious and did a great job. Our room was spotless.
3)Fitness / Tennis Courts / Pools- The fitness center and the tennis courts are in very good shape. Also there are quite a few pools at the Half Moon. They were all in great shape. The downside was that the two main hottubs were not working the week we were there.


Negatives
1)Beaches - The 2 miles of beaches as advertised is misleading b/c they are mostly rocky and/or full of seaweed. Other than the beach area near the main building, there is very little area in which to swim.
2)Food - The food is pretty good, but not great. If you are expecting it to be like a top rated NY restaurant, you will be disappointed. That said, the sugarmill is very good (I would make reservations there for most of the nights). Seagrape is pretty good and the Italian restaurant was terrible.
3)The cost for extras - For an all-inclusive package, it was a little annoying that they charge you for things like rafts, kayaks, etc. This was fully disclosed although for a 5-star resort you would expect them to include free use of a raft that probably costs them all of $5. Also, the mini-bar is not included and while it is disclosed, this fact isnt widely advertised. I realized this halfway through the week after running up an $50 charge. Again, it seems silly that I can walk to the bar and get a free drink, but a beer from the mini-bar ended up costing me $5 each. Also, any outgoing phone call from the room that is outside of the resort is a min $2.50 charge.

While I would rate this resort as more of a 4-star than a 5-star, our experiece was positive and we are planning to return next year.

Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tennessee
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2005

Prior to going to Half Moon I researched quite a few reviews on Trip Advisor. I was most interested in seeing candid photos as sometimes the ones on hotels' sites can be misleading. I am posting some of our photos in hopes that it might help someone else. Paying it forward I guess!

We loved the resort. Yes, the Jamaicans can be chilly but that's just their nature. We're from Tennessee and are probably too friendly anyway. Ha! We found that our Southern charm was an ice pick to their frosty exterior and we were treated royally. No, seriously, my husband and I have traveled throughout the world extensively and we did enjoy this place.

The resort was pretty quiet when we went and not at all crowded. There is a good selection of activities if you want them and there's lots of beach to sleep on if you don't. We chose the all inclusive plan in a Hibiscus Jr. Suite and we were very happy with it. We had a gorgeous view of the water from our room and the suite itself was in immaculate condition. The bathroom was particularly large and gorgeous. Being on the all inclusive, we ate and we drank, and we ate and we drank and drank some more...you get the picture. It was great not having to worry about a bill.

The photos speak for themselves. It's lovely!

Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2005

we cant get over our wonderfull time staying at halfmoon the food was fantastic. Angela,John and many more staff were very helpfull and friendly. We hired a golf cart after a few days this made our stay really pleasant driving around enjoying the beauty of the grounds we will be returning next year, see you all then,thankyou for a fantastic holiday.I would like to thank my family for sending me to this wonderfull place

  • Stayed November 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Half Moon, A RockResort

Address: Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#4 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Half Moon, A RockResort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 388
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 
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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

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