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“The Hibiscus Suite is A-MAZ-ING”
Review of Half Moon

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Half Moon
Ranked #2 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Chatham, NJ
1 review
“The Hibiscus Suite is A-MAZ-ING”
Reviewed October 8, 2009

I had never been to Jamaica before and wasn't sure what to expect. While I'm not a fan of the island at all (I'd much rather spend my time on other Caribbean locales...or perhaps ANY other Caribbean locale as long as it's NOT Jamaica), Half Moon is a wonderful spot and I now know why it's been popular for so long with celebrities, families, and many repeat clients. The half-moon-shaped beach is picture-perfect, and the variety of room styles is quite large. I stayed in the Hibiscus suite, which was simply divine. It's huge, brand-new, and right on the beach, with the sand just steps away. Food was fine...nothing amazing, but all edible. The spa is the other stand-out....perhaps the nicest spa I've ever seen. You could get lost inside, and what a place to be lost! Private plunge pools, wonderful scents, relaxing treatments, and complete serenity everywhere. I'd return to Jamaica if I could just camp out at the spa all week....
While I was not with my kids (this was a quick getaway with my husband), this is a great family spot, complete with dolphins, croquet, mini golf, regular golf, tennis, watersports, bikes, etc. There's something for everyone.
It's a great spot...but I'd much rather spend my money on a different island...Nevis or Anguilla perhaps...Jamaica attracts a different crowd and didn't realize that until I got there. Let's just say they're more the Hedonism type...but the cost of Half Moon weeds out that sort of client. I'd still rather travel to a different island in the future, which is too bad for Half Moon....

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank travelwriterfromnj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dallas TX
Level Contributor
242 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2009

Resorts are supposed to be pleasing to the eye. Half Moon is in the top three of the most beautiful of the many we have stayed at wordwide. The blend of white stucco buildings surrounded in a myriad of colorfull flowers, bushes and palms with fountains everywhere is truly a tropical paradise. September is the best time to go because there are very very few people to disturb the visual pleasure.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DonJancauskas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2009

We recently came back from a amazing vacation at the Half Moon. Our choice was between the Half Moon and Ritz Carlton. We are delighted that we choose the former. We booked with our Virtuoso travel advisor, Janice Ackerman, and she was able to give us a great package as they have a relationship with Half Moon. We regretted that we did not take the complete meal plan which included 3 meals daily, all drinks, airport transfer, among other perks. We took the plan that included breakfast and dinner. My husband and I thought that we would be out of the resort during lunch time sightseeing, however, we only did so once, to Dunn’s River Falls.

Our first impression of the Half Moon was great (We had a free transfer because we had booked with Virtuoso). We were directed to the half moon lounge at the Montego Bay Airport, and were greeted by two very friendly staff. My children are 2 and 4 and they were delighted to find comfy couches to sit on and relax after a log flight 3 hours. The staff gave us bottled water, and further directed us to our waiting minivan. The drive to the hotel was very brief 10-15 minutes. Our driver was very friendly and he pointed out various hotels and other points of interest along the route. I was a little concerned after viewing most of their exteriors, hoping that Hal Moon would not look like any of the ones that we had passed. At the majestic gate entrance of Half Moon, we stopped to take a photo as we were elated to see such a magnificent structure. There were a few bell men waiting to get our luggage off the van and transfer them to the golf carts. Oh at this time I should let you know that we had already spent at least $10 US - for the airport staff, the driver, the bell men. By then we had wished that we had brought a suitcase full of singles. At the Half Moon they will kill you with service and you feel guilty not giving anything. You are not obligated to. Don't worry about the singles as the hotel can change your currency as well as give you lots of singles. Their rate at the time was $81 Jamaican per US.

The check in was fine, we were all given drinks upon check-in. My husband and I had their signature rum punch and the kids had a fruit punch. Savor the free drinks at this time as you will be surprise to find that the drinks are very expensive. I love comos, which were around $14. The hotel have lots of golf carts and some of them are offered for rental of $50 daily.

Upon leaving the front desk, one of the very friendly bell men, Wayne drove us to our room which was one of the Royal suites AMAZING. Our suite was right next to the ocean; we had a wonderful patio with a table, huge suite with lots of storage. We had the first section transformed into a bedroom for our children: two kid's beds were added. The french doors in-between the two sections closed off giving us lots of privacy. In their section, they had a television, we also had a TV. It worked great as they watched their kids programs - Disney, Nick and we were able to watch our own shows including, Canadian, British, Mexican, US, and other programming.

We had pre-arranged for a babysitter to help us with the kids that evening ($8 per child per hour), as we wanted to enjoy the manager's cocktail for VIP guests (not sure why we were on the list). There was also a beach Barbeque that night (Friday) We had her come 2 hours earlier so that the kids would get used to her. She was great with the kids and they bonded instantly.

We ordered room service for the kids, (they ate free on our meal plan). They had chicken strips and french fries. On the menu there was also pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs among other stuff. They also met the neighbors kids that night, and also bonded with them as they were the same age. We ordered the cart to pick us up that night as first of all, we would have gotten lost, and secondly the property is huge 400 acres. It is beautifully landscaped and with 1 and 2 story villas, suites and rooms.

The next day after breakfast, we enjoyed touring the property with our own rented cart. We visited Anansy ChildreVillage, AMAZING. Our kids were in heaven. They have a shaded (colored, extremely tall canopy) play area. With swings slides, sand box, seesaw, very shallow pool, mini golf, rooms for crafts and baking. INCREDIBLE.! Our children also enjoyed petting the dolphins, Michael (miguel) and I can't remember the name of the other one. They sell you the CD with lots of shots with the dolphins . We were suckered into buying it, its pricey but it is so worth it. For our kids, this was their highlight at Half Moon.

They also enjoyed the pools, going to the commissary to buy popsicles and ice cream. Oh, please note that everything is cheaper at the commissary. I suggest you clear out a section of your refrigerator and pantry and stock them with your commissary bought food. When you are leaving the you can put their foods back. You will save mucho.

The Seagrapes was the restaurant we liked the most. The staff is friendly the breakfast buffet is great with lots of variety - bagels, yogurt, apples, grapes, cantaloupes, water melon, deli foods, sliced whole wheat, rolls, cereal, muffins, jamaican foods, omellete station, pancakes, sausages, bacon, scrambled, boiled, poached eggs, fresh local juices as well as apple and orange, and lots more. I personally did not enjoy the italian restaurant food. I guess I live in New York and I am exposed to great italian food. At dinner we always ordered fish and my son loved the spiny lobster. It is very well prepared and extremely fresh. We did not get a chance to eat at the Thai restaurant. If you do not have the meal plan, the food is very expensive. Try to avoid eating lunch at Half Moon if you are not on the plan (for room service, there is a $5 delivery charge). Eat a very long, large breakfast, and have snacks from the commisary. This may be a less expensive method. Please be advised that you need long slacks for dinner at Seagrapes restaurant.

The golf course was incredible; our caddy Vincent was extremely helpful.
The spa was one of the best we have see and experienced. I highly recommend it.
All in all we had a splendid time at Half Moon and would do it all over again.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank raphaelsm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2009

Truly one of my favorite places I've stayed in the Caribbean (no expert, but been to ~8 different 4-star Caribbean resorts). Caveat: was at Half Moon during low season so the place was almost deserted, which greatly added to the tranquil atmosphere.

The resort is a collection of small plantation-style cottages and villas instead of a traditional multi-story hotel with all rooms in one giant building. Our suite in the West Cottages was 1/2 a guesthouse nestled in the jungle with a private pool a few steps from the crescent-shaped beach. Extremely secluded and peaceful.

The resort is huge with tons of on-site activities. We rented beach cruisers one day and explored the property -- visited the dolphin lagoon, the putting course and croquet lawn, the tennis facilities, checked out the open-air shopping area, meandered amongst the villas, found a completely private beach to chill at. Though Half Moon's beaches are beautiful, there is really no worthwhile snorkeling, so you have to leave the property for that (but the reefs I saw near Montego Bay looked pretty decimated).

Restaurants were okay, but not much selection for such a large resort. Seagrape Terrace has very nice ambience both day and night, and food is adequate. Zero nightlife, but we weren't looking for that. Overall a wonderful, relaxing vacation at Half Moon -- well-recommended.

  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lisa2306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
Reviewed September 27, 2009

Every year my husband and I with two other couples take an annual vacation. We typically go to the same place every year: St.Martin but we wanted something different. I came across a travel agency Luxury Vacations and Hideways and decided to give them a try and have them find a destination for us…..the put us up at Half moon Resort in Jamaica….what an experience. They did everything right, plus we got a free gift to take with us Molten Brown travel pack.

We stayed at a Villa style resort. It was awesome. It had 5 rooms, every room had it’s own bathroom. The living room, kitchen was communal. We also had a maid who cooked us breakfast each morning. The night before you would write down what you wanted and at what time and it would be ready for you. The maid also prepared and got us drinks, snacks, ironed your clothes, you name it the maid would do it….the maid even stays the night.

The best part of the villa style – was the plunge pool. And it’s not small by any means. It was great. We stayed up all night and drank and swam in the pool until early morning. With no worries.

To get around the resort since it is so big you had golf carts…it was so cool. Be careful going over bumps…..

The ocean I found had too much seaweed but once you went further in it was beautiful.

The food was excellent the service on the other hand could be improved but then again you are in a relaxed island. It was hard to adjust since in North America everything is fast paced…..but I did not let that get me down.

We did the dolphin swim…..the water was cold, but the dolphins were great. My first time swimming with dolphins. I was scared but the instructor was very reassuring and was with me all the way and made me feel comfortable. After you are done your swim they have a CD that you can purchase. We bought one, split the cost and then when we got home my friend burned it.

Would I recommend Half Moon Resort, Yes. I would recommend going in a group and staying in a villa is a must with the plunge pool – you can’t do it any other way. It is a big resort so if you don’t like big resorts then it is not for you.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank italiangirlToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Mexico
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2009

I stayed at this hotel with my wife and 2 kids (8 & 11yrs old). We stayed in the hibiscus suite which was only a few feet from the beach. The suite was spacious with separate sleeping areas. The bed was comfortable and the fold out bed in the couch was also comfortable. Sitting on the outdoor patio while listening to the morning surf was soothing. The bedroom had a door that could lock which was great and the bath room was huge with a large tub, double sinks and a shower. The staff was very friendly and attentive; in addition the grounds were immaculate. Golf carts and bicycles were available for rent so you can get from point A to B. Lots of water activities including, paddle boat (free), canoeing (free), scuba diving off the shore (free) but cannot see much due to sea weeds. For a fee they will take you out to a reef where you will see plenty. You will have to pay to parasail or windsurf. Some beach activities are restricted depending on the wind. Ex. We wanted to go parasailing but could not because of too much wind. Also, they have their own dolphin lagoon. If you want to swim with the dolphins make your reservations early, we were not able to because we waited until the last minute and they were booked for days. Food is very expensive at the hotel so ask about their food packages. We only eat breakfast at the hotel and eat lunch and dinner outside the hotel. I would recommend SCOTCHIES, PELICAN GRILL and THE PLANT CENTRE. Scotchies is a small outdoor bar and grill (kids are allowed) and is only about 1 mile towards the airport on the opposite side of the street. They sell authentic Jamaican jerk chicken, jerk pork, fish, soup and festival (fried Jamaican style dumplins). Pelican is in the city a little pass Margaritaville. This is indoors and has a variety of food on their menu. The Plant Center is the farthest about 20 minutes away and located at 1 Howard Cook Blvd beside the police station. This place is on the grounds of a plant shop (very clean). They have good Jamaican style food (You have to try the steam fish (snapper). Seating for two is convenient but they had to shuffle a few tables around to seat 4. Eating out was convenient because we had a rental car but was much cheaper than the hotel. Ask anyone at the hotel and they can give you directions and possible arrange a ride. Because Scotchies and The plant centre is out door you will have to fan a few flies away but the food was worth it and they all take credit cards. I played a round of golf and the course was in excellent shape. The golf course is directly across the street and the hotel provides a ride which runs every 10 minutes. Price for a round varies and it’s about $30 for a cart and $20 for a caddy (caddy is mandatory). To avoid surprises, call the hotel and speak with someone about the cost of any activities you may be interested in doing.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ReggaeNewMexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland, USA
Level Contributor
77 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2009

My family and I just returned from 5 nights at Half Moon, and all agree that it was the nicest vacation we've ever had. From the moment we arrived at the airport, and were immediately whisked to a waiting van, we knew it was going to be a wonderful experience. We stayed in two adjoining junior suites (units 61 and 62) in a small house right on Sunset Beach. The suites were luxuriously appointed, and the beds were very comfortable. The bathrooms had been recently renovated -- both had deep tubs, beautiful showers, and double sinks. Most importantly, we had a large, covered patio (with marble floors) about ten steps from the beach. While we frequently walked those ten steps to read a book under the palm trees, we had the same view from our front porch! The amenities of the resort were unparalled. Two great pools within a 3 minute walk from our house -- with more pools in other parts of the resort. Great tennis facilities -- we were there off-season, so we just walked on to courts. Unbelievable golf -- again, no wait for tee times. The restaurants were excellent. Sugar Mill is the most memorable experience, but we also enjoyed Sea Grape and Il Giordino. We didn't have a bad meal the entire time, and room service on the patio was free. We were on the Platinum Plan, and thought it made the whole vacation a lot more relaxing. While we were charged for the Dolphin Swim and renting golf clubs and golf carts, everything else was covered. My boys could go to the swim-up bar and sign for drinks. Sailing, snorkling (we got a private trip to a reef), tennis, golf -- all covered. The service provided by everyone was exceptional. This is not a good resort for those seeking nightlife, but it was perfect for us. In short, we are definitely going back. August is a great time to visit -- slightly warmer, but sunny skies and absolutely no crowds at all.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Petelock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Half Moon

Property: Half Moon
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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#4 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Half Moon 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A destination in itself, set on 400 acres of manicured grounds with two miles of beachfront. We have 197 individually-appointed rooms and suites and 31 villas, most of which have views of the Caribbean Sea. All of our guests can enjoy the extensive facilities of this destination, which include the largest award-winning spa oasis in Jamaica, an 18-hole par-72 championship golf course, our own equestrian centre with 28 horses and the Sugar Mill, awarded as Jamaica's best restaurant. As a discerning traveller, you will enjoy the luxury of space and tranquility we have to offer. Imagine your first morning taking in the panoramic view of the horizon, and watching the sunrise having just concluded yoga meditation in our overwater bungalow. Then, cycle to the Seagrape Terrace for breakfast before beginning a day of whatever you want. Whether you choose to lounge on the beach, play a round tennis or golf, visit a local art gallery, or go horse riding along the beach, your days at Half Moon are yours to spend in any way you wish. ... 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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