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“Poor Management”
Review of Half Moon

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Half Moon
Ranked #2 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
New York, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Poor Management”
Reviewed June 19, 2010

My niece had her wedding arranged and it took place at the Gazebo at Half Moon. I don't think I have ever experienced such poor arrangements and management by the staff of any hotel I've been to. This was suppose to be a memorable occasion. Yes it was memorable for many negative reasons. There was no direction as guests entered the ceremony and milled around in aa very hot entrance way wondering, "Where do we go, What do we do next." Finally deciding that the group of chairs near the Gazebo must be where the ceremony would take place guests began heading in that direction. When the ceremony began the minister did and said everything he could to focus the attention on him as opposed to the bride and groom. In fact little of the ceremony was heard by the guests as the sound system had LOUD static caused by the wind for most of the ceremony. I know this can't be the first time the the Half Moon experienced this when using their sound system. After the ceremony once again the guests wondered around not knowing where to go or what to do. Finally some guests headed toward some buses parked on the side as opposed to going into the hot waiting area and others followed. WHAT A mixed up MESS!!!!!! If you're planning a wedding at the Half Moon, DON'T do it unless you're up for a BIG disappoitment!!!
In addition the first night the bridal couple stayed at the Half Moon there was no air conditioning.

Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank boshes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2010

What a fabulous vacation- 7 days/6 nights of paradise.
Getting there and back- hotel has a lounge in the airport and special transfer shuttle- no problems at all. Jamaican airport greeters did a nice job of directing us. Then a 15-20 ride to the hotel.
Check in- front desk, no problems, explained most everything and answered questions, and everyone gets a complimentary rum punch or fruit punch. Bellman took our baggage and pointed out things to do on the way.

Room- Superior Room, Cottage 7. LOVED the location- second floor (I prefer this) and 30 feet from actual shore... We were on the beach in less than one minute from our room and heard the waves gently crashing each night as we drifted off to sleep. Amenities- mini-bar and fridge. Tub/shower. Double sinks. King bed. Sitting area. Plenty to space and decorated mostly in bright white linens with accent island theme drapes/art. Large balcony area- extra wide chaise lounger, lounging chair, and table and chairs for two (for breakfast with a gorgeous view). I was sure I would want an upgrade since this is the most basic room- but I was extremely happy with the room quality.

Housekeeping- twice daily, replenished our towels (which there was an abundance of anyway) and straightened up the room. Turn-down service at night- to make the room very relaxing/romantic with the soul music station playing and throw pillows put away, and blinds drawn (although we opened them for the view again). They were excellent, quiet but friendly, and are the stars of service at this hotel!

Restaurants- we stayed within the resort and the shopping village. Breakfast at SeaGrape Terrace- we had the inclusive plan- very good idea... delicious spread of what an amazing bkfst buffet should look like- amazing fresh fruit and juices, traditional Jamaican fare too. Lunch- mostly we brought our own sandwiches or had very light snacks because we were still full from bkfst (this is where we saved some money).

Dinner: We are vegetarian, so can't specify dishes but here goes:
Great restaurants for dinner 4-5/5 ratings.- IL Diargino, for first class Italian food... delicious and wonderfully accomodating with plenty of options.
SeaGrape Terrace- classic tastes, delicious and staff is again wonderful and made us a really good pasta dish (I know it's not difficult to cook pasta, but they put in extra effort to make sure we were happy).
Sugar Mill by the golf course- again classic, menu and very upscale and romantic but less accomodating- they did not offer to make anything veggie friendly, so we got by with lots of bread, large salad, and two sides dishes for our meal. The desserts at these three restaurants were SUPERB.
Ok for dinner- Akbar- Indian food... 2/5 rating. The food wasn't really good (but lots of veggie options). It's associated with the Thai place, and we would rather repeat the other restaurants instead of try the Thai based on the not so great Indian food.
Prince of Wales- Irish/England pub/bar. .. 3/5 rating. We got the pizza both times, and could tell that it's one of my husband's favorite American frozen pizza... so what the heck, we weren't that bad off. The first time was yummy, the second time- undercooked, but more edible than the Indian food! Mixed drinks were weak on the liquor. But overall, still extremely reasonable prices, and we would go back here again. Did not have desserts at these places.

Recreation: most of all is the beach of course! It was blue to turquoise, nice depth, but as you got further out (like 15 ft) there was a healthy amount of seaweed.
Really happy with the watersports that were free- kayak, paddleboats, floats. But the other ones were a little steep for the experience, so we skipped them. Happy with the fact you got bar service beachside.
Pools- loved them, well-designed and great experience. Swim up bar available.
Tennis- so you have to either bring your own rackets, or rent them ($8 per person/day) and tennis balls were not plentiful. We had the tennis pro coach us for an hour, which was great.
Golf- driving range, really accomodating, provided clubs for free (although sometimes you have to rent them) and cheap $5 for 50 balls.
Miniature golf- simple course, no frills.
Overall, recreation is where they need to improve: lose the extra costs (seriously with the rackets?), and have more of everything and more staff that's knowledgable.

Shopping there: so they really advertise their Half Moon Shopping Village, but it's very sparse and just not a lot of variety. What they DON'T advertise is the wonderful shops on site- just across from the bellman's station, that I think are independently operated, but have a ton of stuff (souveniers, sundries, swimming gear) that's way more reasonably priced and more convenient (walk two minutes versus the village- catch the shuttle).

Overall- we had a fabulous time. Picky things- need to make their mixed drinks better (that's a big deal on vacation!), be more organized with the recreation, advertise the shops on site, and in fact, just nix the shopping village since it really doesn't have a lot to offer and was generally devoid of people!
Advice- bring a suitcase full of snacks, bottled water, liquor, etc., to save a few dollars here and there. The resort is extremely well kept and they offer many outstanding qualities with great service.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank heavenlytrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2010

I half-expected to see Noël Coward or Graham Greene sunning himself here. This is a classic colonial Caribbean hotel, maybe the most beautiful of all. The entrance, the porte-cochere, the reception are in the grand style, taking their cues from the fabled Rose Hall, yet the grounds are intimate, with endless gardens and a big fountain-fed free-form pool, with swim-up bar, nestled in the foliage, and another, Olympic-style pool beyond that.

Late May is low-season, the loud agent junketeers having just left, and much of the staff on holiday. (Jamaican Labour Day is in May). May can also be hot and muggy and much of the time overcast (you can still get brunt to a crisp), but the evenings become cool and breezy. The hotel is at its slowest period, which explains the restaurant closures. This didn't bother me, as I chose to stuff myself at Scotchies, down the road, and in the air conditioned -- and pricey -- Il Giardino restaurant just off the beach terrace.

I had an Hibiscus Suite. I can't testify to the other units, but this one was paradise. The air conditioning was flawless, and two ceiling fans gave me that whoosh-whoosh breeze I love in the topics. The bathroom was huge, with beautiful fixtures and separate bath, shower and wc..

The sitting area was in front, with a full view, beyond the balcony, of beach and ocean. The balcony was deep, for privacy, with table, chairs and two chaises. I'd say the waterline was less than 30 feet away.

The service at the beach bar was attentive, the drinks honest. The beach itself -- well I've read the negatives, and I don't buy them. It's long and narrow, and spotlessly clean, and though the sand isn't powdered sugar (which I don't care for), it's fine tawny-pink coral. The water is of course gin-clear and warm, and I didn't notice the seaweed others complain about.

The Half Moon property is enormous, and covering it all is a real hike. With all the extra features -- the children's activities, the spas, the golf -- except for Scotchies, there's really no reason to leave the premises. This is not a small consideration. I love Jamaica -- have been coming here since I was a boy -- but the #1 Jamaican annoyance is the swarms of vendors and hustlers who descend on you every time you venture out of your compound. Thankfully, Half Moon is a world I'd not want to leave, no matter what's outside the gates.

I see a comment that Half Moon needs refurbishing. Not that I can see. My room was fresh, crisp (the embroidered bedspreads and day pillows are magnificent!), and everything worked. The public rooms are spotless, the marble floors polished, the flowers fresh, the staff sharp and alert. In fact, I much prefer the authentic, seasoned grandeur of Half Moon to the slicks which neighbor it, that are inexplicably rated higher here, and which I can easily get in Las Vegas.

If you want expensive bling in Mobay, then there are plenty of choices. But if you seek a better class, then it's Half Moon or Round Hill or the distant Tryall. Either of these is a fine choice. I was at Half Moon because it's near friends I was visiting in Rose Hall, has a beautiful beach, magnificent architecture and grounds and a tranquil environment.

I was there low-season, single, and got a good rate. Would I pay the high-season rack rate, double? In an instant!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank luvtheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2010

We have been to Half Moon many many times, and twice The QUEEN was there. We have staid in every type of room, suite and villa. We have played golf, tennis, had massages, rode horses... we have done it all. We have brought golf tournaments to Half Moon, friends for just fun and family. The food is way above any other all inclusive. During the right time of year you can have lobster at every meal!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WeBgolfin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delaware
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2010

My husband and I visited Half Moon 5/20-5/26 and experienced our best vacation yet! We see no reason to ever go anywhere else! We will definitely return!

Service- Excellent service across the board...

Accommodations- Beautiful. We stayed in a Oceanfront Jr. Suite- Cottage #9 Room 62, I would argue the best cottage for 2 and could even accommodate a small child.

Restaurants/Food- Excellent..Would suggest the All inclusive plan...absolutely worth it! Really enjoyed the Sugar Mill. Would also suggest visiting Scotchie's for some local jerk food...It was out of this world..Just ask for a driver to take you..only a few minutes outside of the resort! Very casual no frills,but awesome food at excellent prices..

Beaches- Wonderful..We were very fortunate our room was directly in front of the best beach..Spent most of the day just sitting, floating or snorkeling in the water..

Sunsets- Beautiful- Every night was something to look forward to..Orange, Pink, Blue and purple skies...Amazing!

Overall our experience was perfect! This place is the perfect place for couples or families...Oh and definitely rent a golf cart!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank atnickel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2010

My sister and I spent four nights at Half Moon. We had a nice time. We both wanted to get away and relax, this is the perfect place for that. There isn't a nightlife at this resort, which we didn't miss. There is a bar that's open until 1am. The food was delicious, however very expensive, luckily we had a meal plan that included breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. When we added up our receipts for food and drinks (we couldn't find a few of our receipts and even skipped dinner one night) the total was more than $800, so that gives you an idea of what you can spend @ this resort. We also took advantage of the spa while we were there. This is a must do, you'll love it! It's so serene.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Celicia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 23, 2010

went for 4 days with family of 2 kids, 4 and 6...4 bedroom villa was very nice...beaches were lame if you are used to white sandy beaches with blue coloring...much to much seaweed in water...pools were nice but you never felt like you were on an island when you ventured over to pool...some staff great ..others always seemed to be expecting a tip even though we were on all-inclusive plan(which includes gratuity)...Food....only place to eat for dinner i would recommend would be Sugar Mill...outstanding...two of the other five restaurants were not even open and we were not told of this till we arrived...other restaurants i would give a C- grade...been to just about every island in Caribbean and this was my least favorite hotel and stay...for the amount of money they ask for you it is SO not worth it..

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NYConlyplace
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 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Spa 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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