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“Half Moon wasn't half bad!...staff needs better training in customer service”
Review of Half Moon

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Half Moon
Ranked #2 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Half Moon wasn't half bad!...staff needs better training in customer service”
Reviewed July 30, 2007

I have been coming to Jamaica since 1988, but had never stayed at the Half Moon.
I had always heard great things, so it had a lot to live up to! Out of 5, I would give it 3½ stars. The décor and layout are amazing. The bell staff was attentive and professional. The concierge and VIP sign-in were top notch. The activities such as swimming with the dolphins and horseback riding were great. The food and bar were also top notch, offering a lot of variety. Now with the cons, the staff needs more training. The management, VIP host and concierge were ok, but regular staff needs to be told to refrain from talking in patois infront of customers, especially when they are talking about other customers or relaying unsavory details about their personal lives! They should assume that the person standing within earshot of them, whether they be black, white, asian…just might understand what they are saying! Also, room service need to be more pleasant and not act like they are being tortured or have an attitude when you ask for simple requests like a “bucket of ice” since there are no ice machines on premises!

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
6 Thank DivaLawyer212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2007

My wife an I just got back from our worst vacation ever! Arrived at Half Moon on Tuesday, July 10th and were greated very professionally. Great room (Royal Spa Suite)! Good lunch and dinner that night. and I started seeing this pattern with the service. Very slow!! You had to flag down someone for everything you needed; more water, another drink, the check, everything! Maybe this is their culture, and I need to adjust, but screw that! I am paying a lot of money!!

Second day we were scheduled to being a raft trip at 9:00. The official tour company, Glamour Tours, had misscheduled, and our ride did not come until 9:30, but thats no big deal. Good raft trip with our raft captain, Gregory. Good dinner that night at Sugar Mill. Good, not great.

Then disaster struck! On Thursday morning (I think, my wife thinks it was sometime Wednesday), a road crew hit the water line. I was out playing golf so I didnt notice right away, but my wife was in the suite and couldnt shower or flush the toilet. Now that could happen to any hotel, so we weren't too pissed off. I hauled an ice and champain bucket up from the pool to flush the toiles for the rest of the day. For a shower, I just jumped into the pool. By five pm, some water was restored, with just enough pressure for a shower. When we contacted the front desk, they told us that all the resorts along that part fo the highway were suffering the same problem (that turned out to be a lie!) As the week continued, so would the pattern; absolutely no water during the day, and some water after five.

The management posted no notices and provided no information. On Friday, we met other patrons at a late night BBQ, and found out that a portion of the resort had full water. Why did the management move those without water to a room with water, who knows?

Saturday, we finally insisted on being moved to another room or another resort. Again we were told that the resorts had the same problem. We were also given the option of showering in the spa, and calling maid service to flush our toilets. Unbelievable!! Then we were offered the use of a room 200 yards from ours for showering and toilets, and we insisted to be moved into that room. That room had a busted toilet. Great!!. Finally we were moved to a room where almost everything worked. The air conditioning was weak, but at least we had water.

Before we left the resort, we went shopping at the Royal Shops. We met some people from the Ritz Carlton next door, and they told us they had no problem with water at all. Two couples had been there for a few days, and had no problems. So the management at Half Moon lied, did not take care of high paying patrons by transferring to another resort.

Character of the management staff is revealed when faced with adversity. The management of the Half Moon has failed miserably!!!

  • Liked — room
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank dvalentine823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paducah,ky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2007

loved it!! my daughter was married there in mid-june. we had around 20 guests we were all upgraded when we arrived. rooms were fantastic!! staff very helpful and the food was great. reynold the bellhop, especially nice!! would love to go back!!

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank spcota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, FL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2007

We had a great trip at the Half Moon and would definitely go back again! We stayed in a Royal Suite. The beach was about 30 or 40 feet from our back door. Can't beat that! At the beach, there was more seaweed in the water than we would have liked, but we didn't find too many rocks, as some of the other reviewers did. The water was pleasant and cool, and there wasn't so much seaweed that we didn't enjoy it. We had the beach to ourselves most days, even though there were other families staying in our building. As for the pools, we swam in the main pool rather than the private Royal Suites pools, because we liked the swim up bar, and our daughter liked the water fountains in the pool and the other kids that we could usually find playing
there. My daughter would have liked a slide at the pool, but she had lots of fun without it!

Our room was beautiful. The bedroom was separated with a door from the living area, which meant that we didn't have to go to bed when our daughter did. The bedroom had, in addition to a king bed, a day bed in a bay window looking directly at the ocean - a beautiful spot for reading. A twin bed was set up in the living room for our daughter, next to the two couches. The patio was spectacular - it looked out over the water. We had breakfast there every morning, and sat in the wicker furniture in the evenings.

We purchased the good life plan. I'm not convinced that we saved any money by doing that, but it did give us the luxury of feeling that we could order whatever we wanted at meals, and we loved having free access to the mini-bar. And room service is included in the good life plan, which is great. We never went to a restaurant for breakfast, based on other TripAdvisor reviews. My husband said the wine list wasn't bad (I'm pregnant so I can't weigh in on that matter), and the other alchoholic drinks didn't look as skimpy as they are at some all-inclusive places.

We ate a Seagrape Terrace for lunch every day, plus dinner one night. We also had dinner at Il Giardino (I think it was called), the Sugar Mill and Akbar. We didn't discover how great the lunch buffet at Seagrape Terrace was until the last day we were there. The menu description doesn't do it justice. A la carte service is much slower, so we would have used the buffet more if we had just checked it out the first day. We liked the food at Il Giardino and Sugar Mill best, although you're not going to find the greatest food in the world anywhere at the resort. Nothing was bad, and some of it was great. Some people were complaining about the bugs and heat at the Sugar Mill, which isn't on the water. Akbar (Thai & Indian) doesn't have a dress code, which is a nice break, and the food was good. Room service breakfast was basic, but good. 10% tips are included in the good life plan, and we usually added on about 10% also. I was worried that this would add up, but our final bill was not very bad at all.

We met many nice families vacationing there. My three year old loved having lots of kids to play with. We never went to the Kids Activity Center, but heard good things about it from other guests, as well as the babysitting service.

My husband and I were both thrilled with our Swedish massages, which were part of the good life plan.

I just have a few complaints. The buildings are old, which makes for grand appearances and an elegant ambiance throughout most of the resort. However, the windows in our room, and more importantly my daughter's room, didn't really lock. I was up several times a night to make sure she was still safe in bed. We never had quite enough hot water. The Half Moon website doesn't do the resort justice - it's much more elegant that I was expecting. I would have liked the website to have more information, especially about the differences between all the room types.

We didn't think the shopping village was worth the wait for the shuttle to take us there. It had a couple of restaurants (including Akbar), a T shirt shop, a cigar store (which my husband did enjoy), and lots of over-priced jewelery stores.

What was supposed to be a 10 minute ride from the airport to the hotel took us about 45 due to traffic and construction. Obviously not the hotel's fault, but it's nice to have your expectations in order when you're thinking about swimming very soon after your plane lands!

We loved the dolphin beach excursion, but I felt completely swindled after I bought pictures. I never saw a price list and other people were offered better prices after I had committed to a specific package. I was told that I could buy all the pictures on a CD for $99, or 15 pictures for $70, and that there were about 100 pictures total. I didn't want to scroll through 100 pictures with a 3 year old waiting, plus other families were in line behind me, so I bought the $99 package. Well, the 100 pictures included everyone who was there at the same time, not just my family. So I ended up with about 15 pictures of my family for $100! Actually, they gave me a $9 discount when I complained, so it was only $90 for 15 pictures. . . . .

In spite of these minor issues, we had a great time and truly would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Liked — Having everything we needed on the resort. We didn't leave once.
  • Disliked — Functional aspects of the room (window locks, bathroom fixtures, etc.) were outdated.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FortMyersErin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2007

Booked a week stay at Half Moon (7/25-7/2) after MUCH research. Too much research, really. In a nutshell, we had a fantastic time. You won't be disappointed if you come here. We went through a travel agent online and got a slightly better price than the hotel's website. So, keep that in mind, there may be better deals out there.

Food and drink: We went on the quasi-all inclusive plan: "The Good Life". I'm glad we did. I didn't want to penny pinch and worry about bills on our honeymoon. The food here is generally fantastic. We ate at all the restaurants: Sugar Mill, Il Giardino, Seagrape, Royal Stocks, and Ackbar. You will NOT go hungry here. Slight complaint: The open air portion of the Seagrape,and some of the bars, can get rather buggy (flies, etc).

Grounds: The grounds of this hotel are stunning and well-kept. The place is almost 400 acres. You never feel like you're at one of those high-rise mega resorts.

The rooms: We booked the cheapest room and were upgraded to a Hibiscus Suite right on the beach. I recommend these suites as they were renovated a couple years back, according to the staff. There was a nice living room area with couches, and a huge bathroom (separate tub and shower, two sinks). The wife loved it. When we arrived in our room we saw they left us champagne, a gift basket, and polo shirts with the half moon logo. Very thoughtful. Slight complaint: when they clean your room, a lot of times they leave the door open, letting mosquitos in.

We loved it and we'll hopefully be back sometime.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank jb347
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
243 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2007

My husband and I just returned from a 5 night stay at Half Moon. We were in a Junior Suite with the most fabulous view of the Carribean Sea from our balcony. The staff is wonderful and will bend over backwards to accomodate your every whim. If you ask for something, they will do anything in their power to make it happen. We had a wonderful time and highly recommend the Dolphin Encounter. It was expensive, but so worth it. We also got a his 'n hers massage one afternoon that was absolutley fabulous, however the spa facilities are very dated. They are building a new facility that will be open for the "season" this coming winter. For a resort that is this upscale, they need the new facility. The food was good, (although the night we dined at the Italian restaurant, they relocated us to the outside dining area - Seagrape Terrace - adjacent to this restaurant without asking us so that they could close early) the shopping was nice and the sea was great - we only spent one short afternoon in one of the pools - you can do a pool anywhere, but the Carribean sea was like bathwater! They have the floats and we would just float around in the bay for hours on end, coming ashore long enough to enjoy another run drink that the bar folks would bring to us! We did attend the beach barbeque, which was fabulous - go very hungry - and were surprised by a show that was included with fire dancers, limbo, bamboo dancers and music. We really enjoyed that evening. My only complaint about the resort is that it is very near a busy highway and we could hear the construction vehicles driving by on many occasions, although not enough to annoy, just to notice the sound. We would return to this resort, without hesitation. However, next time we will do the all-inclusive plan.

  • Liked — The staff's willingness to make everything great.
  • Disliked — Not knowing to get the Platinum plan before we went.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travellover3868
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, West Midlands
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2007

We loved the Half Moon and can't wait to return. We stayed in a Royal Villa on the Good Life Plan, which was expensive but well worth the money. The room was superb, it was fantasically positioned. We couldn't fault a thing. The service and food were second to none. Everything was complimentary (including the minibar) and we were treated like royalty. The swedish massage was a really lovely experience.

We moved to a different hotel for our second week and got a bit of a shock, we wanted to go back. The Half Moon is one, if not the best hotel in Montego Bay.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank l_r_trick
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 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Luxury 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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