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Reviewed April 9, 2011

This was our second trip to Half Moon. In summary - it was perfect. I am a fairly objective reviewer, and if I was forced to figure out a downside, I suppose I could make one up, but overall, this is a lovely and wonderful result, that is made by its people. Let me give you some pointers and comments

First and foremost, if you are looking for laid back, comfortable and easy - this is the place for you. The term is true - you get what you pay for - this place is not low dollar, but every minute is worth it. It's not crowded, it's small but spacious, and you are never in a rush. Every minute is dedicated to your comfort.

It starts when you get off the plane - through customs etc...and then usually, you find the kiosk or room for your resort at the airport - you look at Sandals, Beaches...and there is a crowd of people with screaming kids, waiting to get on a big bus.....and then you see the outpost at the airport for Half Moon - quiet, well appointed, and relaxing. You walk in, sit in a nice comfortable chair, and you are whisked away to the resort - about a 10 minute drive from the airport.

You get through the gate, and honestly - swear to God - you feel like you are at home - and your blood pressure drops about 10 points. We were returning guests - and again - swear to God, we recognized some staff from a few years ago, and they recognized us - not sure how, but true...

Now, I will say, if you get there much before 3 or 4, and most flights do, your room will not be ready, but no problem, just sit in the restaurant and have lunch or a drink - relax. And other reviewers are right, most Americans (like us) want to know - when will my room be ready, hurry up, how dare you....but again, just chill a little - they will take care of you, but this is Jamaica - time isn't a big worry....

We stay at the West Cottages - I hate to give away the secret, but these are the best - I think you give up a little in the way of an ultra modern, elegant hotel room - but you get a room that is 20 feet from the ocean. We spent a LOT of time sitting on the porch of Cottage 9 just looking at the ocean. It was serene and beautiful. I see there are other suites and more "hotel" like rooms, but the cottages are for us. They need a little upkeep, but overall, very comfortable, well maintained and clean. And did I mention, you walk out of your door, onto the beach?

The food - honestly, we have been to other resorts etc...in the islands and other parts of the world - and the food is always something you tolerate, but honestly, here, it is good - maybe on fantastic, 5 star gourmet, but it's solid - very good. They try very hard. I got fish every day - it's fresh caught, and prepared well. The Italian place is the best food, the Sugar Mill is the best atmosphere, and the Sea Grape is great for an all around restaurant. I would get the all inclusive - it's worth not worrying about prices.

The people - Now, I can't state this enough - the resort is great, and I am sure there are other great resorts, but the people make this place the best. Please don't think I am overstating here, because i am not - but every single staff member we ran into made an extra effort to make us feel like family, feel at home, feel like a rock star and feel welcome. I can EASILY say that we might consider other resorts, but we would come back to Half Moon because of the people. Derrick at Sea Grape, Pat at the front desk, our housekeepers, the mini bar guys, the water sports guys, the bellmen, every single person.

The Spa - Unbelievable. I got a massage (along with my wife) with Nadia and that was in the top 10 experiences of my life. The new spa is world class and you will remember it for a long time. Just a note - if anyone can tell me where you got that rain shower thing....I would appreciate it! I have to get one for the house.

Excursions - I would definitely recommend the dolphin swim and the beach horseback ride. Again, the people made it worth it, and you won't forget the experiences...good stuff

Shopping - This is a minor point, most people don't come to shop - the stores by the front desk are actually pretty good and have a good selection. The stores at the village (the few that are open) are not that good. I don't mean to sound negative, because again, everyone was super nice, but it wasn't that big a deal. The Thai, Indian and British Places are good.

OK - I think I have been pretty detailed....I guess the best sign is how SAD we were to leave. Walking out was truly depressing - but I guess we can count the days till we come back.

I would recommend this place to anyone. We will be back over and over.

Room Tip: Use a travel agent and return often
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank GeorgiaTraveler-6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2011

It's been a few months now since we returned from Jamaica (we split our vacation between Half Moon in Montego Bay and Sunset at the Palms in Negril) but we still think of the wonderful time we had at Half Moon (and Sunset as my other review indicates).

Half Moon is a very beautiful and well-kept property, the service is incredible and very personal and facilities are state of the art (we loved Olympic size swimming pool, tennis courts, kid's club etc) .

We were upgraded to Hibiscus Suite but my parents stayed at Junior Suite (?) and both rooms were lovely, very clean and beautifully decorated. Many posters commented on the meal costs - we did not purchase meal plan, but for the first week in January the hotel served buffet-style dinners at its main restaurant (they were about $40 per person for unlimited and truly gourmet buffet) but after certain date (maybe around January 6) they switched to a-la carte which was a lot more expensive but just as delicious.

Overall, a beautiful hotel, wonderful service, great food, well-kept beach. Very easy to recommend.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Sirius57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2011

My family researched many Caribbean resorts looking for ease of travel, luxury and acceptance of children (11, 9 and 7). Half Moon Bay fit the bill in all respects. We have a few minor criticisms but those are easily outweighed by the positives.

With respect to access, Half Moon Bay is a very short drive from the airport in Montego Bay. You will land, clear customs and find yourself at the resort within an hour. For those of you travelling with young children, don't underestimate this benefit. Transfers to the resort were hassle free.

Check-in was easy enough although our room was not ready on arrival. No worries, as we were early, but we did find it aggravating that we were repeatedly told that our room would be ready in 20 minutes. 3 hours later, we made it to our room. Welcome to Jamaica time.

We stayed in Cottage 6 just off the main beach. View was terrific. Rooms were nicely appointed, although perhaps in need of a little refreshment. Bathrooms were very nice and up-to-date. Water pressure and temperature was not an issue. We had a two bedroom suite with an extra bed placed in the sitting room to accomodate our family. Sleeping arrangements worked perfectly. The off-beach cottages have their own pool which is nice with kids; however, road noise is noticeable from the main highway. If you sit on your front porch, however, you can't hear the road at all and can enjoy the view of the bay.

The real grandeur of Half Moon is out-of-doors. Once unpacked, we explored the resort and were taken in by its size and beauty. The size makes it imperative you visit the "bike tent" and check out bikes for the week. This process is not terribly efficient (remember Jamaica time), but the staff was friendly and helpful. Bikes allow you to explore the grounds and visit the different pools and activities spread across the resort. We were
overwhelmed with the activities offered (almost all of which accomodated children). In no certain order, we enjoyed tennis, sailing, parasailing, snorkeling, swiming with dolphins, kayaks, weight lifting, yoga classes, pedal boats, tubing, bannana boating, swimming, minature golf and, of course, riding bikes across the expansive grounds. For active vacationers, you will be hard pressed to find a high end resort with so much to do.

The watersports staff was excellent and made a concerted effort to see that my kids enjoyed themselves. Craig and Bigger were an excellent tandem of guides on the bannana boats and Denford made parasailing a comedy routine for my children (allaying their fears at the same time).

Dining was never a challenge, even with children. The best food is easily found at the Sugar Mill, although the Seagrape Terrace and Il Giordino were fine as well. Having dinner on the terrace looking out over the sea never gets old. Service was fine, particularly once you adjust yourself to the Jamaican pace. If you are a high maintenance diner, you might consider sticking to the Sugar Mill as the other restaurants had a more relaxed approach. We did have one snafu when our room service order for breakfast (turned in the night before) was simply lost.

In summary, activities were varied and well-staffed. Staff was unfailingly friendly. Accomodations were a step down from something like the Cloister at Sea Island, but still very nice. The grounds were beautiful and easy to navigate. While kid friendly, the resort never felt overrun with children, perhaps because of its size. This size allowed my wife and I to take turns sneaking off for quiet time to read and relax. You really can make your stay what you want.

Room Tip: Choose the ocean front West Cottages.
  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank FamilyGuy016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HalfMoonARockResort, Manager at Half Moon, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2011

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely note about your stay at Half Moon, A RockResort. It was really a pleasure to have you and family as our guests. We’re happy your stay was all you anticipated and we look forward to welcoming you to Half Moon again in the near future.

Best regards,

The Half Moon Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2011

We just returned from a five night stay at Half Moon. This was our third time visiting the lovely resort and each time the experience gets better. From the moment we arrived until the time we departed we were treated like royalty. We stayed in the West End Cottage area for the first time and really loved it. Previously we had stayed in the two bedroom Hibiscus suites which are also fantastic. All the dining alternatives at the resort are spectacular. We have never had a bad meal. The resorts size provides plenty of things for kids of all ages to do. I would highly recommend renting a golf cart. Probably one of the things that sets Half Moon apart form all the others is the fantastic, upbeat attitude of the staff. They really make the stay very, very special. We will return next year!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank dougo78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HalfMoonARockResort, Manager at Half Moon, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2011

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely note about your stay at Half Moon, A RockResort. It was a pleasure serving you again. We’re happy your stay was all you anticipated and as always, we look forward to welcoming you to your home-away- from-home soon.

Best regards,

The Half Moon Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2011

If this is what you want on your vacation, this is the place to go. My husband and I have traveled to several other caribbean islands and would rank Half Moon at the top. If you want your biggest decision of the day to be what to have for breakfast and what bikini should you wear, this is your spot. Lots to do, lots of space the resort does not feel crowded even when it's full. We left feeling pampered, healthy and relaxed. Our 3 sons 10-8 and 6 enjoyed every minute. The only downside is the place is not inexpensive - if you travel into Montego Bay or elsewhere it's expensive. The food there is outstanding - I've never eaten more fruit in my life. High marks to the staff for wonderful service. You won't regret a Half Moon vacation.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Susanna7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HalfMoonARockResort, Manager at Half Moon, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2011

Dear Valued Client,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely note about your stay at Half Moon, A RockResort. It was really a pleasure to have you and family as our guests. We’re happy your stay was all you anticipated and we look forward to welcoming you to Half Moon again in the near future.

Best regards,

The Half Moon Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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