My wife and I recently spent a week at the Half Moon resort in Jamaica and consider it our best vacation yet. We went down (from Washington, DC) for our ten-year anniversary and now plan to go back on a regular basis. You see the commercials of Caribbean vacations, but it can be hard to believe that the reality matches up with the highly staged photos of commercials. Well, it does. We had a small cottage with french doors that opened, literally, on to a porch and the beach. Blue-green water was 20 steps from our porch, framed by swaying palm trees. No matter where you go on the resort -- your room, one of the restaurants, running, horseback riding, walking, whatever -- the beautiful water of the small bay is always within sight.
We purchased the all-inclusive golf package and highly recommend it, if you like to golf. Half Moon is a fully self-contained resort, complete with a Robert Trent Jones championship golf course. This package not only allows you to play golf on the Half Moon course, but you can also play one of the other two excellent courses on the island. You can also get lessons at the Half Moon Golf Academy. The director of the academy, a former European Tour pro named Spencer Edwards, is a fantastic instructor. He helped my game with only one lesson. If it weren't quite such a trip, I'd go back for lessons every week. I was a little nervous that I'd have a caddie, as I'm not a great golfer, but the caddies are all trained to know every inch of the course and they provide friendly, laid back advice as you line up for you shot.
If you're thinking about Jamaica (or the Caribbean), think about Half Moon. You won't be put up in a highrise room; you'll be on the ground floor, beach level, with an extremely friendly staff everywhere you go.
There are two things I'd encourage Half Moon to address:
1. Get a better selection of wines
2. The tipping situation is confusing and vexing. Half Moon automatically includes a 20 percent tip -- pretty much on anything you do. With an all-inclusive package, like the one we got, this makes sense, as dinner and drinks are included. However, you still sign bills for everything, and they all come an area to include tips. I get the idea of adding a tip if you are extremely happy with your service and want to make it more than 20 percent, but with the tip line added to everything, it creates some confusion -- should you always tip more? if so, what is reasonable?If you don't tip, are you giving a sign of displeasure with the service? Yes, you can figure it all out -- it's just unfortunate that the resort puts you in this awkward position.
- 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