We had the "Good Life" package that included a Superior Room. Our room, 205, was on the second floor of a cottage. You enter the cottage with a key, then traverse a flight of stairs to get to your door. The room had 4 windows, one with a view of the ocean through the palm trees, and a small wrap around balcony with a table and chairs and view of the ocean and grounds. It was modern enough, and quite clean. It had a nice a/c unit that worked perfectly. The room was 18 X18 and included a walk-in closet, large king sized 4 poster bed, two comfy chairs, a desk and chair for work, ports for internet connections, a refrigerator, and small TV. See my posted photos. It was very classy with a touch of modern. The bathroom was adequate, large enough, but not particularly luxurious. All in all, this room was splendid for its purpose. Quiet, relaxing, comforting and very spacious for the two of us.
The room was located in the Oleander section. This is a 5-7 minute walk to the main hotel area where the Seagrape Restaurant, Hotel Lobby, and main swim area is located. This meant we were close enough without being on top of the action. We looked forward to our stroll through the gardens to get to the main area. It was near the Spa and the Fitness Center and a two minute walk to that amazing 50M lap pool.
We went during a time when there were very few guests for whatever reason. It was as if we had the grounds to ourselves. Immediately noticeable was all of the hotel employees constantly cleaning, planting, pruning, etc. The grounds are immaculate, particularly for it's size. the gardens are lovely and there are paths to walk or bike ride at your leisure.
The water is truly turquoise and clear, though fish are hard to find. The main swim area is a delight to be in, and one can practice their open water swimming if they so desire. Pull up a chair in the shade provided by a palm tree or palapa and you can almost spit into the ocean it is so close. There is bar service at the beach so you can sip pina coladas, relax and soak in the view and the sounds of the ocean in perfect relaxation.
Our experience at the spa was equally delightful. We had a couples massage followed by a spell in the steam room where we were handed a glass of refreshment. Now I get a kick out of being served a drink on the beach but being served a drink in the steam room?? Now that is a touch of class.
The restaurants were hit and miss. We only ate at the Seagrape, Sugar Mill and Il Giardino restaurants. Service at the restaurants was OK but that depends on your expectation. If you are expecting world class service as you might at a 5 star restaurant in NYC you will be disappointed. If you accept you are at a resort in Jamaica you will be pleasantly surprised. This means that most of the time they will get your order right, and serve it on time. Occasionally there will be a miscommunication or two, a longer wait than perhaps you expected, or the food just not cooked quite as you were told. It is Jamaica so you do need to roll with the punches so to speak and don't let it get to you. I would recommend going with the "specials" of the day, and avoid the steaks. That said, we enjoyed nearly every meal, but if we had been paying the prices charged, rather than being on the all inclusive meal plan, we would have been a bit upset at the quality of some of the dishes. Of the 3, Seagrapes and Sugar Mill are the standouts, Il Giardino has a way to go.
The same is true of the mixed drinks. We never had a pina colada that tasted the same twice. It seemed that it was be completely different, with different ingredients, depending on who made the drink. On evening the electricity was down and we were told no blender drinks from one of our hostesses. But the other just went to a different bar area that had power and got the drink for us. Another time my wife asked what was in her dish. The waiter said it contained crab meat and my wife returned the dish (the menu had not said it contained crab meat). Later the waiter returned and said, sorry, but that it did not contain crab meat. About two thirds of the time we would be told of the specials without asking. Why they don't advise you every time we could not figure out. So, do ask every time about the specials. If you ask for instance what flavor ice cream they have, and you don't hear the flavor you want, ask if they carry that flavor. You may be surprised at the answer. These experiences kept our expectations of our wait staff low, which meant we ended up being quite happy with the service overall.
The place lacked a nightlife. There was the Calypso Boyz, a mediocre three some playing American covers on acoustic guitar and large thumb piano of some sort every afternoon. It was a nice touch but nothing to stay for. In the evening you had a jazz band playing lounge music by the Seagrape restaurant. Also, at the Sugar Mill, you had a duet with guitar perform nightly except Mondays. They took requests and were OK but again not particularly inspiring.
To keep in touch back home, we spent $14 for an hour on the internet in the business center. They give you a card and you sign in each time. Since all I needed was my gmail to keep in touch, this lasted all 5 days for me. Other's brought their laptops and were using them in the main hotel lobby lounge. We decided to leave ours home.
That aside, this resort met our expectations in the following respects. The grounds were expansive and allowed for lovely walks amid gorgeous gardens and scenery. The bike riding was equally enjoyable. The beach was delightful. Water was great to swim in, you could drink there, relax by the sun or in the shade. They had an amazing 50 m lap pool that allowed us to work off the calories from overeating and drinking. There was a swim up bar that served our favorites. And the place was quiet, and very easy going. It's Jamaica, ja mon.
- 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