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“Half Moon experience”
Review of Half Moon

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Half Moon
Ranked #3 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
seghill uk
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Half Moon experience”
Reviewed 4 March 2006

Half Moon Hotel, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Having just returned from half moon on 23 feb 2006, a few things spring to mind about this hotel. We stayed in a six roomed villa, very clean, lovely staff, pleasant and helpful . However the pool was not up to a standard we are used to, it was dirty although a pool guy used to show his face from time to time, the restaurants kept to a strict menu so not enough choice. hidden extras which we did not expect, tennis, yes the courts are free, but you have to buy the balls and rackets on a hire agreement, 25 dollars to play, we wanted to go on a catamaran, fine but if you want a guy to take you, another 15 dollars, ok not a huge amount to pay, but all inclusive, i thought thats what it meant. all in all a bit disappointed with the half moon, need alot of thought going into entertainment and sporting amenities, room for improvement. In the restaurants you need at least 2 hours to be served (Sea Grapes) took us sometimes over that to be served the whole meal on average 2 hours plus is a good guide. Would go back to Jamaica but not the Half Moon unless it changed its outlook on how to look after visitors.

16 Thank seghiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2006

We just returned from Half Moon Bay and would not return. Not because it isn't lovely. It is. But it is not as well maintained as a luxury resort should be, and for the money we've stayed in much nicer places.

Specific complaints were that the duplex we stayed in (oleander) was huge but very shabby. The kitchen smelled, there were flimsy curtains on all the windows that allowed the morning sun in , The A/C broke twice and the water pressure slowed to a trickle at the end of the day. We taped towels over the windows so our children wouldn't wake up at the crack of dawn, and I noticed that other people did the same. The locks to our room died on us, locking us out, on more than 1 occasion.

The pool area was dirty. The pool was only cleaned in the morning and by afternoon the water was dirty. There were dirty towels and used drink glasses left out all day. We often had to move other people's abandoned towels to get a lounge chair and there were NO clean towels available except first thing in the morning. We carried our towels with us everywhere.

The food was better than expected and although the service was slow it was typical for the carribean. The sugar mill had NY style service (ie, fast) and it was very good.

The staff was very nice, but ineffective at resolving our concerns. One nice amenity was an onsite nurse and a doctor who made a house call for my child's ear infection.

The fitness center and spa were very nice and the tennis courts seemed well maintained. IF you were a tennis family that could be a real plus. But if you are mostly going for swimming/beach activities there are much nicer resorts.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19 Thank kewny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2006

I have just returned from the half moon Mo.bay .I was in a party of 12 staying in a 6 room villa with private pool.the villa staff were friendly and attentive. We paid for platinum plan so only breakfast was served in villa,more or less the same daily.we encountered problems with lights fusing regularly but fixed pretty quickly, the pool was not very clean even though the pool man made a show of doing it daily.The hotel grounds were lovely and the staff very friendly always waving and talking when passing. I have one complaint, which was the extremely slow service in the seagrape restuarant and the unchanging a la carte menue ,set aside atleast 2hrs to eat. The complimentary shuttle service from the airport was not without it's price (in tips} loading our cases onto the bus involved 4 persons all with hands out for money and unloading them at our villa involved another 3 for whom $30 did not seem enough which they made perfectly plain by hanging around arguing with the villa butler untill they grudgingly left. Prices did seem a little steep especially after tax and compulsory gratuity's were added,even then, individual servers still expected, 'respec mon', in the form of a tip. Overall despite the beauty of the resort, the friendly waves and have a nice day's i dont think i will return to the halfmoon.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank dwc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
46 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2006

We stayed here 1 night after spending a week in Ocho Rios. What a great resort. We don't have kids but I highly recommend this resort to those with kids.

We were upgraded to a Junior Suite upon a very friendly arrival and when the bellman was taking us over to our room he said, "hey, this is the section the starts stay in." Our room was gorgeous. Great old four poster bed that you used a cute little step stool to get up on. The furniture is just gorgeous and we read made there in Jamaica. The bathroom was massive, a bit outdated, but in the Caribbean, who cares. There were some baby ants in our bathroom but again, this is the Caribbean and we travel here often so could care less.

We were SMACK on the beach and in Cottage #1 away from it all. I LOVED this little location and our pool we shared with 3 other suites.

The property is massive. We even requested a tour of the Royal Villas and they were very quick to arrange it and we saw 5 villas. What a great spot for a big family reunion or a wedding!

Restaurant was good. We ate at the Sea Grape for dinner and breakfast and the little sandwich restaurant called Le Baguette for lunch. (VERY good burgers). We did feel like there were a LOT of kids there and after having just spent a week at Sandals (no kids) it was a bit of a culture shock for us, but only at meals did we really notice it and did it bug us.

We had some nasty weather the day we were there but we had a great time. Played crouquet, they have an 18 hole practice putting green and we walked all over. We did not do the dolphin thing, I just feel too bad for them to be in captivity to do it. I can't go to zoo's either, that is just me.

This property is just great. I don't think I could last a week there though, that is just us. We did feel that a bunch of people travelling there were pretty snooty and into themselves. It was kind of humorous to watch people check other people out, like what they are wearing, etc. Sort of funny. That happens though at a fancy resort like this.

All in all, highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17 Thank Grohe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 13 February 2006

just arriving at half moon i was in awe. the place is massive. it never ends!! to rent bicycles and golf carts to get around the property was great. the restaurants were fantastic! this place is such a gem. the cottages have so much history. my room next to the dolphin area ..was in the older part...but who cared...it was perfect. the workout facility was nice. they have a mini mart where you can buy groceries or whatever you need. this place is so classy....you wont have to deal with the rif-raff. its not a hopping party joint late into the night....but a quick cab ride to margaritaville...which surprisingly was mostly locals. stay at the half moon. its perfect.

Stayed February 2005
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Rochelle, New York
Level Contributor
61 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2006

I'm writing this review after having just gotten back from another Carribean resort that was rated just as high.
I sincerly wish that we had just gone back to Half Moon for what would have been another impeccable vacation.
Half Moon has something for everyone and is truly a high quality resort.
Next years vacation will no doubt be a return to Half Moon - no sense in trying anything else.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
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9 Thank Wandy712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2006

I've been giving this review some thought, in light of the postings that find fault with HalfMoon, it's staff or amenities. Let me say, all the critics are wrong to find fault with HalfMoon and I'll tell you why, as this review unfolds.

My wife and I have stayed at HalfMoon four times over the past 3+ years and are planning a fifth visit for this fall. Let me start with our first visit. It was our wedding and subsequent honeymoon in September 2003. I was a little nervous about getting married in a foreign country. I've travelled alot, having flown over 1 million miles on American Airlines, and having stayed in hotels all over the planet. My fear was not about flying but wanting to be sure HalfMoon was up to the task of arranging a destination wedding. In contacting the resort about a destination wedding, we were immediately placed in touch (through email) with our wedding co-ordinator, Racquel. As email was our preference to dealing with the 3 hour time change from California, Racquel was exceptional in returning messages and throughout the process ensured our comfort and concerns. Once we arrived, we were immediately met by tour staff who quickly escourted us to the transportation to HalfMoon. No delays, no waiting around, no complaints, just quality service right to the lobby of the hotel. We were immediately checked in, again no problems, no delays, more quality service. We were immediately escourted to our Suite, a Royal Suite in the west cottages that we later learned is where the resort owners family stays when they visit. This room was right on the beach. We met with Racquel the next morning, now the day before the wedding. We selected the site for the wedding, a balcony overlooking Sunset beach, met the minister and felt (rightfully so), the wedding was going to be perfect. On Saturday, Racquel and staff decorated the balcony and as we suspected, the wedding came off without a hitch, just more quality service we were starting to appreciate about HalfMoon. The wedding cake, bridal flowers, videographer, and still photographer were just wonderful. I'ld encourage anyone to have a destination wedding at HalfMoon. The balance of this visit, the next five days were filled with more of the same quality. All of the meals, the restaurant, bar, and golf course staff were all first rate and very appreciative of any tip we provided. Let's talk tipping for a minute. Many reviews leave me with the impression that tipping is obligatory at HalfMoon to get the staff to provide a quality level of service. Not true, but it does help, just as it helps at ANY restaurant or hotel here in the USA. So if you tip in the USA, why not tip down there? The HalfMoon staff and resort is obviously very reliant on tourism and like their service industry counterparts in the USA, they appreciate a tip, just like Americans who (I feel) have grown to expect tips regardless of their service levels. Enough said, the HalfMoon staff works hard, so tip them, they've earned it. In summary, the first visit was fabulous. We befriended several staff, including Paul and Milford from two different bars, Andrea from the hotel management staff, and of course Racquel. We had a problem free visit, marriage ceremony, honeymoon, and golf visit. Within a month of being home, we re-booked a second visit, for our first anniversary back at HalfMoon, September 2004.

This stay was for 10 days. Hurricane Ivan had just blown through and the resort was pristine on our arrival. We missed Ivan by a week and one could not tell the Hurricane had hit. The ground were just as beautiful, in some cases better, than a year before. Our arrival was a duplicate of the first year experience. We were quickly picked up at the MoBay airport, wisked to the HalfMoon and immediately checked in. This time upgraded without asking to a new Hibiscus Suite. These were being built a during the first visit and we were hoping to see inside one, let alone get to stay in one. Pictures attached. A fabulous room, again right on the beach and immediately adjacent to two very large swimming pools and swim up bar. These rooms were a major renovation that are first rate. We were also fortunate to be at the resort during it's 50th anniversary party. We were personally invited by the hotel general manager to attend a Roberta Flack concert, compliments of the resort. The concert, open bar, and heavy appetizers was entirely hosted by the resort. Another fabulous event. The next morning we had breakfast at a table adjacent to Roberta Flack. As the hotel is so unpretencious, we said hello to her, thanking her for a great concert. She returned pleasant conversation about how nice the resort was to her as well. Later that same night was an even better event as the resort hosted a concert by Third World, a Jamaican band of international fame. The resort invited hotel staff, their family and friends, and again fed everybody who attended, all complimentary. In addition, the resort donated $50,000 to the Hurricane Ivan relief effort to help local Jamaican's impacted by the storm. Now that was a first class action by the resort owners and management. During this visit, we dined at all the resort restaurants, but fell in love with the Sugar Mill and Mr. Solomon, the matre'de who runs the restaurant. The escargot, lobsters, salmon, sea bass, and lamb chops we dined on during our many visits to SugarMill were all first rate. Service was timely, attentive, professional, and friendly. Especially friendly in that Milford, at the Sugar Mill bar remembered us from the year before and greeted us with a very warm hello. Both Paul and Andrea back at the main hotel and bar did the same during this second visit as well. 10 days and nights of fabulous food, accomodations, and daily golf. The morning we checked out, we were greeted by hotel staff who gave us two nice quality polo golf shirts and a hotel logo beach bag as thanks for our second stay. Once we got home from this trip, I immediately booked our third visit for April 2005, as now we had experienced two fantastic visits.

For the April 2005 visit, we planned to stay 8 days and nights. This time we took one set of in-laws, both in their late 70's. They had not been to the resort since the wedding trip of 2003 and were thrilled to be back. They too were greeted and welcomed back, as if it was the wedding trip. This stay we had a junior suite in the west cottages and the in-laws received a Royal Suite upgrade, back in the owners section of the west cottages. Another fabulous set of rooms, both right on the beach. This trip too was met with first class service, attentive staff, timely meals, and unfortunately bad weather. Near the end of the visit, 6 inches of rain fell one afternoon and flooded a local creek and subsequently the first floor of the hotel lobby, and main restaurants. As a sign of the hotels dedication to the guests, the hotel moved the entire food service capability to a second floor conference room and managed to feed every guest and staff. The damage was significant largely due to a mud slide that closed the Italian Restaurant. Later that evening and into the next morning, I found the hotel general manager side by side with staff, cleaning the Italian restaurant. To me this is further proof of dedicated staff and management. Aside from the mudslide, this was another perfect trip. At our departure, all four of us received logo tee-shirts and tote bags, just another sign of the resorts first rate service. Once home, I booked our fourth trip for September 2005, our second anniversary visit.

This fourth trip was for another 8 days and nights. Again we encountered absolutely no delays in our transportation to the resort, at check in, or delivery to our room. We were again upgraded to a Hibiscus Suite, ground floor, right on the beach and swim-up bar adjacent. This trip was just like the previous three, flawless. The room was spotless (again), food service excellent, and the staff happy to see us again. Milford, Paul, Andrea, and now the hotel general manager Mr. Composch, happy to say hello and to welcome us back each time we saw them. This trip we befriended Kevyn Cunningham who runs the golf course facility, as he noticed we were playing a lot of golf. He came out of his way to say hello and greeted us warmly each day we played. We even had breakfast with him on one morning. As with the other trips, this trip we ate in all the restaurants but found the fish and chips at Royal Stocks simply wonderful again, having eaten there on the first night we arrived in visit # 1. At SugarMill, Milford and Mr. Solomon were as friendly as ever and food was fabulous again. The menu included a lobster salad, which gave the escargot a real test for the best appetizer on the menu. This trip we did the morning horse ride which ends with a swim in the ocean with the horses. This is a must "do", and I'm not a "horsey" person. Needless to say, this fourth visit was just as good as the first three. Clearly, we have the time and the appreciation to travel well and given the terrific experiences we continue to have with the HalfMoon resort and staff, we will continue to go back. I've been to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, Jumby Bay in Antigua, the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua Hawaii and none are as "good" as HalfMoon for personal, attentive, and first class service. We're going back to HalfMoon this September for our fifth visit and our third anniversary. I've had plenty of opportunities to find fault with the resort and staff. I can't, its that simple. It's a special place, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
44 Thank John A
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:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Luxury 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*
Number of rooms: 1
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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