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“Living on past splendor”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Half Moon

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Half Moon
Ranked #2 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Westchester
Level Contributor
97 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Living on past splendor”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2007

Just returned from one week stay at Half Moon Bay, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Overall, an enjoyable trip but with some qualifications. The resort considers itself to be a 5 star luxury destination. It is not. Our room was without hot water for 3 days despite numerous attempts at repair, and was then without air conditoning for the next 3 days. This is not acceptable for any, but particularly not, a luxury resort. On the other hand, the service, food, tennis and beach were all excellent. Overall, a nice vacation, but very overpriced considering the problems we had. The management did, however, refund some money.

  • Liked — beach, tennis
  • Disliked — absent or inadequate ac and hot water
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank liketoeatWestchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2007

Just got back from five nights at Half Moon with my husband, two kids (ages 6 and 2) and mother. Overall, we all had a great time.
ROOM: We booked a Junior Suite and Deluxe Room. Although we requested that the rooms be close as possible in the West Cottages, they said they could not guaratee it. When we got there, however, we were upgraded to a one bedroom Royal Suite (Cottage 7, Room 155) and adjoining Deluxe Room (Room 55). The rooms were not very luxurious as one might expect given the price (e.g., the bathrooms could use an update; mattresses and bedding were average), but the setting and location were absolutely gorgeous. We were literally about fifteen steps from the beach, and we had a lovely terrace where we ate many breakfasts and lunches. Our friends stayed in one of the villas, and although they loved the space (and having a butler, cook and private pool), I have to say that I think I would choose to stay in our room in the West Cottages so close to the beach over the relatively isolated villas. We also met some people who stayed in a Junior Suite (which is what we had reserved for), and they felt it was a little small for a family of four. I would definitely request the same room(s)again.
FOOD: The food was good, but not great. Room service selections were very limited, and everything comes with French fries. The breakfast buffet at the Seagrape was very good. Dinners at the Sea Grape and Suger Mill were also good, but I was expecting more based on some of the reviews here. The Pina Coladas were yummy. If you're going to be there during a busy time, you need to make reservations in advance, especially for Il Giardino which we couldn't get into when we called in the morning for a reservation that same evening. The concierge/front desk staff are very helpful for making/cancelling reservations.
SERVICE: Excellent. Check-in and check-out were great. They cleaned the rooms every day very thoroughly (and it did seem to take them a really long time). Room service and wait staff could be a little slow, but I only noticed because we have two kids who don't have a long wait-time capacity, especially in restaurants. My only real complaint was that they insisted that we take a 12:00 shuttle to the airport to catch a 3:15 flight. I later tried to change it to later, but they said all the shuttles between 12:00 and 2:00 were full. Needless to say we ended up sitting in the airport for a while before our flight. Not a huge deal, but we would have liked to spend a little more time on the beach.
ACTIVITIES: The Children's Center was great. My older son spent three days there and loved all the activities, including a pony ride and glass bottom boat ride. We didn't golf, but enjoyed snorkeling off the beach (not the greatest as far as snorkeling in the Caribbean goes, but a pleasant way to spend an hour or two), paddle boats, the Dolphin Lagoon, pool and tennis. The nanny service was also great. We thought the Shopping Village was lame -- there's no real reason to go except to go to the restaurants there.
OVERALL: I'd definitely go back, but I don't think I'd recommend it for couples who want a romantic escape because there are a lot of kids everywhere. Without kids, I'd go to Round Hill. Also, we noticed that Half Moon shuts down pretty early. We had 8:30 dinner reservations one night, and ended up being the last in the restaurant.

  • Liked — Location on the beach; multitude of activities for families and children
  • Disliked — Food could be better; nicer bathrooms would be nice
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Kaybee43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MD
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2007

We stayed at the Half Moon Resort from February 8 to 11, 2007. We received an upgrade to a Hibiscus room (direct ocean front). The room was gorgeous as was the beach. The staff was very friendly and helpful... from the bartenders and waiters to the beach attendants. The Good Life Plan covered all dining expenses, and we found the meals to be excellent with the exception of the beach cookout on Friday night. The bar drinks were carefully concocted and were fabulous. For the first time in 15 years, my husbands left his golf clubs home....but there were many enjoyable activities that kept us busy (kyaking, bike rides, massages, miniature golf, and long walks; snorkeling was just fair). The 4 day trip was very relaxing and quite elegant. My only complaints were that we were told to leave for the airport (only a few miles away) for our departing flight some 3 hours in advance of take off, that the chiping and putting clinic at the Half Moon golf course was mysteriously cancelled when I arrived at the course, and that the turndown service came at inopportune times. W e are making plans to return soon.

  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank vmdtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2007

I stayed at the Half Moon in June of 2003, so it was very hot. The rooms were very hot. One night we were sleeping and woke up to find a lizard climbing all over our walls. There were many fun activites that kept us busy like Swimming with the dolphons, biking, golfing, horsebackriding and many more. Overall it was a pretty enjoyable stay.

Stayed June 2003
Helpful?
5 Thank LannaJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
France
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2007

This hotel is truly a tropical paradise with all the lavish bells and whistles of luxury. Even in December the weather was fantastic. Sunny and hot enough to tan and go swimming in warm tropical waters. I was lucky enough to get an amazing room right on the beach through skyauction so I paid a small fraction of the normal price.
This place is even more amazing in person than in pictures. The beach has to be among the top two anywhere in my experience due to its beauty, fine powdery white sand, and cleanliness. I also cannot say enough about how professional and amiable all of the staff was. The room as well (even though the cheapest option) was beautifully decorated, very well maintained, and clean.
The only cons were all due to the expenses occurred at this resort:
1. My hotel booking did not come with a free transfer (shuttle) from the airport. I hired a taxi to pick me up and the ride to the hotel was about $30USD since this resort is a bit far away from the Montego Bay airport/area (about a 30 minute ride).
2. All meals/snacks/drinks were at exorbitant prices (kind of expected at a luxury resort of this standing) when eating a la carte at its restaurants/bars. I know it is chic nouvelle cuisine, but I still say $15USD is a lot to pay for some romaine lettuce cut up with a couple of croutons, ceasar's dressing, and three or four small cubes of chicken. Especially when you consider the local prices.
3. If you are thinking about getting out of the resort to visit Montego Bay, unless you are willing to shell out $60USD round trip for the taxi ride, just about forget it. One evening to change routine and try to get a decent meal at a normal price, I tried "escaping" from the club. I managed to get some help from one of the staff in getting a cheap $5USD per person ride out of the resort (some kind of shared taxi system), but then it was a nightmare getting back for a decent price once in Montego Bay. The locals know how to haggle and get the real price for the ride, but as a tourist you're basically a sitting duck waiting to be swindled.
I would highly recommend this resort for those looking to splurge at an exclusive ritzy beach club. For those on a more restricted budget where money is an object, please look elsewhere for a better price/quality ratio (may not be as elegant or lavish).

  • Stayed December 2003, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Venus326
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, VA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2007

My husband and I booked a last minute getaway to the Half Moon through Orbitz and it was just great! We stayed three nights in a deluxe room (the least expensive option!) and had fantastic weather, although it rained a bit the day we left. The room was large and clean and the a/c worked well. The resort is a classy place with 2 miles of beach and spans 400 acres and has 55 pools! Although it's big--it feels charming and not at all "Atlantis-like." Many celebs have stayed there as well as the Royals and Jackie Kennedy years ago. The staff at the Half Moon is unlike anywhere else I've been in the Caribbean or Mexico. They will grant your every request expeditiously and with a smile. There is a bellman named Ernest who has been there for 25 years and he was just great. We popped over to the Ritz to compare it and we were so glad we chose the HM--even though the half moon is 50 some-odd years old, it is in great shape and rooms tatefully decorated and super clean. Sitting at the Cedar Bar watching the sun set was divine. The food was OK, but better than most in the Caribbean. I loved the Sea Grape terrace for breakfast al fresco on the beach. We hope to visit again next year! You will love it--especially if you can afford a west end cottage or villa w/your own maid and butler!

  • Liked — staff
  • Disliked — price
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank ingrid2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
On the Beach in SIC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2007

My wife and I just returned from a week at the Moon. Fantastic! Deluxe room with a great ocean view. Clean and well maintained. It is a huge complex that can be easily explored by renting a bike from the front desk (really a must). Excellent staffing couldn't do enough for us.

Food was a bit pricey. Choose not to do the all inclusive as we spent time in Mobay at several of the local spots ...The Native and the Pelican grill.

Once there, check out the commissary which is a small store for snacking, spirits, soda and Cuban cigars....cash only but decent pricing.

Golfed at the Half Moon which was extremely pleasant. Also played at the WHITE WITCH, next door, which was nothing short of spectacular. Breathtaking views, great elevation changes and HARD.

Will return in the very near future ..... Great vacation.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
10 Thank DoEnjoyLife
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
Amenities:
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
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Spa 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*
Number of rooms: 388
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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