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“Very Unhappy”
Review of Half Moon

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Half Moon
Ranked #2 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 July 2010

My husband and I traveled with our one and two year old to Half Moon. Although we are well traveled, this was our very first time in Jamaica. We were not pleased at all! The service was mediocre and the villas are ancient! The hotel could use a deep cleaning and a makeover! For a five-star resort you don't expect dirty rooms, people who act like they don't care and seaweed covered beaches. The place was so bad that we left early! If you want class, quality and something for your money, stay away! This is most certainly not the place!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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10  Thank justbeingty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,719 - 1,725 of 2,112 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2010

Stayed here for a long weekend with extended family and friends for a wedding. We stayed in the villas, which come with your own butler, maid and cook. The food was great. The service was perfect and the property and hotel are beautiful. Everything about the place is perfect. Even when drinks are included, they don't cheap out on the alcohol and the buffets offer so many different foods, it's hard to choose. There are tons of activities and lots to see. Overall, a great place to stay. A little on the pricey side, but amazing!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jennyxobu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2010

We had a lovely time and will come back again with our family one day.
We got upgraded as it was our honeymoon, to the rooms opposite spa.
We got the AI package half price as they had an offer on. Food was fabulous! the resort is soooo big which is lovely. we used bicycles to get around which we both thought was fun.
like someone else said, no company could dream about buying land this big in the caribbean today. its a long established resort.
There are many choices of outdoor pools, equestrian center, tennis, kids club, even a medical center and pharmacy.
Golf was alot of fun, sugar mill was lovely restaurant.
We went in presidents week [unbeknown til i got there].
I love negril more than Mo bay and if this resort was in negril and... had some adult only months then it would be perfect.
but like i said i'd return !!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank SusanCyprus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2010

Stayed in the villas with friends for a wedding. The service was great, the cook made amazing pan fried chicken. The rooms were a little old, and the shower was tiny (and couldn't use the shower in tub because the holder came unscrewed from the wall). Beach was wonderful, and the spa was great. The facilities for the reception and rehearsal dinner were beautiful. The only complaint I has was about the snorkeling trip. The guides just took us to a spot on the reef and told us to jump in. No instruction, no making sure that the masks fit or advice on where to go. There was also a number of jellyfish in the water, which we weren't warned about. Thankfully they only stung "a little" as the guide put it. Overall, I didn't want to leave when it was time to go home.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Slizsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2010

My niece had her wedding arranged and it took place at the Gazebo at Half Moon. I don't think I have ever experienced such poor arrangements and management by the staff of any hotel I've been to. This was suppose to be a memorable occasion. Yes it was memorable for many negative reasons. There was no direction as guests entered the ceremony and milled around in aa very hot entrance way wondering, "Where do we go, What do we do next." Finally deciding that the group of chairs near the Gazebo must be where the ceremony would take place guests began heading in that direction. When the ceremony began the minister did and said everything he could to focus the attention on him as opposed to the bride and groom. In fact little of the ceremony was heard by the guests as the sound system had LOUD static caused by the wind for most of the ceremony. I know this can't be the first time the the Half Moon experienced this when using their sound system. After the ceremony once again the guests wondered around not knowing where to go or what to do. Finally some guests headed toward some buses parked on the side as opposed to going into the hot waiting area and others followed. WHAT A mixed up MESS!!!!!! If you're planning a wedding at the Half Moon, DON'T do it unless you're up for a BIG disappoitment!!!
In addition the first night the bridal couple stayed at the Half Moon there was no air conditioning.

Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
1  Thank boshes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2010

What a fabulous vacation- 7 days/6 nights of paradise.
Getting there and back- hotel has a lounge in the airport and special transfer shuttle- no problems at all. Jamaican airport greeters did a nice job of directing us. Then a 15-20 ride to the hotel.
Check in- front desk, no problems, explained most everything and answered questions, and everyone gets a complimentary rum punch or fruit punch. Bellman took our baggage and pointed out things to do on the way.

Room- Superior Room, Cottage 7. LOVED the location- second floor (I prefer this) and 30 feet from actual shore... We were on the beach in less than one minute from our room and heard the waves gently crashing each night as we drifted off to sleep. Amenities- mini-bar and fridge. Tub/shower. Double sinks. King bed. Sitting area. Plenty to space and decorated mostly in bright white linens with accent island theme drapes/art. Large balcony area- extra wide chaise lounger, lounging chair, and table and chairs for two (for breakfast with a gorgeous view). I was sure I would want an upgrade since this is the most basic room- but I was extremely happy with the room quality.

Housekeeping- twice daily, replenished our towels (which there was an abundance of anyway) and straightened up the room. Turn-down service at night- to make the room very relaxing/romantic with the soul music station playing and throw pillows put away, and blinds drawn (although we opened them for the view again). They were excellent, quiet but friendly, and are the stars of service at this hotel!

Restaurants- we stayed within the resort and the shopping village. Breakfast at SeaGrape Terrace- we had the inclusive plan- very good idea... delicious spread of what an amazing bkfst buffet should look like- amazing fresh fruit and juices, traditional Jamaican fare too. Lunch- mostly we brought our own sandwiches or had very light snacks because we were still full from bkfst (this is where we saved some money).

Dinner: We are vegetarian, so can't specify dishes but here goes:
Great restaurants for dinner 4-5/5 ratings.- IL Diargino, for first class Italian food... delicious and wonderfully accomodating with plenty of options.
SeaGrape Terrace- classic tastes, delicious and staff is again wonderful and made us a really good pasta dish (I know it's not difficult to cook pasta, but they put in extra effort to make sure we were happy).
Sugar Mill by the golf course- again classic, menu and very upscale and romantic but less accomodating- they did not offer to make anything veggie friendly, so we got by with lots of bread, large salad, and two sides dishes for our meal. The desserts at these three restaurants were SUPERB.
Ok for dinner- Akbar- Indian food... 2/5 rating. The food wasn't really good (but lots of veggie options). It's associated with the Thai place, and we would rather repeat the other restaurants instead of try the Thai based on the not so great Indian food.
Prince of Wales- Irish/England pub/bar. .. 3/5 rating. We got the pizza both times, and could tell that it's one of my husband's favorite American frozen pizza... so what the heck, we weren't that bad off. The first time was yummy, the second time- undercooked, but more edible than the Indian food! Mixed drinks were weak on the liquor. But overall, still extremely reasonable prices, and we would go back here again. Did not have desserts at these places.

Recreation: most of all is the beach of course! It was blue to turquoise, nice depth, but as you got further out (like 15 ft) there was a healthy amount of seaweed.
Really happy with the watersports that were free- kayak, paddleboats, floats. But the other ones were a little steep for the experience, so we skipped them. Happy with the fact you got bar service beachside.
Pools- loved them, well-designed and great experience. Swim up bar available.
Tennis- so you have to either bring your own rackets, or rent them ($8 per person/day) and tennis balls were not plentiful. We had the tennis pro coach us for an hour, which was great.
Golf- driving range, really accomodating, provided clubs for free (although sometimes you have to rent them) and cheap $5 for 50 balls.
Miniature golf- simple course, no frills.
Overall, recreation is where they need to improve: lose the extra costs (seriously with the rackets?), and have more of everything and more staff that's knowledgable.

Shopping there: so they really advertise their Half Moon Shopping Village, but it's very sparse and just not a lot of variety. What they DON'T advertise is the wonderful shops on site- just across from the bellman's station, that I think are independently operated, but have a ton of stuff (souveniers, sundries, swimming gear) that's way more reasonably priced and more convenient (walk two minutes versus the village- catch the shuttle).

Overall- we had a fabulous time. Picky things- need to make their mixed drinks better (that's a big deal on vacation!), be more organized with the recreation, advertise the shops on site, and in fact, just nix the shopping village since it really doesn't have a lot to offer and was generally devoid of people!
Advice- bring a suitcase full of snacks, bottled water, liquor, etc., to save a few dollars here and there. The resort is extremely well kept and they offer many outstanding qualities with great service.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank heavenlytrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2010

I half-expected to see Noël Coward or Graham Greene sunning himself here. This is a classic colonial Caribbean hotel, maybe the most beautiful of all. The entrance, the porte-cochere, the reception are in the grand style, taking their cues from the fabled Rose Hall, yet the grounds are intimate, with endless gardens and a big fountain-fed free-form pool, with swim-up bar, nestled in the foliage, and another, Olympic-style pool beyond that.

Late May is low-season, the loud agent junketeers having just left, and much of the staff on holiday. (Jamaican Labour Day is in May). May can also be hot and muggy and much of the time overcast (you can still get brunt to a crisp), but the evenings become cool and breezy. The hotel is at its slowest period, which explains the restaurant closures. This didn't bother me, as I chose to stuff myself at Scotchies, down the road, and in the air conditioned -- and pricey -- Il Giardino restaurant just off the beach terrace.

I had an Hibiscus Suite. I can't testify to the other units, but this one was paradise. The air conditioning was flawless, and two ceiling fans gave me that whoosh-whoosh breeze I love in the topics. The bathroom was huge, with beautiful fixtures and separate bath, shower and wc..

The sitting area was in front, with a full view, beyond the balcony, of beach and ocean. The balcony was deep, for privacy, with table, chairs and two chaises. I'd say the waterline was less than 30 feet away.

The service at the beach bar was attentive, the drinks honest. The beach itself -- well I've read the negatives, and I don't buy them. It's long and narrow, and spotlessly clean, and though the sand isn't powdered sugar (which I don't care for), it's fine tawny-pink coral. The water is of course gin-clear and warm, and I didn't notice the seaweed others complain about.

The Half Moon property is enormous, and covering it all is a real hike. With all the extra features -- the children's activities, the spas, the golf -- except for Scotchies, there's really no reason to leave the premises. This is not a small consideration. I love Jamaica -- have been coming here since I was a boy -- but the #1 Jamaican annoyance is the swarms of vendors and hustlers who descend on you every time you venture out of your compound. Thankfully, Half Moon is a world I'd not want to leave, no matter what's outside the gates.

I see a comment that Half Moon needs refurbishing. Not that I can see. My room was fresh, crisp (the embroidered bedspreads and day pillows are magnificent!), and everything worked. The public rooms are spotless, the marble floors polished, the flowers fresh, the staff sharp and alert. In fact, I much prefer the authentic, seasoned grandeur of Half Moon to the slicks which neighbor it, that are inexplicably rated higher here, and which I can easily get in Las Vegas.

If you want expensive bling in Mobay, then there are plenty of choices. But if you seek a better class, then it's Half Moon or Round Hill or the distant Tryall. Either of these is a fine choice. I was at Half Moon because it's near friends I was visiting in Rose Hall, has a beautiful beach, magnificent architecture and grounds and a tranquil environment.

I was there low-season, single, and got a good rate. Would I pay the high-season rack rate, double? In an instant!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled solo
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3  Thank luvtheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: £214 - £968 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Half Moon 5*
Number of rooms: 180
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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