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“A very good but not quite perfect villa experience”
Review of Half Moon

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Half Moon
Ranked #3 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Denver
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A very good but not quite perfect villa experience”
Reviewed 6 April 2007

We stayed in a 5 bedroom Royal Villa (#58) with a dedicated housekeeper, cook and butler. Our initial impressions were not great, because the amenities were not up to the standard of a 5-star resort (Four Seasons, One&Only, Ritz Carlton). Half Moon definitely grew on us during the course of our vacation because of the activities, great food and the benefits of having a large family staying in a villa instead of multiple hotel rooms. Overall, I would highly recommend a Half Moon villa as long as you go in “eyes wide open”. This is a place we would return to without hesitation.

The Good:
-The service was excellent, surprisingly so for a Caribbean resort.
-Overall, the restaurants were expensive but very good. The beachside barbecue was excellent, and we also had good meals at Sugar Mill, Il Giardino and Akbar. -It’s difficult, but not impossible, to find healthy options at most restaurants.
-The private pool at our villa was quite large and perfect for a family with kids.
-The meals at the villa were good and varied. The cook was accommodating to special dietary needs. There’s no room service in the villas but we didn’t miss it.
-The children’s activities were great, including the dolphin experience (highly recommended), pony ride and large playground.
-The housekeeper took clothes left in the bathroom hampers every day and returned them cleaned and folded by the end of the day!
-The beach is very nice, with soft sand and there are plenty of beach chairs with both shady and sun-facing options.

The Bad:
-The villa’s bedrooms automatically lock every time you close the doors, and each had their own card keys. This was very annoying, especially with young children staying in a separate bedroom. Also, there is no powder room, meaning that you need a key to go to the bathroom.
-The villa was a bit run-down (older bathroom fixtures, shabby living room furniture, spotty TV reception) and with lower quality construction, particularly for the price.
-Quality of bathroom amenities (shampoo, aloe, towels) were more suited to a 3-star hotel versus a 5-star resort.
-The king size beds in the bedrooms were actually two twin beds pushed together.
-While the bedrooms and living room had A/C units, the villa wasn’t centrally air conditioned. The kitchen, bathrooms and common areas didn’t have A/C.
-The villas are far from the main resort (the property is on 400 acres), but this wasn’t an issue because each villa comes with two golf carts.
-Lighting is poor throughout the villa, especially in the bathrooms.

  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank sureel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Cambridge England
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2007

I have been very spoilt over the last 10 years to see the transformation of the Half Moon Resort from a good property to one that surpasses all others in the Caribbean

The Half Moon have spent a huge fortune on renovation and rebuilding the property and now all is perfect

We arrived with the Resort on 98% capacity with a great mix of Americans, British and Europeans. There was also a large party of Japanese who arrived as we were leaving.As the time we were there was during school holidays all parties included children who were mostly well behaved

The magic about the location is an endless shoreline and each stretch
of beach has its own breakwater constructed about 50 yards out to sea
to stop the large breakers but also to allow for continual fresh water. Each beach has been carefully designed and by excavating at certain points its leaves deep pools for those who enjoy deep water swimming

There has always been a friendly culture in Jamaican Resorts and the staff at the Half Moon are all so friendly as though they have all been made aware that it is the guests that keep them employed. From the humble gardener to the smart restaurant staff there was a 100% acknowledgement at all times - "Good Morning, Good afternoon, Good evening" and each time with a friendly smile!

The Restaurants varied from very good to good and the evening buffet in the main restaurant always offered a great variety of food. We found the beach bar.b.cue was good for parents with children but not as good for adults only. The Thai/Indian Restaurant was excellent but suffers from being off property and therefore not well supported.
The Sugar Mill Restaurant is superb and the Italian has some excellent dishes

The sports facilities were all of good quality and the tennis centre was always busy

The Management have always been approachable and, I understood, there
was always someone senior on duty to answer emergencies

We had a wonderful holiday and although it rained every day it was kind enough to do so during the night

Anthony and Prue Bevan stayed the last week of March 2007

  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank AnthonyvBevan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MD
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2007

Recently returned from Half Moon. We arrived and were upgraded from a deluxe room to the Habiscus suite without even asking. We had the Good Life package so between the upgrade and the package it was a great deal for the money. My wife and I loved everything about the resort. The people were incredibly friendly and the resort was clean and beautiful. We have never been to a Caribbean resort which had so many different activities and so much property. My wife and I played tennis and rode bikes along the water everyday. She had a massage which she loved while I took a tennis lesson from Chris who was terrific. We had dinner 2 nights at the Sugar Mill and loved the live music and really enjoyed the food. You can find bluer water and better beaches in the Carribean (their not bad by any means and they do a great job keeping them clean) but putting everything together we have not found a resort we have liked better. We can't wait to plan our next trip back to half moon and couldn't have been happier.

  • Liked — everything
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank entmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfield County ,Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2007

We stayed at he Half Moon Feb 16-23. We had a hibiscus suite direct on the beach. You are steps from the beach. (By far, the best location). The view was spectacular, but the room was just ok. Even though they were redone within the last 2 years, they are showing wear already. The staff was awesome. Joel, our groundskeeper and housekeeper was a delight. He knew all of our first names and he truly takes pride in his work. The entire staff is pleasant and they are all happy to help in anyway they can. The food is good- but it wont blow you away. Breakfast is very good. We ate at Sugar Mill for dinner and I was disappointed. After reading other reviews I thought it would be great- just ok. I really enjoyed the food at Seagrape Terrace. The buffet there is very good. This is a great hotel for families. My children had a blast- 8, 5 and 21 months. We were on the platinum plan and we highly recommend doing this. My children loved the kids center. We did the horseback riding on the beach and swam with the horses- dont miss this. The dolphin experience was magnificent. Overall- we loved the Half Moon for a family atmosphere. We would go back! My children liked it better then the Atlantis. Even when it is crowded- you dont feel like it is- there is so much beachfront that you can still have privacy.

  • Liked — The proximity to the beach
  • Disliked — Needed more drawer space for clothing
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank kmwith3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westchester
Level 5 Contributor
97 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
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
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
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 fkrvmd
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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#3 Spa 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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