We had high hopes for our trip to Half Moon. We researched a several different resorts and ultimately chose Half Moon due to the high number of positive reviews, the variety of dining options and activities available at the resort, and the availability of an on-the-beach suite. Unfortunately, we were fairly disappointed.
Our arrival at Half Moon went well -- we were ushered into a private check-in room and offered some rum punch. Great way to start the trip! And the gentleman who checked us in was quite courteous. Unfortunately, we was the nicest person we encountered during our stay. Next, we were shown to our beach front room...only to find that the view of the beach was blocked by a fairly high wall of plants/sea grass. So while the beach and the ocean were less than 12 ft from our room, we couldn't actually see them. That wouldn't have been such a big deal except that we specifically requested an ocean view and asked the reservation agent if you could step out of the room onto the sand and she said yes, which was not the case at all.
Speaking of sand, the beaches at Half Moon were pretty rocky. I have traveled to a lot of Caribbean islands and know that there is great variety in the type and quality of beaches, but for a 5 star resort, I expected more. The nice part about the beaches was that they were fairly secluded. Each set of villas on the property had its own beach, separated from the others by rock walls. Not great if you wanted to take a stroll on the beach, but wonderful for privacy. A few mornings, we were the only people on our stretch of beach!
In terms of beach activities, you can rent snorkel equipment, paddle boats, kayaks, sailboats, etc. They definitely had a wide range of choices, which was great. We tried snorkeling one day but the equipment was in terrible condition (both the masks and the snorkels leaked) and the ocean bottom in front of the hotel was covered in a slimy sea grass with not much sea life. Not optimal.
The other resort activites we participated in were the spa, golf and swimming with the resident dolphins. The spa was quite small and outdated, but they are building a brand new facility to be opened later this year. The golf course was wonderful and our caddy was very knowledgable -- definitely the highlight of the trip. The dolphin lagoon is also a great benefit to those staying at Half Moon, as I believe it's only available to guests. The rest of the time, we sat by the pool, enjoying fruity drinks. The swim up bar was a great touch. My only complaint with the pools is that they didn't clean them often enough -- they were always full of bugs and leaves. Which suprises me b/c Half Moon had the highest staff:guest ratio I've ever seen!
My two biggest disappointments with the resort were the food and the service. There are only a handful of options available for dinner -- 2 on the immediate resort property, 1 on the golf course and 2 in the shopping village. We tried all of them and didn't have a single great meal. They were ok, but again, for a 5 star resort, I expected more.
Lunch and breakfasts were ok, but we quickly learned to order room service and enjoy dining on our patio rather than deal with the numerous flies on the Sea Grape terrace.
All in all, we paid a lot of money for a so-so vacation. While the pools were nice and we did get to enjoy some great golf and some good beach time, but the facilities, the food, and the service were not on par with other 5 star resorts. Beware before opening your wallet!
- 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