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“Didn't live up to expectations...”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Half Moon

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Half Moon
Ranked #2 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
USA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Didn't live up to expectations...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2007

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 The spa was quite small and outdated, but they are building a brand new facility to be opened later this year.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!

  • Liked — The updated bathrooms
  • Disliked — Everything else!
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank halcyon3
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
Rego Park, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2007

I stayed at Half Moon as part of a wedding party. We stayed in a couple of the Royal Villas. The cool part about the villas is that each is assigned with a butler, cook, and housekeeper that work each day of your stay. The staff in our villa was absolutely fanatstic! In addition, each villa has a private pool and 2 golf carts. And you will make use of those golf carts - to get just about anywhere on the resort from the villas requires a golf cart. If both carts were out we resorted to walking along the road and hitching a ride with a passing cart.
When traveling with a group, communication is crucial. Several guests (including the bride and groom) did not have voicemail working in their rooms. Slightly problematic.
On the planning side, the planner was totally uncommunicative which led to several frantic calls the week before begging for invoices, estimates, etc. Each time I spoke to the planner was due to my repeated calls not because she ever called me back or emailed me back. The poor bride was scared about how the wedding would turn out.
As far as my accomodations in the villa, maybe I was just the lucky one to get the sparcest decorated room in the villa with a lovely trail of ants at my door. The villa itself was well-kept but clearly needed to be freshened (new coat of paint, etc.)
Where Half Moon really came through was in the execution of the event. Despite all the mania of the planning process, the wedding went off smoothly and perfectly. Rain caused some last minute changes yet the ceremony and reception were seemless. All the flowers were beautiful and the musicians/dj were fantastic. Meals were elegantly presented. And we saw why the planner has no time to call you back - she stayed with the bride practically from the beginning to the end of the evening. The wedding and reception were absolutely gorgeous affairs and isn't that what really matters in the end?

  • Liked — the staff's attentive service
  • Disliked — ants, peeling paint
  • Stayed May 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SweetDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abingdon, VA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2007

This was the third time that we have stayed at the Half Moon and it gets better every time. We had friends that joined us this time and we really wanted them to have a good experience, but when we were upgraded from an junior suite to an imperial suite needless to say we were very happy. The rooms were large, beautiful and right on the water. The staff was there for our every need. The food was good. We had a great time and hope to go back to the "Moon" many times.

  • Liked — Beautiful rooms
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank VickieSharp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weston, Connecticut
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2007

Stayed here with young son and husband in early Dec (right before high season). Had a very nice time. Paid about $700/nt for Hibiscus suite and meal plan (which you need to get as restaurants are very expensive). I just tried to book for next December and the rate is now $1000 per night for the same time and room (note this is only a one room suite) - Don't know about the other reviewers here, but $1000 a day plus, as children are extra, is a bit too steep for me! Very dissapointed Half Moon.. need to now find another resort.

  • Liked — Room/location on beach
  • Disliked — Cost... and mediocre quality of very expensive food.
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank CB10019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2007

This is a truly beautiful place! I enjoyed it so much that I'm even a little reluctant to share it with anyone! My husband and I just got back from spending the Memorial Day weekend there. The scenery is amazing and the staff is outstanding. We stayed in one of the West cottages and will stay in that same location when we return- and we will definitely return! The room we stayed in was on the second floor and the french doors opened so we had a full view of the beach at all times. When we walked down the stairs we were within 10 steps of the water and it was fabulous! We have no complaints about this location. The caveat is that the food is not as outstanding as the resort. My husband and I enjoy fine dining (great taste and creativity) and this resort did not have that. We ate at all of the restaurants on site and they were all just average with minimal flavor/taste. We paid for the all inclusive package and it was worth it because the prices were very high for the quality of the food. The other thing I would warn other travelers about is the spa services/fitness facility. We both had massages and the therapists were wonderful but the facilities left a lot to be desired. I had a pedicure and the technician had my foot on her leg while she did my pedicure - no comfy massage chair here. Just a girl and her water basin!! The gym claims to be state of the art but the room feels more like a basement with minimal outside light and no view or ambience! A shame considering the property is so beautiful. They are working on a newer facility that is due to open this year some time. All in all - paradise with a couple caveats but extremely well worth the trip!!

  • Liked — scenery and the staff
  • Disliked — Spa and Fitness facility, food
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wrldtrav07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2007

We booked our wedding and honeymoon here. We were so pleased, we thought the hotel was fabulous.
We were upgraded to the Hibiscus Suites. Our suite was huge. It had a 3 seperate rooms. Most junior suite picture I looked at had the bedroom connected to the living area. In ours, it was 2 seperate rooms, plus a gigantic bathroom. Beach and ocean right outside our back terrace and the lap pool and pool bar right outside our front door. Could not be a better location.

We tried all the restaurants and thought the food was good to very good. I wouldnt call it superb or excellent, but very good especially for an all inclusive. Not too many reviews mention this, but I really liked the Thai restaurant alot. I thought I had my best dish there. We liked the Sea Grape overall the best because of the atmosphere. It was very pretty with the white lights all around the trees, with the ocean view, and the musical group playing makes for a perfect night. We even danced under the stars a couple of nights. The Sugar Mill probably had the best overall food. The Italian restaurant was just good. Everyone dresses very eloquantly for dinner, which I enjoyed. Initially we were hesitant to pick this place because we were not sure how the dinners would be with the children in the restaurant. I do not think we ever experienced children during dinner times. At breakfast and lunch, there were some but well behaved, so you did not notice. If you have children, the beach BBQ is a nice family experience. There are shows and music, that keeps the whole family entertained. I thought the food was pretty good too. Better than we expected.

The hotel had so much to do. You will never be bored. You can do as much or as little as you want. I would recommend the dolphin experience and the swimming in the ocean with the horses. We also enjoyed doing our Yoga every morning before breakfast. We also golfed 3 times during our stay. The caddies (especially Cleveland) were the greatest. I felt like I was getting a 4 hour golf lesson each time we played. My game really improved. The grounds were lush and beautiful and so spread out that you sometimes felt like you were the only people around. The beach or the pool or the restaurants never were overcrowded. We rode our bikes alot and sometimes never even ran into anyone else.

Suan and Carla who arranged our wedding were very helpful and made sure that every detail was taking care of. We were very happy with their services. Also, I got an updo at the salon in the shopping village. I was a little hestitant because we had never discussed the style before-hand, but I have to say I was very pleased with the results.

Overall, it was a great stay. Extremely satisfied and happy that we choose this location. It was close to the airport too, but being so close to the airport never presented a noise problem. It was just plain convenient.

The only few negatives, is that our phone only worked outbound. For the first few days, people were calling our room and leaving messages, but we never received them until about 3 days later after a couple of complaints to the front desk. Also, there was more rain than I would have liked, but that is what you get in the tropics. Besides that, no problem mon!!

  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank njmls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
el paso
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2007

My husband and I went to jamaica for our honeymoon, it was awesome! The half moon hotel was so luxurious, the staff was very very nice. I had read some reviews saying the hotel was dirty and the staff was rude, but that's a lie. I even forgot my locks at home, so I had to leave my luggage without any protection, but I was happily surprised that nothing was stolen from my bags. I strongly recommend the hotel,
and will come back

I suggest, while in Jamaica, rent a car. There are so many beautiful places to visit, that are not that far from the hotel, like Ocho Rios
(1.5 hrs), Negril (45 minutes), etc. It's worth it!

P.S. There is a Hard Rock Cafe in Ocho Rios : )

  • Liked — room view
  • Disliked — food too expensive
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank laperlis
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 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#2 Spa 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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