Historical Traveller Reviews of Half Moon Club Hotel
ve ever been
Our rooms were fabulous, great views, excellent service and food, plenty to do (or not!) We hope to go back again soon. Half Moon is especially nice for older children as they can ride bikes all around, visiting one of the many pools. The place is very safe and secure; the people are very nice as well.
Goodbye Florida - Hello Half-Moon!!!
We just got back from Half Moon and was I impressed! This is my husband's 5th trip and he says its the best its been. The service is friendly and fast but if you order 3 or 4 courses for dinner, it will take you 2 hours. You won't mind though because you'll be listening to the surf and enjoying the eclectic entertainment that starts every night at 8:30. The food is fabulous and the drinks are plentiful! Make sure you make reservations because they cater to a lot of large groups (none of which was loud or obnoxious) and can fill up time slots that you might want. This is a pricey place so I strongly advise at least the American Meal Plan. Also, make sure you tip in cash because the servers like it more and they will remember you! The facility is huge so you never feel trapped or confined. You can get bikes and go down to one of several more private beaches and you'll feel like you're on your own desert island. The spa is fantastic, I had no problems getting reservations for anything and you should be sure to frequent it. The fitness center is also very nice as are the tennis courts and other recreational facilities. Here's what you should beware of: They're still finishing up some construction on the new units that run in front of the two new pools. They say construction will be done by May and maybe sooner, but be prepared for some construction noise and the need to change rooms. I'm very picky about my peace and quiet and spent a half a day complaining before they moved me. I finally threw a temper tantrum in the lobby and my husband talked to Peter, the general manager, and they moved us. At the same time, they took money off of the woman's bill who was in the suite right next to us but she had been quietly complaining for 4 days. If you have a problem, go right to the general manager and bypass everyone else. Although they're all friendly, they're not effective. There is virtually no beach service - you'll have to get drinks yourself - but it never bothered me. It was pure relaxation and all I could ask for. I've stayed at other 5 star places (Kona Village in Hawaii is my favorite) and this is well worth the extra money! The new management is sinking a lot of money and added staff into Half Moon so it promises to get better and better! Treat yourself and you won't be sorry.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Prior to visiting Jamaica we checked resort reviews on Tripadvisor and selected the Half Moon. We were a little concerned because there were a few critical reviews. After thoroughly enjoying five nights in January, we concluded that the review process must have a negative bias, since guests who have a bad experience are more likely to review than place that happy customers. We loved it and donÂ t mind saying so.GROUNDS. For us the best part was the overall appearance of the resort. It has wedding gown white buildings tucked into the trees, surrounded with bright green lawn, set against the blue ocean and sky. The buildings are mostly 2-4 units each, located right on the beach. The place has 400 acres for 400 units, so it is well spaced out. It has swimming pools spaced out around the units, rather than the usual gaudy mega pool in the central area. No beggars, drug dealers or beach vendors. Tight but friendly (at least to guests) security. Quiet and peaceful. The beaches have trees set back from the water edge, so there I always a choice of sun or shade, and we could watch the topical birds by just looking up from the beach chairs. The water was Caribbean clear, but the bottom near the swimming areas were mostly turtle grass. There appeared to be a man made reef 100 yds offshore, which protected the beach and assured gentle swimming for children, but prevented any body surfing. We noticed no mosquitoes and left our windows open night and day, which worked well the first four nights, but we were eaten alive the fifth.ROOM. We stayed in a Royal Suite. It was located on the second floor of one of the four unit beach buildings set 20 feet back from the beach. The size of our first house, it had a foyer, living room, bedroom, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a sunny outdoor patio with honeymoon grade privacy. The floors were black and white tile in keeping with the resort color scheme. It had mahogany furniture including a coffee table, a sofa, a love seat and two easy chairs and little touches like a ceramic elephant and a fresh flower arrangement. The suite also had two televisions and three phones, but who needs them. The shower had its own window so we could shower while looking at the tree tops. The bed was a little saggy for us.FOOD. The main dining area had the Seagrape Terrace and Il Giardino, both on a large tree shaded patio adjacent to the beach, and oriented to watch the sun set. Tables have blue tablecloths and cloth napkins, and blue chair cushions with a mesh covering that can take a wet bathing suit and still be dry for dinner. The bathrooms have original artwork on the walls and baskets of individually rolled cloth towels. Buffet is an option for breakfast and lunch. The waiter stands by while you select your food, and carries your plates to your table for you. The fare included samples of local dishes, like achee and bacon, as well as usual bacon and eggs, and made to order dishes like omelets and stir-fry. For dinner off the menu shrimp cocktail, salad and filet mignon was excellent. The off site Teppan style restaurant, Sakura, was a disappointment. Why eat simple sliced squash and chicken in a plainly decorated, off smelling shopping center space when you could be rack of lamb and risotto looking over the ocean?SERVICE. All of the help was local, skilled, friendly and deferential. We would encounter 5-10 on our walk to the main building planting flowers, cleaning pools, weeding, cleaning rooms, delivering towels and room service, sweeping the sidewalks, replacing broken floor tiles, mowing lawns, painting and doing the things that need to be do be done, and on vacation are done by someone else. In passing they would not look away or ignore us but would generally look us in the eye and say good morning. Very friendly. They accommodated us Americans, who not only drive on the wrong side of the road, but walk on the wrong side of the sidewalks.ACTIVITIES. The resort has a 28 stall stable with thoroughbreds. We enjoyed the mountain ride and took jumping lessons from a very knowledgeable and experienced Jamaican instructor. We missed the popular beach ride, where the horses swim in the ocean and pull you through the water while you hang on to the mane. For sailors the resort offers Hobie catamarans, sunfish and windsurfers. Wind was generally light and the surf flat, but we had one windy day which allowed a thrilling sail over the reefs in the Hobie. Lots of guests played golf and tennis. Loafing in the sun was the most popular activity. . GUESTS. Mostly Americans, Canadians and British, but a few French, German and Japanese. Many young families with the latest in high tech strollers. Many middle age plus couples. No teenagers. A few Â soon to be wedsÂ . There were no mixing events, so singles hoping to meet someone would be disappointed. As you would expect, it was a classy crowd who dressed appropriately.ARRIVAL. Off the plane and through customs and immigration, you find the Glamour Tours booth, where a representative checks your name and escorts you to a little bus which takes you on a 10 minute ride to the hotel. The entrance is a long driveway lined with palm trees and colorful shrubs. Once there a representative greets you and describes the hotel, the meal plan, and the services available. He escorts you to the bell desk, where you hop in a golf cart for the ride to your room. From customs clearance to unpacking bags its 45 minutes.OVERALL. Half Moon is an expensive place well beyond our means as a regular vacation spot, but for a once in a lifetime treat on a special occasion, it is worth it.
A great place for families
from A TripAdvisor Member
This is a great place for families with young children. There are pleanty of activities - water sports, horseback riding, golf, tennis, etc. - for the children. The children's center is a great diversion for a few hours a day. The food is ok for what it is - mass produced. If you are looking for a family destination that has all of the bells and whistles, and is a direct flight from many of the large east-coast cities, this is it. Be aware, this is Jamaica, and it is still rustic - the food is not like St. Bart's.
from A TripAdvisor Member
My famil;y of four visited Half moon over this past Xmas. We were expecting an ocean front 2 bedroom suite with a value of 1980 per night. What we experienced is the following. we checked in at 2pm, for a 3pm check-in. We were told our room would not be ready until 8pm. We were not given a reason for this very long delay. At 8pm when we were "allowed" to check into rooms 114a and 114, we entered a room with no air conditioning, no water pressure in the shower, no hot water, no furniture for our belongings, a mini-bar that was mini indeed. no security on the doors, no blinds in the bathroom (you could see out , and everyone could see in). The food was average, the desserts were horrible, the wine list did not exist, the manager Peter made me feel silly for complaining. he told my travel agent I was the only one complaining. Let's be clear, I was one of MANY complaining. My tiolet was leaking, but the specific complaint I over heard was that a toilet was leaking on the 2nd floor and dripping on to the first floor complainer. My friend Jane was there in a Villa, and her sister Amy and her husband Frank from Chappaqua were also HUGELY disappointed they checked in and got a 'room" like ours but were lucky to be moved to the West Cottages. What makes me the most crazy is that the Manager did not take responsibility for putting guests in rooms that were not ready to be occupied. When we had no A/C. someone suggested we leave our doors open for a breeze, but since we saw a rat running around our patio, our comfort level was low. My brother is an lawyer, he has always said, your word is nothing, but a picture is pure gold. I took lots of pictures so I would have proof. Half Moon is half baked, for the money try someplace else.
from A TripAdvisor Member
We got married on November 8, 2003 at the Half-Moon and could not have wished for a better wedding. First the property was first class, and the staff was even better. We had 90 guest for our wedding and from the time they arrived they were treated like Kings and Queens. Our guest had a privite place to check in, and was provided with cool hand, and face towels, cold juice and RUM PUNCH!! From there they were taken to the villas, to meet there maid, buttler, and cooks. My wife and I went to all of our guest villas throughout the weekend, and all they could do was thank us for giving them the vacation of their lives. For our wedding day the staff made sure that everything was perfect. The wedding was on time, just off of the beach, and the reception....Lets just say go all out and get the buffet reception it is well worth the Money. They present the food very elagant, and you have a lot of choices. Half -Moon is not cheap, but you get what you pay for, and some. If you are planning on getting married, I would suggest that you vist or contact Raquel at Half -Moon. She will make all of your wedding dreams come true!!! Your guest will thank you $$$$$ :-)
Fantastic Wedding Destination!
We were married at Half Moon May 2001 and I can't say enough wonderful things about the hotel, the staff, the food and overall service. The facilities were top notch and beaches at the hotel made the Ritz-Carlton beach (located next door) look shabby. The villas, at the far end of the property, proved to be the perfect accomodation solution for our 90 guests who could all be in one central area. The villas come with a butler, maid and chef, all who provided us with the higest level of service and catered to our every need. This is by no means a small boutique hotel, but the staff of the hotel does try hard to make sure each guests feels "pampered". We in fact, 2 years later, still keep in touch with one bellman in particular who repeatedly went out of his way to make us feel special the week of our wedding.
Watch out atht eh Half Moon
from A TripAdvisor Member
Stayed at the Half Moon resort in August of this year. The ONLY good thing is that I was from the airport to the hotel in 45 minutes. I think that that is a record in Jamaica! Arrived there at 1:30 PM and was not able to check in until 3 PM. Was made to wait at the bar until the room was ready. Taken to the room by the staff, opened the door and it was hot and humid in the room and there was no electric! Staff showed me the room, but nothing worked due to the lack of electricity. Called the fron desk and told it would be back on shortly. 1 1/2 hours later, still no electric and called again. Asked them to get me electir or move me! Moments later the electric came back on. In wall A/C barely able to keep the large room cool enough to sleep. TV did not get 1/2 the channels on the channel guide. Mini bar consisted of a fridge with 3 beers and sodas and 5 mini bottles. Not at all what was on the slip that was in there! Was on an all-inclusive plan. They falied to mention what restaurants/bars were covered on that plan and hit me with a large bill when I left! Had to rent a golf cart to get from one place to another on the resort as it is huge and that as $45 a day!All in all, a terrible experience! Would never stay there again!
from A TripAdvisor Member
I had my wedding there in Feb. There were a total of 14 of us. The wedding was perfect!! The resort is by far the most beautiful we saw for the duration of our stay in Jamaica. We honeymooned in Negril and there was just not a comparison. One thing i would note is that the service is definitely on another time schedule. However, all of our guests raved about the place and the ceremony. I hope I get the chance to go again.
Great for large family!!!
Great place for a family vacation. We had 15 people from across the US meet at Half Moon for a week. What a blast. With 8 adults and 7 kids ranging from 7 years to 3 months, we chose a spacious 6 bedroom villa.
We lived by our private pool with Warrell, our butler, serving meals and drinks and our kids swimming happily. Kids club was really fun, the dolphins were a highlight, cruising on the golf cars was relaxing and the golf and tennis were challenging. Only two complaints, the beach wasn't "spectacular", there were bugs and the water was a bit unclear.
That being said, it was still gorgeous. Also, the food was less than appealing. After a few days of jerk chicken there wasn't a lot of gourmet options. However, our friends at the Ritz next door said their food wasn't great either. We all said that we would definitely go there again.
Top Local Tips for Montego Bay
Commissary and bikes
By some of your drinks there and some snacks there. Also get a bike.
Go fully inclusive if you can afford it as restaurants on the property are expensive. But make sure you have the Bar B Que on the beach - well worth it.
Sugar Mill & Akbar
These 2 places are worth eating at every night. Sugar Mill is really not more pricy than the other places.