There are few hotel properties in Jamaica that boast the history and legacy of the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay. To begin with, the resort, boasting 230 rooms, attributes its name to the shape of the shoreline, which stretches for two miles while spanning the 400-plus acre property.
In addition, many dignitaries have stayed there, including members of the British Royal family and a host of celebrities.
To get a taste of what is so alluring about the Half Moon I recently spent some time there.
What I liked
- Beautiful surroundings: property is well kept, and the colonial architecture blends in well with the natural landmarks and vegetation.
- Multiple accommodations: from spacious deluxe rooms to expansive villas (up to 7 bedrooms), couples, families, and groups are all catered to.
- Numerous activities: there are various ways to pass the time for both children and adults.
- Food choices: numerous restaurants (including one of the Caribbean’s top-ranked) and bars ensure your palate is pleased for the duration of your stay.
What I disliked
- Pricey: staying at the Half Moon is expensive compared to similar resorts in the area, but this is expected due to the hotel’s international rating and reputation.
- A bit hectic to get around the large property unless you have a golf cart or cruiser bike.
The Half Moon Resort began as a set of luxurious villas for rent from way back in the 1950s before becoming a resort. It’s a charming property that is well-groomed without being showy, from the impressive lobby with its shiny marble tiles, lion statues, and ocean backdrop, to the multitude of pools and relaxation areas. Its focus on guest privacy and comfort is one reason why many celebrities have made it their home-away-from-home over the years.
I stayed in a deluxe room that offered a partial ocean view, and it was a study in simple elegance. In addition to classic black and white décor, the ambiance was carried off by beautiful art pieces.
The dreamy bathroom with marble tiles and modern fixtures was also excellent and spotlessly clean (hats off to the housekeeping staff). The private balcony proved to be one of my favourite spots.
In addition to deluxe rooms, there are also two bedroom suites, Hibiscus junior suites, and Royal suites, offering increasingly more amenities (and pricier).
When it comes on to activities, as mentioned before, there is plenty to do. You can swim with dolphins (my personal favourite), go horseback riding in the sea, play tennis or golf (or get lessons), hang out at the pool, enjoy the beach, or engage in various water sports. Kids also have tons to do, whether at the Kids Village for children 3 – 12, or the Hype Zone for teenagers. They can also indulge in martial arts, fishing, horseback riding, and other activities to keep them occupied.
As it relates to food, there is plenty to feast on, covering a variety of local and international meal selections, fresh fruits and vegetables, drinks and top-shelf liquor. Some villas come with personal butlers, which can further enhance the dining experience. There are also romantic setups, including dinner under a private gazebo. I didn’t get to try out the spa but it is also an experience that many are left talking about.
Staying at the Half Moon Hotel is a different experience from all the other resorts nearby; I would say it’s in a class of its own. And that’s probably the reason why it being pricey can be overlooked.
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