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Reviewed 17 June 2005

I returned about two weeks ago from my own destination wedding in Jamaica. We found this resort, and hosted a 40 person wedding at the Half Moon. Our guests stayed in the Royal Villas. What great service!! Everyone boasted about how great a time they had. As the bride, I was put in a Royal Suite for the days before the wedding, as well as three nights after. I didn't find them as awful as the others have written. They were spacious and had a wonderful private patio. The service all around was awesome. My wedding planner was Raquel Bernard, what a great pleasure to meet her. We had lots of planning over the internet, but after meeting her I trusted her 110% with all of the details of my special day. Everything was perfect!! As a wedding planner here in the United States, I can truly say that any bride would be lucky to have her involved. After the wedding, my husband and I tried out another resort to get away from the family. We didn't like it as much, and with the help of Jodie Samms (reservation specialist), we were able to return to the Half Moon. Not only that, but she upgraded us to an Imperial Suite. How amazing!! To be treated so well truly made our honeymoon great!! We are already planning on returning for an anniversary!! Thank you Half Moon!!

  • Stayed: May 2005
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6  Thank Storyteller10224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2005

To really understand why I rated them average it is important to understand what type of traveller we are to give you a sense of whether this review will apply to you. I was also 7 months pregnant.

My husband and I are 29, and we've travelled to europe, the bahamas, florida (other states too) and hawaii and have stayed in 5 star hotels to 3 star hotels. And we do not have children.

We stayed for 5 Days and 4 nights. On our arrival to the montego bay airport we waited online for about 45-50 minutes to get through customs. That is the norm so be expected for that. This was fine for us b/c I was just so excited to be there. As soon as a custom agent saw that I was pregnant they pulled us off line to process us quicker. It was the same for check-in on the way back. They were really accommodating. It was most probably b/c it is so hot and they didnt want to risk a pregnant woman going into labor in their airport or faint from the heat. LOL. My husband and I were impressed that they would do that.

B/c we had the "Take me to the moon package" hotel shuttle transfer was included and we were greeted at their airport lounge and were quickly wisked away to the airport in their glamour tour buses after they confirmed our pick up for departure.

On our arrival to half moon, we were escorted to the front desk and check in and was told that we were booked for the hibiscus jr. suites which was correct and was told our room was not ready and to go have lunch. As soon as it was ready, they would come get us, which they did. When we went to the room we found out that we were placed in the Royal suites. The royal suites were older than the hibiscus which was highly disappointing to me b/c I had confirmed my reservations for the hibiscus and to find out that we were moved and not notified right away at the front desk. They told me that it was an upgrade and I told them I preferred not to be upgraded if it meant me being moved to an older room knowing fully well the hibiscus suites are their newest suites on the resort. The bellman allowed me to call the front desk from the room and we went back to the front desk immediately to straighten out the room situation.

When we got to the front desk, they told us to speak with the manager on duty which we did. Unfortunately she tried to help us move back to the hibiscus suite but it was all booked so we were stuck in the royal suites. I did put up a big fuss b/c if you read the other reviews on here you know that the Hibiscus suites are highly recommended. Unfortunately we were not accommodated and it did leave me feeling terrible and cheated considering I had a form confirming my reservation for the hibiscus suites. For this reason I probably will not return. For those that have booked rooms already, I would call and confirm again so you are not as disappointed as I was.

As far as the meals at the 3 restaurants. I thought they were average also. They did not blow us away but they were not terrible either. Although, it did get boring b/c the menu did not really change much and the selection was limited from what we are used to. The sugarmill is their signature restaurant so I recommend trying that for a night but it is nothing compared to the average restaurant in the states.

In retrospect, I couldn’t wait to come back from vacation and right a horrible review but all in all we had a good time. It is important to keep in mind that you are in Jamaica. And standards are definitely different. For Jamaica standard, I do agree that they are a 4-5 star hotel. However, if they were in Hawaii for example, it would be compareable to a 3 star hotel comparing food quality and room quality. People have often complained that the service was slow but we didn’t find that at all. It is slower than your average restaurant in the states but it wasent horrible. If you find yourself waiting excessively too long, I suggest speaking up b/c they were really accommodating.

As far as the staff, they were the most pleasant that I have encountered in all my trips. It definitely was so refreshing to meet such welcoming people. The staff definitely made a difference for me between a horrible trip and an average one.

Some highlights of our trips include the great frozen drinks, the hibiscus pool, the room service on our patio which was beach front and late checkout (flight left at 4:50).

What we didn’t like was that we didn’t get to stay in the hibiscus suites, the food was only average, and the rooms are soo spread out that you feel very secluded. Being secluded could be good and bad. For us, it felt like there was no one there with us and we like people around. As for those on a family trip, we heard nothing but good reviews and how satisfied they are that they felt comfortable leaving their children with the nanny service or letting the older children walk around the resort themselves without worrying for their safety. Most families we talked to were return guests. Some have returned more than 3 times. So the resort does rank well for children and price wise it is affordable for large families.

  • Stayed: June 2005
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13  Thank Pearberry215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2005

I went down for a wedding. The bride and groom along with 60 wedding guests came in by a cruise ship the day of the wedding. I am not a cruise person so I decided to make it a vacation for myself. Let me tell you I felt totally safe. Everyone including guest of the resort were very friendly. I never once felt unsafe. I even left with a hotel driver to get true Jerk Chicken from Scothies-you must go it looks a little creepy but completely safe and the food is amazing.

Room:
I took the advice of others and stayed in the Hibiscus suites. I was amazed at the beauty of the room. I was very happy with my decision. The suites were very close to the front desk and the restaurants and right in front of the pool area. I stayed on the ground floor and I was able to walk right out of my room and go directly to the beach(Loved that part). However, the part of the beach I was near was very rocky. I had to walk a few feet to get to swimable beach area(not a huge deal). The a/c could have blown a little stronger, however, I was never uncomfortable. I spent 390 per night including the platinum plan I thought it was well worth the money.

Food:
Sugar Mill was extremely disappointing(it must have been an off night). Before I arrived at Half Moon I had made dinner reservations for the Sugar Mill every night-thinking this was the best restaurant on the property wrong. I swiftly changed that after my dining experience. It was not exciting at all. Very basic. The dessert menu boring. The overall flavor profile of the dishes was very very weak and watered down. About 15 guests went over at the same time and we all came back very disappointed and still hungry. I say go to the Sugar Mill and check it out for yourself because the ambience is nice. I HIGHLY recommend getting the platinum plan is worth every single penny.

Wedding:
It was suppose to happen on the beach however it rained all the day. No problem Mon- it is "liquid sunshine" according to employees of Half Moon everything was moved into the Oleander Terrace which was beautiful and we still had the feel of being on the beach because it was an open air terrace.

Recommendations:
Bring Off Bug Spray the pump not the aersol you will not get through security with aersol
Make reservations before you go down for Dinner
Eat at Seagrape as much as you can the best restaurant in my opinion
Order Room Service aleast two hours before you want it. You cannot eat outside on terrace because of all the bugs/flies maybe bring a citronella candle if you want to eat outside
Do not bring beach towels or beach mats they provide huge beach towels-I brought my own and it was wasted luggage space
Tip the employees
Go to the Craft Market to get gifts
Get the Platinum Plan
Prepare to relax
I am definitely going back very soon

  • Stayed: June 2005
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14  Thank DNice1881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2005

My husband and I just returned from a Memorial day weekend trip to the Half Moon...we were so impressed with the hotel, the staff, the service the rooms etc...our room over looked the ocean and was in the hibiscus wing...the food was great...my husband requested to speak with the chef to request specific jamaican dishes that he didn't see on the menu...they met each and every request with "no problem"...all the staff were very accommodating and we felt very well taken care of...we would have loved to have had more air conditioned options for dining but figured since we are in jamaica we needed to just relax and enjoy the heat.. we LOVED the turn down service, abundance of towels and the balcony...other rev'ws say that the service is slow but that is mostly to be expected in the carribean...we felt that if we asked how long they told us about an hour for room service and that time was about accurate...so as long as you plan ahead you should be fine...we found it best to fill out the menu for breakfast and drop it off at the seagrape for roomservice....they bring you bags and bags of ice for your room which we loved and they served the drinks poolside which was also great...overall we were very pleased with all aspects of the half moon..our one complaint would be again the heat which might be typical for that time of year in jamaica and better air conditioning in the restaraunts and our room...we did ask about that and were told it was fixed...it was definitley not what we are used to for a/c but didn't want to have to switch rooms...again, it is better than the new england weather we left so we were not complaining too much...we will surely be going back and may upgrade to a villa b/c they looked fantastic.. :-)

  • Stayed: May 2005
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7  Thank kittyleyden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2005

I just returned from Half Moon and can't believe anyone would have a complaint about this place. The property is absolutely beautiful. Where else in Jamaica can you walk for miles along the beach and feel so secluded? The rooms in the Hibiscus area were huge and so well maintained. The maids would come in twice a day and clean after you and even hang and fold your clothes for you. The food and service was great.
We met a lot of nice people from Clifton and Jersey City New Jersey. We have many fond memories from our first, but certainly not last, trip to Half Moon. Anyone who complains about this place has too high a standard of living to appreciate this crown jewel in Jamaica!

  • Stayed: May 2005
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6  Thank ShayFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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