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Half Moon, A RockResort Review

Half Moon has been the place for the rich and famous together with the discerning traveller since the 1950s. It continues to attract the cream of American society and is becoming more and more popular with the UK market.

Famous people have stayed here including more recently Prince Harry, a long time ago his father Prince Charles, Richard Branson and most famously the Kennedy's just before JF Kennedy announced his candidacy for US Presidentin the 60s.


The Staff

The team who work at Half Moon are some of the very best I have come across around the world and they are genuinely friendly, smart, happy, courteous but chilled at the same time. What struck me also was how many staff they have, in a resort with just under 1000 beds there are over 700 staff. An amazing ratio and even the gardeners and chamber maids have a smile on their face.

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The Restaurants

If you take the all inclusive golf or spa experience packages, you qualify to dine in all of the resorts restaurants.

Choose between the no. 1 dining venue in Jamaica at the unique Sugar Mill restaurant up next to the golf club, a very historic building with the finest classic Jamaican dishes served in the most formal ambience inside or al fresco.

Then we have the superb Il Giardino Italian restaurant close to the main lobby and the sea, which is equally impressive offering authentic Italian cuisine.

The main Seagrape restaurant is set amongst beautiful Seagrape trees on a big terrace and overlooking the beach, with buffet or a la carte dining.

Further along the beach near the Royal Court area the pepper pot is close to the ocean and has some great Jamaican Jerky menus with great sea views.

Within the shopping village area near the entrance to the Royal Villas there are also more casual Thai and Indian options to choose from.

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The Drinks Package

If you are on the all inclusive option, you can enjoy some memorable house wines by the glass with your fine dining, the reds are particularly noteworthy especially the Malbec, Merlot combination.

In the bars which have brilliant staff, you can choose any liquor or cocktail you desire or the usual Red Stripe. This includes Tanqueray gin and Johnnie Walker Black Label! There are some very fine local rums also and then there are the exquisite pina coladas which blend well with the best sunsets in Jamaica!

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The Beach Life

Your non-motorised water sports are also included at Half Moon or the all inclusive plan, whether you prefer kayaking, Catamarans or Pedal Boats. Scuba diving can be arranged, Para sailing and donut rides.

Half Moon is all about the ocean, most of the accommodation, bars and dining venues are so close to the sea you can almost touch the water. Herein lies its uniqueness, the beach areas vary greatly from the busier West Cottage area close to the main building and restaurants which has the finest beach for sunbathing and swimming areas, known as the sunset beach all the way along to the eastern side of the resort where the Hibiscus suites are located leading past the Royal Court area where there there are some stunning quiet beaches which have some swimming and wonderful scenery and local wildlife.

The sunrise beach on the eastern side of the resort is the biggest and wildest beach and is equally gorgeous located beyond the Dolphin Lagoon.

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The Sporting Facilities

Half Moon has beyond the golf and the water sports a first class air conditioned gymnasium, 13 superb hard court floodlit tennis courts which are free to hire and once a week there are free classes.

There are a number of yoga, Pilates and meditation classes and more to choose from during your stay. The Equestrian centre is superb and a major part of the resort albeit a specialised one.

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The Spa

The Fern Tree Spa is one of Half Moons most distinguished facilities and is a major highlight.

The gardens of the spa are superb and have lovely meditation areas amongst trees, shrubs and pool areas including a swimming area. it is very private, sheltered and tranquil. The are some superb treatments and some of these can be carried out in the cabins on stilts on the ocean. The main featured ingredient of the spa is locally grown lemon grass product.

If you are a golfer and non golfer we do recommend an all inclusive plan which allows 1 treatment per 3 nights for the non golfer and daily golf on Half Moon with caddy.

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The Golf Courses

The all inclusive total golf experience offers 3 great but totally different golf courses including Half Moon which is a classic Trent Jones design through Palm groves, with mountain backdrops. Here you can just have caddies and walk the course, in time tradition style.

Or you can enjoy the exciting White Witch course, which is as spectacular and as eye catching as you can imagine, lots of dog legs, sweeping valleys and hills to overcome.

Or last but not least is the amazing Cinnamon Hill which was named after Johnny Cash's final home, his estate which lies to the left of hole 13. The course is a great test of golf and the last 6 holes run through jungle like vegetation are awe inspiring, whilst holes 4, 5 and 6 are great holes running up to and along the Caribbean Sea.

Buggies and caddies are included at these 2 off resort courses, but you do need to tip the caddies locally.

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The Accommodation

Half Moon has a wide array of quality accommodation from the deluxe rooms, junior suites, deluxe suites, Royal suites, Hibiscus Suites and Imperial Suites all the way up to the Royal Villas which accommodation up to 14 adults under one roof.

The hotel is very generous and we are are often able to upgrade clients to the best room categories depending on the time of year and length of stay when they are repeating guests. We will advise on the best location for your booking, the West Cottage area of the resort is outstanding for access to the best swimming and so close to the main dining and bar amenities and main lobby.

There are some superb junior suites and Royal or Imperial Suites in this area. However arguably the more contemporary suites are the Hibiscus suites which stretch away toward the Royal Court areas and beyond to deluxe suites and finally at the very far end the Royal Villas.

We would always make personal recommendations for you at time of booking. It is not all about the room it is also about the location.

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The Ambience

Half Moon has a big buzz throughout the resort thanks to it being never too formal, it is relaxed without being too relaxed, the staff make the ambience, they are truly excellent, you will be high diving and saying yeah man before you know it. The Jamaican way of life is catching and is very chilled. With a climate like here it is not surprising. The bars next to Sea Grape are right next to the ocean and are outstanding.

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In resort you can get from a to b in courtesy shuttle golf buggies, or just hire yourself a free bicycle and you can move yourself around in the most relaxed style. The resort is stretched over 40 acres and you can do a lot of walking through the beautiful a grounds or beaches, but you can take the lazy option if you prefer.

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The Extra Touches

Half Moon has lots of extra touches which make the difference between a good resort venue and an exceptional resort venue. The live music every night on Seagrape Terrace, the swimming with Dolphin's Lagoon, a unique opportunity to swim and play with these special sea mammals. There is also an opportunity to swim in the sea at Sunrise beach with the horses from the Equestrian centre, a unique experience for sure.

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How to Get There? And When you get there...

There are charter flights from UK airports such as Glasgow and Manchester to Montego Bay on the Thomson Dreamliner which does offer a premium cabin, or if you prefer Virgin Atlantic there is a 3 times a week service from Gatwick with 3 options, economy, premium economy and upper class. The flying time being circa 10 hours and all services are direct.

On arrival we recommend prepaying us for the Club Mobay service which provides you Fast Track service throughout the airport saving you a lot of hassle and about 1 hour of stress. On the return you can also enjoy the same Fast Track service and access to the excellent VIP Lounge airside.

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The Weather Variables and Special Offers

Jamaica offers the visitor wonderful year round weather. The peak months being between Xmas and March. Although the finest weather can be experienced in April and May. January is often one of the quietest winter months with super weather and cheaper than later winter dates.

The climate gets more humid over the period May to September period but overall the coldest months are according to locals from November to Xmas. However, it is noteworthy that temperatures rarely drops below 25 degrees and rarely above 33 degrees.

We have special 11 night offers available for May a key golfing month from £3639 pp economy, £4139pp premium economy and £4989pp on Virgin Upper Class. During the season 13 April to 18 December you can take advantage of 14 nights for the price of 7 nights on room only basis and just add on the total all inclusive golf experience. It is much cheaper during these months.

NB these prices include private transfers, all inclusive, deluxe room based on 2 sharing, daily golf on Half Moon, Cinnamon Hill and White Witch, with caddies and buggies included. All restaurants have a la carte dining.

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