Half Moon Golf Tennis & Beach Club Hotel
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great resort. Superb service. Decor mo...
"Great resort. Superb service. Decor more Carribean style than Western European standard. Dolphin lagoon great for kids. Lots of tennis courts - not a problem booking. Kids cub area being refurbished, but partly open. Nice beaches."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of February 2008
Stiff Upper Lip not worth paying for!
"3rd year in a row staying at Half Moon - definately our last. Arrived with 2 small children at noon, hopng to check in a little early. Staff indicated that our suite was no yet available and that it should be available by 3:00. Relaxed until 3:00 - still not ready, ditto for 4:00 and finally at 5:15 it was available. During this entire wait no one at the resort offered to do anything to make our stay more comfortable.
Discussed Half Moon's late check in policy with manager on duty - she committed to get back to us that day - only heard that she would get back to us the next day. This occurred repeatedly during our entire stay until finally on our day of depearture we forced the manager to find someone in charge to confirm what they would do to compensate for the late check in. At the moment of check out they offered 10% of the 1st days rate.
We refused and contacted the General Manager when we returned to the US. His position was 1) that we checked into the room at 4:00 2) that they entire matter was handled "appropriately" by his staff 3) the compensation offered was fair.
A lot has changed since our first visit there - nothing for the better. Half Moon's refocusing on tour groups and its superior attitude has turned a tropical paradise into just another aging resort."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of October 2004
"I just returned from a long-weekend at Half Moon and was pleasantly surprised. It's a beautiful property with an impressive lobby. The room was large, wonderfully furnished and it had a private terrace just steps away from the ocean. The staff was very friendly, and there were many activities to indulge in, depending upon your desire. I spent the majority of my time relaxing on the beach, in the pool or at the spa where I found the staff friendly and accommodating. The food was good, however, dinner prices are a little pricey, so consider a meal package so as not to be distracted by the cost. Although it's a large resort property, it had a very private feel, and I particularly loved the convenience of everything, such as the commissary, restaurants, shopping, and activities.
There were only two drawbacks to my visit. First, the beach is rocky, so bring some water shoes. There are beautiful shells and coral to explore. Second, I was eaten pretty good by mosquitos, so pack some insect repellant. It'd be a shame to let an otherwise wonderful get-a-way be spoiled by these pests. It's just a matter of time before I return for what I hope will be one of many future visits to Half Moon Resort."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of September 2004
Lovely Resort, But Not All of Half Moon is Created Equally
"I just got back from a 3 day stay at the Half Moon Resort. Upon arriving my driver asked what bad thing could she possibly say about Half Moon - implying that the resort was near perfect. Well, the truth is it depends on where you stay. I stayed in the older Oleander wing and ......er... its old. The room needed some paint, some bathroom tiles needed fixing, it had a horrible, horrible musty stench, which could only be abated by turning on the AC full blast. The AC worked well and cooled the room quite quickly. On the 3rd night, a lizard joined me in my room at about 4:00 a.m. Not knowing how to shoo him out, I gave up and went to sleep, trusting him to find an exit during the night. LOL I must say that the food was horrible...very bland, very over cooked and not a Jamaican morsel on the menu. The fruit looked like it came from a New York deli - either unripe or overripe. I was convinced that the watermelon had been frozen.
The GOOD things about my stay?
-Excellent service: from the conceirge, the bellhop to the crazy housekeeper that kept waking me up to see if I needed anything. All my wakeup calls were prompt. I even got a wake up knock on the door from the night security guard.
-Beautiful Grounds, 400 acres is a lot to take in
-The sounds of the waves crashing right outside my door was unforgettable. As was the moon sitting behind the palm tree outside my door.
As the other reviewer mentioned: Don't forget your small bills. I gave away a fortune because I had nothing smaller to give.
The next time I go, I plan to stay in one of the newer wings.
All in all, it was good stay despite the disparity in rooms and amenities."
- Travel date: Tue 31st of August 2004
Good but not worth the money
"My husband and I stayed at the Half Moon with our two children, ages 16 and 11, for a full week. The resort is very pricey -- we spent almost $7,000 for accommodations and food, at off season prices. The open air lobby is impressive and the beach side bar is spectacular, day or night. However, the accommodations were a huge disappointment. We stayed in the Oleander -- the rooms are very close to the ocean but they are old and need maintenance. For the price the hotel charges for those rooms, they should be nicer, especially the bathrooms. On some days, we had absoltely no water pressure at all. The service was substandard. You couldn't find a beach towel after 10 am. Beach towels sit out on the floor or on chaise lounges all day. There were long waits at the bar even though there was not a crowd. The pool areas were shabby. The saunas did not work. The pools needed cleaning. We liked the covered veranda areas, especially at the Orleander pool, where they had a pool table and a nice lunch spot. The views are wonderful but we found that the beach areas were not what we expected. The water is dirtier than other places in the Carribean, like Cayman, St. Thomas, St. John. The sandy area was shallow and there were too many rocks to comfortably walk the shore. The food was expensive and not very good at the resort. We did like the Royal Stocks, the English pub, at the shopping village. And the Sugar Mill was excellent --we would definitely recommend it. Resort food and drink prices are always higher, especially in the Carribean, but we felt the quality was severely lacking. Value, in terms of food quality and service, needs to be added for the restaurant prices to be justified. This resort should be better maintained and it would be lovely. Someone suggested to us that it was off season and maybe they had let things slide. Perhaps we would try the resort another time but we would definitely upgrade to a suite or villa and we would go during the season."
- Travel date: Mon 30th of August 2004
One of the best vacations I've ever had...
"I just got back yesterday from the Half Moon after spending 5 days there. All I can say is that I loved it! It was the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation I've ever had. All I did was eat (the food is excellent), sleep and lay out on the beach. The staff is very friendly, the beach is clean, and my room was lovely and spacious.
I have a few recommendations for anyone thinking about going:
1) If possible, get one of the newer rooms in the Hibiscus area, I had a junior suite. I was initially placed in the wrong room in the Oleander section but I was switched promptly. The difference between the two rooms is like night and day. I was able to walk down a few steps and step right into the ocean.
2) Definitely bring small bills for tipping.
3) Go with the all-inclusive plan. Its worth the cost.
4) Bring some mosquito repellant. I came home with a few very itchy bites.
I highly recommend the Half Moon. I would go back in a second!
One caveat: the resort was doing construction in the Hibiscus pool area. The tile around the pool bar was being replaced and the area was cordoned off. You could still use the pools on each side of the bar, but there was very noisy jackhammering going on. From the looks of things it will take them at least a week or two to finish the work."
- Travel date: Fri 27th of August 2004
"My partner and I went to 'MoBay' over the August long weekend simply because it was one of the few options available to us when we started planning the trip - about three days before we left.
I must say that, given all of the negative things we had heard about Jamaica, we were pleasantly surprised about how well this short jaunt turned out - and I think it was because we chose to stay at the Half Moon.
Many resorts have swimming pools that are splendid in their uselessness as swimming pools - but at Half Moon, there were two pools - one that is there to dazzle, another that is there to be used. The olympic sized swimming pool was perfect for all those early morning and evening dips that are so needed with the Jamaican summer weather being as sultry as it is.
We stayed in the new Hibiscus wing in a room overlooking the sea. The room itself was huge with a massive bathroom and a most impressive terrace. Perfect for having breakfast in the room and listening to the waves. The patch of beach out in front was almost never used, so it felt like our own.
The only disappointment was the food, apart from the Jamaican pineapples and mangoes (which were fabulous) and the coffee - the hotel gives its guests a little sample along with some nutmeg to take back home. Now, to be fair, the food was not awful, but it can only be described as standard tourist fare. Too much breaded fish (on the upside, you can ask for the fish not to be breaded), too much heavy pasta, too many sugary sauces - really, too much American style cooking at every restaurant. And then there was the live entertainment at the Sea Grape. Fine if you like to hear someone singing Lionel Richie tunes from the eighties - annoying if your idea of entertainment is listening to a jazz band or a pianist - or simply the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach.
Also, there was the peculiar appearance, every evening at the Sea Grape restaurant, of a starving stray kitty. The guests beside us threw some breaded fish into the bushes to try and silence the hungry "meeeoooowww" - but they were soon greeted at their table by the fury little creature who wanted more fish and fewer bread crumbs. Another kitty in the same predicament turned up at the Sugar Mill restaurant. This one was less shy: it went directly to the patio and solicited all the guests for food.
We went to the stables to go riding one morning only to be told that the ride had been cancelled - for no apparent reason. We did end up going riding the following day though and it was marvelous. A word of caution: if you are on the Platinum plan (which is an 'all in' meals and activities plan), make sure that you are staying at the resort long enough in order to participate in the activities it has to offer. We found that lots of outings got cancelled for one reason or another. Try to plan snorkeling for the morning, since the afternoon trips often get cancelled due to high winds at this time of year. Speaking of high winds, if you go sailing (which I highly recommend) take a guide along unless you grew up on a boat. Seriously. And, if you plan to play tennis, bring your own racquets. Even if you are on the Platinum Plan, you have to pay a rental fee for them.
I recommend the Half Moon for anyone who wants to get away for a few days. Take your meals in your room on the terrace and avoid the stray kitties and the sound of pop music."
- Travel date: Fri 27th of August 2004
A little 'touristy' but very relaxing
"Overall, a very nice resort. We were there for 3 days and had a lovely room (very comfortable bed) with an ocean view. The service was great and there is a lovely beach with lots of deckchairs and plenty of pools and other activities to choose from. The only things we were a little disappointed in were that you can't walk all the way along the beach (as it is broken for all the rooms) and food can be a bit pricey. The place is huge and it is hard to get off the resort - certainly not where you'd go for the 'authentic' Jamaican experience - but a very relaxing holiday spot.
Our advice to travellers there is bring $1 bills (tipping was expected), don't go to the Japanese restaurant Sakura (it is closing in a few weeks and half of the menu was not available) and make sure guys have long pants and a collared shirt or you won't be able to eat anywhere except the English pub (which was pretty good but you might want some variety)."
- Travel date: Sun 15th of August 2004
Half Moon, not half bad.
"Let me start by saying that this was not my first visit to Jamaica. I have been to the Sandals resorts many times with my husband and Beaches and Riu with my mother. This was, however, my first trip alone to the island. I had very high expectations of the resort based upon things that I had been told from the locals during past visits.
Once I cleared customs, I was immediately directed to my bus, and without hesitation the driver closed the doors and took me to the resort. I was impressed by this because, like me, if you have ever been to Jamaica in the past you know that usually you are stuck sitting on that hot bus for at least 20 minutes waiting for some other guests to arrive before the bus departs. This was not the case and I loved it.
Once I got to the resort I was greeted by the bell staff who took my bags and brought me to the front desk to check in. The front desk check in procedure reminded me a lot of Vegas. Very efficient and professional and actually friendly. Not typical of resorts that I have visited in the past. Of course my room was not ready, so the front desk attendant showed me a map of the property and pointed out high lights and things that I should look for. This resort is huge, so have use of bicycles and if you want you can rent a golf cart. The is a shopping village right on the property with shuttle service.
Once I got to my room I could not believe my eyes. This was the best room I have ever stayed in. To the back of my room was the pool and to the front was my own little private beach with outside shower. The air conditioning in the room was like a meat locker, which is great because usually in Jamaica that is not the case. Huge closets 2 televisions and a mini bar. Room service morning noon and night. Just like Vegas. What more could you want.
Well, once the novelty of the room wore off and I was all unpacked ready to go, I realized the one thing that was missing at this place was excitement. I walked around and checked out the pool area. There is a swim up pool bar, but no one in the pool. Not a sole on the beach. I didn't see other guests all afternoon. No music was playing at the pools and the employees only spoke when spoken to. I made the most of it and swam in the pool, had some drinks and went back to my room to change for dinner.
Every place at the resort requires reservations, so I was able to get in to the Segrapes Terrace. I had a huge lobster tail for dinner. The food was great service was polite, but the over all experience was missing something.
I spent 5 days at the resort and they were all pretty much just like that, nice but missing something. I am 33 years old, and while I am not a huge partier, I do like some night time entertainment as well as human interaction. Like I said the staff is very professional, but not once did anyone ask me if everything was "irie". To me that was just not Jamaican. If you are looking to get away and really not be bothered, this is the place to go. If you want any type of action or excitement go somewhere else.
The rest of my trip I got room service for breakfast and dinner and every afternoon I took the shuttle bus over to the shopping village. There is a great English Pub there and the people actually talk to you. Make sure you get the all inclusive plan. Food prices were very high. Also, bring lots of one dollar bills, tipping is expected."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of August 2004
"Just spent 5 nights at Half Moon (July 31st - Aug. 6th). The resort exceeded our expectations in just about every way. I did quite a lot of research before deciding where to stay, including reading every review about Half Moon on this site. This was our first trip to Jamaica. This review is long, but hopefully the information will help others to decide if this is the resort for them. Here's a breakdown of our experience...
Air Travel: We took direct flights into MoBay. No problems until we arrived at Sangster Airport. My advice is to avoid traveling on a weekend day if you can help it. The airport was mobbed and hot. Big industrial fans everywhere which did little to cool things off. The lines to go through Immigration were very long. Half Moon has their own lounge in the airport which was easy to find and it was very nice to be able to sit and relax with a cool drink before the shuttle to the resort which was only about 10 minutes away.
Rooms: We chose a Superior Room, requesting ocean front or view. We were put in the Oleander building, on the east side of the property. Very nice room, beautifully furnished. There were two problems with being in this building. One was that the air conditioning didn't work very well. It was barely adequate for the size of the room and barely kept things cool. The second was that the beach in front is not a swimming beach. The sand was beautiful, lots of palm trees but the shore was very rocky. The hotel recommends swimming at the beaches both east and west of these rooms. If you're looking to stroll directly out of your room and into the water, this is not the building for you. You will want something in one of the new Hibiscus buildings or a room in one of the west cottages. On the morning of our first full day, we took a walk to the west end of the beach, and fell in love with the cottages and the beach. The sand was soft, the water a beautifully clear emerald green. The cottages are all a little different and all come with their own pool. Each cottage containes four - six rooms/suites. We immediately requested a room change and was told they only had a Junior Suite available the next day for an additional $120/night. We decided to go for it and before this was finalized, a cancellation came through for a Royal Suite that was available that day and they offered that to us at the same price. The ocean view suite, which was on the 2nd floor, ("ocean view" is considered the 2nd floor while "ocean front" is first floor), consisted of a veranda with french doors opening up into a living room. Beyond that, a very large bedroom and a marble bathroom with double sinks, bathtub/shower combo as well as a seperate shower. It was a beatuful room and the air conditioners (there were two) worked great.
Food/Tipping/All-Inclusive: We ate mostly at the SeaGrape Terrace and the Sugar Mill. The food at both restaurants was very good. We thought the service was very good also. The only complaint was that, while orders were taken promptly and the food always arrived pomptly, there was always a long wait to receive the check. Unlike many other resorts that offer all-inclusive, you don't wear wrist bands here. You simply sign the check and everthing is either billed to your room, or if you're all-inclusive it just doesn't show up on your final bill at check-out. Gratuity is included, but my advice is to tip appropriately for the service you received. We tipped generously and were rewarded for it in a level of service that went above and beyond. Tipping generally consisted of $10 for dinner, $5 for breakfast, lunch and room service. For housekeeping, we tipped $10 the first day and another $10 on our last. We tipped the bellman $10 when we moved rooms because we were on the 2nd floor at each building and he had to carry the bags up and down the stairs. When we wanted to take the shuttle somewhere on the property and this bellman was on duty, he would grab a golf cart or another shuttle and take us there himself so we didn't have to wait. Of course we had to tip him, but we would have tipped the shuttle driver a few bucks anyway. As I mentioned, the food was very good, but very pricey. We were glad that we chose all-inclusive. Dinner for two, with two mixed drinks, two soda's, two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts ranged from $120 - $160. Breakfast was around $50 for two, lunch ranged from $50 - $80. Buffets were expensive but very good variety. The beach barbeque was fun and the food very good also. Although the resort claims "casual elegance" (no t-shirts, shorts, jeans), as the dress code, we found that most people dressed up for dinner, especially on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Music/Activities: Live music every night in Lester's Piano Bar, the Seagrape Terrace and the Sugar Mill. Tons of things to do if you're interested. Water sports, tennis, golf, horseback riding, croquet, just to name a few. We didn't do the dolphin encounter which was just about the only thing not included in the all-inclusive.
This is a beautiful resort where you can do as much or as little as you want. We look forward to our second visit soon."
- Travel date: Fri 6th of August 2004
Had a nice time!
"We were just there for our 10th Aniversary on July8. We stayed at Half Moon Hotel, it was really nice, our room had everthing, good AC. We would definitely go back! The only one thing that got crazy was the "tipping" but I guess it was worth it! Everyone was really nice."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of August 2004