Moon Dance Cliffs
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Heaven on Earth! Must stay here! How Sweet it is!
"Now this is the place to stay in Jamaica! Right on the cliffs in Negril. Our friend & driver Lloyd Davis aka Rasta Man took us here to see the place. The staff invited us to stay for the day & we ended up staying here for the rest of our trip, as the other hotel we had already paid for was horrible. We ate the cost on the other hotel, but it was so worth it. The staff was awesome, the food was awesome, and the rooms were just incredible and the resort it's self was just amazing! The owner knows his business. The decor of the rooms are perfect! Kudos to the interior designers and also the exterior designers. I can't say enough about this place. All of the staff go above & beyond the call of duty here. How sweet it is to be treated like royalty! We go to Jamaica every year and we will be back to stay here again and again. Thank you for making our vacation spectaculor! Love this place!"
- Travel date: Mon 18th of May 2009
"From the moment my husband & I arrived, we could sense Moon Dance Cliffs was some place special. We were greeted with cold hand towels and refreshing rum punch and a spectacular view of the Caribbean through the open-air lobby. The same view greeted us from both rooms of our 1 BR suite and throughout the resort grounds. The rooms were spacious with nice tropical dÃ©cor. There were a lot of nice touches â bougainvillea in the bathroom, a different towel sculpture on the bed each day, toothbrush holder and lots (20) of hangers in the closet. All the windows could be opened to let in the tropical breeze and sounds of the Caribbean (birds and roosters). The landscaping was starting to take shape with lots of hibiscus in bloom. Down by the cliffs, a walkway and cave for massages and romantic dinners was nearly complete. The sunsets were spectacular and the service incredible. The staff was genuinely friendly and Doilette in particular helped make our stay memorable. One day we had breakfast on the balcony and another we were served on the patio overlooking the cliffs, both times with cut flower centerpiece. For lunch, the jerk chicken club sandwich was the best. Although MDC sits close to the road, as do most resorts on the cliffs, we never heard any traffic or noise from the sports bar that was just outside our room. A great place for a romantic getaway. Canât wait to go back in December.
Disliked: The docking station would play but not charge our iPod touch. Shower door opened into the shower head making it somewhat difficult to turn on the water without getting sprayed with cold water. Chain link fence out front did not exactly exude luxury. Taxi fares in Negril are not metered or fixed and it was frustrating having to negotiate with the taxi drivers wherever we went. The ride from Montego Bay airport took 1hr and 30 min."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of May 2009
Spectacular setting with spectacular service!
"My boyfriend and I stayed at Moon Dance Cliffs over New Year's and had a really pleasant and memorable stay. As another reviewer describe it, it was 95% done when we stayed. All that was left was for plants and flowers to bloom, some touch-up painting here and there, and perhaps some scattered problems to tweak. None of this really mattered to us because the place is beautiful and the service was so special. When we arrived early evening, they told us they had been waiting for us all day and gave us a couple of drinks. They immediately explained that the hotel was not completely done and that the recent thuderstorms had caused them to basically start over their landscaping, which we would see more clearly the next day. We were upgraded to a villa, which was such a pleasant surprise after a long day of travel. They offered their assistance all the time. The jacuzzi outside our villa didn't work, but they tried fixing it every day relentlessly; there was really nothing else they could do. The only down side of this hotel is that it doesn't have a sand beach and it is not near other restaurants, stores, etc. On the other hand, you get to sunbathe peacefully and enjoy breathtaking sunsets away from the crowds! Get a rental car and you'll be all set. We highly recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 11th of May 2009
great service and breathtaking views
"From top to bottom Moon Dance Cliffs was exquisite. The service exceded all of my expectations. Everyone was so friendly, the best service i had in Jamaica. Not to mention the best food. We left the resort to eat a couple times and regreted doing so, the food on the cliffs was four star. The rooms were large and clean with a breathtaking view. I cant wait to go back."
- Travel date: Sat 9th of May 2009
About 95% done but well worth it.
"We were there for my brother's wedding and you can still tell they have some finishing touches to do before it will be 100% done but the resort is beautiful. Our room had a few issues like the bathroom door not opening all the way and the shower door not closing all the way, but the room itself was well built. It has good insulation so that you can't even hear the people in the room next to you and the air conditioner keeps your room nice and cool. The best thing about this hotel though was the food, it has to be some of the best I have ever had. If you stay here you have to try their steak and their fish, yum. The staff is always friendly and willing to go above and beyond to make your stay the best that it can be. The wedding turned out beautifully and I would recommend the Moon Dance Cliffs resort to anyone."
- Travel date: Tue 5th of May 2009
Progressing into a Beautiful Resort
"Here is the skinny on the Moon Dance Resort. Someone said (in one of the forums) "the truth lies somewhere in the middle"...here is the middle. The resort has a lot of cosmetic flaws right now. I believe this is due to the hotel trying to make its deadline for the real "Grand Opening". What I mean by cosmetic flaws is that some of the workmanship is pretty shotty. Attention to detail...some bathrooms are still without their glass doors so water gets on the floor a lot when showering, missing light bulbs in the rooms, the painting work in the rooms is sloppy and they are still working on the landscaping. Some of the grass hasn't grown in yet and flowers and plants were still being planted, some of the whirlpool tubs do not work...and yes a couple of times the power went out BUT they do have a backup generator that kicked in. So that wasn't too bad of a inconvenience. Having said this, I believe all of this can be fixed...attention to detail is the key! Have the staff pay close attention.
And now the positives...the concept of the place is great! We loved dinning on the cliff. It was very relaxing. I suggest renting one of the villas and bringing friends, this make this place so much more enjoyable. All of the rooms in the hotel and villas are very spacious. Sometimes we had over 10 people in a room at once and we had plenty of space. The ocean views are fantastic. The service is superb. The staff was very friendly and very helpful. The food is great.
Now the suggestions...if you are looking to stay on a beach most of the time during your trip, this place is not for you, unless you willing to travel to a place you can access the beach. There is no beach access at the resort. Rick's Cafe is not too far down the street for cliff diving. Now if you are interested in a nice quiet romantic time, this is the place for you. The resort is on West End Roadâ¦but at the end of the road. The one bedroom villas are very nicely decorated. Weddings SHOULD be done here. It is the perfect backdrop for that special day. The staff will out of their way to make sure the details that special day is perfect. The place is just perfect for weddings. We saw a wedding there and it was nothing short of beautiful and very elegant! The perfect backdrop.
So what I am trying to say is that if you can live with it being a very new resort with flaws...I would recommend it. If you can't live with it, you should find you a more mature property. I would suggest to management to keep the Grand Opening rates going until you have all of work done."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of February 2009
Wonderful service, exquisite, nearly finished resort
"I love this resort. We stayed at Moondance Cliffs over the holidays and had a wonderful time. We heard about it from friends who have stayed at the villas on the beach and loved them. They greet you with cooled towels and an offer of fruit or rum punch as you exit your car on arrival. The staff there are the best we have ever encountered, particularly Richard, Philip, Diolette, Trina, Akima, Kenroy, Antonio and many others! They are absolutely charming and will do anything they possibly can to make your stay wonderful.
We came with my parents and two young children (2.5 and 11 months)- we had booked two one bedroom suites. Because these were not finished when we arrived, we were upgraded to a 4 BR villa, Ironwood, which was amazing - the bedrooms were enormous and the decor is modern and beautiful, the views are amazing...Philip served as our butler during the entire stay, serving us breakfast on our private deck every morning complete with high chairs for the girls, bringing any supplies we needed, stocking us with everything from mosquito candles to pina coladas, even going into town for cough syrup.
Now, this resort was not quite done, they were working on the landscaping and some aspects of the pool but this stuff didn't bother us. We loved the pool and the swim up bar. The staff is truly so warm and lovely and helpful, it was heaven for us. They played with our children and even offered to hold them during meals...which brings me to the food, which is excellent. Our driver, Antonio, was incredible and took my parents sightseeing, found a beautiful beach for us, and took us to two great local restaurants, Rockhouse and Xtabi - both on the cliffs with exquisite views.
It comes down to what you want in a vacation...with children, we were not looking to travel a lot, snorkel, etc., we just wanted to relax at the pool in a beautiful setting and this was great...for us, the unfinished landscaping was a very minor issue compared with the amazing people that work at this place...
They even organized a beautiful New Year's eve party on the cliffs which was supposed to formal attire but encouraged us to come with the kids anyway...they are really charming.
I would highly recommend staying at this resort now, if you can roll with a few things being unfinished and a little work being done, and especially in the future when the landscaping is in...everyone made huge efforts for us to make our stay wonderful.
See photos below. Happy vacationing!"
- Travel date: Sun 1st of February 2009
Moon Dump Cliffs is run by the worst kind of Hustlers
"Moon Dump Cliffs is run by the worst kind of Hustlers
The taxi driver couldn't believe this joint was calling itself open when we arrived on Dec 29. From the road--which is only about 35 feet from the hotel, the landscaping was completely missing--like someone had just plunked down a big tropical hotel in the middle of a bombed out section of Gaza.
Across the street, the generator was going, construction crews were playing music, and our nightmare at Moon Dump Cliffs Jamaica had begun.
Richard the concierge politely explained that most everything was completely, but to be patient and understanding as the crews continued to work on the grounds.
This is a completely different story than we heard from the owner Randy McKay on December 12: "Just spoke to Linus, and he guaranteed me that everything is working. Pool, Jacuzzis, hotel rooms, gym, spa, everything. Now, the landscaping, while planted, will not be mature for several months. And it will never be as lush as the 'Beach'. (soil not as good) Â Not much we can do about that. But, everything is operational. The staff has been training for months. We are ready."
Seems Linus and Randy were having a little miscommunication.
Our room wasn't ready, and it took maintenance four hours to cheese a fix on a pass-through door to the adjacent room. There was exposed electrical all around the pool and grounds, the Ocean Deck and ladders were completely missing, the pool pumps weren't working, the jacuzzis were filled with stagnant water, or completely drained. Construction crews were everywhere, working 'round the clock to do what exactly, since it was all "ready?"
Richard the Concierge seemed genuinely concerned that we were angry and disappointed and of the feeling that we were misled about the state of the resort. But then he seemed to grow weary and avoided us. The front desk tried to call a few other resorts to rebook, but considering it was NYE week, there wasn't anything available.
Yup, we were stuck at Moon Dump Cliffs. The woman manager assured us they would take care of things--which turned out to be a marginal decrease in room rate upon checkout. Which Rip-off Randy is now claiming to my credit card company as my acceptance of his offer to strike a deal with us. We took it simply to get out of the resort and get home, since that was all they would offer and we had a flight to catch.
The photos posted in the Negril Forum showing an Ocean Deck at Moon Dance Cliffs are further proof of the misrepresentation happening down there. That deck is not on the Moon Dance property! It is a walk down the stairs from the restaurant over a filth-strewn section of rocks and sand, around a barbed-wire fence, onto the adjacent property (you'll just notice the top of the fenceposts in the Snapfish photo gallery posted in the Negril forums...) The renters/owners of the adjacent properties don't necessarily want the whole of Moon Dump using their tiny deck and ocean-access ladder, as it is for their property...but Moon Dump will tell you that no one really owns the Cliffs--I'm sure once Rip-Off Randy's deck is finally finished, he'll have no worries with the locals, the neighbors, and any other stragglers to simply come and enjoy Moon Dump's Ocean deck, right?
As much as we tried to make the most of it--it just sucked overall. Pardon the raw language, but the feeling we had upon inspecting the grounds of Moon Dump were that we were taken by a couple of street hustlers. For them to say it was ready to take guests is an embarrassment to every decent hotelier on the planet. Crews were putting in tiles with stinking epoxy while we were trying to sit poolside. Groundskeepers worked round the clock planting vegetation. Painters painted. And a jackhammer sat on the lava rocks--waiting for a jackhammer operator to build the Ocean Deck. The pool crew spent tons of time working with hoses and pumps.
Our second night there, we went to the Sports Bar. We were the only ones there, save the staff. We asked Doilette if we could listen to some island music instead of watching a 24 hour US news channel...but it seems someone had loaned the one portable sound system to one of the villas for the evening!
Could they get ANYTHING right? Not really.
What will one day be the little Spa cove on the Ocean Deck was littered with bottles and worker's clothing. The sandy sections of the cliff area were strewn with piles of animal dung, and manmade detritus.
For the most part, the staff was exceptionally polite, almost to the point of embarassment about the state of things most of the time. Doilette was a very nice bartender. Richard was exceptional in his patience and poise in listening to us and several other guests complain about the status of Moon Dump during our visit.
You know the hustlers you're warned to avoid in the markets and outside resorts in Jamaica--watch out! Moon Dump is the biggest hustle of them all. Send Randy or Miriam an email tomorrow about the status of the resort, and I'm sure each and every problems I've reported will have been fixed. Ask specifically about the Ocean Deck, because here's what Rip-Off Randy emailed me on 1/20/09 in contradiction to what MKA3 her first review stating that the pools and jacuzzis were not completed at her visit on 11/24/08:
"I was there on Nov 25 when we officially opened. The pool worked fine, as did the Jacuzzis. So, whatever happened when you were there was a malfunction that occurred after we opened and was quickly repaired. Does a resort deserve to lose every penny of revenue from all guests, because a piece of equipment breaks? You were warned about the landscaping, although I admit, perhaps not strongly enough. That leaves ocean access. Yeah, we were late with the ladder. Got me there."
He did "get me there" now didn't he? They got us good. And we are trying to contest it with our credit card company, but chances are, they'll claim that our choice to stay means acceptance of the condition of the Dump. In honesty, the only reason we stayed is because they couldn't find us anywhere else to go.
This was the most disappointing trip we have ever taken. And simply think about this when looking at the photographs of the conditions of the resort that Randy thought were acceptable for hosting guests during our stay: Would you trust your wedding to these people? There's a difference between immature landscaping and bare dirt and exposed electrical around a pool in most people's minds, isn't there?
But according to Rip-Off Randy, "I was warned." and "I agreed to stay four nights knowing this if [I] could receive a further 30% discount in room rates." This is a flat-out lie. The woman manager did say they'd attempt to reach the owners about comping our rooms, but never circled back to us during our stay until I questioned them on it at check-out. I just wanted to mitigate the impact of contesting it with my credit card agency should I lose a dispute. I didn't agree to anything! I didn't have a choice save for checking out and looking in vain for a new resort on a high holiday week, or changing our flights home to the next day. But what really bothers me is that I asked about the status of Moon Dump on 12/12 when there was still time to make alternate accommodations--but they were "ready!" And I got "hustled!"
Perhaps six months from now some of the little kinks will be worked out, the lower deck and ocean access will be complete, and many of these issues should be a thing of the past. But keep this in mind--this is deep water more suited for scuba, and there won't be much to see snorkeling on the surface--which was one of the things I specifically asked about upon booking the resort way back in October. The villas are massive and the groups renting these out can quickly take over entire sections of the resort--especially around the pool. At full capacity, I reckon the whole place will feel very cramped.
The food was OK, but service was glacial even by Caribbean standards at all meals. Staff was polite, poised, and extremely good at apologizing for all the disappointments. If you want to go the beach, they'll cart you off to Jimmy Buffet's--there's no private secret beach or Moon Dance Villas access.
They told us the resort was ready--it wasn't. They posted photos of the neighbor's Ocean Deck in the Negril forums and claim it as their own. The owners didn't respond to us upon our return until our credit card company contacted them (claiming because he was in Jamaica "putting out fires"), and then they claim we "were warned" about the status of the grounds and claim the swimming pool was simply a short-term malfunction in contradiction to traveller reviews--but admit we "got them there" on the ocean deck and ladders.
Ask yourself this after hearing our tale of woe and seeing our photos of the deplorable state of the resort: Do you trust them when they tell you everything is working fine now? And would you trust your wedding or a special vacation to these people after seeing what they told us? Look at our photos and see if you think that this resort was, in Rip-Off Randy's own words before our visit: "ready!" We trusted them, and we got hustled. And hustled bad."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of January 2009
The best food ever
"the grounds, is not complete but let me say, you want good food, i think it serve the best food in jamaica since i am visiting for the past 12 years. in addition to that, the staffs their are amazing. i wish i had meet the CHEF . THE FOOD THEIR WILL MAKE YOU SEE LIFE IN A WHOLE NEW WAY. book and visit."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of January 2009
Best Service Ever!
"We just returned from our wedding at Moon Dance Cliffs. And frankly words fail me in writing this review. It was the perfect wedding! And the best service I have seen or think I will ever see.
But I will state up front, this resort is not done. When we were there last week there were no jacuzzi's for the villas, no swim-up bar, the pool was not completed and at times no hot water or water at all, the hotel portion was not even done. We had booked hotel rooms, but were upgraded to villas because the rooms were incomplete.
And yet, despite all this I highly recommend it. The property is amazing - even half-finished. But that's not really even why I love this place. The staff is the reason to go. Our wedding planner Okema was highly professional and made sure everything I wanted was done. She even had the grounds crew plant shrubbery around the wedding gazebo the day of the wedding. The next day it was gone because it was needed in other places. She worked so hard to make sure my day was perfect and she succeeded. Our butler Phillip was an angel and frequently asked me and my new husband what he could do for us even surprising us with balloons and champagne on our wedding night. They became our family - except they were a lot more helpful :). So what could have been a precarious situation was turned into the best week of my life.
This place will be one of the most exclusive, beautiful places in Negril in a few months. It's not there quite yet. But I would still tell you to go ahead and book a stay, the staff will make sure you are taken care of and are happy. Also, it might not be exactly done, but it's very close. And they have crews working night and day to get it finished.
My only real complaint was the spa. I think it might be run separately and it has some kinks to work out. Mind you we were the absolute first people to go here. So this could change soon.
All in all Moon Dance Cliffs continues the great service of the sister property Moon Dance Villas."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of December 2008