The very first thing you discover as you arrive at Half Moon, driving via the manicured lawns and well-maintained tropical gardens, is the unbelievable ocean view. This can be a delight which can persistently meet you all through your go to to the venerable resort in Montego Bay. As you enter reception via the pavilion-style foyer, you’re granted the posh of checking-in whereas watching the ocean slowly welcome you not solely to the lodge, however Jamaica too. After an extended flight, it’s all the time a pleasure to be met not solely with the views over the ocean and the humbling Blue Mountains within the background, but additionally a rum cocktail, setting the tone for a remarkably nice journey.
I stayed in one of many Ocean View rooms at Eclipse, located proper on the seashore with a panorama that I may get pleasure from from my wrap-around balcony. The decor was easy, however stylish and stylish. The view from my king measurement mattress was certainly one of palm bushes overlooking the ocean, and that was all of the ornament I wanted.
The resort presents quite a lot of lodging to swimsuit a spread of teams. Rooms are cut up throughout the Eclipse at Half Moon, Founders Cove at Half Moon and Rose Corridor Villas at Half Moon. In whole there are 210 elegantly appointed rooms and suites, in addition to 27 villas, all with easy accessibility to resort facilities alongside a non-public beachfront. The villas go as much as seven-bedrooms, and are excellent for households, teams and golfers, with every that includes a dwelling and eating room, outside dwelling area and personal pool. Every villa comes with a butler, housekeeper and a prepare dinner. So engaging have they been over time that Half Moon is ready to boast previous visitors reminiscent of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, in addition to different members of the British royal household.
One of many highlights of Half Moon, and any go to to Jamaica, is the seashore. The resort lays declare to a non-public two-mile stretch, all of which is ready up to your lively enjoyment (bikes are additionally obtainable to rent to discover the seashore, resort and environment). It was right here that I met some native distributors who’ve as a lot longevity and worth because the resort itself, having maintained a presence and relationship with their stalls on the seashore for over 17 years. Chatting will remind you of why you’re keen on Jamaica lengthy into the long run whenever you replicate again on the nation and your holidays right here. Half Moon additionally presents beachside service and eating at their BBQ Grill, providing conventional Jamaican fare.
For dinner and drinks I dined on the North Pointe restaurant. Right here the sundown views offer you an unbelievable vista, and, for those who’re fortunate, which you usually are right here in Jamaica, a breath-taking sundown. Because the infinite layers of golden pink water merged with the infinity pool, you’ll be able to fairly simply lose your self within the view. I started with the Half Moon’s signature cocktail – the ‘Legacy 65’ – which is made with conventional Blackwell rum. It was created by the workers as an homage to Jamaica’s historical past of sugarcane manufacturing, honouring and elevating a glass to all those that labored, and proceed to work, within the many sugar cane plantations on the island. The drink itself was candy, fruity, boozy and scrumptious.
Usually at dwelling I eat a vegan food plan, so it was refreshing and sudden to see a wide selection of vegan choices on the menu (I later discovered there’s additionally a vegan cafe located within the onsite spa). Regardless of these scrumptious choices, I had beforehand determined that when in Jamaica I’d eat as Jamaicans do (sorry veganism!). As I had anticipated there have been quite a few jerk objects on the menu, however after many suggestions from numerous members of the workforce I opted for the sticky ribs as my fundamental dish. By no means would I think about that I may describe ribs as decadent, however the purpose for his or her many suggestions grew to become clear. Falling other than the bone they have been the epitome of juicy, sticky and totally delectable. I additionally had the popcorn shrimp, served with a spicy chutney, leaving me too full for dessert.
As a substitute I retired to look at an area jazz band play on the veranda of Lester’s Bar, which ignored (you guessed it) the ocean, in addition to diners within the Haywards restaurant. As I loved the music alongside the nightly sound of crickets and tree frogs, I admired the beautiful gardens round me. Jamaica is a fruitful land which Half Moon celebrates with their onsite banana, apple, coconut and mango bushes. Constantly all through the resort it’s evident they all the time attempt to emulate the sensation of being exterior if you find yourself inside.
The next morning I ate on the Haywards restaurant the place I used to be in a position to get pleasure from a standard breakfast of ackee saltfish and dumplings. Breakfast was served buffet fashion, so I additional indulged with a aspect of bacon, fried plantain, boiled inexperienced banana in addition to a aspect plate of fruit. Once I loved the choices of fruit juice, I used to be advised by a server that “coconut water is the one juice to quench your coronary heart,” that means this was all I drank for the rest of my keep.
There are a variety of actions obtainable onsite, starting from horse using on the seashore, golf, tennis or ocean view yoga. My chosen type of train was to easily swim within the infinity pool, which was beneficiant sufficient in measurement for lengths. For a deeper sense of full rest and retreat, there are three extra swimming pools within the resorts’ Salamander Spa to bask in. Consideration to element doesn’t go amiss right here, offering a chance to additional retreat inside a retreat. You can too benefit from the non-public gardens, the place all herbs utilized in providers and cooking are grown on-site.
Whereas unlucky, it’s inconceivable to not point out that we live in a time of Covid-19. Half Moon went above and past my expectations; by no means as soon as did I see a workers member with out a masks, whereas hand sanitizer was obtainable all through the resort and cleanliness was maintained to the best requirements. However what impressed me essentially the most was that within the midst of getting to adapt to this new way of life and dealing in hospitality, what I used to be met with by workers and locals alike was a Jamaican’s pure aptitude for heat and friendliness. The flexibility to keep up that human connection in a time like that is laudable. Once I spoke to Laura Redpath, the resort’s model and communications director, about my expertise, she mentioned: “Since we opened in 1954 our primary precedence has all the time been to make sure that our visitors really feel welcomed, comfy and secure. And we don’t want this to alter due to Covid-19.”
This sentiment was evident all through my time with Half Moon.
As an added bonus, the Half Moon purchasing village which neighbours the resort, have transformed their as soon as grocery retailer right into a hospital the place fast Covid-19 antigen and antibody testing is out there onsite for visitors. This proved to be remarkably handy, that means I may get examined simply hours earlier than my flight dwelling. On my journey again to the airport, speaking to the driving force and already reminiscing about my quickly to be over keep, he mentioned: “You may go anyplace on the earth, however you’ll by no means discover a nicer set of individuals than in Jamaica.” After my keep at Half Moon Resort I’d be inclined to agree.
Positioned simply 15 minutes from Montego Bay airport, visitors at Half Moon get pleasure from a triumvirate of lodging choices alongside two miles of personal seashore: the luxurious Eclipse, the long-lasting Founders Cove and personal properties at Rose Corridor Villas.
The resort is managed by Salamander Lodges & Resorts, whereas three of the unique founding households nonetheless stay as house owners.
Discover out extra on the official website.