Warm sun, hot sand, tropical weather, beautiful trees, and water as far as the eye can see. Those are just some of the things you’ll experience when you visit Jamaica. But where you decide to stay can also make or break your vacations. So, if you’re in this tropical paradise and want to stay in a hotel with the most relaxing and luxurious accommodations, then Half Moon, one of Montego Bay’s ultimate Jamaica luxury resorts, is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Half Moon’s privacy and low-key atmosphere have made it a favorite celebrity haunt for decades. While the resort stays mum on its current celebrity clientele, past famous guests have included everyone from Charles, Prince of Wales to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. We want to give a big thanks to Half Moon for hosting us. Here are 7 reasons your family will fall in love with this unique resort, the way ours did.
1. An equestrian center with offerings for the whole family
You won’t find too many Jamaica luxury resorts that have their own equestrian center, but Half Moon is one of them. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider, this resort is ready to accommodate your entire family. Enjoy getting in touch with nature while you bond with your horse, riding until the sunset goes down. If you’re a more experienced rider, be sure to check out the incredible beach experience, where you can take your horse onto the beach and even in the ocean! Best of all? Your little ones won’t feel left out as they offer pony rides too.
2. A kids club that teaches kids about Jamaican history and culture
I love the colorful buildings of the Anancy Children’s Village. Each hut houses a different activity, and the whole program draws deeply from Jamaican folklore and culture. Our daughters learned Jamaican folktales, made arts and crafts inspired by Jamaican culture, and even came back with some Jamaican dance moves!
3. Friendly bartenders who cater to both parents and kids
No luxury resort would be complete without good drinks, and it just so happens that Half Moon makes some of the best cocktails you’ll find on the island. You simply can’t leave without trying Yellow Bird, their signature cocktail that combines mellow run, crème de bananas, coffee liqueur and oranges. The bartenders are also popular with children because they make delicious slushies and smoothies. Does your little one like it with whipped cream and a cherry on top? No problem! They’ll customize the drink just how you like it.
4. Spacious accommodations that beat out other Jamaica luxury resorts
Half Moon offers all kinds of luxurious accommodation options. We enjoyed the spacious accommodations of the Hibiscus Suites and appreciated how close they were to the pools, tennis courts, fitness center, and the Anancy Children’s Village. We had a private patio where we could walk out to a small private beach. It was like our own little slice of heaven!
If you’re looking to upgrade a bit, try the West Cottages. These are located right on Sunset Beach and many come with private swimming pools. If you have a larger family, rent one of the 4-, 5-, 6-, or 7-bedroom villas. Each has its own private pool, as well as a staff of butlers, cooks and housekeepers.
5. A variety of water sports for the family to enjoy
If you stay at Half Moon, you can borrow their kayaks, pedal boats, stand-up paddleboards, and snorkeling equipment at no charge. But you want to go the extra mile, you can try sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, knee boarding, fishing, and even get a full PADI certification and snorkeling tour. We took our kids on a glass bottom boat tour, which was a lot of fun. They loved getting to see and feed the fishes!
6. A spa to pamper both parents and kids
Half Moon has a fantastic spa. During our stay, the spa building was being renovated so the spa was temporarily moved into one of the cottages. But that didn’t take away from our experience. Serge and I enjoyed a couple’s Fern Tree Signature Massage. It started with a foot bath where we soaked our feet in cerasee. The therapists then performed the massage using a signature blend of allspice, ginger and orange. It smelled heavenly! Even our daughters got in on the spa fun, as each of them enjoyed a manicure and pedicure.
7. Gourmet dining both parents and kids will love
Half Moon has a variety of dining options that will please even the pickiest foodie! All their restaurants cater well to kids, with children’s menus that offer both typical fare and more adventurous options.
The Sugar Mill
This award-winning fine dining restaurant, headed by Chef de Cuisine Christopher Golding, is known for its unique twist on Jamaican cuisine. It’s also unique for its historical location on the former Running Gut Estate on the Rose Hall Sugar Plantation. The Sugar Mill is only open certain days of the week, so find out beforehand when it’s available to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to dine there.
Start your day off right with a great breakfast buffet while overlooking the beach. You can enjoy lunch and dinner at this lovely outdoor restaurant too.
Where else can you sample the best and authentic Italian food in Jamaica? Order the fresh Pappardelle with wine braised wild boar. It’s delish, and they’ve got a great kid’s menu here too.
If you’re looking for some tasty Blue Mountain coffee in the morning, then you’ve come to the right place. They also serve bakery treats, as well as sandwiches, and the smoothies will make your taste buds tingle.
Check out our photo diary from our stay below:
Photo: Carmen Sognonvi
There aren’t enough words to describe how beautiful Jamaica is or how accommodating Half Moon can be. When it comes to hospitality and luxury, they definitely blow other Jamaica luxury resorts off the map. Now add all that luxury with the lovely views and the beach and you’ll be going back to Half Moon in a heartbeat and they’ll welcome you back with open arms.
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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The author received complimentary accommodations, meals and activities from Half Moon for purposes of this review. All opinions are her own.