How to Get the Most Out of Half Moon in Jamaica

Half Moon’s spa has overwater bungalows, unique for pampering treatments in the Caribbean.
Half Moon’s spa has overwater bungalows, unique for pampering treatments in the Caribbean.

Although it may just be chance, many of the stand-out features of Half Moon begin with the letter “J.” To start, there’s Jamaica, where the picturesque, 400-acre North Shore resort (celebrating its 60th anniversary this year) is situated. It was featured in the famous James Bond flick, “Live and Let Die,” and is busiest during the months of January (for the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival) and July (for Reggae Sumfest). Coincidences aside, one important aspect remains certain: planning a jaunt to this highly exclusive resort should not be left for the last minute.

Luckily, many other notable features of the AAA Four-Diamond escape begin with the remaining letters of the alphabet. A case in point is the sensuous Fern Tree Spa, a favored site for pre-wedding relaxation and romantic couple’s treatments. For the former, the intimate “Spa Cottage” can be rented in four-hour time slots, where a panoply of services such as the “Moon Beam” treats guests to a luxurious triple threat involving a 50-minute massage, 50-minute facial and 30-minute scrub. As part of the “Get Your Groove Back” massage and bath soak treatment for two, pairs can toast a shared pampering session with a complimentary flute of bubbly at the only overwater bungalows in Jamaica. The “Bush Bath,” a specialty service designed to re-energize and detoxify the body, invites recipients to soak into a deep tub filled with signature botanical essences made from over a dozen herbs from the spa garden.

In addition, the resort has hosted several international golf tournaments which have placed it on the map as a hotspot for golf aficionados. All of the top amenities, including extensive courses, a clubhouse, a golf shop and bar, are “up to par” with regard to providing quality service to patrons.

Guests looking to explore the island independently can rent a bike; other activities, aside from sunning on the white-sand beaches, include visiting the dolphin lagoon, participating in motorized water sports, playing tennis, croquet or chess, horseback riding, and taking aerobic dance or yoga classes at the fitness center.

Good to know: A free shuttle service runs to The Shoppes at Rose Hall for those looking to engage in some retail therapy.

Half Moon’s 197 rooms, which comprise 31 four- to seven-bedroom Villas, are appropriate for its varied clientele. Families will find the best views from one of the Villas, which overlook Sunrise Beach, while the Imperial Suite boasts top service to elite visitors.

Advance notice is required for helicopter landings at the Half Moon heli-pad. Otherwise, Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay is 15 minutes away. Transportation for road and air tours of Jamaica can also be arranged upon arrival. Merricka Dyer ([email protected]; 800-339-9728) is responsible for special bookings, and can also assist with spa, dining and wedding customizations.