Jamaica’s Half Moon Resort Launches Luxury Makeover

by Cheryl Rosen
Jamaica’s Half Moon Resort Launches Luxury Makeover

Half Moon Resort


As any 65-year-old will tell you, even the best bones eventually get a little stiff. So like any Baby Boomer, Jamaica’s iconic Half Moon resort in Montego Bay is getting a little work done on the eve of its 65th birthday, Half Moon’s chairman Guy Steuart III said at a Manhattan press conference this week.

The 35 acres at the northernmost tip of Jamaica bought by Steuart’s grandfather in 1954 has become a 400-acre retreat with two full miles of beachfront. By November 1, a $75 -million “renewal” will create a new Great House, the lobby and the event lawn and raise them 17 feet, giving them expansive views of the Caribbean Sea below, add 57 new rooms and a premium buffet open for three meals a day.

Half Moon also will upgrade the rooms and public spaces; expand the beachfront with an extended promenade; and add a sheltered swimming cove.

New dining options will include Lester’s Bar, with “the largest collection of rum in the Caribbean,” a beachside bar and grill on Sunrise Beach. A new pergola café with gluten-free and “spa-centric” food sits just outside the spa.

For the group and destination wedding markets, the design of the new lobby offers the option of private check-in areas, and the 40 Prestige Ocean Rooms and 12 Estate Ocean Rooms mean everyone can have a room of a similar category. The buffet is “a perfect immediate back-up venue” that can hold 200 indoors in case of rain.

Fifty-seven new guest rooms and suites will add new luxury categories, including Estate Ocean Suites and a Great House Ocean Suite.

Relaxed luxury is trending
But above all, the resort will focus, as always, on relaxed luxury. “Formality is completely gone in the luxury sector. What people want is top-quality service; it’s the little attentions that people remember,” said General Manager Sando Fabris. Beach butlers will come by to offer drinks and clean guests' sunglasses; groundskeepers will pick coconuts from the trees and offer them a sip of fresh milk as they walk past guests' rooms in the morning.

The menu, too, shows attention to small details and local cuisine. Chef Christopher Golding is “reinventing Jamaican cuisine,” with dishes like breadfruit gnocchi in coconut milk, yam risotto, jerk potato gratin with rum béarnaise sauce, and oxtail ravioli in sweet potato dough.

New activities are in the works as well, including a music academy, dance studio and possibly a swimming academy, to join such existing options as golf, tennis, and equestrian academies that offer swimming with the horses and show-jumping lessons. Steuart said he also is considering two overwater bungalows in the spa and a new yoga pavilion.

At the press conference, Steuart tipped his hat to the travel professionals who helped him shape the vision of what will be.

“We’ve been listening to what you have been saying, what you thought we should be looking at. We are not part of a large hotel group, so we will be putting in place a process that will be more supportive to travel agents, and coming up with training and fam trips as we put more focus on the North American market,” he told TMR.

  2
  0
Tip of the Day
The professional travel advisor’s job is to equip the traveler with the necessary information to enable a good decision that will reflect that person’s own risk tolerance.
 
Paul Ruden
Daily Top List

Most Powerful Passports in the World

1. United Arab Emirates

2. Singapore

3. Germany

4. Denmark

5. Sweden

Source: Passport Index

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=5c9c49e9-0e02-e911-b9b4-782bcb667b27

Why Travel Makes the Perfect Holiday Gift

Travel advisors are seizing the opportunity to encourage clients to give the gift that can be enjoyed any time of the year.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Luxury Meal Plans Up the Ante at All-Inclusive Resorts
Luxury Meal Plans Up the Ante at All-Inclusive Resorts

It’s not your grandfather’s all-inclusive resort any more, as Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Disney and luxury properties add upscale food-and-beverage plans.  

Hertz and CLEAR Partner on 30-Second Car Rental
Hertz and CLEAR Partner on 30-Second Car Rental

A new service promises to get customers out the rental car exit gate using only biometrics, in less than 30 seconds.

Worldview Tours Suddenly Ceases Operations
Worldview Tours Suddenly Ceases Operations

After 40 years of doing business on the up-and-up, it was a shock to those who had worked with the company to see it go under.

What to Know About Navigating Marriott’s Massive Data Breach
What to Know About Navigating Marriott’s Massive Data Breach

Facing extensive costs as a result of the breach, Marriott is offering to pay for customers’ new passports and annual identity monitoring subscriptions.

Anchorage Assesses Damage After Powerful Quake
Anchorage Assesses Damage After Powerful Quake

The scenic Glenn Highway was the hardest hit during the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Friday.

Marriott: 500 Million Starwood Guests Could Be Affected in Data Hack
Marriott: 500 Million Starwood Guests Could Be Affected in Data Hack

The Starwood guest reservation database was breached at brands including W Hotels, Sheraton and Westin.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Tauck