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August 5, 2014updated Oct 23, 2015

Half Moon, a Rock Resort

By Chris Boyle

Living Area / Imperial Suite

Aptly named after the crescent-shaped two-mile private beach, Half Moon, A Rock Resort embodies the spirit of classical resort living. Beloved by romantics, sports lovers, and families since 1954 when they welcomed their first guests, Half Moon today is considered one of the world’s great resort hotels.

Guests and their families are drawn back again and again, lured by the luxury of 400 acres of landscaped natural beauty, the timeless charm of whitewashed cottages, the serenity of Fern Tree Spa, and the extraordinary diversity of activities on offer, be it golf, tennis, equestrian, and even a dolphin lagoon. Add to this culinary creativity from a talented multinational team of chefs and hospitality that is quintessentially Jamaican, it is easy to see why for so many, Half Moon is considered a home away from home.

Top Suite: Room 34, Imperial Suite in Cottage One 

Spa Pool / Half Moon, a Rock Resort

Total number of rooms in suite: Three

Number of entrances to suite: Two

Number of bathrooms: One large en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower and separate bath.

Number of suites in hotel: 152

Suite style: Classical 18th century Jamaican colonial

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Key selling points: Cottage One is peacefully located at the far end of the crescent-shaped bay for which the hotel is named. It was here in the early 1960s that John and Jackie Kennedy stayed, and Princess Margaret regularly entertained her guests in Room 34. The largest of the 15 Imperial Suites, room 34 is memorable for its 40-foot drawing room, which is entered through a smaller sitting room, and three arched French doors lead out to a 40-foot terrace with direct access to the beach. An innate sense of tranquility in the suite is enhanced by calming shades, the serene elegance of the Georgian-Jamaican furniture, and the prevailing aura of traditional comfort. Original paintings by Michael Lester hang on the walls, all depicting the Jamaican life that he so loved, while the bedroom is quiet and peaceful, dominated by a lofty Jamaican four-poster bed.


  • Nightly rate: $1,399

Reservationist Jackie Gordon

Half Moon PO Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica

(876) 953-2211

Spa Services

A genuine center of holistic wellness and overseen by the Spa Elder, the Fern Tree Spa spans 68,000 square feet and is the largest spa in Jamaica. Surrounded by exuberant planting with numerous specimen fruiting trees, there are 11 treatment rooms, a Spa Cottage, Yoga Pavilion, Meditation Labyrinth, and two over water Spa Cabanas.

Signature treatments: The Fern Tree Signature collection, based upon indigenous ingredients grown within the gardens of the spa such as pimento, ginger, and orange.

Spa Director Dwight Zieman,

(876) 9530-2211;


Top Restaurant

Sugar Mill: A remarkable restaurant set beside a working 18th century waterwheel with a menu that is unforgettable.

Manager Solomon Gardner,

(876) 953-2211;

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