48 Hours at Half Moon, Montego Bay
After our intensive time in the jungle in Port Antonio we were looking forward to our time at the beaches of Montego Bay. We had a wonderful time in the stunning Round Hill Resort and now we were staying at the magnificent Half Moon which ist about five kilometers towards the east of Montego Bay. After passing the huge entrance, which was upgraded with the beautiful logo of the resort, we arrived at the lobby - a wide and open room decorated in elegant colonial style with a great view to the sea. During the check-in, the charming young lady behind the front desk told us that our room wasn't ready yet so we decided to have a light lunch at their beautiful restaurant. As a welcome drink we had two Pina Coladas - which is definitely the Caribbean cocktail of our choice. Our starter was a shrimp cocktail with pineapple and cocktail sauce. We are in love with the seafood on all the islands, because it is super fresh and the chefs are doing a wonderful job. A beef burger with French fries was our main course. After our lunch we were driven to our amazing Imperial Suite which was situated on the first floor. It was a two queen bedded room with a separate living room and a vast terrace with super comfortable beach chairs and a wonderful view of the turquoise Caribbean.
In the room there were two lovely gift bags including a cap with the hotel's logo, Jamaican coffee and a small bottle of the famous Appleton rum waiting for us. A cake was prepared for us in the living room as a welcome amenity. Next to the bedroom was a spacious dressing area with two big wardrobes and an extra sink. Right next to it was the the bathroom offering a bathtub and an extra rain shower, which had no pressure on the first day. However when the lady from the housekeeping arrived personally to inform us that she arranged someone to come for the maintenance of the air conditioning we told her our issues and within 2 hours the shower was working perfectly like it has just been installed! Now as we finally arrived and could unoack our luggage, we were ready to explore the whole resort. Being one of the biggest five star properties on Jamaica, we have received our own golf cart - we loved to race around the resort with our brand new Ferrari ;D. The resort itself is really big with around 50 villas each hosting between 2 and 7 bedrooms spread across multiple floors, 4 restaurants a riding stable with 28 horses, a private 18 hole golf course and eleven tennis courts. But that's not enough: they are extending the property by an infinity pool, a couple of restaurants plus new rooms and suites. While the construction is going on all day, as a guest you don't recognize the working at all due to the fact that it's super quiet and at the other side of the resort.
Our last stop of our little tour was the fitness area where we decided to do a workout. The fitness center was one of the biggest hotel gyms we have ever seen and it was perfectly equipped. It was separated in two areas, a cardio area with several treadmills, some climbing machines and exercise bikes, while the other room was for workouts with several gym machines for every part of your body. After an amazing day we decided to relax at the beach and enjoy the wonderful sunset. Now we just took a shower and dressed up for our reservation at the wonderful "Il Giardino" Gourmet Restaurant where the team was already waiting waiting for us. We had a delicious rum punch mixed by the bar man Martino at the bar, floated with an dark rum from Blackwell rum - a rum with a huge history in Jamaica. As a starter we had a tomato tartarwith fresh onions and zucchini topped with an vinaigrette. The "primi piatti" were linguine with a truffle butter and mushrooms as well as homemade ravioli filled with buffola mozarella and tomato sauce - our favorite dish, so simple but delicious and the exact same taste like in a small Italian gourmet restaurant. Pasta were accompanied by a Tuscan white wine from Villa Antinori. The first main course was the catch of the day with poached onion and tomatoes. Lamb filet served with mashed potatoes, asparagus and capers was the second main course accompanied by an Tuscan red wine. The dessert was a creamy chocolate pie.
The second day was supposed to be a great one with a lot to do. But first we had a wonderful breakfast with an amazing choice. The buffet offered an extra egg station where you could order all kinds of eggs, pancakes and waffles. On the other hand, there was a fruit section where they offer you fresh juices, a big selection of cornflakes, breads and cakes. And all this with a stunning view to the Caribbean Sea. However the highlight of Half Moon was yet to come: Swimming with horses? You always had the dream to do this? Even if not, it's an adventure you will never forget in your life. After a short riding instruction and settling-in period with the horses we made our way to the beach where we descended to unsaddle the horses and dress the bath shorts. Then we were sitting only on the back of the horse holding them on the mane and slowly going into the clear blue water. The moment the horses are beginning to swim they make funny noises while they breathe. Then you have to lie flat at their backs and just enjoy the flow. After doing some rounds, the instructor told us to release the mane and slide back to grab the tail. In this position you could lay on your back and relax. Now it was time to get up to the horse and swim back to the beach, you could feel all the muscles of those wonderful animals while sitting just at the back without a saddle. Afterwards we took some wonderful pictures in the water and could even stay at the back of the horse which felt a bit like being an artist in the circus.
But riding with horses was just the beginning of this adventurous day. At the afternoon we had a tee time at the Half Moon golf course. The staff in the clubhouse was already waiting for us with golf clubs and a golf cart. After half an hour at the driving range and some putts at the putting green we did groove in with the clubs and were ready for the game. Our caddy Noel who was a very good golfer with some great tips to improve our game was there for us for all 18 holes. He was a very nice and funny companion and his German speaking skills made us feel even more comfortable. The golf course was wonderfully designed with perfectly prepared greens and fairways, including some difficulty, such as bad situated trees and our favorite parts - the bunkers, where we'd landed almost before every hole - but that's what we call beach vacation ;). After this exhausting round under the hot sun of Jamaica we were just happy to hop into the sea and relax our tired lags. And don't forget their wonderful beach bar with live music every evening where we had a delicious sunset cocktail. I've had an Banana Colada and my colleague tried their Bahama Mama. Both cocktails were very good.
In the evening we decided to have dinner at the "Il Giardino" again, because of the amazing service and the good quality of food - which was really great. This time we tried the caprese salad with fresh buffola mozzarella as a starter. Our primi piatti were a risotto with Gorgonzola and beetroot as well as linguini with a spicy tomato sauce and shrimps. Our main course was tagliata perfectly grilled with fresh vegetables and mashed potatoes. Again we had the Villa Antinori white wine - one of our favorite Italian wines. We really want to emphasize the great service, the whole team is attentive, super friendly and tries to make their guests' holiday perfect. After a short second night we were picked up early in the morning by a Lincoln limousine which took us to the airport where we headed to Nassau, Bahamas.
Our stay was arranged by PRCO and hosted by the team of Half Moon. All above written expresses our own opinion and has not been influenced.