The $30 cab fare for the 10 minute journey from the Montego Bay airport to the Half Moon Bay Resort is off-putting, to say the least, but once there and under the sun it is almost forgotten. The resort spans 400 acres – but it is sprawled out so somehow it works. By third day, the extra amenities: tennis, fairly good gym, croquet, kids club, yoga and more are a welcome break from relaxing in the sun (for some). www.halfmoon.rockresorts.com
Half Moon Bay Resort has suite style rooms, with unusually large bathrooms, second floor balcony or first floor terraces all facing the beach. My favorite accommodations were the cottages – ideal for groups of people or families. The pools are kept at brisk temperatures – I lasted 40 seconds. The beaches are nice, never packed, and there are areas on this huge property, if you are willing to walk, that you can have and entire bay to yourself. The thing of note that could be bothersome was the wind…It was so intense, the picture doesn’t fully capture this – it did not let up the entire 4-5 days.A friend recommended I visit Dunn’s River Falls – what a great suggestion! It is approximately an hour and half from the hotel. The tours cost around $170. Past what I was willing to pay, so I asked about renting a car: $65 – Sold! ….I must mention, the hotel concierge almost had a heart attack when I asked about renting a car. If I only had a photo of the horrified expression on her face during the long, long pause when I asked her. She turned to her co-worker and said, “De white gal is cra-zee mon, she wantin to drive herself.” The car rental company dropped the car off right at the hotel within an hour and I was off , driving on the left side, but leaning right, scaring locals. Dunn’s River Falls didn’t disappoint – rushing fresh water, invigorating (aka – freezing :) but lots of fun. I did have a secondary motive for wanting a car – to get a Jamaican patty. For this would need to drive just a bit further, to Ochos Rios- I was doing my own personal taste-off – Tastee or the current local favorite (by all accounts from the 15 people I asked) Juici. I had only ever had Tastee, and while Juici was very good, and, well, juicy – I’m still a Tastee fan.
Even though it was spring break, the resort was large enough to find peaceful moments in the sun.