In the early 1950s a group of American, British & Bermudian entrepreneurs spent their winter holidays on the cool, tropical shores of Jamaica’s idyllic North Coast. So enamored with the landscape, the climate, the people they decided to create a permanent winter escape for their families and friends to enjoy. Thus began Half Moon in 1954 after a group of 17 American, British and Bermudian businessmen purchased 35-acres of land on a crescent-shaped bay that was once the loading dock for Rose Hall's sugar shipments. Among Half Moon's original investors were: Donald Deskey designer of New York City's famous Radio City Music Hall; Harvey Firestone, Jr. of the Firestone Tyre and Rubber company; Richard Reynolds of the Reynolds Metal Company and Jamaican bauxite company Reynolds Jamaica; oil and real estate entrepreneur Curtis Steuart; as well as Mrs. Laurence Armour of US meat packaging giant Armour Packing Company. Borrowing from the bay's beach for its name, the 17 investors opened Half Moon Hotel and Cottage Colony with 17 whitewashed cottages and 30 beachfront rooms.
Eleven of the original cottages remain today as the West Cottages, standing as a stately reminder of the relaxed and gentile living of its ancestry. These cottages as well as the many rooms and suites of Half Moon have been the home-away-from-home for countless luminaries, including HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles; Prince Rainier of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Monaco and John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy. The Kennedys spent a month at the resort prior to his inauguration as President of the United States and a copy of one of Mrs. Kennedy's handwritten wills hangs in the main lobby of the hotel. Other celebrated visitors to the legendary resort include heads of government, celebrated athletes, celebrities and dignitaries.
Over the years, the resort has undertaken several renovations and additions, to include the opening of the 68,000 square foot indoor/outdoor spa oasis, Fern Tree, The Spa at Half Moon. With expansive secluded outdoor areas and pools, treatment rooms that open to private gardens, an outdoor yoga pavilion and meditation labyrinth, Fern Tree melds time-honoured Jamaican healing traditions with modern-day spa techniques and treatments. Adjacent to Fern Tree are six oceanfront spa suites, the only such suites in the Caribbean, featuring chroma-therapy baths, rain showers, the signature Half Moon Memories bed and in-room massage and fitness areas.
Half Moon continued to strengthen its legacy and joined the RockResorts’ collection of luxury resorts and became Half Moon, A RockResort on January 1, 2011. Founded in 1956 in the Caribbean by Laurance Rockefeller, RockResorts was acquired and re-launched by Vail Resorts in 2001. Like Half Moon, RockResorts has been synonymous with providing innovative environmental programme, superb cuisine using sustainable ingredients, exquisite spas and welcoming hospitality from its friendly and attentive staff for over 50 years.
From the original 17 cottages and 30 beachfront rooms, Half Moon has expanded to cover 400 acres bordered by a private, two-mile, white-sand beach. Today Half Moon is truly the complete Caribbean resort with a Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed 18-hole championship golf course, the Half Moon Golf Academy, 197 spacious rooms and suites. Additionally, the AAA Four-Diamond resort offers 33 expansive four-, five-, six- and seven-bedroom villas all with private pools and personal staff of butler, cook and housekeeper, 13 floodlit tennis courts, Fern Tree, A RockResorts Spa®, Spinning studio®, equestrian centre, fitness centre, superb cuisine, 54 swimming pools, children's activity centre, water sports, dolphin lagoon, shopping village, including 24-hour medical centre and more.
For more information on Half Moon please visit www.halfmoon.rockresorts.com.