Setting the Mood

Half Moon near Montego Bay has won awards for its atmosphere and guest attention

By: By Eleanor M. Wilson

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For several years, Half Moon near Montego Bay lived under the brand Elegant Resorts of Jamaica, winning numerous awards for its sophisticated atmosphere and dedicated guest attention. Although the brand association has changed, the unique style remains in this resort’s well-landscaped residential appearance. The new Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon captures that essence completely with its $4 million makeover of a former luxury villa in the center of the property.

Fern Tree Spa at sunset Right: A client gets a full body treatment. // © Half MoonBelieved to be the largest spa in the Caribbean at 68,000 square feet, Fern Tree is a marvel of tropical tranquility. Treatment suites have private gardens, some with outdoor soaking tubs. The VIP suite, designed for families or groups, features its own treatment room and opens to an outdoor pool with a waterfall Jacuzzi that holds 15 people. For that very important after-treatment relaxation, palm-fringed walkways lead to ponds, pools, waterfalls, a meditation circle, an herb garden, gated niches, lounge cabanas and porch rockers. Spa guests have unlimited access to the sauna and steam rooms, located in a secluded corner of the gardens.

All therapies begin with the Spa Welcome Ritual, using nutmeg scents to uplift or lavender oils to relax. The Spa Departure Ritual wraps your feet in towels infused with those same scents. In between, an almost limitless menu includes salon beautification, body exfoliations, skin conditionings, bath soaks in addition to hand and foot therapies.

A spa elder is available for consultations to determine the root of any problem (sleep deprivation, obesity, anxiety, high blood pressure). Part healer and part herbalist, she carefully analyzes answers to specific questions that give insight into guests’ lifestyles, recommending specific treatments, remedies and life-altering changes to daily routines.

Six Royal Suites, across the road on the beach, were redesigned into Spa Suites, furnishing the former dining area with a spa table, which is situated next to the balcony doors. Every type of treatment is available in the privacy of your own suite. The suite’s whirlpool tub serves hydro massages, with a shower for scrubs and wraps. For facials and other specialties, equipment is transferred from the main spa.

The ultimate spa experience takes place at the end of the pier directly across from Fern Tree Spa. Here, massages and other treatments take place in two well-separated wooden cabins on stilts over the water. One wall completely opens to the sea, allowing the sound of the waves to cultivate deep relaxation.

Spa treatments run from $65 (skin conditioning) to $550 for the full-day Bridal Package.