Half Moon Deals

Half Moon introduced packages, valid to Dec. 14. To book, visit www.halfmoon.com. Details follow:

" Take Me to the Moon starts at $429 per room, per night, in an oceanfront room and includes transfers, three meals and a beverage, a welcome gift and champagne, tennis, bicycles, taxes and service charges.

" Let's Take You Back '50s Style offers the fifth night at the 1954 grand opening rate of $50 per room when four nights are booked. Guests also receive a $50 food-and-beverage credit per adult. The seventh night is priced at the $50 rate when six are booked, and the food-and-beverage credit is $100 per adult.

Children under 12 stay for free when sharing with adults and receive 50% off any meal plan and free nanny service up to three hours a day. For kids up to age 16, there is a 50% discount on the second room.

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- As if a yearlong celebration in 2004 of its 50th anniversary had not been enough excitement, Half Moon resort barely took a deep breath before embarking on new initiatives, including a rebranding campaign, a Web site and renovations that are part of its five-year, multimillion-dollar upgrade.

Richard Whitfield, managing director, said that the resort's new ad campaign "casts an even wider net to reach more affluent travelers."

The campaign's new open-ended headline, which begins "How the other half... ," adapts to numerous niche segments, such as groups and incentives (How the other half gets together); families (How the other half enjoys its youth); and destination weddings (How the other half walks down the aisle).

Other amenities highlighted by Half Moon include the equestrian center (How the other half exercises good breeding); golf (How the other half holes up in winter); and private villas (How the other half lives large).

The revamped Web site, at www.halfmoon.com, was launched June 30 and features pages tailored to travel agents.

"Agents can book online through the site's Synxis booking engine, register their clients and submit clients' preferences and special requests prior to arrival," he said.

Agents also can enroll in the Half Moon Ambassador program to accumulate rewards and receive special offers and rates.

"We've made the site as user-friendly as possible, especially for agents and operators, who account for more than 60% of all bookings," Whitfield said.

Half Moon is midway through its five-year renovation program, "the never-ending renovation program," as Whitfield described it.

On tap this year is a $2 million renovation of the 41-year-old designer golf course. The course's back nine holes are done; the front nine will be completed by October. Still to come is the makeover of the Children's Activity Center, which will be done by December and will include a separate Teen Center.

Design work on the new spa will begin this summer. The facility will be located in the Fern Tree House villa, and the current Royal Suites will be converted to treatment rooms.

The Oleander block of 64 rooms, next to the Dolphin Lagoon, will be upgraded, and the current dining facility will become a full-service, casual lunch and dinner restaurant.

Half Moon's shopping village will open Thai garden and Indian restaurants, giving Half Moon a total of six. The resort offers a variety of meal plans, and 40% of the guests select the all-inclusive program.

In December, for the first time in six years, Half Moon will raise its rates by 10%. "The demand for Half Moon has intensified," Whitfield said. "The past winter season was 30% up over last year, and we've already taken many bookings for the upcoming season."

Occupancies for May and June ran 35% ahead of the same months last year.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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