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Jamaica News - Real Estate - Tourism (January 16, 2005)
Hibiscus Wing at Half Moon
The Caribbean Marketplace trade extravaganza was hosted this past week by one of the jewels in Jamaica's tourism crown - the Half Moon Montego Bay.

Fresh from celebrating its first half-century of providing stellar service and accommodations in 2004, the Half Moon has recently invested US$ 8.5 million to further enhance and update the resort. The property is the only Caribbean resort to have been awarded four diamonds by the AAA for twenty consecutive years.

The elegant facility was decorated by Elizabeth Simonitsch, wife of the retired long-time Half Moon managing director, Heinz Simonitsch.

The scale of this hotel is quite overwhelming: 400 beautifully manicured acres, 419 unique accommodations, conference centre, shopping centre, 52 swimming pools, championship golf course, private dolphin lagoon and just about any recreational activity you could desire.

The hotel's new Hibiscus Wing of 68 beachfront rooms and suites comes as part of the recent renovations. The variety of deluxe rooms, junior and royal suites are outfitted with a contemporary plantation-style theme and furnishings.

In the Hibiscus Royal Suites, balconies with comfortable lounge beds overlook the two-mile stretch of white sand beach. The natural fibre finish of the chairs is complemented by rustic, sand-coloured tiles.

In the living room, Planters chairs with a tropical print flank the sofa. Silver hardware on the entertainment unit and other mahogany pieces adds a modern accent to Half Moon's traditional elegance.

The bedroom is dominated by a gorgeous four-poster bed with elaborate carvings. The posts swirl upward, drawing one's eye to the ceiling that is raised slightly over the bed. White crown mouldings finish this lovely detail. The red and greens of the stripes in the bed's dust ruffle are picked up again in the floral print of the pillow shams - debunking the myth that stripes and florals can't mix. Ornate lamps on the bedside tables could almost stand alone as works of art.

The enormous bathroom also has a raised ceiling. A sandy beige tone dominates the room with tiles that have stone-like grain and also the shine of mother of pearl. The modern touch comes via chrome fixtures for the faucets, towel bars and hooks. This deluxe bath has both shower stall and tub. A thoughtful touch for couples is the window between the shower and tub.

This suite is only one of the ten categories of rooms at the Half Moon. Other accommodations include 34 three to seven bedroom Royal Villas.

There are also 23 beachfront Royal Suites. These spacious accommodations are in an elegant Georgian-Colonial-style building and each has an entrance hall, large living room, terrace and bedroom.

Queen Ann and Chippendale reproductions in Jamaican mahogany furnish these suites. The individual decors have an air of informality with a blend of native, island style. The property's crisp white plantation style architecture is complemented by the lush green lawns and gardens.

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