Luxury Hotels


Oh the view, looking up through the trees at breakfast, outside on Seagrape Terrace at HALF MOON JAMAICA (are there any hummingbirds up there? The swallow-tail hummingbird – Eupetomena macroura, a species of the Trochilidae family – is national bird of Jamaica. It’s known for beauty, tenacity, devotion and love, and it was chosen as logo of Heart of Hospitality, theme of last week’s Preferred global meeting at this lovely resort. After all, just as hummingbirds can fly forward, backwards and upside down, so employees of any luxury hotel must be ultra-flexible. And just as hummingbirds have independent spirits, so do Preferred travellers, who like hummingbirds, have intention and purpose.

The nearly-900 team members of the 230-key Half Moon certainly have to be able to turn through 180 degrees. Driving a buggy from Fisherman’s Cove to the other ‘main house’, The Eclipse, at least a kilometre away. Here’s someone who wants to go the other way. No problem (big smile). Turn buggy around. There are 165 Club Car buggies, needed to cover the 35-acre estate, which also includes equestrian, 18 holes of par-72 Robert Trent Jones Sr golf. There are, in addition, 500 turquoise push-bikes, the city-bike variety with stag-antler handlebars – they were seldom used in searing heat and sauna-lie humidity.

The team adapts magnificently. They gave their all to the 200 Preferreders last week, and when that group checked out on Friday, bedlinens and check-in registration paraphernalia were already at the ready for a destination wedding party about to arrive.

Guy Steuart chairs Half Moon’s ownership, which has evolved from the 17 entrepreneurs, who included Harvey Firestone Jr, who started the resort back in 1954. It had been managed by Rock Resorts before then-GM Sandro Fabris helped organise the switch to Preferred, and in 2017 management was given to Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Hotels and Resorts. READ MORE, TOMORROW.