Guest Author - Candyce H. Stapen
Jamaica’s Half Moon Resort, Montego Bay, features one of the Caribbean’s largestand best spas, the 68,000-square-foot Fern Tree Spa. The facility uses indigenous products, provides custom treatments and takes advantage of its tropical locale to create indoor and outdoor spaces.
Like many top facilities, at the Fern Tree Spa, you get rubbed, scrubbed, and soaked in such indigenous products as mango, papaya, ginger and lime. The spa uses lotions and oils created locally and treatments incorporate elements of Jamaican folk healing from bush baths to bamboo massages (stimulates blood flow.)
The signature body treatment, 80 minutes of bliss, starts with a soothing foot bath in water infused with oils made from local plant. Ginger and allspice are among the ingredients in the potion employed in the massage, a carefully executed mix of Swedish, Hawaiian, acupressure and other techniques. At one point, you are revived with a splash of Jamaican rum on your back.
At Half Moon’s spa, you can also meet with a spa “elder,” or guide, to design a customized program. She will advise you on what treatments and which ingredients work best to meet your goals. For example, the elder can tell you whether to choose the Jamaican green coffee scrub to firm your skin, the sugar and allspice scrub to soothe it, or to schedule the rosemary-scented reflexology treatment before or after your West Indian body massage with wild lime and ginger oil.
Like many spas, Fern Tree emphasizes stress management and relaxation in addition to beauty. To create “wellness,” book a treatment or more and stay for the day. The facility has only nine treatment rooms so much of the square footage is devoted to outdoor places to relax. Near the entrance to the locker rooms, there’s a small garden with plunge pools. Lounge here or go for a swim in the lagoon pool with its waterfall fountains.
Half Moon’s spa suites are a unique option. Book these and you hardly have to get out of bed to enjoy your massages since one room of your suite consists of two massage tables. The other room combines a bed facing the sea with a large sitting area. Want more indulgence? Then book a massage in one of the surfside spa huts.
You don’t have to book the spa suites to enjoy spa treatments at Half Moon. The resort, which sprawls on 400 acres of lushly landscaped property, offers a wide range of accommodations from rooms to suites to four to seven bedroom villas.
An AAA Four Diamond rated property, Half Moon, located about 15 minutes from the airport in Montego Bay, became a member of RockResorts in January 2011.