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Interview with Richard Whitfield of Half Moon

Richard WhitfieldRichard  Whitfield is  Managing Director  of Half Moon, a beautiful resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, that has been welcoming guests for over 50 years.   Richard joined the resort as Financial Controller back in 1976 and became Director of Operations in 1986.   Following the retirement of Heinz Simonitsch in 2002, Richard was promoted to the role of Managing Director. What is it that  you do exactly?
I have the privilege of representing as Managing Director the 800+ men and women who serve the guests of Half Moon, a 400 acre resort in Rose Hall, Jamaica, with warm Jamaican hospitality and true professionalism. At Half Moon our mission is to exceed our guests’ expectations and so we set about providing the very best products and services to our clients.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy the genuine enthusiasm and dedication of our staff to take care of our guests.   I enjoy receiving feedback from our clients on things that went well in their experience and also commentary on how they would like to see their experience improved.   As we always strive to be the best at what we do, our guest feedback is essential to achieve that goal. I also enjoy taking a tour of the resort on a daily basis, seeing our staff in action, seeing our guests enjoy this atmosphere that we have created and working with our managers on staff in fine tuning the product.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
1. Excelsior Palace Hotel in Rapallo, Italy.   The food was exquisite and it was further enhanced by the setting overlooking a placid lake.   2. Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Osaka, Japan – seamless in their presentation.   3. Four Seasons Hotel, London – impeccable service.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
Excelsior Palace Hotel.
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
Half Moon has been privileged to host many of the world’s elite, including HRH Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Princess Anne, His Serene Highness Prince Reiner and his family among many others.   In fact Jacqueline Kennedy, when she visited with then Senator John F. Kennedy in the 1960s, penned one of her wills on Half Moon stationery; a copy of which now hangs in our lobby.   I personally have had the privelge to meet The Queen, her daughter Princess Anne, the Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Paul Martin, among other world leaders and celebrities.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wishlist?
The tented hotels of Jaipur, India.
Thanks, Richard.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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