The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
What We Love
- A bagpiper plays in the courtyard to usher in the sunset each evening
- There’s a heated pool inside and two fire pits outside
- Free fitness classes in the gym and a co-ed Roman mineral bath in the 16,000-square foot spa
- Miles of clifftop walking trails overlooking the Pacific
What To Know
- You can stay in the six-story main building, close to the pool and restaurants, or in guest houses farther afield
- Rooms near the restaurant and courtyard do get a bit of noise, especially if you’re out on your patio
- There’s a daily resort fee for access to the tennis and basketball courts, gym, and WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
While many Northern California resorts strive to channel Tuscany, this 261-room property takes its inspiration from Scotland, paying homage with it’s castle-like main building, two championship golf courses, and live bagpipe music every evening. The starkly gorgeous clifftop setting over the Pacific ocean adds to the Braveheart-y romance of it all; guests take in the scenery from the coastal bike and hiking paths, or cozy up in front of the fire pits overlooking the Pacific (or, if they’re staying in a Terrace Fire Pit room, by the private hearth on their very own patio.) In between, they graze at any of the three ocean-view restaurants, or indulge their sweet tooth at Cork Wine Bar, a wine bar that specializes in flights of wine and chocolate.
In the Area
There’s hiking, biking, tennis, basketball, golf, and the beach—and that’s just on the property. When guests venture off-campus, it’s to horseback ride through seafront meadows with Blue Sky Ranch, surf the beaches made famous by the Mavericks Invitational Surf Contest, visit some of the 70 wineries in the Santa Cruz mountains or stroll historic Half Moon Bay, the oldest settlement in San Mateo Country. Unless of course it’s fall. Then sightseeing here is all about the Pumpkin Festival.
How to Get There
Except for the power outage that occurred during my stay the rest of the time was great. The view from my room was great and the room was definitely nice (Coastal View). I want to commend a couple of staff members. In the dining room the evening of our arrival, which is also the evening power was lost, we were seated and attended to by Lara our hostess and brought our food by Tony. Both gave excellent service above and beyond what I would have expected. Lauren the Food and Beverage Supervisor also came by to ensure that everything was perfect and to assist if we needed anything additional. Great representatives for this hotel.
Overall the experience was excellent. Unfortunately the hotel was suffering from a power outtage in the city. The hotel did have generators that kept the lights on in the bathrooms and they maintained their food service for the most part but much of the facilities were without power.
The golf course was beautiful but the greens were punched in late October so putting was pretty much impossible. But we could definitely see the appeal of the place. Would love to see it during the peak season.
This review is for the spa and restaurant. I think I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to Ritz spas (this is my 3rd spa experience at a Ritz): over priced and extremely poor service. The facialist was shaming and rushed, the massage was weak and boring. The massage therapist had extremely labored breathing and told me she could not increase pressure when I asked. The spa facilities were very average and do not take advantage of the incredible location... you leave feeling like you just got scammed. At the restaurant, we waited 15 minutes for our table even though there were numerous tables open. We were only seated when we went back to ask the hostess what was taking so long. The food itself was a B+ but came out slow. Server was unable to split the bill evenly 4-ways between my girlfriends and I.
Location is stunning but also very corporate, which I guess comes with the territory. Will not be returning.