4.5
Very Good 2346 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

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

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Golf Course
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Kids Club
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pet-friendly
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Bedroom Hotels Lounge Luxury Modern Scenic views Suite chair property Resort home living room nice cottage condominium Villa

Overview

All dramatic scenery and cozy interiors, this clifftop resort is quintessential Northern California with a Scottish twist

The Lowdown

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

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
1 Miramontes Point Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 United States

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 2346 Reviews
Loved our stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Reviewed 5 days ago

The setting, the service, and the details at this property are extraordinary. Nancy during lunch and Tony during dinner in the Conservatory took such good care of me and my family. And the view from our private terrace (with a fire pit, no less) was gorgeous.

Amazing getaway on the coast (plus bagpipes!)
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My wife and I decided to splurge on a quick getaway for our anniversary. We don't normally stay at hotels like the Ritz Carlton ... but don't you want to do it at least once? It was splurgy, but totally worth it! An extremely memorable stay: beautiful cliffside vista of the Pacific ocean, lamplit walking path, bagpipes at disk (cmon!), each room had its own fireplace on the veranda, and the best bathtub outside Japan. Not sure when we will get back, but I will always remember that stay. Amazing service touches at every turn, and the staff was as welcoming as you would expect. I think I kept the RC keycard in my wallet for a year, just to remind me.

Pro tip: there's stairs that leads down to the beach. It's beautiful, and great for a walk, but has really course sand. Unless you have the leathery soles of a feral teenager, bring some sandals!

Fell short of reputation and expectations
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This was my husband and I's first visit to this property, and I'm afraid I was disappointed. We traveled all the way from Washington DC. After a long flight and drive from the airport we were exhausted to arrive at the hotel an hour before check-in. Given that both my husband and I are Gold elite members, we were looking forward to an early check-in and rest our weary souls. Our dreams were shattered. Not only were we not checked-in on time at 4pm, we had to wait an extra 45mins before being notified that our room is ready for check-in. The only plus was that the rain had thankfully stopped, and we were able to walk along the cliffs to get a beautiful view of the waters despite frosty winds. The overall staff were very friendly, and we were constantly greeted. While waiting to check-in they passed out these heavenly macarons made by the restaurant chef. I do not say this lightly, but they were comparable to Lauduree. The rooms are as pictured, and live up to The Ritz Carlton reputation. I very much appreciated the little details like having extra electrical outlets next to both bed stands to charge your phone, and of course the signature fire pit right outside your patio. Next was dinner reservations at Navio, the famed restaurant on property. The service and experience was excellent, but the food was joyless except for the 1st course: pumpkin soup. Maybe because we had the vegetarian set menu? Regardless, for it's reputation, price and the premium that we paid given it was Valentine's Day, I was extremely disappointed. I left the restaurant wishing we simply ate around town. I really wanted to love the property, and tell those who asked of our experience that it was well worth a visit. Unfortunately, I did not leave feeling that way.

Beyond Expectations
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My wife & I travel frequently and stay in 5 star properties the majority of the time so we are accustomed to and expect above average service, accommodations, and restaurants. Even so, this property exceed all of our expectations. From the moment we arrived everyone we came into contact with went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. The front desk arranged for an upgrade to a coastal view suite that helped make the rainy conditions enjoyable as we sat by our fire and watched the waves crash up on the coast. Sandra, the concierge attended to all of our needs and went above and beyond to make sure we were well taken care of. The food at both The Conservatory & Navio was as good as it gets and the preparation and presentation along with the service made each meal such an enjoyable event. Wonderful fully staffed Spa where we both had treatments was wonderful and relaxing. Each and every employee did their part to make this a memorable stay.
The only negative to the entire 3 days was the golf. We had high expectations and looked forward to playing both the Ocean Course and the Old Course. Unfortunately due to the rain the previous week before we arrived the Ocean Course was unplayable and should have been closed. We went into the pro shop after 9 miserable holes and were told to go to the Old Course and they would adjust the charges. The Old Course was in slightly better shape and we enjoyed playing it however it still should have been closed. It would have been appropriate to be credited the full amount for golf however even this misfortune did not take away from our enjoyment of the property and the rest of our stay. Highly recommended but check course conditions before playing.

Poor service quality and crisis responce for a 5 star hotel
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We recently bought 63 night for an event at Ritz and it was unfortunate that they had an electricity outage for hours, as a result, our whole team arrived in from a long haul flight but the hotel had no hot water or coffee, and worst of all, no heat in the room in a cold raining day! Many of us who had independent cottage overlooking the golf course and ocean were so cold that we had to stay under covers and skip dinners. One of us woke up in a freezing room and had to call for engineering repair in the middle of the evening as the air condition did not work. In this note, our guests are international guests and were told that they would be called when the rooms are ready, our guests conveyed that their numbers are international, they were told no problem. Well, many of them were not called and when asked, our guests were told that they cannot call international numbers. We reported the situation the next day to the management team but many of us felt they did not show sincerety in fixing the problem. One of our team members called for a cart to go from cottage to the main reception, he was told in 2 minutes, he waited for 23 minutes and no phone call ever came to warn him about the wait. Because it was raining hard, he waited and waited in his room and called several times. Most of the members were disappointed at the hotel service. It became a common topic throughout our offsite.
In summary, I am terribly disappointed at the service quality in Ritz Half Moon Bay, I had better experiences in the early days of the hotel. I felt that they can now ride on the reputation of a good golf course and scenic location and hence has fallen behind in their service quality. Our feedback to them on premise was not taken care of like a 5 star hotel should in response to guests’ complaints. Overall, not Ritz service quality should be. Disappointed.