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“Beautiful Views a nice place to relax” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

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The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019   |  
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Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Half Moon Bay
Toronto
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful Views a nice place to relax”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

My boyfriend finished off a 10 day California trip with 3 nights at Half Moon Bay. We ended up arriving a day early and they were very accomodating and had a room available for us.
We had reserved a ocean front fire pit room and it was lovely. We spent hours relaxing in the sun, watching the golfers and the crashing waves. One thing to remember, it is a family "resort" and there were lots of children. Normally we don't have any problems with children but the lack of parental supervision was shocking. Kids on scooters, zipping around the bar and patio area where people are trying to relax and enjoy a drink and the view and the parents totally ignoring what was going on. Certainly not the hotels fault just a lack of common courtesy when you have spent $500-600/night. We did a wine tasting and enjoyed dinner some jazz, the stunning views and loved the bag piper who appeard at dusk.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1,004 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (296)
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English first
Menlo Park, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

For my husbands birthday, decided to surprise him with a "luxury oceanfront suite" at the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon bay. Booked through Capitol One rewards program. Rate was $1,200 a night. OK, steep...but it was his birthday! This was the best room, other than the presidential suite, supposedly.

We left our car with the valet, and went to check in. Our luggage would be taken to our room, we were told.

At check-in, we were told that our suite was not in the main building, but in one some distance away. We would need to get our car back from the valet and drive there. Since they had taken our valet ticket at reception to exchange it for one that had "free"(no $45 charge for overnight parking with the hotel valet) parking, it took 30 mins to bring our car back...luggage gone, but we were assured it would be brought to our room.

After some garbled instructions from the valet as to how to get to our room, we drove around until we found "Ocean House". The exterior looks like a well-maintained Hampton Inn, complete with motel-style parking.

We wandered around a bit more until we found our room . Our luggage was there.

The ocean front suite had a very nice view of the ocean, with a golf course between the room and the shore. We were on the second floor, and had a tiny balcony, just big enough for a tiny table and two chairs.

But the "suite" portion of the room-horrible! A saggy couch that looked like a reject from a frat house! A nicked, undersized coffee table that Goodwill would turn down! Otherwise generic, roadside motel furniture. 2 bathrooms, nicely done, as was the foyer, in marble tile.

I am allergic to feathers, so we had asked upon check-in if these could be replaced. The new pillows arrived 40 mins later, and we were by now so tired we just grabbed them, tipped the staff , and tried to rest. But there was a feather duvet on top of the mattress-if you removed it, you would be on the bare mattress! UGH!

We had 8pm dinner reservations at Navio, the restaurant at the resort. We had friends joining us, and had planned to have cocktails in our suite... but no way were we going to ask them to sit on that nasty couch! So we arranged to meet them in the bar for drinks at 7.

We had to call for a ride to get back to the hotel, since it was dark, cold and too far to walk in heels.

Once there, we wandered the chilly halls looking for the bar. Rooms set aside for private functions, wine bar, (no seats avail) finally found the bar...no place to sit. Our friend finally persuaded a server to let us have drinks at a small table in the more casual restaurant space. We were so happy to sit and get warm, we didn't even flinch when she delivered the martinis without olives...they ran out ! $120 dollars later(6drinks), we were ready for dinner.

Dinner at Navio was very good. Our server described the food well, and service was generally good. Expensive, (480 for dinner for four, with one bottle of wine) but would have been more expensive if the second bottle of wine we ordered had ever arrived. To our servers' credit, he brought dessert wine with our dessert , and apologized for the missing wine.

Getting back to our room was not fun. Once again, waited in the chilly hallway, checking with the valet outside...25 mins later, spoke to the woman at the front desk, about the wait and our overall experience. She was very nice, as were all the staff we encountered. She suggested that booking through a third party(Capitol One, in our case) was not the best idea.

We finally got back to our suite. Since there is little soundproofing, we could hear that our neighbors were not happy with their room either , and were blaming various people for the choice. I would have had more sympathy for them if they had not let their two small dogs out to poop on the landing outside our door.

Check out is a civilized noon...if you could ever sleep that long. We had downstairs neighbors playing touch football on the golf course underneath our window at 9:30, so checking out early was no problem.

I have never written such a long and critical review. We were disappointed by our experience, but we have had many great trips in our lives, and hope to have many more. I kept thinking "what if this was your honeymoon? What if you had saved up to have a special splurge?"

The Ritz Carlton can't help bad weather, or bad neighbors. But they should be ashamed of offering this a a luxury experience . $1,200 is a room at the le Crillon in Paris, or a night at la Mamounia in Marrakech. It is not a cheezy motel room with a nice view.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

We visited the Ritz Carlton Half Moon bay with my husband and 5 year old twin children over Easter.
As we pulled up into the drive way I was not struck by it being anything special, it looked a little like a smart old peoples home on a golf course with a series of identikit houses facing it across the road. One of the our twins threw up however and the lady at the barrier was extremely helpful even insisting on taking his dirty sick bag from me and that level of keen to please no matter what service carried on throughout our stay which helped to justify its expense. After we walked inside and had a view of the back of the hotel my idea of its mediocracy evaporated. The cliff top vista of the raging Pacific Ocean below was one of the most romantic views I have ever seen. It really is jaw dropping.
The food at the hotel was excellent as was the spa and its treatments. I had massages by 3 different people and all three were great. The Sunday brunch is raved about and many drive up from San Francisco for it I was expecting a lot therefore but was disappointed. It was nothing special and the e al a cart menu was much better.
The indoor swimming pool is old and looks like it is housed in a horrible green house-definately needs renewing and the children's club is one smallish room and was being used as storage for a jewellery sale. There were tennis courts and lessons could be arranged for both children and adults. All in all there is not much to do apart from play golf and I would not recommend the hotel for children. It is definitely a hotel for golfers, couples or parents of babies who need a break as a young family. There is not too much to do for older children.
The high point of staying at this hotel is snuggling under a blanket outside at sunset next to one of the outdoor fire pits and having a hot drink from 'The Chocolate Bar' whilst listening to the resident bagpiper playing Amazing Grace while a local eagle soars above your head as the sun sinks into the Pacific Ocean. That is a memory I will never forget!

Room Tip: Try and stay within the hotel in a sea view room with a fire pit. The rooms we had were away from th...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

As far as the hotel is concerned - Ritz Carlton in general isn't worth $600+/night. This is not a Four Seasons resort, but rather just an oceanfront hotel. There aren't really any "resort-like" activities (besides maybe golf).

However, there are some very nice things about this property:

- The spa, while a bit too large, is nice. Quiet, relaxing, and good massage therapists. Prices are good.
- But most of all, this is a GREAT place to go for evening drinks. One can sit by the large outdoor fireplace and enjoy a spectacular view of the coastline.

I probably would rather stay in one of the excellent hotels in/around Palo Alto and Woodside, but this place cannot be beat for evening drinks (maybe following a visit to the spa!).

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Midlothian, Virginia
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

If your looking for a couples retreat to drink wine and or play golf. You'll like this place. 2-3 days is about perfect. Not too many other things to do though. Go for an anniversary. Food is really good but expensive

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We stayed here on March 21-23 for my husband's 60th birthday. I had made the reservations some 9 months before and obtained a decent rate through AAA. The RC graciously upgraded us to a ocean-view room in light of the special occasion, wished my husband "happy birthday" upon check-in and sent cake and champagne up to our room. They made us feel welcomed and special. When we opened the shutters to the windows of our room and found salt on the windows, the bellman said he'd get someone to clean the windows and this happened within a few hours. We enjoyed the walks along the cliffs. Our child enjoyed the nearby beach. We hiked near Mavericks and drove down the coast to visit some of the local beaches. The air was crisp, there were very few people and we had a chance to relax from our busy lives. If you are planning on walking, I'd recommend bringing layers of clothing and sunglasses as the wind can be strong. The only downside was when I tried to find a muffin for our child for breakfast and had to go to the dining room and "order" one. There is no informal way to grab a quick breakfast. We ended up driving over to Joe's Restaurant (not far) and having a huge breakfast for reasonable prices. The town of Half Moon has lots of good take away choices. We also went over towards Mavericks and hiked and explored the tidal pools. A perfect relaxing break.

Room Tip: Ask for ocean view in main lodge. If you go to the pool, prepare for a hike and wear warm clothes.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

Excellent hotel experience with exceptional service. Well trained and helpful employees. Quite pricey spa etc but you know that when you reserve it. Beautiful back view but extremely windy, hampering enjoyment outdoors.

Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Address: 1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Half Moon Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Half Moon Bay
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Half Moon Bay
#3 Family Hotel in Half Moon Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 261
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, an elite golf and spa resort hotel. With two distinct guest room experiences from the guest houses to our main building, the hotel combines the beauty of the Northern California coast with the history of old Scotland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Hotel Half Moon Bay
Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay
Ritz Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay Ritz Carlton

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