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“An Almost Seemless Golf Vacation” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Complimentary Breakfast
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Half Moon Bay
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Fordyce, Arkansas
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
181 helpful votes 181 helpful votes
“An Almost Seemless Golf Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2008

I recently returned from leading an eight man golf trip to Half Moon Bay and The Lodge at Pebble Beach. In thinking back over the trip, it is hard to find fault with any aspect of the experience.

The Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay is a stunningly beautiful property, sitting atop a cliff and looming over the two adjacent golf courses. We were housed in the Ocean House, a slightly remote annex to the main hotel. For our purposes, this was ideal, in that we were somewhat isolated from the hustle and bustle of the hotel and they were protected against exposure to our sometimes loud and rowdy group. The hotel was an easy 200 yard walk along the 18th fairway of the Old Course. The view was magnificent: The Pacific Ocean, the 18th hole of the Old Course and the Ritz Carlton itself made an amazing visual trifecta.

The hotel sports an outdoor gathering area, featuring a hot tub, firepit, bar area and large seating area which overlooks both the 18th hole of the Old Course and the Pacific Ocean. Quite a gathering spot in the evenings for sunsets and a built in gallery for those finishing up their rounds.

Unlike many who have posted, we found the service to be everything you'd expect from a Ritz. No complaints. The golf courses were very well maintained. The Old Course was more of a parkland style course with only the final two holes playing in sight of the Ocean. The Ocean Course, on the other hand, is a links style course with very little protection from the elements and near constant views of both the Ocean and the spectacular hotel in the back ground.

It should be noted that Half Moon Bay Golf Club is not affiliated with the Ritz Carlton, despite being virtually on top of each other. As a result, there is not perfect coordination between the two. We booked a "stay and play" package, only to have a problem getting a tee time due to a scheduled tournament that the Ritz apparently didn't even know about. The golf course grill, Mullins, is perfectly suitable for a quick lunch or a casual dinner, but doesn't accept room charges to the Ritz.

The primary restaurant at the Ritz, Navio, was above average but not spectacular. The wine bar is a very nice touch.

One complaint. For some reason, many upper scale hotels have made the decision to do away with in-room coffee makers. It's a real pain to have to go to the lobby to get coffee, but even more so when located in a remote annex such as the Ocean House.

In any event, if you're planning a golf trip to Carmel, give a thought to motoring up the coast, schedule a round at Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz and continue for another hour north to Half Moon Bay. Bring money.

  • Liked — Amazing visual experience
  • Disliked — No in-room coffee
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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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 (309)
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English first
Northwest
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2008

I stayed at the Ritz Carlton on Memorial Day Weekend. You would think staying at a hotel mid week would be more relaxing as there would not be a big crowd.

The positives: Great views, ambiance, and location. I cannot complain about the cleanliness of the room, as I found it to be just fine. I would agree that the rooms featuring fire pits are awfully close to the pedestrian sidewalks and are rather intrusive.

The ENO wine bar is fantastic! The staff is great! Of course, maybe that's because I am a sommelier, and they treated meas fellow professional.

The negatives: I would have to agree other reviewers!
1. My problems began at check in with a screw up in my reservation. The Front Desk staff failed to resolve it right then and there. 24 hours later the reservation had allegedly been resolved with a manager's intervention (nothing could be further from the truth). My final bill came at check out with all the unresolved issues being reflected in the bill as added costs. They were eventually taken off, but this experience affected my overall perceptions of the hotel and my experience.

2. I find that the hotel staff for the most part are friendly, however the critical staff (i.e. front desk, restaurant, and bar) have an attitude of "I cannot be bothered". I found the restaurant staff in the Conservatory to have a patronizing attitude.

3. As previous reviewers have stated, I also found that the hotel does tend to nickel and dime the guest for every cost. For example a $25 resort fee ( amongst many other hidden room costs) added to your room cost.

4. Lastly I did in fact report my concerns to a manager after I had returned home. I was promised a call back from the G.M., and I am still waiting. Again, another example of what I refer to as the prevailing hotel "cannot be bothered" attitide.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Service - or the lack thereof!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2008

Last weekend I stayed at the RC Half Moon Bay on a stay and play package that I extended for another night and upgraded to a club-level oceanview room.

First the good stuff. The location and layout of the hotel was great. The hotel was super close to downtown (for those who want to eat or shop outside the resort) and I loved how the 18th green of the Old Course ended in the hotel courtyard. Watching people play the last hole from the club lounge provided hours of entertainment. The first day we were there was super warm, so we sat at the outdoor restaurant in the sun. It was super relaxing. At night when it was foggy it was really nice to sit by the firepits with a blanket (provided by the resort) and talk to other guests. The service in the club was superb and the food was great. The concierges were really personable and efficient. The spa facilities are open to all guests and are clean and relaxing.

The rooms were really pretty, if you ask me. I loved the cabinetry and the beds were right up there with comfort I've come to expect from the RC and Four Seasons hotels. My husband loved the flatscreen tv and I thought the Bulgari toiletries smelled amazing. The curtains were a little worn, but who cares about that? I only noticed when I was opening the drapes one morning.

Now for the bad. It all had to do with the front desk staff.... Our room wasn't ready at checkin, even though we showed up well after 3pm. This wouldn't have been a big deal (since we were comfortable hanging in the club lounge) except that over an hour after being sent to the lounge we still didn't have our keys. We had to ask the concierge to figure out what was going on since they seemed to have forgotten about us. The same lady who checked us in also forgot to give us the vouchers we needed for golf the next morning. When we went to check in for our tee time they asked for the vouchers that I never received, so they called the front desk I spoke with the same gal who checked us in the day before. She tried to tell me that she handed me the vouchers, which I thought was rude. I'm standing in the clubhouse at the course arguing with this lady that the only thing I was handed was a set of keys to the lounge and a card for my anniversary. I didn't even receive the wine they're supposed to pour you at check in. But even if she had given them to me and I had lost them (which didn't happen), I expect them to say "What the heck" and send over new vouchers. Also, we had to negotiate for the late checkout that my travel agent had secured us when making the booking for our anniversary.

We ate at Navio one night of our stay and weren't super impressed by it. The food and service were good, but for $200+ I think my husband and I would prefer to eat somewhere a little more chic. The guy in the shorts and Hawaiian shirt next to us and the guy in the tux eating a burger (that wasn't on the menu) kind of messed up the vibe for me. I've heard the Sunday brunch is stellar, but we were perfectly happy with the club breakfast and didn't bother.

Had that one girl at the front desk been better trained or more alert the stay would have been perfect. I would totally recommend this place for people looking to make a quick getaway from the city or San Jose, a spa weekend, or for a golf trip.

  • Liked — Great golf, awesome club-level service, nice views
  • Disliked — The front desk staff weren't as well-trained as they could have been
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2008

Caught a serious fungal infection in the spa, wife had "worst massage ever" there for $198 including tip and the spa staff didn't even know the details on their own facility. They need new management down there. The windows in our room were so dirty we could hardly see though them. All in all a memorable Mother's Day w/end.

Stayed May 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2008

Not my favorite Ritz. A key problem that travelers should be aware of is that the nicest rooms - the ones with the firepits (some are suites) - are right next to a golf course and paths. So people walk by your room all the time and can see you! It is not at all private. You do get a view of the ocean - but in-between is the golf course. It's a poorly designed hotel. There are also other problems, e.g., the health club (including indoor spa) closes early in the evening, etc. A very expensive hotel that is not worth the price.

  • Liked — on ocean
  • Disliked — on golf course
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plant City, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2008

This was the 3rd time at this property, my first two were golf excursions.

Stayed with my wife for our 10th Anniversary, while I've stayed in several Ritz Carltons across the US, it is usually out of my budget. The greatest part of this Ritz is the lack of pretentiousness among the staff. I found the hotel to be more realxed and comfortable. While the staff is the outstanding Ritz Carlton service you can expect, the location is truly amazing. Situated on a bluff several stories above the Pacific, the views are amazing, the property immaculate and the rooms outstanding.

As I mentioned it was our 10th Anniversary, the desk staff upgraded us to Concierge Level and on our Anniversary night we returned from dinner to find our room covered in rose petals. Truly the romantic touch only a Ritz Carlton can provide.

While I did not play golf on this trip, I have played both golf course twice and find them to be very typical resort course in toughness. They have been in better than terrific condition and offer two vastly different experiences. One parkland in style and the other a linkscourse. Both offer great views and remind me of the Pebble Beach Area

  • Liked — Ritz Carlton Attention to Detail and Views
  • Disliked — Weather can be suspect
  • Stayed May 2003, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guerneville, ca
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2008

This hotel is beautiful, our cottage suite was beautiful, the Housekeeping Manager, Albert, has wonderful hospitality skills, integrity, ethics, and personality.-and took care to make sure our stay was good even with such horrible service. The concierge, Cassandra-above and beyond-these two people were stars in an otherwise horrible service oriented hotel. Starting with Maurice at the front desk-we checked in at 3ish. We found out although we booked at club level-the club was not open this time of year. THis was very upsetting. We then asked to have drinks sent to our room, which Maurice said he would take care of 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x PHONED HIM DIRECT EACH TIME-we got them at 8:30 (ordered at 3:15pm), WITH OUR MEAL-SUPPOSED TO BE AT 3:30pm!!! The next day we ordered in room dining-after 20 minutes they called us and told us they did not have our smoothies, although they were on the menu. Then they brought breakfast with the wrong food. We gave up at that point. Then although we had a handicapped car-we were told we were not able to park in the handicapped place near our cottage (for club only). Food, when correct-was great. Pool -great. Grounds beautiful. Cottage beautiful. Seems like staff are not a team. One hand does not speak to the other. I will go back because of the few good staff, food, and grounds. From, Marcy Orosco and Marsha Cohen

  • Liked — Albert, the houskeeing manager-the grounds and cottage suite
  • Disliked — staff dishonesty at front desk, ie, when promised things did not get-like took 3 days for Smores kit
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 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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