We have frequented the Ritz at Half Moon Bay for dining and for Yappy Hour. The service and food have never been remarkable, but the view can not be beat!
We decided to stay for our 3rd Anniversary. We were looking forward to enjoying the fabulous view from our patio with it's own fire pit. We had made dinner reservations at Navio. We had not tried Navio before and supposedly it is a separate kitchen, crew and chef from the other restaurant. We had planned two days and nights of relaxation. Plus, the Ritz labels itself as dog friendly. Which is very important to us. We love to travel with our little pug.
We scheduled our reservation about a month in advance. I called a week ahead to inquire about the alternate buildings, where you have to stay with your dog. Dogs are not allowed in the main building and you pay $125.00 per stay for the privilege of having your dog. I requested to make sure we have an ocean view, please. No problem. Of course the upgrade charge, no problem.
The day of check in I call at 11:30 to review details: we have an ocean view room - Yes
Check in is at 4pm- yes
We check in at the main lobby - yes
Off we go, we had lunch in Half Moon Bay and drove to a few small towns along the coast. We were eagerly awaiting our check in, happy to have an ocean view.
Well, we arrive just after 4pm. The guard house announces you. We get to the door and are greeted by an over enthusiastic, giggling young woman. We are private people and don't care to be made a spectacle. Anyway, they heard it was our anniversary from our restaurant reservation. It was nice she recognized our special day, but the 3rd or 4th time she mentioned it before reaching the desk was a bit much. Of course, she never asked, if we had been there before. She points out the water view and how lovely it was to view. Yes, we are aware of the view, the whole reason we are staying here.
We finally reach the desk, more giggling and awkward goofiness from the woman who greeted us. I am thinking just check us in already. I have never had such ridiculous treatment at check in from a luxury brand hotel. Then they offer a wine tasting at check in, which is nice. However, they act like they are doing you a favor and should be grateful over a splash of wine. Please, be grateful out of all the places, we could have chosen, we chose to stay with your hotel.
Then comes the blow, you have a golf course view. We asked what about our ocean view. Then he says he has one left in the main building. We said fine, but remember we have a dog. He said he would check and goes in the back. He returns, no sorry, no dogs in the main building. Please know a service animal can stay anywhere and without charge. They should have made an exception.
Then he offered to upgrade us to a suite with an ocean view, second level but no fire pit. This is at a price near double our initial amount and no fire pit. I would have been willing, but I wanted the fire pit as well. I was not happy and chose the fire pit room.
Meanwhile, right next to us, a man and his dog walk up to the second attendant and he says, oh my wife and I are just having a drink and wonder what kind of deal you can give us for the night. She inquires about what memberships he has, including AAA. The first price out of her mouth was $200.00 less than our room. Then a family arrives from out of the country, this attendant greets then graciously and professionally. She offers to make reservations for dinner and proceeds to do this. She gives a complimentary late check out at 1600.
Mean while it is 4:30 on my anniversary and they are denying me an ocean view. No offer to make reservations, no late check out, nothing but disappointment. Well, off we go to check out our room.
I think it might be the worst room at the Ritz. Who would pay that kind of money for this room? You go for the view, nothing else. We drive ourselves to our room. It is a nice room, with a view of a ditch and a bike path. Not a hint of ocean or golf course. The patio completely shaded and on the other side of the ditch, more buildings. I started to cry. I did not want to stay. It was a joke. Then someone delivers a dog bed, only big enough to hold a two pound pup. Plus, plastic bowls. Really, we brought our own bed and bowls.
Now for example to impress, Four Seasons delivers ceramic dog bowls on a silver platter with a bottle of Evian, a flower and a dog menu. So forgive me if, I don't jump up and down about being handed a bed too small for my 17 pound dog and plastic bowls.
I told my husband to call and deal with this. In the end, they had nothing to offer us and said we could leave the keys in the room. WOW! I was stunned, at 5 pm on a Wednesday night, our 3rd Anniversary, the Ritz was letting us walk out the door. They did refund our money. No one came to our room, no one even cared. We got in our car and left. Happy to be gone. If you are spending $2000 for two nights, you should get what you asked for. I am happy to spend my money for quality, but I am not a fool. I will not be paying $2000 to look at a ditch and to wave a bicyclists. I would rather enjoy the view of my own back yard!!!!!
We called Carmel Valley Ranch, where we stayed on a previous anniversary and had a great time. They remembered us, had us on profile. Made our dinner reservations and upgraded us. Well, thanks to the ridiculous check in time of 4pm and leaving Half Moon Bay shortly after 5pm, we sat and sat and sat in traffic. Unfortunately, We had to cancel Carmel Valley as well and just went home. We did not arrive home until 8pm.
Thank you Ritz for a memorable Anniversary. We will not be back. Up to this day, no one has bothered to return our call or contact us. No apology, nothing!
Do not trust your important memories to them, they simply do not care. Much more akin to a Marriott. The only fun times we have had there are attending the Yappy Hours. Even then the regular, " bar food and drinks," were always disappointing. We will enjoy the view some where else.
Two thumbs down!