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“Overpriced” 3 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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Fire and Wine Package
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Half Moon Bay
Buffalo, New York
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2005

It's a Ritz Carlton -- I was prepared to spend money. But at the end of a 2-day Christmas stay, I actually felt a bit ripped off. We were put in a guest house room despite reservations in the main hotel, which I realized too late was a mistake. We reserved a deluxe ocean-view room: there was one lonely chair to sit in and look at the view -- no sign of the promised window seat. (I later learned this is a feature of rooms in the main hotel.) We were spared the $35 parking fee because we were in the guest house, but were not spared the $20 daily resort fee. This feels like being nickeled-and-dimed, and should be included in the rate.

There is a difference between paying top dollar for luxury and just paying too much. For example, a manicure in the spa is $60. Why -- when a manicure at Bliss Spa in New York City is $25? The markup on wine prices in the restaurant is 300%. This is just excessive.

While the atmosphere that the property wants to create is that of a 19th century grand ocean cottage in Maine, the hotel actually feels quite sterile and without character. And the beauty of the scenery has been overtaken by the golf course. Two days and $2,200 later, I felt more like a chump than a pampered guest.

Stayed December 2005
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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954 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 (266)
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English first
Stamford CT
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2005

I have stayed at about 10 different Ritz-Carltons around the world. This place has the makings of a pretty great place - ideal location (30 minutes south of SFO), incredible golf, breathtaking views of the Pacific. But, it just did not live up to what I normally expect and receive at a Ritz. Maybe it is because there is very little to do at or around the hotel if you don't golf. Maybe it is because the weather is not normally ideal (high 50s/low 60s and rain) alot of the time. If your idea of relaxation is outdoor activity or even lounging by a pool, this is not it. I am not sure I even know where the pool was, but it was too cold and rainy any way. This place is aimed at business people and golfers. Dining choices are limited at the hotel. The two restaurants I tried in Half Moon Bay were overpriced and not very good. Staying here as a base for a trip to San Fran is not a good idea. It is about an hour from the city. Now for the service at the hotel. There was something missing that I can't explain. It was the little things like having to call housekeeping twice to get the right pilliows (which never came), having to call in-room dining twice to get the breakfast menu, and asking the front desk for casual restaurant ideas but getting very few ideas and then not knowing how to get me there. A coffee machine (this is a place for business travelers) would be nice. $35 valet parking is crazy, even by NY standards. And you don't have a choice. This is not a great place to vacation because there is nothing to do and if you are looking to play golf, you may want to try somewhere else where you are pretty sure you will get good weather (like Scottsdale). Don't get me wrong. The place is beautiful and looks and feels like a Ritz but I just can't understand why anyone would go out of their way to come here given so many other really fine resorts that offer so many more things to do.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2005

This is a hotel which is really worth the money you pay! the whole atmosphere here makes you feel sooooo good. And it is so quiet around, you are surounded by the ocean and the golfcourse.... fantastic!

It is very expensive, but there are not so many hotels that can offer such an amazing location.... and the golf course is great too. We stayed in a "partial ocean view" room with patio. the room is not very big but it's ok, classic ritz carlton room (very comfortable).

It is so delightfull to sit outside next to the fireplace, face the ocean, listen to the waves and the seagulls. Afterwards have an "aperitif" at the bar and watch the sunset .... lovely

the only negative thing about this hotel is the NAVIO restaurant, the design is great and cosy but the food and wine are overpriced. we don't care to pay 300$ if food is perfect .... unfortunately it was nothing special at all.

If we come back to San francisco we will definitly have a short trip to the ritz carlton at Halfmoon Bay but find another restaurant.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2005

Not impressed with the room decor.For the price you have to pay for a room, it wasn't worth the cost.The exterior of the building is very simple, not the grandeur of a Ritz Carlton. The Presidential Suite design is very bare, not enough decor appointments for a presidential suite.The carpet did not impress me.

Stayed August 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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New York
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2005

My family just returned back to NY after a 4 night stay at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. This Ritz property is extremely beautiful with breath taking views of the Pacific Ocean. If you like Golf the 2 courses (Ocean and Old Course) are challenging and offer great views especially the 18th hole on the Old Course. We were fortunate to stay on the club level and we were treated daily to a nice continental breakfast, mid day snacks with great cookies that our kids just could not pass up and frankly neither could we. The club level offers a nice view of the 18th hole of the Old Course so you could watch the golfers finish up. Extra thanks to Rod and Luisa and others on the Club level who showed us wonderful hospitality. The Spa in the hotel is very nice with just about every amenity you can ask for. Our guest room and guest bath were done up very nice. Our daughter went to the Ritz Kids camp for 2 days and she had a nice time. Just as you would expect everything is pricey at this hotel from the Spa to the Restaurants but eating at Caddy's restaurant in the Golf Shop was much more reasonable. It would of been nice to have an indoor pool in the hotel itself rather than the indoor pool at the common area which is quite a distance away. The valet guys were very nice as well and gave my wife a ride to a local bank. After 4 days at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay you get so spoiled that staying at any other hotel chain will seem very disappointing. Its a hard act to follow. You get what you pay for and you'll pay alot here.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2005

This was my first time staying at a Ritz Carlton property (why did I wait so long??) and although I have stayed at other high-end hotels, the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay surpasses all others because of their exceptional service. No appointment for a massage? No problem--they catered to my last-minute request. The Club Level area? Spectacular! The staff was gracious, friendly and Andrea, the guest services manager, took care of making reservations for me at an area restaurant when I could not secure reservations at Navio. The wine tasting in the evening was fabulous, the workout room well appointed, and the view from my oceanfront room and on the grounds was breathtaking. I will return!

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2005

After upgrading our AMEX card to Platinum, we decided on a spur-of-the-moment trip to see if the benefits were worth the cost. Wow! Were they ever! One call to American Express travel took care of the details and we were on our way.

From the moment we arrived to when we departed the atmosphere, service and substance of the property never failed to impress. Our American Express benefits were the icing on the cake.

We booked the most inexpensive room available for one night. When we arrived, the hotel upgraded our room to a 600 sq ft ocean view room, provided a $70 gift certificate to the hotel gift shop and promised a free continental breakfast the next morning. While we did not use it on this trip, we also could have had a Noon check-in and 4 PM check-out.

The room was on the small side, but magnificent none-the-less. I laughed when I saw the minibar cabinet labeled "Private Wine Cellar" until I opened it and found it was double the normal size with 6 full bottles of various wines in addition to the usual snacks, etc. The bathroom was a dream with the best personal care products we have ever seen. We even purchased some to take home with us! The continental breakfast the next morning was excellent with bowls of fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and enough pastry to feed a large family.

While the accommodations are great, it is the service that makes the Ritz stand out. Every single level of service far exceeded my expectations. Nobody ever failed to greet us, many times by name. It is an interesting experience to walk down a hall and have the staff (who is discretely connected by radio) say "Hello, Mr. X" and "Good Morning, Mr. X" when you haven't met them yet. When we asked for extra bath products, we neglected to remove the "Do Not Disturb" sign from our door. After calling housekeeping, I was surprised about 2 minutes later to have the phone ring and be told that the staff was outside my door and did not knock because my sign was there. When we wanted to go to downtown Half Moon Bay (the shopping and food are outstanding!) we were told that the valet would take care of our request. After speaking with the valet, he immediately arranged for a private chauffer to take us to our destination. For the return trip we were provided with a cell phone number. After dining, I asked the hostess to place the call for us and the car (a black Cadillac Escalade) was waiting for us when we exited the restaurant.

The lounge, fire pit, spa, golf course and wine cellar all match the service and substance of the room - it's a full package of excellence.

If you ever need to feel like royalty when you get away, this hotel is the place to go!

Negatives: Emergency flashlight needed to be replaced, some paperwork did not match our American Express benefits (but we got all of the benefits without asking). $35 parking fee is excessive.

Positives: Service! Service! Oh yah - Service! Beautiful coastline, exquisite surroundings inside and out.

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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
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:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels 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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