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“Exceptional” 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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Complimentary Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Half Moon Bay
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2007

We booked an ocean view room at the last minute to celebrate our anniversary. Yes, the rates were expensive, but it was absolutely worth it for the size, cleanliness, and view of the room. They even did a complimentary evening turn down with rose petals (!) on the bed to help us celebrate. The staff, particularly in the dining area and spa went out of their way to assist us. We would definitely stay here again.
Just as a note to those considering the "fire pit rooms" - you may want to be very specific about which room you want. We noticed that some of them are adjacent to the back courtyard where there is a lot of foot traffic. It didn't look like it would be comfortable having other guests walking by and peeking into your private moments.

  • Liked — Beautiful view, spacious room
  • Disliked — Pricey rate
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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1,102 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (330)
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2007

My friend and I were soooo excited to stay here. I had recently miscarried and she was beyond stressed with work so we chose the Ritz Carlton as our escape. We stayed in a club level room on account there are several complimentary food presentations everyday. The food was delicious and there was wine and dessert liquors in the evenings. We didn't get the room we thought we would though, there is a picture on the website of a windowseat and we naturaly assumed we would have one. Not so, it turns out those are the first to be reserved and you have to ask for one special.

Our room was nice, but I am 5 feet tall and the shower sprayed me right in the face and there is no way to adjust it, nor was there any room to avoid it.

We ate at Navio and were pretty impressed. We both had the tasting menu the first night. The lobster dish was absolutly to die for, but for $105 I expected each dish to wow me. I can't remember what I ate the second night, but I do remember paying ten dollars for a bottle of pelligrino.

The spa facility is beautiful and very well kept. I was happy with my treatments, and my friend was happy with hers. Our only complaint is perhaps we should have been asked if we would like the water to be left running during our wraps. Oh, and the haircut I got was terrible. I had to go to my room and completely start over. The gal was nice, but didn't even put product in my hair before she blow dried it. I ended up looking like Tony Danza. They did adjust the price 30% for me when I expressed my distaste.

Over all we had a good time. The views were astounding and I saw the most glorious sunset of my life. The staff was very friendly and was able to anticipate our needs. I won't return, mostly because I would prefer smaller inn and a better spa.

  • Liked — relaxing in the spa
  • Disliked — My terrible haircut
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2007

We had booked a room with a firepit - for the express reason of celebrating with our wine from Napa and dinner via room service on July 4. The room did indeed have a firepit - but it also came with a rest room that was open to the public - right next door! This was room #469. If you are planning to stay there do not allow this hotel to book you into it, or I would say even the two rooms down from it. When sitting at the firepit (which, by the way, contained many cigarette butts and a MacDonalds chicken nugget box) - any walkers on the cliff path that were waiting for their loved ones to finish up in the rest room - were basically standing on the path looking right at me. Delightful. As was the smell from the rest rooms each time the doors opened.

We received a room change - to a lesser room without a firepit - and ended up eating dinner in the same lounge we had had eaten for lunch. Same menu. Same slow service. We were not impressed.

I noticed also that the jacuzzi overlooking the ocean was not working - as mentioned by a couple of previous reviewers.

This hotel is simply not what it's pretending to be. It is badly designed for getting around - if you are on the north side of the hotel you have to take two separate elevators to get to the entrance onto the main viewing area. With a long walk in between the elevators. There is no good lobby area for sitting. Its rooms are not large enough for the furniture they contain. The pool is quite a distance - and that can be a cold distance in the myriad fog - from the main hotel. And of course the $39 per day charge for parking is outrageous - however we did know that going in.

My husband did enjoy the golf and the spa was nicely done although again the hotel could have done a much better job of making sure you knew that using all the spa facilities was included in the price of the room. My make-up application and lesson from Claudia was absolutely first class.

Perhaps all would have been well if we had been given a decent room - but that's the risk you take when you try to act like the Four Seasons but actually try to deceive your guests into sleeping in a room next to a public toilet. Don't forget they still got our money. Bait and switch anyone?

  • Liked — Golf and spa services
  • Disliked — Sub par room
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2007

I don't know why I continue to patronize this chain. In this case, I was intrigued by the Afternoon Tea service - their website advertises that it is served daily in the Library. However, we arrived to find that our service had been set up in the Conservatory. Fine, I suppose, but no white table cloths, just a glass table among other guests not having tea. Apparently, we were the only ones. Which I only find annoying because when I called to make a reservation a week ago, I was told that I would have to be wait-listed. I then sent an email to the hotel, no response. At this point, I really wanted tea (as we haven't had proper tea servcie since our return from London). Had to call the restaurant manager, who "secured" a reservation for us, but failed to mention why we were really wait listed. Turns out, the tea server was not working that day because no one had made a tea reservation (except us). So no, demand on a Monday afternoon is not high. And we happened to be lucky that the stand-in server knew how to serve the tea we were told, which was nothing special. Food does not come out in a tiered tray, you get one scone each, and a bunch of frivolous desserts. If you've done tea in London, the tea here is just sad. Perhaps they provide a more elaborate service on the weekends. One can only guess since the restaurant manager doesn't like to give away any additional information via email or phone call.

Other disappointments:
Turndown requested at 6 pm. They arrived at 6:40, exactly the same time we returned to the room.
Lunch in the Conservatory: My husband's burger arrived 20 minutes after my entree. Had I not flagged the server down (who was busy doing who knows what) - we probably would have waited longer. How does a Ritz hotel restaurant not understand that people like to eat their entrees at the same time? We heard the table nearby complain about how long they had been waiting (40 minutes) and at one point, they considered just getting up and leaving. They were not happy.
Left our room to find someone had placed an empty wine glass in front of our door. Asked the front desk to have it removed. 2 hours later, it was still there.
Shower is not abnormally small. However, it is too small for a rainforest showerhead, which meant I had no where to stand to shampoo and soap up without being directly under water.

I did appreciate very much the room upgrade we were given at check in. We had booked a Courtyard View Room, which the desk requoted at $399/night at check in. Of course they failed to mention the $25 "resort fee" that will appear on your bill at check out. They did readjust this for me, as I was never informed of the additional fee. Let me guess, no one really is. Why not just be upfront about the actual rate before taxes? Soapbox: I don't understand why some hotels in this price bracket need to nickel and dime you. This just shows that they do not understand their clientele. Set your price and include whatever you need to include. If I didn't want to pay up, I would stay elsewhere (of course had I known about the sorry tea service...)

Room was nice, though bordering on bland for a Ritz. Decor is more seaside upscale, less luxurious than, say, the Ritz in San Francisco (another subpar service experience). The porter who was very thorough in explaining the room features was appreciated as well. At least one person on staff was able to rise to the occasion and do their job as it should be done.

I actually was glad to leave this place. We had planned on having breakfast here for the convenience factor. However, I wasn't looking forward to any more service issues in the restaurant. We had a plane to catch. We found several cute coffee shops downtown, only 5 minutes away by car.
Would love to return to Half Moon Bay for a day trip. If longer, we would not consider staying here again. If I am going to pay Ritz prices, I expect Ritz service and nothing less.

  • Liked — view of the ocean
  • Disliked — hidden "resort fee" charge, restaurant, front desk, and housekeeping service
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2007

Our trip to half moon bay was on accident. We arrived in Napa Valley looking forward to our stay, unfortunately when we arrived the rain was horrible (which later become one of Napa's worst floods). After New Years Eve, with a night being stuck in our hotel due to floods, our wine excursion was going to be extremely limited so we attempted to escape and head back to LA. After the drive and entering the Bay Bride thoughts passed our mind of catching a good sleep in San Fran. however I suggest to my bf that we might get stuck here if the rain continues. So we headed over to Half Moon Bay, and I had no problem with the Ritz, the room was nice, and the valet, and staff were very friendly. We thought about staying a couple more days, but to be honest we just wanted to get back home. I have some short videos of the room, however my video skills are horrible, and you might get motion sickness.

  • Stayed January 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2007

We stayed at HMB for 2 days, over Memorial Day weekend. We had reserved a "coastal view" room for over $500/night. We arrived around 10pm and were shown to a room that a) stank of mildew and b) opened onto the terrace at the back of the hotel right by the main entrance to the terrace. People were coming and going constantly immediately outside our room's so-called "private" patio. When we complained about both the smell and the lack of privacy, we were told that the hotel was completely full but that they could move us at 10am then next day. We suffered through the night in the smelly room. 10am came and went the next day; they kept us waiting around until 1pm before they finally moved us to a new room. The new room was what they call an "ocean view" - it was considerably smaller, and looked out onto the last green of the ocean golf course! Again, people were coming and going directly outside our so-called private patio all day. We decided not to be moved again as it would be more upheaval for debatable improvement, but these rooms are quite clearly not up to the standard expected when one is paying these prices.
The service was also annoying and not at all up to Ritz-Carlton standards. No one was outright rude, but the 3-hour wait past the time were were told we would be moved was not accompanied by a single apology. We felt like the entire hotel was staffed by former telemarketers. They acted like they've been to some kind of "how to talk to customers" brainwashing camp. No fewer than 10 different people asked us in exactly the same way, with exactly the same inflection, "And where are you joining us from?" Everyone on the staff came across as very preprogrammed and insincere, and every conversation felt like an attempt to sell us something (like the bellman who interrogated us about where we would be eating over the next two days, then extolled the virtues of the hotel's restaurant despite the fact that we told him we'd already made plans).

  • Liked — The golf courses
  • Disliked — The staff and the rooms
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2007

We did not spend the night, so this review is based only on an evening visit. We stopped at the Ritz Carlton to walk the grounds, check out the hotel, and enjoy coffee after dinner in town.
Arriving just as it became dark, we missed the turnoff to the "coastal access" parking and pulled into valet parking. We were not interested in valet parking and simply asked for directions to the self-park lot. The valet told us that parking was all valet parking, which we knew was not true. When we repeated our request for directions to other parking, he became snotty--told us again he would park our car "unless we had a problem with valet parking." By then, we did.
We explained that we wanted to walk the grounds (and why should we have to explain anything to a 20-year-old?) and he told us he would drive us down away from the building (in our car!) and drop us off so we could walk back. When we laughed at that, he told us we could take a chance of finding one of the few possible empty spots at the golf center. Again, his attitude was quite rude.
We drove, gosh, maybe 200 feet and found the other free parking area. There were easily 50 empty spots there, where we parked before wandering up the beautiful oceanfront path to the hotel for our coffee.
We've stayed at many top-notch hotels, and we've never encountered this type of attitude from valets before. Sometimes we want valet parking; sometimes we don't. Either way, it is our choice, and we don't appreciate being bullied by an adolescent.
On the plus side, the coffee was great, and the view from the bar was outstanding.
Strangely, this hotel has no grand lobby. Its entrance lobby is miniscule. Maybe it's because they want to guide you to the back of the hotel where the view is, but it's unfortunate the entrance is so small and bland.

Stayed May 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 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 #1 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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