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“Not as Luxury as Their Website Wants You to Believe” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Oceano Hotel & Spa Half Moon Bay

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Oceano Hotel & Spa Half Moon Bay
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Half Moon Bay
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Not as Luxury as Their Website Wants You to Believe”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

The Ritz-Carlton sent me to this hotel as they were already sold out for a conference I attended there. I was not impressed with the Oceano hotel, especially at the price I was paying. There wasn’t one individual thing that leads me to this evaluation. It was several small things that just added up. I was debating between one and two stars but give it two because of a few positives.

The rooms are spacious with a separate sitting area, fireplace, wet bar and refrigerator. The workout facility is nicely equipped and in general the hotel makes a clean and well maintained impression. Parking is very easy under the building. I didn’t see the noise from the marina fog horn as a problem. There are some restaurant choices in walking distance. Wife is free at a decent speed (I was able to watch TV in HD with few interruptions).

The negatives for me started in the workout facility. For some, this might be a small point but when I took water from the water cooler it was full of chlorine. In other words, the hotel takes a shortcut and simply has staff refill the 5 gallon water jugs with tap water. So why am I paying $250/night? I can taste chlorine from a mile away. It is disgusting. I don’t care that people say our tap water is clean. I don’t want to taste chlorine in my water, not for what I pay for it. The fridge had two small complimentary water bottles in it. Those were never refilled.

At check-in, I asked if they had a king bed rather than the two doubles I was given. They said they were completely booked. I can tell when a hotel is completely booked. This one wasn’t, but they didn’t seem to even try or care. More on that later.

I had a beer at the bar but the bartender seemed to have friends at the bar and they received all the attention. I then decided to just take a beer to the room and order room service. The food was mediocre at best. The Caesar Salad had almost no dressing on it (it was the worst Caesar I’ve ever had, and that is a salad that is tough to screw up) and the wings were not crispy at all as advertised on the menu. They brought salt and pepper but no water on the side or anything that you would expect from a hotel that calls itself luxury.

I didn’t care for the mattress. Too firm. The TV channel selection is limited. I had to watch TBS baseball playoffs using my laptop. Ironically, they had TBS in the bar/restaurant, but given the service there I had to leave.

Here is my biggest beef with this place. I don’t think a single employee there is happy. I don’t think I saw a single smile during my stay there. When a hotel calls itself luxury, I expect some friendliness. At check-in, no friendly “welcome”. The cleaning crews would look away when they passed you in the hallways with an impression on their faces that almost seemed to say “you disgust me”. Compare that to the Ritz where I was asked by a maintenance guy if I wanted some water or coffee (ok, even I was surprised but you get the idea).

I haven’t talked about location yet. If you want something to eat in walking distance, you can have this here. You are at the marina with some restaurants, but downtown Half Moon Bay is several miles away. Beach walks are no problem.

Bottom line: I was very disappointed about this stay, mainly because it always felt as if no one cared about the guests. And how can you call yourself luxury and demand 250 bucks a night when at the same time you have staff refill 5 gallon water jugs with tap water? As one other reviewer said: it all seems to be a little off at this property.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank akschalke04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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548 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Los Angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013

I have never reviewed a hotel before but feel that I must warn anyone going to this hotel for a romantic trip. DON'T GO!!! My Husband and I visited the Oceano hotel this weekend and we were so looking forward to a quiet night to ourselves...but it didn't happen because this hotel is awful. Even though we booked way in advance, they put us in a room right next to a wedding!!! (They said it was the room type we selected but if I had been told I would be next to a banquet hall I would have picked another room type!) All evening we had the sounds of a DJ and people running up and down the hall. It did end at 11pm as promised but we were right off the lobby and gotten woken up repeatedly by drunk people several times. We tried to make the best of it and watch TV but they were small with grainy reception and no movies. Also, if you are a light sleeper there is a fog horn that goes off even 10 seconds. I will say the staff was lovely and gave us a discount for our troubles but it was so not worth it.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gemmadore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013

This is a very nice hotel, comfy furniture, artful appointments. I agree with others, it is pricey, but you know that going in. It was a special occasion for us, otherwise I might not pay that much. There a few other resort quality hotels in town, and Oceano will probably be in that class and step above all the motel type lodges. All rooms overlook the marina, which is pretty and restful. Well located and there are a number of restaurants and shops within a few steps. But, beware to ask for a room that is away from their banquets/ballroom. The was a wedding reception the night we stayed and very unfortunately our room was on the corridor to the ballroom. The music from the ballroom was fine, but guests congregated in the hallway, in the lobby and in public areas and got louder as the night went on. The staff were understanding and accommodating, even to the extent to comp our full breakfast the next morning because of the noise. So, for a special occasion, I would stay here again, but make sure you ask for a room on the other side of the hotel! And if you have the bucks, the spa experience was outstanding!

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the banquet/ballroom.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy4220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here on a Saturday night

Rooms are very nice. Great furniture. Nice bed and comfy

The hotel staff are pleasant.

Breakfast buffet was nice.

The only downside is the price. Very costly. I wish it was a little less pricey. (> 350).

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Willm95060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Healdsburg
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

This place is I not even worth the one star that I gave it! We booked two rooms at $179.00 a night and was put in a building adjacent to the the hotel and spa! We carried our own bags up two flights of stairs to our room. There was no A/C and the room was stuffy...but your on the bay! So open up the windows ..or so I thought. The one window was shut tight and c/n open the second..the crank was missing the center bay window had a sign posted DoNotOpen. We overlooked the bay but the windows was so dirty that you couldn't see out the window.

The advertisement described a Hotel and Spa with Gas Fireplace and Jacuzzi overlooking the Bay! The brochure most definitely was photoshopped and very misleading and must have been taken on the ONLY sunny day of the year (since Half Moon Bay has much of the same foggy weather as San Francisco in the summertime). It appeared as though the hotel was on a half moon beach front property with beautiful sand. In actuality there is a road that separates the dirty sandy beach from the property and the bay is quite stinky at low tide!

Although the room was pretty and the bed and linens comfortable, the bathroom toilet paper holder was broken and one had to reach behind oneself to fumble for the paper which sat on the tank of the toilet. There was no such jacuzzi in the bathroom and the romantic gas fireplace wasn't working!

I tried calling the front desk only to find out that since we were in the Inn we were not connected to the front desk via the phone in our room unless we dialed an outside number to reach them. So I took myself over to see the manager but as luck would have it he had already gone for the day!

The front desk clerk asked if we wanted to move over to the main Hotel but that meant that we had to shlep our bags down two flights of stairs, pack it back in the car and move ourselves and baggage over two driveways 500 ft away! We decided to stay put and ask that the maintenance man to attempt to get the romantic fireplace in working order. The maintenance man informed the front desk clerk that they have had numerous complaints regarding the non working fireplaces and he could not resolved the issue.

We had another problem trying to get the TV on! It needed two remotes to do so, however, we had only one in our room! Another walk over to the other building and maintenance resolution!

We decided to check out the spa..but the spa was not located in the hotel it was attached to the enclosed mall attached to the main building via the hotel. Entry was only allowed by appointment via this covered and non air conditioned mall which must have been 98 degrees midday! So we headed to the fitness center in the main hotel took the elevator but two floors turned left then left and found a room with a few pieces of equipment in it. By the way the restroom was out of order and it had a missing sink!

On our way back to our rooms I again approached the front desk to inquire where we could fine the ice machine. I was informed that there were no ice machines in the building where we were staying but on the second floor of the main hotel of which we were standing...only problem was that our ice buckets were in our rooms! Oh I was crazy! I asked the front desk to please provide two buckets so that we could get the ice while we were already there in that building and we would carry it over to our second floor rooms on our own since I already knew that that was not a service we would be entitled to in the so called Inn. However we were never told that our $179.00 plus taxes room was in the Inn to begin with!

I then asked that the manager meet with us in our room at check out time the following morning to discuss the issues we had and we headed over and up the stairs go find our toilet tissue sitting behind us on the toilet without our gas fireplace in our room with dirty windows so we couldn't see out to the bay nor open the windows for air and had only the half melted ice we carried to our own room and had to remember which remote to use first to turn on the TV. We were happy to sleep in a comfortable bed and fluffed pillows! However...the manager never showed up the following morning ....and...then...I walked back over to the front desk and asked to see him. He had me wait for 5 minutes until he was ready to see me! I reiterated my dislikes and told him that I anticipated more value for my dollar and he told me he disagreed. I asked him if he would appreciate false advertisement and brochures that were photoshopped or rooms in disrepair and he basically told me I got what I paid for! I also complained about that road between the dirty sandy beachfront and the hotel being more of a major highway with trucks passing by at the wee morning hours of 5am and could be heard through the unopened windows....so he refunded us $25.00 due to "noise". I informed him that I would be posting on Tripadvisor.com and he told me not to threaten him! He could care less! I only hope his supervisors in corporate see this posting because he should never be in hotel management and was a disgrace to the industry!

Spend your money at the Comfort Inn down the road in the same town with the sane fog and with a heated pool! There was no pool or beach at the Oceano Hotel and so called Spa.

Room Tip: Stay elsewhere!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Linda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cameron Park, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

My wife and I spent three days at the Oceano based upon a friend's recommendation. What a pleasant surprise! Our room was comparable o those we've had at the nearby Ritz. The mini-suite had a included a comfortable seating area with fireplace and an over-sized private balcony with a view of the harbor.

While the hotel amenities (bar, restaurant, spa,etc) are not quite on par with the Ritz, the older facility is very well staffed and maintained and and comfortable. We will definitely go back for another visit.

Room Tip: Ask for a large balcony with a view of the harbor. Room 302 is outstanding.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ret3348
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, California
Level Contributor
91 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

Stayed here for a wedding recently and it was overall a great hotel in a good location. Hotel is in the harbor (not really oceanside) and has nice views of the boats. The rooms are quite nice and new with ocean charm. All of the standard rooms also have a comfy sitting area, 2 TVs, fridge, and Aveda bath products. The rooms themselves are quite nice!

The location is great too- its walking distance to many of the shops and eateries in the area. We enjoyed the Half Moon Bay Brewing company which was right next door.

Tips on rooms:
The room on the 1st floor from 110-120 are literally right next to the ballroom. This is a very popular hotel for weddings and will likely be hosting a wedding there on weekends. If you are part of the wedding, then it might be convienent to stay in these. If not, I would really try to avoid them due to the
loud party noise that will likely go till 11pm.

Room Tip: Tips on rooms: The room on the 1st floor from 110-120 are literally right next to the ballroom. Th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Oceano Hotel & Spa Half Moon Bay

Property: Oceano Hotel & Spa Half Moon Bay
Address: 280 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Location: United States > California > Half Moon Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Half Moon Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in Half Moon Bay
#4 Family Hotel in Half Moon Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Oceano Hotel & Spa Half Moon Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in beautiful Half Moon Bay Harbor, the Oceano is one of the Bay Area's favorite hotels. Luxurious suites boast private balconies and fireplaces within a seaport architectural style. The hotel offers over 12,000 square feet of outdoor and indoor meeting space including the Grand Ballroom, meeting rooms with ocean views, and outdoor garden and tent space. The lobby Bar and Grill offers guests casual coastal fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner or private in-room dining. With coastal views and dedicated events staff, Weddings and banquets are our specialty. Several fine restaurants and boutiques within walking distance. Surrounding activities include golf, championship surfing, kayaking, pier and deep sea fishing, horseback riding, sailing, hiking and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Oceano Hotel And Spa Half Moon Bay
Oceano Hotel Half Moon Bay

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