Half Moon Bay is quickly becoming one of our favorite weekend getaway locations. We’ve visited with the kid’s in family-friendly hotels, as well as enjoyed romantic getaways just the two of us. Located up the coast from us on Highway 1, we had a chance to stay at the simply gorgeous Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay overnight and we made the most of our 24 hours at the resort! In photographs, you’ll see that the hotel is on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a stunning and private location. As you drive in, you’re greeted by about half-dozen eager valet parking attendants and bellmen dressed in golf gear ready to take care of you. Your car is situated for you and your bags are kindly gathered to take to your room. Registration is a breeze with a friendly staff who greet you in the best way possible, with a glass of local red or white wine, your choice!
Our room was ready and we were ready to start off our weekend, with wine in hand we made our way to our Terrace Fire Pit guest room. I had such an excited feeling already for just having the opportunity for a weekend away with my husband, but a fire pit terrace with an ocean view, and this glass of white wine we were enjoying, just sent me over the edge with happiness. Let me tell you the luxurious room did not disappoint! Wow were the words I kept murmuring over and over as we entered the room. We sat our drinks down and had to inspect the bathroom because it was the first room you see when you walk in the door. The marble everything in the room was simply beautiful, we quickly wrote down bath/shower on our to-do list for the next few hours. Because, that is what you do when you have a limited time in an amazing place, you plan out your activities by the hour.Making our way through the room we saw the feather bed that just invited a nap (jot that down on the to-do list), neat closet/shelving/television unit, desk, and chair with ottoman. The duvets and 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets were so silky I knew getting out of bed the next morning was going to be tough.
The grey, silver, and white room decor just made the vibrant greens and blues out the windows pop even more.The closet kept an umbrella to use around the grounds, cozy terry robes for guest usage, and a cool Nespresso coffee maker. (To-do list: make tea before nap)
Without further ado, we made our way outside onto our terrace. A basket just inside holds a warm blanket to take out with you on cooler days and it was here where we perched for a good hour with our wine on the beach style Adirondack chairs overlooking the ocean around the firepit. The scenery is spectacular, the beauty is just breathtaking, and it’s so very quiet that you can only hear the flames wafting in the light breeze.
Flash forward about 2 hours, we checked some items off our to-do list and then toured the property. The weather had gotten cooler and windier, but we made our way through the hotel checking out their sundry shop and 16000-square-foot spa. We headed outdoors to the ocean lawn where you’ll find 3 more large community firepits and tons of seating overlooking the ocean. Waiters are available to take drink and food orders or you can walk over to the ocean terrace bar area. We found a firepit and they provide blankets out here too and settled in with a beer for him and second glass of wine for me and we share a cup of clam chowder to keep warm.
The weather brought us back into the hotel and we found more cozy fireplace locations in the main part of the hotel. The “library” had tables and booths and even televisions with sports on if you like. Adjacent to that room another with even more comfortable chairs facing the fire. Here’s where we planted ourselves for about two hours with a book, crossword puzzles, and quiet conversation. The hotel’s wine bar called my name while we sat and relaxed. Well why not, it’s just the next room over as sommelier Todd Brinkman was opening up shop. The space was gorgeous, wall to ceiling wines, a gorgeous wooden bar with wine names carved into the tabletop. Comfortable stools awaited me as I strolled in and excited perused the wine list. I knew for sure I wanted to do a flight and also ordered my style of dinner, a cheese board with a variety of fresh goodies, breads, and nuts. With so many great choices, I opted for a flight of three wines that were labeled under “Hard to Pronounce, Easy to Sip.” The first was a local Gewertraminer from Thomas Fogarty in Santa Cruz, then there was a Mourvedre from France, ending with a Cabernet blend (with four other tongue-twisting varietals) from Portugal. The sommelier educated me and my neighbor who chose the same flight on the wines while we talked travel and life.
The night came to a close quickly and we called it a night. We returned to our room with not only our outdoor fire pit lit, but the television tuned to the fireplace channel and chocolates on our pillow. A lovely and comfortable slumber came and went pretty quickly and we woke to a crisp morning, but clearer day. I made a cup of coffee (the coffee maker is LOUD and caused my husband to wake) and took it out onto the terrace with that blanket. Golfers were out and about as were walkers and joggers.Once showered and ready for the day we went for breakfast at Navio, though we chose to eat in the Conservatory lounge area. Banquet benches or tables allow for a good seat everywhere looking out onto the ocean lawn, golf course, and ocean.We took a walk around the property on this brisk morning and the views were just beautiful. Looking south, the sun rising over the mountains just gave off enough heat to take the edge off as we sat and watched the waves.We walked over to the Colony Club just across the putting green from the hotel to the pool. The partially enclosed area offers heated swimming 7 days a week and a hot tub in the same facility.The two championship golf courses are host to professionals and novices alike and surround the coastal property.Even with our late checkout it was hard to say goodbye to such an amazing place. Thankfully the trip rejuvenated us and gave us the strength and motivation for the work week ahead and to get back to our kids.
A spot just a few miles from Half Moon Bay is the Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero, and we love stopping there for a few photos on our way up or back.The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay is luxury at it’s finest in such a perfect coastal California location. It’s host to weddings, has a kid’s program, is dog-friendly, offers great packages (include babymoon deals), and would make for a great girl’s spa getaway all year-round. To make reservations or learn even more, visit their site, http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/half-moon-bay.
Our lodging and parking was hosted, though the meals and wine bar costs were our own. All opinions are 100% ours.