Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay - Hotel Review

A California Haven with Panoramic Ocean Vistas

by Alain Gayot

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay Located in a Country-Style Setting
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is perched atop an ocean bluff but is only a 40-minute drive from downtown San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay has been wowing visitors since its opening in 2001. Situated on top of an ocean bluff, overlooking 50 miles of rugged coastline, it’s the first luxury resort to open along the Northern California coast in over a decade.

The resort’s exterior façade of natural cedar shingles coupled with its gorgeous country-style setting gives the impression of a hideaway in the Scottish Highlands. Yet in truth, the resort is a mere 40-minute drive from downtown San Francisco, making it the ultimate getaway without having to go too far at all.

The resort’s six story main building is certainly impressive but if you savor more intimate-style accommodations you can choose to stay in one of the three adjacent cottage houses. With 261 guest rooms at the resort, there’s a room with a view—of either the ocean or the resort’s two championship 18-hole golf courses—for everyone. Whether you stay in a suite, a club room or one of the terrace fire pit rooms recently outfitted with a private outdoor fire on the patio, all accommodations come complete with feather beds with duvets, 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and marble baths.

If you’re up for a challenge, then either of the 18-hole golf courses on the property should adequately test your handicap. With its authentic Scottish links design, the Ocean Course has spectacular views of the Pacific from every hole, while the Old Course weaves through cypresses, around lakes and also finishes with stunning views of the ocean.  Concentrating on your game, rather than the scenery, will be your biggest challenge.

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay's Renowned Navio Restaurant The Men's Locker Room at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay Spa

Afterwards, take time to pamper yourself following your strenuous exercise with a visit to the resort’s 16,000-square-foot spa, where you can indulge in a range of facials, body treatments and hair and nail services. Soothe your tired limbs in one of the myriad aqua facilities: try a candlelit Roman mineral bath or the indoor whirlpool.

All this effort deserves a hearty meal, and there’s no better place than the resort’s award-winning Navio restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Helmed by chef Aaron Zimmer, Navio offers up Northern California cuisine with local ocean delicacies.

Whether you're looking for a romantic or leisure getaway or a business retreat, The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay guarantees a luxurious secluded haven for all.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
One Miramontes Point Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

View more Photos of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Going to San Francisco? Check out our San Francisco Travel Guide
Find Hotels in San Francisco
Search for Restaurants in San Francisco

(Updated: 01/26/10 AR)

Sip your way through wine country with GAYOT's list of charming inns and resorts, featuring vineyards from Napa Valley to Long Island, New York.
Go off the beaten path and explore GAYOT's Top 10 Extreme Hotels, which feature one-of-a-kind accommodations for a truly unforgettable experience.