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“Nice New Year's Eve at Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Half Moon Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 January 2014

My husband, two daughters and I just returned from our fourth annual NYE stay at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. Overall it was a very pleasant stay, and we most likely will return again next year as it's a fun way to spend the evening celebrating. For the most part, everything went smoothly. The car drop-off was quick, check-in was pleasant despite a bit of a wait (they offer champagne for adults and hot apple cider for kids while you wait), and our luggage arrived at our room fairly quickly. We had Room 220, one of the "Coastal View" rooms with two beds, which was very nice although the beds were a bit narrow to accommodate two people.

The highlight for the evening was enjoying a leisurely dinner in the lounge area where they set up the NYE band and dance area. We enjoyed a variety of shared plates which while fine, weren't exactly what I would call "inspired." The calamari had to be sent back as it was room temperature and even once it was warmed up, it was somewhat average. The other dishes including the crostini with goat cheese and beets was also fine but nothing spectacular. However, the service was very friendly and attentive, which helped make up for the average food.

The evening is a great event for couples and families alike, and this is one of the main reasons we like coming here. Our young daughters get to partake in both the dining and dancing experience along with the adults and there's no sense that they are "in the way."

We had breakfast in the lounge area the next morning and there were a few more hiccups in that one of the place settings didn't have a fork, the toast was presented dry with no butter or jam, and they didn't provide ketchup for the kids' potatoes so we had to request all of these things.

The only real negatives were with respect to the room. Because of its location right underneath one of their restaurants, I was awoken at 2:30a.m. to what sounded like scraping chairs -- the crew must have been cleaning up from the NYE event. The sound continued non-stop for at least 45 minutes or until I dozed off again. I then heard it again at 3:30a.m. which was surprising. Finally heard it again at 7a.m. which, I assume, meant they were setting up for breakfast.

The other issue is that the ground floor rooms right below us have outdoor sitting areas with fireplaces -- very nice to look down on. However, the couple occupying that room used it to smoke cigars and cigarettes often, which meant I had to close our sliding door to prevent the fumes from wafting in, which was unfortunate.

So for the amount of money paid for the room, the noise above and the smoke drifting up were a disappointment - be aware of these potential issues if you request one of the Coastal Rooms (but they have wonderful views!).

Nonetheless, it was a pleasant stay all-in-all and a fun way to ring in 2014.

Room Tip: Make sure you find out whether your room is underneath one of the restaurants, as you'll hear th...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank 61Kristin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephanie L, Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2014

Dear 61Kristin,

What a wonderful way to celebrate the New Year with your family. We can't thank you enough for choosing to spend such a special occasion here at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, for the consecutive fourth year. We always try to put on a compelling and inclusive evening of dining and entertainment, and it sounds like everyone found something to love.

I would like to personally apologize for both the overall quality of your dining experiences and for the issues encountered in your room. In all of our dining outlets, our chefs strive to provide fresh, innovative options year-round. As you noted, great service is a hallmark of The Ritz-Carlton experience, and I'm happy to hear that our exceptional staff was able to, in some part, make the meals more enjoyable. As frequent guests you're familiar with the level of quality that we're capable of, and your next visit is sure to be more in line with those standards.

We look forward to seeing you and your family again soon, whether on New Year's Eve or prior. Until then, we wish you health and happiness in 2014.

Sincerely,
The Ladies & Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

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Reviewed 2 January 2014 via mobile

Having stayed at many fine hotels this property is nice but not enough for the cash -

Rooms (carpets, furnishings) are showing there age...

Parking at $45 a night and $15 resort fee add to the insult - nice but not nice enough...

Dining experience was "ok" but weekend brunch was very festive (should be for $100 per person)

Note: there are not any other 4 star plus options South of San Francisco along highway 1

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank BriefBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephanie L, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2014

Dear BriefBoy,

Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. We're so glad that you chose our resort, we're sorry to hear that you didn't feel as though you received adequate value. Our guests' satisfaction is our number one priority, and we would love to learn more about your experience so that we can make the necessary adjustments. Please let me know what is the best way for me to contact you and begin the process of making things right. We know that there's an exceptional experience to be had, and would love another opportunity to show you what makes our resort so special.

Sincerely,

The Executive Office
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

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Reviewed 1 January 2014

Between Christmas and New Years my wife and I took a few days just get out of the house. Northern California desperately needs rain just now, and to try to lure some, we drove all weekend w the top down and endured the polar‘70 degree temps.

Among our stops was the Ritz Carlton Hotel, which is a seaside golf resort south of San Francisco. My wife had toured it for business events she runs, and while it was not large enough for her needs, but she was charmed by the place and always wanted to return on a pleasure trip.

Driving up to the property from the highway, the Hotel appears like a European House. Not a house like yours with bins of old pampers and raccoons living in dilapidated cars. Rather the sort house with a huge staff, courtyards and fountains, and it is striking. You approach at a 45 degree angle and notice the majestic cliffs and brooding pacific behind the hotel, and the manicured golf course beside it. Immediately you feel as if you have arrived at a destination, which is how you should feel at a resort.

We stayed in San Francisco the previous night, so while our trunk had bags we were not unloading anything here. We hoped to simply park, have lunch and a cocktail, however it is not possible to do this. You must valet park.

Starting in November, there are ads on television showing families who for the holidays give each other Lexus or Audi SUVs instead of a Starbucks card or a flagon of Makers Mark as the people I know do. Those people are not actually fictitious as I previously imagined; and to see them in the wild the Ritz Carlton is where you need to go.

Approaching the beautiful colonnades of the Ritz Carlton’s entrance possibly half of the guests had to stop, back up and consider how to negotiate one of those things… what are they called…a turn. Others simply block a lane of traffic or two, and unload bags, bikes, backpacks, games, and packages, knowing someone will collect them. I myself am not except from the chaos at this resorts entrance. The valets here dress in costumes of the golden era of motorcars, that is to say jodhpurs, and argyles. Toad of Toad Hall has been my lifelong roll model, and had I known in advance, I would have been at the wheel, and I would have run each of them into a swamp, just as Toady would have; making me as guilty as the rest of the incompetent motorists, so who am I to point fingers?

The point is, you can’t park your own car, so you have to use the valet (and pay) watch out for kids and other idiot drivers, try to be considerate, and don’t act surprised when you arrive, the hotel did not sneak up on you. Have your stuff ready, and $10.00 in your pocket.

The entrance to the resort is a forced muster of arrivals and departures, and the copious belingings of the austentagious, and poorly behaved children gave me second thoughts, which I wish I would have acted on. (departing is worse) Eventurally we ambled past a pretty christmas tree, and play house made of cookies and candy, and poked around for a place to sit. but again, it was not so much crowded ad cluttered. A fireside couch with a childs bike against it, coat and helmet on floor. Chairs askew, tables with boxes or back packs or part of a picnic. I must point out that this place can’t always be this way, but the holidays lure actual children as well as realtors, district mgrs and other golfing flotsom here so this was what we saw.

Eventually we found a bar, where a bowl game was playing on Television. (I was pleased to see televisiones were tastfully abesnt most places) There was a nice ocean view from some of the windows. The bar was a mess, and the bar tender (who made fantastic drinks) seemed to need to be prodded to realize we wished to order something.

The windows were greasy, and tables had not been bussed. The seats at the bar were also untidy, and we were not sure if this are was open, or if had just hosted a Hurricaine Katrina theme party. We had wanted to eat but never got offered that choice, so that was that.

The Beer list is about that of Applebees, which is fitting for the clientelle, the wine list is far more elaborate, and the cocktail list has some house choices that were interesting and ours were very good.

The view outside is remarkable, and the main draw to the place. Many of the guest had small dogs along with them, which is heart warming if you your hygene results in few human friends, or if you just like dogs. Our dogs are of the sort often associated with fighting rings, tho in truth, like myself they are cowards. However they are splendid company and we are happy to partonize dog friendly businesses. I did not see any large dogs at all, so if you wish to bring one, you should ask first I suppose. The Hotel may have restritions on size of dogs, but I can promise you, they don’t impose that on the human guests.

I got a chuckle from a large family each dressed in Harvard gear, sitting together politly chatting and laughing, just as a mob Raiders fans might at a differently priced resort or on haloween. Speaking of Raiders, if you have a peg leg, an eye patch or scurvey and the Ritz Carlton seems like a splendid place to enjoy the best of outdoors without having to deal with crumbly slopes or difficult ascents to the beach. Walking the grounds outside felt tame and easy. It was in no way rugged or difficult.

*Guests can also take a trail down to the beautiful rocky beach and enjoy a demonstration of where Mommy’s fur coat comes from, and taste free-range piniped jerky like the Native Americans made. (*Not really)

The water here is cold but not deathly cold, so it makes sence that most children will choose to avoid grandma and spend all day in the water and digging in the sand, and really who can blame them? Any tide has potential danger, and the sea is a wild place so they should be supervised.
I have received many a stern talking to about tracking mud into nice hotels who should have known better than to allow me to lodge in their facility. I saw no signs asking guest to remove sandy shoes or wet gear, so one must assume the facility does not mind.

The resort was bustling, which is good to see after such a long time with a bad local economy. Most of the guests seem to be made up of families and about half seemed to be foriegn born. There also were lots of couples, some gay. If this freeks you out you may wish to consider Utah for your holidays.

When it was time to go, we waited our turn, and gave the valet supervisor our valet card, and someone returned with our car. (skillfully sloloming past the BMW and Escalades going wrong directiongs) As he arrived, it was apparent they had put the convertible top up for us, however this was done without our being asked and was not done correctly. Our car with it’s odd fabric roof half opend looked a bit like a conostoga wagon. To remedy this, the valet had chosen to try every switch on the car, and had turned on some lights, deactivated others. We eventually needed to remove the bags from the trunk, and close then reopen the roof and reload the bags to be able to drive the car. It was the sort of thing that could have happened anywhere, but was an annoying farewell, to a visit that was not really very pleasant.

The glorious aspects of the Ritz Carlton are obvious, it’s pretty and looks old, it’s built in a beautiful spot, it’s exclusive, and would impress most people. The sceenery while playing golf would be as nice as anywhere, however I kept feeling like Mr Wonka needed to appear and remove several of the guests. We each had one cocktail and both were very good and the bill was $42.00 Considering the venue is a world class resort, is fair enough, but I did not in any way find the place aluring, was not treated particularly well, and will in the future choose the Moss Beach Distillery to entertain friends, or to stay in Carmel rather than retun.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Gigantalope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

We have stayed at a number of Ritz Carltons around the world, but, the Ritz Carlton here in Half Moon Bay California is among the best. Stayed to celebrate our anniversary on Christmas Eve and the staff didn't miss a beat in making sure our celebration was special. Our check in staff whose name started with an A was so warm and welcoming. We had a wonderful room on the club lounge overlooking the ocean and golf course. Bed was decorated with rose petals in the shape of a heart with a complimentary bottle of wine and chocolate dipped strawberries awaiting us. Great touch. We originally were going to eat away from the hotel, but, the ambience and the location of the hotel with its views did indeed remind us of the highlands and persuaded us to just stay at the hotel and enjoy the complete experience there. Had a nice lunch at the outdoor deck which featured the best shortrib sliders for $18.00. Walked the beautiful walkway around the hotel, sat by the fireplace outside enjoying some wine and the bagpipe ceremony at sunset. Had dinner at the Conservatory restaurant which is more casual than their main dining room Navio. Both restaurants are very good with Navio being more high end. (We spent a new year's eve at Navio one year) Conservatory was more casual with a soft jazz duo playing during this evening. My husband had one of the best pasta dishes with a creme marinara meat sauce and I was still full from lunch so I ordered a calamari Caesar salad. When the salad came out with cold fried calamari, the waitress gladly brought a plate of freshly made calamari fritte as a replacement. Whoever trains the staff at this hotel does a great job. We were so enthralled with the atmosphere and scenic location of this hotel that we cannot wait to return. It made us feel as if we made a brief escape to Europe.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the main building with an ocean or coastal view. There are rooms with private fir...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank tomtom9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013

Had a great stay such a cool spot on the cliff facing ocean

hard to walk down to the southern beach but possible . This is not on the ocean but rather on the cliff above the beach . Such a nice spot to get away from it all and perfect for driving to san fran or the coast.

cool club house and golf reminded us of Ireland

Not best for folks with difficulty in walking and kind of isolated by itself. Must have car to go to cool in town spots. art and shops there really great and unique friendly folks here.

worth it but not the best ritz its a big box hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank k123-foodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2013

My husband & I had the perfect getaway to this beautiful hotel with spectacular ocean views! Upon arriving, from the welcoming valet to the wonderful front desk staff, you immediately feel special and welcome at this gorgeous hotel. No detail is overlooked.... rooms are lovely and after a delicious dinner in the conservatory with outstanding service, we opted to sit around the fire pit outdoors and watch the glorious sunset and take in the beautiful view... couldn't be more relaxing.
Christmas decor was beautiful throughout the hotel, fireplaces aglow in many rooms and we can't wait to come back in the spring and celebrate our anniversary at the Ritz!

Room Tip: Try and book a higher room to take in the ocean view
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank cat6789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2013

There are very few hotels I have stayed in that truly have the "wow" factor. This would be one. From the minute you pull into the driveway when bellhops and valets gently remove all of your luggage and guide you to check-in to when you arrive in your well appointed room, you truly feel like you have arrived somwhere special. While the rates are some of the highest in the US, you do get what you pay for.

The rooms facing the Pacific are spectacular, even the courtyard rooms are perfectly nice. The beds are plush, the bathrooms well stocked and modern and there is plenty of space. What really sets this property apart is the service and the location.

Sunset is something to behold and the staff seems to anticipate your needs and is genuine, unobtrusive and yet attentive. The comments that the property is a bit "off the beaten path" is true and with only two dining choices (one more casual and one formal), you can run out of choices after a couple of days if you do not want to leave the property.

The parking garage that allows public acess is not an eye sore as it is somewhat hidden but it is an odd touch to an otherwise prestine property. You really do get what you pay for and if you want a "Swiss like" experience with flawless service this is a real winner.

Room Tip: Try for a room facing the water
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Jesse1
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 94019-2376
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Half Moon Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Half Moon Bay
#1 Family Hotel in Half Moon Bay
#1 Romantic Hotel in Half Moon Bay
Price Range: £462 - £1,191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 highlights the beauty of the Northern California coast with a modern and elegant decor. ... 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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