Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay
To arrive at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, we must first drive through a quiet road flanked by the glittering Pacific Ocean on one side and millionaire’s row on the other. Upon arrival the Ritz Carlton’s Gold Standard of warm service with a genuine smile and graciousness is immediately exemplified by the front doormen, eager to welcome guests into this private sanctuary near America’s most romantic city. Once inside the lobby, it’s not unusual for guests to decide to move in permanently after just a glimpse of the inviting cozy fireplace, the contrast of rich dark woods against the airy, off white theme of the hotel and the quaint wine cart equipped with goblets and complimentary wine.
Without even venturing into the suites or cottages yet, that this hotel is the kind of place where families create lifetime memories is already apparent from the happy peals of children’s laughter mingled with the low murmurs of couples in the midst of a romantic rendezvous. Set on a huge bluff on the precipice of the Pacific Ocean, the Ritz Half Moon Bay has long been lauded for its exceptional restaurants, wine lounge and extraordinary attention to detail to make certain that every guest leaves with plans to return very soon.
Though each suite and cottage here feature the typically elegant and sophisticated furnishings of the Ritz Carlton family with luxurious bedding, plush bathrobes, marble bathrooms and every modern convenience, it is in the unusual details where this hotel propels itself to the list of the world’s best hotels. Families with children will build on picture albums with such amenities as the fire pits outside where the hotel provides marshmallow roasting kits, thick blankets on every chair and weekend Hot Chocolate bar.
Adorable rubber bath ducklings “outfitted” in Ritz Carlton’s robes are available to accompany the child in all of us during bath time. It’s quirks like this and the lone bagpipe player in Scottish kilt playing tunes at sunset that leave indelible impressions on guests. For those seeking romance, the Ritz Half Moon Bay encourages by providing suites with private fire pits on the patio.
How’s this for a challenge to the world’s finest hotels? On weekends, there is a Fire & Wine butler who drives in a golf cart, stopping at each fire-pit suite to provide a glass of wine, desserts and help with starting the fire should help be needed. Could it be that this Ritz Carlton has finally gone above and beyond the already exceptional level of service expected of such hotels to reach an unprecedented high of anticipating what guests want before even we realize it?
If guests can find the desire to leave the luxury of the suites and decadent room service, lunch at the Conservatory Lounge or a glorious dinner at critically acclaimed Navio will be well worth the walk. Chefs from around the globe contribute their culinary expertise to create beautiful California cuisine and sinful desserts. My personal favorite though is whiling an evening away at Eno, the hotel’s Wine, Cheese and Chocolate lounge. With the feeling of a private lounge/bar, Eno has thousands of international wines to complement savory cheese platters or exquisite handmade chocolates.
Should the calories be of any concern, there is a state of the art fitness center, renowned golf courses, long jogging/walking trails and best of all, the Ritz Carlton Spa. Treatments such as the Couples’ Massage and Rejuvenate Body Treatment help to detoxify and reinforce relaxation, as if that were needed.
There is no question as to how or why the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay continues to be one of the absolute favorites of seasoned world travelers with refined tastes. To best sum up every experience at this gorgeous hotel, I will quote from a five year old little boy I met months ago with his parents by the outdoor fire pit over s’mores. “Daddy, can we live here?”