Let’s face it, the city is great, but sometimes you just need to get out of town for a few days – check out the countryside, enjoy the salt air, bond with friends and simply relax. A girl’s getaway is good for the soul – and it doesn’t get much better than The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay.
Set upon a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, The Ritz-Carlton offers a stunning array of amenities. There’s a beauty salon, heated indoor pool, fitness center, gas firepits, coastside jogging and biking path, lighted tennis courts and two championship golf courses on the property.
“Our location is really what makes the resort so special,” says Deanne French, The Ritz-Carlton Director of Public Relations. “The amazing views and relaxing atmosphere can’t be found anywhere else in the area. Guests from the Bay Area love getting away without having to get on an airplane or drive several hours.” It’s true, Half Moon Bay is not a far drive. It took me just over an hour from Sonoma County. If you live close to the city – you’re looking at about 30-50 minutes and the drive is beautiful, especially when you arrive at your destination. All your troubles melt away when you roll up to the Northern California luxury resort and are greeted with a glass of wine upon check in.
Many guest rooms feature ocean and coastline views and include a marble bathroom with separate shower and bathtub vanities, plush terry bathrobes, feather beds, full sized desk and twice daily maid service.
Oh, and did I mention the 16,000 square-foot spa? A heavenly place that my girlfriends and I spent lots of time. The spa menu features an array of crushed pearl products, as well as facial, body and massage therapies to ease any spirit. “The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is my all time favorite, it’s where I go to be treated like a queen,” said hotel guest Joy Montgomery.
“The spa offers a selection of treatments that appeal to everyone,” says French. “The lounge is a great place to enjoy the company of friends and then off to relaxation in the treatment room.”
This year, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is commemorating their crystal anniversary with special spa offerings that include the TATCHA Crystal Luminous Facial. This 90-minute ultra-hydrating and firming facial incorporates a combination of rice enzyme powders, rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, to exfoliate and brighten the face while a deep hydration mask revitalizes and moisturizes.
In and Around Half Moon Bay
If your friends are like mine – they may never want to leave The Ritz-Carlton, who can blame them, but there’s a lot to see and do around the area. “The Coastal Region, where the resort resides, offers world class beaches, surfing, horseback riding and oceanfront dining”, said French. Historic Main Street offers dining, art and shopping. The Pumpkin Region (Half Moon Bay is home to one of the largest pumpkin festivals in the world occurring every October) offers organic fruit stands, wine tasting and glass blowing. “There’s also The Redwood Region for hiking, biking or horseback riding amongst the awe-inspiring Northern California scenery. Finally, the Santa Cruz Mountain Region features more than 70 wineries offering wine tasting,” said French.
Coming Home to The Ritz-Carlton
When you’re done exploring, head back to The Ritz-Carlton for lunch or dinner at one of their outstanding restaurants. Fine dining choice Navio features delicious options like olive oil poached halibut, diver scallops, Mt. Lassen trout, king salmon, filet mignon or honey glazed duck.
With its Pacific Ocean views and farm to table cuisine, the Conservatory offers a more casual atmosphere and excellent food and desserts. (highly recommend the spiced carrot cake) It’s also the perfect place to enjoy homegrown cocktails from their growing herb wall. Try the Half Moon Mule with purrissima vodka, ginger beer, fresh lime or the Orange Rum with aged and white rums, cointreau, orange blossoms.
For those who want to sip wine and enjoy a light fare to a soundtrack of crashing waves and a bagpiper playing at sunset – visit the Ocean Terrace where you’re treated to memorizing ocean views and cozy firepits.
Speaking of firepits, that’s where the girls and I ended up after dinner to toast marshmallows and craft s’mores – a signature dessert offered by the hotel. A sweet ending to a perfect staycation with your friends.
Jennifer Boden is a KRON 4 contributor and editor of California Wine and Travel. Jennifer, a former news anchor, lives and plays in Northern California’s Wine Country. Find Jennifer online at https://www.facebook.com/californiawineandtravel