The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay is a year-round destination. With the silhouette of a classic Scottish castle by the sea behind them, bagpipers evoke distant isles by serenading guests at sunset. Yet, the resort, set on an ocean cliff close to San Francisco, has elevated California coastal ambience with an expansive lawn, spacious rooms, a luxury spa, and upscale dining with spectacular seascapes for 15 years.
The property is celebrating its crystal anniversary in high style throughout 2016 with special amenities and spa programs. But the secret of this property’s attraction is the seamless way the seasonal glories of Northern California are conveyed to guests.
Spring is an ideal time for a visit. Mother’s Day brings extra incentives for a stay. The extensive brunch includes a tempting raw bar, smoked fish and caviar, sushi, dim sum, and an array of entrées—plus traditional live-station breakfasts with dozens of desserts.
It’s easy to work off brunch with a hike on the Coastal Trail. Golf is popular year-round, but the mild weather is especially favorable for improving your game. You can see the 18th hole of the Half Moon Bay Golf Links from many of the well-appointed, newly-renovated rooms.
During the summer, a quick drive to Half Moon Bay brings an assortment of ice cream shops, coffee cafés, diverse dining opportunities, and shopping for antiques, on-trend clothes and more. At night, movies are often shown on the Ocean Lawn.
In the fall, the Ritz-Carlton celebrates Halloween in a big way, due to its location at the epicenter of the world’s pumpkin capital. The famed Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival. In October, it is packed with pumpkin-flavored, family fun activities. At Navio restaurant, you can taste everything pumpkin, from soup to brulée, or savor the fresh seafood and farm-to-table à la carte menu. The spa presents many specialty pumpkin treatments for renewed skin and body.
An autumn drive delivers additional culinary delights. Harley Farms in nearby Pescadero offers fine California goat cheese. Scenic harvest tours begin at local Santa Cruz Mountain area wineries with legendary status. An itinerary recommended by the concierge may include lunch with stops at Thomas Fogarty Winery for Chardonnay and Ridge Monte Bello Vineyards for Cabernet Sauvignon.
As the weather cools, you can sip hot chocolate and lounge in Adirondack chairs by the fire pits on the Ocean Lawn. Set with elegant Christmas décor, the hotel features Navio’s venerable breakfast with Santa and seasonal holiday spa treatments. The Chocolate Lover’s Brunch heralds the property’s Valentine’s season. Special excitement is in the air as the hotel projects scenes from the annual winter Titans of Mavericks surf competition a few miles away.
During 2016, the Crystal Anniversary program adds motivation for a coastal visit. The celebratory package includes luxuries, such as a crystal anniversary amenity and a complimentary night after three nights. But crystal spa treatments are the starring draw. The Spa is the only Ritz-Carlton property to offer the Tatcha Crystal Luminous Facials and Crystal Radiance Massages.
The luxury Tatcha series embraces a minimal group of therapies using crystal massagers, therapeutic oils, and lights. The technique, with special lighting, known as chromotherapy, pairs colors such as blue for tranquility, purple for clarity, or green for healing. For the Crystal Anniversary, blue has been chosen to evoke a sense of serenity and to reflect the ocean waters of the Pacific.
With all the seasonal options, plus the anniversary celebration, the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay offers special impetus for a visit this year. And don’t forget the to-die-for s’mores that are offered year-round at sunset to accompany hot chocolate or cool cocktails as you watch the colors of the sun disappear into the sea.