When looking for a luxury hotel/resort to celebrate a special occasion, I know that I can trust the quality of a Ritz-Carlton property.
I have stayed at many Ritz-Carlton’s around the world and am a big fan of this brand for several reasons.
Here are my five-star points as to why I enjoy staying at Ritz-Carlton hotels:
🌟 The level of service is excellent and consistent within each hotel and resort
🌟 The rooms and quality of linens are luxurious
🌟 The hotels are well located
🌟The décor and ambiance have a distinctly luxury hotel feel
🌟 The Ritz-Carlton’s Club Lounge! Offering champagne (my favorite part) and top shelf liquor with three food presentations daily.
Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, California
The special occasion that I was designing was a two night stay to celebrate New Years Eve. I had a specific criteria in mind. I decided to plan a stay that would be just for my husband and I. I wanted it to be romantic, with an elegant dinner, and a dance with balloon drop to bring in the New Year. I began by creating a checklist of goals to insure that this special occasion would be successful:
🌟 We both love the ocean so we wanted to be located near the beach, and preferably a room with a view of the water.
🌟 We enjoy hiking and cycling and planned to exercise on the trip. A plus would be paths nearby where we could do both.
🌟 We wanted to stay on the property for all activities including a New Year’s dinner/dance celebration.
🌟 A room that had a large soaking tub (romantic)
🌟 The Club Lounge (food presentations and champagne)
🌟A beautiful spa (to enjoy a couple’s massage)
After researching several locations, it was clear to me that the Ritz-Carlton located in Half Moon Bay, California would accomplish our wish list.
I knew that this would be an excellent choice as we had celebrated our anniversary at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay two years ago. Our experience was memorable, and memories that I cherish. The clincher was that the resort was offering an interesting New Year’s Eve dinner celebration party package. It sounded like a great way to bring in the New Year!
When reserving our room, I knew that New Year’s Eve can be an expensive hotel stay. In this case, I was willing to pay the higher amount. However, I was happy to discover that, through my loyalty with their awards program (Ritz-Carlton Rewards), I was able to reserve a two-night stay for quite a bit less by using my points with cash. The points plus cash offer allows you to receive a discounted rate on a room. For example, for this stay, I used 32,000 points and paid $260 for our room per night. The full price for the same room description per night was $529. This was a savings of $269, which is about a 50% discount.
5StarTip🌟: For special occasions/holidays, most luxury properties prices are at a premium. It is often the best value to use your points at certain qualifying properties. It is best to plan ahead for special occasions and book well in advance (usually 3-4 months) while using points plus cash or just your points.
Note: I currently have “Gold” status with the Ritz-Carlton awards program. I find mentioning my status can be quite helpful in receiving room upgrades when you are checking in. Usually when hotels are at their maximum capacity, it can be challenging to receive the upgrades as most rooms have been already been booked. Therefore, it is important to ask politely, and check to see if there is an upgraded room available. In this case, I was delighted to learn at check-in that we had been upgraded to the next level room.
We arrived at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay before our check in time so we decided to enjoy lunch at the Club Lounge. This was a fabulous way to begin our stay. The Club Lounge is beautifully decorated with a cozy fireplace and couches, and is situated on the fifth floor with a breathtaking view of the coast. We found a lovely table next to the window. The staff in the lounge are very attentive. Within seconds, we were given glasses of champagne. We settled into our chairs and toasted the beginning of our special trip.
5StarTip🌟: I recommend upgrading your room to the Club Lounge level. Not only are the views special from the lounge, but the food presentations, beverages including alcohol (champagne for me), and the ambiance are well worth the splurge.
*See article about the Ritz Carlton Club Lounge to learn more what is meant by a lunch presentation – “Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Club Lounge”
After enjoying our lunch (the chef at this property is amazing!), we were informed that our room was ready. When we opened our door, we were met by a very special surprise…the entrance and bed were decorated with fresh rose petals! Wow! I loved it!
Our room was lovely, spacious and with great views of the ocean and the golf course. Just what we were hoping for!
Our room had a patio with two chairs and a nice gas fire pit. Walking out to the patio, what do we see?….drum roll please…a bottle of champagne and appetizers! Be still my heart! This was definitely turning into a Always5Star experience!
Our room also had floor to ceiling expansive windows which allowed us to wake up in the morning and enjoy the views from our bed.
5StarTip🌟: If you are staying in a fire pit room, make sure to request the s’mores kit! It is well worth it! With long sticks, giant marshmallows, Ghirardelli chocolate, and graham crackers – a wonderful treat! If you are not staying in a fire pit room, there are several fire pits located around the property that you could also use the s’mores kit to roast your marshmallows.
With further exploration of our room, we checked out the bathroom, and there was an over-sized soaking tub that I loved with a separate shower. The bathroom was spacious and supplied with luxury amenities.
Sunsets and Bagpipes:
After unpacking and sitting by our fire pit with a glass of champagne, we heard in the distance the sound of bag pipes. At the highest point on the property looking over the cliffs and crashing waves, you could see a gentlemen dressed in Scottish tradition playing the bag pipes at sunset! It is a very special moment honoring nature while transporting you to a moment in Scotland. This ritual is performed each night at sunset and is not to be missed!
– Each evening bag pipes play until the sun sets
🌟 Final Thoughts:
The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay is a resort to reserve for any special occasions and/or a relaxing vacation. However, it can also serve well for business conferences. I would highly recommend staying at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay for any reason as it will provide a special luxury Always5Star experience.
The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay exceeded my expectations! This is an Always5Star winner 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
As there are so many special features about this resort, I have highlighted them in separate posts with pictures and descriptions. Click on the links below to see other valuable information about this beautiful property.
Key activities that you can experience at this property (Links to further information):
🌟Please note: I was not compensated in any way for this post. My opinions are completely my own based on my experiences, which I paid entirely for myself.