The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay cliff-side resort just south of San Francisco offers tranquillity when desired and adventure when needed
Driving along the quiet coastal road that leads to the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay gives the feeling of peering into a window on the American dream. You’ll pass tree-lined pavements and pastel-coloured wooden beach houses, whose residents bask in the warmth of the sun and inhale the salt-spiked ocean air blowing
idly over the coastal bluffs from the crystalline Pacific beyond. It’s quite an introduction to what follows…
Located just 35 minutes south of San Francisco, the Ritz-Carlton boasts a secluded plot of land where tranquillity reigns but adventure is never far away. It takes little energy to enjoy the uninterrupted ocean views, the 16,000sqft spa, the 400-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and the muted coastal décor that blends seamlessly with the environment. A round on one of the hotel’s two championship golf courses – the only coastal courses in the Bay area – may require a little more exertion, but you can soon return to sipping a glass of local pinot noir on the terrace. Indeed, with five distinct regions to explore around the coastal city of Half Moon Bay, pleasing everyone isn’t a stretch, no matter what they demand from their downtime.
Director kept an open mind and embraced the Californian outdoors in the Redwoods Region, exploring the forest trails in Wunderlich County Park, cowboy-style on horseback, before getting lost in one of the 70-plus wineries in the neighbouring Santa Cruz mountains region – we recommend the award-winning Thomas Fogarty Winery, which was in the Wine & Spirits’ Top 100 list of 2016.
Gastronomes can explore the organic farmers’ markets and artisan wares in the Pumpkin Region (San Mateo County claims to be the pumpkin capital of the world), but we headed back to our coastal digs for a locally sourced sustainable dinner in the Conservatory at the Ritz-Carlton. After a truly delicious crab linguine
and a 30-day aged ribeye, followed by a cocktail made with fresh, home-grown piquant herbs, we retreated to the outdoor terrace, huddled under a plaid blanket and toasted s’mores around one of the communal fire pits to a soundtrack of calming waves beneath the setting sun. If this is the American dream, we’re sold.
View the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay gallery