North America, Photography, Travel

Hope Renewed at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

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We’re heading to the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay? I roll my eyes with such fervor I would give a 15 year old girl a run for her money. After a quick google search, this property in particular has won one of the best hotel properties in the world. Can we get any more “bougie” that that? I think I had been burned in the past. I’ve had too many people following me around in stores “preventing theft”, too many hotels turning up their noses, too many boutique stores looking horrified when I walk in.

In one visit to this property, my mind was blown. I walked in and received a hearty hello and a handshake. Smiles were everywhere and we were immediately directed to our personal fire pit.

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“The thing is,” one of the hotel managers explained, “is that we are in Silicon Valley, home to some of the most successful people in the world. CEOs here come in wearing sweat pants, Hawaiian shirts, or covered in tattoos. Everyone is important here. There is no judgement for the person who walks in the door.” And while my salary is a far cry from anywhere near a millions of dollars, I had felt at ease the moment we walked over the threshold – and that means a lot to me.

As I look out to the golf course situated over one of the most stunning, cliche, rocky California bluff, a plate full of graham crackers, homemade marshmallows, and chocolate arrive just in time. My eyes grow big. I may not be the biggest fan of sweets in the world but holy mama I can eat the hell out of some s’mores.

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*POP*

My ears were filled with one of my favorite noises in the world as a bottle of the Ritz-Carlton Champagne was opened. Smooth, bubbly, perfect. It was one of those absurd moments in your life where you can’t believe where you are. We gobble down everything in a mad, sugar-fueled frenzy.

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As I get up and the ocean breeze hits my face, I see a small army of golf carts waiting at the edge of the patio. Lo, and behold, the Ritz-Carlton’s neighbor, Half Moon Bay Golf Links poked their heads in.

“Let’s go for a ride. They are for you guys!”

What I heard was, “HEY GUYS! YOUR CHARIOT AWAITS YOU!” and I grab my fellow blogger’s champagne she didn’t finish and quickly gulp it down as I gleefully skipped down the steps to get into a golf cart. Did I mention I haven’t really driven one of these since I was about 12? I was practically raised on a golf cart growing up at my dad’s lawyer events…

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And off we went! Screaming with joy, Stephanie (from Twenty-Something Travel) and I hauled ass down the road (Mike refused to drive with her but I honestly think he should have been more scared of me). Both of us were beaming. It really couldn’t get much better than this.

I spent the rest of my time at the Ritz-Carlton in a champagne and s’more induced haze. I had found my slice of luxury travel heaven.

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What was your most surprising activity? What really caught you off-guard?

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Disclosure: I was a guest of the Silicon Valley San Mateo CVB but all opinions are my own.

28 thoughts on “Hope Renewed at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay”

    1. Umm, yes. I also remember all the “age inappropriate” things I used to do like drive golf carts, and ride around on the keg-mobile. I even got to help by pumping the keg! What a girl needs to do to stay entertained…

      1. or going with me to do magistrate warnings at the jail, or staying with me at the central police station while I was on night court duty. Stuff like that? LOL

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t crash and burn. Stephanie’s driving scares me lol.
    Can we go back please? I want more smores!!

  2. I’m not at all a fan of the Ritz-Carlton brand (for many reasons I won’t detail here), but that is the one property I actually am OK with (mainly for the s’mores bar and the views and the golf carts). Visited many times when I was a Silicon Valley resident myself! Though none were as sunny as your stay (lucky dog, catching HMB during a rare warm, sunny spell).

      1. For one thing (just the tip of the iceberg, mind you): They had been inviting me to check out one of their properties for my blog for ages, I finally went, I wrote this post, and the next day later they called me and asked me to take it down.

        http://www.camelsandchocolate.com/2013/03/girlfriend-getaway-in-atlanta/

        Wouldn’t say why. Obviously I didn’t take it down. But can you imagine if I’d published a story in one of my glossy magazines, and they called my publisher and asked to take all the issues off of the newsstands? I mean, really, people. I love how PR firms feel they can treat bloggers so different than journalists (and those of us who are both…where do we fit in?). Needless to say, I was livid, posted about the situation on FB, got more than 100 responses, at least a dozen of whom (journos and bloggers alike) said they’d had the same thing happen to them by the RC! Last time I ever stay at one of their hotels (or send clients there either for my travel agency).

    1. HA!. That is quite the epic story you have there. I would have done the same thing as well.

      As for the “warm” sunny spell. It was still cold as hell. Seriously man, that was winter weather for me!

  3. I’ve stayed at the Ritz in Dubai and in Bahrain and the service has always been excellent! Glad you had a good time in Silicon Valley. 🙂

  4. Oh WOWOW. Gorgeous! So maybe you’ll come visit me in Silicon Valley? Strangely, I was just writing yesterday about my love for homemade marshmallows.

  5. I had a great stay here once, and I’m glad you enjoyed it too! I’ve had good experiences with the Ritz Carlton in several cities…like when my friend and I walked into the Battery Park Ritz for Sunday brunch all sweaty from our workout and looking decidedly not like the typical Ritz brunch crowd, and the staff didn’t skip a beat. The price tag is a more than a little hard to swallow, but at least the service is as good as I expect at that level.

  6. Superb experience. If the destination is something like this, I must go. Thanks for sharing. Marshmallow, hmmm yummy! Thanks for the provided photos, all are great.

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