Soaking in the view at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. Photo Source the Whalen family
One of the best aspects of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is the abundance of weekend getaways within a 1-2 hour drive. A favorite option that is easy to access yet a world away is Half Moon Bay, a seaside town in San Mateo County.
The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay is new to our luxury hotel portfolio. It’s not one of those properties that scream family with an endless list of onsite activities for kids; however, there are just enough things to do that parents and kids alike love spending time here.
We stayed at hotel last spring but we didn’t get the opportunity to experience the Ritz Kids program (ages 5-12). Given our move to Switzerland in a few weeks, I didn’t have time to get back there this month so I asked the property to host a local family for an overnight to further investigate this part of their program.
The Whalens — mom, dad, and 2 kids ages 5 and 7 — celebrated Father’s Day at the Ritz. I interviewed them after the trip for feedback.
Relaxing at the Ritz
The Whalen family raved about their kid-friendly experience at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. I love hearing this given that Ritz-Carlton as a brand is not best known for catering to families. Making kids feel welcome is particularly challenging at properties like this one that also attract corporate guests, serious golfers, and couples seeking romance.
Bravo that everyone from the bellman to the concierge went out of their way to engage the kids and ensure they were excited about their stay.
Ritz Kids Program
Ritz Kids is not a camp-style hotel kids club with a long list of structured activities that attracts large numbers of kids of all ages. However, it is a nice perk to be have the opportunity to drop kids off in a safe and fun environment so parents can get downtime to hit the spa, fitness center, golf course, or just relax in the gorgeous coastal setting.
The Whalens participated in a half-day session where there kids visited the beach for sandcastles and games. Everyone was comfortable with the set up — particularly since the Director of Recreation took the time to call them and chat about the plan. The kids enjoyed themselves and so did the parents. Weekend getaway goal achieved!
Note, this property offers an additional kids camp over the summer months run by an outside organization. We don’t have any first hand feedback on this program at this time.
Indoor Swimming Pool
The indoor swimming pool is a big part of enjoying Half Moon Bay with kids. This area can be foggy and cold so it’s nice to have a warm space where kids can burn off some energy. Note, there are adult-only swim hours and family hours. Be sure and ask for the schedule at check-in.
Snack at the putting green
The golf course draws many people to The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay; when you see the course, it’s obvious why. There are few golf courses I’ve seen that are more spectacular than this one with rugged bluffs and ocean views. Moon Mullins Golf Academy offers lessons for ages 6-16.
There is also a putting green where families with kids of all ages can hit balls together. Putters and balls are provided for free.
Sunset and S’mores
Sunset is the highlight here when everyone gathers around the fire pits to watch the sun go down. S’more kits are available. A fun a social setting for all.
Things to Know
It’s a Ritz and things like room service add up. If you’re going to splurge on a weekend away, expect sticker shock and budget accordingly — part of enjoying the property is taking advantage of all the onsite amenities.
The hotel does not consistently offer a kids menu at the restaurants. Be sure and ask for kid-friendly dining options and pricing if a menu is not presented.
The Whalen family received complimentary lodging but paid for all other amenities and services. The Ritz-Carlton did not ask us to express a particular opinion about the stay.
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.