Half Moon Bay, California
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
What it is
A grand Scotland-inspired retreat on a verdant seafront cliff with topnotch golf courses and a restorative spa.
What it isn't
A rookie. The resort’s two par 72 championship golf courses were designed by Arthur Hills; the Old Course is flanked by cypress trees.
What we think
Tech tycoons who find San Francisco’s city life grating just have to do one thing: hop in their Teslas and drive 30 miles south. Here, perched on a lush bluff abutting the Pacific Ocean, they feel not just a world away—they feel like they’re in Scotland, down to the exemplary golf courses and bagpiper occasionally strolling the grounds. But this being California, you’ll find plenty of Bay Area charms on the activities list, from Santa Cruz Mountain wine tasting at some 70 vineyards and watching gray whales in Princeton Harbor. Bonus: even the “starter” rooms are gynormous (beginning at 450-square-feet) and can come with a firepit on the terrace and two primed for chillaxing Adirondack chairs. We love that the room service, like the ever-changing scenery out your floor-to-ceiling windows, is 24 hours.
You're here because
Unlike many resorts in the region, Ritz-Carlton treats kids like they would Jack Nicklaus himself; their Ritz Kids program will have them peeping nearby tide pools and whipping up s’mores at al fresco fire pits.
There’s a secret spa menu at the resort’s spa because...of course there is. Today, after a morning on the links, you decide to go for it—and are exalted to find the current surprise treatment is a Rodeo Facial with toiletries by none other than Linda Ross, the skincare queen of Beverly Hills. As your skin is plied with a brightening mask and royal jelly cream, beloved by ancient Egyptians, you call it: this pick was a hole in one.
Restaurants & Bars
Navio - Seafood cuisine
The Conservatory - Farm-to-table cuisine and cocktails crafted with live herbs
The Ocean Terrace - California beers and wines, a soundtrack of crashing waves
On cinematic Miramontes Point in Half Moon Bay, fringed by pristine golf courses and hiking trails (you’ll kick yourself if you miss the Coastal Trail, which wends along the cliffs with seagull-eye views of the frothy Pacific below).