This last weekend, Michael and I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA. My brother gave us an evening’s stay as a wedding gift and so we tacked on another night and made a weekend of it.
Our two-hour flight to San Francisco was short and sweet. Despite our rental car, a black Ford Crown Victoria, the 25-minute drive to Half Moon Bay was enjoyable. We laughed most of the drive in our Hooptie. Realizing the only two people who drive this car are cops and senior citizens.
Seeing numerous high-end cars as we pulled into the valet, we felt a little ashamed. And consequently professed to the valet that this WAS indeed a rental every time saw them.
The resort was beautiful and from the very start, service was the first priority. They assumed it was our honeymoon and upgraded us to their Club Level that offered complementary food at different times during the day. And this was not your average cheese & crackers. We took them up on the offer the first night for “Chocolates & Cordials” from 8 to 10 pm.
We used our room key card to enter the inner sanctum. Inside we found a buffet of mini desserts, chocolate mousse, cheesecake, crème brulee and gourmet chocolates. Fresh fruit to be dipped into chocolate or butterscotch fondue, and jars of numerous iconic candies & freshly baked cookies. Bottles of wine to pour, a selection of beers, cans of soda, bubbly water and Vitamin Water. Open (regular sized bottles) of liquor to make yourself a cocktail with an assortment of cocktail garnishes (cherries, lime wedges, olives). And all this was on the honor system. WOW.
Our room was outfitted with a personal outdoor fire pit and stunning views of the ocean. From afternoon through early evening hotel guests and property golfers enjoyed the lovely sounds of a roaming bagpiper, in traditional dress (as you can see from my photos on Facebook).
The crowning jewel of our stay (there were many) was the famous Sunday Brunch at the resort restaurant Navio. Are you sitting down? Besides the normal breakfast offerings of . . . I really don’t know because I skipped that section. But I saw eggs, bacon, waffles, and a carving station of roast beef and ham. We started at the other end, including a gourmet cheese section with numerous crackers, a bread area, a sushi section including rolls and nigiri, amazingly fresh oysters on the half shell, bowl-o-shrimp, mussels, lox, clams, and wait for it, wait for it . . . three kinds of Caviar. Yes, that’s what I said. And not pre portioned. You serve yourself. An appetizer section, a dim sum area, charcuterie (gourmet sliced meats) and the list goes on. As well as a dessert section.
Now, I’m not sure we ate the worth of the brunch, but we tried! It was quite expensive. But it was one of those things you just gotta do at least once. Michael had worked a long and hard 12 hour day before we left, so it little pampering was in order!
After brunch we headed off to a Segway tour. Little did we know, we were the only ones that signed up and so we had a private tour of the property. After a 15 minute “crash course” we were wising around the parking lot. I found it really similar to skiing, but MUCH easier. To bad you can’t Segway down the mountain! It was quit fun, and I highly recommend it but I felt soooo geeky!
Our departing morning we went back to the club level for their continental breakfast expecting to see a few rolls and some fruit. Once again, this exceeded our expectations. Pastries, bagels, vat-o-oatmeal, fresh juice, lox, red onion slices, capers, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit, and yogurt. The room also had a wonderful machine that would dispense fresh coffee, tea or cocoa with the press of a button. Being a newly wed is nice!
It was a short but wonderful trip! I feel very lucky to have had the experience! Michael and I decided every place we travel to within our first year of marriage IS our honeymoon!