The Best Hotels to Book in Half Moon Bay, California

Discover the best places to stay like this in the unique crescent of Half Moon Bay
Discover the best places to stay like this in the unique crescent of Half Moon Bay | Courtesy of Seal Cove Inn /
Martha Blanchfield

Named for its crescent-shaped harbor just north of the old town, the Northern California hamlet of Half Moon Bay is a year-round destination. Lovers of nature and romance visit, as do devotees of big wave surf. Don your sweaters and caps as this quirky retro community – located just under 30mi (48km) south of San Francisco on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway – is often socked in by magical fog clinging to the region’s landmark cypress trees. Stay close to the action in one of these great hotels in Half Moon Bay – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, for outdoor activity lovers

Chain Hotel, Resort

A modern double room at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay /

Perched atop a secluded bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this Forbes Five-Star resort is a destination for romance, retreat and recreation. You’ll be steps from a walk on the beach, minutes from miles of scenic cycle paths, welcome on the tennis court and challenged when golfing aside the sea — one course being Arthur Hill’s Scottish links. Close out your day with sunset while wrapped in a blanket next to your sweetie and a private outdoor fire pit.

2. Oceano Hotel and Spa, for hands-on service

Spa Hotel

A family suite at the Oceano Hotel and Spa Half Moon Bay Harbor
Courtesy of Oceano Hotel and Spa Half Moon Bay Harbor /

White-washed seaport style fills this luxury property overlooking eclectic Half Moon Bay Harbor. Put your feet up while reclining on a private veranda – with a local brew to accompany. Once your room’s fireplace is dancing, order for pick-up. Just opposite is Barbara’s Fishstrap, whose clam strips and corn fritters have been satiating locals and visitors for decades. To ease your travel to Northern California, the concierge services can bundle golf, dining and weekender packages just the way you wish.

3. The Beach House Hotel, for stunning attention to detail


A coastal living room at Beach House Half Moon Bay
Courtesy of Beach House Half Moon Bay /

With unobstructed Pacific Ocean views and sand dunes right out your window, this property – with a weathered exterior reminiscent of New England beach cottages – encourages guests to spread out in the over 400sqft (37sqm) rooms. The calming décor may keep you lingering indoors by the hearth – simply add a bottle of wine and lobster rolls or cioppino take-out from Sam’s Chowder House. Down comforters and pillows, cozy robes, a tub plus shower? This may be better than home.

5. Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach, for eco-conscious amenities


A fireplace and sitting area overlooking the ocean at Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach
Courtesy of Cypress Inn on Miramar Beach / Expedia

No cookie-cutter accommodations at this 18-guest venue – each room has its own seaside personality. Calm and quiet exist within two weathered wood buildings as Cypress Inn limits occupancy to two persons per room. Did someone say terracotta heated floors? Included are daily breakfast, plus evening wine and cheese reception. Guest service ranks high here and the staff is committed to reducing the impact on the environment while conserving natural resources.

6. Aristocrat Hotel, for a weekend vacay with your dog


A double room at the Aristocrat Hotel, BW Signature Collection
Courtesy of Aristocrat Hotel, BW Signature Collection /

Many guests travel with pets, especially with a beach as the destination – the pet-friendly Aristocrat allows up to two dogs per room. Fido will be with you on miles of forested up and down hiking that starts no more than 10 minutes away at Cowell-Purisima coastal trailhead. Sustain your fitness by walking the sand dunes while dogs race through the surf. Unpretentious, this property wants you to cozy up to in-room fireplaces – furry friend and all.

7. Seal Cove Inn, for a night at the manor


An elegant double room at Seal Cove Inn
Courtesy of Seal Cove Inn /

Nearly hidden among the trees and moments from the sea, Seal Cove Inn offers a grand European manorhouse-style. From terrace or balcony, view the gardens and yonder as though you’re a duke surveying your estate. A 10-minute stroll takes you to the doorstep of Moss Beach Distillery – with fortified beverages, warm your soul while watching waves crash against the rocky coastline below. Multilingual staff and complimentary nightly wine reception ensure an all-rounded memorable stay.

8. Hyatt House Belmont/Redwood Shores, for business travelers seeking peace

Chain Hotel, Business Hotel

A cozy double room at Hyatt House Belmont Redwood Shores
Courtesy of Hyatt House Belmont Redwood Shores /

Work need you to visit Silicon Valley? The proximity of this residential property may just be in line with your needs. Work, cook in a fully equipped kitchen, relax and watch TV, then close the door for solid sleep in the adjoining room – suites come with Hyatt Grand Beds. Amenities provide a daily breakfast buffet, H Bar drinks and appetizers and a 24-hour shop with packaged meals. While not located in the immediate area, Hyatt House is an easy 30-minute drive by car.

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