Half Moon Bay  offers several lovely bed-and-breakfasts and one luxury resort hotel. That resort is the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay (1 Miramontes Point Rd., 650/712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com , $550). Looming large over the Pacific, the hotel resembles a cliff-side medieval castle. Inside, guests enjoy the finest of modern amenities. The Ritz-Carlton has a top-tier restaurant (Navio), a world-class day spa, and posh guest rooms that really are worth the price. If you can, get a room facing the ocean. While you’re there, enjoy free access to the spa’s bathing rooms, an outdoor hot tub overlooking the ocean, tennis courts, and basketball court. The golfing at the Ritz is second to none in the Bay Area . And of course, the service will make you feel like royalty.
For a more personal lodging experience, try one of the local inns. The Old Thyme Inn (779 Main St., 650/726-1616, www.oldthymeinn.com , $195–375) is located right downtown, next door to the Cetrella Bistro. Playing on the inn’s name, each uniquely decorated room has its own garden theme. Rooms are comfortable, with luxurious amenities. Downstairs, guests can enjoy the common sitting rooms and the gorgeous garden (yes, they do grow thyme). Each morning the owners serve up a sumptuous breakfast using fresh ingredients.
In the neighboring community of Montara, the Goose and Turrets (835 George St., Montara, 650/728-5451, http://goose.montara.com , $160–210) is a locals’ getaway favorite. The rambling old building that houses the inn has had an exciting life—ask the friendly and knowledgeable owners about its story. Decor here runs to the eclectic, and folks who find the usual flowery B&Bs a bit cloying will love the Goose and Turrets. The Clipper Room is perfect for aviation buffs, and guests who like their space will love the sweeping expanse of hardwood floor in the Hummingbird Room. The food and accommodations here keep an eye towards ecologically friendly choices, and the owners are active in local park and community environmental organizations.