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The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay Spa Review

Tour of Beauty: The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA, has one of the Bay Area's best-kept beauty secrets. While most people know about the resort's dining offerings and golf courses, its spa facilities shouldn't be overlooked. I was recently invited to tour the spa and try a gratis treatment. To find out what a $245 massage is like, read more.

Hotel spas sometimes feel like an afterthought, but the Ritz-Carlton's is 16,000 square feet of luxury. Along with a yoga studio that overlooks the ocean, it boasts a hair and nail salon, three treatment rooms, and a tranquil meditation room. Steam rooms, whirlpools, and a Roman mineral bath provide places to relax before or after treatment. It's very calming, and the attention to detail is what you'd expect from a five-star hotel.

The spa menu includes all you'd imagine: facials, massages, waxing, and so on. I decided to try the 75-minute Ocean Mist Stones Massage ($245), which may be the most indulgent treatment I have ever experienced. First, the massage therapist buffed my body with a mimosa sugar scrub; that alone was enough to melt away the stress I'd been carrying around. After that, the therapist positioned a Vichy shower over me. (A Vichy shower is a movable metal arm with multiple shower heads — just like a regular shower, but instead of standing, you're lying on a table.) Then, the massage! While warm water continued to flow over my body, my therapist used mimosa oil and heated stones to transform me from a stiff, achy mess to the blissed-out mayor of Relaxed Town.

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Obviously, this sort of luxurious treatment is an enormous splurge. But to quote that great philosopher Ferris Bueller, it is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.

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