Old Sep 13, 17, 9:54 am
  #10  
benjahman
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 289
VX F LAX - SFO and Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

VX F LAX - SFO and Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

Checked out of RC Laguna Niguel, hopped in the Audi A4 and boogied up the CA-73 to the 405. No traffic at all this morning as it was Labor Day. Dropped off the Silvercar at the correct location this time, Uber to LAX and checked in for our shot VX F flight up to SFO. Stopped by the Alaska Airlines Board Room lounge to grab a drink, change a diaper, and to see the pancake machine in person.

LAX


VX F check in


Alaska lounge was crowded, managed to find a seat and drop the bags for a few minutes before continuing on to the gate. Offerings were slim and included bagels, fruit, coffee and juice.




Aforementioned pancake machine


Departing from Gate 69A today






First time in VX F. Great amount of legroom, however, the seats are quite dated. White leather may have not been the best choice as the seats looked quite grimey and could use a good bleaching. The mood lighting does a good job of masking that. Drinks and some snack basket choices were offered.





Red entertainment




Definitely in SFO. That way to the Yoga room.


Having had mixed feelings about Silvercar, I cancelled my SFO reservation and booked a large SUV with Enterprise. The getting in and out of the Audi A4 was too difficult for me and with the baby and car seat, it was just way too small. Also, not being on the airport property is a bit of a haul with many bags. I assume they are not targeting the family demographic.
Took the air train to the rental car center. Enterprise check in was a complete mess. They have a number of kiosks, which are supposed to make the check in process more seamless but just added another step after the kiosks could not complete the reservation. I then got on line behind a clearly frustrated customer who then turned around and asked me in her most pissed off motherly tone "why are you hovering?". I politely smiled at her and that was that. Finally was able to check in, you then have to go a level down, where you then wait on another line to be shown to your car. Finally we arrive at a 2017 Ford Expedition and a large SUV it is. Lovely.

AirTrain views


2017 Ford Expedition


Before we headed off to Half Moon Bay, we needed breakfast. I had flown into SFO a few years back for the Super Bowl and met up with my dad at the airport. We were both starving so I Yelp'd the nearest breakfast spot. Millbrae Pancake House came up as #1 and it's been on my go-back-to list ever since. It's a lovely slice of Americana.





Crowded but the wait was not longer than 10 minutes. When you're starving, that seemed like an eternity.


All the omelettes come with a side order of pancakes. This must be heaven.


Back in the ride for a quick 40 minute drive to Half Moon Bay via CA-92.

Arriving at the Ritz Carlton






Front desk was a bit crowded, but check in moved quickly. We were upgraded to a direct ocean view room. I had booked one award night + one cash night with a club upgrade certificate. Upgraded to Club Level room for both nights and worth every penny.


Very nice, bright hallways, with lots of surfing artwork along the walls.


Room 523 was at the end of the hallway.


Entrance/foyer




Welcome gift of amazing pumpkin spice chocolate chunk cookies.
















Spectacular ocean and golf course views.






I'm fairly certain the hotel has been recently renovated. Everything seemed new and fresh. The rooms, all the facilities, carpeting, lighting, etc, were in great shape and it really showed.
Access to the Club Lounge is a complete game changer and now I get the "hype"



Great sanctuary to do some work and when it's that season, a fantasy football online draft.






First day we arrived in time for canapés and cocktails. The food and wine selections were great and plentiful.












The Provenance 2015 SB was very nice.






The service at the Club Lounge was truly some of the best and most genuine I've encountered in all my travels. They welcomed us each time they heard the door click open with the swipe of our key cards. I felt a bit shy about bringing a rambunctious 11 month old into this oasis of calm but every attendant was more than welcoming and helpful. They spent time engaging us and were literally on the floor playing with my daughter. The encouraged us to take food back to our room and to take glasses of wine out and about throughout the hotel. The hotel was empty, which is another reason why our stay here was so much more enjoyable than Laguna Niguel. The lounge never had more than 2 couples in it.



The scenery is spectacular.






Stopped back at the lounge for dessert. The blueberry crostada with vanilla sauce was ridiculously delicious.



Chocolate fondue station


The lemongrass rice pudding was tasty


For breakfast the next morning, the offerings were eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurts, smoked salmon, breads, cheese, cured meats, etc. Very good.








The Le Creuset bakeware was a nice touch, albeit a bit heavy.


Great breakfast views


Some more scenery




More shots of the hotel
Entrance






Fitness center


Our stay here was great. The A/C worked amazing, all the outlets had power, the staff was super friendly and helpful. I'm sure it being right after Labor Day and with the hotel at half capacity it lent itself to a more relaxing stay and the staff were most likely in better spirits and not overworked. Not much to do at HMB, but it was an enjoyable two days.
benjahman is offline