2017 Best of the East Bay: Travel
An oceanfront resort in Half Moon Bay; a luxurious Wine Country escape.
Illustration by Basemint
Pebble Beach Resorts
Pebble Beach, pebblebeach.com
Pebble Beach delivers legendary golf with beachfront locations. Though the links tend to steal the spotlight, there’s more to this slice of the Monterey Peninsula.
BY THE NUMBERS
3: Resorts that call Pebble Beach home: The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay, and Casa Palmero.
4: Golf courses that attract enthusiasts from around the world.
5: U.S. Opens hosted at Pebble Beach Golf Links, along with one PGA Championship.
15: Massage rooms at The Spa at Pebble Beach, two of which have fireplaces.
25: Price, in cents, of the first 17-Mile Drive toll, which was collected in 1901. —D.R.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay, ritzcarlton.com
Set atop a rugged bluff overlooking 50 miles of Northern California coast, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, compels visitors to let out a “wow” every now and then. The Bay Area’s only oceanfront resort, it’s a quick getaway, yet it makes the hustle and bustle of city life seem a world away. Hop on a Segway to tour scenic stretches of the coastal trail, or stay put, staking your claim to the perfect spot on the Ocean Lawn. Fire pits encourage guests to roast marshmallows or even better, make s’mores. And five days a week, the resort’s bagpiper appears to say goodbye to the day. With 261 rooms, the resort boasts a spa, golf course, and a kids’ program, making it a nice fit for a family outing or romantic getaway. —D.R.
The next time you fly out of Oakland International Airport, get a drink recommendation from a robot. Pepper, made by SoftBank Robotics, is ready to greet you at Pyramid Ale Taproom in Terminal 2. She’ll tell you what’s on tap, offer menu advice, and point you toward your gate. She’s even programmed with facial recognition software, so she’ll know if you need a joke to jolt you from jet lag. —L.J.
Four Seasons resorts
As if you needed more incentive to go island hopping in Hawaii, the Four Seasons offers stunning locales on four islands. On Hawaii’s Kona-Kohala Coast, the resort at Hualalai boasts seven swimming pools and free amenities such as hula classes. At the Lanai property, snorkel in Hulopoe Bay, or meet the resort’s rescue birds. From golf to tennis to water sports, activities abound at the resort on Oahu at Ko Olina. And the complex on Maui offers the Hawaii vacation you’ve been dreaming about, with unrivaled views of Wailea Beach. Decisions, decisions. —D.R.
Editor Pick: Edie at The Claremont Club and Spa
First impressions mean everything in the hotel business, and the Claremont Club and Spa is no exception. Greeting guests is a full-time gig for the hotel’s newest employee, Edie, and it’s fair to say she works like a dog.
Edie is the hotel’s new canine ambassador, offering complimentary cuddles at check-in. The seven-year-old boxer-Labrador mix was originally trained to be a rescue dog, but her socializing skills were a better fit for the hotel lobby crowd. Her credentials are impressive: After a five-year career in Pennsylvania at the Claremont’s sister property Fairmont Pittsburgh, she arrived at the iconic Bay Area hotel knowing all the tricks of the trade.
Along with welcoming guests, Edie is breaking in a comfy bed near the concierge desk and working with the hotel’s pastry kitchen to taste test house-made dog treats.
Edie puts in a solid five-day workweek but doesn’t live at the hotel. At the end of the day, she heads home with Claremont Marketing and Communications Manager Julie Abramovic.
The Claremont is a pet-friendly hotel, but for folks who had to leave their pooch at home, Edie is on call for guests feeling the need to dish out some belly rubs.
A true professional, Edie hasn’t wasted any time digging in to her new neighborhood. A former shelter puppy, she’s looking forward to working overtime to promote animal adoption with events and fundraisers at the Claremont. Edie has a special set of pearls, and she loves breaking them out for fancy occasions.
Edie also has an e-mail address so guests can keep in touch, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even follow her on Instagram at @edie_the_ambassador. —D.R.
Wine Country Destination
Carneros Resort and Spa
With so much to see and sip, you could easily spend a weekend in Wine Country constantly (and happily) on the go. Or you could do nothing at Carneros Resort and Spa, and love every minute of it. Spread across 28 acres in Napa Valley, accommodations range from charming cottages to extravagant three-bedroom homes. It’s easy to lose the day lounging at the Hilltop Pool complete with vineyard views and an infinity-edged hot tub. If you want to pamper yourself, the spa offers luxurious experiences such as the Tranquility ProSleep Massage, which incorporates relaxing essential oils. The Carneros Supper Club series highlights food that grows on the property and makes for a meal you’ll remember long after your Wine Country weekend. —D.R.
Lake Tahoe Resort
“Northstar brings so much joy to my family. We love exploring the woods, going to the pool and hot tub, and, when it’s warm enough, taking swims in the lake.” —Leslie Yrueta, lafayette