From decking the halls and cooking family feasts to gift shopping and party hopping, we know the holiday chaos can take its toll on your peace of mind. Treat yourself to some serenity this season when you escape to The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Half Moon Bay.

While part of the luxury hotel chain, the spa at Half Moon Bay promises a one-of-a-kind experience for even the most well-traveled spa-goer. Situated upon a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the impressive spa in Northern California serves as a secluded oasis for healing bodies and rejuvenating spirits.

Get the inside scoop on the facility from the resort’s very own Spa Group Coordinator, Stephanie Shaw, and find out what sets its services and amenities apart:

#1 Northern California Coastal Influence

While the entire spa experience is designed to help you escape the outside world, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Half Moon Bay knows when to include some inspiration from its surrounding community. The property does this through partnering with locally-owned businesses and farms to create unique treatments, scents and products exclusively for the spa.

“Using local products is important to us not only because we believe in supporting the local community, but we want to offer something unique to global travelers who are looking for something different,” says Stephanie. “Whether our guests are here for business or pleasure, we want to create an experience that harnesses elements of our coastal setting that they might not enjoy elsewhere.”

From local artisanal fairs to seasonal festivals, Stephanie and her fellow spa associates are always discovering new opportunities and building relationships with outside vendors. MiniBee Beauty, Route One Pumpkin and San Francisco Salt Co. are just a few of many locales the spa partners with to provide new journeys of discovery through handmade soaps, lotions, oils, body scrubs and bath salts created from the area’s rich local bounty.  

#2 Redwood Forest Ritual

Speaking of the local area, the Redwood Forest Ritual alone is enough to have you packing your bags and reserving an appointment. Inspired by the surrounding California Redwoods, this 80-minute journey aims to immerse you in the nature of NorCal while stimulating your senses and revitalizing your soul.

“This service is a favorite of mine because of its use of warm herbal poultices, and because the fragrance reminds me of the rich smells I come across when I am hiking in the forest,” says Stephanie. 

The treatment includes a hot poultice massage and scalp massage, and uses a variety of indigenous earthy herbs and wood blends to leave you feeling grounded, complete and restored before your holiday celebrations.

#3 Seasonal Specialties

In addition to its extensive menu of everyday offerings, the spa celebrates annual holidays and milestones with seasonal specials. While some spas rotate the same treatments every season – pumpkin scented massages each fall, ice facials each winter – the Half Moon Bay spa aims to create something different each year by utilizing its relationships with local artisan vendors to create new products and scents. But don’t think they stop at the four seasons. Stephanie and her team have even gone as far as creating a signature s’mores treatment for the month of August (National S’mores Month, of course). The spa also features seasonal products available for purchase on site – perfect for the holiday gift-giving season. 

#4 Tatcha Crystal Luminous Facial

Originally developed to celebrate the resort’s 15th “crystal” anniversary, the Tatcha Crystal Luminous Facial was in such high demand, it’s still available to be enjoyed today.

“During the development phase, I had no idea how soothing this offering would be not only for the face, but the body and mind, too,” Stephanie says with cheer. “It’s essentially 80 minutes of bliss.”

Perfect for those battling dry skin during the colder months, this ultra-hydrating and firming facial incorporates a combination of rice enzyme powders, vitamins, minerals and proteins to exfoliate and brighten the face while a deep hydration mask revitalizes and moisturizes. Centuries-old Japanese acupressure techniques incorporating a signature TATCHA crystal lift and promote relaxation while warm chamomile towels soothe the muscles and release tension. The experience is further enhanced with neck and shoulder compressions and an application of enriching renewal cream and silk body butter to arms, legs and feet. The luxurious facial concludes with a cool TATCHA crystal massager to awaken the skin to a luminous glow, just in time for holiday photos in front of the fireplace.

#5 The Setting

Looking to blend relaxation with adventure? Located at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, the award-winning spa allows overnight guests to further enhance their escape with access to the resort’s waterfront restaurants, two championship golf courses, six lighted tennis courts, heated indoor pool and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. For off-site excursions, spend an afternoon horseback riding on the beach, holiday shopping along Historic Main Street, or wine tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains, home to over 70 acclaimed vineyards and wineries.

Ready to treat yourself or that special someone to a spa getaway at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay? Traveling this time of year doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out current San Francisco travel deals from Vacations by Marriott, and get exclusive rates on flights, car rentals and accommodations.