Half Moon Bay is a coastal haven located about 30 minutes south of San Francisco. Featuring beautiful beaches, well known wineries, and world-class golf courses and outdoor pursuits, Half Moon Bay is the quintessential respite for Bay Area city-dwellers.
Haute Living sat down for a chat with noted business owner and proprietor of the Half Bay Moon Inn Jamie Barber to talk life in a seaside town. After recently investing $2 million into the historic space, Jamie knows a thing or two about creating a unique, welcoming experience for visitors!
Haute Living: What drew you to the Bay Area?
Jamie Barber: I moved to the Bay Area with my parents when I was 12 years old. My father worked for Standard Oil Company and was transferred to San Francisco. They ended up buying a house in Belmont.
HL: Opening up a bed and breakfast is your “dream job.” What inspired you to enter into the hospitality field?
JB: I worked as a Concierge for United Airlines in the First Class International Department. Providing our customers with excellent service was our goal. This experience (26 years) has greatly influenced how my guests are treated at the Inn.
HL: Do you see many San Franciscan guests? What entices people about Half Moon Bay?
JB: Yes, many people come and stay for one or two nights from San Francisco. They want to get away from the city and take hikes or stroll the beach, watch sunsets and just unwind and relax.
HL: The Inn has been remodeled entirely in a Spanish/Latin American style. Where did this inspiration come from?
JB: The building’s architecture is a Spanish Revival style, built in 1932. The building has an Old World feel that I wanted to maintain with the interior design.
HL: You worked for United Airlines for many years- any favorite travel destinations?
JB: My favorite travel destinations are France, Italy and Greece. I love the food, architecture and the lifestyle of Europe.
HL: Running the inn is a full time job- if you could take a weekend off and visit another hotel in the Bay Area, where would you go?
JB: I would probably go to San Francisco and stay at The Hotel Monaco or one of the Starwood’s properties, since I have Starwood points. The Hotel Monaco is also dog friendly and some the W’s and Westin’s are dog friendly as well.
HL: How do you relax in Half Moon Bay?
JB: I enjoy my yoga classes at the Enso Studio. Now, staying home and having dinner guests over is my way of taking a break. I also enjoy going over the hill and meeting friends there.
HL: With the restaurant It’s Italia at your doorstep, what’s your favorite Italian dish?
JB: It’s hard to beat its Italia’s spaghetti and meatballs. The linguine and clams are also one of my favorites.
HL: What is the best restaurant in Half Moon Bay for dinner? Brunch?
JB: There are several great places to eat in Half Moon Bay. Its Italia and Pasta Moon are both on Main Street and Mezza Luna is in Princeton. They all serve great dinners. Cetrella’s has a Sunday Brunch as well as Navio at the Ritz Carlton.
HL: With wineries right down the road in Half Moon Bay, what is your favorite wine to imbibe?
JB: My favorite chardonnay is Rombauer. I usually ask the waiter to select a nice red Italian wine for me as the list is always changing.