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“A delightful experience! Warm, welcoming and engaging staff, but respectful of your privacy!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bacara Resort & Spa

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Bacara Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   8301 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117   |  
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Ranked #3 of 9 hotels in Goleta
Seattle
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“A delightful experience! Warm, welcoming and engaging staff, but respectful of your privacy!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2011

We didn't book our anniversary trip with Bacara initially, but ended up at Bacara after serious noise problems at another Santa Barbara hotel. Our travel agent quickly contacted the manager at Bacara and helped to move us to Bacara during one of the busiest summer weeks in SB (Festival). From the minute we drove into the driveway at Bacara, we knew that we were in the right place. The service was outstanding from the beginning! Even though the manager told us to expect a delay in getting our room ready at the last minute, the room was ready upon arrival and I had the feeling that they were bending over backwards to help make up for the problems we had at another hotel! The Bacara property is fairly large (I tend to prefer smaller boutique hotels); however, it is well laid out and feels more like a smaller property in many ways. Overall, the food at Bacara and wine selection was excellent. The breakfast at the Spa Cafe was ideal - a quiet setting, gorgeous indoor and outdoor seating, incredible service and terrific choices on the menu. Large, spacious fitness room, too! We loved the Happy Hour menu at the Ocean Terrace - a great way to spend less money and still experience the great service and food that Bacara has to offer! Some of the best "sliders" that we've ever had! The pool staff does an excellent job of servicing the pool without feeling pressured. Again, the food and drink selection was fantastic! Room service food was excellent, too, and everything seems healthy and fresh. I can't comment on Miro (for dinner) as we often found ourselves in Santa Barbara for dinner, or at other restaurants to meet with friends. The staff throughout the property delivered top-notch service with a terrific attitude! They are smart, articulate individuals, and they truly seem to enjoy working together. No drama and no attitude problems, in our experience, and the smiles seem genuine. We felt "at home" during our stay at Bacara and we always felt appreciated. Very few hotels pull this off and I looked forward to all staff encounters during our stay. Every time we arrived at the hotel in our car, or departed for an outing, 2 valets would appear promptly; one to open my door, and one to open my husband's door. They greeted us perfectly and wished us well on our way out - again, genuine and respectful. The beach isn't the best; however, it is long and great for walking or running - fairly flat beach for runners and not populated! We saw kids with boogie boards having a blast in the ocean waves. The only negative about the beach from our experience is the hint of an smell, probably from the rigs that are visible from the beach (but not from the hotel). Lastly, we had a "partial ocean view" room. It was spacious, well-designed and extremely comfortable. We enjoyed the nice deck and what most hotels would consider to be a FULL ocean view! It was quiet in the evening and the bed was perfect. We also loved having large candles in our room to light in the evening (next to the fireplace) and it was nice to come back to our room with classical music playing on one of the TV channels (turn-down service). Having a car is a must, in our opinion. The hotel grounds are secluded and it is best to have a car to fully enjoy Santa Barbara when you feel like venturing out into the local communities. The only thing missing at Bacara seems to be chocolates left on our pillow at night! A small price to pay for one of the most pleasant hotel experiences we've had in a long time. Thank you , Bacara!. You helped to make this anniversary trip memorable and we look forward to joining you again in the future!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ahs01, Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 10, 2011
Thank you for your comments and we are happy you enjoyed celebrating your Anniversary at Bacara!

We hope to see you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
308 helpful votes 308 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

Stayed 4 nights, and what a wonderful time we had. Our room was upgraded, it was tucked away and very private, and it had a gorgeous view of the ocean, along with a nice fireplace and very sweet bathroom.
The French toast at the breakfast restaurant was the best I have ever eaten! Great pool area with private cabanas, which we did manage to use just one afternoon. Loved everything about this hotel. Will return!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ahs01, Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 10, 2011
Thank you for your comments and we are happy you enjoyed your stay at Bacara!

We hope you return again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

There is no reason not to stay here. The location is exceptional. The grounds are immaculate. The pool has a beautiful ocean vista. I thought the spa was very nice and well appointed. The food and drink at each of the hotel's restaurants/lounges are well above average and very comfortable. The service is what really sets it apart, however. As you would expect from an upscal hote,l the staff is very cordial and accommodating; it makes all the difference in the world. The one downside- as others have indicated- is that the rooms are slightly out of date. I have stayed her several times and I can absolutely state that it is time for some upgrades to the rooms. Sure the Frette linens and Fresh products are great, but everything else needs a re-do! I am hoping to see this kind of project within the next year. Otherwise, the Four Seasons and San Ysidro Ranch are just a few miles away and equally as nice or nicer!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ahs01, Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 5, 2011
Thank you for your recent stay at Bacara Resort & Spa. I am happy that you enjoyed your stay and I have shared your comments with our team.

I hope you come back and stay with us again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice, california
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

I decided to take a spontaneous weekend trip up to the Santa Barbara area last weekend. I decided on Bacara after a few friends recommended it. It did not disappoint. I was impressed with the grounds and the pool areas and service was impeccable all around.

Some "negative" comments I've seen here are true, the grounds are large, hilly and rambling. I personally really enjoyed this, lots of space to wander, great access to the beach and some little nature trails connected directly to the hotel. Staff seemed ready to offer a golf cart ride if you needed it at any time.

Bacara also IS far from downtown SB. It's in Goletta and about a 20 minute drive to state street. So, if your plan is to go bar hopping at night and stumble home, this isn't for you. But, there's a great bar, 2 restaurants and the spa cafe on site. I drove into SB twice while there, a quick trip.

Last, I did have an "upgraded" room, so I can't comment on the older ones. My room was clean and the bed comfy. It had a nice little patio. It wasn't much of a view, but then I paid for a "garden view" so, it's what I expected.

Overall, I had a relaxing but active weekend of swimming, beach walks, light hikes, reading by the pool, and nice day trips into SB.

I will most certainly go back and hopefully soon!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ahs01, Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 5, 2011
Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your stay with us and will pass along your positive comments!

We hope to see you again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011

The Bacara has beautiful grounds, huge pools, beach access, tastey restaurants and a nice spa, but that's it. My family and I were expecting a fabulous resort, upon arriving but our expectiontations were far from met. Our first room was nice, outdated, but clean and had a nice view of the beach. However, in the middle of the night, 4am to be exact the sprinkler head from the smoke detector located in the bathroom started leaking and eventually flooded the entire bathroom. We called the front desk as soon as we heard gushing water coming from the bathroom and they sent someone up to look at it. Upon determining our room was no longer suitable for guest (2 hours later) we were "upgraded" to a suite. Our "upgraded" room was literally like a dungeon. No views, you had to climb down stairs to get to it and it did not even have enough beds for my family of four. We had to get two rollaway beds because the sleeper sofa was unusable. The room felt dingy and was a down grade from our former room. The best part about our new is that the hotel did not inform housekeeping that we had moved, so our room went days without being cleaned!

On top of the room issues, the resort is fairly large and hilly. So if you are expecting a nice relaxing getaway, this is not the place for you. One must hike up hills and walk a distance to eat, swim, relax etc. nothing is close by.The weekend we stayed, there were two weddings going on, so the resort virtually shuts down to accommodate the wedding party and their guest.

Lastly the spa is average at best. Its run by high school students, so you have to fend for your self to get a locker and robe. Also, don't expect a tour of the spa either, that would be out of the question when chatting and texting on your cell phone is far more important than greeting and helping paying guests.

I would not recommend this "resort" to anyone. There are far better places to stay, not to mention much closer to Santa Barbara.

Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ahs01, Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 2, 2011
Thank you for the feedback regarding your recent stay at the Bacara Resort & Spa. I am sorry that we did not provide you with a positive experience. We strive to provide superior accommodations and service to all of our Guests. We will share your experience with all involved and take steps to ensure this does not occur again.

Thank you and I hope you give us another opportunity to serve you in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago, IL
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

Girlfriends weekend. Beautiful hotel. Large property but feels very intimate. Service above and beyond expectations. Great coffee in the bar every morning and great food in the restaurants.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

Large resort with large beautiful rooms and grounds. Wonderful pool. Pricey, but would stay again. Lots of celebs.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ahs01, Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 30, 2011
Thank you for the feedback regarding your recent stay at the Bacara Resort & Spa. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay.

We hope to see you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Bacara Resort & Spa

Address: 8301 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Goleta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Goleta
#2 Romantic Hotel in Goleta
#3 Business Hotel in Goleta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Bacara Resort & Spa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bacara Resort & Spa offers a luxurious hotel and family experience right outside Santa Barbara, California. Experience laid-back luxury and contemporary comfort at Bacara. Nestled on 78 magnificent beachfront acres, Bacara provides a vacation experience like no other. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, we’ll pamper you with dazzling facilities, suites and the incomparable Santa Barbara sun and surf. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Santa Barbara Bacara Resort
Bacara Spa Resort Santa Barbara
Bacara Resort Santa Barbara Ca
Bacara Santa Barbara
Bacara Hotel Santa Barbara

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