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“Loved everything about it.” 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 #4 of 9 hotels in Goleta
Paso Robles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Loved everything about it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

Bacara was just what we needed for a relaxing retreat. We loved the spa! If I lived closer, I would go all the time for the day. This spa was quiet, clean and my masseuse was great. I could tell she was well trained. Our room was really nice with a big tub, private veranda, and a very comfortable bed. We walked all around and took in the beautiful views, everywhere. Very peaceful. We had planned on going into downtown Santa Barbara for dinner a few times, but instead just stayed at Bacara and relaxed.

Room Tip: Our room had a private veranda. We loved seating there reading for hours.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Thank you for your wonderful review. And, you like many of our guests find our variety of entertainment, food, spa and recreation choices so appealing. Why leave!
We hope you will return often,

Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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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 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (280)
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English first
Mission Viejo, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012 via mobile

I wouldn't be so mad right now about my stay if I hadnt had such high expectations (and if the hotel was not as expensive). If this was a holiday inn I wouldnt be complaining. However, when you are paying $500 a night you expect nothing but the best. I really have nothing good to say about this place except that it's pretty.

1. It took up nearly 45 minutes to check in at 4:30pm. The staff was so unfriendly and mumbled everything.

2. It took us an hour and a half for the bell man to bring us our bags. This is unacceptable. It delayed our evening. Your bags should be delivered within 30 minutes of checking in, max.

3. Our room had decaf coffee no regular. Just annoying.

4. The rooms are nothing fancy. Looked somewhat of a hostile in Europe to me. Cheap tile floors no decoration.

5. The thermostat seemed broken. The room was constantly chilly even when I set it to 75.

6. I had a work event to attes at the beach house. To walk you had to trek over hills and sand. We alled for a golf cart and it never showed up at our room (we waited for 45 min). We finally went to the main lobby to get a cart and no one paid attention or answered my question as to when they could take us. We waited another 30 minutes for them to make arrangements! Unacceptable!!!!!

7. I went to take a shower and had no conditioner. I called the front desk to have some brought to the room and again no one brought it. I called 3 hours later and they finally showed up with it!

8. The second day we got back to the room my hotel robe was gone. House keeping took it and never replaced it. That annoyed me. I called the front desk and they said they would bring one and they never did! This just added to my discomfort since it was constantly freezing in the room!

Overall, the service was just awful. No one had a clue of what they were doing and it seems like they have a bunch of UCSB hospitality management interns working here. We didn't dare eat at one of their restaurants or go to the spa as we figured it would be just as bad as the rest of our stay.

If this was a hotel for $150 a night I wouldn't even recommend it. Nothing special about it. Maybe back when it opened it was a good place to go but it's clearly a faded out hotel. Sorry bacara but we will not be returning.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
I am so sorry to read about your disappointing stay. Here at Bacara, we pride ourselves on our dedication to guest service. Unfortunately, it appears that our staff feels far short of that commitment. Thanks to all the details you provided, however, I will be able to follow up on every one of your comments with my staff and their supervisors.
I am happy to report that the vast majority of our guests truly love spending time here and experiences like yours are few and far between. I hope you will consider giving us another chance!

Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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San Diego, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

This is truly a unique and beautiful property. From, the isolated coastal hill setting to the "villa" like arrangement, it reminds you more of a small village than a hotel. During our stay we had excellent weather and amenities offered at the hotel allow you to take full advantage. The dinning facilities are first class and the staff is helpful and courteous.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Thank you so much for your review. This does feel like a charming village you might find along the Rivera!

We hope you will be back again soon.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012 via mobile

We were thrilled to host a special family event at Bacara Resort. It was only a few hours located central in the state so we could all get there easily, yet it felt so private and restful as if we were far away from all our cares. The staff was so attentive and friendly. The pools and spa were so wonderful it was difficult to leave. There was so many activities like paddle boarding, golf, surfing, and hiking- we had a blast! Miro, the high end restaurant was so very lovely. The shops had much to offer and so close to down town and all the many sites Santa Barbara has to offer. We can't wait to return!

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Thank you for your kind review. We are so pleased to provide an incredible venue for such special occasions.

We hope you and your family will return soon.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012 via mobile

Exceptional luxury, impeccable oceanfront setting, with world-class amenities. This place is a must stay. Santa Barbara's finest and Northern California's great destinations. The beach is beautiful and we walked for miles along the beach!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Thank you for your kind review. Bacara is in fact the only beachfront resort in Santa Barbara. The beach is secluded and stunning. I am pleased you were able to enjoy this so much.

We hope to see you back again soon.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

Just returned from a weekend stay at the Bacara Resort just north of Santa Barbara. This was my first visit to the Central Coast and the Bacara is a beautiful place to visit. The resort is separated and feels a bit isolated (in a good way) from the rest of the world - they have an absolutely beautiful piece of land right on the ocean.

This is NOT an inexpensive place to stay so I had high expectations and I'm reviewing it that way.

In my view, the Bacara is managed to cater to the many groups visiting the resort. When you looked around, the vast majority of staff members were focused on working in the areas related to the events happening - which meant that other details around the resort seemed to be forgotten.


PROS:

The Resort - The buildings are well kept and beautiful. The grounds and pool are excellent. There are some (relatively short) hiking and jogging trails, tennis courts and a beach area. The beach was covered in insects (not the fault of the resort) but the pool was perfect and picturesque.

Bistro Restaurant - this is the mid-level restaurant, but for us, it was actually the best part of the weekend. The dishes are inventive the service impeccable. The view over the ocean (you MUST sit outside if you eat here) is spectacular. The deconstructed ceviche dish along with the goat cheese stuffed figs were terrific -ooh and the monkfish.. Really, each dish was a surprise - in a very delicious way.

Spa + Fitness - Excellent gym with great equipment. One detail missed in the fitness center, the staff hadn't paid attention to the towels which were all used up by other guests when we visited.

Room Service - we used it for breakfast each morning and it was excellent and relatively prompt. A detail missed was housekeeping forgot to leave a breakfast card the first day so we just called.
(One note to the hotel is that the breakfast card is incomplete - there should be more choices listed other than just continental type items.)

CONS:

Crowded, Large Resort Feel: In many ways the Bacara feels large (well it IS a large resort) but the marketing for the place made me think it would feel more zen-like. Some examples:

Walkways - It seemed EVERY time you walk on the beautifully landscaped walkways you have to GET OUT OF THE WAY from the staff members on Golf/service carts. It started to bug me after then 10th, 15th and 20th time. The pathways were too narrow in many places for both pedestrians and service vehicles. I'm not sure how they could fix this other than build some separate service vehicle lanes.

Entry Court: The valets were excellent but there just weren't nearly enough to keep up with the mass of vehicles pouring into the small entrance court. It felt chaotic each time entering and leaving the property. We didn't really wait excessively - but it was more like entering a theme park hotel.

Lobby: Staff members were excellent but there just weren't enough of them. Each time we visited it was a bit chaotic (I noticed at least one angry customer complaining asking for a manager). It just felt a little too busy - it seemed there may be 50 people in the small lobby area but then only 2-3 staff members in sight who were busy giving excellent service to one or two guests. A detail missed in the lobby was that they had spa-style pitchers of tea and flavored water out for guests. The resort even went so far as to put out sliced sugar cane for the drinks, but they neglected to put out enough cups to actually enjoy the cold beverages.

Bathroom - Big detail missed here - I don't know why a hotel designer would ever think its a good idea to NOT soundproof the bathrooms. The doors separating the bathroom from the rest of the resort room, are louvered and pretty much open to the rest of the room. In other words, every noise made in the bathroom echoes throughout the entire rest of the room! Really these should be replaced with solid core doors for both the water closet and bathing areas.


JUST OK:

- Rooms - Except for the issue with the bathroom, our room was very nice. I wasn't a huge fan of the finishes (mexican tile, etc.) but it was nice and clean. Keep in mind that looking at the buildings MOST rooms do not have sprawling ocean views - most look at the beautifully maintained grounds. We had a peek of the ocean but I didn't mind our view of the courtyard for our building.

- Maid Service - was good, we expected turn down the first day but no big deal and no breakfast card for the following morning. Another detail missed here was that there wasn't enough soap for the room (sinks, shower and tub). For $400-500/night There really should be 3 bars set up - one for shower, tub and sink area.


Overall, the Bacara is a beautiful resort that feels a little crowded and seems focused on the many groups that visit. It wasn't quite the romantic five star experience I had expected (and they charge for). To summarize, if you were getting married you would want to have your wedding here - but maybe not your honeymoon.

Room Tip: Not many have an actual ocean view but it's ok. This place is more about the grounds which are...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Thank you for your review of your recent stay at Bacara. I would be hard pressed to think of any critiques that have been offered with you level of objectivity. Not only was your underlying attitude one of fairness, you actually provided me with the kind of helpful information that I can use in enhancing and affirming the level of service to which we aspire.

We hope you will consider a return visit. The fall and winter season is much less chaotic and the crowds are less.

Most Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

This past weekend we spent a weekend at Bacara Resort and spa. BREATHTAKING is the first word that cones to mind. There are only a handful of 5star resorts on the California coast that can measure up. This hotel caters to the stars and they are there every weekend. As you would expect, the parking lot is filled with high end automobiles.. we rented a suite overlooking the pool and ocean views where the comfort and decor was unsurpassed as was the room service. The site is magnificent and secluded, the service was impeccable and the restaurants truly provide an enjoyable culinary experience, whether you choose the Spanish themed Miro restaurant, with his art decorating the room, and ocean views abound or the pool and beach restaurant with its delicious daily brunch and fantastic overviews. We also used the gym that IS complete with the latest equipment, and let us not forget the spa that is commensurate with the best in the world. The beach US a good five minutes down a beautiful road and is relatively clean and secluded. Driving in from los Angeles for a weekend makes you feel like you have had a weeklong restful vacation. It is our favorite new 5 star resort. It is centrally located 8 min from the newly renovated Santa Barbara airport and 10 min to town.I would highly recommend
it.
Nir

Nir

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Thank you so much for your very kind review. It sounds like you were able to enjoy all of our incredible amenities. In fact, most of our guests are quite happy just staying here! Thank you also for your comments about the Spa and Fitness facilities. As a Bacara Guest, there is no charge to enjoy either of these.

We hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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

Also Known As:
Bacara Hotel
Bacara Resort
Bacara
Bacara Resort Spa
Santa Barbara Bacara Resort
Bacara Resort Santa Barbara
Bacara Spa Resort Santa Barbara
Bacara Resort Santa Barbara Ca
Bacara Santa Barbara
Bacara Hotel Santa Barbara
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 hotels 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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