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“Big, Beautiful, A little pricier than need be.” 4 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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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
$100 Gift of Indulgence
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Big, Beautiful, A little pricier than need be.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Stayed here for my anniversary over 4th of July weekend 2012.
Big Beautiful hotel, but service isn't really there... you are paying only for location and grandeur and they nickel and dime you for everything.
Decided to get a light breakfast so stopped by the spa for yogurt and cereal...
Served on a tray, a small box of cereal and pre-packed yogurt (to be expected in the spa... not the restaurant, so this is ok by me) but to charge $15 for it is a little ridiculous.... I get resort prices, but c'mon.
Pool staff was great and the location is amazing... walking down the beach was spectacular and golf is nearby.

Valet's were a little odd though... can't remember exactly what happened, but I remember they said something or did something that had my wife and I a little put off.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, July 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay from last year. I was pleased to read you found the resort to be beautiful, our location amazing and our pool staff great. Since you were here a year ago, our Spa Café now serves full breakfast and lunch and no longer offers grab and go type of service. We would love to welcome you back to enjoy breakfast or lunch there. It has been too long, come back and visit us!

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,774 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (501)
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Stockholm
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

There's no denying it, the hotel and the grounds are just simply gorgeous. It is really well maintained, and the pool area is stunning.

The food at Miro was delicious. We found that the food at dinner was much better than at lunch, though we're not sure if this was down to the chef or to the menu. Lunch was decent but the dinners were sublime.

But Bacara does not get the full five stars because it fails on service. It was really hit or miss. We found that the staff at Miro were fantastic, reliable and consistently good, and the lady who tends to the spa was great. On the negative side, other members of staff would promise a service and never show up for it. The staff manning reception were less than satisfactory, not seeming to be very well-informed nor friendly. Small things like the missing bottles of complimentary water in our room just shows that Bacara still needs to polish up a bit before it can really claim to be a true five-star hotel offering a five-star experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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, July 2, 2013
Thank you for your recent review. It was wonderful to read that you found the hotel and grounds gorgeous, food at Miró sublime and the service there fantastic. I am sorry that we fell short in all areas of your stay. Reviews such as yours help us to improve and we appreciate your feedback. We hope that despite these few setbacks you will return to Bacara. We hope to welcome you back soon.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
miami
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

We spent a week at Bacara and had the MOST amazing experience. From being greeted warmly by the valet staff, to check-in, to wait staff and more....Bacara exceeded all expectations! The gym, pool, and overall grounds were some of the best maintained I've seen at a luxury resort. Maybe because Bacara is so young, only 12 years old? It is beautifully kept. It seems the staff takes pride in what they do, and they all make you feel very welcomed. There wasn't one staff person who we passed by who didn't smile, or greet us with a "good morning". It's nice that the resort doesn't rest on its laurels, it easily could. With its gorgeous views, beautiful grounds, fabulous weather, proximity to town, there's a lot to love without the staff having to even lift a finger. But the fact that they do, and they are so accommodating and willing to be helpful when you need assistance, makes this a stand-out resort. We did not have an ocean view room, even though we requested one, so we just asked for a quiet room, because we had heard if you were near the pool it could be noisy. Makes sense. So we were grateful for a very quiet room on the third floor in building 15. We loved the walk to the pool, to the main reception area, and to various dining spots. The staff was helpful and timely with our luggage, both at check-in and departure. The servers at Miro were friendly and on point. And the food was amazing! We ate there several times, and although it was pricey, it was always delicious. Even the food at the main pool was high quality, fresh and delicious. I have read some of the other less favorable reviews about the service at Bacara and I just don't get it. That wasn't our experience at all. We loved it, and would highly recommend it!

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room, like we did, we were happy with our room on the 3rd floor in building 15.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 2, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review about your recent visit to Bacara. I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed every aspect of your stay from our location and grounds to our overall service and cuisine. We appreciate your wonderful feedback and look forward to welcoming you back to Bacara in the near future.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsale, AZ
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

Not sure where to begin regarding the lapses is service because they exist everywhere! I know it's summer and they hire seasonal help, but no one gives a damn. After arrival with Jesse - he did a nice job, but it went downhill from there.

I am writing this review and still waiting one hour and forty minutes for two sandwiches from room service. Called three times and told "on it's way"....from L.A.?

Here are some things you can expect that we experienced in less than 24 hours;

*. No one can SELL you a bottle of water...we dare you! Wanted to go for walk on the beach and couldn't find a soul willing to help! The restaurant supervisor "tried"to call someone. The spa manager directed us to the pool bar that was closed....we finally purchased two bottles of GLASS water for $10.00.

* We were overcharged for our " Happy Hour" which is supposed to be 25% off - add insult to injury being charged 20% more than printed menu price for cocktails...David the bartender massaged some patrons before leaving his shift...nice touch (literally).

* The staff in general wants to care, but they have no reason to. 18% Gratuities seem to be automatic so no reason to give a chit.

* Noise s abundant. People smoking everywhere, thin walls...someone shuts a door two hallways away, and it rattles in our room.

Do yourself a favor. Find another place to stay that is much cheaper....management doesn't give a chit!

P.s.the place is dirty! Gum, papers, dirty glasses from the night before...

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, July 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback from your recent stay at Bacara. Aside from your kind comments about Jessie, I was very disappointed to read your comments. Despite what you think, our management team does care and takes your feedback very seriously. I have contacted you privately so that I can personally resolve your concerns. Thank you for your time.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holmdel, New Jersey
Level Contributor
83 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Our Bacara stay lived up to expectations, which many upscale places do not do on occasion. The accommodations were fabulous and the service equal to the outstanding SoCal weather. Food was also of a high quality, even though some of the dining options were closed for renovations. Walking on the beach provides a great opportunity to unwind and reflect. Even experienced a 5.0 earthquake one morning!

Room Tip: Ocean view or front could be pricy, but lends to the outstanding atmosphere. Try and stay away from...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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, July 2, 2013
Mike B, Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderful review about your stay. I loved reading that we lived up to your expectations in all areas from our accommodations and service to our cuisine. We hope to welcome you back to Bacara for another visit soon, hopefully without any earthquakes!

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

I'll start with the positive - this place is gorgeous and right on the ocean. It's far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Santa Barbara proper that it's a nice place to get away and relax. The pool is incredible, the rooms are beautiful (with a fireplace and the most comfortable bed to boot!) and the grounds are breathtaking.

Now the negative - we had a bunch of service hiccups from start to finish. I'm not a picky person but it almost became laughable how many things happened. Our friends who we were traveling with all had complimentary bottles of wine in their rooms, we did not - when we pointed this out to the front desk they apologized and said they'd send one down but it never came. Our waiter at the nice (& expensive!) restaurant Miro was either new or having a breakdown - he got so many things wrong and was bumbling, late and frazzled the whole dinner. Our waitress at the bar later was the same way, getting orders wrong, etc. But most importantly, we had the loudest neighbors who kept us up from 1100pm on, laughing, in and our of their room slamming their doors and I was surprised how the noise traveled. We finally gave up at midnight and called the front desk, were told security would handle it, yet the noise continued to way past 2am. We both had our ear plugs in and a white noise app on an iPhone cranking, yet we still couldn't sleep.

I will have to say, the front desk handled it well upon check out and did apologize and comp us our dinner, so I appreciate how it was handled. But, for a quiet getaway resort, I was so disappointed we couldn't enjoy our comfy room and bed more. I would suggest a room on the top floor or request to stay away from wedding parties so you do not have our same experience, because otherwise this place really is lovely.

Room Tip: Noise carries and the doors slam so I would suggest a top floor room if that might wake you up
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, July 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback from your recent stay. It was wonderful to read all of your wonderful comments about our gorgeous location, beautiful rooms and breathtaking grounds. I am sorry that we fell short with consistent service throughout your stay. Such valid feedback as yours will help us improve. We hope that despite the service hiccups you experienced you will give us another chance in the future. Thank you again for your time.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gibbons, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

This resort is beautiful, very luxurious and the food was amazing. I attended a business meeting here with over 250 people and I cannot think of one little hiccup - every single interaction was above expectations. I will definitely come back to this resort for a pleasure trip. If you are considering a meeting location, this place is #1!!

The screening room was an excellent alternative to a traditional conference style and then as our meeting grew (to over 300 people) we transitioned into the Ballroom and it was also fabulous. The facilities are top notch, and the food and service at this resort make it an absolute 10!!! I honestly cannot think of any single one little constructive criticism (and that's unusual for me!!!)

Room Tip: I stayed in villa 10, on the main floor. I had the most amazing ocean view and a walk out my patio...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 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.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
I was so pleased to read that you had such an excellent experience while here on business. We can’t wait to welcome you back for a leisure vacation soon!

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Goleta
#1 Romantic Hotel in Goleta
#2 Family Hotel in Goleta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Bacara Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 360
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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