I will start by saying that I'VE BEEN DREAMING of going to Bacara FOR YEARS since my friends raved about it.
But sadly, somewhere between their raves and us booking our "pre-honeymoon," things changed. It was our biggest travel disappointment to date. Trip Advisor has never let me down until now. But it's clear to see from more of the very recent reviews that our trip was not an anomaly.
We had many of the same issues as other guests who have already listed them… This is NOT a 5-Star SERVICE resort. The location IS 5-Star. The grounds ARE 5-star. But there are many 2-star hotels with better service than Bacara.
Also, for us, this was NOT a romantic weekend getaway - at least not during the weekend of June 29th. When we travel, we do not mind children/families around us, but we specifically chose Bacara because we thought it was an adult resort where we would find a relaxed/gorgeous/romantic atmosphere with amazing service for our short pre-honeymoon. But, instead, these days It appears to be more of a family friendly resort - so if you have kids, it may be better suited to you these days than it was to us.
From start to finish it was a constant let down that we spent too much of our time there discussing rather than relaxing/enjoying.
So here's how it went, in a large nutshell:
-Most overheard phrase by employees to other guests (and to us) over the weekend: "I'm sorry…."
-I was told that we could plan to arrive early since we were heading up the morning after our wedding and although check in would be at 4, they would make a note of the fact that we were celebrating our honeymoon and our room would be likely ready much earlier, possibly even by 1 or 2. Well, we arrived at 3:50pm due to bad traffic, and there was no room ready - ok we know check-in is at 4, but why make the promises over the phone? They found us another room shortly after, which was fine - and thankfully NOT overlooking the pool which they somehow had down that I had requested (thankfully we were situated a little further back so the screaming of children in the pool was at a much lower decibel level than had we been right over the pool. Not romantic.)
-The restaurant Miro asked us if we were celebrating anything when we were coming in and we said "yes! our honeymoon!" Then they proceeded to say "congratulations." And that was it. Not sure why they asked us if they weren't going to acknowledge it any other way (like all the other places we've been for anniversaries/etc.) But on the upside, we did get to sit next to a woman talking to her daughter about colonoscopies! (This is not Bacara's fault - but at least it was so unromantic that we started laughing hysterically throughout our honeymoon dinner.)
-The Bistro was less than half full for brunch, but they didn't seat us for over 30 minutes - when we asked why, they said "they didn't have enough silverware."
-So many employees were friendly, but seemed to know nearly nothing. It was as if it was everyone's first day of work. (I don't mean this literally - but almost)
-There were way too many kids and babies in the pool for us to go in and feel comfortable. (plus it took forever to find 2 lounge chairs next to each other). When the jacuzzi finally freed up, we got to sit in it for about 90 seconds before a couple with their 8 year old jumped in. Fine anywhere else, not so fine for romance.
-Couples massage ($400+) - hate to say it, but I've had better massages in a nail salon. The price for such a joke almost made me cry. The automatic 20% gratuity must not be very motivating for the therapists to do a great job.
-If you need something brought to the room and you call the front desk, forget about it… it's not coming.
-Was sent a review form about our stay where I wrote about my experience and how our weekend was not what we were expecting. Response from Bacara: NOTHING.
-A guy with a travel-related website tweeted about his bad service the same weekend we were there - and Bacara tweeted him back to get in touch with them. I tweeted as well (I do not have a travel blog/website… yet!), and the response I got: NOTHING.
-Lastly, upon leaving - they packed up our car and brought it around, except that it wasn't our car! The cherry on top, as we called it! We got that straightened out before we left though ;)
On a high note, now our real honeymoon can only be better… We've chosen a "Trip Advisor #1" hotel, so fingers are crossed that it truly is that good.
If you want romance, request to NOT be put in a room overlooking the main pool - it is too noisy wit...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.