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“Great experience” 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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Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Goleta
Pebble Beach, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

The trip was for my wife's 45th birthday. She has always wanted to stay at Bacara. Our priorities for a property like this are generally 1) A great ocean view 2) A property that is easy to get around with all amenities close by 3) multiple food and beverage options at any time of the day. For the most part, Bacara met all of our expectations. A few things worth noting.

Location: The hotel is not near downtown Santa Barbara so you either need to drive, shuttle or cab to get there. Other than the SandPiper golf course, there is nothing you can walk to.

Property: Perhaps the most beautiful hotel property I have ever stayed at and I have been fortunate to stay at some amazing places around the world. Buildings and landscaping are gorgeous and constantly maintained. I would normally not even mention this but it was so over the top good. The property is on a hill that goes down towards the pool/beach. It is quite a slope but they do have golf carts everywhere (and I do mean everywhere) and can shuttle you if necessary,

Rooms: Gorgeous rooms, very spacious. The configuration had the oversized tub in the oversized bathroom situated as such that you could look out the patio door toward the ocean. Just beautiful. The 8, 9 and 10 buildings seem to be closest to the ocean. Building 9 might be the best as 10 might be a little too close to the pool (more later).

Pool: We arrived on a Saturday in July and were quite frankly a little surprised by the number of kids at the pool. The noise was unbelievable and all I could think about was the poor people with rooms near the pool. It seemed more like the Disney Grand Californian than a $800 a night resort. When we got to our room in building 8 I was thrilled that I couldn't hear the noise from the pool. Again, I love kids, just not what I expected. By Sunday afternoon the pool was relatively quiet and we spent a great day out there on Monday.

Service: Service overall was great. We didn't ask for much but everyone was very friendly. For example, our room wasn't ready so the front desk gave us a voucher for free cocktails in the bar. The bartender poured very premium cocktails for us and kept checking with the front desk on the status of the room without us asking. Good stuff. Also, every morning I would go to the spa restaurant to get a latte (there is no "coffee shop/stand, huge fail) and the girls at the front desk couldn't have been nicer.

Food: We ate at The Bistro 3 times, twice for dinner and once for breakfast. Great outdoor seating, great service. Loved it. Service from the pool bar/grill was also excellent. We didn't eat at Miro or the other restaurants but we heard they were all excellent.

$$$$: OK, price is never really an object for us but value is. I was totally happy to pay $800 for the room, the food was expensive but high quality and well worth it. My small issue was with my morning latte. With no coffee spot, my only option was to go to the Spa Cafe where they happily made me the equivalent of a tall (read small) Starbucks for $11 (incl a $2 tip). That's insane and insulting. Also, breakfast at The Bistro for 2 was about $75. A couple of mornings, we took a nice walk up to the SandPiper golf course and had a great breakfast for about $20.

Overall, we loved the property. Put in a decent coffee spot and don't charge $9 a latte and we'll be back.

As for golf, I've reviewed Santa Barbara golf before but Sandpiper (next door) and Rancho San Marcos ( a lovely 30 minute drive into the Santa Lucia's) are both worth playing. Check GolfNow for good rates.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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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, August 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review about your recent stay for your wife’s 45th Birthday. Happy Birthday! I appreciate all your wonderful feedback about our service, cuisine and breathtaking location. I am happy to report that we are just about to open Blends, our newest addition to our many food & beverage options. Blends will offer coffee, smoothies and quick gourmet grab and go menu options. We hope to welcome you back to enjoy Blend soon in the future.


Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
Gnereal Manager
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (402)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

We were so looking forward to enjoying a relaxing few days at a luxury resort, but it was a really subpar experience.Grounds are beautiful, but rooms are pretty dated with uncomfortable beds. Service level is horrible.. We consistently found ourselves stepping over room service trays that had been left in the hall for over 12 hours; housekeeping was pretty bad; pool side restaurant at main pool as well as pool side food service was really slow and inattentive; we had to wait over 10 minutes just for a spa attendant to show up at the desk to give us a locker key and they do not enforce the adults only policy at the spa pool. While we vacation at luxury resorts pretty frequently and don't mind paying resort fees; its a reasonable expectation to expect basic resort level services in exchange for those fees.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
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 26, 2013
Thank you for writing about your recent stay. Although you found the grounds beautiful, I am truly disappointed that we did not meet and exceed your expectations throughout your stay. To that end, I have contacted you privately to personally follow up with your concerns. I hope to connect with you soon.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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Indio, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

The Bacara Resort was set as a destination to celebrate a family patriarch birthday. We were awe-struck at the beautiful coastal location the Bacara rests on. From the impeccably manicured grounds gently rolling to the peaceful ocean beach, the rooms, the staff, the food, the service and attention to detail were all beyond excellent. Bacara Spa offers numerous holistic treatments in a most heavenly atmosphere. I had a signature personalized facial that left me feeling pampered and blissful. Breakfast at The Bistro ...delicious. Try the "eggs benedict"...a winner! The dinner at Miro was superb and the wait staff was beyond attentive. The linens and the bedding in our ocean view suite were posh. The pools are inviting and "oh-so-scenic". Bonus that they allow pets ! The Bacara Resort deserves a "Diamond" in the Michelin !!!

Room Tip: Every suite has a view !!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 26, 2013
Thank you for writing about your recent family birthday visit. I was delighted to read that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay from our beautiful setting, to our guest rooms, staff and cuisine. We hope to welcome you and your family back for many more memorable stays in the future.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, MS
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

Went to Bacara for the first time. Will definitely go back. No cars inside the resort...golf carts....so it is quiet and peaceful. Beautiful pools and view of ocean. Excellent and attentive staff. Highly recommend it if you want to relax and enjoy the place. Nice restaurants, too. Everyone was very nice and helpful. It is also family friendly and couples friendly.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay. I loved reading that you were able to truly relax and enjoy our unparalleled location, service and cuisine. We hope to welcome you back for another relaxing vacation soon.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

So let me start by saying this hotel is absolutely beautiful! From the moment you drive up, the the lobby, the grounds and the gorgeous rooms, you are confident you have arrived at a true 5 star property. We were traveling with our three young boys so we got a suite and were thrilled upon arrival. The room was clean, spacious and designed elegantly. LIke all the rooms there, we had a balcony and ours luckily had an ocean view.
For anyone to claim they had bad service is astonishing to me. The service was truly the best I have had in years and I am comparing the The Ritz's and St Regis's of the world. You could not receive better pool service. Anytime you wanted anything there was a waiter at your disposal. My mom dropped her kindle by her lounge chair and before she could pick it up there was a waiter reaching for it t hand to her. Alex was an exceptional example of the type of service you would expect at this resort. As soon as the thought entered my mind that I would like some ice water he was literally standing over me with a cup - no joke!
The only cons I could say is that while they advertise this as a beach resort - there aren't any chairs set up on the beach and the beach has tar on it so its not necessarily a beach you want to spend your day on. It did not affect our trip as the pools are beautiful and heated to the perfect temperature. The only other con could be that it is at least a 10-15 minute drive to town. This did not bother us that much as we didn't mind the drive but it is something other people may want to know.
All in all we would definitely come back here. We loved our experience and recommend this hotel without hesitation.

Room Tip: We had Room 8103 - great suit with partial ocean views. Close to the pool and the Bistro.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent family getaway. I am so happy to read that you loved your stay and will return in the future. I wanted to take the time to clarify any confusion about the beach. We sit right atop Haskell’s Beach, which is a public beach open to both our resort guests as well as the community to enjoy. We offer beach chairs and umbrellas through our beach house upon request for our guests to enjoy. We hope that your family will visit us again soon!

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

I'm a veteran luxury hotelier so am a little picky. Overall, I'd say the key things Bacara has to offer are: 1) 75 acres on the Coastline of sunny California. PRIME secluded location in Goleta just north of Santa Barbara. Only 10 minutes to State Street. 2). Beautiful grounds with lush landscaping. Well maintained. Nice beach, Trails for walking. Several guests brought their dogs and were having a jolly time. 3). Friendly staff. Not as well trained as Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton but they are more natural and won't "My Pleasure" u to death. 4). Good food. Breakfast at the Bistro is a treat. (avg $30) The FIne Dining -Miro's- is delicious. The Spa Cafe has healthy choices. Room service is mediocre and expensive. They offer 24 hour but go out if you can. 5) Very nice salt-water Pools cascading down the hillside with cabana's and nice view. Terrific pool boys. SLOW food & drink service but tasty. Great Fish Taco's there, btw. Also have an adult pool near the Spa. 6) 40,000 sq foot Spa. Wide assortment of treatments. Very low key staff who are nice but not at all pushy. Avg 1 hour treatment cost $222 including the gratuity. 6). A plus for the elderly is that a Golf Cart will come and take you where you want to go on the property. Resort is spread out into a Mediterranean Style village and requires lots of walking. Unless you call them up for a ride and are willing to wait 5-10 minutes. To me those were the BEST things. We stayed in a Partial OV 1 bedroom Suite. Nice. Comfortable. Spacious. Good bed with Frette linens. We had a fireplace in the room that had obviously been used recently because the room STUNK from the smell of smoke. Guess they havent seen the Febreeze commercial. View was great from the patio but not so hot in the room. So, call and talk to reservations about the location of the room you are booking. Amenities were what you would expect in a good resort - 2 terry bathrobes, ample towels, nice toiletries, stocked honor bar, water, ice bucket ( that was never filled), Kuerig Coffee Maker. Do not Disturb sign but no MAKE UP MY ROOM sign. And there is a reason for that.....Housekeeping is not the greatest. It's not easy on such a spread out resort, I understand. But that isn't my problem when I am spending $500+ a night. We didnt get turndown 2 out of 3 nights we were there. Not good since I was sleeping on the Sofabed that wasn't rolled out. And once it was set up ...OUCH! OK for a kid but grossly uncomfortable for an adult. And...don't ask the Maids to come back in a hour....they never will. If you are in the room my advise is let them in. Parking is $30 a night - YIKES! Resort fee is $25 a day. They automatically add on 18% to Spa treatments and food service. So, keep this in mind when you set your budget. This is a great resort for families. There were LOTS of kids at the pool. Of all ages. I prefer quiet so I went to the Spa pool. No breeze there but serene and quiet. Not a 5-star...but a solid 4 star resort. You can get better service at the intimate El Encanto on the Hill or the Four Seasons or San Ysidro Ranch. But the location of Bacara can't be beat. And it's a friendly easy going place. I'll go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 28, 2013
Thank you for writing such a detailed account of your recent stay at Bacara. While I was pleased to read that you enjoyed our location, grounds, room amenities and service, I am truly disappointed that we did not meet and exceed your expectations in all areas of your stay. I am happy to read that the good outweighed the bad and that you will be back. We can’t wait to welcome you!

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manger
Report response as inappropriate
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Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

We came to the Santa Barbara area for our 30th wedding anniversary and chose Bacara because it was the only ocean front resort we could find that didn't have a street to cross to the beach. What a treat - every thing in the room exuded relaxation and romance. The fireplace was perfect on chilly nights, the screen side door to the balcony opened to the sounds of the ocean lulling us to sleep every night. Marble floors, excellent bedding, Keurig Coffee maker, the Jacuzzi tub/bathroom opened up to view the balcony - everything was wonderful. The service was excellent - we received a complimentary bottle of champagne and dessert for our anniversary with a personal note from the manager - such a nice touch. Every person on the property - the fitness center, the desk clerks & concierge, the shuttle drivers and grounds keepers were all so friendly and went over and above to make us feel welcome. We have been to the Four Seasons in Hawaii and this property is just as remarkable in the service if not better! The only complaint we had was our first day we somehow missed housekeeping and they never came back to replenish our coffee - when we called the next morning to request more coffee pods, not only did they bring us scads of them, they also sent us a steaming hot fresh pot of coffee! Just can't say enough about this place - Hope we can come back again very soon!

Room Tip: Get an ocean front or ocean view room! I would avoid a ground garden level room unless you can ensu...
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  • Stayed July 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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*
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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