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“I hate to use the cliche "hidden gem," but this place really is.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zaca Lake Retreat

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Zaca Lake Retreat
8000 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos, CA   |  
Hotel amenities
San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“I hate to use the cliche "hidden gem," but this place really is.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2011

If you're looking for a resort with amenities such as room service, TVs in your room, Wifi all over the place, and no ants or bugs, then this place isn't for you. But if you're looking to take a break from it all, have an excuse to not keep your cell glued to your hip, love seeing does with their fawns, and realize that nature comes with some creepy-crawlies, then you'll love this place. I based my "stars" on what one should reasonable and realistically expect from a retreat.

The accommodations aren't luxurious, but they're more than adequate. They're what come to mind with a wilderness resort! I'll gladly trade the Marriott's ugly "luxury" comforters (and let me tell you, after working for a Marriott myself, their comforters are only washed when they start to reek or are very visibly dirty, which is why they have that horrid pattern - to mask dirt and enable them to get away with sometimes a couple months between washings) for the view out the window or off the deck. I'll gladly skip the pool surrounded by lots of screaming kids and rude teens for a serene row on the lake with my daughter. Come here to be left alone!

Long review short, if you're looking for seclusion and solitude with a side of nature and gorgeous views, perhaps a dessert of deer sightings (we saw a doe and her fawn first day, and two deer in a single day isn't much for this place!), then you'll love this retreat. If you want to commune with nature and have your choice between easy or tricky trails, head to Zaca. If you want a resort, then go to a resort instead of being mad at this place. Would you give an Italian restaurant one star because you couldn't get a taco?

  • Stayed May 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2011

Please don't come here, because we want to keep this place a secret! It's absolutely beautiful and serene! If you love nature, animals, hiking and swimming in a glassy lake this is your spot. It is quiet and stunning. We come here when we want to get away from the crowds and noise. This is a jewel. This is not the place for you if you expect posh accommodations, room service, phone service or loud activities. This is for nature lovers! Perhaps that information will deter some people and this place the sanctuary that it is:)

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2010

My boyfriend and I attended a wedding at Zaca Lake last weekend. The setting could not have been more beautiful. The wedding took over all of the cabins and made the whole experience family and friend oriented. Some people brought kayaks and canoes for the lake which along with a floating dock and rope swing made for good times on the lake! The lodge and alamo were both good gathering places for the whole group. I would go back for sure!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2010

I took my family of 6 with me to watch a fantastic couple pronounce their vows for marriage … it was fantastic. The view, the animals - a deer swimming across the lake, the birds...the Lake…. Kayaking, canoeing…
I didn’t turn on my cell phone once - I let myself go and it was a perfect family vacation.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brooklyn, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2010

This place is not a resort, but indeed as the name declares, a retreat. It is a beautiful, peaceful getaway. They put resources at your disposal to do with as you wish--including clean and functioning cabins, a walk-in fridge and fully functional communal kitchen and dining area, a lake with a couple small kayaks, an outdoor grill and eating space, and plenty of trails to hike. There is no cell phone service up there, which I found to be really relaxing, but they do have a wireless internet connection at the lodge.

The air up there is sweet, the lake is beautiful, clean, and warm (at least in the summer), and there is a lot of wildlife and great bird watching. If you're looking for an affordable vacation where people leave you alone, I would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Burbank, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2010

The last time I went to Zaca lake, it was very cold outside, and it was also raining. However, the cabins were pretty warm, and there was also plenty of hot water. Even though it was the middle of winter, the cabins were comfortable. Also, even at night it is very easy to see outside, and the roads are very visible in the dark despite the great amount of trees and leaves, which are very pretty during the day. The hiking is really fun, too :]

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sun Valley, CA
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

I have been to Zaca Lake 3 times over the past 3 years with a youth group from my church and we always have a great time. The grounds are very well-kept and I've always slept comfortably and soundly.

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Zaca Lake Retreat

Address: 8000 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos, CA
Location: United States > California > Los Olivos
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty lodging in Los Olivos
Also Known As:
Zaca Lake Retreat Hotel Los Olivos

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