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“Location, Pool & Spa”

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The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
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
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1  Thank vixter888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded 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

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1,391 - 1,397 of 2,338 reviews

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
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Thank Iseeredpeople
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

We traveled to the West Coast the last 3 summers and stayed at 9-10 hotels throughout our travels. La Bacara offers a unique experience on several accounts. First, the property is composed of multiple villas that are Spanish Colonial in style and are set on top of a cliff overlooking the Pacific- the landscaping is well manicured with lush gardens and tropical palm trees; quaint walkways with benches along the way. The rooms are decorated in old world Spanish style- which was quite cozy. We had a suite with 2 balconies and 2 terraces. The fireplace in the suite was very charming for the cool nights.
I thought an area of improvement could have been the mattresses- maybe too soft for my liking. The rooms were clean and we were quite comfortable.
Second- the service was above average and we found the staff to be quite accomodating and willing to process special requests. A special thank you to Cody who assisted us in
obtaining a special wine!!
Thanks to Otis at the Tennis Center for assisting with the towels and water and the court. Also, for his friendliness and just being nice! The courts are clay at La Bacara- an unusual find on the west coast and that combined with perfect weather made for a pleasant tennis experience. The courts are a bit far from the villas- but jitney carts are available upon request if you choose not to walk- they can take you door to door to your villa.
Third- The food was good. I'm from Manhattan so my standards are a bit high but we enjoyed breakfast at Spa Cafe and we enjoyed dinner at Miro.
The Spa was nice- about average for most hotels. Nothing exceptional stands out. I enjoyed my massage.
The Spa pool was a very relaxing experience- you can use it everyday without going to the Spa- that is special!! Also- it is quiet without children or excessive noise permitted. They do serve food and drinks- great smoothies!!
As far as the Beach House and Beach- that was a bit disappointing- the beach house is quite far from the villas and the beach is not that clean- so I would not recommend that.
All in all, it was a very positive experience at this boutique property and I can highly recommend it!!
Special Tip: Obtain villa near Spa- that is where we spent most time- for breakfast, pool, boutique, spa services....
Beware- parking fee- 30/night
Tennis fee-25/hour court time
Internet- we needed to buy the premium package for 14.95/night as free Wifi kept freezing up

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank SaffyMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We were impressed with this resort from the minute we pulled into the courtyard. We were quickly greeted by both valet and bellman and escorted into the large, mediterranean style lobby. The staff was friendly and efficient allowing us to get into our room and out exploring the beautiful property. Our room in a one story bungalow was so charming. The room was furnished with a ecclectic mix of furnishing that managed to feel both upscale and romantic at the same time. The large bathroom was closed off from the bedroom area by shutters and had a great tub and very large shower area. Upscale toiletries and Frette linens were a nice luxurious touch. A tray of candles was placed next to the bed with matches. Sweet. The property itself is beautifully manicured and has a managed rustic feel that suits the dramatic cliffside coastal location on the beach. There is a lovely path along the back of the property and the water that shouldn't be missed. We ate in the fine dining restaurant on the property called Miro. The staff was very professional and welcoming. They accommodated us at the last minute with a great table outside on the terrace. The experience from start to finish was amazing. The sommelier after guiding us through the wine list even took us on a tour of their cellar. There was a cozy bar with a fireplace at the reception area that we would have loved to had a drink in if we hadn't had so much fun already! Every person we encountered on the property greeted us and asked after our needs. The pool area and spa although we didn't use them were gorgeous. We hated to leave and hope to return again!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jaluca04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

Thank you for writing about your recent stay. I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay from arrival, guest room amenities, friendly staff, to your dining experience at Miró. I enjoyed reading your review and we can’t wait for you to return.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager

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Reviewed August 19, 2013

My husband, two teen kids and I stayed at Bacara Resort again. I am just sorry it’s been a year since our last stay, but it was like coming home again. Everyone was so friendly. We stayed for 5 days last week and had a great time everyday. This year we booked a suite with ocean view, loved it! My husband and I had couples massages, wow a real treat. Masseuses Lisa Marie and Marti were great. The 3 pools are beautiful (we mostly hung out at the No young kids pool) and the ocean is just a few yards away. We will be back sooner, not later.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank ELC081912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

I was so happy to read that you feel like you are coming home when you stay at Bacara. That is so special and we love reading reviews such as yours. We hope that you will not wait for another year to pass before you return again. Come home soon!

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Although priced on the higher end of the scale, this resort really takes the cake when it comes to amenities, service, and quality. The rooms are nice but the mattresses, pillows, and bedding are the standouts here. When I'm away from home, I want to know that where I rest my head is pristine and I need to be able to get a good night's rest; Bacara delivers on that like few other places in the area can so that, on it's own, is worth the premium.

There are 2 gorgeous pools on the premises and 1 adults only pool that's nice but not gorgeous. There's a spa facility that rivals some of the best in LA and, again, pretty much sets the tone for getting much deserved rest and rejuvenation.

I'm not a fan of the 'fine dining' restaurant on premises - Miro. The dinner was fine and service, as always, was spot on, but there are nicer meals to be had in Santa Barbara for less. The breakfast, however, is just fantastic. Again, it carries a premium price but the view and setting for a solid breakfast and coffee overlooking the Pacific is a much nicer experience (to me) than the experience at Miro.

It is also quite family-friendly so I'd recommend for couples just as well as families.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Ali S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent stay. I was thrilled to read you enjoyed our luxurious bedding, amenities and service. While I was pleased that you enjoyed your breakfast as well as the service at Miró, I am sorry to read that you were not thoroughly pleased with your dinner. I am confident that we will meet and exceed your expectations on your next visit and hope to welcome you back soon.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager

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Reviewed August 18, 2013

I went to lunch at the bistro 8/17/13 and it was busy. Why wouldn't it be? This resort is located right on the beach. The staff was friendly and the food was great. Service is very friendly. Only drawback is people let there kids run around, actually heard a women complain her server didn't controll her kids! I couldn't believe my ears I was beside myself and the manager kept his cool. Food is fresh and management is very professional and we loved every second. Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank dick c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

Thank you for writing about your recent lunch at The Bistro. I was so happy to read that you enjoyed our friendly staff and wonderful cuisine. Sorry about the crazy kids that day, normally the majority of our guests and children do not behave in the manner that you described. We can’t wait for you to return and hope to welcome you back 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.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Address: 8301 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117 (Formerly Bacara Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Goleta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room 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:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Goleta
#1 Business Hotel in Goleta
#2 Family Hotel in Goleta
Price Range: $465 - $916 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara 5*
Number of rooms: 358
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Along the bluffs and beaches of the Gaviota coast lies a resort of stunning natural beauty and relaxed luxury. With 78 acres of oceanfront property, including two miles of natural beach, Bacara offers an expansive sun-drenched setting with endless vistas of sea and sky. The resort's innovative and artful design is in keeping with the intimacy and aesthetics of a Mediterranean village. Unwind at an award-winning 42,000-square-foot spa and fitness center or relax beside one of three zero-edge swimming pools and 26 private cabanas. The resort's 358 newly-renovated guestrooms and signature suites artfully infuse luxurious interiors with modern technologies for a true sense of comfort. Additional resort amenities include a new oceanfront restaurant, Angel Oak, four Har-Tru clay tennis courts, a Foley wine tasting room, and the adjacent Sandpiper Golf Club. ... 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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