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“6 cylinder resort...running on 3” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bacara Resort & Spa

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Bacara Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Napa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“6 cylinder resort...running on 3”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

This is my letter to the Manager of Bacara to which I never received a reply. After my experience, I didn't really expect one. You be the judge.

Dear Kathleen Cochran:

I know that client feedback is important to you and the hotel in improving the Bacara experience. We checked in last Sunday, October 13. We had used points earned through Hotels.com to pay for two nights of our three nights stay.

On checking in Sunday afternoon (4 pm ish) there was a line 3 deep at the front desk & no one in sight. After about 3-4 minutes one person came out to start the check in process. In the meantime, a disgruntled guest planted himself at the desk in front of those waiting in line to continue his rant ( & threats) at one of your employees.

We walked to our room Villa 2 #2205 . We noticed 3 used water glasses on the floor of the hall near our room. These glasses were moved on Tuesday to the cabinet at the end of our hall, now joined by two dirty red wine glasses. Wednesday a.m. they were still there when I went for a walk (more on that below) and breakfast (more on that below). However, when we left our room at noon to check out they were finally gone. When we got into the room Sunday, there was only one robe so I called housekeeping and ordered another one for a gentleman. They asked what size, I told them Large--A medium robe was delivered.

Breakfast Monday am.--we arrived at 9 a.m. to a not very busy terrace, ordered coffee (which came immediately), two toasted bagels, a bowl of fresh berries and a grapefruit. We had a tee time at Sandpiper at 10:20. At 9:30 we left our table and told the hostess we were leaving, at which time, she told us we had to wait to sign the check for our coffee, then came back and told us our breakfast was now being served. (We left since it was too late at this point. At this time she did not ask for a signature for the coffee.)

That morning (Monday) when we went out, I handed a gentleman at the front desk a note with some things we needed: A Large robe, slippers for the cold, hard tile floor, a price list for the in-room bar and snacks, and I wanted to know if the bottle of Merlot in the room was complimentary. We got the robe. Nothing else. Also, One bar of soap between the basin and the shower was a bit off- putting.

Then, the final touch was after my walk on the beach Wednesday a.m. I got back from the beach, had a nice breakfast and went to my room to get ready to leave. Imagine my distress when I looked at my feet which were covered with spots of oil/tar. In the binder in the room, it states that the oil/tar can be a problem, but it comes off with the wipes located in the room--there were none.

My overall opinion of Bacara is it's a 6 star hotel running on 3 cylinders. Gorgeous setting, amazing. Some of the staff were real winners; others were just doing a job and it showed.

I hope my critique is helpful to you. It's meant to be constructive and not mean spirited. We travel 6 months out of the year-all over the world and stay on some of the finest cruise ships and in some of the finest hotels. We had been so looking forward to our stay at Bacara and were so disappointed.

I waited 3 weeks before posting this--hoping the hotel would reply.

Room Tip: Don't get stuck in a dark ground level room on a walkway. Noisy in early a.m.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Neverhome2013
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, November 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent stay. I am sorry to say that I was never in receipt of your letter and would have certainly replied right away. While I was pleased to read that you enjoyed our setting and service in certain areas, I was truly disappointed to read your overall letter. To that end, I have contacted you privately so that I can personally right any wrongs and address your concerns. I hope that we can connect 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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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (593)
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English first
Clayton, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We had an exceptional stay at Bacara. The resort is beautifully appointed, the rooms large and comfortable and the politest, most helpful staff of any resort we have ever stayed at. That include many four and five star resorts. It was located in a quiet area, away from the Santa Barbara traffic, yet close enough to be in town in 15 minutes. It is on a lovely, though rather sea weedy beach, which was great for a nice walk. The on site Bistro had excellent breakfasts. The pools and jacuzzis were very nice with lots of places to sit and enjoy the sun. It is upscale, with lots of nice amenities, but not snobbish at all. We did some wine tasting, shopping, walking on the beach and ate great meals. We will definitely return.

Room Tip: We chose a king room with a fireplace and it was a fabulous spacious size. I
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  • Stayed November 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
Helpful?
Thank Burgers814
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, November 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay. I am so pleased to read that you enjoyed all that Bacara has to offer and we can’t wait to welcome you back for another visit soon.

Most Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the resort on November 19, 2013. We booked the room through a third party and when checking in to the resort, front desk informed us that they were unable to find our reservations. After several minutes, they decided to check us in while they continued looking for the reservations. They promised to call us as soon as the issue was resolved. However, they did not call us back and my husband and I went to inquire at the lobby. We waited several more minutes until they said that it was all resolved and that they found our reservation. We were told that there would be a standard pending transaction on our credit card but we would not get charged from Bacara since we booked through a third party (besides parking and items we purchased). Upon checkout, we reviewed the bill and it was all correct.


However, days later the transaction for the room was posted to our credit card. We called a minimum of four different times and each time we were told that someone would call us back or that the transaction had been fixed. NOBODY EVER CALLED US BACK!! We then noticed on our credit card that we were charged again for the same transaction and then refunded the same amount. This did not fix our initial problem since the original charge remained on our credit card. My husband was finally able to reach someone from accounting and they were able to remove the incorrect transaction three weeks later. Overall it was horrible customer experience and a huge headache for us. We did not expect our anniversary getaway to the resort to turn into a nightmare.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Yu S
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, November 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay at Bacara for you anniversary. I was truly disappointed to read about your billing experience and have contacted you privately to address your concerns. I hope that we can connect 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.
Irvine, California, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

I have got to say the management at Bacara really stepped up and made our second trip there amazing.
We stayed there previously and had some issues. The management went to great lengths to be sure we came back and that our stay was without any issues, plus a few wonderful surprises. I always say that some times things can't be helped and you may not get the service you desire but it is how they deal with it that counts. The Bacara dealt with graciously and made up for any inconveniences we had last time.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Diane K
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, November 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your most recent visit. I am so pleased to read that we were able to turn your experience around and we look forward to welcoming you back again in the future.

Most Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

Bacara Resort & Spa is a gorgeous resort.When I stayed there, I arrived early and there was no problem checking in. The room was wonderful but I couldn't justify being inside the whole time since Haskell's Beach was just down the path. For dinner, we ate at the Bistro at Bacara and it was great. Everyone in my group had their significant others and family with them; so, the outside patio was the perfect location. With a glass of wine as the sun was setting, we all had a great time.

We missed the season where they make s'mores, so I will definitely be coming back in the summertime.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paulina T
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, November 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay. I am so pleased to read that you enjoyed our beautiful accommodations, dining and grounds. We actually are still offering s’mores on Saturday evenings during the fall and we hope to welcome you back soon to enjoy them. A full list of our resort activities can be found at http://www.bacararesort.com/santa-barbara-luxury-hotels/vacation-activities/

Most Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradenton, Florida
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

Just completed my second stay of multiple days within the past four weeks. Had our grown kids visit with us on the first stay (and a total of three wonderful rooms) and you couldn't ask for better service or a friendlier staff. And the views from all the rooms were spectacular! I was alone on the second trip and as previously experienced, had a wonderful room and great service and friendly faces on all of the staff. Merlyn was fantastic to work with both times and really helped make our stays memorable. I would definitely recommend Bacara to anyone visiting the Santa Barbara area that wanted a great place to stay.

Room Tip: The sea view rooms are the best view, but the garden view rooms are wonderful as well.
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  • Stayed October 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
Helpful?
Thank Frank W
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, November 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stays at Bacara. I was thrilled to read that each time you enjoyed your accommodations and service and we hope to welcome you back again 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.
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We live in Santa Barbara and have attended several events (company holiday parties, Ted conference) at Bacara, which are always first class events. This weekend we got a room at the hotel for the first time to stay overnight after a friend's party at the hotel. Pluses: spa pool/lunch service and spa locker room perfect, breakfast at the Bistro was delicious and lovely to sit outside. So-So: very expensive dinner at Miro. While the sunset was breathtaking and the staff was very attentive, the food wasn't great (my sea bass was totally overcooked? Not sure you can do that to sea bass!). Dinner at the Bistro would have been a better choice - my husband dines there for business dinners often and always enjoys the food. We attended a party in the wine bar, it is a beautiful room. The women working there weren't too enthusiastic but we had fun regardless. We ended at the lobby bar which was lively and perfect spot to wind down the night.
The negative: at 11:30pm we went to our room and the power was out! I notified the staff from an outside phone in the hallway. It was very frustrating to find our suitcases and move around the room with no visibility. I don't know when the power came back on in the middle of the night. The good news is when I checked out at 10am (such a short stay for us), the staff and manager VERY quickly apologized and gave us the room at no charge. (FYI our room was a partial ocean view, overlooking the pools and the beach - so breathtaking when I saw it in the morning!) Thanks to the staff and management's quick action to remedy the charge on the room, I would definitely stay here again for another event. The resort is gorgeous and so relaxing.

Room Tip: Partial ocean view overlooked the pool and you could see the shoreline and waves breaking. We were...
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  • Stayed November 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
Helpful?
Thank Anne P
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, November 5, 2013
Thank you for writing about your recent stay for your friend’s party. I was so pleased to read that you found the resort gorgeous and enjoyed many of our wonderful amenities. While you did experience challenges during your stay, I am pleased to see that our management was able to right that wrong. As a valued repeat guest, we truly appreciate your feedback and hope to welcome you back again soon.

Most Sincerely,

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 Bacara Resort & Spa

Property: Bacara Resort & Spa
Address: 8301 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117-2474
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 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: 385
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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