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“Great Place” 5 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
Manhattan Beach, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

It is a true luxury hotel with first class service and lots to do. We either stay that at the Four Seasons Biltmore or Bacara when we go to Santa Barbara and we are really starting to like Bacara more. Totally different feel at each place but Bacara seems to be trying harder to make us happy. We can always get an early check-in which is now nearly impossible at the Biltmore and a late check-out was not a problem. Highly recommend the Nature Walk with Barbara. She is a fantastic guide and it is a great way to walk off the great buffet breakfast they have on the weekends. The classes and fitness center are exceptional. Lots of selections. From the moment we drove in to the time we left, staff was always very accommodating.

Room Tip: If you are going to use the pool a lot, I would aks for a room near the pools.
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  • Stayed December 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 MarkinMB
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, January 3, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay. I am so happy to read that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay and continue to return to Bacara. We can’t wait to welcome you back 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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2,053 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (585)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hook, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

No doubt, this is the best Ocean Side / Ocean View property in the Santa Barbara area. To be fair, it could only be compared to the Four Season Santa Barbara (formerly The Biltmore). At the time of our reservation, the Four Seasons was fully booked for our dates, thus we reserved at the Bacara!

The property is truly beautiful, it is on an elevation directly on the coast with great views of the ocean. The resort has 3 swimming pools, a gym, a spa and all the amenities expected of a 5* hotel.

The staff were very courteous and helpful; however, we felt that there was a lack of communication between management and staff throughout the property. For example, on the first day, we were looking for the place to go for breakfast; 3 employees had given us directions to the Spa Café which we finally found out was closed due to the off season.

The property is built in a Spanish Hacienda style and the rooms are divided between separate buildings known as Villas. For those that may have trouble walking around (property is built on a hill), golf carts are available for transporting guests around the large resort.

We had an upgraded room with a Partial Ocean view which was visible from the balcony, we had a fireplace and a King size bed. The purpose of the stay was for Christmas to be close to the family who live within 5 miles and to be able to visit each day.

When we first arrived at the room, there was only 1 bath robe in the cupboard and no slippers. Also, there was only 1 bar of soap and a couple of bottles of hand cream/lotion by the bathroom sink; I must note that we had a large bathroom with a large bathtub in the center of the room and a separate walk in shower; both had no toiletries/amenities should you need to take a shower or bath.

When I asked about slippers, I was politely told that the hotel doesn't have them. When I asked about soap, body lotion, extra bottled water and the extra robe, I was told by the Bellboy desk not to worry and that they would send them to the room. After we checked in, we left the property for a couple of hours; when we returned, the extra bath robe and water bottles were in the room as promised; however, there was no additional soap and lotions to take a shower or use the bath tub. I had to call a second time and waited 30 minutes to proceed with bathing.

We stayed in Villa 1 which is at the highest elevation and closest to the Lobby Building; the water pressure was not constant and the water temperature varied extremely due to the variable pressure. In fact on our 3rd morning, there was no water at all; someone had inadvertently shut off the supply valve on the roof and our room had no water; an engineer was sent within about 15 minutes to tell us that they opened the valve.

On Christmas Day, we wanted to get something light to eat in the evening, at around 4 PM, we returned to the hotel and walked around the property. I walked into the Miro which is a very well rated restaurant to see the menu and I noticed that there was only a Fixed Menu option for Christmas Day at $95 per person plus Drinks; although this may have been appropriate for the occasion, we were not able to eat a large meal and really only wanted something light as we had already had a heavy lunch. I returned to the room and phoned the Bistro Café (less casual than the Miro); I made a reservation for dinner at: 7:45 PM; we were not told that the restaurant only had the Fixed Menu option also; when we showed up, we were taken to a wonderful table outside on the Terrace overlooking the ocean surrounded by Gas Heaters to keep warm and we were given the Menu which was a Fixed Menu option for $85 plus drinks. If we had known, we may have found something lighter available outside the hotel but it was too late at 7:45 PM when we were already seated.

Room Tip: Request a Fireplace & a Partial Ocean View if it is within the budget.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Haig A
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, January 3, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed and thoughtful account of your recent stay. I truly appreciate all the details you provided. While I loved reading that you enjoyed the vast majority of your stay, I was sorry to read that you experienced challenges with amenities in your guest room and were disappointed with your dining options. I know we are very capable of meeting the public's highest standards and we hope to welcome you back to Bacara the next time you are in the area.

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.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
58 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

This is my fourth time at Bacara and my experiences just keep getting better. The service, room, food, everything is beyond wonderful. Miro, for Christmas dinner, was amazing. The service was impeccable, the food was fabulous, and well everything else simply wonderful. The spa services we had were as good or better than the last time I was here. Great place for families and even better for couples. It's such a large resort, that you aren't bothered by babies or screaming children, you don't even know they are there! I highly recommend this place for a couples getaway any time of year. It's been around 78 degrees every day since we arrived Christmas Eve.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view with a balcony, you won't be disappointed.
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  • Stayed December 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
Helpful?
Thank Mariana7777
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, January 3, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write about your most recent stay at Bacara. I am thrilled to read that you continue to enjoy our service, room, food and spa. We can’t wait to welcome you back.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatsworth, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

This resort exceeds expectations every time!
They can't do enough for you and always with a smile. All the employees are outstanding men and women who make you feel welcome as soon as you arrive. Feels like returning home each time I visit! Love the location, the property and the staff!...........

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Voiledelait
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, December 26, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your most recent stay at Bacara. I am thrilled to read that you enjoyed the location, property and our staff. We can’t wait to welcome you back “home” 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.
Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

One of the finest group events that our professional association has every organized. From the venues, catering, guest services to the friendly professionalism of the staff... all 6-star. The location is gorgeous and gorgeous. Thank you!

  • Stayed December 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WORLD_CLASS_TRAVEL
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, December 26, 2013
Thank you for writing about your recent event at Bacara. I am so pleased to read your review and we hope to welcome your group back again in the future.

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
Level Contributor
55 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

We came as part of a very big group and part of an event that the hotel accommodated for us. The property is very large and beautiful but the hotel really needs to work on the service. We found that it was quite slow. I would recommend against ordering at the pools because it will take a while. Check in and check out both took longer than anticipated.

There is a hotel fee when you check in and you receive a "complementary bottle of wine" in your room. I never like starting my trips off this way. I much prefer them just put these fees in to the set price per night.

Our room was big and clean but one of the members in our group found a mouse...in their bed. I then made my boyfriend do a mouse check every time we'd come back to the room.

Upon check out we confirmed our bill (pool service, breakfast etc) when we got home, we saw on our card that they'd charged us more. I called to settle this and they put an extra bottle of wine on our tab. They "thought we drank the complementary and also its replacement" I really think it was unprofessional to make that assumption and a big mistake on the house keeping part to have marked us down for it.

I would give this hotel "2 stars" based on service and our experience but because of the beauty of the property, I'm throwing in a third.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravelGal418
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, December 26, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay at Bacara. While I am pleased that you found the property beautiful, I am truly sorry that we did not meet and exceed your expectations in all areas of your stay. Resort fees and parking charges are an industry wide practice at many other destination resorts such as Bacara and we remain competitive with them in regards to this. I am sorry that you were erroneously charged for the second bottle of wine. I know we are very capable of meeting the public's highest standards. I am just sorry you did not have that same experience.

Sincerely,

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
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

I was staying at the Bacara Resort & Spa for business, but it seemed like vacation because of the beautiful grounds and rooms. The front desk were very friendly and helpful. There is this cliff side walk from the hilltop of the hotel down to the beach, at sunset this is stunning! The Pilates class was very good as well as the gym.
The tar on the beach and oil particles in the water was the one of the only negatives during my stay. The room service was prompt, but...very expensive. $38 for a bowl of strawberries and a jug of coffee.
I'm not sure i would come here for vacation mainly because i love to swim in the ocean, and walk on the beach and the oil rigs and tar were quite abundant. But...I LOVED it for a business stay!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank LJA_NYC
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, December 26, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay at Bacara. I am pleased to read that you found the grounds and rooms to be beautiful and our front desk stay very friendly. We hope that despite your feelings about the beach you will return again in the future for another visit. We would love to welcome you back.

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 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 Romantic Hotel in Goleta
#1 Business 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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