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“Mixed bag”

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The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 10, 2014

We stayed at Bacara 4 nights and participated in a family wedding 1 night. Although the physical setting is exquisite and the buildings are charming, service in the Bistro, the Spa Cafe and at the front desk does not measure up. The wait to get a table and then a meal in a half-full restaurant every morning was ridiculously long and the waiters have not been trained to offer cream, a spoon, etc at the same time as the coffee is presented so we found ourselves trying to flag down other staff to obtain the basic necessities. When we asked the woman who brings the food from the kitchen at the Bistro to help us with one simple request she said "you'll have to tell your waiter" (in other words, "it's not my job, don't bother me!"). The least she could have done was get our waiter but apparently this idea never occurred to her. Maybe she's overworked and overstressed but clearly she has not been trained to say, "it would be my pleasure" as are the employees at other top resorts.

Other negatives: TVs in some of the rooms in our group did not work because the remote "eye" was not properly installed; several rooms were so dark and dingy (tucked under huge overhangs) that we and others wanted to move to rooms that received at least a little natural light, but the front desk was quite inept at accomplishing our request in a timely and efficient fashion. The property also requires a lot of walking up and down stairs which can be difficult for older family members when the valets are too busy to come with a golf cart.

Positives: The beds were comfortable and once moved to the ocean side of the complex we were happy with our room. Also, the banquet staff and the conference services staff were of a much higher caliber than the staff serving the traveling public, and the above criticisms do not apply to these individuals who were extremely helpful and attentive. The valets were also pleasant and eager to assist.

As others have mentioned there's not a ton to do at Bacara unless you drive to town which can take a good 30 minutes in traffic. This combined with the less than stellar guest experience would deter me from returning.

Room Tip: get a room with a western or southern exposure to ensure your room is not a cave.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank frogprince
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelations M, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Dear frogprince- As a Top Contributor, we are appreciative of you taking the time to review Bacara. Although I am pleased you encountered some positives during your time with us, it does concern me you had many negatives. At Bacara, it is our goal and integrity to provide exceptional experience to our guests and I apologize you were not met with this. I thank you for your patience and will address your concerns with the appropriate departments.

You experience is certainly not indicative of our service standards and I sincerely hope you will return so we have the opportunity to give you a true Bacara experience.

Thank you again for your time,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Bacara Resort & Spa

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1,185 - 1,191 of 2,339 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2014

I had always wanted to stay at Bacara and decided to suprise my gf with a spontaneous trip to this wonderful resort. The location does not get any better! You arrive and are greeted by a beautiful fountain and a very friendly valet. Check in was a breeze and our room had been upgraded (thank you front desk)! At other resorts, you have to pay a resort fee and get little for it. Not at Bacara - 2 bottles of water, and a mini bottle of wine are yours, along with admission to the spa! That alone is worth the $25! We ordered room service twice, once late at night, the other for breakfast. The food was good although a bit pricey. It is after all a 5 star resort so what was I to expect. We had breakfast on the patio and it was great to take in the scenery and sounds of nature. I would love to stay here again! For a romantic getaway, this place is top notch!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank Al-b34r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelations M, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Dear Al-b34r- It is wonderful to be considered as somewhere you have always wanted to visit! Thank you for visiting us with your girlfriend. You shared some wonderful, thoughtful feedback in your review. Many guests find our resort fee beneficial, and I sincerely pleased you agreed.

Thank you again for choosing to spend the weekend with your girlfriend and we hope to see you again very soon!

Warm regards,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Bacara Resort & Spa

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Reviewed April 9, 2014

My friends and I recently had the pleasure of staying at the Bacara Resort and I absolutely recommend it! What made our stay so great was not just the exquisite beauty of the hotel, but the exceptional customer service at every turn. The valet cheerfully unloaded our luggage and parked our car. The desk clerk was friendly and informative. The bellman (Joey) was especially helpful. Hearing that our room was a little bit of a walk from the lobby, he graciously put our bags onto a golf cart and drove us to our room. He even checked on us later to make sure we had everything we needed. Dinner was delicious at the Bistro restaurant and our waiter (James) was incredibly knowledgeable with outstanding service. Our room was luxurious with a wonderful balcony view. The room service was excellent and they made sure we had plenty towels, coffee creamer, and bottled water. The Bacara Resort was an amazing experience and I will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank rrall1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelations M, Guest Relations Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2014

Dear rrall1,

Thank you for sharing all the kinds words about your experience at Bacara. I truly appreciate the special recognition about certain members of our staff. It is great to hear that you were able to make use of the Bistro restaurant and room service. We look forward to your return.

Warm regards,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Bacara Resort & Spa

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Reviewed April 8, 2014

Though I've never spent the evening at this beautiful resort, I've visited the main bar and patio several times and felt I should take the time to write a review. My friends and I love visiting. All the staff are a pleasure be around and the guests we meet are always entertaining and interesting. Lenin at the main bar is especially a treat to visit. He knows how to make a good drink, is hysterical, and caters to our every need, making us feel as if we aren't actually still in the town we live in. It makes it even better that he really knows his bourbon! So thank you, for hiring such a great staff and for giving us the staycation we need.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank SBBrittany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelations M, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear SBBrittany- Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Bacara Bar. I appreciate your detailed and thoughtful account of your time with us- and will certainly share your kind words with Lenin and the management team. As you have pointed out, we work to hire staff that not only meets, but exceeds expectations of our guest. It is an honor that you have shared and recognized that, thank you.

It is a pleasure that you choose to visit us time and time again and we sincerely look forward to welcoming you back in the future!

Warm regards,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Bacara Resort & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2014

Bacara is the benchmark for California resorts. Great location, facilities, and service. The ambience, architecture, and service make it hard to leave. They have covered all the bases!
The employees are well trained in hospitality, the food is very good, and the servers go out of their way to accommodate special requests.

Room Tip: Rooms in bldg. 18 are in a good location to the pool, bistro, and walking path.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bradford001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelations M, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear Bradford001- Thank you very much for your feedback on many aspects of our resort. At Bacara, we strive to provide a full-circle, wonderful experience for our guests and I am pleased you were met with this. I appreciate your time and thank you again for your willingness to share your feedback.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Bacara Resort & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2014

As soon as we arrived we knew this hotel was going to be amazing! There were about 14 EXPENSIVE cars in the valet. The valet staff was great! Had our car up every time we called. The entrance was breathe taking! The huge center piece filled with flowers just made us all calmer. We went to the bar ASAP. The drinks and wine were not over priced for such a beautiful resort. This place was a much anticipated stop and NOTHING disappointed us.The rooms had great bathroom separation (always a plus) and the grounds were like we were on an island. The beds were so comfy we almost spent all day in bed but we wanted to get out and enjoy some wine tasting and sun. The staff pointed us in the best direction for wine tasting and food. Nothing was as relaxing as our stay at Bacara. A must stop on a "bucket list!"

Room Tip: We would give a tip on which room to get but every room seemed to be perfect!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank lana b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelations M, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear lana b- It is great to see your "Wow" in the subject of your review! I appreciate you taking the time to share your recent experience. From the beginning description of your arrival experience to the way the staff help guide you through Santa Barbara, I am so pleased you enjoyed your time. I hope you had safe travels back to Utah and hope we have the pleasure to see you again soon.

Truly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Bacara Resort & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2014

Just got back from my vacation at the Bacara hotel. We were celebrating our ten year anniversary and it could not have gone any better. Loved the ambiance - the hotel lobby was beautiful....as we entered we were handed a glass of champagne to enjoy while we checked in, the hotel room was spacious with a beautiful view, a super comfy bed, and a relaxing shower! I also loved the beautiful landscaping, pool area, food, proximity to the beach, etc. My favorite day at the Bacara started at the Bistro restaurant for breakfast. I ordered the lemon custard french toast which was divine and my hubby got juevos rancheros which he thoroughly enjoyed. After breakfast we reserved a cabana and spent the day by the pool, sipping delicious cocktails, and eating tasty appetizers. The weather was perfect and the pool was heated to a nice temperature. We enjoyed the music and even played some ping pong. Overall, I would definitely recommend this hotel...it's worth the money. I can tell you that we made some lasting memories and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jillian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelations M, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear Jillian P- Happy 10 Year Anniversary! It is an honor that you selected our resort to celebrate and spend time with your husband. The wonderful details you shared of your time is lovely- It sounds like you had a wonderful experience and we hope to welcome you back soon!

Cheers to many more years of wedding bliss!

Warm regards,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
Bacara Resort & Spa

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: $473 - $878 (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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