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“Superb service - but you know you're paying for it”

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Bacara Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Palo Alto, CA
Level Contributor
64 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Superb service - but you know you're paying for it”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2009

This was our second trip to Bacara, the first was about 5 years ago. This time, we booked via AmEx PTS and were hoping for a room upgrade upon check-in. Despite the hotel being a literal ghost town, we were simply offered a "refurbished," room at our original partial ocean view level. The room had obviously been recently redone and was in excellent condition, however it wasn't as spacious as I'd expect for the price ($750/night in Feb!). Like the room, the bathroom was a little cramped with only one sink; they do offer a nice shower, enclosed WC and soaking tub though. The hotel itself feels very modern and clean and the free WiFi somewhat made up for the room value. :) Service was spectacular, if not slightly overbearing. The Bistro and bar food was as good as any hotel I've stayed at. Bacara does have tennis courts and an adjacent golf course, we didn't use either but there's a nice walking path which meanders down to the beach. There isn't much immediately around the hotel, you'll have to drive to Santa Barbara (~15 min) for good eats. In SB, we found Seagrass and Arigato Sushi to be delightful.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JonnyHei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,221 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (625)
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English first
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
139 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2009

My friend and i went to Bacara for our yearly Spa trip. We decided to splurge. In the past, we have visited spas in San Diego and most often the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. So, we have a solid basis of comparison. After staying at Bacara for a weekend, we won't be going back. It is very pricey and not worth it. The rooms are small and the bathroom opens to the main room, so there is a lack of privacy and the noise factor bothered us. If I washed my face, she could hear it. There is a shade that you can close, but it does not muffle the sound much. The chair and desk are squeezed into the corner and not comfortable to read in. THERE IS NO COFFEE MAKER--major problem to my friend who must have her coffee in the morning. (For $435.00 plus parking--you would think that they would have a coffee maker in the room!), The beds were comfortable and linen very nice. If you are staying for a bit, it was bothersome that there are no drawers to put your clothes in. There are candles in the room which was a nice touch and it has a nice plasma TV and DVD player. (bring your own DVD's--otherwise you have to rent).
The gym was great and had a very nice staff. The yoga class was quite nice. But things were off--no magazines for women to read and there was fresh juice one morning and not the next. The restaurant is good--not great. (we ate at the mid level one). THe spa was very disappointing. I did not have a service but the spa area is quite bland. No charm at all. Not any magazines and no place to lounge. All of the chairs were sit up chairs....no place to lounge after a jacuzzi or sauna. The beach there is nice, but you can't sit there as there are no chairs. It is beautiful to walk on. These are details which in a pricey place shoudl be there. Walking around the property is nice but there are no markers...so you can get lost. Not even signs that say this way to the spa or restaurant. Lastly, we took a walk to see the Monarch butterflies. They gave us printed directions and told us it was about 45 minutes. I said to my friend that it was odd that the milegage was not listed on the directions. Turns out it is 6 miles round trip!!!!! And you can drive and park there. Why weren't we told this and why did it not say it on the directions. These are details which in a pricey place shoudl be there. I think that Bacara needs to pay more attention to details for the prices that they are charging. Take me back to Ojai!!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Schlockette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burbank, California
Level Contributor
146 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2009

We just got back from a night at Bacara. What a beautiful property. The room was great (had a standard room with fireplace) , the service is wonderful. My only complaint is that we could only stay one night!! We will visit again for sure!

  • Liked — beautiful grounds, views, nice rooms
  • Disliked — can't think of anything
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2009

Wow - we just spent two nights at the Bacara Resort just outside Santa Barbara and absolutely loved it. Service was fantastic - with every person we encountered (from Bell Men, Front Desk, Restaurant staff and Grounskeepers) extending a warm welcome and hello. We were kindly upgraded to an Executive Suite after an initial issue with our original room not being ready - this turned out to be a blessing. The suite was gorgeous with a deep soaking tub, wood-burning fireplace, 2 bathrooms and a spacious patio overlooking the pool with glimpses of the ocean. The unexpected suite upgrade certainly enhanced our experience at Bacara, but even our original Village Room was lovely. The rooms are tastefully decorated in a casual Mediterranean style. High-end "Fresh" products found in the bathrooms, along with fluffy robes and slippers. The grounds are beautifully maintained and lush - picture lots of mature palm trees and birds of paradise. A wonderful game room with Nintendo Wii, pool table, ping pong and air hockey to entertain the kids. One thing to note - there were quite a few children and doggy guests at this property, so if you would prefer to steer clear of both, Bacara may not be for you. Beautiful heated pool, magnificent ocean path for walks, tennis courts...Also loved the spectacular entrance and lobby. We dined at the Bistro a couple of times and found food to be great and service very warm. Although I love spas, I found the pricing to be a little too high from my liking, so decided to pass on that. Otherwise, we found Bacara to be a wonderful slice of heaven on a beautiful piece of California coastline - would highly recommend (esp for families)...

  • Liked — Beauty of the property
  • Disliked — Cost of Spa services
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SpaJunky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fullerton, CA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2009

Stayed for three nights at Bacara. You really don't have to ever leave the property: spa, ocean views, walking trails and paths, tennis, three pools, volleyball court, game house (doubles as the conference center), fitness and yoga classes, & three restaurants - five if you count the bar and room service. I didn't have a spa treatment but I did use the jacuzzi and steam room in the spa. The spa is just as nice as the spa at the former Ritz Carlton - Pasadena. The meals we had were very good, including the room service meal. The bed is so comfortable. My only complaint is that the resort was rather dark at night so we used our flashlights and there is a lack of signage at the resort and in Santa Barabara in general. This is a high-end resort so be prepared to spend lots of money, especially tipping and for food. The service is great. The room is done in California Mission meets the tropics style. It's not oppulent but the bathroom is great: a shower with a tile bench seat, a separate tub, toilet room, and a big counter for the sink area. As with all hotels, there is never enough lighting to read a book -- so bring a book light and your flashlight (for the paths at night) and you will be fine. In my estimation the room could have easily used three more light sources. But all in all we had a wonderful stay and will go there again.

  • Liked — The staff provides exellent service. The resort location is heaven on earth
  • Disliked — The charge for overnight parking and lack of lighting on the resort paths
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simplify
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2008

My husband and I travel extensively and have stayed at luxury hotels all over the world...the Bacara was unimpressive. The room was beautiful, the bed comfortable, etc. For the price, however, the service was an absolute dissapointment as was the food. Very few of the servers in restaurants even spoke English, and when they did, it was as if they were doing you a favor by waiting on you.

The number of children in the resort was staggering...there is nothing like enjoying cocktails in the bar with kids running around.

Overall experience was a total dissapointment - stay somewhere else.

  • Liked — the roo,m
  • Disliked — the service
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Opera-Wife-USA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford, CT
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2008

This place is simply amazing. The service is top notch without being overbearing. To echo another person's review, I wanted to take the bed home. It was probably the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in. The room was spacious and had a decent sized balcony. We noted during the reservation process that we would be celebrating our anniversary during the trip and the management sent us a plate of chocolate covered strawberries our first night that were delicious. All of the meals we had were quite tasty as well. The workout facilities were first rate as well. The only slight downfall is that during our stay there were no free hikes available of the resort's ranch. The free hike was only available on the weekends.

  • Liked — The ultra comfortable bed
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank hnh4z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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: 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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