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“Children Everywhere!!”

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Bacara Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Children Everywhere!!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2006

My husband and I love kids, but not on our anniversary trip. There were kids EVERYWHERE and playing Marco Polo loudly in the pool. Although the atmosphere is beautiful, I would not consider this place if your primary goal is to relax.

  • Liked — The room was beautiful
  • Disliked — The children EVERYWHERE
  • Tips/Secrets — Make sure you don't make reservations at Miro. If you cancel, they will charge you without telling you.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank MollyN
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)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Palm Beach, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2006

I stayed here with my wife the weekend after the fourth of July and I must say It was very dissapointing. I had called about 3 weeks before my stay to book spa appointments and when we arrived they didnt have any record of our services. I called the concierge desk from our room (32-106) and could not get through to anyone. Our room was also not very great since it is located near the main entrance, the backlot, and railroad tracks. My wife and I heard all the service carts going back and forth all night. Dont bother calling room service because they charge you nearly two times the amount that you would spend if you ate at the restaurant on site. Lastly, the college age people employed by the Bacara are lackluster at best...no idea of what true hospitality is! Nonetheless, we will not be returning!

  • Liked — Scenic Views
  • Disliked — Hotel Customer Service
  • Tips/Secrets — Expect to pay alot of money, spa is lousy, too many corporate conventions
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank PalmBeachDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2006

My family and I stayed at the Bacara for two nights, thinking that it was a great five star resort and we'd enjoy ourselves, wrong! Upon arrival, they made us wait 20 minutes in the lobby before someone finally showed up to take us to our room. The resort is quite big and has lots of hills, therefore, they have free carts driving around to take you from place to place. However, everytime we would call for a ride, it would take them up to an hour before they finally came and picked us up! The housekeeping staff is pathetic, and needs to take lessons on how to clean! We broke a glass in our room, and they did a horrible job cleaning it up, and several of us got broken glass in our feet! At checkout, they tried to charge us for food we never ordered, and our visit to the spa was a waste of time and money. The treatments are overpriced and not that good, and the therapists are rude and inexperienced. My therapist was 15 minutes late coming to get me and did not even compensate me for the time!! I will never return here again!

  • Liked — Good breakfast food
  • Disliked — Horrible Service, Pathetic Housekeeping staff, incompetent management, Terrible Spa
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't come here expecting great service, you won't get it!
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank SnobbyTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2006

This review is actually from two stays at Bacara.

Previous trip:

This trip happened in April 2005. We got a somewhat discount rate through an associate planner. We stayed two nights.

Upon arrival at 2PM, we waited in a long line to check in. When I got to the front at about 2:20, I let the registrar know that we had a spa appointment at 3 PM. He said it would be no problem and have a seat and wait for the bellboy to drive us via golf cart to our room. We waited approximately 30 more minutes. We finally got a bellboy to drive us to our room. We had to interrupt him, as he started giving us the 15 minute tour of the property. We hurriedly threw our bags into the room, changed, and scurried to the spa. The spa people gave us a little attitude for being late and let us know that our massages would be cut short. We protested to no avail.

During our couple’s massage, the door to our room repeatedly opened and someone would come in and talk to our masseuses. This completely took us outside our relaxed state every time and really diminished our spa experience.

We were so disappointed by the low level of service that my wife wrote a letter to the resort, detailing our complaints.

To Bacara’s credit, they offered us another night’s stay on the house, in order to prove that they are a truly quality resort.

August 2006:

We returned from our trip last week. We had a nice surprise, being able to watch a private concert for Five for Fighting for a radio promotion.

Although this time we didn’t really use their services and stayed one free night, there still were some snags in their process.

Upon Check-in, I was told “your room is on the second floor and has a wonderful view of the pool.” I was both concerned and delighted, since pools can be noisy, but, if you can view the pool from this resort, you may be able to view the ocean. I was thinking that we were getting special treatment to compensate for the previous poor treatment.

We were showed our room, which was on the ground floor and nowhere near the pool. It was fine, since most of the rooms are similar and this room was very nice.

When we checked out, the clerk said my name and said a room number Y which was different from the room in which we stayed and was on the third floor of a building. I said, no I was in room X. He seemed confused. I asked if room Y was better than the room I stayed in. He said that they were in the same price category and were very similar. I had to take his word for it at the time.

When I got home, I checked the website. The pool view rooms were offered for $250 more than the room I stayed in. I feel I had a missed opportunity based on their process failure.

For the price, location, and amenities, their service leaves a great deal to be desired.

  • Liked — Great Location and Charming Rooms
  • Disliked — Adolescent service attendants who don't understand what luxury service is.
  • Tips/Secrets — Demand excellence every step of the way or stay elsewhere.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Derek L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2006

My husband and I just spent 3 days at Bacara. It was our anniversary and every year we spend it at a different resort. I always tell the resort ahead of time that it's a special occasion and the resorts always do something nice, whether it's a note, a bottle of wine, or just a Happy Anniversary at check-in, something. No such thing at Bacara.

At Bacara, you walk in and stand in a long line to check in. You are then told to wait outside for the Bellman to come take you with a golf cart to your room. In our case, the Bellman forgot about us and we just sat there for 15 minutes. We finally went and got him. He then drove us to our room, which was disappointing. It was a small room, decorated like every other normal hotel room you've seen at a Marriott or Hilton. The room was dark so I tried to open the doors, but there were no screen on them so we were swarmed with flies. One side of the door had a screen, but they had put a thick carpet in front of it (which was huge so couldn't be moved) which meant that the door wouldn't open. It's as though no thought was put into designing and decorating the room. When you pay over $600/night, you expect a little more.

We then went to one of the restaurants which had decent food at very high prices. The wine I usually drink (Conundrum) was on the menu for $18/glass. I buy it retail for $29/bottle at the grocery store. I understand charging alot for wine at resorts, but at least make it wine that you can't find at every grocery store for 1/3 the price!

There were a number of other little things, like the concierge not returning phone calls, mishaps with spa appointments, a 50 minute facial going for only 40 minutes, etc. Nothing earth shattering, but when you pay premium prices, you just don't expect those little things that annoy you.

The word average actually sums up our entire experience. There was nothing really special, other than its location which is spectacularly beautiful. Otherwise, everything else was just ok. In my opinion, the Four Seasons is far superior to Bacara.

Stayed August 2006
Helpful?
11 Thank Nannonie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2006

I really wanted to like the Baraca. It was a late addition to our honeymoon itinerary. Everything augured well, from the Santa Barbara setting to the organic ranch to the yoga packages. It sounded like a Southern Californian rival to the Post Ranch in Big Sur. But it wasn't.

The basic design of the Bacara is flawed. The hotel is a big impersonal complex of some 360 rooms housed in some twenty cod-Spanish villas, linked together by a golf buggy track. There's no feeling of intimacy or seclusion that you expect from a deluxe beachside retreat. And as a result it just doesn't hang together as a luxury retreat.

The clientele doesn't help either. Forget other reviews referencing the beautiful people - during our visit, the Baraca was populated by ham-thighed, loud-mouthed golf jocks. Try relaxing in earshot of their thuggish comments about fellow guests. There is nothing retreat-flavoured about waking up to banal pool chat drifting up to your balcony.

Now the hotel does have some good features. Outdoor dining at the Miro restaurant is an experience, the staff we encountered were great and the fitness facilities are sensational. But the dreamy promise of the Baraca is too far from the banal reality, and we won't be back.

  • Liked — Great outdoor dining
  • Disliked — It felt like paying $800 a night to stay at a Sandals
  • Tips/Secrets — Avoid anything too close to the pools or the golf buggys
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank calculating_hedonist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, VA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2006

A good friend was recently married at Bacara, so my husband and I stayed there for three nights. Even at the wedding rate, it was very expensive but we were excited to stay at such a gorgeous resort. Though Bacara is beautiful, the customer service is seriously lacking and I would be hard-pressed ever to stay there again. Weeks in advance (after never having our phone calls returned and thus having to call over and over again), we arranged to have a babysitter for our son and another bridesmaid's child while we attended the rehearsal dinner one night and wedding the next. We were told that the rate was $24/hour with a 4-hour minimum. Two hours before the rehearsal began, the front desk called to say the hourly rate would be $48, not $24. Obviously, this was a tremendous increase over the initial quote which we had confirmed no less than 5 times AND with just two hours before the rehearsal began, what were we to do. After a serious bout of negotiation, Bacara honored the initial $24 rate. They said, however, that nanny services for the following night would be $48 per hour which we found unacceptable being that we had been told $24 repeatedly. Finally, they relented and we confirmed that we needed a babysitter from 6-11 the following evening. As the wedding reception began the next night, we waited for our babysitters to show up. We called at 6:30pm and were told the sitters were on their way to our room. At 8pm no one had showed up and we took our children to the reception because we had already missed so much of it. Needless to say we were furious and involved not only the front desk and concierge but also the wedding coordinator. We were told that no nannies were on their way but that the resort would try to do something. Eventually two very young women showed up to watch our children and we were assured that Bacara would not charge us for their services. When we checked out, we had in fact been charged but the employee told us he would remove the charge from our bill. Today, one week after having checked out, I found charges on my credit card for the nanny services which Bacara promised to cover. I am now waiting, again, to be called back about this. For such an expensive, exclusive place, I was surely disappointed by the lack of assistance and help we received. It is with these troubling experiences in mind that I write this review and can only award Bacara 2 stars.

  • Liked — Gorgeous location!
  • Disliked — Poor customer service!
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank engrossi
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 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: 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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