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“Absolutely Beautiful”

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The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 13, 2007

I read a ton of reviews for Bacara before going and was nervous to spend that amount of money per night. It is hard to know if a person it just a negative person and does nothing but complain or if they had a bad experience. We went to Bacara for my Bachlerrate party. The bell men did a great job. The check in was fast but we waited about 20 min. in the lobby before someone came to take us to our room. There was not a lot of people checking in at the time so we did not understand what the hold up was but when they came to take us to our room they give you a lift in what I call the limo of golf carts. When I read some reviews most people complained about the wait after checking in and this is why. They take you to your room and they gave us a little tour of the grounds. The room was great. The tile floors and the openness of the French doors were nice. The grounds are beautiful. I think this is what makes Bacara. The service we received was exactly what it should be. We did a Spa day. I have to say I was a little disappointed by the spa it self. I excepted something absolutely wonderful, but if feel short to our expectations with its simple décor. I will say it is the largest day spa I have ever been in. The treatments we received were great and the service was excellent. We ate at the Spa Café and the food was wonderful. The pool by the ocean was very nice. The drinks were great and worth the price. The food at the pool was good. The reviews about not having a beach to really go on it correct, but the grounds at Bacara are enough to make up for the beach. The weather was very nice except for the last day. The fog was thick. Bacara was beautiful and worth every dollar spent. I would stay here again for a special occasion.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled with friends
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2  Thank doublell21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,141 - 2,147 of 2,338 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2007

This was one of the best hotels I've ever stayed at. Beautiful destination, gorgeous rooms and wonderful service. I would highly reccommend it.

Stayed: October 2006
2  Thank dylana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2006

Bacara is hardly a beach resort, as previous posters have noted--with a narrow beach, and few rooms with a true "ocean view"

Food is fair at best. Most guests will want to goto Santa Barbara, which is a 15 minute drive.

Maid service is spotty--front desk said reason for their not showing up one day "was because we were full."

Rooms are well designed, but the walls are paper thin. Beware, you will certainly hear everything your neighbor says and does!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank platinummedallion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2006

I can't help but notice after reading solidfellow's review that they mention the cost of porterage. Porterage in hotels refers to guests who stay at a hotel through a group, almost always on a reduced rate. It is frustrating to hear reviews of nice hotels swamped with group guests who are not used to staying in nice resorts and in turn paying these prices, which are in fact on par with other high end resorts.

  • Stayed: October 2006
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3  Thank chrisbaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2006

This is a good place to avoid at all cost! It is a beautiful property with a beautiful pool area, but it is not a beach resort. Although located on Bacara Beach, most rooms do not have beach or ocean views. The beach is usually covered with tar. The rooms are lovely and spacious but expensive way beyond what they are worth. The food is not very good and very over priced. $17.00 for a turkey sandwich. $4.50 for instant ice tea! Even with all of that pricing the resort finds many more ways to extract money. They charge $4.00 a day for housekeeping on top of the $500 to $600 a night you are paying for the room. You will be charged $10.00 for something called Porterage. That is for the bellman to show you to your room. I showed myself to my room, but I still had to pay the Porterage. The golf course is expensive ($125 plus $50 club rental) and in terrible condition. If all you want is to lay around a beautiful pool and pay way too much to do it, then this is a nice place, but far better places are available for much less cost.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled on business
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6  Thank Solidfellow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2006

My husband and I spent a weekend at Bacara using a "Golf and Spa" package. It was a VERY busy weekend but we received excellent service. We checked in on Fri. afternoon before the big rush (a tour bus came in just as we were riding out to our room.) They upgraded our room without an explanation of why: I assume the group got all the "lower-priced" rooms. We ended up with a 2nd-floor room with a partial ocean view, overlooking the lower pool. We also had a fireplace but didn't use it - instead we used the ceiling fan.
There were two weddings going on that night , and another on Sat. We didn't eat at Bacara except for Sun. breakfast (which was tasty.) In general, we don't eat at resorts on weekends; we also avoided State St. in SB for the same reason: too many people. But our room was very quiet so I guess they made a good decision to move us out to that end of the property.
One thing you should know if you're coming: the standard procedure is for them to meet you in the courtyard, take your car, unload your bags into a cart, and drive you out to your room. Once you're there, you have to walk back to the lobby each time you want to get your car. So if you have any problem with what is a 5-7 min. walk, in our case including hills, ask for a room closer to the lobby. If I had limited mobility or small children, I would probably call a cart to come and take me back to the lobby, instead of walking each time. For people who love to walk, it's great: pretty landscaping plus peeks at other people's weddings keep it entertaining. But if it bugs you to have to wait for a valet to get your car, choose a different hotel.
We had a mechanical problem with our car, which was quickly resolved with help from a valet and security. If you are the type that gets easily upset by people handling your car, this kind of thing could spoil your weekend. For us, walking along the beach, golfing, and enjoying our massages had us too blissed out to stress about the car stuff!

3  Thank CLwriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2006

My stay was in 8/05.
Aside from the disappointment of terrible tar on the beach, preventing any walking on the sand, my memories will always be romantic and positive. My room, very spacious, comfortable, luxurious feeling, offered a large tiled stall shower with a bench, a separate large soaking tub, a toilet with it's own door for privacy, and a sink. This area was separated from the bed and sitting area (with an electric fireplace!), by wooden shutters. There were large white candles along the rim of the bathtub. There was also another sink area on the opposite side with a large closet. The room didn't overlook anything particular, however, the balcony, where I enjoyed many a bottle of wine (and the staff was quick to bring extra wine glasses for my visiting friends), was surrounded by plush trees and lots of greenery, and quiet winding paths. (On the second floor).
The pool area was large, never seemed loud or very busy. Drinks were just ok at the pool. The fitness center and spa area was hushed, luxurious feeling. There were even yoga classes where I found just myself and my traveling companion as the only two taking the class - so it was a private lesson!! The concierge was extremely helpful --- always making available directional cards for restaurants that either I had requested or they had suggested. It was truly a memorable experience and I would love to go back one day. Albeit quite expensive.
I also appreciated the proximity to the wineries of Santa Ynez Valley as well as wonderful restaurants in Los Angeles.

  • Stayed: August 2005, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank shikster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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: $469 - $930 (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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