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“Terrible Service ruins a Beautiful Place”

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Bacara Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Barbara, Ca
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Terrible Service ruins a Beautiful Place”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2007

First lets start with the good. The Bacara has amazing grounds, is in Southern California so the weather is temperate and is near the ocean.
Unfortunately that is about as far a the good points go. Walking on the beach can cause tar deposits to build on your feet, the rooms are tiny and the pools are poorly cleaned. All of this would be forgivable if it were not for the terrible service.
Some of the staff is excellent, but there are a few members who are rude and downright hostile. The managers seem to focused on their bottom line to reign in the staff unless it will mean more revenue for the resort.
It is a 3 star resort with the customer service of an off-brand 1 star motel. I would avoid it at all costs and would recommend that travelers consider the Four Seasons in downtown Santa Barbara or the Andalucia. I will never return to the Bacara, and I am sure I am not alone unless they can improve service drastically.

  • Liked — Resort Grounds
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank SantaBarbara11
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
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English first
New Orleans
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2007

I had to cancel 2 rooms two days prior to the visit - after making the reservation just one day before (the hotel had many rooms available). I was told with a doctor's note, the hotel would refund the entire deposit.. After he received the note, the hotel manager changed his mind. He said he would keep the deposit - first AND LAST night's stay for EACH room for a total of $4,000 - because otherwise he'd lose too much money. After a long discussion, he finally agreed to keep $2,000. He said he could have rented the room to someone else if we hadn't had it reserved; however, the website showed all sorts of other available rooms. It was a poor way to handle an unfortunate situation.

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
12 Thank terric18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2007

I stayed at Bacara Resort couple months ago and the service was poor, especially at the spa. The massage seemed as if it is given by a student than a professional massauce, I have to say this has been the worst experience i have ever had. when i complaint, the manager never showed up.

  • Liked — the beach, there was no accomodations, I hated it
  • Disliked — again i hated it, i would never visit the spa again
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank smithp84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 279 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2007

My wife and I just returned from a quick 2 night anniversary getaway at the Bacara resort. Prior to our departure we read through all of the on line reviews and had the typical reservations that others have had. Ultimately we chose to go and see for ourselves.

We arrived on a Sunday taking advantage of the spa package. This gives you $340 (tax and gratuity included) worth of spa services for an additional $100 per night in room charge. An easy decision. .

We had reserved a garden view king room and were pleasantly surprised to have been upgraded to a king pool view/fireplace room. I had mentioned that we were celebrating out anniversary at booking, and from asking around, the property was only about 50% occupied, obviously contributing factors. This room made the trip for us. The larger veranda with its views of the pool and ocean made the room that much more relaxing.

Positives:

Luxurious setting

High staff to guest ratio. Excellent service at every encounter

Excellent healthy gourmet food choices.

Maid services catered to YOUR schedule.

Creative food at Miro’ (the bistro was closed for remodeling)


Negatives:

No shuttle service to Santa Barbara

Expensive resort food with limited options

Very few value wines at Miro’

Cell service spotty at best


Bottom Line:

We had a great experience at the Bacara. The service was exceptional, and the spa services outstanding. It was absolutely one of the best, most relaxing getaways imaginable.

However, there is a caveat. We both felt the experience might have been severely diminished were we in a standard ground floor room. Walking around the property, we saw that many were dark and offered little privacy.

Also, be prepared to spend upwards of $20 for a burger, or salad. Understand, that those prices just come with the territory. And, given the expensive cars they like to show off in the turn around, that territory is designed to be a bit exclusive

  • Liked — High end resort accomodations
  • Disliked — Expensive sstay
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
22 Thank beeclean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2007

My daughter and I just came back from a fantastic stay at the Bacara Resort. This was the trip we planned three years ago when she came to study at UCSB.
After reading the reviews we didn't know what to expect. We could not have planned a more beautiful weekend to go. From the moment we arrived until our sad departure it was truly wonderful.
The resort itself is amazing- very serene and beautiful.
The spa, services and the attendants were fabulous. Very attentive, no long waits, nice lockeroom, plenty of space, showers, tea and fruited waters. The spa shop was very nice also.
The spa pool/adult saline pool was very quiet and secluded. The spa cafe had a delightful selection of menu items.
Our room was wonderful, very large and private. Great amenities. They have "Fresh" products made just for them.
We ate at the "Bistro" for brunch on Sunday and we were treated to a naturalist speaking about owls and he had one with him! Gorgeous!
The food was exceptional and the service also.
We're planning on returning for graduation brunch in June.
I'm not sure what all those bad reviews were about- we never had a bad moment here at the resort. We have traveled all over the world and have stayed at many wonderful properties and have partaken of many spas and this resort and spa willl now be top on our list.
We are planning a trip back next year.

  • Liked — The attentiveness of the staff
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank writingfromtheoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2007

The people that rate this resort badly would find something to complain about if they hit the lottery. Ignore the complainers. This resort is paradise on the mainland. We were awestruck by the architecture, the landscaping, the attentiveness and friendliness of the staff. Our porter Riley and pool attendant Matt were exceptionally helpful. Our room was to die for, and the view looking out over the entrance to the pool area and beyond to the ocean was killer. Our room was on the first floor, and near the pools, and yet was extremely quite. We did not wear earplugs, and did not need them. The SPA treatment that my wife had was the best she has ever experienced. The cardio and weight facility was perfect. Again, the attendants there could not do enough for you. We ate at The Bistro (very good) and The Spa (good). Friday evening complimentary wine and cheese tasting was very good. Yes, it is an expensive place, but for a very special occasion, well worth the price.

  • Liked — The beautiful grounds and the architecture, and the pool facilities
  • Stayed May 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank DGH17205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2007

Here’s a ‘Real World’ review of the Bacara Resort….

I booked a weekend stay as a 'pack your bags, we leave in the morning' getaway for someone very precious to me that's going through surgery this week... there's been much stress leading up the event and I thought it might be best to spend 3 days away from the hustle and bustle of work and family.

My travel agent had made the recommendation for a stay at Bacara, and since she'd never steered us wrong, I took it... We booked a Garden View room for Friday and Saturday night.

I didn't give it too much thought until this past Thursday when I began to read some very poor reviews of the property... Price, service, noise and poor manners from the staff were all cited as weak points. Honestly, I started to get nervous that I'd just booked us into a place where we'd be spending more time worrying about having a bad stay that a relaxing weekend... So much so, that I called the reservations line and explained the situation: I had booked a stay with my agent and had noticed there were a few 'negative' reviews of the property on various travel related websites. She said, very politely, not to worry and that she and the staff would make sure our stay was exceptional in every way.

She couldn't have been more right.

From the moment we arrived, we were treated to 5-star service in every way imaginable. The first thing we noticed was that our room was not a 'Garden View', but a Villa Suite on the third floor... Complete with a fireplace, oversize terrace and a wee bit of Ocean View! We had been upgraded without asking, and without raising a fuss.

The room was quiet... we NEVER heard another guest... the food was GREAT, the service timely and beyond well-mannered, the valet and bell services were the best we've ever experienced (They even washed our car without charge!) and the staff was completely helpful in every way imaginable by making our stay an exceptional one. As for price, Bacara gets 5-stars on value!

As for the Spa treatments, we checked our 'hostage' into the Spa at 10am... she didn't come out until 3pm and was the happiest I'd seen her in months!

I'm not sure where some of the other reviewer’s stayed, but it was not Bacara. This is a True Resort.

  • Liked — The whole experience was just incredible.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank CLS500
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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