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“Cost of room doesn't balance with amenities, service, location - nothing!”

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Bacara Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Cost of room doesn't balance with amenities, service, location - nothing!”
Reviewed August 12, 2007

When I take the time to write a review...you know there's an issue! I mainly want to let everyone know that Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara isn't worth the money. I promise that there is no way this is just my experience but the facts. The only way this wouldn't be true is if you had tons and tons of money and didn't care. You probably should weigh the information before you decide to stay at Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara.

Location: You need a car if you are going to stay there, unless you plan to say at the resort the entire time. It's not near anything. Of course, if you spend that kind of money to stay there, you might should be glued to the walls! But the town of Santa Barbara is very nice and worth seeing (and it is not that near Bacara - about 20 minutes by car.)

Beach: It is awful - and do NOT walk on it. The petroleum from the plant (that you can see on the water) is so bad that it gets all over your feet, shoes, hands, etc. They even have these petroleum wipes when you get off of the beach because they know of the issue. If I had know about the petroleum wipes and issue - that the petroleum on the beach and in the water was that bad, I would have never walked on the beach. It's also an ugly beach - and no sail boats or anything nice is in the water because of the petroleum.

Resort: Very pretty - and very similar, if not identical, to any hotel/resort you would find in Mexico. There wasn't anything spectacular that would make appropriate the extremely high rates charged by Bacara. Rooms with no view and a pretty inferior outside balcony/sitting area are almost $600 and ocean view is more than $800 --- generally speaking. There are rates that range from $440 to $2,000 - but you can expect more than $500 - for no view. Views...just about unaffordable.

Rooms: Not even slightly interesting or intriguing or comfortable to stay in them for any longer than necessary. The beds are great as are the linens - but the decor is just like anything very standard/pedestrian you would find in Mexico.

Inside room stuffs: Nice bathrobe, horribly scratchy towels, great body and hair products. No toothpaste, no mouthwash or anything extra like that.

Food: Very good. Very very expensive.

Service: Good in some areas, not so good in others. I'd say all in all, the service at pool was great. At front desk - not good. In restaurant, in between. With car service and bell service very good.

Gym: Terribly old equipment. They clearly bought their equipment used because the spa isn't as old as both the cardiovascular and weight equipment are. Having bottled water and attendants that hand water and towels to you is a really nice touch though.

Pool: Very pretty. Tons of screaming children. There are 2 pools - 1 a children's pool - 1 for adults, though laced with children. There is a jacuzzi too - but it's at the edge of the kids' pool and also packed with children.

Tipping: You have to tip everyone --- the pool guy, the car guy, the bell people, the maids, etc. Bring lots of $5's and $10's.

Cleanliness: Very clean.

Who goes there: PACKED with families with children, which is so surprising considering how expensive it is!! It is absolutely a family resort. It secondarily ya couples' resort.

Value: HORRIBLE. The value for the money is just not there.

Suggestion: Don't stay there. You can take the money that you would spend and find a charming B&B or nice hotel, which would be much much less expensive...then spend the money taking yourself out to several glorious dinners and shopping!

  • Liked — Brunch, beds along with shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and body gel
  • Disliked — Cost, room, view from room, beach, gym equipment
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank SFTRAVELINGMAVEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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nyc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2007

i love to travel and stay at different hotels all over the world and this has to be the WORST of them all. for $500 a night with a wedding rate- it was AWEFUL! first of all we get to the hotel after 4pm which is checkin. OUR ROOM WAS NOT READY!!! they made us wait for an hour at the bar and didnt get to the room until 530pm! how can our room not be ready for that price? we waited in the lobby and even the apples were rotten! at least The Westin hotels which only cost around 200 a night have fresh apples! also the valet staff yelled at my father for being near one of the cars parked outside!- they are so lame that when you valet your car they park the good ones in front and basically park your normal car in the back where it took them 5 times to ask us what kind of car we had even after giving them the ticket! we wake up the next morning to eat at the spa restaurant to find dry food on our knife. we then get back to the room shortly after to find a refrigerated in the middle of our room. our friend who is staying at the connecting room said that someone requested it. Y THE HELL WOULD WE REQUEST A FRIDGE???? we sure didnt. that afternoon we decided to eat at the bistro near the pool. we asked concierge if they can give us a ride to the place in the carts and we wait for 15 minutes and just got fed up so we walked...when we get to the bistro we told the lady there was 3 of us. the place had many tables available...5 mins passed, 10 minutes and im like WTF??? so i go up to the lady again and ask what the problem is and why we cant be seated and she said it will just be a couple more minutes! i then lost and and basically said its not packed in here so i just dont understand the wait! after the wedding that night which also had lame waiters who messed up everyone's orders we just couldnt deal with the hotel and checked out. I WILL NEVER EVER STAY AT THIS PLACE AGAIN!!!! i stayed at the doubletree in SB years ago for about 150 and it was way better than this aweful wannabe 5 star hotel. WARNING - SERVICE SUCKS AND NOT WORTH $500++ A NIGHT!

  • Liked — fresh bathroom products
  • Disliked — Service Was The Worst!!!!!!!!!!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank emergencyrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2007

We checked out after one night!!
The rooms are vastly overpriced for the room-rates (which are high), small and lacking any attractive decor, and our room was within sight and sound of the highway. They also forget to mention in their brochure that freight trains run regularly all day and night alongside the highway to add to the noise and the view.
We weren't charged for the cancelled nights.....maybe it happens often!!

  • Liked — staff were helptful
  • Disliked — the rooms and the proximity to the highway and freight train track
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank geoffbr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2007

We stayed at Bacara the weekend of our daughter's graduation from UCSB. Grad was memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. The rooms we were assigned were occupied by other guests! It took 20-30 min. to "find" rooms to comply with the reservation, during which we were bounced from room to room. That evening, I placed a breakfast order for the next day over the in-room dining line. After the meals failed to show on time, I phoned & was told there was no record of my order. I was assured that a new order would arrive in 10-15 minutes. After it failed to show we cancelled & proceeded to campus so we wouldn't be late for the 9 am commencement. Two members of our party are diabetic and NEED to eat, so while I was running around on campus looking for food for my family, I missed the first part of my daughter's commencement. After grad, some members of our group left immediately due to problems related to the less-than-ideal breakfast. We had no family photos after grad, thanks to the breakfast ordeal. Grad dinner was at Bacara's Bistro, outside on the patio. As it got darker, we noticed that there were only 2 little votives on the table for our group of 10. There was no other lighting, except for the heat torches. This was particularly dangerous for some members of our party, who walk with a cane & could not see the ground & steps. We found WE were the meal for hungry mosquitos. I've travelled all over the world, including to many tropical climates, and have never been as badly bitten as on the patio at Bacara. My daughter, the grad, counted 38 bites, another member of our group had 24, I had 18. We all were bitten. Somebody made a joke about West Nile Virus, but it didn't seem very funny at that point. So there we were, in the dark, swatting mosquitos and eating mystery food we couldn't see. Because it was too dark on the patio, we didn't open our daughter's gifts at dinner - another photo op missed. In addition to all the big things wrong, there were numerous little things to create an unsatisfactory visit. The wastebasket in the bath area wasn't emptied, the shower drain was plugged, the climate control in one room didn't work. Q-tips were missing & never did get replaced. There were luggage scuffs on the wall. Our newspaper request never did catch up with the rooms we were moved to. On all levels except location, Bacara management needs to make changes. Reception was inefficient, housekeeping was sloppy, maintenance was lacking, in-room dining failed, the patio dining was dangerous due to lack of sufficient lighting & the voracious mosquito population. I wouldn't recommend Bacara to anyone.

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
11 Thank travel6California
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2007

Stayed at hotel June 28-July 1. Beautiful grounds, expensive rates. Rooms average for expensive hotel. Food average for expensive hotel. Pool side staff, excellent. Very attentive and helpful. Restaurant staff, one waitress rude; all others very pleasant and accomodating. Buffet dinner $65, included crab, shrimp, oysters, roast beef, fish, pasta and dessert. Wine very expensive by the glass $18! Children meals very affordable. Great Hawk guy by the pool with trained hawks and owls. Kids loved it. Beach beautiful, even with distant views of oil platforms. Watched dolphins playing in water in front of hotel. Areas roped off to hotel guests while private wedding took place. Bummer because it was sunset time. Had a bad incident with another guest complaining that my kids were making too much noice...it was in the middle of the day and they are 1 and 5 years old, kids on vacation at a beachside resort. I advised manager and he said, sorry, and that was it. No personal note to the room apologizing, no offer to move our room, no complimentary glass of wine to calm my temper ( I was mad at the guest for yelling at me and my kids), nothing. I expect more from management when I spend $3000 for a weekend! However, the hotel is so beautiful that it is relaxing. I would return in a heartbeat.

  • Liked — Architecture, grounds
  • Disliked — Manager's inattention to detail
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank yourhoteltraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2007

We stayed at the Bacara for a wedding from June 30-July 2, 2007. We have stayed at many hotels around the world and expect to pay top dollar for quality hotels and resorts. After three nights at this resort we simply could not justify the expense. To put it bluntly - this is one of the most overpriced hotels we have stayed. Food was mediocre to poor and service was at best average. We paid close to $600 a night for a room that was average - not much more than your standard hotel in any corporate hotel in America. There was also the constant odor of petroleum from off shore wells.

For $600 a night there has got to be better value somewhere else in Santa Barbara.

  • Liked — Really nothing memorable
  • Disliked — Complete lack of value
  • Stayed June 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank ChasPDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, Ca
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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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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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