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“bacara is overrated!”

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

This was my second trip to Bacara and both experiences were sub-par. Both times I was treated w/ very little respect, and for the amount you pay per room almost $600 a night, you would expect better food and service. Some servers were good, mostly around the pool and bar but after we voiced our horrible dinner experience at the resort's restaurant Miro, both management and staff treated us coldly and the bartender called us troublemakers. You would think from an $800 meal, you would at least have an amazing dining experience or incredible food, but it was just acceptable and I left hungry....the atmosphere was horrible and it took almost four hours to get all three courses, and might i mention that the restaurant was quite empty so there was no good reason for the delays. Actually we ate quite a bit at the hotel's restaurants and the food in general was not that great and they try to be so exclusive by having a wait when there is plenty of seating in the restaurant both inside and out. On top of having to wait for a table during breakfast outside in the heat when the restaurant was only half full, starving, they lost our order ticket so we were waiting for food that wasnt being made. Considering that it is a far drive to get into town, you would think that they would make the food a bit better for their guests. Instead I felt trapped and hungry. After our last breakfast there, three of us had upset stomachs and diarrhea. Good way to end your supposedly relaxing three day weekend. This is a good place to go if you want to lose some weight.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank skimchee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,115 - 2,121 of 2,339 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2007

really just the worst experience ever. so bad, in fact that we were told over the phone that we would be mailed a certificate for "a couple free nights to win you back"....um, yeah....it's been over 3 months and our certificate has yet to arrive....everything about this place was horrible (except the location)...i'm being totally serious here when i tell you that you would be better off staying at a motel6 and saving your money. wow, i have so many things i want to warn you about that i'm overwhelmed! just do yourself a favor and avoid this place like the plague.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank timetrialist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2007

We checked into Bacara on 8/20/07 at 5:30 PM after a long drive from San Jose. We went to the Bistro for dinner. Everything was absolutely terrible and there wasn't even any salt or pepper in the containers on the table to make it any more palatable. When we went to our room, it was the worst one we have ever had in a hotel at any price. The smell of mold was overpowering. The shower stunk so badly that we considered it a health risk to breathe the air in the room - which was open to the bathroom, separated only by shutters. We immediately checked out and informed them that the room stunk so badly we couldn't stay in it. That did not prevent them from charging us the $500.00+ for our 2-1/2 hour stay in their moldy hotel. TRAVELERS BEWARE!!!

Stayed: August 2007
6  Thank travelsalot_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2007

We visited in August for the Sunday brunch. As noted by a previous reviewer, the late model German import cars are neatly aligned in front the hotel. Our Prius was promptly whisked out of sight. I guess it's their attempt to create the illusion of luxury and exclusivity. At the restaurant, we were promptly seated on the patio with a spectacular view of the ocean. The food and service were good, and on par with the cost of the meal; $29 for buffet and about $15 for a la Carte. Most surprising was the large number of kids at the hotel. Some tables had only kids and other tables had parents with their kids. It's not what we expected from a $600 per night place, but the kids were on their best behavior.

As we left the restaurant, we overheard an unhappy camper raging because he and his two kids couldn't be seated outside. "I see plenty of empty tables!" was his refrain. By the time we walked to the beach and back, Grumpy was seated outside with his kids. Indeed, many of the outdoor tables remained empty. I would certainly return for the brunch, but wouldn't consider an overnight stay unless the prices drop considerably.

Stayed: August 2007
5  Thank travelprism
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with friends
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10  Thank SFTRAVELINGMAVEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank emergencyrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank geoffbr
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 Business Hotel in Goleta
#1 Romantic Hotel in Goleta
#2 Family Hotel in Goleta
Price Range: $471 - $917 (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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