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“Zaca Lake is beautiful and peaceful”
Review of Zaca Lake Retreat

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Zaca Lake Retreat
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Zaca Lake is beautiful and peaceful”
Reviewed August 3, 2010

This place is not a resort, but indeed as the name declares, a retreat. It is a beautiful, peaceful getaway. They put resources at your disposal to do with as you wish--including clean and functioning cabins, a walk-in fridge and fully functional communal kitchen and dining area, a lake with a couple small kayaks, an outdoor grill and eating space, and plenty of trails to hike. There is no cell phone service up there, which I found to be really relaxing, but they do have a wireless internet connection at the lodge.

The air up there is sweet, the lake is beautiful, clean, and warm (at least in the summer), and there is a lot of wildlife and great bird watching. If you're looking for an affordable vacation where people leave you alone, I would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank MBLau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Burbank, California
1 review
Reviewed July 27, 2010

The last time I went to Zaca lake, it was very cold outside, and it was also raining. However, the cabins were pretty warm, and there was also plenty of hot water. Even though it was the middle of winter, the cabins were comfortable. Also, even at night it is very easy to see outside, and the roads are very visible in the dark despite the great amount of trees and leaves, which are very pretty during the day. The hiking is really fun, too :]

  • Stayed February 2010
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Helpful?
Thank bambibamboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sun Valley, CA
1 review
Reviewed July 25, 2010

I have been to Zaca Lake 3 times over the past 3 years with a youth group from my church and we always have a great time. The grounds are very well-kept and I've always slept comfortably and soundly.

  • Stayed February 2010
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Helpful?
Thank churchgirl23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 25, 2010

I've been to Zaca Lake on various occasions. Countless times with the St. Robert Bellarmine Confirmation program. Each year in February their retreats are held out there. This place is a hidden beauty. It is nestled back into the Santa Ynez mountains. You would never know such a beautiful place existed. Upon arrive to Zaca Lake, you instantly feel a sense of peace and detachment from the crazy, noisy world outside of those mountains. It is the perfect place to relax your mind. Last time I went out there, I went on a hike up to the gazebo. The gazebo overlooks the entire lake. You can see everything!

The staff was welcoming. Everything was well prepared for the retreat. It is cold outside, but the fire in the cabins and nice portable heaters that are provided keep you nice and toasty all night.

I will continue to visit this place. It is practically my second home. So peaceful!

If anyone needs a place to unwind and relax with family and friends, this is the perfect place for that!!

  • Stayed February 2009
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Helpful?
1 Thank loooove13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burbank, California
1 review
Reviewed July 25, 2010

Zaca Lake. . .It is one of my favorite places in the world. I first went there with my church group and the atmosphere added to the magic of the church retreat. I went again this passed Feb. as a leader on that retreat. The cabins were clean, and the showers were hot. We had to bring in our own catering service, but that was ok. The barn is perfect for large gatherings, and the lodge has a rustic feel that relaxes you immediately.
I love Zaca Lake, can't way to go back again, and suggest it to anyone who is considering going on vacation and wants someplace peaceful, or to church groups looking to have an awesome spiritual retreat that has the potential to change lives. Hey, it happened to me.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank natalight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2010

This place has gone from a nice place to visit to one of the worst places to visit in just a few years. I'm not sure if there has been an ownership change but something went wrong. Rooms dirty, showers dirty, would be better off pitching a tent and sleeping by the lake somewhere else. I should have taken pictures but didn't think of it.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Camper1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Los Olivos hotels

Santa Barbara, CA
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2010

I really hate writing this because this was one of my favorite places (I'd come every year), but the current management ran it into the ground and they need to know it. Everyone who remembers how it used to be needs to be warned.
When we got there, we went for a quick dip in the lake. The next half hour we spent pulling leeches off of us.
That night in our cabin, I couldn't sleep due to the sound of rats eating our food. All night long. The next morning, we found mice holes in muliple places in the room (including one near our pillows).
We went and nicely asked if we could switch rooms due to the rats. Their reply "We can't allow you to switch rooms. All the rooms have rats. Even ours."
I then asked them if we could at least have some wood to build a fire since the rats in the fireplace wouldn't come out due to the heat. They charged us for the wood.
We then tried to use the jacuzzi tub, but the plug wouldn't hold the water. (Previous time there was no hot water)
So the next night, I was up all night plugging holes with sticks and newspaper whenever I'd hear a rat. Then we couldn't sleep for the rest of the night because we could hear them gnawing on the newspaper all night.
Basically, they need to invest a lot of money in this place and replace all the rude volunteers before I'd come back. And this is coming from extremely low maintenance backpackers. I could easily go on for a few more pages about other problems we had. Sadly, I would have rated it 5 stars across the board 7 years ago.
When I spend almost $200 a night for a room, I expect not to have rats.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Biljana321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zaca Lake Retreat

Property: Zaca Lake Retreat
Address: 8000 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos, CA
Location: United States > California > Los Olivos
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Los Olivos
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Zaca Lake Retreat Hotel Los Olivos

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