The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
What We Love
- The only Santa Barbara area resort directly on the beach
- Tee times available at Sandpiper Golf Course, adjacent to the resort
- It is paparazzi-free and thus popular with Hollywood celebs wanting to sneak away for the weekend
What To Know
- Guestrooms will be given a fresh face during a renovation from May to July 2015; Miró restaurant is closed and will be replaced by a new eatery opening in early 2016
- Bacara is in Goleta, which is about a 20-minute drive west of Santa Barbara. You will need a car to sightsee
- A note in the room warns visitors they may encounter “naturally occurring tar” on the beach; baby oil/tar-off is available
- A $25 resort fee per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Santa Barbara and its scenic coastline, backed by the Santa Ynez Mountains, attract well-heeled travelers from around the globe, as well as Southern Californians looking for a quick escape. Nestled on 78 gently sloping beachfront acres, Bacara Resort & Spa is the only luxury property set directly on the Pacific. The decor mixes Mediterranean materials with East Coast sensibilities; Spanish tile is ubiquitous, complemented by deep blues and golds with crisp white and blue striped linens and warm wood furnishings.
Bed & Bath
The resort’s 354 guestrooms and suites are scattered among more than a dozen multistory Spanish Revival buildings spread over 78 acres. Each unit has an attractive courtyard with gurgling fountains or lush landscaping. All rooms and suites have patios or balconies; half the rooms and all suites have fireplaces. The marble bathrooms are ample, with deep soaking tubs, separate showers and Frette robes and towels.
This is a retreat as grand as the landscape; in the span of a single day you can explore a wild beach, kick back in the 42,000-square-foot spa, relax in the three saltwater pools and take in a flick in the 211-seat screening room. Onsite shopping at the three boutiques features the likes of Prada, Diane von Furstenberg and Twill Twenty Two. Then there are the two restaurants—the Bistro for casual bites; Blend for a cup of joe and grab-n-go snacks; and, for the diet and health-conscious, the seasonal Spa Café. The resident sommelier is both nice and knowledgeable, expertly helping you navigate the 12,000 labels on their list at the Foley tasting room.
In the Area
Sample wine at 18 of the region’s best wineries, from the Santa Ynez Valley to Santa Barbara and Summerland. Or, walk the adjacent Haskell’s Beach, a wild, bluff-backed public beach named for a local surfer, and get out there and ride your own wave. The Santa Barbara Historical Museum covers the region’s history from Native Americans to surfers and is set in an earthy yet elegant adobe building with a picturesque courtyard complete with fountain.
How to Get There
We've been coming to the Bacara for a few years now even before it was part of the Ritz collection. Up to our last visit, we were truly blown away by the level of service we would receive. The staff especially the pool attendants would go above and beyond to assist us especially since we have younger kids but on our last visit we were deeply disappointed. My wife was trying to get a room since usually this was no issue in the past but the hotel was completely sold out that day. The front desk associate Joseph was very kind and offered my wife a day pass to access the pool. While at the pool my wife barely had time to sit down for a minute before one of the pool attendants Sarah came to her pressing her to order. After nicely asking her to come back a few minutes later, she came back and my wife ordered some food but was prompted to give her room number. She nicely asked for the charge to be put on a credit card but the pool attendant insisted on getting a room number. My wife told her she was not staying there due to the hotel being fully committed. Granted while talking my wife was holding our 4 months old daughter and she was asked to leave. The pool attendant looked down on her and said "I don't want to be mean but I will have to ask you to leave now." My wife tried to explain that we would actually go there a lot but they had no availability but she did not want to hear a thing and treated her so poorly, no empathy whatsoever and no help trying to gather my wife's belongings. On the bright side the pool/restaurant manager Eli saved the day and did a great job connecting with my wife and apologized on behalf of the staff for such poor treatment. He even offered them a cabana. So not sure if we ended up on not so customer friendly person or they've completely changed their pool staff but this time around the level of service was not where you would expect for a Ritz unfortunately. This being said I am extremely grateful for the manager Eli for his help and empathy with the situation. He went above and beyond to help my wife given the circumstances.
Visited this hotel for last 2 nights of our vacation. Hotel greeted us with champagne and very welcoming. Room had a very large balcony but check which room you’ll get as some rooms have no view at all and dark small balconies.
Beds very comfortable indeed.
Only few points to be aware of is tar on beach, the beach house is more like a container and very hilly resort but golf carts can ferry you around.
We missed watching a sunset from highest bluff point due to a wedding so be aware special events do close some areas.
Pool beds are tightly packed around pool which is a shame.
Positives are staff so friendly and keen to help plus made me feel very special celebrating my birthday, 2 restaurants we visited were excellent.
We stayed here as the conclusion to our week babymoon along the central coast. I thought it would be a 5 star grand finale and instead ended up as our least favorite.
Upon pulling up, the hotel and lobby are impressive and beautiful. The actual hotel grounds and location are beautiful, but the rooms themselves leave much to be desired.
Despite us putting we would arrive early in response to our welcome email, a room was not ready when we arrived. Why send out emails if you don’t plan on looking at them? There was also no mention of my platinum elite status and no upgrade offered. Despite notifying them of our babymoon celebration, we waited two hours to be put into a terrible room. It was dark, old and in need of a renovation...definitely not a room of a 5 star resort. However the worst part was its location right on the major walk way, so we heard people talking and the million golf carts driving by all day and all night long. Walls are thin and windows are old, so you hear everything. Sounded like the people were talking in our room. The rooms are also tiled, so I can only imagine being stuck on the first floor and hearing the outside noise as well as people above you. Further, shutters are old and do not fully close, leaving tons of light coming into your room making it even more difficult to sleep. Having spent $2k to stay here for two nights, we were beyond disappointed. We both barely slept due to the noise...not exactly a relaxing weekend we had hoped.
We never received the service we expected to receive. Took an hour to get room service, which consisted of a terrible mini pizza and quesadilla only, and after a $6 delivery fee and 22% gratuity came out to $56. May have been worth it if food was good but it wasn’t. We spent the day at the adult pool to discover the bar only served wine and beer, leaving my husband to walk to the other pool to get drinks. We noted almost everyone asked for a cocktail so you would think that they would offer it at the adult pool. Further, we had a knock on our door at 9:15pm offering turn down service. Typically that would go from 6 to 8pm, so housekeeping doesn’t seem to have it together, failing to get rooms ready on time, cleaned on time and turn down service on time.
Most disappointing is the sandwich I had at their coffee shop which made me sick all night and into the next morning.
To say the least, we wished we had stayed elsewhere and will never be returning. Upon check out, Erica never even asked how our stay was. Another indication that they just do not care.
Had 2 rooms reserved. The second one was not available until 7 pm as it was not cleaned. Despite the fact that the hotel is on a dead end road with a huge attached parking lot, parking is valet only with a large fee. Extremely disappointed with my customer service interaction when I called the hotel with a question after my stay. Grounds are beautiful, room was nice. Beach is not swimmable and area around the hotel is not that nice. Stay at the Biltmore instead.
When I close my eyes at night, this place will continue to be my "happy place" for years to come. My partner and I decided to drive here from LA as a mini getaway during a family vacation. We were celebrating our 10 year dating anniversary, our babymoon, and wound up getting engaged. Truly magical! From the moment we stepped out of our vehicle the staff made us feel like movie stars. We were initially assigned a room on the ground floor, but after asking for something higher up wee quickly accommodated. The rooms were beautiful and spotlessly clean. We were able to make a dinner reservation with no problem and got to experience the fantastic service at "The Bistro". During dinner, one of the people from the front desk came down to hand deliver a "babymoon" gift for us, complete with a snuggly toy for the baby, chocolates and a lovely card. The resorts three pools and grounds were immaculately kept. The ONLY thing I would have liked to have seen would have been a bit more development down on the beach in terms of easy access and perhaps some seating. Other than that it was perfect and it will forever be remembered as one of our favourite spots.