Bacara Resort and Spa
Travel Blogs from Goleta
We visited Hearst Castle today. What decadence. This was truly an amazing site.
The pools, and such ancient furniture were incredible. The estate had 165 rooms with 127 acres of gardens, terraces and walkways.
We arrived at Bacara resort tonight with the group.
What a beautiful resort.
Had a drink at the pool with Maryloo, John, …
Had a blast with three other friends; Camille, Rebecca, and HJ. We were picked up by Camille's car in the morning and arrived Santa Barbara before noon. We stopped and had wine tasting at Foxen, had a picnic at Fess Parker winery, we had another wine tasting at Firestone, then went to Solvang. Had another wine tasting at Presidio tasting room. We …
... the music down. Needless to say it took us ages to fall asleep. The owners were very apologetic the next morning, but it wasn't their fault.
The next morning we moved on to Seaside, a small town next to Monterey, as this is where Terry's mother and brother live. We checked in to a motel near their home and spent the day with them. Obviously a family visit is not the stuff for blogs so I will not bother you with all those details. It was good to ...
... industrious people. They had an excellent astronomical system and were good fishermen and hunters. Spanish missionaries who arrived at the beginning of the 19th century succeeded in getting the Chumash to adopt the Spanish way of life and to serve the missions, especially the Mission Santa Inés created in 1804 and located in the center of today's Solvang. Santa Inés was located midway between the missions of Santa Barbara and La Purísima Concepción ...
... my epic voyage very soon.
So here's to hoping that I will soon learn what so many that I admire and have come before me have learned...that everything you own can fit in a backpack, everyday can be an adventure, life does not have to be normal, a career does not make you who you are, marriage does not exactly make you whole....yada yada yada...you get the point. I can't wait.
Life is Beautiful.
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Continental Breakfast
- Room service
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Swimming pool
Historical Traveler Reviews Bacara Resort and Spa Goleta
I visited Bacara on Labor Day weekend 2001, even though a friend warned me that the service was terrible. She was absolutely correct. To its credit, the food at the main restaurant, Miro, was quite good, and my massage was professional and excellent (albeit very expensive). On the downside, which dominated my stay, the service was terrible. We waited over half an hour to be seated for dinner, despite having a reservation. A leaking shower in our room made the floor slippery, and repeated calls to management yielded no help at all. Room-service trays were left for days in front of rooms, and waiters were alternately too informal ("dudes") and too stuffy. The beach was also strewn with black muck, and sand flies were everywhere. Don't believe the hype, and don't pay the outrageous prices! (The resort continues to send me letters offering "bargains," which I immediately toss.)
If you've got the cash to stay at the best rooms in the resort, maybe......stayed here a couple of years ago - paid $450 for a room and got stuck in the dark at the bottom of the hill. Not very pleasant.
I feel compelled to present what I would consider an objective opinion of Bacara Resort and Spa. Most often comments are either extremely favorable or right out disgusting. I would like to report to anyone interested in this resort that there is a happy medium between these two extremes. The fundamental question is CAN YOU AFFORD tTO RESIDE AT A RESORT? You must be prepared to spend money and expect uncompromised service. This is the essential exchange at any resort. For instance, you must be prepared to have $500.00 in incidental charges held on your credit card each night of your stay--keep in mind that this is aside of the daily room rate. I am so tired of inexperienced travelers who are only able to get away once, maybe even twice, to give so little and expect so much.When traveling to a place like Bacara you must be prepared to pay for the glitz and glamour that entails resort living. This hotel is no stranger to money-is-no-object patrons. Most of us travel to Bacara so frequently to get away from our crazy hustle and bustle everyday livestyles; Bacara becomes our reward for working so very hard. If you have beer income, modify your taste and expectations to anything besides champagne. For those of you who can afford at least a glass of Dom P--so to speak--...then read on.Bacara is hidden, quant, familiar, exclusive, prestigious, unique, and most importantly Santa Barbara--the American Riviera. Bacara's staff work desperately to accomodate the whims and idiosyncracies of every single one of its guest. As someone who has stayed at the resort for well over thirty or so nights I must inform you of what you are to expect.Bacara is huge--eighty acres to be exact. Bacara is built on an incline which makes for difficult transport to and from the front desk. Wait for golf cart ride are purely dependent upon activities and occupancy. Far too often people come and take the relaxation credo too seriously. The resort is absolutetly stunning, it behooves you to walk at some point during your stay to remi. The psuedo health conscious travelers are at times the biggest complainers at resorts that I visit. You know the type, augmented features, a timed tan, a targeted exec. as a husband or sponsor, and a mouth that knows only negativity. Back to the resort...Room service takes at least thirty minutes to be delivered, the staff is young but considerate, the Spa is huge but massage appt. times can be limited on certain days--it is best to make appointments prior to arrival, the front desk managers are the absolute best--they try their best to accomodate every patron. If you intend to visit Bacara please know that you are paying for a lifestyle. Do not walk into the rooms inspecting the furniture, decor, and tile in an attempt to justify the costs. Your costs cover the moviestar that you reside next door to, your costs cover the DKNY uniforms your bellman deliver your tons of luggage in, your costs cover the classy managers in italian suits greeting you by name, your costs cover being secluded in paradise--this is in extreme opposition to the only other "exclusive" small, old, and mildew-smelling Four Seasons Biltmore which is located smack dab in the middle of a resedential neighborhood in the heart of Monteicto.Contrary to popular belief, there are not many premiere hotels in SB. There are a handful of so-called hotels/resorts. There is the 4 Seasons BM--old and in terrible need of a fresh attitude (both in staff and decor); Fess Parker Doubletree--good hotel if you are a fan of The Shining; San Ysidro Ranch--needs to be torn down so that custom homes can be built on the prime location; Ojai Valley Inn--wonderful place, but do not confuse Ojai with Santa Barbara (roughly 30 miles apart); El Encanto--not even a consideration; Simpson House--wonderful place! I highly recommend this B&B (the only 5 star B&B in America); and Hotel Santa Barbara--modest place if you'd like to be near the notorious State Street. Keep in mind bacara is located in Goleta, this is roughly 15 north of Downtown and $30.00 by rt. Sandpiper Gold course is virtually next door to the resort also. When booking request to be away from building 32.Enjoy and have a safe trip.Perfom a quick cost benefit analysis prior to visiting Bacara. Ask yourself can you afford to spend the average $1500.00 a night to stay at a place where the networks are limitless on the course, the people you'll meet in the Spa you may only see on TV, and the service you'll receive is right out of The Young and the Restless soap notes.
The upsides of this resort are the pool and the architecture. I didn't try the Spa or Restraunts so perhaps that's where I missed the value of the resort.The service was overwhelming. Valet parking is mandatory. If you wish to go anywhere, you need to stand and wait for your car, smile and chat with the valet, and share a tip.I found that I had forgot a razor. Rather than hike back up to valet area (the whole resort is on a steep incline with employee carts dodging back and forth on the paved pathways), I thought I'd call the front desk. They seemed to have never had a guest forget a razor. After some prodding the bell person was sent to bring a razor. 2 hours and several calls to the front desk later, a bell guy brought a disposable razor to the room. I gave him a $5.00 tip opened the bag and realized I had been billed $22.00 to my room for a $2.00 razor. That was the epitome of the stay. 5 star prices, 1 star service, 2 star location (foggy tar infested beach), 3 star accomodations (nice rooms but laid out on a hillside).I recommend San Ysidro Inn or the Biltmore for S.B. vacationing.
This is a gorgeous property... even if it takes a while to get used to the smell of tar and raw oil. The refinery or plant or whatever it is on the way in is somewhat alarming. Perhaps they should plant some very large trees around it ? However yet: it's ironic -- this coastline is as pristine as it is because the oil production kept development away. The old eroded wooden sea wall was quite photogenic! And the tar on the beach didn't bother me at all -- tar has always been on So Cal beaches (at least in the old days) and it reminded me of being a kid. Still, they should provide some little solvent packages in the bathrooms to help you get it off your feet. (Fingernail polish remover also works.) THE WORST THING about our stay... it was pouring down rain, and this hotel was designed for sunshine ONLY! The Lobby, Spa, & restaurants, as well as guest rooms, are all in separate buildings, with no covered walkways between. Even the main entrance doesn't provide so much as an eave. The doormen met us with great big umbrellas, so we left ours in the car - big mistake! We got zipped into a very wet golf cart to be taken to the spa -- and then we had to dash across a pool courtyard to get to the door. After our spa, we waited at least 30 minutes before more umbrellas could be delivered to those of us wanting to get to their rooms. Our first room was not satisfactory, they got us a new room, but then they misplaced our luggage. Further, for a room going at $625 a night, I would assume the bathroom would have a separate toilet area with a door that closes. (It did not.) We barely had time to change & make our reservation for dinner (the food was pretty good). Non-Californians... don't believe that it never rains here! It does! and when it does, it rains hard! This was May, 2003.
As we arrived in the courtyard, after passing the interesting deadly gas plant facility on our left, a quarter mile before the resort, we were greeted promptly by the doormen. Everything was smooth so far until we were notified that are room wasnt ready due to a mix up with housekeeping. After a complementery cocktail and an appetizer, (45 min) the bellman had our stuff loaded up away we went down the hill to our room on the other side of the resort. The landscape is beuatiful but fading in some areas, the aroma of the resort smells like tar-gas sewer which we experienced in many different areas and on our private balcony (which was unfortunate during our wine and crackers during sunset). The room was nice, comfortable beds, floor tile looked pretty bad,(problem with ants in the corners coming through the tile grout).The louvered sliding bathroom door came off track twice during our two night stay. Room service was excellent,food ok. No local channels = no Laker game, room overpriced, drinks overpriced. Wont be back again the ocean view of a oil tanker wharf, the sound of a train at night, and rocky tar filled beaches isnt my ideal of a hassle free getaway.
A great oeanfront setting for one of the best resorts I've stayed at. I lucked out and got upgraded to a view suite, but all the rooms there are great. The staff is very attentive without the hovering sometimes mistaken for service. Before going to my room I was taken on a tour of the grounds via Bacara cart, and all questions were expertly answered by my tour guide/ bell person.They have 3 dining spots and the two I went to [Spa Bistro and the Bistro] had excellent food and superior service. At one place, the staff had to deal with a loud and unhappy guest [no it wasn't me] and defused the situation with style. The setting with gardens, pools and ocean views are just incredible. The rooms have all the amenities you'd want, a super bed, great entertainment center, and that robe, which when I put it on, never looked like it does on the folks from the web site. The fitness center is huge and has whatever you need from powerlifting, personal trainers, pilates, yoga, and all the buff and polish services you'd expect. I personally enjoyed the jogging/running courses they had mapped out [on the beautiful beach] and a hike on their farm [which supplies fresh produce to the resort]. I didn't participate in the available horseback riding, tennis or golf, but it seem to have SOMETHING for everyone. Believe me, I hate everything, and I LOVED this place. [it killed me to have NO complaints] I also missed their fancy eatery Miro, I liked the place but NO TIE for me, but I hear its very nice. Please miss the other resorts in this area, and take yourself, a loved one, and some cash to Bacara, its a 'deal closer' for those of us that need that help.
Should be a 5 star property. Beautiful, outstanding service, luxurious rooms, terrific food! Would absolutley go back!
We checked in to this stunning resort and Spas and requested the English receptionist to please assign us a lower room with a patio. She rudely (ala Weakest Link)informed me and my wife that all rooms have patios. I politely pointed to their colored brochure which indicated that the lower rooms have patios and higher rooms with balconies.
A beautiful hotel, in a gorgeous spot. The rooms were lovely, as are the grounds. The hotel hasn't worked out all of its bugs yet, although the staff was friendly, it was one of the slowest checkins ever! We waited 20 minutes for a bellman to bring us to our room! Our room service also often took than promised, and frequently there were omissions. Given how pricey this hotel is, we expected better . . .