Hotel Review: Bacara Resort Santa Barbara

bacara resort, santa barbara, hotelRitz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

As I stepped into the lobby of Bacara Resort & Spa, I noticed that I was seeing a lot of blondes. Only these golden, long-haired beauties were the four-legged type. That’s right, these two Golden Retrievers and the short haired yellow Labrador Retriever were feeling right at home by the reception desk of the Santa Barbara hotel. Tails wagging, it’s as if they knew they had a couple of luxurious nights to look forward to, followed by long walks on the beach and treats in their hotel room.


bacara, santa barbara hotel, resort
Village Garden King. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

This was our first visit to Bacara Resort and my husband’s first time to Santa Barbara, California. Please note that the hotel became the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara in 2018, after our visit. We dropped our luggage off in our village garden king room, complete with fireplace, and headed out to explore the grounds. Set on 78 oceanfront acres, Bacara is a sweet spot for relaxation, luxury and privacy without being stuffy. The Spanish colonial architecture gives it the glamorous feel of a bygone era, yet the high tech amenities of in-room iPad minis, automated climate and lighting controls & plenty of charging outlets make us techies feel right at home.


bacara resort, pool, santa barabara hotel
Relax at one of three pools. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

With 311 guest rooms, in addition to 49 suites and 28 villas, all with private balconies or patios and views of the ocean or Santa Ynez mountains, you’ll want to lounge in your room, but don’t. You have to save time for a visit to the Bacara Spa and a dip in one of three swimming pools. Rooms are broken down by view type with partial or full ocean views. Top tier pricing are the ocean view rooms, suites and two penthouses. Superior room rates range from $400-$700, check the website for current pricing.

We were visiting during New Year’s weekend, so my husband spent a little quality time at the bar with a large flat screen tv. I happily entertained myself in the hot tub at the spa before our dinner reservation that evening.

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bacara spa, pool, santa barbara hotel
Adult only Bacara Spa pool. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

I didn’t splurge on a massage (additional fee) in one of 36 treatment rooms, but I did wear the soft Frette robe from my hotel room over to the spa. The 42,000 square foot Bacara Spa is open to all guests and access is included with your daily resort fee. There’s also an ocean-facing rooftop terrace for private sunbathing and an adult-only heated saline lap pool in front of the spa. Those looking to up their exercise routine can check out the fitness center or Sky Ranch Fitness Vacation or even hop on a beach cruiser or 10 speed mountain bike (additional fees involved.)

If your idea of working out is ordering room service, consider renting a private cabana poolside with wifi, fridge and your very own personal pool boy to run for those margaritas.


bacara bar, santa barbara resort
Bacara Bar photo © Nancy D. Brown

Need to know:
The daily resort fee ($27 as of this writing) includes a complimentary bottle of Santa Barbara County wine, WiFi, access to the three swimming pools, spa & fitness center.) Concierge service is on site. The hotel is pet-friendly for dogs under 80 pounds. There is a $250 one time pet fee. Pet amenities include treats for your dog & it’s okay to dine with your dog outside in the patio area. Valet parking is $34 daily.
Check in: 4:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.


haskell's beach, santa barbara, bacara resort
Sunrise at Haskell’s Beach. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If You Go:
Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort  (805) 968-1800
8301 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara, California 93117

Insider Tip: Looking for an active beach adventure for all ages? There are so many things to see and do in Santa Barbara. Try a food & wine tour, followed with a Santa Barbara beach horseback ride. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown and follow @BacaraResortSB and @SantaBarbara for local tips.

Hotel review and photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I won this ultimate getaway for 2 to Santa Barbara from Visit Santa Barbara, however all opinions are my own.

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