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“Nice place, great service...but, poor location & way overpriced spa!”

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The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 August 2009

Nice and very clean. An average room with great sheets & a small old-fashioned TV. Without a special deal, we would never have stayed there. The Bacara Resort is beautiful, too bad it's in such a weird, poor location. It's in the very foggy and depressing city of Goleta--not in Santa Barbara at all (don't let their mailing address fool you!). A near-poverty-level neighborhood is complete with a run-down trailer park. It's literally right off the HWY101 freeway and next to the train tracks, it's a college town. Baraca's location is 20-25 mins. north of Santa Barbara's downtown State Street/waterfront area, which is quite posh, desirable & far more sunny.
To top it all off (literally!) Bacara is way up on a cliff above a totally unsafe (not to mention human & pet unfriendly) beach. Their "beach" is BIG, huge, tar-covered rocks! Not pebbles, serious rocks! Not a grain of sand in sight. You cannot swim, sit on, do water sports, or even walk/run on the beach next to the resort.
Some days at Bacara, the fog goes away for a couple hours in the afternoon & it almost gets warm. So, you'd think their pools were the way to go then, right? They have 3 pools, right? One is a lap pool designated for the Spa's use. Oh, by the way, the Bacara Spa is "off-the-charts" WAY silly over-priced! The second pool is all for the expensive rentable Cabana use ONLY, without a single "free" lounge chair on that entire huge pool deck. The third pool is for all the rest of the guests--and overflowing with lots of rude, under-supervised little kids all the time..
Superior service from Housekeeping, Bellmen, Phone Operator, Valets, etc. Be aware that all hotel guests have to pay a mandatory additional daily charge of $24 for their vehicle parking.
Room Service was very prompt and ordering staff & waiters were gracious...for the price it had better be. Bacara's room service is very expensive for the quallity/quantity of the food presented--plus they add 20% for an automatic gratuity AND an another $5 delivery charge.to every Room Service order. After the inflated prices, with an additional $5 delivery + 20% automatically added gratuity, it's funny how the delivery staff expects you to add an additional tip on the bill presented..
The grounds are beautiful & the resort is large. It's a pretty place, if you don't look too far away from the resort. There are a few tennis courts & a public golf course next door. Only a few rooms have actual ocean views. Lots of $$$$ for what we are wondering now?

  • Stayed: August 2009
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3  Thank triphappier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,090 - 2,094 of 2,377 reviews

Reviewed 19 August 2009

we have traveled around the world and have stayed at 5 star hotels. this hotel makes the top 15 list simply because it is luxurious in an understated way. the rooms are very cozy with a fire place, frette robes and a huge balcony. i love the fact that the internet is included. the spa and treatments are fabulous. gym is great. food is overpriced but healthy and fresh. landscaping and grounds are immaculate. service is impeccable. weather is terrible and the location isn't convenient but it is a great getaway if you want to relax and not be bothered. the bar scene (bacara bar) was also very busy and trendy on a monday night. the golf course is pretty good but could be tended to better and is walking distance from the resort.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ly74girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2009

We booked a trip to show our daughter UCSB. When we called the booking agent told us about a special deeal for people who are affiliated with UCSB. She went on to suggest an ocean view room and 2 queen sized beds. When we arrived we were told that no such room was availble and that they did not have rooms with 2 queen sized beds at all. Even after lengthy conversaton the hotel would not resolve the issue in any way and the people I spoke with were rude.

Later we continued to have very poor service at the bar, poolside and with room service. Food and drink were over priced even by 5 star resort standards. If you are going to stay at a five star resort in California, try the Montage in Laguna Beach or the Belair Hotel. They are far better in terms of the property and service.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank traveler5333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2009

IMy wife and I have stayed at Bacara many times and we are never disappointed. Rooms range from very good to excellent, food is always excellent, service and attitude of employees is friendly and pleasant - with supervising management at the front desk and pool area dining going out of their way to make the stay memorable. Terrific Spa and gym area.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank blf4man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2009

we just returned from bacara which i had heard amazing things about. it was a beautiful setting, nice pool, nice rooms and good service but my husband and i agreed we would rather stay at the canary in town than go back to bacara. it might be our personal tastes - it was just too quiet and sterile at bacara for what we paid. it also had a cruise like feeling where you see the same people at the pool, at dinner, at breakfast, etc. But if you like to be isolated and stay in one place, use the spa, hang out in your room, i would recommend bacara. the food is awesome though - very fresh.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Dreamin of Travel
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 93117-2474 (Formerly Bacara Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Goleta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: $475 - $1,571 (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 Santa Barbara coast lies The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, a resort of stunning natural beauty and relaxed luxury. With 78 acres of oceanfront property, including two miles of natural beach, we offer an expansive sun-drenched setting with endless vistas of sea and sky. Our resort in Santa Barbara, California features innovative and artful design that 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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