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“Wow! Maybe the best hotel we have ever stayed at!!!”

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The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 November 2013

Got engaged and married in Santa Barbara 10 years ago. Decided to book our ten year anniversary back in SBA. Was deciding between the Fess Parker, Hyatt or the Bacara. So glad we chose the Bacara!!! It may be the best hotel we have ever stayed at and I have stayed at hundreds being in the tourism industry. I'm a regular Joe so could only afford their basic room package with breakfast for two nights (albeit still looking nice on-line). Dropped an email to the hotel to let them know it was my wife's and I's ten year anniversary and if they could do "anything nice" to make the stay "memorable" I would really appreciate it. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get upgraded to an incredible ocean view bedroom suite. Now I know it was low season and the hotel probably had the rooms available (or not) but to upgrade to the one we got....WOW! Upon arrival we felt like royalty as both the GM Kathleen and the VIP Director Merlyn greeted us (what service!) We were then led to the room and what a shock we had on how beautiful it was and sweeping views of the double balcony to the ocean. About 20 minutes later there was a knock on our door and in came in a little chocolate pastry, and a Happy 10 year anniversary card! Again, being a regular Joe, we were floored at the service. Room was beautiful, wife loved the bath (bubbles every night with a view of the ocean) and I liked the included wine. It was also my wife's birthday a few days later and I had reservations at Buchon and we decided to ax that and have dinner at the Bacara it was so nice! Walked the trails (three times) strolled on the beach (forgot about the tar but the hotel even has special wipes to help out), hung out at the pool, enjoyed the fireplace. This place is 5 stars. Since we went end of October nobody was around so it felt like we had the whole resort to ourselves (only 3 other parties at breakfast both days). They gym was way better than 24 Hour fitness back home. All the staff treat you with exceptional service even as we drove up in out little purple Hyundai rental car. Room service was quick and efficient, chambermaids great and even the turn down service at night was a neat touch. If I had anything negative to say it's that the internet sometimes kicked us out but you know what? We didn't care because we decided we didn't even want to be on-line anyways and wanted to enjoy the resort. So not a bad thing! We didn't encounter ANY of the negative reviews we saw in previous postings and encourage everyone if they have the means to have a stay at the Bacara. Everyone was so nice to us and made us feel like VIP. The Bacara made our ten year wedding anniversary so memorable. Thank you Kathleen and Merlyn for making our anniversary so special; I know you didn't have to put us in the room you did and I want you to know we really appreciate you being able to go out of your way for us! We are sold! My wife says she wants to come back every year on our anniversary! Thank you again and a huge thumbs up to you and your staff! The Bacara is awesome!

Room Tip: Any room looks nice but the ocean views really are incredible.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank extravelagent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your recent stay for your ten year anniversary. It was a pleasure meeting you and your wife and I am so happy that we were able to make your anniversary a memorable one. We hope to welcome you back for many more visits to come in the future. See you soon.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager

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1,315 - 1,321 of 2,349 reviews

Reviewed 11 November 2013

We had an absolutely FANTASTIC stay at the Bacara! The room was divine, the grounds were beautiful, the service was exceptional, and everyone was extremely friendly and made us feel very welcome and comfortable. I would absolutely return and will recommend the resort to many! The only thing less than perfect to me was the lack of vegetarian/vegan food options. Everything else was incredible!!! The location of the hotel overlooking the ocean was perfect, and all of the extra touches Bacara does just puts it over the top! It's only about 15 minutes from State Street in Santa Barbara...ideal!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Katie1314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for writing about your recent stay. I am thrilled to read that you enjoyed our accommodations, beautiful grounds and service. We hope to welcome you back again in the future for another fantastic stay.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

This is my letter to the Manager of Bacara to which I never received a reply. After my experience, I didn't really expect one. You be the judge.

Dear Kathleen Cochran:

I know that client feedback is important to you and the hotel in improving the Bacara experience. We checked in last Sunday, October 13. We had used points earned through Hotels.com to pay for two nights of our three nights stay.

On checking in Sunday afternoon (4 pm ish) there was a line 3 deep at the front desk & no one in sight. After about 3-4 minutes one person came out to start the check in process. In the meantime, a disgruntled guest planted himself at the desk in front of those waiting in line to continue his rant ( & threats) at one of your employees.

We walked to our room Villa 2 #2205 . We noticed 3 used water glasses on the floor of the hall near our room. These glasses were moved on Tuesday to the cabinet at the end of our hall, now joined by two dirty red wine glasses. Wednesday a.m. they were still there when I went for a walk (more on that below) and breakfast (more on that below). However, when we left our room at noon to check out they were finally gone. When we got into the room Sunday, there was only one robe so I called housekeeping and ordered another one for a gentleman. They asked what size, I told them Large--A medium robe was delivered.

Breakfast Monday am.--we arrived at 9 a.m. to a not very busy terrace, ordered coffee (which came immediately), two toasted bagels, a bowl of fresh berries and a grapefruit. We had a tee time at Sandpiper at 10:20. At 9:30 we left our table and told the hostess we were leaving, at which time, she told us we had to wait to sign the check for our coffee, then came back and told us our breakfast was now being served. (We left since it was too late at this point. At this time she did not ask for a signature for the coffee.)

That morning (Monday) when we went out, I handed a gentleman at the front desk a note with some things we needed: A Large robe, slippers for the cold, hard tile floor, a price list for the in-room bar and snacks, and I wanted to know if the bottle of Merlot in the room was complimentary. We got the robe. Nothing else. Also, One bar of soap between the basin and the shower was a bit off- putting.

Then, the final touch was after my walk on the beach Wednesday a.m. I got back from the beach, had a nice breakfast and went to my room to get ready to leave. Imagine my distress when I looked at my feet which were covered with spots of oil/tar. In the binder in the room, it states that the oil/tar can be a problem, but it comes off with the wipes located in the room--there were none.

My overall opinion of Bacara is it's a 6 star hotel running on 3 cylinders. Gorgeous setting, amazing. Some of the staff were real winners; others were just doing a job and it showed.

I hope my critique is helpful to you. It's meant to be constructive and not mean spirited. We travel 6 months out of the year-all over the world and stay on some of the finest cruise ships and in some of the finest hotels. We had been so looking forward to our stay at Bacara and were so disappointed.

I waited 3 weeks before posting this--hoping the hotel would reply.

Room Tip: Don't get stuck in a dark ground level room on a walkway. Noisy in early a.m.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Neverhome2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent stay. I am sorry to say that I was never in receipt of your letter and would have certainly replied right away. While I was pleased to read that you enjoyed our setting and service in certain areas, I was truly disappointed to read your overall letter. To that end, I have contacted you privately so that I can personally right any wrongs and address your concerns. I hope that we can connect soon.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

We had an exceptional stay at Bacara. The resort is beautifully appointed, the rooms large and comfortable and the politest, most helpful staff of any resort we have ever stayed at. That include many four and five star resorts. It was located in a quiet area, away from the Santa Barbara traffic, yet close enough to be in town in 15 minutes. It is on a lovely, though rather sea weedy beach, which was great for a nice walk. The on site Bistro had excellent breakfasts. The pools and jacuzzis were very nice with lots of places to sit and enjoy the sun. It is upscale, with lots of nice amenities, but not snobbish at all. We did some wine tasting, shopping, walking on the beach and ate great meals. We will definitely return.

Room Tip: We chose a king room with a fireplace and it was a fabulous spacious size. I
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Burgers814
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay. I am so pleased to read that you enjoyed all that Bacara has to offer and we can’t wait to welcome you back for another visit soon.

Most Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

My husband and I stayed at the resort on November 19, 2013. We booked the room through a third party and when checking in to the resort, front desk informed us that they were unable to find our reservations. After several minutes, they decided to check us in while they continued looking for the reservations. They promised to call us as soon as the issue was resolved. However, they did not call us back and my husband and I went to inquire at the lobby. We waited several more minutes until they said that it was all resolved and that they found our reservation. We were told that there would be a standard pending transaction on our credit card but we would not get charged from Bacara since we booked through a third party (besides parking and items we purchased). Upon checkout, we reviewed the bill and it was all correct.


However, days later the transaction for the room was posted to our credit card. We called a minimum of four different times and each time we were told that someone would call us back or that the transaction had been fixed. NOBODY EVER CALLED US BACK!! We then noticed on our credit card that we were charged again for the same transaction and then refunded the same amount. This did not fix our initial problem since the original charge remained on our credit card. My husband was finally able to reach someone from accounting and they were able to remove the incorrect transaction three weeks later. Overall it was horrible customer experience and a huge headache for us. We did not expect our anniversary getaway to the resort to turn into a nightmare.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Yu S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay at Bacara for you anniversary. I was truly disappointed to read about your billing experience and have contacted you privately to address your concerns. I hope that we can connect soon.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

I have got to say the management at Bacara really stepped up and made our second trip there amazing.
We stayed there previously and had some issues. The management went to great lengths to be sure we came back and that our stay was without any issues, plus a few wonderful surprises. I always say that some times things can't be helped and you may not get the service you desire but it is how they deal with it that counts. The Bacara dealt with graciously and made up for any inconveniences we had last time.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Diane K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write about your most recent visit. I am so pleased to read that we were able to turn your experience around and we look forward to welcoming you back again in the future.

Most Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2013

Bacara Resort & Spa is a gorgeous resort.When I stayed there, I arrived early and there was no problem checking in. The room was wonderful but I couldn't justify being inside the whole time since Haskell's Beach was just down the path. For dinner, we ate at the Bistro at Bacara and it was great. Everyone in my group had their significant others and family with them; so, the outside patio was the perfect location. With a glass of wine as the sun was setting, we all had a great time.

We missed the season where they make s'mores, so I will definitely be coming back in the summertime.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Paulina T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathleen C, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay. I am so pleased to read that you enjoyed our beautiful accommodations, dining and grounds. We actually are still offering s’mores on Saturday evenings during the fall and we hope to welcome you back soon to enjoy them. A full list of our resort activities can be found at http://www.bacararesort.com/santa-barbara-luxury-hotels/vacation-activities/

Most Sincerely,

Kathleen Cochran

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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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Goleta
#1 Business Hotel in Goleta
#2 Family Hotel in Goleta
Price Range: £387 - £655 (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 Gaviota 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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