As you enter through the majestic arches that frame the courtyard entrance of this lavish seaside resort, you know that a special stay awaits you. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara welcomes guests at its stunning 78-acre property with luxury amenities, ocean views, and a long list of enjoyable activities. Set just a few miles from Santa Barbara airport on the northern end of the city, this resort exudes California coastal luxury.
The dog-friendly resort’s accommodations are as pretty as they are comfortable. There are 358 guestrooms, suites, and residences, all with spacious layouts and beautiful Mediterranean charm. You can choose between an ocean view or garden view, patio or balcony, and some rooms even have a patio with a private firepit. The truth is that all rooms have special features, and with the ocean breeze at your balcony or terrace, you would be hard-pressed to be displeased with your accommodations at this lovely property.
Dining for All Occasions
With six restaurants on property, dining at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is an adventure in itself. Adjacent to the lobby, guests will find The ‘O’ Bar and Kitchen, a casual eatery offering local dishes, fine wines and cocktails with grand Pacific Ocean views. For those chilly California evenings, make sure to snatch a fire table.
The Bistro is another casual option, serving brick-oven pizzas, salads and craft burgers on a large oceanfront terrace. Breakfast at The Bistro is not to be missed, and I highly recommend the avocado toast. Be aware that the portions are large, making them ideal for sharing.
For a fine dining experience or special occasions, reserve a night at Angel Oak. Affording the best views of the coastline—and on clear days of the Channel Islands—this modern steakhouse restaurant will blow your mind (and your taste buds) with dishes like Japanese A5 wagyu, local abalone, and bone marrow. The sommelier would be happy to guide your clients with a wine pairing from the restaurant’s 12,000-bottle wine cellar.
Programs & Amenities
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara embodies a true resort feel with a large assortment of activities to choose from. Indulge and relax at the 42,000-sq.-ft. spa, complete with a redwood sauna and eucalyptus steam room. The wellness center offers acupuncture, massage and skincare services, including an immunity-boosting massage with essential oils that is a wonderful addition to your current wellness regimen.
The pools at the Bacara are not to be missed—three outdoor pools that afford the dreamiest of ocean backdrops. Or take it a step further and reserve a luxurious pool cabana for a day of pure poolside bliss. Complete with a TV, refrigerator, safe, and a dining table, the Oceano cabanas provide the perfect shady lounging retreat for families as well. Our family of five thoroughly enjoyed spending a day by the pool, where we could watch our children frolic from the comfort of our loungers, all while enjoying full food and beverage service. Make sure to try the Barbacoa tacos from the pool bar; they are amazing.
For a more active day, recommend time at the beach for watersports like surfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Or, there’s tennis at one of the Har-Tru clay composition courts on property or perhaps a round of golf at the neighboring Sandpiper Golf Course.
For one of the most unique experiences, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara recently launched Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program. Guests of all ages can explore and learn about the natural environment surrounding the resort property, guided by professional naturalists trained by Cousteau and his chief scientist.
When considering The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, or any hotel property during this pandemic, it’s important to understand the possible caveats that may be in effect due to the pandemic. For example, during our stay we found that the fitness center was temporarily closed, and time at the pool was by reservation only. Also, in-room dining was brought to your guestroom like take-out, in a paper bag with plastic utensils, and handed to us at the door. However, circumstances surrounding the pandemic is fluid, so it’s best to check directly with the hotel before your visit.
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is truly a special place for a family getaway. Its sprawling grounds and proximity to the beach and nature trails make it easy to social distance with children. And while the property may not be running with certain stipulations at the moment due to the pandemic, you can still fully enjoy your time at this Santa Barbara sanctuary.
For more information, visit ritzcarlton.com.