Answers from Our Experts (1)
If a Mediterranean-style retreat in California is your idea of heaven, you’re probably already familiar with Bacara Resort & Spa. But here are five additional things you should know about the Santa Barbara hotel:
1. It’s on the beach, but the sand can be dirty. While we love the wild look of the sand below the bluff on which Bacara sits, you should be aware that natural tar regularly washes onto the water, especially during the summer months. The hotel provides handy tar removing towelettes in your bathroom and at the beach and pool, but if you want to spend your vacation lolling on a pristine beach, you may not want to do that here.
2. Ask for a fireplace. Half of the standard guest rooms offer gas fireplaces, which we think add oodles of charm to the cozy, rustic-chic setting.
3. There’s a great spa. With 37 treatment rooms, Bacara offers one of the state’s largest spas, and we really like the relaxed-yet-luxe vibe. You’ll find standard Swedish massages along with a locally inspired citrus-avocado body polish and even Eastern-leaning offerings like reflexology. And even if you aren’t booking a massage or facial, you can still use the great locker room facilities, which include a steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi tub.
4. Santa Barbara is about 15 minutes away. With three swimming pools, beach, tennis, several restaurants and lovely grounds for strolling (plus a golf course literally next door), you likely won’t even want to leave the grounds, but if you do, know that downtown Santa Barbara is a short drive. However, if you do want to go into town, definitely ask the helpful, friendly concierges for advice on where to eat, sightsee and shop. These employees were some of the friendliest, most helpful staff members we encountered during our stay at Bacara.
5. Bring the family. Bacara definitely caters to families with kids, from offering its Monarch Kids Club to featuring toy-filled sandboxes next to the swimming pools. You’ll find special kids’ choices at The Bistro and the Pool Café as well as on the room service menu, ensuring that even the pickiest eaters will be happy campers here.