The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Oceanfront elegance on California's Central Coast

Ideally located on 78 beachfront acres with the vast Pacific Ocean displayed before you, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara is quintessential California coastal luxury. Designed as a Spanish village with winding paths and white stucco walls capped with red tiled roofs, the Bacara evokes Santa Barbara’s Spanish heritage but with decidedly modern comforts.

Originally a Chumash Indian settlement called Hel’apunitse named for an ocean-dwelling ray, the hotel now is a pet-friendly property with 358 rooms and suites, five restaurants and one of the largest spas on California’s Central Coast.

When you want to get active, the onsite Bacara Adventures will set you up with horseback riding, biking and other adventures. If you can pull yourself away from the hotel, the Bacara sits close to the Santa Ynez Mountains, home to some of California’s most exciting wineries and vineyards.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Every one of the accommodations boasts either a balcony or patio, so you can take in the soothing scent of wild jasmine and cool ocean breezes any time of day.
  • Even though the Santa Barbara hotel offers ocean views from almost every angle, you could be forgiven for not wanting to stray far from its three zero-edge, 82-degree saline pools. Two of these sublime swimming holes have beach vistas, while the main pool is surrounded by 25 plush cabanas, which can be rented for the day.
  • The massive spa offers 36 treatment rooms housed in 42,000 square feet of space. Situated above the soothing facility is a serene rooftop terrace, where you can relax and soak up the ocean views before or after your treatment.
  • Oenophiles will love this luxurious beachfront property — in addition to the 12,000-bottle cellar on offer at the scenic Angel Oak steakhouse, the onsite Foley Tasting Room serves prime flights from local wineries in a rustic-chic setting.
  • Don't miss a chance to stroll down the Chumash Nature Trail. Populated with local sage, rosemary and other native chaparral, this fragrant path leads directly to the beach.

Things to Know

  • If you plan to venture off the 78-acre property, you’ll need a car to get around — downtown Santa Barbara is a 17-minute drive from the beachfront hotel.
  • Be sure to plan ahead if you're looking to enjoy a warm-weather escape to sun-drenched Bacara. Summers are typically booked months in advance.
  • There’s a screening room. The 211-seat theater plays host to Friday family champagne and popcorn movie nights, and it can also be rented out for private showings.
  • The athletic set will enjoy challenging themselves on the property’s four Har-Tru tennis courts, where regular clinics as well as private and group lessons are held. And just next door, though not affiliated with Bacara, is the ocean-facing Sandpiper Golf Club — just ask the concierge to book you a tee time.

The Rooms

  • Every room at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara affords a stellar view of the ocean or the beautifully manicured grounds. Each accommodation comes equipped with a patio or balcony to help you make the most of your scenic surroundings.
  • Book a Club Level room at this coastal California hotel to enjoy prime perks, including access to the exclusive Club Lounge with complimentary breakfast in the morning, afternoon tea, and hors d’oeuvres with wine, beer and cocktails each evening.
  • Accommodations are bathed in blue and sand tones with rich wood accents, reflective of the resort's ocean environs. Frette linens, Asprey toiletries and deep-soaking tubs are among the rooms’ luxurious touches.
  • For a little more space, opt for one of the resort’s two ocean-facing penthouses. At 2,000 square feet, the palatial suites include a wraparound terrace, wet bar, fireplace and dining room that seats eight.

The Restaurants

  • Angel Oak steakhouse is the marquee restaurant in luxury hotel. Perched on an 80-foot cliff with ocean views and a 12,000-bottle wine cellar, this scenic spot leaves quite an impression.
  • The steakhouse's signature dish is an incredibly local abalone (harvested four miles up the coast) served with housemade pasta, rainbow chard and lemon beurre blanc.
  • For a more relaxed experience, head to The Bistro, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on a spacious oceanfront terrace. This is a choice location to enjoy wood-fired pizzas, bistro-style burgers and garden-fresh salads along with coastal California's spectacular year-round weather.
  • The ‘O’ Bar and Kitchen is a new dining concept that draws inspiration from the coastal resort’s distinct American Riviera locale, including its Santa Barbara’s Chumash and Spanish heritage, the Pacific Ocean and Central Coast wine country.

24-hour room service
Babysitting services
Fitness classes
Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Pet friendly
Getting There
8301 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117
SBA (9-10 min)   LAX (1 hr 40 min-2 hr)   BUR (1 hr 30 min-2 hr )  
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