Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Bacara Resort & Spa

Santa Barbara - Hotel Review

Where Luxury and Well-Being Meet

The exterior of Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California
The Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California

Bacara Resort Review

Just north of Santa Barbara, California, the sparkling Bacara Resort & Spa provides a relaxed and luxurious escape. Sitting on 78 acres of grounds, the resort is comprised of a cluster of buildings set atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Bacara, 25 years in the making, is the brainchild of the creative owner Alvin Dworman, who has an interest in health and fitness (including Pilates and yoga). As a result, the Meritage Collection property is one that promotes a healthy and fit lifestyle.

A charming guest room at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA The pool at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA
A charming guest room
The pool at Bacara Resort & Spa

The magnificent 42,000-square-foot spa, spread out over three levels, offers a cardiovascular and strength training center, personalized wellness programs and one-on-one training. The resort's three saline-filled swimming pools (one is reserved for adults) are a healthier alternative to chlorinated pools and also offer great views. Private poolside cabanas are perfect for lounging the day away. For recreation, guests can rent stand-up paddle boards, road bikes, kayaks and more.

Ocean House restaurant presents Pacific views along with signature dishes such as Santa Barbara spot prawns. Bacara's other dining venues offer fresh, quality and healthful fare. The Bistro uses wood-burning ovens to cure and smoke its own fish, meats and vegetables; and the Spa Café features meals containing less than twenty percent calories from fat. Bacara is also famous for its own brand of granola, along with other food products like sun-dried tomato aioli spread.

Located at the hotel's entrance is the Foley Food & Wine Society Experience, a tasting room where guests and members can sample and purchase wines. It also provides a personalized concierge service to organize wine outings and cooking classes and reserve tastings and other luxury experiences. It is the first brick-and-mortar cross-brand tasting experience that has Bacara collaborating with the Foley Food & Wine Society, which gives its members access to world-class wineries, inns, golf courses, restaurants, events and luxury lifestyle partners worldwide.

Guests can burn calories through a round of golf at the Sandpiper Golf Club — dubbed the "Public Pebble" in reference to the private Pebble Beach golf course — which is located right next to the resort, or work it out on the dance floor in the ballroom (the largest one in Santa Barbara). With such comprehensive amenities, it's easy to see why the resort receives many repeat customers.


Bacara Resort & Spa
8301 Hollister Ave.
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
Visit the Bacara Resort & Spa official website


Related Content

Ocean House restaurant review on

The Bistro restaurant review on

Spa Café restaurant review on

Bacara Bar review on

Santa Barbara 72-Hour Vacation Guide

Meritage Collection official website

Foley Food & Wine Society official website


Sip your way through wine country with GAYOT's list of charming inns and resorts, featuring vineyards from Napa Valley to Long Island, New York.
Go off the beaten path and explore GAYOT's Top 10 Extreme Hotels, which feature one-of-a-kind accommodations for a truly unforgettable experience.