Don’t get us wrong LA is a wonderful place to be! It has great hotels, restaurants and world class cosmopolitan experiences, but for all that glamor, our hearts abide in the coastal cliffs, rolling hills and majestic vineyards of California and the Ritz Carlton Bacara sits right at that frontier.
It is located just a little over two hours from Los Angeles North along the coast near the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. The Ritz Carlton recently took over this sprawling resort and being among the first guests we can say the process is running smooth. We were able to enjoy all the comforts familiar to loyal Ritz Carlton members while indulging in a one of a kind colonial style estate situated on some pristine wild coastline.
At first glance the series of villas and rooms looked worrisome, so many units it was bound to offer the challenges of long front desk lines, crowded amenities etc, but we honestly never had this sensation during our whole stay. The layout of the place is quite large and there is ample space and staffing almost everywhere so that we never ran into any delays.
The fitness and wellness spaces were noteworthy for us. The gym was large and in good working order. The sauna, steam and whirlpool were relaxing and accommodating. There are several pools on the property which are heated, some offering views of the beach and others for a more quiet relaxation vibe.
As members with club access we had a wonderful experience. The executive lounge was actually a temporary meeting room set up while a more permanent space is established, but you would never know it, it was well appointed, service was excellent, engaging and the food and drink offerings abundant and delightful throughout the day.
A great benefit for nature lovers is that you don’t even have to leave the property to see the beauty of this wild coast. The beach is a composite of driftwood and kelp along with pebbles. There is a small hiking loop where you can take in beautiful panoramas as well as native plants and learn about their usage by the indigenous peoples.
As big wine fans a major perk is that the hotel sits only twenty minutes away from some excellent and laid back vineyards near the quaint cities of Los Olivos and San Ynes.