Well, we had a little change of plans at the very last minute on this trip. We had originally booked a one night stay at the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara for our last night stay before flying home on Jan. 2. The day before we left on our trip, I received a phone call from the Four Seasons cancelling our reservations. Apparently the resort had been damaged by the smoke from the forest fires as the winds carried a lot of the ash directly over the resort and the buildings needed power washing, the pools had to be drained, the grounds and outdoor furniture cleaned, etc…so they wouldn’t be reopening until Jan 2, when we were leaving. So….I started looking immediately for a replacement and discovered that the Ritz Carlton brand had recently purchased the Bacara Resort and as a Ritz Carlton reward member, I was sold!
We drove back from Los Olivos to the Bacara, which is located directly on the beach about 15 minutes north of downtown Santa Barbara. It also has access to a beautiful ocean side golf course and is a large property – maybe 20 acres or so? The property is classic mission style architecture with large rough hewn beams and tile roofs.
The offered us an upgrade for a reduced price to an ocean front room with a balcony and fireplace near the pool area so we decided to splurge and go for it.
We really loved our comfortable room and I thought the bedding and furnishings were lovely, especially the bright blue accents and the large decorative pillows. The balcony was also very large and spacious and we could hear the waves crashing when we opened the door.
As we checked in early, we walked around the property and checked out the pools and beach area. They have two large pools flanked by cabanas (available for a fee) and an expansive ocean view. The hotel had flowers and plants everywhere so I imagine their landscaping team must be busy all the time. The palm trees made you feel like you were somewhere on the Riviera (and this area is sometimes call the American Riviera).
We had lunch at their casual poolside bistro, which was also very nice and had huge portions then decided to go check out their spa to use the jacuzzi and steam room for a bit. I also relaxed with some hot tea in their ladies lounge room that had super comfy chairs and a fireplace.
Following a little spa time, Steve and I met back in the room and went for a long walk on the beach while it was at low tide. During the summer, they will set up beach chairs and have service there – it was a little too cold this time of year, though!
After that we headed back to our room to enjoy some wine and watch the sunset. As you can tell by the pictures, it was gorgeous and we were so glad we upgraded to the ocean view room.
We made dinner reservations in their upscale restaurant, Angel Oak, but decided to stop and have a drink at their bar near the lobby. Of course, I had to stop and take a few pictures of their Christmas decorations and flowers which were still up.
The lobby bar was a large 360 circular bar with additional seating and had the same blue accents everywhere and was very elegant. They made an excellent cosmopolitan. I normally would have taken some photos but there were actually a few celebrities in the bar so I didn’t want to seem like I was snapping their pictures. I sat down next to an older gentleman and had no idea that it was comedian Ron White. I have to admit that I actually had no idea who Ron White is until my husband told me later – he does that Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy and those guys, which isn’t really my cup of tea, but apparently he is quite well known. Across from us at the bar was also Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley who I did recognize. Apparently George Lopez was also there but we didn’t see him. I will say that all of them were hanging out and cutting up so it was pretty amusing.
At any rate, we had a great dinner at Angel Oak and I highly recommend. The restaurant has a large patio with amazing panoramic ocean vies but by the time we ate, the sun has set so it was just dark. You would have better sunset views in the summertime. The food was all well cooked and the service was just right – helpful but not too much so. It was way to too dark in the restaurant for pictures so I didn’t bother (sorry!) but my steak was perfectly cooked and tender and Steve loved his roasted black cod entree.
Unfortunately, the next day we had to pack up our things though we did splurge by ordering a big room service breakfast which we shared on our patio with that ocean view again. It was a a sweet ending to our New Years vacation and such a nice way to start off 2018. Next time we return to Santa Barbara, I would definitely book a room at the Ritz Carlton Bacara again!