The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

8301 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, USA

Why we love it: A plush beachfront resort, nestled on a stretch of scenic bluffs just north of central Santa Barbara

The Highlights:
- Two pools with unobstructed ocean views and the sweetest of casita-style cabanas
- Angel Oak, an upscale steakhouse that it is a destination unto itself, complete with killer cocktails and a 12,000-bottle wine cellar
- A new Jean Michel-Cousteau-curated educational program offering naturalist-guided hikes, animal-themed activities, and even the chance to learn video production à la Cousteau

The Review:
Set along two miles of pristine Pacific coastline, this Spanish Colonial–style resort has a distinctly regal feel, which is only amplified by its perch high up on the coastal cliffs of northern Santa Barbara. The 358-room property—which includes 23 sprawling suites—joined the Ritz-Carlton portfolio of hotels in 2017, and the recent updates and enhancements can be felt throughout, including in the freshly remodeled main lobby, bar, and ocean-view terrace.

While there is plenty to do in Santa Barbara proper, guests may be inclined to stay put at the oasis that is the Bacara. With everything from a new, 42,000-square-foot spa and perfectly situated salt-water pools with ocean views, to five on-site restaurants and a robust schedule of daily activities for guests of all ages, you could easily spend an entire weekend lounging at this luxurious resort. It’s hard enough just leaving the rooms, all of which feature an outdoor patio or balcony, an ocean or garden view, addictively comfortable beds, deep-soaking tubs, and decor that feels both rustic and contemporary.

A beach-view breakfast at The Bistro is a must, as is a decadent dinner and cocktails at the property’s sleek steakhouse, Angel Oak. Enhance your stay with Club Lounge access and you really won’t have any reason to leave. The newly opened lounge includes light breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and evening hors d’oeuvres service, along with wine, beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages.

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A Dreamy Beach Resort in Santa Barbara

Bacara Spa and Resort feels secluded for a reason: it sits on 78 oceanfront acres on the North end of Santa Barbara. You can hear the waves crash from your bed if you stay toward the lower end of the property and their newly opened restaurant Angel Oak has views of the water. Much of the resort has the sort of classic, SoCal Spanish Colonial vibes and many rooms have fireplaces. Don’t miss the exceptional massages at the spa, 42,000 square feet of hot tubs, eucalyptus steam rooms, and areas to relax in.

Experience Euro Spa Treatments Along the Gaviota Coast

A luxury lover’s paradise, Bacara Resort & Spa is a secluded destination offering spectacular views of the shimmering Gaviota coastline. On sprawling grounds, stunning rooms, suites and villas capture the getaway’s serene ambiance. The standout for beauty devotees is the 42,000 square foot spa, a stone’s throw from several of the villas and fronted by palm trees and a zero-edge saline pool. A sanctuary for mind and body, the luxurious Spa at Bacara features a menu of European- and locally-influenced treatments delivered by top-tier therapists and technicians. You’ll want to stick around after you’ve indulged in an herbal massage, received a marine body wrap or experienced the most relaxing pedicure of your life. The Spa at Bacara also offers an ocean-view rooftop terrace on which to relax and soak in the sunshine, all while enjoying organic sips and bites from the Spa Café. Feel free to spend the bulk of your stay within the cozy confines of the Spa at Bacara. In addition to treatments and meals, you can lay by the fireside or relax weary muscles in a eucalyptus steam room. Ready to cool down? Take a dip in the pool after challenging your partner to a game of ping pong. At the wellness-minded Bacara Resort & Spa, your troubles melt away.

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