I spent last weekend in Santa Barbara, visiting my mother and meeting up with my sisters and their families. If all the nieces and nephews stay in separate bedrooms, my sisters get better nights’ sleep. So I checked into the nearby Bacara Resort for a few nights. And was quite pleasantly surprised.
The Bacara website drips with Los Angeles aesthetics. I mean, does this photo make YOU want to pay the place a visit? I think it must be targeted towards male movie industry executives. Somebody would surely poke me in the stomach if I assumed a similar position. Causing me to squeal and sit up rapidly. Too rapidly to manage the generous bathrobe.
But the resort itself has been designed and built in classic Santa Barbara style. What does that mean, you might ask? Certainly not black and white. The aesthetic loves an earth tone.
We will say it’s half Spanish decor, half movie western. With a sense of playfulness and an appreciation for nature.
The resort grounds are quite large, covered by many low buildings nestled into hilly, treed, grounds. Bougainvillea grows up around arches. The smell of eucalyptus is light in the air, especially after a rain.
The rooms are also decorated in Spanish-western style, mixed with striped English-y bed linens and blue toile cushions. Quite nice. I love it when hotels look as though a person decorated them, not a machine. That is toile, right?
A fireplace. With pillar candles at the ready. In fact the resort seems to have invested heavily in pillar candles as glowing cylinders pop up at every turn.
Not to mention my favorite hotel hair care in the world, Fresh Soy Shampoo and Pomegranate Conditioner.
The Bacara has a big spa, which sits right next to one of the resort pools. I wasn’t there to get pampered, but ran up the stairs and peeked in any way. Don’t worry. I asked permission. Light, open, quiet. I did use the workout facilities. They are large, full of absolutely everything you could want, and not overly crowded. And who doesn’t love a robust palm tree or two?
Of the three restaurants. Miro, Bistro, and the Spa Cafe, we ate only at the latter.
A delicious breakfast. The Bonne Maman honey jar was clearly Mise’s doing. How she transported it here from Ireland I do not know.
As I said, the spa was next to one of the resort’s pools. Implying that there are others. Yes. Two others. Behold the main swimming pools, with Grandpa Neptune watching from his throne in the Pacific Ocean. Glorious sight, which would be irresistible in sunshine. There’s almost nothing better for bones than a good drying-out under the Southern California sun. One can always retreat to one’s cabana as required.
And then, if you have to get up very early in the morning, and happen to drive south, the Santa Barbara mountains may reveal themselves in all their painted glory. Causing you to have to leap from your automobile and wander around airport yards stepping in puddles. In hopes of a photo to show your friends.
A few notes to make sure the Bacara would suit your needs. This is not primarily a beach resort. It abuts Bacara Beach, which I didn’t visit, but I don’t hear raves. I recommend you hop in your car and drive 10-15 minutes south to Hendry’s Beach. Other beach suggestions can be found here. It should also be noted that the Bacara is about 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara proper, but only 10 minutes from the Santa Barbara airport.
Just wave to me as you pass by San Francisco. OK?
Have a wonderful weekend.
Woman in bathrobe, Bacara Resort, rest are mine.
Rates start at $350/night but I’ve heard tell of discounts down to $180 on occasion.
And no, no compensation was received in return for this natter. Is natter a noun?