We got married earlier this year in August, and during all the stress of planning we were fantasizing about an escape to Europe, or Fiji, or the Maldives. Turns out, weddings are expensive and time off from work is hard to come by, but we were able to treat ourselves to minimoon of luxury in Santa Barbara. We spent some time umming and ahhing at different hotels in the area, and decided to splurge on the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Goleta, CA. We picked this location because it was right on the water and not too far from downtown Santa Barbara. They also have a number of restaurants within the resort and their own walking trail down to the beach. We also loved the luxe style the rooms were decorated in, and felt that this would be the perfect place for our little getaway.
Finding the hotel once you get off the freeway is super easy, and it really feels like you are entering a secret retreat. Once you pull up, there are valet’s waiting to whisk your car away and help you send your luggage up to your room. Check in at the front desk was really smooth, and the receptionists do a great job at explaining where everything is on the grounds and making you feel taken care of. You can even opt to take a golf cart around the property to your room, but when we checked in we just wanted to walk to get a better feel for the area. Pro tip: do this, but ask them to take your luggage for you!
The first room we checked into was on the ground floor and didn’t offer a lot of privacy, in fact as soon as we walked in there was another guest right at our window taking a picture of the flower bed! We called out to the front desk who were able to get us out to a different room the next morning which was super nice of them. Otherwise, the room was perfect. The decor was really cute and the bathroom was really large and clean. I particularly enjoyed that there was both a shower and a bath (as I brought my lush bath bombs!). Our second room was even better, located on the 3rd floor we had a large patio that gave us a view out onto the ocean and was tucked away towards the back of the resort so it felt very private.
The hotel has a few different restaurants/dining options on the property and we visited four, Blend, the Bacara Bar, The Bistro, and Angel Oak.
Blend is a little coffee shop at the entrance to the resort, we spent some time here as we were waiting for our room to be prepared the second day. They have decent coffee and pastries and the vibe overall is very cozy.
What we ordered:
Latte Macchiato and Americano & a Seasonal Pastry
The Bacara Bar is in the main lobby of the hotel, and has indoor and outdoor seating options. We actually came here for a few quick cocktails that we then walked out onto the bluff with to watch the sunset our first night there, and then finished off our evening with a smore by the firepit outside of the lobby. They also have some really great menu items here everything we had was really good, and service was really quick.
What we ordered:
Sparkling Berry Bramble & Mojito (both delicious), Crispy Beef Flautas & Central Coast Burger
The Bistro is by the main pool area of the hotel and also has a large indoor area and a nice patio for dining. We went here for dinner and the breakfast buffet. For dinner the first night we ended up being bothered by some bees and decided to take our food up to the room. Breakfast can be ordered a la cart, but as part of our hotel package we had access to the breakfast buffet so we opted for that most days. We ended up going later in the morning most days so occasionally an item was out, but they did a good job of refilling all the stations and seating didn’t usually take too long.
What we ordered:
Bruschetta, Crispy Calamari and a Flatbread
For breakfast on one day we went for the Bistro Breakfast and French Toast to split, both of which were amazing. The rest of the days we went to the buffet.
Angel Oak is just outside the main lobby on the bluffs. It has an amazing view of the water (sit outside if you can) and was the perfect treat for our last day at the hotel. We made reservations in advance as it seemed like they were pretty booked up. Service was great and they even treated us to a glass of champagne to celebrate our honeymoon! It seemed like almost everyone there was celebrating something and the ambiance was really nice.
What we ordered:
Salad and Lobster Bisque to start, 6 oz Filet and Broccolini, Mashed Potatoes (best I’ve ever had) and Mac and Cheese for dinner – all to die for. For dessert we saw everyone was going for the Flambeed Baked Alaska but we ended up getting the Pavlova and Profiterole, which seemed a bit lighter but also incredibly delicious.
We had such a great time here and only have fond memories looking back on our stay at the Ritz. So much so that we even joked about starting a bucket list of all the Ritz resorts around the world (wow, a girl can dream). If you are looking for a place to feel pampered to the max, I highly recommend this resort.
Partners in Flight