We received complimentary services and/or compensation for our visit and review, however the opinions, thoughts, and amazing photos are all our own.
Santa Barbara is one of our favorite little cities, but Tiana is a bit biased since she went to college there. North of Santa Barbara, nestled on the bluffs, lies one of the most luxurious resorts in the world, The Bacara Resort & Spa. We aren’t exaggerating, it was named so by Forbes, Condé-Nast, USA Today, and Travel Channel.
As soon as you pull in to the round entryway a valet steps up and whisks away your car, and as you check in and check out the gorgeous lobby, your luggage is loaded into a golf cart, ready to take you to your suite.
The terracotta tile lines every walkway and the beautifully landscaped paths wind through 385 renovated, Mediterranean-style buildings.
We had the luck of staying in a Terrace Suite which offer picturesque views of the amazing pool area and the Pacific Ocean. At 850 square feet, each suite features a separate parlor area with a sleeper sofa and a wet bar area for entertaining guests. The parlor also leads to a large furnished patio or balcony to enjoy the fresh, coastal air. We didn’t bring any guests with us, but easily could have as the suite offers a separate bedroom with a king bed and a cozy sitting area, as well as two full bathrooms.
Did we mention the view? The wood-burning fireplace? The jacuzzi soaking tub?
With all these amazing views we tried to balance both enjoying the tranquility and uploading photos and live streaming on Periscope every few minutes (yay for complimentary high-speed WiFi!)
We usually take Zulu, our terrier-poodle with us on our domestic trips, and we were so happy that the Bacara is dog-friendly. They even provide a luxurious pet bed, food and water bowls, and Zulu never ran out of things to sniff with 78 beach front acres to explore. They even have an outdoor dining terrace so he can tag along while we eat at the Bistro & Spa Café.
Each morning we enjoyed a juice or latte at Blend, where they offer freshly-brewed coffee, espresso, teas, fresh pastries, paninis, soft serve ice cream and more.
Aside from the pool, we also did a one-mile hike along the coast, but we were too lazy to try the more ambitious trails – the Nature Loop Run for intermediate hikers (3 miles) and the Santa Barbara Shores Run for advanced athletes (4.5 miles).
If you are up for more adventure, they offer helicopter tours, horseback riding, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, surf boards, and bike rentals.
After a day of laying by the pool and a soak in the Jacuzzi tub, its time to grab some grub again. We ate every night at The Bistro on their outdoor terrace.
One of our favorite parts about the Baraca is they give back. The resort donated over 400 used hotel duvets make outfits for kids in Guatemala, as well as bags, blankets and washcloths. Another organization they work with, Clean the World, has distributed more than 20 million bars of soap to poor people in 96 countries by collecting and recycling soap from hotels.
Want to see more? Watch our video about this trip!