The gal in the hot tub said that going to Bacara Resort and Spa was a local treat for Santa Barbarans. It was her birthday, a spa day with her girlfriend. If it were in my ‘hood, that would make sense to me! Goleta from Playa Vista is just about 100 miles.
But this was a final night on a 6-day road trip to visit friends, attend a wedding, stay with cousins – all in Nor Cal. We flew to Reno, rented a car, hit our destinations and chose Bacara for the last night and a coastal drive home. I’d never visited Bacara until now, not for a wedding, or a bar mitzvah or a UCSB graduation.
We drove our gnarly rental Nissan round the circular driveway. The valet was a nice kid with nary a ‘tude about our Beverly Hillbilly looks and bags of fresh corn and peaches bought at a roadside stand nearby. (They park your car outdoors; foodies never leave precious produce in the auto!)
Oooooh, this place oozes “splurge.” There are dozens of posh seating areas as you arrive. Nobody sitting in them, strangely. Then we discovered why… POOLS.
Uh, oh… dozens of happy, screaming, yelping KIDS right under our balcony. This wasn’t what I had hoped for. It’s pretty. It’s noisy, and add to that a constant thump, thump, thump of piped-in music. We had some exploring to do… this is from our balcony, looking down to the very pretty but noisy family pool area. But wait… keep reading…
THAT IS NOT LARRY. Just some random rich guy chilling in the adult-only pool. The spa was a breath of fresh air, a dose of posh and serenity. And virtually empty, except the nice jacuzzi model. While I didn’t book a treatment, I certainly enjoyed the hot tub, steam room, sauna, cozy robe, nice shampoos.
Back in the room, the complimentary bottle of Foley wine capped our destressing strategy. Suddenly, the sounds of happy children in the pool posed no problem. We had a fireplace, two separate sink areas (much room for my STUFF), ocean view balcony, delicious breezes.
Pretty room, right? If you are at all familiar with Santa Barbara, then you can see it’s quite “Santa Barbara-ish” – a combo of California Spanish, Moorish and Ocean.
Steps away from our room was a cliff path along the shoreline, which if you walked on it going south, AND DOWN (hold on!!) you ended up at a small, rocky beach.
Once I was reminded of the tar that comes with Santa Barbara beaches, I was done here. OK, enough exploring. Time for dinner.
With several dining options, and being very pooped, we chose the poolside Bistro, ate al fresco, watching hummingbirds and kids buzzing around. It was delicious, I had my wine now and a Wedge Salad, Pizza, all good.
In the morning… Larry is a gym rat and took advantage of the place the following morning. Me? I languished in the cozy bed and finished reading The Girl On The Train – great book.
There were pretty touches everywhere, which always helps me relax. You cannot take an ugly picture here.
Bacara Hotel and Spa is in Goleta, California, just a couple of miles north of Santa Barbara. That’s Larry, below, giving rowdy pool kids the stink-eye from our balcony. JOKE! He’d never do that. JOKE again, yes he would.