With its Spanish-style architecture and ocean views, the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara brings a bit of the Mediterranean to Southern California.
Located on 78ac of beachfront property, the Bacara Resort has been a luxury retreat since it first opened in 2000. In the fall of 2017 it was rebranded as a Ritz-Carlton property following a multimillion dollar renovation. The renovations preserved the red tile roofs and white stucco walls that characterize the Spanish colonial design of the resort’s villas, while also providing some much-needed upgrades.
The hotel’s 358 rooms each have a wrought-iron balcony that overlooks either the ocean or the gardens. The rooms are outfitted with Mediterranean-style decor, complete with terracotta floors and blue accents.
Nestled between the Santa Ynez mountains and the ocean, the resort is minutes away from downtown Santa Barbara and boasts two of its own private beaches. Despite its proximity to the city, it’s seemingly designed so that you never want to leave. There are three saltwater pools, a 42,000sqft spa, a private hiking trail and five on-site restaurants.
The restaurants range from the more casual Blend coffee shop to Angel Oak, a steakhouse with an ocean view (naturally). Given its proximity to the area’s wine region – and in keeping with the Mediterranean vibes – the resort has its own extensive wine cellar, which holds more than 12,000 bottles. There is also an on-site tasting room.
The spa includes a redwood sauna, eucalyptus steam room, rooftop terrace and adults-only pool. Again in line with the Mediterranean theme, the spa uses products by Barcelona brand Natura Bisse for their facials. For guests looking to maximize their time inhaling the fresh ocean air, the Pacific Breeze massage is done on the rooftop terrace. Sparkling wine is included.
If you enjoyed reading this, check out The 14 Best Hotels in Santa Monica.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.