Situated on the Gaviota coastline between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains, on a 78-acre stretch of scenic coastal bluffs, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is the perfect getaway for families seeking rest and relaxation as well as an abundance of recreation options for all ages. The beachfront resort is easily accessible to travelers driving along the California coast; guests can fly into Santa Barbara Municipal Airport as well, only a 10-minute drive from the resort.
Families have numerous guest room options from which to choose. There are 45 specialty suites in addition to 313 luxury guest rooms, and each room or suite has either a private balcony or a patio with an ocean, garden or mountain view; we loved enjoying the gorgeous Southern California sunsets from our balcony. Rooms are well-appointed and decorated in a comfortable blend of Mediterranean and California luxury, and more than half include a fireplace. In-room tablets allow you to make spa or dining reservations, order room service and adjust the temperature of your accommodations.
There’s ample family fun on the resort property. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara has three saline pools onsite, two of which have beach and ocean views. The third pool is adults only and is near the resort’s full-service spa. Surrounding the two main pools are 26 private cabanas, which can be reserved and come with bottled water, fresh fruit, wireless internet access and butler service.
In addition to the pool facilities, families can enjoy access to either of the two 18-hole championship golf courses next to the property. There are four seaside tennis courts with a full-service pro shop. If you’re seeking beach time, the resort offers surf and body board rentals all day. Onshore family activities available include guided nature hikes, bicycle rides, vineyard tours and tastings, and shopping tours.
Angel Oak, the resort’s signature steak and seafood restaurant, is a highlight for families who want a special night out in a lovely setting that overlooks the Pacific. The Bistro offers casual fare in a relaxed environment and is situated oceanside with direct access to the pool. In addition to these options, there is an onsite coffee/ice cream shop an a spa cafe as well as wine tasting rooms and cellars.
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A very special feature of the Ritz-Carlton Bacara is the Jean-Michel Cousteau “Ambassadors of the Environment” program for all ages. This unique educational program introduces adults and children to the natural and cultural highlights of the area around the resort. The program includes hands-on exploration, adventure, and activities of the land and sea, with activities such as learning about the kelp forest, sharks, birds of the area and the intertidal zone of the Pacific. Daily eco-hikes with scavenger hunts are offered to guests. Additionally, the program educates guests on the local culture and traditions of the indigenous Chumash Native Americans, who inhabited the area for thousands of years.
Just a stone’s throw from Santa Barbara, the resort is well positioned to take advantage of all the area has to offer. Highlights include the Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Mission, Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and MOXI, he Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. Depending on the season, you can also take a whale watching excursion, explore the local hiking trails or indulge in an afternoon of wine tasting.
Editor’s Note: Photos by The Ritz-Carlton Bacara.
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