Bask in Santa Barbara sunshine at Bacara Resort and Spa
By CAT GRAY
After the glamour of LA and the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, we were in desperate need of some proper relaxation. We headed back to California to the ‘American Riviera’ otherwise known as Santa Barbara. With beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and vibrant culture, Santa Barbara is a premier world class destination favoured by the rich and famous.
Nestled on 78 beachfront acres on the Gaviota coast right outside Santa Barbara, on one of California’s largest untouched coastlines, the luxurious Bacara Resort and Spa offers the perfect place to relax. Complete with flower-filled courtyards, restful fountains and red-tiled roofs, Bacara is the perfect place to enjoy the leisurely pace and warm embrace of the Californian lifestyle. Santa Barbara enjoys a sunny Mediterranean climate, and the cool crystal-clear nights are perfect for stargazing.
The resort offers three and four storey villas made up of a cluster of 450-square-foot rooms with lovely Spanish tiles and a private patio or balcony perfect for breakfast or an evening drink. Approximately half of the rooms also offer gas log fireplaces for any particularly chilly nights. There are rooms for all tastes with some boasting a stunning panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, while others offer views over the resort’s lush gardens and Bacara’s Mediterranean Village.
For sun worshippers, this oceanfront property boasts direct access to two miles of natural beach ideal for a spot of sunbathing or a stroll along the coast. Bacara Resort and Spa also offers three zero-edge swimming pools with views of the ocean which are perfect for a leisurely swim, and four tennis courts for those wanting to work on their backhand.
If you’re feeling more energetic there are plenty of opportunities for ocean sports, including surfing, body boarding, ocean kayaking and sailing. There are also various hiking trails that extend beyond the resort where you can take in spectacular ocean views and admire the native plants and wildlife – cute bunnies are in plentiful supply so take your camera!
Those looking to unwind will want to head to the award-winning 42,000-square-foot spa and fitness centre. Set above the calming blue waters of the Pacific, the spa offers numerous locally inspired and European treatments for body, mind and spirit. The fitness centre has an array of classes, including yoga and pilates, and the Spa Café offers a healthy selection of local organic food with Asian-inspired flavours.
Guests have a wonderful choice of bars and restaurants with a range of ambiences to experience. Wake up with a delightful, healthy breakfast at the Spa Café, relax with a grass-fed beef burger by the pool, or wind down at the end of the day with a cocktail by one of the resort’s cosy fireplaces. Situated on the beachfront, the Bistro offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere to dine and enjoy sweeping views of the coastline.
Guests can choose to sit inside in the modern but intimate dining room, or dine al fresco on the spacious stone terrace. The Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the latter boasting a menu full of fresh seafood and brick oven fired pizzas. The Bacara Bar, located off the resort’s sweeping lobby, offers a selection of wines, signature cocktails and fine spirits in addition to shared plates and entrees. The adjacent Ocean Terrace provides a luxurious open air ambience with lovely views of the resort and Pacific Ocean, where you can enjoy a night cap by a roaring fire.
For those looking to explore further, central Santa Barbara is only a short drive away. The centrepiece of the ‘American Riviera, Santa Barbara boasts historic landmarks, captivating parks and premier shopping. The famous State Street has a very European feel, with red tile pavements and trees lining the street for miles. It’s the perfect place to sit outside one of the many lovely restaurants with a glass of wine and watch the world go by.
Just make sure the wine is local. Santa Barbara is a famous wine destination due to its unique climate and lay of the land which create an unusually long growing season. The city offers many wine tours, wine tastings and wine festivals where you can learn more about the region and sample some of their award-winning wines.
Santa Barbara is the kind of place I could definitely move to. With such a vibrant culture and a variety of activities to indulge in as well as a relaxed European feel, it’s no wonder why it’s a much-loved destination of the rich and famous.
Whether you’re looking to relax or have an action-packed break, Bacara Resort and Spa has everything you could possibly need. From luxurious rooms and fantastic restaurants, to the calming spa and beachfront location, it’s hard to want to leave this stunning place. It was such a fantastic finale to an incredible trip, now I’m off to order some Californian wine in a bid to pretend I’m still basking in the Santa Barbara sunshine.
Find out more and make a reservation at Bacara Resort and Spa by visiting the website at www.bacararesort.com. You can also call 855.968.010
READ Cat’s Travel Diary from West Coast America: