Splendid isolation at Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara

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  • Bacara Resort and Spa commands the heights along the cliffs, a spectacular full service immersive resort experience in splendid isolation amongst a plethora of natural beauty. Bacara Resort and Spa commands the heights along the cliffs, a spectacular full service immersive resort experience in splendid isolation amongst a plethora of natural beauty. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Looking down from the pathway along the cliffs at the untrammeled stretch of beach in front of Bacara Resort and Spa north of Santa Barbara Looking down from the pathway along the cliffs at the untrammeled stretch of beach in front of Bacara Resort and Spa north of Santa Barbara Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The beachside units of Villa #10 at Bacara Resort and Spa as seen from the hillside of the nature trail across the wildlife sanctuary. The beachside units of Villa #10 at Bacara Resort and Spa as seen from the hillside of the nature trail across the wildlife sanctuary. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The path leading up the cliffside next to Villas # 8, 9  and 10 at Bacara Resort and Spa near Santa Barbara. The path leading up the cliffside next to Villas # 8, 9 and 10 at Bacara Resort and Spa near Santa Barbara. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Bacara Resort and Spa spills down the hillside like a Mediterranean village, a vision in white and red pressed between the wildlife sanctuary and the cliffs, the beach, and the Pacific Ocean. Bacara Resort and Spa spills down the hillside like a Mediterranean village, a vision in white and red pressed between the wildlife sanctuary and the cliffs, the beach, and the Pacific Ocean. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The distant bluff down the beach at sunset and the lone tree that sits at the top like a sentinel. The distant bluff down the beach at sunset and the lone tree that sits at the top like a sentinel. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The view of the cliffs and the coast from the bluff at the top of the nature trail at Bacara Resort and Spa. The view of the cliffs and the coast from the bluff at the top of the nature trail at Bacara Resort and Spa. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The view at sunset from the top of the cliffs at Bacara Resort and Spa looking down across the open stretch of beach and the bluffs beyond. The view at sunset from the top of the cliffs at Bacara Resort and Spa looking down across the open stretch of beach and the bluffs beyond. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The beach and the cliffs looking northward on a pristine day as Bacara Resort and Spa rises from the hillside behind it. The beach and the cliffs looking northward on a pristine day as Bacara Resort and Spa rises from the hillside behind it. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Looking down from the top of the cliffs along the pathway at Bacara Resort and Spa. Looking down from the top of the cliffs along the pathway at Bacara Resort and Spa. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The cliffs of Gaviota stretch out into the distance at Bacara Resort and Spa north of Santa Barbara The cliffs of Gaviota stretch out into the distance at Bacara Resort and Spa north of Santa Barbara Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The Bistro is the all purpose restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa, beautifully located above the beach, a favorite for breakfast, a lovely space, and great for lunch and dinner too. The Bistro is the all purpose restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa, beautifully located above the beach, a favorite for breakfast, a lovely space, and great for lunch and dinner too. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Smoked salmon on a bagel cries out to be eaten at a casual breakfast on the patio of The Bistro at Bacara Resort and Spa. Smoked salmon on a bagel cries out to be eaten at a casual breakfast on the patio of The Bistro at Bacara Resort and Spa.
  • Villa #10 stands on the forefront of the property overlooking the beach. The grand stairway leads to The Residence, Bacara's most exclusive two story, two bedroom beach villa accommodation. Villa #10 stands on the forefront of the property overlooking the beach. The grand stairway leads to The Residence, Bacara's most exclusive two story, two bedroom beach villa accommodation. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Rooms at Bacara are luxuriously casual, with sumptuous beds, tile floors, private balconies and patios, and fireplaces in many cases. Rooms at Bacara are luxuriously casual, with sumptuous beds, tile floors, private balconies and patios, and fireplaces in many cases. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The lobby at Bacara Resort and Spa. The lobby at Bacara Resort and Spa. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The Bacara Bar, just off the lobby at Bacara Resort and Spa, is a constant center of lively activity. The Bacara Bar, just off the lobby at Bacara Resort and Spa, is a constant center of lively activity. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A cavernous banquet hall event space at Bacara Resort and Spa, shown empty here, but clearly capable of epic feats in the many major events staged here. A cavernous banquet hall event space at Bacara Resort and Spa, shown empty here, but clearly capable of epic feats in the many major events staged here. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • That same large event space being set up for a charity event with Barry Manilow in a private performance with a full concert set up. Bacara regularly hosts numerous discreet high profile events. That same large event space being set up for a charity event with Barry Manilow in a private performance with a full concert set up. Bacara regularly hosts numerous discreet high profile events. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The classic view at Bacara Resort and Spa from the Cabana Pool overlooking the Resort Pool, then looking down onto the beach and the ocean beyond. The classic view at Bacara Resort and Spa from the Cabana Pool overlooking the Resort Pool, then looking down onto the beach and the ocean beyond. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Private cabanas line the Cabana Pool on two levels for daytime frolicking and festivities, just below a semicircle of villas surrounding the pool area at the center of the property at Bacara. Private cabanas line the Cabana Pool on two levels for daytime frolicking and festivities, just below a semicircle of villas surrounding the pool area at the center of the property at Bacara. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The pools at Bacara Resort and Spa looking down onto the beach and the Pacific Ocean. The pools at Bacara Resort and Spa looking down onto the beach and the Pacific Ocean. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The private cabana area at the Cabana Pool at night. The private cabana area at the Cabana Pool at night. Photo by: Aliosn Reynolds
  • A beautiful girl walks the beach with Bacara Resort and Spa clinging to the majestic cliffs in the distance. A beautiful girl walks the beach with Bacara Resort and Spa clinging to the majestic cliffs in the distance. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A wooden bridge leading into the nature preserve next door to Bacara Resort and Spa. A wooden bridge leading into the nature preserve next door to Bacara Resort and Spa. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Bacara Resort and Spa is nestled between Santa Barbara Shores County Park with its abundant wildlife and waterfowl, as seen here, and the cliffs of Gaviota. Bacara Resort and Spa is nestled between Santa Barbara Shores County Park with its abundant wildlife and waterfowl, as seen here, and the cliffs of Gaviota. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The view from the nature trail at the top of the bluff, with Bacara in the distance across the wildlife sanctuary. The view from the nature trail at the top of the bluff, with Bacara in the distance across the wildlife sanctuary. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Guests can find world class golf next door at Sandpiper Golf Club, clinging to the cliffs and mesa along the coast, as seen from the top of the nature trail knoll at Bacara Resort and Spa. Guests can find world class golf next door at Sandpiper Golf Club, clinging to the cliffs and mesa along the coast, as seen from the top of the nature trail knoll at Bacara Resort and Spa. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A lone tree sits atop a distant bluff punctuating the far end of the beach at Bacara Resort and Spa. A lone tree sits atop a distant bluff punctuating the far end of the beach at Bacara Resort and Spa. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A tern from the wildlife sanctuary stands in the surf next to a clump of kelp that has washed ashore on the beach at Bacara Resort and Spa A tern from the wildlife sanctuary stands in the surf next to a clump of kelp that has washed ashore on the beach at Bacara Resort and Spa Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  •  A turkey vulture soars over the beach and the cliffs looking for carrion and prey, just part of a plethora of avian life in the wilderness areas surrounding Bacara. A turkey vulture soars over the beach and the cliffs looking for carrion and prey, just part of a plethora of avian life in the wilderness areas surrounding Bacara. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The bluff in the middle of the beach area where the nature trail rises to an open space around the tree that sits on the precipice The bluff in the middle of the beach area where the nature trail rises to an open space around the tree that sits on the precipice Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Sunset at Bacara Resort and Spa, as seen from the cliffs outside of the fine dining restaurant Miro. Sunset at Bacara Resort and Spa, as seen from the cliffs outside of the fine dining restaurant Miro. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The trail leading up the edge of the cliff to the back patio of Miro restaurant as the sun begins to set. The trail leading up the edge of the cliff to the back patio of Miro restaurant as the sun begins to set. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The back patio of Miro restaurant at sunset at Bacara Resort and Spa, looking down towards the beach and the Pacific Ocean. The back patio of Miro restaurant at sunset at Bacara Resort and Spa, looking down towards the beach and the Pacific Ocean. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The pier lights up the sea around it as the sun sets at Bacara Resort and Spa, as seen from the cliffs outside the back patio of Miro restaurant. The pier lights up the sea around it as the sun sets at Bacara Resort and Spa, as seen from the cliffs outside the back patio of Miro restaurant. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The entrance to Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa, a culinary wonderland of exquisite cuisine inspired by the works of the famous artist. The entrance to Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa, a culinary wonderland of exquisite cuisine inspired by the works of the famous artist. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Typical of the exceptional service, Sean Carter takes meticulous care of a table of diners at Miro restaurant. Typical of the exceptional service, Sean Carter takes meticulous care of a table of diners at Miro restaurant. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The toney interior stylings of the dining room of Miro restaurant are as elegant as the fine dining experience to come. The toney interior stylings of the dining room of Miro restaurant are as elegant as the fine dining experience to come. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Wine Steward Todd Smith prepares to serve a bottle on an elegant evening at Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa Wine Steward Todd Smith prepares to serve a bottle on an elegant evening at Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Chef de Cuisine Johan Denizot delivers a sweeping array of brilliant cuisine from the kitchen of Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa Chef de Cuisine Johan Denizot delivers a sweeping array of brilliant cuisine from the kitchen of Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Artisan tagliatelle with pancetta and farm egg under a generous dusting of summer black truffle is a joyous indulgence and quite fabulous! Artisan tagliatelle with pancetta and farm egg under a generous dusting of summer black truffle is a joyous indulgence and quite fabulous! Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A 2009 Kosta Browne "Kanzler Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a fabulously rare and extraordinary wine, a testament to the depth and complexity of the wine list at Miro restaurant. A 2009 Kosta Browne "Kanzler Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a fabulously rare and extraordinary wine, a testament to the depth and complexity of the wine list at Miro restaurant. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • A generous and beautifully tender Mishima ranch Waygu rib eye with Santa Barbara sea urchin and a seaweed tepanade at Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa. A generous and beautifully tender Mishima ranch Waygu rib eye with Santa Barbara sea urchin and a seaweed tepanade at Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Grilled barramundi on a watercress puree is a fish course in perfection, a crisp glaze over a tender, flaky interior at the stellar Miro restaurant Grilled barramundi on a watercress puree is a fish course in perfection, a crisp glaze over a tender, flaky interior at the stellar Miro restaurant Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • The wine cellar at Miro holds upwards of 12000 bottles of exceptional wine from a wine list with enormous depth and sophistication. The wine cellar at Miro holds upwards of 12000 bottles of exceptional wine from a wine list with enormous depth and sophistication. Photo by: Alison Reynolds
  • Wine steward Todd Smith examines a row of fine Burgundys in the enormous 12000 bottle wine cellar of Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa. Wine steward Todd Smith examines a row of fine Burgundys in the enormous 12000 bottle wine cellar of Miro restaurant at Bacara Resort and Spa. Photo by: Alison Reynolds

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF., Dec. 9, 2013 – Bacara Resort and Spa embraces the Santa Barbara coastline with the splendor of a Mediterranean village transported to an isolated wonderland along the Pacific Ocean. It cascades down the hillside, a collection of white villas with red roofs set against a majestic line of cliffs, spilling out onto a pristine stretch of beach alongside a wildlife sanctuary.  

With a flair for panache, an impeccable location, luxurious stylings, and the truly brilliant fine-dining extravaganza Miro, Bacara has extolled the serenity of life in the comfort of an exclusive ocean side hacienda for the last 12 years.

Located 12 miles north of Santa Barbara, nestled between Santa Barbara Shores County Park and the cliffs of Gaviota, Bacara is a self-contained retreat for the senses. Its 354 rooms and suites, all of which feature private balconies or patios, is set on 78 acres of manicured gardens surrounded by exquisite natural beauty.

The 18 separate villas of rooms and suites form a perfect semicircle around a series of trademark infinity pools, ringed by private cabanas and lounges, all above an unspoiled beach that stretches for miles.

The entrance resembles a grand Spanish ranch with an airy circular cobblestone courtyard. The lobby is a spacious expanse of high wooden beamed ceilings, leading to the lively circular Bacara Bar in the rotunda overlooking the property.

Bacara is extremely popular for weddings and special events and has numerous grand ballroom spaces that are used endlessly.  One particularly huge and impressive ballroom area was being set up for a massive charity event with Barry Manilow performing with a full concert stage.  

It seems each weekend is a movable feast of recurrent celebrations, a travelling road show with an ever changing cast of celebrants and a wide variety of venues.  As a result, midweek in the off season you may find the place to yourself, like a seaside Hearst Castle left unattended, before the weekend rush begins anew.

Once on the property there is almost no reason to leave it. Whether in a group or visiting as a couple, the immersive sensibility of romance in the air is palpable.

Indeed half the experience of being there is simply being there, wandering the grounds, walking the trail along the cliffs, or strolling down the beach at sunset.

The Cabana Pool at the center of the property is surrounded by private cabanas for daytime festivities. It overlooks the Resort Pool next to the Bistro Patio, a breakfast favorite, which overlooks the wildlife sanctuary and the stunning beach. Be sure to indulge at The Spa at Bacara, an enormous 42000 square foot spa and wellness center, providing a wide range of massages, services and treatments.

Rooms in the villas are exceptionally comfortable with a luxuriously casual air, sumptuous beds, tile floors, private balconies and patios, and in many cases fireplaces. The units in Villa #10 open up onto the beach itself, a wide expanse of sand with a lone tree punctuating the hilltop in the distance. The feeling of splendid isolation in ethereal comfort is visceral and intense.

Walk the nature trails to the top of the hill above the beach and gaze in wonder at the endless row of cliffs, the thundering ocean below, the beauty in every direction.  Across the marsh and bird sanctuary, once shelled by a Japanese submarine in World War II, Bacara shines like a Greek village, clinging to the hillside, a vision in white and red, giving way to the cliffs and the sea.

At the peak of the Bacara experience is the fine dining restaurant Miro, located at the top of the property along the cliffs overlooking the beach. This award winning culinary delight creates audacious cuisine in a sublime environment, and features a 12000 bottle wine cellar of unusual depth and quality.

Miro is the rare restaurant where the beautiful setting and stunning location is lovingly overwhelmed by a sumptuously memorable meal under the guiding hand of Chef de Cuisine Johan Denizot.  

Potato gnocchi with ricotta and lemon roquette is extraordinary, the gnocchi light as air, the sauce a whisper of flavor against a flurry of texture. Veal sweetbreads on a toasted brioche and an onion soubise are crisp on the surface, succulently juicy and firm on the inside, cooked to perfection.

A 2009 Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a rare and exceptional wine to accompany the meal, and a testament to the depth and quality of the wine cellar. It perfectly complements a towering and deliciously tender Mishima ranch Waygu rib eye with Santa Barbara sea urchin and a seaweed tepanade.

Artisan tagliatelle with pancetta and farm egg under a generous blanket of summer black truffle is an exercise in joyous indulgence and simply amazing. Grilled barramundi on a watercress puree is a fitting climax to a fabulous meal, the fish tender and flaky under a crisp glaze.

Appetizers run around $20, and entrees are around $40. Portions are fairly ample though not overwhelming. Share a selection of appetizers and main courses and stretch the evening into the lingering experience it was meant to be.

Leaving Miro and wandering down the hillside to the villa is a glowing walk through a moonlit paradise. The passing days at Bacara have merged into a gentle, lovely and relaxing memory. Waves crash on the beach outside the patio, as slumber comes wistfully to the end of the day with a broad smile on its lips.

Rooms start as low as $350 a night, and suites start at $700 a night.

www.bacararesort.com

Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 


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Joel Berliner

Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles who has written for The Washington Times, Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Honolulu Advertiser, El Paso Times, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, among many other publications.  He is excited to be back where his travel writing career began, at The Washington Times, where along with his wife, photographer extraordinaire Alison Reynolds, they will travel the globe in order to bring you The Good Life.

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