By Roger Cox, Editor
Bacara perches atop a bluff overlooking two miles of beach, a little north of Santa Barbara. Architecturally it resembles a Spanish Colonial village, as winding pathways connect low-slung buildings with open balconies and courtyards with fountains. Within its 78 acres are 311 rooms and suites, a 42,000-square-foot spa, a fitness center, 3 rimless swimming pools, and 4 Har-Tru tennis courts. Its connection to a 1,000-acre lemon and avocado ranch adds more dimensions, like horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. Golfers, meanwhile, have privileges at local courses.
Four courts is a modest number for a hotel this size, but they stand out for their location near the ocean and their talented tennis director Wayne Barnes. Barnes has a history of catering to those who choose upscale resorts, having spearheaded the programs at the Phoenician in Arizona and the J.W. Marriott Ihilani in Hawaii before coming here in 2000 when the resort opened. It's not that he has a wealth of programming beyond daily adult and junior clinics&emdash;four courts really don't allow that&emdash;it's that he strives to ensure that any guest looking for a game finds one by drawing on local residents to fill in as opponents when none can be found among the guests. That and the soft courts, a relative rarity in southern California, give Bacara a higher tennis profile than its modest court complex suggests.
Santa Barbara offers horseback riding, biking, hiking and other activities. Rentals and tours are available through the onsite Bacara Adventures.
June 25-27, 2021: Wine and Tennis Weekend
The Cliff Drysdale Tennis Team is staging a weekend of tennis (9 hours of instruction and play) coupled with a private wine tour and tasting at the award-winning winery, and luxury accommodations for 2 nights. For more information, visit Wine and Tennis Weekend or phone: 830-625-5911 ext 208.
Visit the website for current rates