By Roger Cox, Editor
The Ritz-Carlton 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 soft surface—a relative rarity in southern California—their location near the ocean, and the expertise of Cliff Drysdale Tennis (CDT), which manages the complex. Galina Bykova directs the programing. Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, she ranked among that country's Top 50 juniors. That led to an invitation to join the St. Petersburg tennis team, which went on to win the Russian Team Championship and earn Bykova the prestigious title of Master of Sports of Russia. She then came to the U.S. where she played Division I tennis at the University of Idaho, leading the team to the NCAA Division I Team Championships, before moving on to California State University, Fresno, where she captained the tennis team to its highest national ranking of 20.
At Bacara, she stages a weekly roster of tennis activities, including Cardio tennis, live ball and strategy drill sessions, social round robins, as more, as well as group and private lessons. And several times a year, she joins the Drysdale tennis team to host Tennis and Wine Weekends, supplementing two days of on-court activities with private wine tours and tasting at an award-winning local winery.
Tennis aside, Ritz-Carlton Bacara guests can swim in three pools, surf or sail at the beach, play a round at the adjacent championship golf course, or walk the on-property nature trail. Santa Barbara is also home to a thriving arts community, festival circuit, and wineries, inviting guests to explore beyond the resort to discover more of what the area has to offer.
Set on 78 acres, the resort offers two-mile natural beach, three zero-edged saline, heated pools with private cabana rentals and watersports including surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding, while the surrounding area adds opportunities for horseback riding, biking, hiking, and more
Pro Shop: 805-571-3141
Spa & Fitness
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Travel Instructions. The nearest major air gateway is Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA), 6 miles to the east.
General Tourist Information. For information about the Santa Barbara, visit the Visit Santa Barbara website.