by Matt Alderton | October 02, 2017
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. has opened its eighth California hotel -- The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara in Goleta, CA -- Marriott International announced last week. 

Located on 78 acres in southern Santa Barbara County, the former Bacara Resort & Spa opened in 2000 at a cost of $222 million. Newly renovated, the oceanfront property has 358 guest rooms and suites, six culinary venues, direct beach access, three saltwater swimming pools, a 42,000-square-foot luxury spa with 36 treatment rooms, a salon and fitness center, and over 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including a ballroom for up to 1,050 attendees and a "Director's Lounge and Screening Room" for film premieres and presentations.

"We are delighted to welcome this iconic property into The Ritz-Carlton portfolio of nearly 100 hotels around the globe," said Ritz-Carlton President and COO Hervé Humler. "The Ritz-Carlton's world class service, led by the resort's fantastic ladies and gentlemen, together with the Bacara's history, will make The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara a standout on this part of the California coast."

According to owners Carey Watermark Investors, additional investments are planned for the resort as part of its conversion to a Ritz-Carlton. Enhancements, it said, are planned for the property's meeting and event venues, its main lobby, its food and beverage outlets, its fitness center, its pools, and its spa. Also planned, it added, is construction of a new Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, a communal space offering dedicated check-in, check-out, and concierge service, as well as daily culinary presentations.

"We believe that the extensive, recently completed renovations and the Ritz-Carlton rebranding, in combination with our further investment in strategic property improvements and implementation of value-add operational enhancements, will … reposition the property at the top of its competitive set within both the Santa Barbara and the luxury Southern California oceanfront resort markets," said Carey Watermark Investors CEO Michael Medzigian. "We are extremely pleased to continue to expand on our already important relationship with The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott International and to work in partnership with them in the conversion of the property to a best-in-class Ritz-Carlton resort that will continue to serve as an integral part of the local community."