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The Luxury Hotel Insider:Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.

Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.


This article originally appeared in our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, and was written by Nanci McArdle.

Exterior of the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara

Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara is one of our World's Best Destination Wedding Resorts for 2016. Find out why ...

Couples can celebrate their special day at the seaside sanctuary - Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara - that offers both romance and relaxation for newlyweds and their friends and families.

Bacara Resort & Spa is an ideal destination for couples that are California dreaming. The resort can accommodate wedding requests ranging from a private ceremony in one of the Mediterranean-style guestrooms to a ballroom wedding, hosting up to 1,250 guests and many options in-between.

The 11,300-square-foot Bacara Ballroom features 23-foot-high ceilings and six balconies and can be divided into three separate areas, each accommodating up to 350 wedding guests. The ballroom also has 8,700 square feet of additional event space, including a vaulted foyer with fireplace, an adjacent ocean-view terrace and an expansive lawn, where guests can enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres prior to the ceremony.

The Ocean Lawn at Bacara Resort & Spa affords panoramic ocean views for a wedding ceremony and is surrounded by the resort's lush landscaping.

Pictured: The Ocean Lawn at Bacara Resort & Spa affords panoramic ocean views for a wedding ceremony and is surrounded by the resort's lush landscaping.

Other options include the Rotunda and Rotunda Terrace, a 1,734-square-foot circular area atop Bacara's main lobby offering views of the ocean, along with an outdoor area perfect for an al fresco celebration. For a more intimate wedding, Bacara's wine cellar features a display of 12,000 wines from around the world, along with a private dining room that can seat up to 40. Those looking to take in the natural beauty of the resort can choose from The Bluff, an expansive lawn area with ocean views that can accommodate up to 300 guests for a seaside wedding ceremony or reception; the Ocean Lawn, which affords panoramic ocean views; or the Residence Lawn, a more intimate, oceanside venue that can be reserved in conjunction with The Residence, Bacara's 3,700-square-foot retreat. This option can accommodate up to 120 guests for outdoor wedding receptions and includes a two-night stay in The Residence. Finally, the Oval Lawn offers couples a private and enclosed garden area, accommodating up to 300 guests.

After the tying the knot, newlyweds can retire to one of the rooms right on property. The Residence, which is the closest accommodation to the ocean on the bluff and includes ocean views, three wood-burning fireplaces, a patio for private dinners and its own workout area, is one of the top two options for honeymooners. The other is The Terrace Suite, which features ocean views, a master bedroom area with a fireplace, a wrap-around terrace overlooking the ocean and a relaxing soaking bathtub.

Outdoor Pool at Bacara Resort and Spa, Santa Barbara

When the new couple is ready to venture out, many options are right at their fingertips, including a visit to the 4,200-square-foot, 36-room spa that offers private treatments, or they can reserve the roof deck area, where they can host a group get-together with their wedding guests, enjoying treatments such as a private mud bar and private massages, overlooking the ocean. While it is recommended to make reservations as far in advance as possible, the spa will do its best to make last minute arrangements.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Bacara offers a variety of ocean sports, including surfing, body boarding, ocean kayaking and sailing. Also available is horseback riding, cycling, mountain biking and hiking. Those looking to hit the links are in luck. There are three nearby 18-hole championship golf courses: Sandpiper Golf Club, Glen Annie and Rancho San Marcos.

For those with kids, Monarch Kids' Club offers fun activities and exploration options for children ages five through 12. The program was designed especially to reflect Bacara's surroundings and rich Chumash history.

Click here to learn more and check availability at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA >>


For your next tennis vacation, Bacara Resort and Spa is simply the best choice. Bacara's tennis facility offers
four Har-Tru clay composition courts along with private and semi-private lessons with a resident pro, adult and junior clinics,
match arrangements, and equipment rentals.

Bacara Resort and Spa

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Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley bound by a river on the northeast and a coastal mountain range on the southwest. The range barricades the coastal flow, producing warmer valley days and cooler valley nights. The adjacent river and seasonal streams that cross this land abound with annual runs of 10-pound steelhead trout. The rolling hills are dotted with valley oaks and coast live oaks, many of which will live up to 300 years. The verdant glens and riverbanks, shadowed by the mountain backdrop, support healthy groves of western sycamores. Deer graze cautiously, fearing mountain lions, bears, and coyotes. Original inhabitants used this land for hunting and for gathering acorns and, most recently, for raising livestock. 

Alisal Guest Ranch

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One of the most iconic hotels in Santa Barbara, Belmond El Encanto sits high in the hills amid lush gardens with views across the town and ocean. A landmark since the 1920s, its original architectural features have been lovingly brought back to life, while modern additions include an expansive outdoor swimming pool and beautiful boutique spa. 


Gaze out across the Pacific while soaking up the sun in its lavish infinity-edge swimming pool. It's the perfect setting to unwind and acclimatize to Belmond El Encanto's easygoing lifestyle.

Book a stay at Belmond El Encanto>>


The Four Seasons Santa Barbara Biltmore is a one of a kind true gem in Santa Barbara’s history of lavish upscale resorts.  It was built in the 1920's as a retreat for movie stars and the rich and famous as a way to get away from the busy LA scene just 90 miles to the south.  The hotel and outdoor dining deck is strategically located right on the ocean and just minutes away from the many downtown Santa Barbara events and activities. Lunch or dine in the beautifully landscaped grounds filled with majestic palms, flower gardens, and cypress trees.

Four Seasons Santa Barbara Biltmore

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Guests at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort choose from any of four restaurants for lunch.

During the summer season, guests are also treated to three weekly outdoor events: a Seafood Barbeque served at Alisal Lake on Monday nights, a Southwestern-style Barbecue served at the Rodeo Arena on Wednesday nights, and our traditional Western Barbecue served on the lawn adjacent to the pool on Saturday nights. The Monday and Wednesday affairs are optional, as the Ranch Dining Room is also open to guests on those evenings.

Book a stay at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort>>


Suites at Belmond El Encanto feature a large separate living room with beautiful French doors, which lead into a grand private bedroom. Choose between a warming open-hearth fireplace or a patio with stunning garden or ocean views.

Belmond El Encanto

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In the 1930s, Hollywood actor Ronald Colman and hotelier and former Senator Alvin Carl Weingand acquired the San Ysidro Ranch and transformed it into a hospitality haven – known for its idyllic setting, service, and guarding of guest privacy – for celebrities. The famous guests over the years range from Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx to Winston Churchill, Somerset Maugham, and Sinclair Lewis. Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier were married at the Ranch, John and Jacqueline Kennedy honeymooned there and John Huston completed the script for African Queen during a three-month stay.

San Ysidro Ranch

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Bacara Resort and Spa offers four-fixture marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and walnut bathroom vanities
with added storage. Hairdryer, bathrobes, and slippers are also provided.

Bacara Resort and Spa

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Enjoy vista views of the sea, sky, and the Channel Islands just offshore while fine dining al fresco and embracing an innovative, artful design of low-storied buildings terraced to the sea and connected by lush, meandering garden paths complete with flower-filled courtyards, restful fountains and red-tiled roofs. Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara is the perfect place for an outdoor dining experience and to enjoy the leisurely pace and warm embrace of California lifestyle.

Bacara Resort and Spa

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