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8000 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos, CA
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8000 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos, CA
Getting there
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport46 kmSee all flights
Santa Maria Public Airport35 kmSee all flights
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21Reviews1Q+A1Room tip

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Stephen D wrote a review Dec 2017
Ballarat, Australia3 contributions3 helpful votes
I had heard of Zaca Lake all of my life. It had been a homestead, a ranch, an olive orchard and various other things in its history. When the movie industry relocated to Southern California Zaca Lake became a secluded haven for the Hollywood “elite”. And sometime during that period my grandfather, Daniel Gipson “Gip” Edwards, was hired to build a lakeside building for use as a conference center/chateau/hotel headquarters. Gip wasn’t an ordinary carpenter though. He was a craftsman, and this old building reflects that. Built with tenons, mortise and pegs, there wasn’t a nail in the building. The entire area surrounding Zaca Lake is peaceful, calm and a wonderful place to spend a few hours or even days.
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Date of stay: July 2017Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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stephany38 wrote a review Jul 2013
Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Mexico93 contributions30 helpful votes
This could be a phenomenal place as the setting is wonderful. I hope to use it for an art retreat, but our members are aware that it is quite rustic. It would help if they hired a cleaning group to come in after each use so that people would arrive to a clean cabin. They could charge a bit more and cover expenses. The facilities are good for workshops as there are two large rooms for meetings, painting, crafts, etc. I just hope they spruce it up as it has a lovely setting.
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Date of stay: June 2013
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Elizabeth W wrote a review Oct 2012
Paris, France18 contributions18 helpful votes
I am not a complainer yet this "Resort" takes the cake. I like rustic yet this resort was broken, patched and suffering from benign neglect. No hot water...seriously?....you have to fiddle with the bath tub and sink fixtures simultaneously and if you are lucky after 30 minutes maybe...not me but others...you might get some warm water. You have to clean your own room and they actually have the effrontery to give printed cleaning instructions! The dishwasher in the kitchen is BROKEN so you also have to wash your own dishes after every meal in lukewarm water. The kitchen has been allowed to deteriorate to such a degree it must be unsanitary...where is the board of health when you need them? If they had fully disclosed the condition of the place it would be one thing yet most of it's deficiencies were sprung on us AFTER we arrived. It is a glorious spot and I hope the owners fix the plumbing, the kitchen, and clean the broken detritus from the property so that it can be thoroughly enjoyed by those people who come to stay.
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Date of stay: October 2012
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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AnnArborVino wrote a review Jun 2012
Ann Arbor, Michigan29 contributions25 helpful votes
I was here recently for a weekend retreat. Let me begin by saying the location is truly beautiful. The small lake is nestled in a small valley, surrounded by hills. At night the sky is bright with stars and the bugs weren't too terrible. If you go down the winding road and through the property's gates there are good wineries to the left and to the right. Fess Parker, which was in Sideways, is to the left, Cambria and others are to the right. So, you can enjoy the solitude of the California hills or leave the property and enjoy a few wineries. Los Olivos is about a 30 minute drive, and there are some yummy places to eat, a great coffee shop, ample tasting rooms, and several galleries. As for the accommodations at the retreat property--they are very, very basic. I get that this is a wilderness retreat-type of place, but I still think that the property owners could do more to clean and update the facilities. To begin, guests are responsible for cleaning up after themselves upon check-out. As a result, the cabins aren't nearly as clean as they could (or should) be. The bathroom was in dire need of a hard scrubbing and the kitchen needed the same (there were several things in the drawers, like silverware, that was pretty disgustingly dirty). Everyone has a different concept of "clean," and maybe mine is more rigid, and I acknowledge it's a woodsy cabin retreat property, but still. Putting someone else in charge of cleaning (like a trained cleaning staff), would probably help reduce the speed of deterioration in the cabins and would certainly add a slight big of "luxury" to a rustic atmosphere. I was in the larger Lodge, which consists of three bedrooms containing multiple bunk beds. The mattresses are very thin and hard, and the polyester blankets are not worth using (I'm sure they are rarely, if ever, laundered). Unless you like it used and dirty, you'll need to bring a top sheet to cover the stained mattresses and bring a sleeping bag or sheets and your own blankets rather than using the yucky comforters provided. You also need to supply your own pillow and towels. If you are driving in, I recommend bringing a sponge and some basic cleaning supplies so you can give the bathroom a through scrub. You may also want to consider bringing a bathmat or bath towel for the floor. The exhaust vent in our bathroom was a joke and certainly not up to code. It did nothing to suck the steam out of the bathroom after a shower, which meant everything--the floor, the walls, the toilet seat, the mirror--was dripping with condensation. I also recommend you find the broom and go through the house (especially under the top bunk) and clean up the cobwebs and spiders, which are everywhere. Watch out for fruit that isn't in a sealed container--we had a bunch of flies in the house thanks some cut fruit in the morning. And do not leave food in the back of a car with open windows or back of a pickup truck. A raccoon desecrated my friend's food supplies, which were in the back of her pickup truck. Bring bug spray for nighttime--there are a few mosquitoes and they'll bite. Finally, don't bother bringing your cell phone. There is no cell coverage at the lake, at least not if you're an AT&T customer. There is only limited wifi. I have no idea what this place charges for retreats or nightly/weekly rates (if those are even available), so I cannot tell you if the accommodations are worth the price. However, I can tell you that if you are planning to come here and you have what sounds like my sense of cleanliness, be prepared to clean and bring all of your own linens.
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Date of stay: June 2012
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: If you are staying in the Lodge and will be sharing a room with multiple people, be sure that if...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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ssjaffe wrote a review Jul 2011
Westlake Village, California9 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
22 of us stayed at Zaca Lake for 3 night this last weekend. We always rent cabin 17 which sleeps about 18 comfortably and then we also rent cabin 1,2 and 3. This year the big surprise was that Jake, Chris and Shenandoah really took some elbow grease to the communal kitchen. It is so organized, cleaned up and ready to be used ... The lake had enough row boats, canoes and kayaks for us all to have a great time. Shenandoah, Chris and Jake are really taking good care of the place. You guys rock!!! Hope to see you next year.
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Date of stay: July 2011
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Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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akb1 wrote a review Jul 2011
los angeles, california21 contributions41 helpful votes
Zaca Lake retreat is a stunning place and a one of a kind. I love it there and will be going back again despite the deteriorating conditions and the recent changes the owners have made. Put it this way, the surroundings still out weight the negatives. The negatives are as follows: price......over priced........owners now require you to bring sheets, towels and pillows (though pillows were there) and they require you to clean your own cabin upon departure. Unfortunately upon arrival our cabin was extremely dirty and obviously not checked prior to arrival by management. I am assuming they are checked after the last occupant leaves, however, if they left 2 weeks prior they certainly havent checked it the day the next person is arriving. There were flies everywhere and the bathroom floor was filthy and there was dust and dirt on all the surfaces. Zaca now requires everyone to clean the bathroom and wash down everything and the tile. If not the $50 cleaning deposit is forfeited. What a joke. I should have been paid $50 to clean up the place. Undoubtedly occupants will barely clean upon leaving and I do not have much faith in the volunteers (as wonderful as they are) and being in their early 20's and men cleaning each cabin the way one would expect. Get the picture? Basically, for the $168 a night they want....just expect to have the very basics. Zaca LAke is not maintained at a high standard. From previous visits I can safely say, screen windows and doors are not replaced or holes fixed. Bathroom tiles remain unrepaired and the main lodge looks like it is gathering dust by the minute and the communal fridge hasnt seen a clean wipe down in years.......I do question the owners sensibility on top of everything......do they really care about this place or are they more concerned on charging high prices and doing as little as possible. I understand that it is a non profit situation but also hear that a tv producer owns it and it is a clever tax right off....curious about the real answer? Also, whilst we were there, a party of 60 plus showed up and had only rented 2 cabins. They pitched 3, eight men tents in front of the cabins and parked their trucks lake front instead of the parking areas. I hear they paid per head to be there, however not quite sure why they couldnt have rented the large group cabin or barn or even pitched their tenets in the large paddock behind the cabins. Our peace and quiet and view were taken by this whole group who also managed to domineer all the kayaks, even sinking a few and just leaving them on the lake. Sorry, but how was it fair that we rented accommodation and these people were allowed to by pass the $168 per night and just pay $40 to pitch a tent per person......NOT VERY FAIR! and totally insensitive to the other guests and the experience we were all paying for.........Bottom line......still love this place......Chris and Jake who were there working were very nice and did everything to rectify the problems with the cabins. I do not include them in my rant. I blame the owners for the lack of upkeep and care and the decisions they are making. It seems they don't really care.....don't want to put any money into repairs and want to do as little as possible and charge a lot. Oh well. I guess it is what is is. WIth all the problems you just cant beat the location and the surroundings. I will be returning despite everything.......
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Date of stay: July 2011
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Aria_Clements wrote a review Jun 2011
San Francisco, California1 contribution1 helpful vote
If you're looking for a resort with amenities such as room service, TVs in your room, Wifi all over the place, and no ants or bugs, then this place isn't for you. But if you're looking to take a break from it all, have an excuse to not keep your cell glued to your hip, love seeing does with their fawns, and realize that nature comes with some creepy-crawlies, then you'll love this place. I based my "stars" on what one should reasonable and realistically expect from a retreat. The accommodations aren't luxurious, but they're more than adequate. They're what come to mind with a wilderness resort! I'll gladly trade the Marriott's ugly "luxury" comforters (and let me tell you, after working for a Marriott myself, their comforters are only washed when they start to reek or are very visibly dirty, which is why they have that horrid pattern - to mask dirt and enable them to get away with sometimes a couple months between washings) for the view out the window or off the deck. I'll gladly skip the pool surrounded by lots of screaming kids and rude teens for a serene row on the lake with my daughter. Come here to be left alone! Long review short, if you're looking for seclusion and solitude with a side of nature and gorgeous views, perhaps a dessert of deer sightings (we saw a doe and her fawn first day, and two deer in a single day isn't much for this place!), then you'll love this retreat. If you want to commune with nature and have your choice between easy or tricky trails, head to Zaca. If you want a resort, then go to a resort instead of being mad at this place. Would you give an Italian restaurant one star because you couldn't get a taco?
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Date of stay: May 2011
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Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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ZooKnob wrote a review May 2011
Los Angeles, California1 contribution2 helpful votes
Please don't come here, because we want to keep this place a secret! It's absolutely beautiful and serene! If you love nature, animals, hiking and swimming in a glassy lake this is your spot. It is quiet and stunning. We come here when we want to get away from the crowds and noise. This is a jewel. This is not the place for you if you expect posh accommodations, room service, phone service or loud activities. This is for nature lovers! Perhaps that information will deter some people and this place the sanctuary that it is:)
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Date of stay: May 2011
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Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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SADAMSS wrote a review Aug 2010
San Francisco, California5 contributions2 helpful votes
My boyfriend and I attended a wedding at Zaca Lake last weekend. The setting could not have been more beautiful. The wedding took over all of the cabins and made the whole experience family and friend oriented. Some people brought kayaks and canoes for the lake which along with a floating dock and rope swing made for good times on the lake! The lodge and alamo were both good gathering places for the whole group. I would go back for sure!
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Date of stay: July 2010
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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kidsdogs wrote a review Aug 2010
Cleveland, Ohio4 contributions
I took my family of 6 with me to watch a fantastic couple pronounce their vows for marriage … it was fantastic. The view, the animals - a deer swimming across the lake, the birds...the Lake…. Kayaking, canoeing… I didn’t turn on my cell phone once - I let myself go and it was a perfect family vacation.
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Date of stay: August 2010
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Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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ALSO KNOWN AS
zaca lake retreat hotel los olivos
LOCATION
United StatesCaliforniaLos Olivos
NUMBER OF ROOMS
20
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Frequently Asked Questions about Zaca Lake Retreat
Which popular attractions are close to Zaca Lake Retreat?
Nearby attractions include Santa Ynez Valley (6.7 km) and Neverland Ranch (3.9 km).
Is parking available at Zaca Lake Retreat?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there any historical sites close to Zaca Lake Retreat?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Los Alamos Mercantile Building (14.9 km).