Mind, Body, Spirit
at Rancho La Puerta
started innocently with an email from a staff member at Rancho
La Puerta, the award-winning spa resort
in Tecate, Mexico. The message read, "Several
women in our office receive the Journeywoman Newsletter; we
like it and we'd like you and a friend to come and visit."
took me less than five minutes to make my decision, call the
Ranch, and accept their generous invitation. I'd often heard
high praise for Rancho
La Puerta from other travel journalists
and loved the idea that the driving force behind the Ranch
was Deborah Szekely, an 80-something year old dynamo who founded
the spa in 1940 and is still very active in maintaining its
mind, body, spirit philosophy.
Who would be
my roommate for a week of recharging our batteries? In my
mind there was only one person to ask. Via email I contacted
Claire, the woman (500 miles away) who had been my college
roommate way back when. The subject line read, 'Wanna be my
roommate again?" It took her less than five minutes to
email back a huge, 'YES".
The good karma starts
before you get to the Ranch...
discovered a lot about the positive philosophy of the Ranch
and their pleasant staff long before I set foot on their
wonderful property. The enrollment process is low key, instructions
clear and the tone inviting. I learned that each week 125
guests all begin and end their Ranch stay on a Saturday.
This means we all start our adventure at the same time;
we each have equal opportunity to sign up for activities.
The closest airport is San Diego International where the
Ranch staff greet and direct visitors to their shuttle buses
for a pleasant hour's ride across the border to Tecate,
Mexico. Guests are asked to choose spa treatments via the
Ranch website well in advance. This means that participants
generally get their first choices scheduled for the times
they want them. If you don't, the staff will go out of their
way to help you find alternatives that suit you well. Even
via cyberspace instructions seem to arrive with a smile
and no pressure whatsoever.
We loved our Mexican
the fun of any travel experience is where you lay your head
each night. Rancho La Puerta
does not believe in standard hotel rooms; here every single
accommodation is unique. Guests are treated to one-of-a-kind
Mexican living spaces tucked into the resort's countless
nooks and crannies. The villa assigned to us had it's own
private patio, perfect for late afternoon wind downs. The
high-ceilinged interior was spacious enough for two queen-sized
beds, a handy kitchenette, huge dressing area with bathroom
plus a fully-furnished sitting area with a working fireplace.
White stucco walls provided the perfect backdrop for vivid
pieces of Mexican arts and crafts in happy pinks, yellows
and blues. The cheeky, oversized ceramic rooster that sat
on my dresser was the first thing I saw each morning and
he never ceased to make me smile. And best of all? There
are no television sets anywhere, no phones in the room and
cell phones are turned off. All messages that arrive from
the outside world are simply clipped to your accommodation's
front door. Sigh.
Rancho La Puerta Photo Album 1/2