I didn't think I'd ever have enough $ or anyone to visit a spa with, so when I got a 40% off promo email from one of those daily services, I jumped! This is a fantastic place to visit solo, so easy to meet people, I've never seen so many sincerely smiling, relaxed people in one place.
The guests are mainly women, mid-thirties and up, very accomplished, varied and interesting. However, there were more men than I expected, mostly with their wives. It was holiday season, our week began on New Year's Eve.
Female or male, there is so much to do. FIFTY classes a day, everything from pumping iron to chanting, cardio hula hoop to meditation for all levels of fitness, rank beginner to athletic. Also lectures and workshops in arts and other skills. You rarely have to sign up for classes in advance, so you can do whatever you like each day, a seven mile sunrise hike or a pampering day at the spa. The instructors were impressive, and the massages (I'm picky) were very good for the most part. There's also professional entertainment in the evenings, Bela Fleck was there! And hilarious, irreverent bingo. Don't miss Barry"s sassy dirty bingo.
The grounds are beautiful, the website gives you a good idea of what it looks and feels like. I had my own studio ranchera in the Flores area, great location if you're solo. My place was under trees and a bit dark and chilly, but there was a good heater and fireplace, and a sunny patio complete with chaise lounges all to myself. Next time I'll bring slippers for the cold tile floor. There are more private digs in the outlying villas, which would be a really nice romantic getaway. This place isn't the Four Seasons, it's much more rustic than that, but it's lovely and clean with authentic Mexican design, and the service was polite and top notch.
I didn't experience any noise pollution, I asked for a room away from the road, and wasn't at all conscious of the trucks some other reviewers mentioned, not anywhere on the grounds, (maybe because it was holiday time?)
So okay, let's get to the serious part...the food. Amazing! Fresh, healthy, and tons of it! I ate like a pig but lost four pounds.
Is this place expensive? Yup. Even with my discount, I spent almost $3,500 total for the week, that included all my tips, a massage every day, and some private pilates, physical therapy and chiropractic sessions. Oh, and parking. I drove to the border at Tecate and parked my car in a dirt lot on the U.S. side for $35. It wasn't glamorous, but nobody messed with it, they said they've had no problems. Someone from the ranch picked me up and dropped me off, walked me through customs carrying my luggage, couldn't have been easier. No waiting coming back over to the U.S.
Will I return? You bet. It's worth saving up. I met a wonderful lady from Texas who has been there sixteen times, I don't think I'll ever go that often, but I sure hope I'm taking those sunrise mountain hikes when I'm in my seventies, just like she is.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The world's first fitness resort established in 1940, this spa is located right across the border in Mexico and is nestled on 3,000 private acres of rolling terrain. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rancho La Puerta Hotel Tecate
- Rancho La Puerta Tecate