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“Fantastic for the solo traveler!”

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Rancho La Puerta Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Tecate
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 17, 2012

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.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank flymonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (253)
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190 - 196 of 253 reviews

Reviewed March 3, 2012

I came to the ranch 15 years ago, and it was great to see that it has upheld its excellent standards. Every day was a treat, great classes, wonderful food, lovely walks. They built a new kitchen center and the class I took with the visiting chef was so much fun. It's a real treat to come here and I can't recommend it more highly for people who are interested in pushing themselves physically. The food is great, but for those in our group who weren't used to a vegetarian diet, they weren't always satisfied after meals. I can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed: March 2012
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3  Thank bickles27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2012

If your idea of a health escape is a few yards away from a major highway, with semis grinding and blowing their stacks every 4-5 minutes, and another super-highway paralleling it on a higher level — its noise saturating the entire property up into the hills — then by all means go to the Rancho. It's a pity. It was there decades before the massive economic expansion of the area, but there the noise is, and it's not going away. I was glad I could. $4,000 for the week, single occupancy, with that noise everywhere, including inside my tucked-away brick casita, is ridiculously over-priced. Best price point would be $2,000 for the week, which can be done with a larger casita group-share. The spa food is great, I'll give them that. But I know CA and Mexico, and that level of road noise is totally unacceptable and a deal-breaker. There are so many other true get-away places to hike and eat healthily. Wish I had read this sort of review about the Rancho before I spent the money. It's living on an old reputation still bought into by a lot of east-coasters and midwesterners who don't know the west coast and Mexico well enough to know any better.
BTW, the travel warning on this site is a bit over-the-top. I drove there and it's fine. Just expect a wait at the border getting back into the U.S. It was an hour for me. I've heard it can be twice that.

Room Tip: Internet/WiFi only available in the main lounge.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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29  Thank Sono3120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeterJensenatRancho, Public Relations Manager at Rancho La Puerta Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2012

We are very sorry that roadway noise disturbed you, and we wish that we could have helped you during your visit. Come back! We will accommodate you in a location that you will find to your liking! We occasionally get this comment from guests while they are AT the resort, and we make every effort to move them from one casita to another that is more distant from any roads. It is true that our entrance is off a public road, but our private property is huge--3,000 acres--and guests spend most of their time on a central campus (where residences, gyms, pools are located) that is approximately 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile in size. Road noise from outside our property, if perceived as a problem in areas near our entrance, can be mitigated by booking accommodations in our more-distant villas. We don't allow ANY cars on our resort property other than our own service vehicles, so once you get deep into the garden areas of the resort one finds that the noise element is eliminated or greatly diminished. And we encourage any TripAdvisor reader to contact several of the reviewers here to solicit their opinions and observations about noise.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2012

My wife and I spent a week, February 11-18, at Ranco La Puerta. Although the weather was somewhat cold and wet, we had a refresing experience. Among highlights were the many interesting and pleasant people, both guests and presenters. The hikes were not to be missed, the food was excellent and healthy, and the facilities were in terrific shape. My wife enjoyed the spa offerings, and the various yoga, pilates et. classes. I found the lectures and discussion groups interesting, andf the fitness classes challenging enough. It is well worth a stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the center of activity.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank prichett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2012

This was my first visit to Rancho La Puerta. After hearing so many good things I decided to give
it a go for a one day experience which they call "Saturdays At The Ranch". The luxury motor coach picked us up in Old Town
(San Diego) at 7:30am for the approximate 1hr. 15min. drive. On the bus we were
given a small bag of granola and some bottled water along with a personalized
water bottle with Rancho La Puerta logo on it. After arriving through the lovely
iron gates of the ranch we were given a small hand towel to refresh ourselves
before a short tour of the ranch. We were shown to the locker area and each given
a locker and key. The spotless locker rooms are stocked with everything you would need for showering after exercise or spa treatments. After this we were taken to the dining area and treated to a very
healthy and hearty breakfast. After breakfast we were on our own to take any
classes of our choice. I took the Circuit Training class and then the Dance Class which was a Hula-Hoop class. So many laughs during that class! Lunch was served in the main dining area and it consisted
of numerous organic vegetables, homemade breads, fruit, juice, and many other
delicious items including (my favorite) Hibiscus Tea. Yum! After lunch you could
again take many different classes, go on a hike or head off to the spa to receive
a relaxing spa treatment. At 3:30pm two vans appeared to take our group off to
La Cocina que Canta (The Kitchen that Sings) which is Rancho La Puerta's cooking
school. Here we were given a tour of the organic vegetable gardens and then
ushered into the kitchen/classroom area for a hands on cooking session. This was
so much fun and Chef Denise Roa was so passionate about her love for organic
cooking it inspired everyone. Our group of 13 then were seated around a long
table to eat the results of our cooking lessons. Everyone had such a great time
learning new skills to take home and try out on friends and family. The vans arrived back
at the cooking school around 7:30pm
to take us back to the border where our motor coach was waiting for our journey
back to San Diego. It was a long day but I came away with a good preview of
the resort and some new culinary skills not to mention some new friends. Everywhere you went on the grounds the staff was always helpful and smiling. There is nothing formal or stuffy about this resort! A wonderful
place to renew your mind, body and spirit. I relaxed just walking around enjoying
all the beautiful landscaping and garden sculptures.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Jean92064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2012

Rancho La Puerta is a wonderful spa where you can really get away from the world in an atmosphere of beauty and healthy living on all levels. It is a great place to go alone or with friends and family. There is something for everyone and a new lease on life.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank susantravels20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2012

This was our first visit to the Ranch and we are already planning a return.
The yoga classes and hikes were personal favorites.
The grounds are beautiful and our casita was lovely and quiet despite being an easy walk from all amenities.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank huss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho La Puerta Spa

Address: Carretera A Tijuana Km 5, Tecate 92046-3057, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Norte > Tecate
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Tecate
Number of rooms: 84
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

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