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“not impressed at first...but then sold after a few days!”

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Rancho La Puerta Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Tecate
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 12, 2012

The niche demographic for this "spa" seems to be 40+ year old women traveling either alone or with girlfriends. I was a 30-something year old male traveling with my girlfriend, which makes a difference in this review.

Easy pickup from San Diego airport with a long, windy trip in bus to the border and then a few minutes more to the hotel.

When I first arrived I was expecting a beautiful resort-like facility and grounds. While it is very nicely done, it is not luxury. It is functional though and still quite nice.

The days are packed full of exercise and wellness activities, not sitting by the pool with a margarita (which they don't serve). From the 5am morning hike to the pilates to the Bar Method to the water aerobics to the boot camp...newbies (like us) went all out the first day and were very sore day 2. We then scaled it back a bit and still enjoyed ourselves immensely.

The spa treatments were very nice and definitely something to sign up for. We were there on our honeymoon and one was offered, as was a consult with a nutritionist (great consult!).

A few more thoughts:

* The food portions were small, but one can always go back and get more if needed.
* There is no alcohol, but some people went "off campus" for dinner or brought back some beers to their room.
* The food is all "spa portioned" and quite healthy and mainly vegetarian. At first I was worried that a week of this would be a disaster and all I wanted was guacamole and chicken taco's and a margarita...it was Mexico after all! Luckily I survived and ended up rather enjoying the food

Room Tip: Some rooms closer can really hear the trucks down-shifting at night...make sure to ask about this wh...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank wordlyandwise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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178 - 184 of 257 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2012

If you really like hiking, healthy real organic food, exercise of any kind possible, Pilates, Yoga, Feldenkries (the best of all), meditation, relaxation, massage, reflexology, you name it, you have it in this paradise. From the time they pick you at the airport in San Diego, to the time the drop you of at the same place, it is like a dream come true. The staff, most of them speak perfect English, thanks to the excellent school that the Ranch sponsor, is much better train to assist you than Disney, Ritz Carlton or Canyon Ranch. The daily activities are perfectly planned to satisfy the "Donald Trump"of the world, the trainers are of the highest quality, specially: Donna, Coco and Connie. The messages done by Cesario, evenly. Believe, I am keeping the best for last: the site, the hikes, and the food
.
The site: beautiful, perfectly manicure, the casitas (accommodation) perfectly position for your seclusion if you need to, the different pools, the gazebo, when must people concentrate to meet, the different spots to do your daily activities, are all created for you to feel in heaven

The hikes: A must. There are plenty to choose from. Do them every day. The view is impressive, you meet other hikers, and it opens your appetite for a great breakfast

The food: Exquisite. Simply prepared, simply presented, simply delicious. Every produce, fruit, grains and natural flavor enhancers are site grown. Do not miss the Botanic Garden Breakfast or the cooking classes.

Do yourself a favor: GO. it is a very save place, the people are very nice and the locals want you there.

GO

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank lovetravelja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

This resort/ranch truly offers a one of a kind experience. If you are looking for wellness and healthy living this is the place for you. In particular I was impressed with their organic gardens and how they integrate fresh produce into their menus. The spa offers very nice treatments and the property landscape and ambiance is very nice.

The rooms are nicely tucked throughout the resort offering much privacy and quietness.

Room Tip: Get a room near the Villas pool, it's the best of the three or 4 swimming pools.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank SkiChad5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

You can say that the food is delicious and healthy, the service top-notch, the exercise classes taught by exceptional people, and the compound is gorgeous and completely secure. You can say the hikes are beautiful, the rooms unique and lovely, and the experience is both rejuvenating and relaxing. But somehow, these words can't convey the somehow mysterious, restorative and healing impact this place has. Prepare to go off the grid, and reacquaint yourself with you again. Others have used the term, "magical." They are right and STILL there's more to it. Go go go. Take every class you can find with Manuel (hilarious and tough at the same time) and Terri (so smart and a terrific workout). Find the hammocks. Ditch the Diet Coke, find a book from their library, come on down and watch yourself shift.

Room Tip: Every room is unique. When it's cold, aim for one with a fireplace.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank janebeard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

Wonderful environment for rejuvenating , hiking, every exercise class possible, good spa treatments, and food was fresh from their garden.
Best spa I've been to ,yet,and I've been going for 30 years to spa.
Hoping to return with my 24 year old daughter .

  • Stayed: August 2012
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3  Thank nonstop99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

Rancho La Puerta is a very special - really magical - place. It is located at the base of sacred Mount Kuchumaa, a site used by the native Indians as a gathering place. Hiking up the mountain in the fresh air at dawn and taking in the great beauty of the desert and the huge rock shapes puts you in touch with this mystical energy. The hard climbs are rewarded by beautiful vistas across the mountains, where sometimes you can catch a glimpse of the distant Pacific Ocean. If you aren't up for a vigorous uphill climb, there are lovely morning walks through the forest and along a rolling hills trail.

This will be my 20th visit to the ranch. I return each year to recharge, refresh, and renew myself, physically and spiritually. A week of exercise, fresh air, organic food, beauty, introspection and especially the company of the interesting people who come here always send me on a long trajectory of good health.

The Szekely family who first started Rancho La Puerta in 1940 were the original 'health nuts' - who have since been proved right about practically everything -- the need for a good diet, exercise, stress reduction, and cultivation of beauty and spirit. They have been gardening down there for decades and the grounds are amazing -- filled with sculpture, flowers, trees of every sort, foundtains, labyrinths, and many spots to stretch out in a hammock to read, rest or just listen to the wind.

Favorite things to do: hiking every morning; breakfast at the Sol pool (scrambled eggs, granola, fresh fruit, strong coffee) yoga in the beautiful large Montana studio, looking out to the mountain; dance classes of all sorts in the Kuchumaa studio; fun/competitive games of water polo on a noodle in the Olympic pool; long afternoons reading and dozing by any one of the pools; Watsu water massage in the warm pool; Hot Stone massage at the Villas Health Center; nude sunbathing on the roof of Villas and behind the Women's health center; listening to music from visiting guests and teachers; writing in my journal (something i've done every since I took a journaling class there); learning how to sculpt the human figure with a Mexican artist under the shade of the grape arbor; dining al fresco in the summer or in the beautiful Spanish style dining room (food gets better every year); sleeping very soundly and early in your private casita after a long full day.

Visitors who are concerned about being in Mexico near the border should know the facts: The ranch has never had a security incident in all its decades of operation. Tecate is a very friendly town that is largely immune from the violence that has plagued other border towns. The ranch is one of the largest employers in town and the town tolk want to be sure you have a fun, safe trip.
Treat yourself!

Room Tip: Almost every room at the ranch is different. Talk to the reservations people and be very specific a...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Karen_N672
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

Just returned from a week at RLP where there were more return visitors than first timers which says something.

The grounds are absolutely breathtaking. Tropical gardens, ponds with and without fish, sculptures, little nooks, scattered benches, flowering trees, bushes and flowers of every color---all add to the overall wonderfulness of the Ranch.
A multitude of activities and lectures are offered...there is so much variety that everyone should be able to select a different activity every hour for the 7 days without repeating. Delicious and plentiful vegetarian food with an occasional fish or chicken dinner. There is an impressive organic garden on the grounds which is the source for the fabulous and brilliantly colored daily vegetable offerings.

The vibe is very positive and upbeat. The staff is energetic and fun. if all you want to do is swim, there are 6 pools to do just that. Or if you want to use the spa, they have that too. If you just want to vegetate in your casita and have all your meals delivered, well then, that too can be arranged. They even have a dinner party around the pool with a band on the last evening.

I highly recommend Rancho La Puerta.

NOTE: Absolutely secure crossings at the borders, traveling north and south to/from San Diego. SAFE.

Room Tip: We stayed at Villas Sola which is a bit of a hike from the main campus but has it's own pool and...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Linda H
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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