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“A little heaven on earth”

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Rancho La Puerta Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Tecate
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 16, 2008

When I first arrived on Saturday, a woman looked directly at me and proclaimed "welcome to heaven". Was she ever right! This place is as close to perfection as you can imagine. The grounds are impeccably maintained, the rancheras are comfortable, clean and stylishly decorated with an old-mexican theme. The gyms are beautifully crafted buildings looking out on the pristine landscape and the dining hall is a stately, grand building with old-world style. The teachers are professionals with a variety of exercises to keep anybody challenged and satisfied. The food is plentiful, delicious and has a variety of offerings. The staff is friendly, helpful and there for anything you might need. No wonder more than 50% of the guests there are returnees!
I went to the Ranch alone and felt very comfortable and welcome. Everybody is so happy, relaxed and friendly. How can you not be in heaven??

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank Nannyboanny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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242 - 248 of 257 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2008

If you like delicious organic food direct from the farm, jasmine, sage, and rosemary infused air, well maintained hiking trails with beauty, views, rolling hills, huge boulders, with rabbits, lizards and birds flitting about, you will love this place.

The vibe of the place is healthy friendly and relaxed. You set your own pace and choose from the array of activities: hikes, yoga, tennis, pilates, art, lectures, cooking, health treatments, or sunning by one of the pools.

The food is fresh and nutrient focused. If you know how to choose food with omega 3s and anti-oxidant rich vitamins, you will find it here. Dinner is served in several courses and each plate looks like a photo in a gourmet magazine.

The health facilities have steam rooms, saunas and a dozen different massages. There is a huge weight room and the running track has a small vineyard to gaze upon. There are also many beauty treatments.

There is an internet room with six terminals but the focus is on the 'ranch' experience. The experience is the mystic beauty of the place and the way it relaxes and motivates guests. The ranch began in 1940 and some of the guests have visited over twenty times.

recharge your battery - go to the ranch.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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3  Thank aurajenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2007

Having visited the Ranch for many years, I have always found my stay to be inspirational with regard to body and spirit. One must first embrace the Rancho La Puerta experience by leaving the hectic technological world behind. Detach yourself from the blackberry, laptop and crazed schedule or you will never truly embrace what the Ranch has created - a sanctuary. This is more than just an everyday pampered spa/hotel...you must come here with the notion of self-improvement and that takes work; the Ranch acts merely as a guide. I come here to gather strength: to face an imperfect world, the harshness of reality and to cleanse my inner body of all the impurities I have dumped into it. Many people experience a mixed bag of emotions the first three days, but this is all part of the healing process which I have come to accept. For those who are ready to take their own well-being into their hands, I highly recommend Rancho La Puerta to become your mentor in this process.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Viking30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2007

I spent a week in August at Rancho La Puerta and have a mixed opinion of my stay. I must agree with other guests that the landscaping and grounds are exceptional. The intricate and multi-dimensional landscaping is spectacular. There is tremendous artistic detail in the plantings, building and various architectural features. The stained glass doors at the reception area and art studio are awe-inspiring. There are birds, fountains, sculptures and interesting things everywhere you look.

I was disappointed in my room. While I did not notice highway noise, I was very warm at night with just the ceiling fan on. I also had large black spiders in my room that bit me at night multiple times. One evening I pulled back the sheets and a huge one came out from under my pillow. They fumigated my room, but the next night I saw more spiders (alive). I did not sleep well because I was constantly waking up and checking for spiders on my body. My room was always cleaned and serviced promptly. My housekeeper did a nice job.

The fitness classes were very plentiful and diverse - I enjoyed every class I tried. I found the instructors friendly and knowledgeable. All the studios are well-appointed with the exception of the Maya gym for spin - it was hot and small. The hiking was a good wake-up - but not terribly scenic.

I had a difficult time with the diet at the spa. I am normally a very healthy eater, but found the diet lacking in protein - which made me hungry after only a few hours. I also found the amount of fiber in the diet did not agree with my system - and had abdominal distress while there - and after I came home. I actually picked up some bacteria while in Mexico and had to be treated with antibiotics after getting home and getting sick with GI problems, fever and chills. The food was generally good, although we did have one "lasagna" dish that was universally disliked by all I spoke to. I thought breakfast was the best meal of the day. The staff in the dining area is exceptional. I found the dining hall dark - I ate outside as much as possible

I enjoyed my spa services and have nothing but praise here. I think other guests have already said as much.

The best part of my stay was the last evening meal by the pool with the band. It was enjoyed by all I spoke to.

I found the airport staff helpful and the coach bus ride was fine. I did think check-in was very chaotic - we just made it in time to have lunch that day.

Overall, for me, the spiders in my bed would prevent me from returning to the Ranch - if this were remedied I would consider returning with my mother and sister - but I would bring my own jar of peanut butter for when I got the munchies!!!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled solo
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28  Thank dds262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2007

If you are expecting a Canyon Ranch experience you are going to be very disappointed .You are picked up in a very large coach at the Airport .Nothing exclusive here .Check in is chaotic at best .The rooms are motel type with no air conditioning .They do provide fans but I was very hot at night .The noise from the near by highway kept me awake at night .Close the windows and you bake .Some of the newer rooms have air.
The grounds were beautiful and the classes in the morning are great ,but not much to do in the afternoon .The food was not that good ,especially lunch .I was often hungry .Dinner was better and the staff in the restaurant were very helpful .
The gym equipment is very old and needs replacing .The spinning room is tiny and has no air .Weight room is o.k. The yoga room is very nice .All the instructors were very nice and helpful .The best thing for me was the hikes in the morning .
I cut my trip short by 2 nights as this was not the Spa for me .On my last night they served fish and I got very sick .The nurse told me it was gas from all the fibre they gave me .She was how ever puzzled as why I had a fever ,but according to her it was not food poising .She gave me 7 up .She had no Cipro or anything else .I got Imodium from the front desk .I am still sick 48 hours later .I met some very nice guests who were having a great time and loved the Spa .I have been to many Spas world wide and this one for me did not make the grade .I was very disappointed as the reviews on this board have been very positive .

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled solo
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19  Thank perryb6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2007

This was my 3rd trip to Rancho La Puerta (the first being in 1995, 2nd in 2002, and latest July 2007), and it was even better this time than the previous two. The food, unbelievably, has improved which I thought would be impossible when Chef Bill Wavrin departed in 2002.

Rancho La Puerta IS a fitness and health spa that focuses on integrating Mind, Body, Spirit -- hiking, yoga, PIlates, NIA, dance, and meditation classes are held from 6:00am to 4:00pm through-out the day. One does not have to participate in any of these classes, but why would you go to the ranch unless you were going to take advantage of the knowledgeable and gifted and generous instructors here? Most of the guests at the rancho understand why they are there so it was wonderful being among like-minded people who value their health and their earth.

I was never hungry at the Ranch as it is "all you can eat" at every meal (and I ate a lot!), but I did lose five pounds during my stay which was part of the reason I was there.... sometimes when I am sitting in my office, I day dream about breakfasting in front of the fountain outside the dining hall for my morning breakfast.

Service is utterly outstanding... from front desk to dining hall to therapists to instructors to Deborah Szekely (the founder) to the gardeners walking amidst the grounds -- everyone is gracious and exceedingly helpful.

In the past, I've always traveled to Rancho with girlfriends, but next fall I plan to drag my husband along and sign him up for some of the cooking classes in the new La Cocina Que Canta (the kitchen that sings).

Words really can never truly express or capture the beauty of all that is Rancho La Puerta.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Jasmine A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2007

After hearing about the ranch through a friend and reading all the excellent reviews, I convinced a close friend to join me for a 'girl's week' of exercise, healthy eating, and relaxing.
After an easy pick up at the San Diego Airport, we were shuttled to the ranch, and even given yummy granola on the way. The check in was fast and easy, and we were quickly shown to our room. We stayed in a ranchera, the lowest priced room. It was suprisingly spacious and had comfy beds, a nice bathroom, and a cute sitting area. It was not particularly luxurious, but the only time we spent there was to shower and sleep.
We spent our days jammed packed with activities - from 6am until collapse at 9pm every day. This was our choice, as guests certainly aren't forced to partake in any activities, but we felt that we wanted to get every bit of our money's worth! We started each day with the longest hike, which were challenging and so refreshing! The hikes were probably the things we enjoyed the most - if you stayed near the leader, you really had to hike up the mountain quickly and it was a great cardio challenge! We loved the 7 mile hike, and the organic breakfast hike is not to be missed.
After the morning hike, we took weight lifting classes, spinning, yoga, dance (with Yiuchi - don't miss it!), cardio challenge, core challenge, and pilates. We are both pretty fit, so at first we had trouble finding the more advanced classes, but once we found them, we got great workouts. The nighttime activities were also great - lectures, movies, concerts, bingo (hilarious!), and jewelry making.
The food was unbelievable. I am a great big carnivore, and it didn't even occur to me that the food was vegetarian until the 4th day - that's how good it was! It was nutritious, delicious, plentiful, and guilt free - we were able to sustain many hours of working out with this food! It was a life changer - I truly wish I could live my life eating this organice, vegetarian food - that's how good I felt.
When we first got to Rancho la Puerta, a returning guest told us that the ranch was 'magic', and we thought she was a hokie, freaky, vegetarian. I don't think we realized until we got home that there really is something magic at the ranch that i can't describe. Go see for yourself.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with friends
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8  Thank TJ14123
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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