Still magical, Rancho La Puerta…the oldest destination spa in North America just keeps on getter better. Once again, I have returned after a stay at Rancho La Puerta feeling both physically and mentally rejuvenated as much as my first visit in 1986.
Did you know that Rancho La Puerta started in 1940 and is celebrating its 76th year? Located only 45 miles southeast of San Diego, just over the border into Mexico, the weather at this resort is most always spectacular and sunny. Sitting on 3,000 acres of lush gardens, two swimming pools, 50+ classes daily, gorgeous sculptures throughout the property, 88 lovely casitas and all watched over by mystical Mt. Kuchumaa, which truly is part of the “magic”.
I have been to Rancho La Puerta many times over the years and it feels like going home each time I visit. As soon as I have unpacked my bags I quickly begin to immerse myself in this special place and all that it has to offer. There is an “energy” that I feel whenever there that is hard to describe but it’s just “there”. It has a spiritual and calming feeling and I love taking that feeling home with me.
And does it have a lot to offer! Rancho offers something for everyone with over 60 fitness classes daily. Whether you want to focus on wellness with Yoga (Level 1 and 2), Pilates (Level 1 and 2 with Reformers and other apparatus offered in classes), meditation, Sound Healing or prefer to be in the pool doing aqua classes (several different types offered) or really like hiking which is offered daily and on-site with several of the trails of Mt. Kuchumaa. Need your cardio fix? Classes are bountiful and fun with excellent instructors and include cardio circuit, TRX, sculpting classes, dance classes, interval training classes, Bosu, cardio drumming and Fitball just to name a few. Whether you want to work on your balance or posture or bring out your creative side with art classes or jewelry making or even try something new like Pickleball (check it out online if you aren’t familiar with the new sport sweeping the nation!), here you can try something you’ve never done before and take the time for just you. Several hammocks in quiet shady areas are available for you most any time of the day. Choose whatever you want to experience while surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and sculptures.
Rancho is about options and it’s your choice if you choose constant movement or take more time for yourself with less physical classes or choose as many guest’s do, a combination of both. Each day you can awake early and take a Sunrise Yoga class which is a beautiful way to start your day. I loved the early morning hikes each day which vary from 2 miles to 7 miles before breakfast.
You return back in time for a delicious breakfast with options of “home-made” granola, fresh fruit, home-made breads, fresh squeezed fruit juices, eggs, fresh fruit and yogurt. A morning short 2-miles hike to Tres Estrellas for the Organic Breakfast Hike that is offered four days a week (4 miles roundtrip) where you get to visit the organic farm. Guests at Rancho La Puerta enjoy the flavors of freshly picked fruits and vegetables year-round from the farm.
Both breakfast and lunch are served buffet style but everything is proportionately served so unless you go back for seconds (which you can do as much as you want), food choices and delicious options abound…you will definitely not leave hungry. Each day a soup is available both at lunchtime and dinner plus many delicious veggie options plus a “special” for the day which can be small portion of a quesadilla, fish tacos or tempeh Reuben. Each night your dinner there are two dinner entrees to choose from and may include such options as tomato soup or zucchini soup, delicious salad, entrees of sea bass, vegetable lasagna or Chile rellenos plus offer dairy and gluten-free options.
After dinner each evening you can choose to see a recent movie, guest speaker or other evening presentation. Although there are no tv’s in any of the rooms, each room has a CD player (relaxing CD’s available for you or bring your own too) and staying at Rancho La Puerta offers you the option to “disconnect” for a little bit and get away from the world, one of the many things that makes this destination different. Note: Cell phones are discouraged and use is in specific areas. Wi-Fi is available in a few, limited public areas but two brand new accommodations that are opening later this summer, will offer Wi-Fi.
I headed up to the Villa Heath Center for an outdoor hot tub, steam and sauna (nude sunbathing there too) and then off for an excellent Classic Ranch Massage. The spa therapists are all excellent and whether it is a facial, body or holistic treatment, you’ll leave feeling terrific, as I did.
Have you ever been to summer camp? Well, this feels like it but even more options to choose from between 9am – 5pm daily. Choose most days of up to four different fitness classes each hour. Something different and unique offered at Rancho is Gyrokinesis. It’s very small movements but helps mobilize the spine. You can also design your own jewelry, so let the creative juices flow. Monday evening Ranch offers a Guest Reception with delicious guacamole ad Sangria or you can chose to purchase wine from their new “wine bar!
I enjoyed all of the classes, but a few of my favorites were : Cardio Circuit Training-a fun class with intervals on treadmill, bike, Elliptical and weights, Fitball or hula hoops. The Yoga classes were excellent along the instructors. I loved being outside and taking the Water Aerobics Class which uses “swim props” to make it more exertive. Even the Hip Hop Dance Class…who knew I could do hip-hop?
I pleased to see so many men at Rancho La Puerta who wre there with their significant other, some solo travelers, as well as, I met some fathers and sons taking a week together.
Whether you want to be mindful and reflective, take classes throughout the day that stretch the mind or your body, Rancho La Puerta has something for everyone regardless of age or fitness level. A place of nature, relaxation, mind/body classes, rejuvenation, spirituality, challenging yourself and a place you won’t want to leave. Yes, it is a magical place!
If you’ve never been to Rancho La Puerta before we offer $250 off your rates plus complimentary 50 minute Classic Massage or room upgrade (based upon availability)!