FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Rancho La Puerta Wellness Resort

by Irvina Lew

Jun 1, 2019
June 2019

AT RANCHO LA PUERTA, wellness opportunities incorporate a multitude of mind, body and spirit modalities that refresh, renew and reenergize. I am convinced The Ranch, as it is affectionately called, offers another singular element that contributes to its reputation as one of the world’s best destination wellness resorts. That component is the natural beauty of the 4,000-acre nature preserve which encompasses a landscaped, artistically enhanced, 150-acre parcel on which most ranch activities take place.

During my recent — and fourth — visit, I relived my first property tour of some decades back and experienced a Proustian madeleine moment while following a guide and walking along clay-tile paths with geranium borders that wind across stone bridges and past beds planted with sage, rosemary and lavender. Beyond the enticing aroma, the sound of trickling fountains, the views of sculpture-studded gardens and the vista of an imposing Mount Kuchumaa backdrop all triggered the same sense of bien-être, or well-being, I first experienced at this magnificent, Spanish-style, red-tile-roofed, hillside village-like complex. Even the handcrafted, folk art-style directional signs to the dining hall, women’s and men’s health center, exercise gyms and pavilions, the Mercado, pools, library, museum, art studio and TV and WiFi lounges reminded me The Ranch takes advantage of every opportunity to create beauty and reduce stress. (Poor signage can cause agita, even while trying to get to a massage appointment.)

Yoga? Pilates? Tennis lessons? Read by the pool? The number of activities impresses: 50 daily classes, seven-mile morning hikes, five-mile Road Runner Trail Run and an array of fitness classes. With so many physical, intellectual and spiritual activities — and beauty and body treatments — each guest develops his or her own daily itinerary.

I’ve hiked and attempted to learn how to meditate, do Pilates, take better photographs, dance salsa and cook healthfully. Cooking classes have been my favorite activity since my first session in the original ranch kitchen. (We made balsamic-topped pizza, no cheese!) These days, the three weekly hands-on sessions often feature guest chefs and cookbook authors. The classes begin with a garden tour of Tres Estrellas — the six-acre organic garden — outside La Cocina Que Canta (“The Kitchen That Sings”), a stunning, state-of-the-art culinary center.

Colorful, farm-to-fork, healthful meals are served within a spacious, art-filled Dining Hall and adjacent terraces. Breakfast and lunch feature self-serve buffets; at dinner, the printed multicourse menu offers two entrées, including a vegetarian option and locally caught seafood several times a week. (Many guests request half orders of both.) Mexican favorites count among the ethnic dishes: guacamole; salsa; huevos rancheros; tacos on house-made tortillas; and, for dessert, an apple-, cranberry- and nut-stuffed empanada (no empanada for gluten-free guests).

Fitness training © RANCHO LA PUERTA

Fitness training © RANCHO LA PUERTA

Wellness has been the core principle at The Ranch since a teenage Deborah Szekely (now 96 and long-established as the “Godmother of the Wellness Revolution”) and her professor-husband, Edmond Szekely, founded The Essene School of Life. Even in the 1940s the program featured (his) lifestyle lectures, (her) fitness activities and two hours of daily garden chores, all for “$17.50 a week; bring your own tent.” (Idyllic weather was and is, still, part of the appeal.)

From the start, farm-fresh, organic food and a mostly plant-based diet have been intrinsic to its mission. Now the ranch’s organic farm grows 250 varieties of produce; supplies 40–80 percent of the menu; and practices sustainable methods, resource conservation and educational outreach. Even the new La Puerta Core Essentials skin-care line is made with organic, eco-certified ingredients and sustainably harvested plants and herbs.

Education is the element that distinguishes resort spas from destination spas. At The Ranch, a variety of experts teach specialized sessions each week. Ms. Szekely, my hero and role model, continues to share her impressive knowledge of “how to live and age well.” She incorporates her lifestyle choices, experiences and up-to-the-minute nutritional and wellness information in the insights she shares with guests — including two of my three daughters — about “the longer-living, younger life.”

Some of her life lessons: Eat (smaller) portions appropriate to your size. Follow a mostly organic, vegetarian diet. Get daily exercise. Appreciate nature. Make friends with younger people.

Accommodations are comfortably lovely, with traditional Mexican tile floors and counters and handcrafted wall hangings. Like many, ours featured a fireplace, an expansive terrace and a mountain view. (Three newly built, luxurious Heavenly Villas include WiFi and plunge pools.) And the warm, local and nurturing staff is as impressive as the ambience.

Some guests find spiritual sustenance in meditating, doing tai chi, circling the labyrinth — a replica of the one at the medieval Chartres Cathedral — or dining in silence or alone. For me, what sets The Ranch apart are those stunning walks from here to there and back again, repeated during an eight-day week. Being immersed in beauty while not giving much thought to one’s personal looks — casual dress, natural hair and no makeup is the norm — simply makes me feel good.

Thousands agree.

Rancho La Puerta Wellness Resort and Spa

Carretera Mexicali-Tijuana K.M.
Rancho la Puerta
21520 Tecate, B.C.
Mexico
tel 858 925 1214
rancholapuerta.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
May 20, 2024

Viking Discovers Penguin Discovery

Cruising is always an adventure and, in addition to uncovering new culinary traditions and cultural experiences, lucky guests sometimes get to witness actual scientific discoveries. During a recent sailing of Viking Octantis to the waters of the Antarctic, Viking’s onboard expedition team participated in the discovery of a new colony of chinstrap penguins, identifiable partly by a distinctive facial marking that resembles a strap running beneath their beak from one side of their face to the other, as though holding down a hat.

Hotel Indigo: The World’s Neighborhood Hotel

Part of the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio, Hotel Indigo is the world’s neighborhood hotel that celebrates how guests can discover, or rediscover, some of the most inspiring and culturally rich neighborhoods around the world. When staying at a Hotel Indigo hotel, it's not just about visiting a place — it's about being fully immersed in the neighborhood and wanting to take a little bit of it home. When traveling for business, Hotel Indigo offers a unique experience tailored to each location, making it the perfect choice to stay while traveling for work. With IHG Business Edge, travel managers have exclusive access to enticing perks, comprehensive travel metrics and carefully curated educational resources. It also includes a guaranteed discount on both business and personal travel for managers and employees, alongside an automatic upgrade to IHG One Rewards Silver Elite status after the initial IHG Business Edge stay.

Leisure Lifestyle 2024
May 20, 2024

Blending Business with Leisure Gives Rise to New Travel Opportunities

In short, bleisure travel is on the rise. A blend of business and leisure travel, this modern mode of travel transforms how people explore the world, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. From tacking on a few days before or after a business trip to requesting to work remotely for an allocated amount of time, bleisure is flexible, dynamic and exciting.

Daily
May 20, 2024

Summer Meetings and Events Offers from Thompson Hotels, Dream Hotels

Two of Hyatt’s signature lifestyle brands, Thompson Hotels and Dream Hotels, offer special meetings and events promotions this summer.

Unearth Seoul’s Hidden Gems

Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.

Slideshow
May 20, 2024

7 Reasons to Put Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with us.

Daily
May 16, 2024

This Anguilla Resort Announces New, Exclusive Wine Labels to Mark 40th Anniversary

Later this year, Malliouhana in Anguilla celebrates its 40th anniversary. To commemorate, Malliouhana partnered with Tansy Wines, James Beard award-winning Sommelier Shelley Lindgren and marketing specialist Kitty Oestlien to produce an exclusive private label Vermentino and Rosé. Both sustainably grown and harvested in Northern California, these bottles embody Malliouhana’s newly launched wine program led by Lindgren and Anguilla’s first sommelier, Albert Lake.

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

Daily
May 16, 2024

Norwegian Cruise Line Debuts New Culinary Experiences on “Norwegian Aqua”

Norwegian Cruise Line recently debuted the culinary and beverage experiences debuting on its new Norwegian Aqua, which sets sail in April 2025. The ship will boast three new offerings: Sukhothai, the cruise line’s first Thai restaurant; Swirl Wine Bar; and Planterie, Norwegian’s first dedicated eatery with a plant-based menu.