Just one week before, I had boarded a comfortable airport bus for a one-hour ride through the unspoiled Sierra Madre countryside southeast of San Diego. We crossed the international border at Tecate on Mexico’s Baja peninsula. Three miles beyond was the entrance to Rancho La Puerta.
“Many things remain unchanged at ‘The Ranch’,” said the spa’s owener Deborah Szekely. “Recently I (unearthed) a paper my husband and I wrote soon after we opened Rancho La Puerta in 1940: ‘In place of metropolitan existence, with its increasingly fast pace and artificiality, (our purpose is) to have delightful outdoor living which renews vitality and strength, enthusiasm and hope, tranquility and happiness. In a few weeks, our guests look, feel and act like new people’.”
Rancho La Puerta, North America’s first residential spa dedicated to the health of mind, body and spirit. “has always been one of the most popular spas with our clients,” said Susie Ellis, vice president of industry and development for Spa Finder Co., a specialized travel agency in New York City. “They say it is one of the most affordable, even after you add on the massages, body and beauty treatments. IT is also one of the few that still require a seven-day stay because the owners know it takes at last seven days to fully de-stress.” 분당스웨디시
HIGH DESERT BEAUTY
I was way overdue for a return visit to the ranch when a friend and I arrived at the flower-filled courtyard entrance last fall. After a brief orientation, porters took our luggage to a luxurious outlying “Villa Luna” studio, one of 86 ranch casitas set within 150 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens that form the core of 3,000 acres of high desert ranchland.
The tile-roofed Mexican-Colonial style villa was furnished with authentic native art and weavings . A hand-carved wooden door opened into a comfortable living room and kitchenette with a fireplace in full view of the elevated bedroom next to two bathrooms and dressing areas.
Windows opened all around to capture the Santa Ana breezes of the year-round mild climate. Our two large brick verandas overlooked the rolling hills and Mount Kuchumaa beyond, long revered by the native people for its magical healing powers.
We were just in time for a late lunch on the dining hall’s shaded terrace. Several of us compared our accommodations. The rancheras and haciendas were smaller and more rustic than ours, but many had fireplaces . Some guests preferred their smaller one-of-a-kind casitas because they were closer to the center of activities.