Rancho La Puerta
Positive energy infuses every aspect of this destination, where the modern fitness-spa revolution began in 1940. The 3,000-acre property stretches across a valley that lies at the base of Mount Kuchumaa, and is laced with hiking trails suitable for all fitness levels. Facilities include Mexican-style casitas, a glass-walled gym, three health and beauty centers, and three pools. Delicious dishes that follow Slow Food ideals—seasonal, sustainable, and often using ingredients picked from the onsite organic farm—are served in the Spanish Colonial dining room. Facials, massages, and treatments revive guests' bodies and spirits, as do the numerous activities available: aerobics, tennis lessons, mountain hiking, and cooking classes, among others. Evenings, guests can view a film, learn a new craft or listen to the melodies of a visiting musician. As there are never more than 160 guests onsite for the week-long retreats, friendships made here often last a lifetime.