The Ranch has been called everything from “life changing” to “just plain fun…the most fun I’ve had in years.” We’ll post many of your letters and comments here so that others can get a better idea of just what a Rancho La Puerta week can be. If you wish to share your thoughts, please do so on our comment form after your visit (available at the Ranch) or by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the comments on this page are unfailingly positive (after all, this is our website), we guarantee that they are unfailingly REAL. They are from the heart, and we’d be happy to put you in touch with anyone whose comments appear here, for they have all become our friends.
I had the pleasure to be in the audience when you spoke at the Ranch on November 10, 2015, and while I was completely expecting “a little Old Lady” imagine my delight when I found myself in the presence of a sharp,ambitious, and well-spoken visionary. As a result of being in the “Deborah aura” for that hour I found myself jolted out of the “Age Cage” I had put myself in and I’m inspired to dig deep and reach for the high bar—thank you!
How do you describe a magical place? You call it Rancho La Puerta—The Ranch of the Door: a vacation destination and a place that is truly a door…to reflection and renewal…and surprise and wonder…and peace and quiet…and curiosity and learning…and strength and vitality. A place so large, so complex, so life-changing you wonder what took you so long to get there. And so full of friends that it feels like a family reunion every time you go!
This was my 2nd time at the Ranch, I love it. It’s top notch. The staff, the food, the classes, the rooms. Everything is really amazing. I’m hooked. I met lovely people there that I will continue to be friends with in the future and I met folks two years ago that I still remain in contact with. It’s a mix of special people. The food is really terrific so as Deborah says if you’re little, eat little! Even with all the exercise and hikes you can gain a few. The facilities are immaculate. If you want to get in touch with yourself and eat healthy, listen clearly and learn. Go for it. Deborah spoke this time about what to after 60 and boy I hope to G-D I am as active as her at 93. She’s got the plan in place and there is no stopping her. It’s very inspiring. Life is short. Just go and do it. you will thank me.
Karen G, Madrid on Trip Advisor, 07/30/2015
A magical transformative place and experience. I hope and plan to return. You can’t possibly explain the value of the friends one makes here, but it is a tremendous feature of The Ranch. Your staff is lovely in all aspects, all ways. Thank you!
Elizabeth Clarke, February 2015
Sharing personal journeys is precisely what most everyone does at Rancho La Puerta – while hiking together on the mountain, in between classes, over meals. We are all listening to each other share sometimes intimate stories of their journeys. People come to The Ranch for many reasons, but while there the sharing just bubbles up and we are drawn closer to each other—whether it is someone coming out of multiple rounds of chemo or having recently lost a loved one, or a host of other reasons. People come for the healing of the body and the restoration of the soul. The Ranch is a precious gift – a place to immerse myself in its magic.
“I stayed at Rancho La Puerta for a week and it is by far one of the best vacations I have had in my life. I have also traveled to many places but what RLP offers is second to none. The organic fresh, tasty food, the friendliness of the staff, the many, many classes offered in literally every category one can think of and the beautiful garden and huge campus that is well gated and protected for safety are all the reasons why I fell in love with RLP.”
– Sehin Belew
Author, Motivational Speaker,
Image and Style Consultant
“Why do I return to the Ranch? Because I am worthy, I am deserving. It is my divine right to have a happy and healthy life.”
“I visited The Ranch for the first time in April, 2009. We drove from San Diego, over the border, through the sleepy little town of Tecate and easily found RLP. It was heaven on earth! I especially loved the early morning hikes, spirit-lifting yoga, sesnsational pilates and refreshing water classes that I mainly took while there. The food was extremely good and oh, so healthy. The fitness staff, wait staff, and the spa staff were all outgoing, SO friendly and helpful. When I left, I felt refreshed and ready for whatever life threw my way. I plan to return to RLP again very soon and will pass on to everyone I know what a fantastic experience I had and won’t hesitate to urge them to visit Rancho LaPuerta for the best health and fitness spa anywhere!”
– Susan Hunter
“I just spent another glorious week at the Ranch—my 12th visit!
This time I took advantage of the promotion and took my daughter Mary with me. It was her first time there—the first of many, I expect. The Ranch is as it has always been: an oasis of peace and beauty and health. I find it a haven in stressful times. There was never any hint of danger or discord. That problem is many miles away—as if it doesn’t exist—and had no effect on our week at all, except that there were fewer guests there. We got in the habit of not locking our door and felt perfectly comfortable.
The Ranch is a wonderful lifetime achievement and you should feel very proud. I am glad to have discovered it all those years ago.”
– Shelley King Theis
Mission Hills, KS
“Just got home from an amazing week at Rancho La Puerta. The week was sparkling with sunshine, technicolor gardens & food, plenty of exercise and best of all great new friends to laugh with! I always come home rejuvenated, walking taller and with way more energy and direction.Thank you RLP for such a special experience.”
– Still smiling, Linda Weill, Artist
San Anselmo, California
“For all the days and months I am not at the ranch, for the hours and minutes and moments I am away from Mt. Kuchumaa, the labyrinth, morning walks, the birds, Deborah’s inspirational musings in Oaktree Pavilion, and the food . . . still I carry with me the spirit of the great mountain, the scent of the land, the soul of The Ranch─nourishing and sustaining─until the next time.”
– Cathie Borrie
“Every year my husband and I need to get our Rancho fix… and some years I have even indulged in a two-week stay, which was beyond wonderful. We started coming more than twenty-five years ago, have brought our grown children numerous times so that they can experience the magic of the Ranch, and are eternally grateful for the healthful influence the Ranch experience has had on all our lives. We continue to “Bring the Ranch home with us” and are better people for it!”
– Molline and David Green
“Rancho La Puerta has been a special place for Judy and me. We began going to the Ranch just before its 50th Anniversary and have enjoyed this retreat on a regular basis over the past 25 years. Our annual trip to the Ranch is an important part of our continuing spiritual, physical and emotional renewal. The interesting people we meet, the knowledgeable, experienced and friendly staff, the beautiful land, the delicious food, the time to exercise, try new things and play as well as the peace to think about our life, create an experience that cannot be found anywhere else . At the end of our week we have renewed energy and a true sense of well being. We wish everyone associated with the Ranch continued success, good health and well being and look forward to being a part of the ongoing Ranch community for a long time to come.”
– Robert and Judy Kanee
“I have recounted my time at the Ranch to every willing listener! It really was “magical” and “transformative” words that do not come easily from a mostly left brained analytic, rational person. But there really was something special for me with this experience. I wish I could be back at the Ranch this moment but memories will have to sustain me til my schedule allows a return.”
– Dr. Robert L. Rosenfeld
“Just wanted to thank you again for the opportunity to offer the Memoir writing seminar at the Ranch. I always look forward to the week because I feel so comfortable at the Ranch—and, let me add, so safe. Lately there are people who say to me, ‘You drive across the border? Is it safe?’ And I say, ‘I’ve been driving across the border now for 14 years and, yes, it’s safe.’ People forget how close the Ranch is to the border—like 3 miles away, on one straight street. And once you enter the magic gates, you’re no longer in Tecate, you’re in a piece of Paradise unequal anywhere in the world…..and I’ve traveled most of the world. The Ranch allows me the best R&R I know of. I can relax, be stimulated, exercise at my own pace, and just enjoy meeting new people. That’s also why I like my seminar, because the people who come seem to really like to share their thoughts, and they make for good lunch or dinner companions for my wife and me. So, again, thanks for creating such a great extracurricular program. And thanks to Deborah for making sure the Ranch is everything one could hope for in a health spa….and just a bit more.”
– Larry Grobel
Los Angeles, CA
“Life at Rancho La Puerta is like walking into the Garden of Eden, except without the snake! Seriously, I feel like I am walking into a most beautiful garden that is more my home than my own yard; it is my primordial home.
The staff have made this a place I can relax in so completely. It is as if I am lying back into a pool of support, held in generous care and complete safety. My heart wells up in gratitude for such care and protection.
The Ranch is a feast for the eyes. The staff take us up into the hills where the grandeur of the valley can be seen in its massive splendor. And they make sure that – in every inch- the ranch reflects a commitment to the beauty of natural design.
In addition, at the Ranch I have an experience of freedom to come and go anywhere on the ranch – I know be welcomed and supported anywhere I go. In fact, that care starts from the time I step into the bus at the airport.
There are few places today where one can know such support, freedom, and safety, and the Ranch is one.”
– The Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin
Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Churches
President, National Council of Churches
“Rancho La Puerta is one of those special places in my life that captivated me immediately. My first reaction was to marvel at every aspect of the experience. The staff are warm, helpful, happy, and exude a pride in their work and in the Ranch. The grounds and architecture are beautiful, immaculately maintained, and generate an ambiance that is at once welcoming and serene. The food is fantastic! How do they make it so delicious, visually pleasing, and healthful at the same time?
The Ranch feels like much more than a destination spa. It actually seems like a village – an idyllic spot where people live and work and play. I found it to be as relaxing or as challenging as my mood directed me. I leave the Ranch with two thoughts: they really do get everything right, and, how soon can I come back!”
“A week at Rancho la Puerta is exactly what I need to recharge, regroup, relax and rest. Coming to perform at the Ranch is both a musical and a personal pleasure, and provides me with a precious break from my usual concert tours (which normally do not include unbelievably beautiful surroundings, gorgeous mountain hikes, lazing by the pool and being served delicious meals). The Ranch is a safe haven for all its guests – I love connecting there with new and old friends, and I treasure the relationships that have developed in this idyllic place, where everyone is always at their best! I can’t wait for my next visit in March.”
– Lara Downes
Pianist/Artist in Residence
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis
“My wife and I have been going to Rancho La Puerta annually for the past 10 years and its always the highlight of our year. We love being there. From the moment you arrive, you are well taken care of. Every detail has been thought through to make your stay there truly memorable. The food is delicious, the classes are extensive, the instructors are excellent, the spa treatments are heavenly and the gardens are magnificent. Over the years we have met such wonderful and interesting people there and always enjoy the sense of community and comradery that Rancho La Puerta nutures. We have always felt completely safe and unthreatened there. I recommend a stay there to everyone – its the best healthy treat you can give yourself”.
This is a letter of Thanks. I not only thank you for the great time I had celebrating my 80th birthday at Rancho La Puerta, but more importantly, I thank you for making it possible for me to reach this age. Without coming to the Ranch every year, I really doubt I would have made it this far. Every year since 1984 (or ’85, I no longer remember), no matter what else was happening in my life, coming back to the Ranch reminded me of what I needed to be doing to keep on living and being healthy enough to carry on my life and work. What a gift!”
— Dan Wakefield
American novelist, journalist and screenwriter.
Author of “Going All the Way” and “Starting Over”—both made into feature films