Frequently Asked Questions

We welcome your questions!  These are asked most often…

When are check-in and check-out times?

Check-in on Saturday after 2 p.m. Check-out the following Saturday before 11 a.m. If you arrive before check-in time you are welcome to take full advantage of our programs and facilities. Luggage storage is available for early arrivals, as well as those who may be departing an hour or two after check-out time.

What if I have a health issue?

If you question your ability to participate in a vigorous fitness program, please discuss your concerns with your physician prior to your arrival at the Ranch. We cannot accept guests who are experiencing serious health problems, or who have great difficulty walking or seeing. Pregnant women should carefully consider whether or not to visit if not accustomed to exercise. We do not have a physician on the premises. The nearest US medical facility is 45 minutes from the Ranch. Please bring any medications you are taking in the original bottle.

Should I be concerned about drinking the water?

Drinking water fountains dispensing filtered water are located near gyms and the Dining Hall. We make all teas, coffees and ice with filtered water. All rooms have faucets that dispense water filtered by reverse osmosis.

We suggest that you drink eight to ten glasses of water each day while participating in our fitness program. Adequate fluid intake enhances performance, and is important in revitalizing a body that may be unaccustomed to dawn-to-dusk movement.

What is the Ranch’s policy on smoking?

The Ranch maintains a smoke-free environment, indoors and out, throughout the property.

What about alcohol?

We believe that wine is an ancient, nutritious, and healthful (in moderation) food that has its place at the table and at life’s celebrations. At Rancho La Puerta we do NOT allow alcohol in our dining room or public areas throughout the week except at two functions, the welcome reception and the farewell dinner Friday night. In both cases, WE serve the wine — usually a vintage from a wine region nearby known as Valle de Guadalupe. This is a longtime tradition, and our guests prefer it. If you wish to enjoy wine throughout the week, we do have it available for purchase.

Are there laundry facilities?

We have two complimentary self-service laundry facilities on the grounds. We provide environmentally safe detergent. We offer laundry service as well; place your garments in a net bag (which we provide) by 8:30 a.m. and they will be laundered and returned to your room by 5 p.m. The charge is $1.50/lb (minimum charge $5.00).

How much cash should I bring?

For spa treatments, boutique, personal training sessions and most other incidentals, cash, checks and credit cards are welcome. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Most expenses can be simply added to your final bill.

For a Mexican tourist visa, you will need $30 in cash ($5 should be in $1 bills: Why? Because the peso valuation varies, so, too, does a tourist visa’s cost fluctuate between $25 and $30).

To purchase workout videos from instructors, you may need some cash ($50 should be sufficient).

Tipping is optional, however, many guests do choose to tip in cash for some services they consider more than satisfying. (See “Tips on Tipping.”)

Other incidental charges: You may present cash or a credit card at checkout to settle incidental charges.

Cash advances. We can advance up to $150 cash from a credit card (with a 2% fee), or cash personal checks up to $150.

Can I use a spa gift certificate or coupon at the Ranch?

Gift Certificates (issued by Rancho La Puerta) in any amount are available from the Rancho La Puerta reservations office. They’re a great way to surprise a friend or loved one with a stay at the Ranch, or treat them to a few spa treatments after they arrive.

“Spa Certificates,” issued by a company other than Rancho La Puerta, are generally not accepted. An exception is Spa Finder gift certificates. Please call us first before you buy any “spa certificate” from a company other than Rancho La Puerta. If the certificate is acceptable, the use of any spa gift certificate issued by a company other than Rancho La Puerta is limited by the following:

1. NO gift certificates (other than our own) are accepted on the premises of Rancho La Puerta.
2. Any certificate must be received by our U.S. reservations office one month in advance of your arrival date.
3. Certificates are only valid toward payment for your room.
4. $500 per person, per visit, maximum (using one certificate or any total of certificates).
5. A certificate is only valid if it is issued by a company with which Rancho La Puerta has a current partnership.
6. We reserve the right to refuse any certificate issued by a company other than Rancho La Puerta.

Do the rooms have telephones?

Each room has a telephone with a personal voice mail service that alerts you when a message has been received. Phones for use by guests are also conveniently located in the Administration Building and lounges.

Can I use my cell phone?

Cell phone use in public areas is prohibited. We request that you use your cell phones ONLY inside your individual room. Other guests who are enjoying the quietude of their garden patios will appreciate that you do not use your phone on your casita’s patio. Note: Not all cellular phones work at the Ranch, depending on your carrier. Before your trip, be sure to ask your carrier if service is available while you are in Tecate and get an idea of what your roaming fees will be.

Is there Internet access?

Guests are welcome to bring their own laptop or other computing device. Complimentary wireless service is available in the Main Lounge, Administration Building, Flores Lounge, Bazar Del Sol, and guests have access to any of six Internet-ready computers in our Business Center. Important to note that Web-based email services (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, etc.) offer excellent results while dedicated email applications (such as Microsoft Outlook) may run afoul of Mexico’s strict anti-forwarding regulations, resulting in your not being able to send messages. You may wish to check with your Internet service provider for any recommendations they might have for customers traveling abroad. We request that you do NOT use your computing device at meals or other public areas — other guests may not want to be reminded of their workaday world.

Are there music and books available?

All rooms have a CD player and two or three music CDs. You may wish to bring some of your favorites. We also have CD’s for you to borrow from our library.

The Ranch has an extensive lending library of current fiction, classics and non-fiction. Our gift shop has a small selection of books, often by authors who are speaking at the Ranch, or have recently been guests.

How can I secure my valuables?

Your room is equipped with a digital safe deposit box and the Front Desk also has complimentary safe deposit boxes for guest use. Keys can be obtained at the Administration Building.

Is it OK to conduct business with my fellow guests?

The Ranch is a vacation sanctuary environment. We do not allow the selling of any products, or the solicitation of new business, by any guest of another guest.

Do I have to pay duty and taxes on items I buy in Mexico?

Duty applies to products made in Mexico if the merchandise exceeds US $1,000 in value. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, your residency makes a difference. If you reside in California and are 21 years old or older, you may bring only 1 liter of an alcoholic beverage into the U.S. from Mexico every 30 days. There is no tax or duty on that liter. (A typical bottle of wine is 3/4 of a liter, or 750 ml. One liter equals 2.1173 U.S. pints, or slightly more than a quart.) If you reside elsewhere than California, you may bring as many as 60 liters into the U.S., providing they are for your personal use (not for resale), every 30 days. The first liter is duty free; the rest are subject to an Internal Revenue Tax (IRT) of 30 cents per liter of wine or $3.56 per liter of alcohol. For more information please click here.

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TIPS ON TIPPING

Our staff makes every effort to see that your week is a total delight. Although service charges are not included in your bill and are optional, they are greatly appreciated by each recipient.

Guidelines suggested by our guests’ tipping preferences in the past:

  • $5 (per guest) for luggage, either delivered to or picked up from your room.
  • $5 (per guest) for Villas Pool breakfast staff, placed in the gratuity box by the pool at week’s end (Applicable April to October).
  • $15 per guest for your room maid, to be given at week’s end (an envelope will be placed in your room).
  • $25 per guest for the maitre d’ and dining room staff, placed in their gratuity box near the Dining Room entrance at weeks’ end.SPA SERVICES
  • $5-$10 for each personal 30-minute treatment, manicure, pedicure or salon service.
  • $15-$20 for each personal 50-minute treatment, massage, facial or body treatment.
  • $25-$30 for each personal 90-minute treatment.

Tips cannot be added to your bill. We’re sorry that we cannot let you charge tips to your room: if we did, they would be subject to sales tax. Our more direct method of cash assures that the full amount of your tip reaches the individual(s) you wish to reward.

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