Luxury Travel Destinations and Cultural Ecotours

Global luxury travel destinations and cultural ecotours that enrich the mind, heal the body, and inspire the spirit.

Pilates Retreats With A Luxury Flavor

Pilates is a complete fitness rejuvenation method for the mind, body and spirit. Enjoy luxury travel with all-inclusive Pilates classes with mind-body movement expert Tannis Kobrinsky.

Health Habitravels – Past Luxury Travel Destinations, Journeys and Ecotours

March in Central Mexico

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I arrived at BJX International airport in Mexico direct from LAX on the red-eye, with the full moon still out and dawn just starting to break. A very perplexed taxi driver studied directions written in Spanish provided by Hugo, the manager of the Guanajuato B&B where I’d be staying. I wasn’t convinced when he assured me he’d find the place, but after stopping twice for directions as we wended our way through the mysterious maze of tunnels that get you into Guanajuato, he pronounced that we’d arrived at Alma del Sol. He drove off and I rang the bell repeatedly, knocked and knocked to no avail. I called the answering machine on my cell. No answer. Hmmm. I stood outside the unmarked B&B wondering what to do next My Spanish is practically non-existent. Media reports about Mexico being incredibly unsafe for travelers had me a touch anxious. I wondered if I was in the right spot. There weren’t any Starbucks handy that I could see. What to do??? And then I looked up the street and saw Hugo, who I recognized from the B&B’s website. He waved, smiled, calm as can be, and a second later was by side my side apologizing for not being there earlier, land escorting me into Alma Del Sol. Right away I felt at home and by the end of the day I was hooked

Fall at Rancho La Puerta, Mexico
Click on the image to view “The Ranch”

This September I fell in love with “The Ranch” and here’s why…

December 1939, 17 year old Brooklyn-born Deborah Szekely became the bride of Edmond Szekely, a 34-year-old Hungarian scholar, philosopher, prolific writer, and natural-living experimenter. Soon after they hosted their first health camp at Tecate, Baja California, just .across the California/Mexico border. They’re vision was revolutionary for the times.  Space to breathe freely amidst nature. A place to relax, renew, reflect and redirect one’s longer-living life, and explore the possibilities of changing the course in one’s life.  Life changing programs were referred to from then on as “The Door to the Future…Glorious Wellness.” The Ranch, the doorway to health and well being, known as Rancho La Puerta, is the original destination fitness resort and spa. Ranch goers found out about mind-body practices and green living long before it was main stream.  What started as a rustic tent camp transformed into a luxury destination, but the rustic back to nature essence remains. The Ranch turned 70 this year, and Travel + Leisure’s readers voted it the best destination spa in the world! September 18-25th I was a visiting teacher at The Ranch, and I can attest that the title is well deserved.  But my take on The Ranch is that it’s so much more than a fitness resort and spa.  Think Wellness Campus.

This sample of one Ranch day clues you in to the banquet of learning experiences, and healing opportunities available:

Start with numerous levels of sunrise hikes, from moderate over rolling hills to a climb up sacred Mt. Kuchuuma. 

You’re back in time for a very balanced breakfast that chances through the week.  45 minute classes start at 9 and run throughout the day, often with 5 different activities to choose from per hour.  Monday’s 10 AM choices:

Pilates mat level 2 (I taught this one); Sand volleyball; Strip Tease; Tennis Clinic, Yoga Fundamentals – and then off to the next set of 5 choices!

Classes happening in different state-of-the-art gyms and studios, spread out on the property. 

I suspect this is by design, so just walking around the beautifully landscaped, sculpture bedecked campus gets you a workout.

Interspersing meditation classes, healing spa treatments, poolside time, or trying out an art class, dream workshop, engages mind and spirit. Doors do open!  I’ve always wanted to try my hand at sculpting.  Instructor Jose Ignacio Castaneda, nephew of the artist who’s works grace the grounds, made my first attempt at building a torso easy.  I’m signing up for sculpting classes in LA NOW. My sister, who accompanied me to The Ranch, came home with two gorgeous necklaces she crafted in the jewelry workshop.

After the very social dinner hour, where I met lots of wonderful people throughout the week, there are lectures and other fun get togethers – like the not-to-be-missed Bingo with Barry.  Really?!  When, not if you go to La Puerta, but when, Bingo with Barry is a must.  Lots of laughs, and take away gifts.  Visiting lecturers change weekly, so check the event calendar on the Ranch website, to see who’ll be speaking different weeks.  My week world renown sex expert Beverly Whipple, PhD, RN created a comfortable forum for guests of all ages and both genders to learn about and discuss sexuality.  And she was just one of several highly qualified speakers.  For those who preferred some down time there was a new movie nightly also access to the internet, a library.  Three wellness centers offered a full menu of healing treatments.  The Hot Stone massage was a favorite of almost everyone there.

If I’m fortunate enough to return to The Ranch there are so many more classes, treatments and hikes to sample.  And I know that no matter when I go back, each week there will be fresh experiences are available, and every time of year carries a special charm.  What a wonderful place to “work,”  whether as a visiting teacher, or as part of the staff.  Many of the staff have been there for decades, and it shows.  They all look years younger than their chronological age. Including founder Deborah, now 88, who spoke to us one evening in stunning Oak Tree Pavilion.  She said “Many of us are now living into our 90s.  Think about that.  Divide your life into thirds.  From 1-30 you’re forming.  From 30-60 you’re working hard to build your foundation and learn all you can.  “From 60-90 that’s when you really flourish IF you have built your foundation AND taken care of your health.  That last third is when you flourish – you can give back your knowledge and be truly fulfilled.”  The Ranch opens doors no matter what third of life you’re traversing.  I suggest you go on down to Tecate and see what opens up for you.

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Health Habitravels – Upcoming Luxury Travel Destinations and Ecotours



  • Pilates/Gyrotonic and Cooking at The Poppy Farmhouse

    Join Tannis at The Poppy Farmhouse for Pilates and GYROTONIC, plus on-premise regional Italian cooking classes in Italy’s Piedmont region …read more details

    BHUTAN – Explore the Land of Thunder Dragon.
    October 27 – November 11, 2011

  • $4,300 per person, db. occupancy
    $900.00 (1st deposit) reserves

    Join Tannis and a small group on a cultural/spiritual exploration of Bhutan: “The Last Shangri-La” Bhutan is a most pristine Himalayan Kingdom. Our travels will include attendance at a late fall spiritual festival, visits to temples, including Tiger’s Nest.  Lodgings at hotels, a farm stay, plus a 2 day trek with camping. Tannis will teach most days. SPACES ARE LIMITED DUE TO GOVERNMENT TOURISM REGULATIONS.


    The House of Wind and Water

    ART AND PILATES with Tannis leading daily classes and artist/art professor Kathleen Carrillo, the host of House of Wind and water, leading inspiring, soulful art classes.

    In the jungle, outside of Puerta Vallarta.  All inclusive week (with the exception of airfare)
    $1,450 double occupancy per person.


    Pilates in Paris: Rates and dates TBA

    ~ Short & Sweet California Retreats ~
    details coming soon…
    Joshua Tree/Twenty-nine Palms
    Santa Barbara

    To review and participate in any of our upcoming travel, visit our Pilates Retreats | Spa Vacations | Ecotourism – Travel Destination Calendar Schedule page!

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