CUERNAVACA, Mexico -- Everything is available a la carte at
Hosteria Las Quintas here, but a good way to experience the
property's spa and the region's unique attractions is to book an
The four- and seven-night options operate on a personalized
point system, giving clients the opportunity to redeem points for
desired eco-tours and spa services. The eco-tours take in the best
of the natural, cultural and historic attractions of the region,
incorporate activities such as walking, hiking, mountain climbing,
horseback riding and swimming.
"We give clients a chance to experience the country, meet the
people and explore the culture," said spa director Orlando Hidalgo.
"We think people would rather hike up to a pyramid that is 2,000
years old than do an aerobics class."
I participated in tours to Cuernavaca and Tepotzlan. Many of the
quaint colonial courtyards and gardens of Cuernavaca are hidden
behind walled-in estates of the wealthy, but a leisurely tour
around the lively city center turns up some interesting historic
Included are the palace of Hernan Cortes, which was built in the
1520s and now houses a museum and a beautiful mural by Diego
Rivera. At the city's cathedral compound are two small churches and
an interesting fortress-like cathedral from the 16th century that
has frescoes discovered earlier this century.
A visit to the colonial courtyard, gardens and house of
Cuernavaca's Jardin Borda, built in 1783, presents a glimpse into
the life of the Mexican aristocracy in the 18th century.
The spiritual hamlet of Tepotzlan sits in a dramatic valley at
the foot of towering jagged cliffs. It is the legendary birthplace
of Quetzalcoatl, serpent god of the Aztecs. The town is filled with
a curious assortment of attractions: shops and a market offering
everything from herbal remedies to curative crystals to candles
fashioned to attract love and good health; a 16th-century Dominican
church and monastery, currently being restored, and the clifftop
Pyramid of Tepozteco, accessible by a steep, one-hour hike.
In addition to the Eco-Fitness packages, Hosteria Las Quintas
introduced spa programs incorporating golf, which has been quite
successful, according to Hidalgo.
"Because we have tapped a new market, the spa clientele is now
25% male," Hidalgo said. By year's end, the property expects that
number to increase to 40%. "Men are more willing to go to spas if
there is another activity involved," he added.
The property's other packages are themed to focus on beauty,
anti-stress, health and fitness and supreme relaxation. Sample
package rates through Dec. 15 are $1,096 per person, double, for
the four-night Eco-Fitness program, which includes a medical
evaluation and fitness and body composition analysis, and a choice
of spa services and eco-tours, and $1,810 for the seven-night
Winner's Circle Week, which features five greens fees for 18-hole
play and seven spa treatments. All packages include transfers
between the Mexico City airport and the property, accommodations,
all meals, and fitness, yoga, Spanish and crafts classes.
Hosteria Las Quintas, Phone: (888) SPAS-MEX.
The property also works with major U.S. tour operators,
including Apple, Friendly, Gogo, Spa Finders and Spa Traveler.