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Hosteria Las Quintas resort and Spa
Cuernavaca: relaxing and convenient to Mexico City.

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Mexico is gaining ground as a destination of choice for seasoned spa goers and first-timers looking to discover the benefits of a spa vacation.

Cuernavaca often is referred to as the "city of eternal springs" for its beautiful climate and it is a home to four spas, one of which is Hosteria Las Quintas.

Hosteria Las Quintas is a peaceful garden retreat with cozy accommodations, high-end spa services at reasonable rates and provides the opportunity to explore the area’s natural, historic and cultural attractions as part of the experience.

It is also convenient for business travelers who want to wind down after a trip to Mexico City. It is a 1.5 hour scenic drive along mountain roads into the serenity of the lush, subtropical Morelos Valley. The Hosteria Las Quintas is the closest spa property to the center of town, but it is tucked behind stone walls that gives a sense of isolation and seclusion. The property is centered around a garden area filled with colorful gardens, plants and trees, most of which are labeled for the curious, and exotic birds, fountains and modern sculpture by artist Victor Hugo Castaneda.

Accommodations at the 60-room property are situated in two-story Spanish colonial style buildings. All of the spacious rooms at property have a unique characters, with such features as tile floors, iron banisters, and terraces. Some of the units have fireplaces or Jacuzzis.

After settling in, the guests are whisked off to the spa to set up treatments and receive an orientation on the facility. The goal is to waste no time in making guests feel pampered, according to Orlando Hidalgo, owner of the spa. "We try to give every client a massage the day they arrive", he says. The spa features treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam room, a hair salon and a gym. Just outside the facility are an inviting pool and Jacuzzi. The array of spa services available includes: algae wraps, aromatherapy, body scrubs, reflexology, manicures, Swedish and shiatsu massage and thalassotherapy underwater massage, to name a few. The experience here could range from relieving aching muscles to taking in multiday spa package that includes a medical evaluation, a fitness and body composition analysis and a selection of massages, facials, body treatments and beauty services. The fitness analysis alone is a 20-page report on topics such as fat ration to lean mass, complete with specially designed exercise routine. Even with limited time and trying only few options, it is enough to leave rested and rejuvenated. Worth mentioning is fangotherapy treatment, utilizing a relaxing body wrap of Dead Sea mud designed to release toxins, relieve muscle pain and oxygenate and mineralize the skin.

The spa staff and technicians offer personalized service with each treatment instead of assembly line approach. All therapists are licensed in Mexico and participate in continuing education program.

plazuela.jpg (15706 bytes)Aside from treatments, the spa experience at Hosteria Las Quintas sets itself apart by giving clients the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings and culture of the region. The spa’s Eco-Fitness packages include daily off-site tours that return in time for lunch and afternoon spa services. Among the excursions are the visits to the cities of Cuernavaca and Taxco, the pyramids of Tepoztlan, the lagoons of Zempoala, the archeological site of Xochicalco, the natural river of Las Estacas and the caverns of Cacahuamilpa. tepoz.jpg (15556 bytes)

Despite the array of services and programs offered at Hosteria Las Quintas, guests choose their level of activity and involvement based on personal needs. There are no rules that require guests to stick to spa cuisine, for example. While the chef has developed a creative spa cuisine menu, it is hard not to splurge on the on the standard fare, which might include excellent selections such as salmon with caviar in a saffron white wine sauce.

The restaurant has a comprehensive wine list and a display of roughly 60 fine tequilas, many of which are special reserves not found in stores.

Before the spa opened in 1994, Hosteria Las Quintas has been hosting travelers since 1965, so there is no lack of experience in servicing guests beyond spa treatments.

The property enjoys a healthy repeat clientele. According to general manager Salvador Castaneda. 95% of clients are American, with an average age range from early to mid-30s.

Hosteria Las Quintas’ Eco-Fitness program

Everything is available a la carte at Hosteria Las Quintas, but a good way to experience the property’s spa and the region’s unique attractions is to book an Eco-Fitness program.

The four- and seven-night options operate on a personalized point system, giving guests an 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 the clients a chance to experience the country, meet the people and explore the culture", says 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.

Popular with clients are 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 attractions.

Included are the palace of Hernan Cortes, which was built in the 1520’s and now houses a museum and a beautiful mural by Diego Rivera.

At the city’s cathedral compound are two small churches and am interesting fortress-like cathedral that has frescoes discovered earlier this century.

A visit to the colonial courtyard, gardens and the yard, garden and house of Cuernavaca’s Jardin Borda, built into the life of 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 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. Because of tapping into this market, the spa clientele is now 25% male expected to increase to 40% by the end of the year.

The property’s other packages are themed to focus on beauty, anti-stress, health and fitness and supreme relaxation. 1998 Prices are in the range from 1,810 for 4 nights to $1,810 for the seven-night Winner’s Circle Week, which features five greens fees for the 18-hole play and seven spa treatments.

All packages include transfers between the Mexico City airport and the hotel, accommodations, all meals, and fitness, yoga, Spanish and craft classes.

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