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What It's Like Turning Off Your Phone at 'World's Best' Spa

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- It took me some time to truly appreciate all that Rancho La Puerta has to offer.

I've been to spas all over the world -- Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, the Caribbean -- and have plenty of experience treating myself to luxurious facials and massages. And I understand the value of personal maintenance.

Rancho La Puerta, the legendary wellness center in Tecate, Mexico, is far more than a glorified spa.

One of the biggest luxuries the ranch delivers is solitude and the time to slow down, reconnect with yourself, your mind and your body in an environment that couldn't be more peaceful. With its many flower- and tree-lined winding paths, yoga classes, morning hikes and dozens of other health and wellness classes, as well as an gourmet organic vegetarian menu, the 3,000-acre ranch is truly an experience in revitalizing and recharging your body and spirit.

Add to this the ranch's guideline regarding cellular phone usage -- all phones are to be on silent and use of them is firmly discouraged except when in your room -- and you've found the ideal place for a detox, digital and otherwise.

Still, for a person who has two jobs and is constantly connected to some form of technology or is always "doing" something -- whether it's taking care of my son or working late -- slowing down, relaxing, reflecting and letting go of technology involved a mental adjustment that took time.

During my first evening at the ranch, I had dinner with several other guests, all of whom raved about their love of Rancho La Puerta and many of whom confessed to returning to the ranch year after year, some for 20 years now, some multiple times in a single year.

I stared blankly at these guests, trying to smile politely, wondering why someone would visit one place over and over when there is a whole world to see?

The guests I spoke to aren't alone in their dedication to Rancho La Puerta, though. In 2010, 2011 and 2013 Ranch La Puerta won World's Best Destination Spa from Travel + Leisure's World's Best reader's poll -- meaning it beat out every other destination spa in the world, according to T+L readers.

By the middle of my first full day at Rancho La Puerta, I began to understand the raves.

Days at Rancho La Puerta can begin any way you want, but the schedule typically includes numerous early morning hike options. Located in the shadow of Baja California's mystical Mount Kuchumaa, on a property lined by mountains and dotted by meadows, the hiking terrain is stunning and inspiring.

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