In 1939 Deborah Szekely, the seventeen-year-old wife of a Hungarian scholar, philosopher, and natural-living experimenter, Edmond Szekely settled in Tecate, Baja California, where they started a fitness revolution. They opened a $17.50-a-week bring-your-own-tent spa - healthy-living retreat. It soon proved popular and became the world-renowned Rancho La Puerta fitness resort. Deborah later moved north to establish a sister spa in the southern California countryside. In 1958 she created the innovative and luxurious Golden Door, famous for its lavish individual service and successful mind - body programs. The Golden Door has consistently garnered praise for its magnificent landscaping, artfully appointed rooms, excellent gourmet cuisine, and more.
Located in the Southern California countryside, 40 miles north of San Diego, the Golden Door occupies 377 acres of orchard, avocado, groves, woodlands, and gardens. A jewel-encrusted entrance gate flanked by camellias, fuchsia, and other blossoms leads you through courtyards of ornamental gardens. There are meditative sand gardens and fountains. Rare antique stone lanterns-- part of a million dollar art and antique collection are displayed throughout the grounds.
The facilities include three guest lounges, a dining room, kitchen, indoor/outdoor exercise studios and the Dragon Tree Gym with the latest in Cybex equipment and a Beauty Court. There are two swimming pools, two tennis courts and a private hillside for hiking. The bathhouse is spacious and contains a steam room, sauna, showers, and a fan-shaped therapy pool and sequestered rooms for body scrubs and herbal wraps.
This place is consistently rated one of the best spas in the world.
For information about availability and
reservations call Debby at
Fax (760) 471-2393
or write to
Reservations, Golden Door
P.O. Box 463077
Escondido, CA 92046-3077
The Reservations Office is open between
the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm,
Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.
Berggren, Christine. "Sound of One Hand Clapping, New Japanese Gardens at The Golden Door." San Diego Home/Gardener. October 1983, pp 46-51.
Druse, Ken. "The Golden Door." Garden Design. 3:4, Winter 1984-85, pp 62-65.
The Golden Door. The Sand Garden. Pamphlet, 1986.
Mazzanti, Deborath Szekely. Secrets of the Golden Door. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1977.
Zigner, Gloria. "The Golden Door." Orange Coast. August 1994, pp 21-24.
Stare at foxtails swaying in Xi'an
just as they do
in paddies back home.