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The Last Fango in Cuernavaca

By Joanna Cameron

Hosteria Las Quintas...truly a passage to better living in Cuernavaca, MexicoCuernavaca, Mexico -- "What's a 'Fango Pack?'" my husband asked, looking rather worried, as I explained that I had signed us up for a spa holiday in Cuernavaca, near Mexico City. But he stopped worrying when we got there.

A spa holiday is a welcome departure from the norm for me, but if this is my mid-life crisis, I can certainly handle it! At Hosteria Las Quintas Resort Spa in Cuernavaca, my world shrank as I watched the humming birds from the balcony, and glanced up at the cloudless sky reflecting the 75 degree perfect weather. All our meals were included, and there was no rush in leaving the table, no sign either of a waiter telling us his life story. Instead, my husband and I had time to talk and contemplate the beautiful surroundings, all the while dining in an atmosphere of tranquillity.

You, too, can look this good after indulging your skin at the Hosteria Las Quintas in CuernavacaYou’ll need a minimum of 4 nights in this tropical paradise to indulge yourself in the Supreme Relaxation Program as we did:

  • 2 Swedish Massages with Aromatherapy
  • Shiatsu Swedish Massage
  • Fitness & Body Composition Analysis
  • Exfoliating Body Scrub
  • Marine Algae Wrap
  • Computerized Facial Analysis with Facial
  • Haircut

And let's not forget my favorite -- the Fangotherapy.

The cost per person for the package we took was based on double occupancy, a fair deal at $845. Airfares from Washington, D.C. to Mexico City are now as low and are fairly low everywhere, but are fluctuating.

Good news for foodies who don't want to be put on a starvation diet of lettuce leaves. At Hosteria Las Quintas, we found ample choices with cholesterol, such as beef with a Bordelaise sauce. Meanwhile, for those smoked salmon lovers, the half pound entree is reason enough to go to Cuernavaca.

Another incentive to spend 4 days there is the occasional day trip. Investigate the Pyramids of Tepoztlan, the mystical town considered a sacred place by its ancestral inhabitants. Visit Las Estacas Natural River, an aquatic paradise with natural springs, and one of the most alluring bathing spots in Mexico. Or journey to Taxco, silver mining capitol of the world.

But why bother, you say, when you can just get on with the Fango? -- or rather, the Fango Pack as it's called in "spa-ese". Translated, it amounts to a special mud treatment that moisturizes and energizes your skin. You can also have the Thalassotherapy, the immersion in algae, or the combined Shiatsu and Swedish Massage with aromatherapy that lasts a heavenly one and a half hours. At $50, heaven was never so affordable.

I should explain that as president of Cameron Tours in McLean, Virginia, in the U.S., I have had the opportunity to take numerous adventurous holidays to such destinations as China, South East Asia, and Egypt. The tours are packed with activities, and everything from the pyramids in Giza to the Great Wall of China will leave foreign visitors culturally awakened.

Cool off with a dip in the "Eternal Spring" pool at Hosteria Las QuintasAnd yet ... there is nothing so stress-free as a spa break. Perhaps because our lives are becoming increasingly depersonalized, the spa offers a welcome personal touch. Or maybe it's just some form of childhood regression, but after being rubbed, patted and oiled, I half-expected to be picked up by the feet and have my bottom rubbed with body powder.

Yes, bring on the pampering! Fortunately, in Mexico, the price is right. For example, along with massages, I also had a haircut ($20), pedicure ($15), manicure ($10), and a deep cleaning back treatment ($30). More welcome news. If you're a golfer, you won't want to miss playing the lush Cuernavaca Country Club course for only $30-$50 per person. For an extra $12, you can have your own caddie! Ours was named Miro and he instructed us expertly on what club to use, where to hit the ball, and how to read the greens. When I missed a shot, he came running over to soothe me and then told me how to correct my swing. (My husband is not allowed to do this!)

Regarding accommodations, there are 60 terrace suites, six with Jacuzzis that cost an additional $30. We opted for Room 36 and decided we could spend the rest of our lives there. Consider a fireplace and even a balcony encased in a bougainvillea vine as big as a tree. As a special treat, one evening we had dinner served on the balcony.

And now a word of advice to fans of cell phones and lap tops. Leave them at home! Instead, give in. Unwind. Relax. Surely then you’ll be ready for your last Fango in Cuernavaca.

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Linda-Marie Singer "The LIVEWIRE" for Travel Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine & Proses." She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (More about this writer.)

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