Mysteries about Ixtapan Spa

8-acre-gardens   aqua-aerobics-close-up  broad-view-pool

So what is this funny named place The Women’s Travel Group goes to? Ixtapan Spa is a famous budget fitness/spa/yoga resort in colonial Mexico ( pick up inMexico City’s modern airport).

What do you do at a spa/fitness resort?

Do it all or do none! 7AM brisk walk in  cool mountain air. 8AM healthy buffet breakfast or join a yoga class in the zen gazebo. 10AM, a full 50 minutes of aerobics in the heated pool.11AM pilates for all levels, noon: salsa in the pool. Late wake up? Begin your day 8AM with an easy stretch class in warm mineral water. Chair yoga? Work out in the modern gym with a trainer? Walk into town?

Lunch outside: 3 courses with hybiscus  drinks. After lunch take advantage of your included 17 spa treatments. 4PM fitness class, 5 or 6PM yoga/breathing/ meditation or other in the zen gazebo.

7PM dinner. After dinner, bingo, movies, best sleep of your life.

What do you eat ?

153751941215Each meal has three courses and substitutions galore. Fresh fish, meat, chicken, loads of safe salads, and fruit. Even pasta is low fat. Enjoy fresh fruit sherbets like melon, lime, peach, unusual tropical fruits. Want off the spa diet? Ask for the regular menu of fine Mexican and European cuisine.  Hungary before breakfast, fruit, fresh juice and coffee available from 6:30AM on. Thirsty? Bottled water is put in each room, as much as you want.

What do spa treatments do for you?

Skin is exfoliated and moisturized, new born and healthier.

Hair is treated for dryness and chemical overuse.

Feet and hands waxed for roughness and nails/toenails groomed.

Bodies massaged for weight loss, sore muscles. Warm spring stretches add to flexibility.

Your face is left cleansed and plumped for a more youthful look and feel.

Reflexology soothes urban beated feet and just feels great. Neck and shoulder massages help computer strained posture.

Want medical procedures? Ask for acupuncture, fillers, botox or other from the on site doctor.

What do you wear?

Casual work out clothes, leggings, tees, sweat pants, robes are supplied. The dressiest you will get is a clean tee, and leggings at dinner! You might wear the silver necklace you bought in town?

Come home with a kick start for the summer? Just get away with a fun group of women led by Phyllis Stoller?  May 28-June 4, 2017 GET READY FOR SUMMER WELLNESS WEEK.  $1425 share/ $1609 single. All included.

Airfare and shared transfers are added later. Phyllis is at 646 309 5607






February 21, 2017 at 10:40 AM 2 comments

5 Humiliating Questions to ask your Guide

womanonsuitcaseIn the back of many women’s minds are  questions we are afraid to ask a guide. Often we worried women stay home for fear of ‘ embarrassing situations’.  So what are our major embarrassing hang ups?

Bathroom needs: Many women  have urgent bathroom needs. Some of this is medical; some  because we are worried about not having a bathroom at hand. I know personally, that as soon as I go to the theater in New York, I  begin to think about the bathroom line and if there is time to get to the front!

Some women get car sick or more embarrassing: they did not know they would get car sick until it happened.

Some lose things, usually due to travel fatigue. By the time you leave a second or third item, it becomes an anxiety to ask the guide for help in retrieving a lost item.

Telephone anxiety is a new phenomenon. Women who cannot connect to either their wifi or phone lines can become very agitated. We encourage everyone to be in telephone contact with our guide/our main offices or each other. After all many of us are traveling alone. We hear: “I am such a dope, I cannot make a call”. Today the inability to use a smart phone is akin to illiteracy in their minds.

And finally and often the worst, medicine is dropped or forgotten and women are reluctant to share this with the guide who can summon a doctor.

The amazing thing is one of the above has happened to each of us. We survived. When traveling with a group of women, nothing is embarrassing; everyone is empathetic. Nothing is unique. Everything has happened to all of us once.

We can accept more on Mexico City  March 29, Berlin April 29 and Russia in July. NEW Chile and Easter Island.  646 309 5607

February 17, 2017 at 10:48 AM Leave a comment

Where in the World is Waldo Safe?



Sicily Group Next departure Dec 2017

Every day when I wake up, the paper and tv tell me to hide in the deepest closet. There I might be safe, if I don’t eat sugar, fat, processed foods, or salt. So are we safe if we travel today? Who are all these pundits and are they for real?

There are the safety consultants, usually for profit companies, who want you to hire them for consultations or training in judo.

There are battalions of former– not all so young –military personnel now on the payroll of tv news programs. What does a general know about street crime in Paris?

There are the websites that want to sell you money pouches that fit into unmentionable parts of your anatomy.

There are your friends who warn you from going anywhere.

And then there are the real and accurate places to go for advice:

There are the objective opinions: US State Dept. Canadian opinion, British Foreign Ministry,  and many other countries advice you can read on line.

There is the travel insurance industry that insures you ONLY if you will be safe. Make sure your trip is insurable.

There are local English speaking newspapers which report on local crimes,street demonstrations.

There is common sense: avoid countries on election day which are going thru disputed elections. Avoid those areas having national holidays that commemorate anti-West events. Avoid areas that have recently been through natural disasters. Stay away from disputed borders.  Avoid the bad neighborhoods that any tour guide or concierge can pin point for you. Be wary of countries going through major devaluations.

Travel tips from The Women’s Travel Group  Trips for women at




January 30, 2017 at 2:26 PM Leave a comment

The Bargain Gifts for YOU

Many women who travel with us are obsessed by buying gifts for others, even though we earned the money and earned the gift. Here are some of the best bargains we saw last year. We do not stress shopping in our trips;but there is always some time to forage. Ask us for our Bargaining Tips. We did not include India as shopping in India would take 50 pages more. Our next India trip includes Diwali Festival!

Here is Idia with Diwali

Mexico: Frida Kahlo designed sneakers and $4 bags, bought at the entrance to the Pyramids where there are endless stalls selling super cheap merchandise you will love. The bags are sold in lovely Ixtapan Spa’s town, great colors.


Iranian jewelry is as gorgeous as the word Persian. Here is a turquoise and 19 carat gold ring bought in the ancient bazaar in Isfahan. $400 cash



Carpets which will change your entire home, also bought in Tehran and with credit cards as the merchant has many overseas clients.


Mayan clothing to lighten up your day $5 and adorable  yucatan-shirt



Foie Gras at the low Euro, almost affordable.


Still want to join us to Mexico this year? Call or write and you won’t be disappointed.  646 309 5607 Comments and suggestions?



January 26, 2017 at 9:46 AM Leave a comment

6 Dumb Things Women Pack


Dinner at Ixtapan Spa

Women overpack, that is a fact. Please share this with friends who overpack or are nervous about what to bring. The Women’s Travel Group, small group tours for women is generous in how much you can bring for our porterage inclusion; however, here are the 6 dumbest items you might pack.

  1. Jewelry of any kind. Packing even fake jewelry is an invitation for theft. Packing jewelry that has large stars on it is an invitation for the TSA to confiscate it as a possible weapon.
  2. Bringing a US drivers license, store, gasoline or other specialist credit cards is foolish. Empty your wallet before you travel. If you do lose your wallet, you at least don’t lose the Macy’s card that  doesn’t work overseas anyway. Getting a new drivers’ license is a pain in every state.
  3. Packing essential trip documents including the 24/7 emergency phone number is a recipe for confusion even disaster if your bags are lost or just in transit and your flight is delayed. This can happen easily when transferring from one flight to another then finding the second is cancelled… while your bags are treading water in the cellar of the airport.
  4. Carry on at least one iphone/ipad charger and an adaptor for each airport you pass through. You might need to recharge in London with a 3 prong square adaptor even though your destination is Pisa.
  5. Packing an expensive scarf, designer sun glasses: might be a bonanza for someone foraging in your suitcase for a luxury item.
  6. Never pack anything new that still has the tags on it; you are allowing others to take your belongings and return them to the store for cash or credit.

Otherwise pack what you wish and always feel free to call us for ideas of what you need on each trip with The Women’s Travel Group. Solo travelers welcome, single rooms available, weekend getaways to Mexico City, Berlin, and farther afield to India, Namibia, Russia and Iran.

646 309 5607 land line and

The Women’s Travel Group.

Facebook toursforwomen



January 24, 2017 at 2:40 PM Leave a comment

5 Surprises in Mexico City


images.jpgNamed the TOP DESTINATION FOR 2016, Mexico City is a total surprise for most women who go with The Women’s Travel Group. Here is our trip.

Safe to wander downtown and easy to walk to the main plaza and stores.

Food is fantastic and if you avoid the obvious: unwashed veg and fruit, you will swoon. Mexico City is a gourmet paradise and our trips offer a la carte dining there. Do not miss the bakeries.

Don’t bring much money; everything is cheap and our trip includes most of your costs. By cheap,think of this 10 Pesos is now 20 Pesos to each American dollar. Bargains ladies.

Hotels are definitely up to our standards. Our hotel is a historic renovated one walkable to most central city sights.

Hate museums? You will fall in love with the Museum of Anthropology and its  mysterious exhibits and brash architecture… plus introduction to the Pyramids you see later.

Downtown architecture is moon like; streets are decorated with modern sculpture/buildings painted in amazing colors/skyscrapers built on top of Aztec temples?

Frida Kahlo’s home.. Did you know she had an affair with Trotsky and another with Noguchi?  She buddied  around with  Edward G Robinson and Gershwin? Her Blue House shows you the bohemian life she had with Diego Rivera. Dont’ go home without buying a kitchy Kahlo brand something.

Try Mexican chocolate,especially the ones with chili or herbs. This is a new way to eat a chocolate treat. Try Mexican hot chocolate also.

Our deal for March 29 departure includes a share guarantee. If we don’t have a room mate for your, you get a single room at no extra cost. Book today by calling us at

Phyllis Stoller

646 309 5607 and Mexico City trip.




January 19, 2017 at 11:10 AM Leave a comment

Never Eat these 10 No No’s Overseas



There are certain no no’s if you wish to travel to more exotic places and NOT get sick. This blog post might sound too conservative but why lose your hard earned money and days on a trip when you get sick?

  1. Shell fish, unless you are in a fine restaurant adjacent to the sea!
  2. Fish on weekends or after holidays. In some countries, fish is not delivered on weekends, Mondays or holidays….your fish will be old.
  3. Cut up fruit cocktail, not everyone washes hands when cutting fruit.
  4. Too much olive oil, in The Middle East  delicious oils saturate foods and your stomach might not be used to it.
  5. Hidden unwashed fruits and veggies, ie tomato or mango bits in salsa .
  6. Fruit drinks that are diluted with water, ie on some breakfast buffets, orange juice is part local water.
  7. Unwrapped nuts and candy in bowls at hotels, restaurants etc.  They look tempting.
  8. Buffet mayo or other condiments, look for those in sealed packages.
  9. Ice even if distilled water.
  10. Always test that the bottle of water you just bought has actually been machine sealed. Do not drink from the bottle– consider bringing a cup or straws with you.

Safe rather than sorry is the mantra. There is plenty of good food to eat besides the above no no’s. Travel tips from The Women’s Travel Group. Our trips include fine dining at only inspected restaurants. Take a last minute spot on Mexico City, Berlin or S. Africa. Many more on line.


January 18, 2017 at 12:30 PM Leave a comment

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Phyllis Stoller is an award winning tour operator specializing in 'smart tours' for women.




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