Saturday, July 25, 2009


A funny thing happened today on this, my last morning in Rancho Bernardo. I awoke feeling Spectacular. Birds were singing, bees were humming and everywhere the gentle plink, plunk of the fountains at Rancho Bernardo Inn were calling to me. I decided to take the "highly recommended" walking tour of the fountains around the property. First up was the "Fountain of Hospitality" (pictured above). Designed by a world famous artist in Mexico City, the Fountain of Hospitality combines two antique pieces on a base that is etched with what the hotel describes as "a significant Spanish pattern." The woman at the front desk recommended that I toss a pineapple mint leaf into the fountain in the spirit of hospitality. I ate a slice of pineapple, instead.

Next up was the "Buena Vista Fountain." Buena Vista means good view in Spanish and I guess that's appropriate given that this fountain overlooks the "legendary" Rancho Bernardo Golf Course, pictured in my earlier post on Wednesday. One look and you'll say "Spectacular!"

The "Tranquility Fountain" sits beside the entrance to the 2,500 square foot Spa. Guests are encouraged to "reduce (their) stress and calm (their) minds" by tossing some lavender into this fountain. Then they're supposed to throw caution to the wind by booking a "cup of calm" including a 50-minute, made-to-order massage, a 50-minute made-to-order facial, a 50-minute Spa Pedicure and a Warm, Spicy Cocoa and Chocolate Trio for $295.

Next up was the "Fountain of Reflection," which, I'm told, "exhibits a considerable Arabic influence in its restrained quantity of water." Indeed, a gentle trickle flows continuously down a natural stone pedestal and into a Romanesque bowl below. Guests are supposed to stand in front of this fountain and chant the following mantra: "May good befall all, May there be peace for all, May all be fit for perfection, May all experience that which is auspicious." I think the folks from the local Starbucks take a nip from this fountain every now and then when no one is looking.

The "Dreams of Eternity" fountain sits on the hotel's Valencia Lawn, conveniently near a room used for wedding ceremonies. Couples are supposed to "toss in rose petals to wish themselves a lifetime of love and many happy returns to Rancho Bernardo Inn to celebrate their anniversaries." I guess if they end up getting divorced they can always dive head first into the fountain's spacious stone basin.

The "Rancho Wishing Well" was the first fountain on the property and was placed there in 1965 by owner James Colachis who was looking for a simple way to enhance the resort's main covered walkway. In the Roman tradition, guests are supposed to toss a coin over their left shoulder and make a wish to return to Rancho Bernardo Inn.
The "Santiago Lawn Fountain" is tucked away in a quiet corner of the resort. It's perhaps the most simple of the fountains at Rancho Bernardo Inn, consisting mainly of an octagonal base and a bowl, designed in what the hotel calls a Moorish style. I must admit, by this point in the tour I was starting to think the style was more Bore-ish than anything else. Yawn ...!

The "Alhambra Fountain" (pictured above) was purchased by the hotel owner -- the same James Colachis mentioned above -- mainly because it includes an antique lead box bearing his initials. It's a good thing his initials weren't S.O.B.

"La Fontana di Santiago" is, in my opinion, the most dramatic of the fountains at Rancho Bernardo. It was imported from Vicenza, Italy, and includes "heroic-sized" figures of a god and goddess taming a lion. Water shoots from the lion's mouth in a controlled stream down a mosaic chute into a stone clam shell below.

The "Fountain of Rejuvenation" -- as I wrote on Wednesday -- stood right outside my hotel room. It was created by a master carver in Guadalajara and, according to the hotel, it "adds a refreshing feature to the sunny ambiance of the Santiago Pool." Quite frankly, the water pressure in my room was so bad this morning I was tempted to use it as a shower.Last but not least, the "Granada Fountain" is the focal point of an elegantly manicured garden just outside the main lobby of the hotel. It is an antique from Mexico, featuring a 12-sided base with alternating carvings of suns and angels. Guests are supposed to walk around the fountain until they find the plaque with their birth month on it. If your birth month falls on an angel, you can expect a year of tranquility. If it falls on a sun, you'll get a year of prosperity. I walked around and around the base, but I wasn't looking for my birth month. I wanted to hide myself from view as I set aside the little package of coins, lavender and pebbles that the hotel gave me to toss into the various fountains on the tour and produced a little surprise of my own. I pulled out a package of Folger's Crystals -- pilfered from the self-serve coffee bar in my room -- and tossed a small handful into the bubbling waters. The people of Rancho Bernardo need a Spectacular Dose of Caffeine, if you ask me ...!


Joann said...

I wouldn't put it past you, but I know you didn't do that!!! LOL!!

Thanks for the tour, nice fountains, I STILL would have jumped in!!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Wow, talk about self-promotion, they are shameless.

Lynne said...

Well I found your commentary of the fountains quite spectactular, LOL

Sonya said...

Oh this was so interesting on the fountains. Thanks for sharing that. Hope your Sunday is a good one.

garnett109 said...

With all this running water I got to go pee!

Myra said...

You are too funny!! Thanks for sharing the fountains...very cool!