By Ken Hegan for MSN

Stay at the resort, get a Porsche for free.

That’s what the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in San Diego is offering their well-heeled guests this month. The 5-star, 45-acre luxury resort (Southern California’s only Relais & Chateaux property) has partnered with Porsche of San Diego to unveil their ‘Porsche Test Drive’ program.

Rancho Valencia guests can borrow one of three Porsche models — the 911 convertible (below), Panamera Hybrid, or the Cayenne GTS. Pretty sweet wheels. I rode in all three in Marbella, Spain and these cars are so powerful, they’ll scare the pants off of wildlife, hitchhikers, highway cops, and even ghosts.


Impatient resort guest wants chatty man to move       AP Photo/Tony Ding

Take your Porsche as far as you like along the Southern California coast. All you need is a driver’s license and current auto insurance.

No charge either. Porsches for everybody! Oprah would love this promotion.

Roar your Porsche down Highway 101 to check out the harbor seals at La Jolla beach. Stomp the accelerator and roar through Temecula’s wine country. Or just roll around San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and toss gold doubloons to homeless fellas. The resort just asks you to bring the Porsche back the same day and preferably in one piece. What could possibly go wrong?

I know this much…it’s a really good thing that Hunter S. Thompson’s not around to take full advantage of Rancho Valencia’s munificence. He’d trash a Porsche in 5 minutes, taking it screaming and bouncing through Rancho Valencia’s ‘lush acres of gardens, trails, olive groves’, and then park it in the lovely outdoor pool.

Rancho Valencia parking

“We want to ensure our guests are experiencing the standard of luxury afforded at the resort throughout their entire stay in the destination,” said Simon Chen, GM of Rancho Valencia. “This [free Porsche] program allows us to continue to offer an enhanced experience, even when they’re outside the vicinity of the resort exploring everything San Diego has to offer.”

If you’re wondering, Rancho Valencia is currently the only hotel in California to offer complimentary Porsches (well, it’s complimentary if you’ve paid $725/night to stay here).

Man, I thought free bikes were generous but free sports cars? This is ridiculously benevolent.

What can we expect next…free jetpacks? Free helicopters?

Yes. That’s exactly what resorts should offer next.

And I also want a pony.

— Ken Hegan


Read all Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan

For more info on Rancho Valencia (ranked #7 resort in the country last year, and #1 resort in California), visit