Miraval Wellness Resort outside of Tucson, AZ is my happy place. I’ve vacationed there solo, with multiple girlfriends, and in January 2019 I married the love of my life there. As I girl who loves to travel to NEW places, Miraval is the only place I consistently return to again and again. Why? Here are ten reasons I’ve been vacationing at Miraval for 20+ years.
The BEST Place To Try Something New
What do rock climbing, hatchet throwing, aerial yoga, mountain biking and pickleball have in common? The first time I tried any of them was at Miraval. Every time I go I discover something new that I want to try and their introductory sessions give you just enough info to discover new hobbies that you may want to continue when your return home. And the instructors are more than just proficient; they’re zen masters. When I got stuck on the rock wall or was beating myself up for not being better at axe throwing, they knew just how to talk me through my mental blocks so that I could feel successful.
Three Words: World. Class. Spa.
Miraval’s signature spa sanctuary fuses ancient and modern techniques. They offer traditional spa services (massage, facials, mani/pedi) along with ayurvedic specialties, eastern/energy options, accupuncture, and even psychic readings. My favorite services (which I always get because Miraval does them so beautifully) are the Naga Thai Massage (where the therapist uses silks attached to the ceiling to take you deeper into stretches), The Hammam (a five-step ritual that includes a scrub, wrap, shower and full-body massage) and Aqua Zen (Miraval’s version of Watsu which combines stretching and massage with a weightless water experience that you truly have to try to understand.) It’s magic.
The Food (and Yes, There’s a Bar!)
I want to eat healthy but damnit, I’m on vacation. Miraval’s spa cuisine is amazing and they’re set up to accommodate every kind of dietary preference. There are always vegetarian and vegan options available, but you can also get a grass-fed burger or a steak if that’s your preference. And they have a full bar and an extensive wine list. And they have decaf iced tea and a smoothie bar! All meals are included as part of your stay, but your bar tab is separate.
Cooking & Nutrition Offerings
If you’re feeling inspired to continue your healthy habits, you can book a group or one-on-one consult with a nutritionist or take a cooking class. I really enjoyed the classes on anti-inflammatory diet, gluten-free baking, smoothies and a honey tasting. I also met individually with a nutritionist where I got a body composition scan and a calorie/nutrition guidelines specific for my needs.
Fitness Classes & Activities
From yoga, to meditation, to spinning, HIIT, water aerobics and hiking, there are classes for every fitness level and taste. Some of my favorites are morning yoga (the studio is gorgeous!), Davinci body boards (which you do in the pool), Happy Hips (foam roller and other techniques to loosen up tight hips), yin yoga (where you hold poses for a long time) and cardio drumming. There are also challenge courses that will definitely challenge you, especially if heights aren’t your thing.
And while there is always something fun to do, there’s also plenty of time to relax, chill by the pool, take a walk, lounge in a hammock or curl up with a good book.
Yes, the beds deserve their own shout out. I’ve traveled a lot and stayed at a lot of lovely properties, but the beds and bedding at Miraval are in a class by themseslves. You’ll sleep on a featherbed duvet that I’ve dubbed “the cloud” which somehow manages to keep you comfy even in the middle of the summer. The sheets and pillows are nothing short of divine. Once a year they go on sale and I’ve been slowly building my home collection year by year. They’re pricey but they’re oh so worth it.
Planning a trip to Miraval? Check out my best tips and tricks.
Creative Offerings aka Arts & Crafts For Grownups
I always describe Miraval as “summer camp for adults” and what would camp be without arts and crafts? Miraval has a great photography program where you can learn to shoot on your iPhone or even (gasp) how to take your DSLR camera off of automatic. Want to paint on an actual horse? You can! Or you can make a mala, create a unique piece of art or learn all about skincare.
There’s A Working Farm. With Bees!
In the past few years, Miraval has made a significant investment in regenerative farming. Most of the properties’ eggs and produce come from a nearby farm that you can tour and the kitchen scraps get recycled and turned into compost. You can also meet with the resident beekeeper and learn all about beekeeping and honey.
Device Free Property
Miraval’s mantra is mindfulness and while I’m all in, the truth is that I won’t put my phone away unless I absolutely have to. All Miraval resorts have a “device free” property policy and I swear, it totally changes the vibe. People at the pool actually talk to each other. (Of course you can use your device in your guestroom and in specially designated areas, but trust me on this one, it’s so refreshing to take a break.
I saved the best for last. I had been hearing about Miraval’s famed javelinas for years and I finally managed to spot one.