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“Returning customer with high hopes disappointed”

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Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Returning customer with high hopes disappointed”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2014

What a beautiful place and concept for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience plagued under new managed by unacceptable levels of service. Every place from the gift shop, pool, spa, dining and especially guests services were understaffed and much of the staff are young, unpleasant and not trained at the same "Ritz Carlton" level of service many of us experienced in the past. The food is still high quality along with the fitness staff and 1-1 specialists but all the guest chatter was constantly about how disappointed they were with the new "nickel and diming" policies, complete unavailability of most of the activities and an unacceptable level of service for the premium price. I was planning to bring all my sisters here for an upcoming special event and instead I have to seek out an alternative. It is too bad because it has the potential to be first rate. I hope management takes the feedback seriously.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Kay G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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950 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (297)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2014 via mobile

Was nervous when my wife invited me to join her at Miraval. Would I be the only guy? Did I really need to meditate? Can I get a drink? My fears were assuaged the moment I stepped out of the car. Tucson is beautiful and the weather out of sight. Plenty of men. Plenty of activities. Plenty of things to do,that I'd never have done on my own. Brilliant staff. Delicious food. Great wine. Worth every minute. Can't wait to go Back.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank hmay3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
El Dorado Hills, CA
Level Contributor
425 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 321 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

My girlfriend and I booked at Miraval for a three night stay. We arrived by 11 AM on the first day so we could have almost a full day there (you are welcome to use all facilities beginning at 11 AM and can begin your meals with lunch the first day). When you arrive you are given a resort tour and that takes about 45 minutes. Both of our rooms were ready when we arrived which was great so we freshened up and then went straight to lunch after the tour.

I had booked a suite for myself (#120) and my girlfriend had a deluxe room (#114). A deluxe room (vs. a premium room) has a view of either the mountains or a water feature. When I explained the kind of rooms we were looking for, the reservation agent recommended these particular rooms. She explained that she could not guarantee we would get them but thought we would, and she put in the request for us and it was honored. Make sure to book at least a deluxe as some premium rooms have patios without privacy and may face onto a walkway, etc.

I booked a suite because I wanted a comfortable seating area where my friend and I could be together in privacy and quiet at the end of the day. We could have our talk time in front of a lovely fireplace with a glass of wine. The room also has a large patio and a perfect view of the mountains. There is cocktail hour(s) in the lounge with very nice snacks, which is perfect if you want to meet others and socialize. But we needed to catch up with each other and did not want all the people and the noise. Staying in building 100 was perfect. Everything was very close and that is so handy. When I wanted a cup of coffee early in the morning it was only a couple of hundred feet away. My room was a bit dark as many of them are. The rooms could use some improved lighting and also a charging station, or easier access to outlets to accommodate electronics. There is a lighted makeup mirror under the sink in the bathroom which is nice -but that I did not stumble across that until the last night. The water pressure in the rooms is super and the temperature adjusts perfectly. It is hard to get out of the shower as it feels so good. And the bathtub fills up really quickly which is great.

We booked the "Sunny Days" special and we each received $300 per day in resort credit per person. Using all those credits equates to a busy spa and activities schedule. But we were determined not to leave a dollar of those credits on the table! It is also nice that if you do not use $300 worth of credit on a day, it rolls over. Having $900 in spa credit per person for our stay allowed us to indulge. I really appreciated being able to enjoy extra-long treatment sessions, and had a 100 minute Thai Massage and another day had the 100 minute Relaxation Massage. It has spoiled me for the future as now anything shorter will feel skimpy. I also had an anti-aging facial and an excellent reflexology treatment. We scheduled for the two hour morning desert hike but canceled as we felt our schedules with just a little too full.

We paid the extra $150 each for the equine therapy course entitled, "It's Not About The Horse" with Wyatt Webb, the facilitator and the originator. There are other equine experiences available at Miraval. But if you're in for a nickel you are in for a dime – meaning pay the extra and take the course with Wyatt. He is wonderfully authentic, insightful and sensitive. He will bust you on your stuff pretty quick and maybe get to the core of your pain, as we all have pain. He is tough and doesn’t mince words but he is also very gentle. There is nowhere to hide when he sizes you up. Yes, it is a quick assessment in a group situation of what might be at the core of your negative thoughts and behaviors that originated in your childhood. But he seems to be pretty spot-on. He doesn’t suffer fools or people who are ostriches with their heads in the sand. He will call you out to yourself. He swears a lot for verbal punctuation and it gets your attention and is appropriate!

The food at Miraval is incredible. Every meal, every course, every smoothie, every snack. You could easily gain weight here. But it's really about enjoying a full range of food but keeping your portions in control.

Food is easily available all the time. If you go down at 5:30 AM to get a cup of coffee, then maybe scones or mini muffins are set out to help hold you over. There are treats set out at the smoothie bar during the day. There are treats in the bar at cocktail hour. The only time food is not readily available is between 2 PM to 4 PM. The smoothie bar is wonderful. All of the smoothies (especially the Green Essential) are delicious as are all of their coffee drinks. And of course they are included in your rate.

What was very bothersome and what I wish they would change is that you need to make your dinner reservation for that evening when you come down for breakfast. And it is best to do it when breakfast begins, at 6:30 AM. If you do not, you may well end up with a time that is not desirable to your schedule or your personal preference. I was warned about this flaw in their set-up before I came. So I called the resort the morning of my arrival before we got there to request our dinner reservation and was not allowed to do so. When we got here at 11 AM but before we began the tour, I asked again that I be able to make our dinner reservation. I was told to do it after the tour. So when we finished the tour and went to lunch and I asked for a dinner reservation, there were no good times available. Meaning the only times left were early or late. I was on top of this reservation requirement and yet they would not let me take care of this detail. The other days of our stay I was simply down there first thing to get the time that works best for us. It might not sound like a big deal but it can be depending on you and your friend's schedule for that day.

One of the things I liked best as a woman was not having to worry about what I look like. Do not pack a lot of clothes. It is yoga/gym wear 24/7. If you want to shower and put on makeup and wear a nice pair jeans and a cute top, that's fine. If you want to come to dinner in your work out gear, greasy massage hair and no makeup that is equally okay. Many people come to meals in their robes. Nobody cares, no one is looking and everybody is chill. Furthermore, wear the same clothes to every spa treatment or lecture. No one will know the difference. There is an incredible freedom that comes with being yourself and wearing no makeup and not doing your hair. Pack minimally and know that you can repeat your clothes.

We arrived at Miraval on the Monday of Presidents' Day weekend. There were a lot of men there. Maybe 25%. By Tuesday, and the start of the work week after the holiday, it dropped to maybe 5% men. I mention this because Miraval would be a great place to come with a significant other or spouse. You may want to bring them over a weekend when there may be more men than during the weekdays when more women may be staying there. Or not. It just depends what your guy may be most comfortable with.

If I have some regrets about this trip it was that I did not have enough time to do a fuller spectrum of activities. I never attended a lecture. I never did an adventure activity. But with $300 of spa credit a day, the priority had to go to the incredible array of spa treatments they offer. I only took one free class. It was dance fusion. The class is only a 45 minute class, which I find to be rather short to begin with. But on top of it, the instructor showed up 10 minutes late. So it was only a 35 minute class. There were a lot of other options for activities at that time that I would have happily gone to had I known it would be such a short class. But what bothered me the most is that the instructor never acknowledged her tardiness or apologized, or explained that something came up and she was sorry, etc. That was bad form and unprofessional. Things come up, but everyone understands with an acknowledgement of the tardiness and a quick word of apology.

Do give some thought to the time of the year you go. As I mentioned, we went around the time of President's weekend in February. The weather was beautiful averaging about 80 degrees. It would be completely different in May through October. The heat would impact the experience. It would be okay, but to me it would not be as perfect. But if there is lowered pricing during that time and if you are not planning outdoor activities or you do not mind the heat it may be a very good time to go. A small FYI- if you come during the cooler months, you may want to bring slippers. There are no slippers in the room and I loved having mine to put on at the end of the day as the tile floors are chilly. (Rooms are carpet and tile).

Friends who had stayed at Miraval warned me to be sure to book my treatments the minute I made my reservation. We did, about seven weeks ahead, and my friend and I coordinated our treatment times although we did different treatments. It worked out beautifully. We got everything at the time we wanted it and our schedules coordinated. Miraval has a very nice policy that you only need to cancel four hours before an appointment to not be charged. And you may well find yourself changing what you have scheduled. They are very flexible. But if you do need to change be warned that you probably won't get exactly what you want as availability is limited. Think carefully the first time you set up your appointments and try to schedule yourself appropriately.

The service is quite good, but not excellent. Not in the league of, let’s say, a Four Seasons. I called for a bucket of ice and it never came. I had to call again, so it ended up taking total about 1.5 hours to receive it. I canceled our morning hike the day before it was scheduled but was charged for it at check-out. I did note the name of the person I spoke to for the cancellation, so there was no questioning the mistake. But none of it is worth bothering about as the place is so Zen that these things are not important.

I have heard that people frequently have an Aha moment when they come to Miraval. I was very surprised to realize that my moment came to me on my last night there. It was a truth about my life that finally came into my full consciousness. Miraval is a catalyst for many people and when the student is ready the teacher will appear. It helps greatly to be in a special, quiet and peaceful environment like Miraval to ready the emotional soil. Miraval may be a place that will be perfect for you. And I know that I will be returning.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Michaela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014 via mobile

Miraval is a health conscious resort but you would never know this by the food. Sulphur filled dried fruit, salami, cheese cubes and salsa that tastes like it was bottled. The word, 'organic' does not appear anywhere in menus or food cards on the buffet probably because nothing is organic. Great massages, wonderful staff and beautiful surroundings though.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level Contributor
219 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2014

I can't tell you how fabulous Miraval is. It's such a positive, warming, perfect experience, all about challenging you and also helping you to figure out how to center yourself and become more mindful.
The bedding, oh my god, the bedding is amazing. I would love more than you can imagine to purchase the down comforter for my bed at home. You are swallowed up in the downiest comforter imaginable.
The property is gorgeous, the venue amazing, the spa, unbelievable. The food fantastic and healthy, ack, there's nothing about this place I didn't love.
I just wish I could afford to return there...

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jenny g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
north carolina
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2014

From the moment we stepped foot on the grounds, the world outside seemed irrelevant. We were pampered, challenged, counseled, massaged, heard, fed and transformed. Every staff member we encountered was great at their respective jobs. The day starts before sunrise, and you are constantly on the go. Physical, spiritual, and intellectual activities are available all day long. Then a massage and a great meal to wrap things up. What more could you want? Of course, you can sit by the pool all day if you prefer.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dizzydude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2014

Upon returning to Miraval for my 3rd time so much had changed. The gorgeous mountain views are still so serene however I was disappointed to experience the loud drunken parties in the dining room which now serves alcohol. At a spa this should be confined to a separate room so those who come for relaxation and contemplation are not subject that. The variety and quality of class experiences is very good still. The fees charged for activities that used to be included are exorbitant. Morning hikes which used to be complimentary are now $55. Some evening lectures which also should be complimentary are now $175 and a pedicure is $95. When guests pay $1000 per night they should not be nickeled and dimed for experiences beyond spa treatments. It was much nicer to enjoy a one price destination without weighing so many add on costs.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JanWanzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

Property: Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Address: 5000 E. Via Estancia, Tucson, AZ 85739
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Tucson
#5 Luxury Hotel in Tucson
#19 Family Hotel in Tucson
#23 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#23 Business Hotel in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 118
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the warm shade of the Santa Catalina Mountains in northern Tucson, on 400 acres of idyllic land, Miraval Resort & Spa is an award-winning luxury destination retreat dedicated to opening eyes, minds, and hearts. Personalized attention, sumptuous casita-style guest accommodations, and the Life in Balance Spa continuously help Miraval garner accolades from SpaFinder, Travel + Leisure, and Condé Nast Traveler.Miraval’s innovative Life in Balance Spa features unique, mind-body treatments such as Spirit Flight, Naga Thai, and Utopia. Outside of the spa, additional rejuvenating experiences such as healthful cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs, integrative wellness programs, fitness pursuits, and challenge activities are designed to physically and spiritually reconnect Miraval guests on the path to a life in balance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Miraval Arizona Resort And Spa
Miraval Arizona Hotel Tucson
Miraval Arizona Tucson
Miraval Life In Balance Resort Spa
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa Tucson

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