I reserved a 3-night Miraval stay using a TravelZoo voucher, which cost $1198. The value was shown as $3528. I called Miraval and made a reservation over my birthday, a Friday to Monday schedule. I appreciated that there was no restriction on weekend use. In retrospect, I should have asked a girlfriend to go with me. Even though my husband appreciated the beauty of the desert and the ambiance of the spa, he wasn't interested in taking any of the classes so the resort fee that we paid for him which covers classes was wasted on him. I would have loved to go with a friend who could have enjoyed the classes with me.
When we arrived at the Tucson airport we could have been picked up by a shuttle bus from Miraval, but my husband didn't want to be "stuck" in one place that's nearly an hour from the city, so he rented a car. There was no charge for parking, and I noticed that there were very few cars in the parking lot, so I think most people take the shuttle. Had I come with a friend, that's what I'd do. We were personally escorted to our room, which I noticed is their procedure. As we headed toward the 100's block of rooms I experienced a moment of panic because I had read on TA that people said to avoid it because of problems with plumbing and water. So I asked the rep if the problems had been fixed. She stopped for a moment and said "have you been here before"? She said that the problems had been fixed and that all rooms had been remodeled in that section.
Room 108 was conveniently located close to the restaurant. You couldn't get any closer, in fact it was our view from our patio. It's a pretty building so not offensive, but it would have been nice to be located on a stream or facing the desert. The reason for the close proximity to the restaurant was that this was an "accessible" room, fitted with grab bars in the bathroom and a handicapped shower, which was a problem. Each shower flooded the bathroom floor because it's designed for wheelchair access. So after we realized that on the first day we used the showers in the spa on subsequent days. I didn't complain or ask to be moved because I figured it was only for 3 nights. If it were a longer stay, I would have asked for a relocation. The bedding was heavenly and the temperature control (air/heat) operated without noise. We slept like babies.
Meals. Fabulous. Whoever walks away from a Miraval meal hungry has a problem. There are buffets for breakfast & lunch, with entrees as well. I loved the Maya flavored iced teas served at lunch and immediately Googled to find out where to buy some. Can't wait for my order to arrive. Dinners are somewhat light, but you are allowed to order two starters along with your main entree. If you order a bottle of wine and don't finish it they will re-cork and store it in their wine cooler for the next time you want to drink it. Prices of wine were comparable to restaurants, not overpriced for the quality of the restaurant. There is also a late afternoon appetizer table located in the bar, across from the restaurant. We found prices of drinks to be VERY reasonable, especially considering that the bartender does not accept tips. A generously poured gin & tonic was $10. The appetizers were cheese, crackers, hummus, shrimp, and fruit.
The property itself is gorgeous. Everywhere you look there were beautiful installations and huge crystal minerals that were displayed on pedestals like fine art. Some were for sale and had pricetags attached. The rushing stream through the property past the spa is very restful and pretty. The landscaping couldn't be more beautiful.
I enjoyed going to the pilates Bosu class, circuit, abs/glutes and a water exercise class. I was especially impressed by Randy who did our circuit class. He also teaches TRX. What an inspirational person. He gave us all a pep-talk at the end of class that is still stuck in my head for motivation! These classes are all free. You just show up. Everyone who wanted to go was allowed into the classes, but they weren't overfilled. Plenty of room to move.
I noticed an art class in the outdoor courtyard that I would have liked to try. I don't know if there was a fee. Had I stayed another day I would have planned to do it.
On my birthday I took a private trail ride with a guide who was very sweet. Sorry I don't remember her name -- a young lady who is getting married in the fall. The cost was very reasonable -- 100 minutes for $115, and again, no tipping allowed. My horse, Crackers, was an old love. Very docile and easy to control. I hadn't ridden in about 30 years, so I was happy for the orientation. We walked through cacti, past a curious coyote, and through a herd of red cows. The other activity, of course, was a massage. We had $150 in credit each, so we used that credit toward massages. We both had a great experience with the perfect masseuse for each of our requirements. He likes gentle, I like deep tissue. The spa is beautifully appointed with separate mens and womens sections, each with whirlpool, sauna, steam room, private outdoor sunbathing area, and all the amenities and supplies you need. I liked the sunbathing area where suits are optional. A wonderful place to rest or maybe take a nap after a steam.
All of the service people on the property were so friendly and kind, especially the servers in the restaurant. They made you feel very special. For instance, my husband mentioned on our first meal on Friday evening that my birthday was on Sunday. Upon arrival for dinner on Sunday night the Hostess wished me a happy birthday, and they put a candle on the dessert that my husband and I shared. Very thoughtful.
Tip: Reserve for dinner EARLY. Seating is by reservation only, except at the Miraval Table, which is a community table. That could be fun, but we never tried it. If you wait until even 10:00 am you will find only seating at 5:00 (first seating) or 8:00. Last seating is 8:30. On the day of your arrival you might want to call in your reservation. No reservations for lunch or breakfast.
On the day of our departure we received our final bill and were shocked to see the tally. Be prepared. I knew that taxes and fees were extra, but I didn't expect them to be so high. It was $100 per person, per day. So for 3 nights we had a total bill of $600, plus bar tab, trail ride and some other extras. Even with the discounted rate from TravelZoo, we paid a total of $1800, or $600 per night. Why not be up-front about the actual cost instead of surprising you when you're leaving? It turned a pleasant glow sour. I talked to a woman that was waiting to board the plane whom I recognized from one of my classes. She said she had a similar reaction. So just be prepared for that final bill.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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