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“Don't overbook yourself at Miraval” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

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Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
5000 E. Via Estancia, Tucson, AZ 85739   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Kansas City, Missouri
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Don't overbook yourself at Miraval”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2008

I just returned from Miraval and while I can understand some of the mixed reviews, I had an overall positive experience. I'll start with the good:

The food setup is very good. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style. You can have the buffet and/or order from some menu selections. The dinner menu changes daily and if you don't like the choices, they have an alternative menu. The food is very healthy and you can order as much as you want. And I love the smoothie/ latte bar that is open most of the day. It's really nice that they don't nickel and dime you on the food.

The rooms are very nice with comfortable beds. The property as a whole is very well-appointed. The common areas are cozy with big fireplaces and couches.

The spa is nice, although not knock-your-socks-off. They have a very comfortable "quiet room" with chaises and cashmere blankets. The locker room is typical and there are many treatment options. You should book ahead, but I was able to make several changes without a problem once I arrived. The best part is that the spa stays open until 9 or 10pm. I would recommend booking spa appts in the evening, since there are so many activities during the day. I would recommend David for thai massage, Amy for facial, and Manny for anything.

Ok--now for the not-so-good:

There are so many classes available at Miraval that it can be overwhelming. If you try to do many of the classes, it would be very regimented like a bad cruise ship. And some of the classes fill up quickly, so I missed some things I was interested in. I think part of my problem was that I was only there for the weekend. It might be better to go for 4 days or so, to really be able to experience what they have to offer without being stressed out.

One of the "mindfulness" classes I did attend was the low point of my trip. I was hoping they would offer some helpful tips for "being in the moment", but instead it was kind of like an amateur group-therapy session, where everyone sits around in a circle and shares. People were crying over bizarre things and it was a huge downer. I think Miraval must draw quite a few maladjusted people there looking for meaning. I was just there with a friend for a relaxing spa weekend. Needless to say, next time I would stick to the yoga, meditation and spa. Maybe a nice cooking class.

As a sidenote, there were a surprising number of men at Miraval. It was nice to see that it's not just for the ladies.

I hope this review is helpful! I would probably return to MIraval, with some different expectations and a slightly different itinerary.

  • Liked — Comforatable beds
  • Disliked — Too many classes, too regimented
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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575 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (156)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2008

Spent 3 nights at MIraval right after Christmas. Had a great time. We're more active, never did yoga or meditation before. We found that we could make the schedule work for us. Some tips though:

1. The daily activity schedule is posted for 3 days in advance. That means if you are only at Miraval for 3 days or so everyone else will have a chance to sign up for classes that require you to sign up, and you may not get into one of the experiences you want.

2. That said, always put your name on the waiting list for activities as when we did we got into the class 100% of the time, but it is NOT always this way we were told.

3. We didn't realize you can trade in one of your including daily spa services for other things, like 1:1 with a trainer, a private bike or horseback ride, etc.

4. You CAN sign up for spa services over the phone before you arrive and I would do this as you can't always get the time or service you want everyday.

5. We found that having the spa service at the end of the day was a nice way to end the day. Doing a relaxing massage followed by a mountain bike didn't seem like the right combo.

6. It was COLD, VERY COLD. Check the weather on-line before you go, and bring a hat and gloves!

7. Not all rooms have baths/tubs, if you want one, you have to ask way in advance.

8. It was true what I read on-line about the walls being thin between rooms. I think what is happening is that a lot of hotels/resorts are now offering large flat-scree TVs, and the walls just weren't made for those longer, better speakers! We didn't mind so much, but one night we did hear a neighbor's movie from beginning to end!

9. It was also true that when you're in your room and want to call guest services, you seem to NEVER get them right away. We found it best to just go to the main building and ask.

10. Do things you may not be inclined to do. Like I said, we never did yoga, but did it hear, looking out at the sunset over the desert and a mountain - very cool. Also, was always afraid of rock climbing (in theory) so challenged myself to do it here. Staff was GREAT with me, and I made it all the way to the top!

We're thinking of going back next year in the spring when the desert is "in bloom." While we found that it wasn't that easy to get to Tuscon from the east coast (we left from Boston), other guests said that more and more direct flights are opening up, so check around.

The staff was WONDERFUL. It was a good mix (just like the schedule) of those 100% into the whole "mindfulness" thing, some more just into their expertise (hiking, biking, etc.) and most somewhere in between... we found all to be very friendly (maybe not so much the "greeters"/folks in the lobby (odd though that may be given their job), but the guides and the waitstaff were great.

  • Liked — The setting, the vibe, the food, the activities
  • Disliked — Way you sign up for activities, hard to reach guest service staff
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2007

I just returned from a 3 day trip to Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson. I found the rooms to be impeccably clean, although some rooms seemed a bit stark to me (no artwork on the walls, etc). We enjoyed a "desert view" room (that means you can't see the mountains and you can't see the man made created "river" that runs through the center of the resort but instead look out into open nearby desert trails).

Our rooms was beyond comfortable and the beds, like floating on clouds. Huge comforters, feather pillows, pure heaven. Flat screen TV's with DVD players in every room. We used the DVD player twice to play movies after dinner from the extensive DVD collection in the main lobby. Gift shop was very nice although a bit pricey. Bought a baseball cap for $27 in the shop, found the same hat at LAX airport for $16. Save your money and buy it later.

Food at Miraval was of a higher caliber than we expected. On the healthy side with not a lot of fat. If you come hoping for classic American fried foods, you'll be out of luck. Mayo and butter were hard to find at this place.

Lots of fish, salads and soups. And all good. The smoothie bar and cookie stop were daily rituals for us. Best hotel gym I've ever worked out at. Better than the equipment at my own home town gym in CA.

Activities were plentiful but the resort was also slow due to the holiday season. I can see why some would be angered when activities fill up quickly. Heed their advice and sign up early.

Staff was beyond courteous and very friendly. In Summer expect this place to be SCORCHING hot, and in Winter (as in our visit late December) it got very COLD at night, into the mid 30's. It may be the desert but in Winter this place gets cold.

Equine Experience is a MUST. We actually had the luck of being lead through this day with Wyatt Webb himself. Hopefully you too will have the same luck as our group.

Spa treatments are pricey but remember they include gratuity. The hotel staff are not allowed to accept tips or gratuities from any guest. They will be fired. So prices are reflective of this policy.

I had the best spa treatment I've ever had with the Hammam Ritual. Per our driver back to the airport, the authentic version of my 90 minute long $185 Hammam treatment would cost approximately $10 if done in a Moroccan bathhouse where the treatment originated. Welcome to the United States he said.

I would definitely return again but would allow myself a minimum oof 3 nights, preferably 4. There are so many activities and spa treatments to choose from, you really need a good 4 days to get a good sampling. If you only have a weekend, I'd suggest the Equine Experience by day and Hammam Ritual and Thai massage by night.....then dinner.

Because Oprah had recently been to this resort, I expected Four Seasons like luxury. (I'm not sure why???) Miraval was nice, and clean and full of character, but was not 5 star luxury. Somewhere around 4 stars is more like it. If you go expecting less, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Again, I'd definitely go back for more.....

  • Liked — The Spa (included with every night's stay)
  • Disliked — The transfer time from airport to hotel and back to airport is nearly one hour each way! UGH!
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY, NY
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2007

This was my second trip to Miraval and it was even better the second time around.

The first trip was packed trying to attend as many classes and sessions as possible. This time I was more selective in my activities and spent more time at the pool.

July is super hot in AZ and it rains briefly most afternoons.

The food is amazing, plentiful and does not taste as healthy as it is. I love their approach to eating mindfully and was so happy just being there.

The spa is good, I've had equivalent or better services elsewhere, but when immersed in the atmosphere the services take on a new level of relaxation. The quiet room in the spa is one of my favorite places to relax.

I tried water aerobics although i hadn't planned to work out much and found out I loved it. My previous visit I took a wonderful water color class which unfortunately wasn't offered while I was there this time.

Signing up for dinner was a challenge the first time with trying to fit so much in, but this time it was much easier.

I can't write eloquently enough to describe my experience, but it was definintely worth every penny. From the second they pick you up at the airport to the time you leave it's possible to have a completely different and equally good trip as your companions. I recommend if you go with a friend make sure it's someone who can do things on their own leaving you free to try what interests you.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2007

Miraval is a major disappointment -- from the management to the maids. Unfortunately, because of the Oprah endorsement it is attracting a very unattractive group of guests. Arrived at Miraval happy and content and left stressed out.

  • Liked — I left there knowing that I am a happy, well adjusted person. Miraval breeds dysfunction.
  • Disliked — The front desk staff is particularly rude and unhelpful. Management could care less about guests.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2007

I have stayed at several 5 star hotels and top rated spa's worldwide. My friends and family consider me to be extremely hotel and spa picky.
I give Miraval thumbs up! There is something here for everyone. Customer service was excellent! Our hotel room was very clean and we received cleaning service twice daily. The beds were out of this world
and the bathroom was fair. There was a bit of construction but it did not seem to trouble me due to it's location. Running water surrounds the entire property and the peacefulness of water was in every direction. The last reviewer indicated Opera showed up but we did not see nor hear about her arrival. I have stayed in many hotels were celebrities were there and news like that travels fast. If Opera and her entourage were there we never saw or heard about it. The spa services were great and the classes were excellent! I highly recommend
the Thai Massage ask for Peter. The challenging activities were a journey that in the end reflected one's self. The food prep was good and staff was always willing to offer extra. Daily snacks, drinks, and food were always nearby. You never went without. Miraval is all about mindfulness and everyone there made you feel welcome. The grounds were lovely and I look foward to my next visit.

  • Liked — The bed, activiaties, customer services, spa
  • Disliked — bathroom
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evanston, IL.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2007

I had been to Miraval 3 previous times by myself. This time, i brought my husband. The new owners have certainly ruined the charm and energy.. Our room was large, beautiful and cleaned only when we called to ask. The exercise classes have become few and at low levels (except for the class where i asked the instructor for variations, because of a bad knee and was told that i probably shouldn't take the class!) The food was so far from my previous experience - and the dinner choices (3 rotations of menues a week) were poor.

And then - after we left OPRAH ARRIVED - with her drooling entourage. Well, now i am looking for a new spa to visit this winter - i hope that Oprah doesn't find it and ruin that one for me.

  • Liked — the privacy
  • Disliked — not cleaned to our specifications
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
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

Address: 5000 E. Via Estancia, Tucson, AZ 85739
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Tucson
#17 Family Hotel in Tucson
#26 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#31 Business Hotel in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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

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