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“Miraval was Great, Can't wait to return”

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Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 129 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 3, 2007

Prior to leaving for Miraval I read some of the negative comments for the previous 6 weeks. As expected I was very apprehensive and copied some of the excerpts from the negative comments and sent to Miraval. I received a response within 24 hours with some explainations of the complaints. None the less I was very apprehensive upon arrival as I had planned the trip with 2 other girl friends/nurses.

We were informed our room would not be ready until 3pm, we arrived at 12N and our room was ready. We were greeted at the entrance gate by 2 workers (one took our car and transported all of our luggage and a receptionist who escorted us around the grounds and to our room). We did not depart until 7pm on the day we were to leave and check out time was 11am. We were told Miraval would store our luggage and we could participate in any activities we wished.

We had NO difficulty scheduling classes. Miraval had added additional classes that were popular to accomodate most everyone. One class for the 6am - 8am hike was quickly filled, but we were told to show for a class that was full b/c someone usally did not show.
We stayed in room 121 and did not experience any noise from construction. When walking to the spa I could hear a piece of large equipment backing up but was unsure if it was on Miraval property or that adjoining. We only experienced minor problems (3 people to a room and only 2 coffee cups, 2 chairs on the balcony and 2 water glasses). It would have been nice to have the 3rd item. I did ask for the first day and the cups were added but removed the next day. One night at dinner we had a problem getting served d/t chatty waiter and had to ask on 3 separate occasions for our meal.
There was a button on the phone that said "anything you need" and that seemed to be the way things went. We never turned on the TV and we attended toooo many classes. Our biggest decision was to attend interesting classes or lay by the pool. Usually the classes won out.
It seems to me Miraval may be experiencing some growing pains but we will certainly return. It seems they have responded to the negative criticism by adding classes, etc. On a 1-10 scale, we would rate it >9.5.
Hope this review helps from an apprehensive guest who read the negative reviews just days before our arrival to Miraval.

1  Thank Slodog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,253 - 1,259 of 1,299 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2007

I spent several days at Miraval with my wife as part of our honeymoon. Neither my wife nor I could imagine a better place to relax and enjoy ourselves following our marriage. It was picturesque and serene. The staff was extremely accomodating and friendly. They provided us with great service from the start. The guest reservations manager, Megan, provided us with a tour of the entire resort's grounds and showed us to our rooms immediately following our arrival. That evening, we received excellent service at the Miraval restaurant where we were waited upon by Justin. We were provided with a complimentary bottle of wine as a wedding gift. The following days were spent enjoying the one of a kind spa treatments and activities Miraval offers each of its guests. Particularly enjoyable were the photography lessons and desert mountain biking. If we had the opportunity, we would visit again, and again, and again.

Stayed: September 2007
Thank jking14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2007

My wife had been to Miraval once before, and she was interested in taking me with her. I was skeptical, as I didn't think there would be much of interest for a man at a resort of this type. I was very surprised and enjoyed the most relaxing and invigorating vacation I have ever had. We participated as a couple in some of the activities and alone in others, which was a nice balance.

I'm excited for us to go again, as it was a great experience for us as a couple. The activities are challenging and eye opening, and the resort and rooms are beautiful. I travel extensively and stay and entertain in many top hotels, and I found Miraval to be extremely refreshing. I would highly recommend it for any occasion, as it will definitely make you more "mindful."

Stayed: September 2007
1  Thank SaddleMaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2007

My stay at Miraval earlier this month was a terrible let-down. I've been there several times before and I was really looking forward to going.

- My room was literally filthy, the kind of ground-in dirt that can't be fixed quickly. The floors especially.
- I had a massage in which I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The guy, Sean, was rough and untrained.
- The activities filled up very fast. Like a previous poster said, you had to lurk around late at night when the sign-up sheets were posted to ensure a spot. The staff refused to tell us what time the sheets would be put up, so every night there would be a group of tired, disgruntled guests lurking around waiting for the sheet to go up. The solution is simple: have more sessions of the popular classes, you cheapskates!
- Miraval has become gigantic rip off. It is truly sad. Oprah's seal has ruined it -- at least some authors are smart enough to reject the "Oprah book club" seal --- Miraval was too cheap and shortsighted to reject Oprah's seal on what was once a wonderful haven.

Stayed: September 2007
24  Thank Kitty_Chicago_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2007

I recently stayed 6 nights at Miraval and had mostly a wonderful experience. I went with a little trepidation as many of the recent reviews have been negative. That being said I noticed that most of the negative reviews were by people who had stayed there in the past and were comparing it to their previous stay. I had nothing to compare my trip to except the trip itself. Upon arrival my van was not there because my plane was 1 hour1/2 early. I called and they told me to take a taxi so i didnt have to wait and they would pay for it. I thought that was a very classy way to start the trip off and it immediately put a good taste in my mouth.

The food was average to good at breakfast and lunch, but the dinners were absolutely out of this world fantastic!! It was almost like you were eating at two different places. Maybe there were different chefs from the afternoon to the evening. I really loved the smoothie bar/juice bar. It was great and very healthy!

The room was very nice complete with a Bose Wave radio which was great to play cds on. The bed was soooo comfortable!!! I slept so well! There was a scorpion in my room one night, but the management quickly removed it. That didnt bother me though because I realized I was on nature's turf.

The challenge activities are the best part of Miraval. I am a man, and it was fun to challenge myself and go on hikes and mountain bike etc.. There is so much to do and you never get bored. This is also a great place to go by yourself. It was easy to meet people and also great to be alone there.

The spa services were fine. I am a bit of a snob about this sort of thing though as I have great people in New York. The Thai massage and the aqua zen therapy were my favorite things. The stomach massage I do not recommend. That may just a personal choice though. The quiet room was also a great place to meditate and find some peace.

The pool was great and very peaceful. The only thing that seemed a little negative about the place is that the management doesnt seem to be in the same state of mindfulness that the place is trying to encourage. It feels VERY corporate and like it doesnt match somehow. It was kind of weird I have to admit. I always felt so great when around the instructors and the leaders of the challenges and as soon as I got around management I felt like they were pretending to care. It was kind of strange, but I was willing to let that go and have a wonderful time anyway. It could also just be the transitional phase of going coorporate.

Mostly Miraval is wonderful though and I cannot wait to return. I hope that they dont get too big too fast........

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5  Thank parker111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2007

Last year I visited Miraval for the first time and loved absolutely everything about it, from the cool, acrylic water bottles they gave you on your trip from the airport -- to the rooms, food and activities. Having had such a great experience the first time, I went back to Miraval again this year.

I don't know if it's because of all of the publicity Oprah has given this resort, but things have changed. For one, they now pass out cheap plastic water bottles you can get at Sports Authority... but there are other, more important things that can really affect your experience at the resort:

Last year, they allowed you to sign up by phone for your first day activities (since they post sign-ups days in advance, if you don't get your name in within the first hour of the sign-up sheets going up, you're out of luck) - now, they don't do that for you, which means that during your first three days, you can go without getting into any of the cool activities you want to do (i.e. challenge activities, biking, trail rides, equine experience - you name it). The whole process of getting into activities is VERY stressful. While I was there, guests would linger near the sign-up boards at 11PM each night when sign-up sheets are posted for activities two days later.

Last year, it was no problem changing appointment times or services at the spa -- now, you stick with what you booked in advance because they're so busy they cannot accomodate any changes. The most enjoyable services I had were with Connie, Melanie and Anna. If you request any of these women you won't be disappointed!

The accomodations and food is still first-rate, but Miraval seems crowded now and the staff less likely to go out of their way to make you feel special. I think Miraval has lost its touch, which is sad. I will probably go somewhere else next year, rather than pay top dollar for a less than enjoyable experience.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with friends
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14  Thank chicagoshopgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2007

Canyon Ranch was the best vacation i've ever been on; Miraval was the worst. i'm fine spending 1000s of dollars for a few days for a professional experience: this was far from it and a rip-off in the first degree. If want to do amazing health classes go to Canyon Ranch; if not, go to a Ritz Carlton instead, get a club room with the food included and you'll have 1000s of dollars left over for their amazing spa.

My impressions of Miraval:
the positives:
The smoothie bar is great. I liked the cookies too.

Now for just a few of the negatives:
The rest of the food is average, often bland.
they served the exact same menu for breakfast every single day.

Overall fithiness:
-the van they picked us up had used plastic cups all over the place.
-they left food out all over the property and people who'd just been sweating in the hot sun/after working out would grab it with their hands. why not leave food behind the bar since they have one there any way?

Outdoor classes.
They maintain a full schedule of strenuous outdoor activities in 100 degree plus weather. It is basic medical common sense that this is not healthy. This shows absolutely no conern for the health and well being of their guests. I am shocked that they do this as a health/wellness facility given basic common sense and medical knowledge that the sun isn't good for the heart and skin (even if you slather on sunscreen-their recommendation). I think that this is just asking for someone to drop dead.

Indoor Classes.
There were only a few exercise classes and they were unacceptably low quality. They had audio tape recorders instead of a proper sound system. They hired instructors who'd not be allowed to teach at my local gym. These classes started late, they didn't have proper rooms with mirrors, and often ran under 30 minutes. They were dull and boring.

Spa: No quality control. I had a great therapist and one of the lousiest ones I've ever had too. Luck of the draw.

"Mindfulness" Classes. I love how they talk about mindfulness as a profound philosophy on the website. personally, I dont think it's especially profound to hear rich people do group therapy (key activity in the classes). Best of all, the whole property is run in a mindless/prideless way.

When we mentioned these complaints, they said that they had never heard these complaints before. And one of the managers (extremely defensive and angry; would have probably been fired from a basic Marriott) started screaming at me after the first thing I said. Clearly they dont read the reviews on these boards. They offered us spa services to make up for the poor therapist we had in the spa and tried to schedule an extra activity for us but having been ripped off of nearly $6000, getting $400 thrown back at your face didnt really feel so great.

In short-- I dont recommend this place. They give free stays away to oprah, get millions of visitors banging on their doors, and could care less about offering them low quality products because millions more are on their way.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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30  Thank travelerchicag0
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
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:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Tucson
#4 Luxury Hotel in Tucson
#23 Business Hotel in Tucson
#23 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
Price Range: $972 - $2,999 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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

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