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“Awesome Experience”

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Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
NJ
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Awesome Experience”
Reviewed August 5, 2008

I don't know where some of these reviewers stayed but they clearly were not at the Miraval Resort where I just returned earlier this week. My wife and I were there for 5 nights for our first trip to the property having been veterans of the last 3 summers of Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. We also have experienced world class resort spas like the Grand Wailea and Four Seasons in Hawaii. This is a world c lass spa property with unique experiences, outstanding food, great fitness activities and an energetic and knowledgeable staff. Judging from the guests on the property this last week, satisfaction was extremely high - even in the 100+ degrees heat (which on a separate note is not oppressive given the moderate temps in the morning and evening)

In particular, we enjoyed the hikes, the Equine Experience (unique to Miraval), the spa treatments (try the Miraval journey) and the fitness clesses. Guests raved about the Adventure activities, the photography program and the cooking demonstration. The food was excellent - typical spa small portions but you can have as much as you want. The one complaint would be that the wait staff is young and inexperienced and so the restaurant is more chaotic than necessary. The comments in the prior reviews about the staff couldn't be further from the truth - they were so friendly and engaging.

The resort has a spiritual/"mindful" approach to all of their activities which is not really my cup of tea but it doesn't affect the experience. This is definitely more of a resort spa which allows alcohol, has a smoothie bar and a great 3 level pool.

Maybe guests that have been at Miraval for years have noticed change but new guests will not be disappointed. Let the others stay away as there will be more room for us upon our return. Miraval is rightfully ranked as one of the top destination spas in the U.S.!! A+++

  • Liked — very comfortable
  • Disliked — no problems
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank beatroff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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950 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (297)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Scottsdale
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2008

Some of the reviews are so right on. My husband brought me for my birthday. I was disappointed to use the labyrinth which I so looked forward to. I had to run off the path due to the gofers (field mice) or what ever they were that were throughout the path peaking their heads out and running around. I was afraid I would get bitten. Spa services were great! Then we stopped at the desk after breakfast before checking out to see that the road was not closed due to rain and flooding. We were 10 minutes past checkout time and found the cleaning staff in our room. All of our luggage was removed from the room. We found it outside the main entrance of the resort unattended....anyone could have walked off with it as we did. No one stopped us from picking it up and leaving. There are many great spas getaways....try another where they respect you and your belongings.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
9 Thank MelBMiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
in Kensington
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2008

A high school friend and I met up five of the last six years at Miraval. We believed we had found heaven -- at first. As a matter of fact our first three experiences were simply transporting. The lovely and caring staff were mindfulness personified, giving the place a congruence and heart that were a joy to experience. Chef Cary's food occasionally overreached, but all could be forgiven when services were so fantastic, classes were amazing, and every staffer you came into contact with felt such obvious happiness to be working there. It was as if all of us were in on this delightful secret. I suppose it was all too good to be true. Sure enough, times four and five were disheartening, disppointing, and angering. Most of the best staff were gone, and the others we talked with (off the record, of course) were saddened and downhearted at the loss of a magical place to work. The corporate smell was everywhere -- see the other negative reviews for a comprehensive list of experiences that document the devolution of Miraval. What truly galls is the feeling that Steve Case and his crew don't care about repeat guests -- the cynicism involved in knowing that their corporate marketing machine will contrinue to pull newcomers through the door is absolutely astounding.
Goodbye, Miraval. It's off to Austin next year and I, for one, will never look back. There's no point.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Cynical management squeezing every dime from the operation at guests' expense
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank AnneinKensington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2008

This was my fourth visit to Miraval and my daughter's fifth. It was very good. The beauty is second to none. They are working overtime to assure everything is perfect for their valued guest. The grounds were more beautiful than ever. The dining room has undergone a 100% turn around, with the most wonderful food we may have ever had. The rooms are impeccable, as always. We just had alot of fun. The construction involving the added guest rooms is almost complete and the private residences are just being started, from what we could see. The programs and services are numerous and well thought out. Our personal favorite, Brent Baum was available and that made the visit complete for us. He is a gift to all who seek him out.

One thing to consider is that the last 2 visits, we have almost missed our flights out. Not very relaxing. Miraval needs to schedule more time for the trip to airport, as some clients need to be dropped off at the jet center, construction, lots of traffic, etc. I guess that is all for now. mrw michigan

  • Liked — The comfort and beauty of it all
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mrwMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
157 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 206 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2008

One man's nicest dream is the next's worse nightmare. I recently stayed at this much-ballyhooed place, and it was so awful I cut my stay short by several days.

Problems started a few weeks before my arrival. I received an email confirmation which urged guests to pre-register and pre-book spa services online. After wasting more than an hour trying to do so, I fianlly gave up and called the hotel. They told me it is not possible to pre-book on their website. After about a dozen calls and messages, I finally got through to speak with someone to book my daily spa service (a $110 credit per day is included in the exorbitant rates, to be used either at the spa or by booking one-on-one sessions such as photo hikes, private trainer sessions etc.). More than 2 weeks in advance of my arrival I tried to book spa services and found it next to impossible. Not one requested service was available, even when I only specified which day I wanted which service. After about an hour on the phone, I finally had my week planned, although I had to substitute many services with others, just to be able to use my "convenient" spa credit.

Problems continued throughout my stay. I have an allergy to garlic, which the Dining Room staff were made aware. However, in my FOUR dinners (there are always 4 entree choices on the dinner menu), I was told every day that I could not have any sauce with my entree, and often no vegetable either. They were simply too lazy, or too inflexible, to accommodate my needs in any way. Everything, it seems, is done according to what suits Miraval and its' employees, rather than what best suits the guest and his or her needs. When I arrived, for example, I was told firmly that I had missed lunch, but I could have a smoothy from the juice bar, and I would simply have to wait for dinner. I ended up eating a tiny but delicious steak every night, accompanied by a microwaved-tasting baked potato. This was the best they could do for me, after assuring me that my food allergies etc. would be addressed. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style, as boring as the choices are.I should also add that there is a $20 charge to have a simple meal brought to your room, a huge insult considering the steep charge of around $1,000 per person per day.

The place itself is rather underwhelming. My dreary, colorless room looked over a muddy pond. I enjoyed my king-size bed, but suffocated under the enormous and very warm duvet. Each room is equipped with a gorgeous, state-of-the-art plasma TV, with fuzzy reception and no more than a dozen channels. The casita-style rooms are also equipped with a very noisy fridge, where one can expect to see 2 small bottles of Miraval water and nothing else. The heating/cooling system never seemed to keep my room at a comfortable temperature.

The much-loved spa was also a letdown. Everything looks a bit old, like a 1970's era ski lodge. There was seldom an attendant in the Men's Area which did not seem right.....what if a guest slipped while in the steam room or jacuzzi? There are also a myriad of pools to laze by if you should be so lucky as to be there when the weather is tolerable (Januray is COLD in the Arizona desert). The pool areas, for the most part, also could do with some modernizing. The entire place looks much older than its 15 years, I was very puzzled by this. The gym, however, is modern and clean and adjacent to a gorgeous 25 meter pool used for length swimming and aqua-aerobic classes.

Their "DVD Library" consisted of perhaps 2 dozen titles, stowed on a dusty shelf in a closet of the Main Reception building, the same for their "Library", again a half-shelf full of discarded paperbacks.

Overall, I found the place to be vastly over-rated. Those seeking a Luxury Spa should definitely look elsewhere. Miraval is much more like a "Guest Ranch", or even an Adult Camp. If one is looking to "rough it" in rustic but comfortable style, perhaps you would enjoy a stay here.

As much as I disliked my stay, I have to say that many of the staff, especially those which have been there since the place opened, are wonderful people. The problems seem to focus around the Management end, and the fact that "the bottom line" is much more important than the guest. Skip this place, there are many other places in Arizona and elsewhere, that have better rooms, better service and better spas. This place is resting on its laurels. A huge development of private villa-stle condos and a vast Wellness Center are in the works. One wonders if the expansion is going to make the place better, or perhaps even worse. Don't say I didn't warn you!

  • Liked — certain Spa Services
  • Disliked — room, location, attitude
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank travelmikeVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
98 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2008

This was my third trip to Miraval. I still find the experience worthwhile and a good value. The staff are friendly and polite. Our room was fine, but too dark for applying makeup. It was easier to book spa treatments and activities than it was last year-maybe they've added more employees. They've also added some new "challenge activities."
I had my first mediocre meal there. Otherwise the food is exceptional considering it's so healthy. I had a disappointing facial and a less than relaxing massge due to noise outside the window. All of my other spa services were wonderful.
Miraval would not be my first choice for pampering and luxury, but I don't think you can beat the challenge activities, fitness classes and hiking!

  • Stayed January 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank su432
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MrsBaby
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:
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:
#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

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