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“I didn't know how much I needed this place until I went”

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Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Crawfordsville, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I didn't know how much I needed this place until I went”
Reviewed December 10, 2013

Everything at Miraval is about finding balance in life — physical, spiritual, emotional. The setting is, without a doubt, gorgeous and peaceful. Serene and private. The specialists are inspiring and enlightening. And the spa treatments are top notch.

This was my second trip. The first time I was with a friend, and we both had revelatory experiences in various sessions and the Equine Experience. I learned so much about myself — and about my friendship. There were so many insights I can't even begin to tell you about them, and they were truly life changing.

This time I was on my own, and I felt completely comfortable that way, too. My specialists in the spa were amazing and quite knowledgeable. Very personable but not overly talkative. They gave me good recommendations for other services that were perfect for me. I tried three different types of massage (the thai massage was my favorite but also loved the shamana karma). I attended one of Anne Parker's sessions on grief and definitely had several light bulb moments. I wandered the grounds, sat by the pool, went to a meditation session, sat on my patio and breathed in the quiet. It was a short stay (only two nights) and I hated to leave. This was my first time to be in the new spa facility, and I loved everything about the setup.

I think the greatest things about Miraval are the intangibles. It's about the way all the elements add up, and how the whole experience transforms your thinking and feeds your spirit. It's hard to put that in a review because it's so abstract and so internal... but so good. If you haven't been, I don't know how to express how amazing it all is. Go with an open mind, an open heart, and try new experiences. Meditate, or learn in a session, or try one of the adventures/challenges. There's something to discover in each and every experience, and each person's experience will be as personal as each person is different.

I see some other reviews talking about really bad customer service, but I assure you, I didn't have the same experience, and it really surprises me to hear those things. I was impressed with the experts and the therapists but also with the woman who initially registered me, the shuttle driver, the man who delivered my luggage, the one who scheduled additional services for me, the women working throughout the spa, and my servers at meals. I hold this place in the highest regard and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. I'll definitely go back.

Room Tip: I really enjoyed my secluded patio, off the beaten path with the tips of the mountains poking over t...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kelly S
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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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
Chicago
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2013

I never thought I’d be writing a review like this one for Miraval. We’ve been coming here for 20 years, we are “Miraval Authentic Circle” members and at one time (when they were a public company) we even owned stock. Unfortunately, however, the management has deteriorated to the point where we will regrettably never return.

I know our experience is not unique, as there are other reviews that indicate the same issues. The main problem began when our room (in the 100’s building) had no water for 24 hours. This apparently is a reoccurring problem that Miraval has not fixed.

Although it was very inconvenient to have no running water (try washing your face with a bottle of water and having your toilet backed up with cess - not a very relaxing “spa” experience), the main issue was how the management handled the problem. We were never notified by the hotel that there was an issue or told when it would be resolved. They didn’t even offer bottles of water for the room so we could brush our teeth, wash-up, etc. When we called the front desk they would not move our rooms and told us that we could take a shower in the spa that night and would also have to use the restrooms there too. Really? Get up out of bed at 3am, get dressed and walk over in 40 degree temps to the spa to go to the bathroom? We didn’t pay over $600/night per person to go camping. The really sad thing was that one of our neighbors actually did try to use the spa bathroom at 3am and it was locked! Also, another neighbor in the 100‘s-From-Hell rooms tried to use the shower that night and the spa staff kicked her out, saying that they were never told anything about keeping the spa open for the Pilgrims in the 100’s rooms.

So the next day I talked with LeAnne, the resort manager. She told me they’d credit my account $150 for the night, which was the “room portion” of my $620/night stay. When I indicated that that was not acceptable, as my entire stay had been effected by this issue, she told me she would give me $300. Even though I felt the whole night should have been credited, I agreed, as I was just trying not to lose the little spa buzz I had going at that point. However, she said that she would only extend this credit to me and 
if I “breathed a word of it to anyone else at the resort, including my friends who I came with she would not credit my account after I checked out”. So now I’m supposed to lie to my friends? Where am I? At Miraval or a casting call for The Godfather? Of course I told her no deal and then shared with everyone in the 100’s what transpired.

A group of approx 7 women walked back up to the management office. We were told LeAnne was not there but then saw her hiding in her office. We insisted on talking to her and the General Manager. Neither would talk to us and when LeAnne eventually came out of her office she was irate and rude to the entire group, telling us there was nothing she would do. The General Manager, Michael Thompkins was on the phone with his secretary but would not talk to anyone in our group. We tried to called him but he never returned our call.

Even now I cannot believe what transpired that day. Isn’t Miraval all about peace and mindfulness? One could find better service and professionalism- not to mention more kindness and mindfulness, at a Holiday Inn, where they certainly would credit your entire night’s charge if you had no running water.

As many other reviewers have indicated, Miraval has some serious management issues it needs to address. Steve Case, you should stop in some time to see how things are going - don't forget to book a room in the 100's if you want the new true Miraval experience.

Room Tip: Stay out of the 100's - they have a chronic issue with their plumbing, causing water outages and...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
39 Thank DaCodaChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queen Creek, Arizona
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Several girlfriends and I stayed one night to celebrate a milestone birthday together, and had such a relaxing, pleasurable time, it felt like a week's vacation! True rejuvenation! From the beginning greeting - we were treated like royalty. McKinlay was the perfect host, helping us get settled, touring the facilities, and handling the details. The classes were excellent, with so many options. I took a yoga stretch and then a meditation class with MaryGrace and loved her. She was awesome. My facial with Melissa was superb - it was totally worth adding on the alpha peel, my skin is much better than before! Chris was so helpful in arranging a box lunch for all 8 of us after we missed the regular hours, and it was the most delicious food! All of it, every meal was beautiful, fresh, and so tasty. And my most favorite memory was the Equine Experience with Debbie and Kelly. They were amazing at their jobs! I learned some wonderful things about myself, it has already changed how I approach my relationships. Thank you Miraval!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carazip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2013 via mobile

I was a first time, 7-night solo visitor to Miraval. I was planning to return. That being said, I found the experience inconsistent in quality and my follow-ups with the resort are giving me pause on my plans to return in a few months.

First-time guest
One of the pieces of constructive criticism I offer is that I identified myself as a first-timer every chance I got in my telephone calls before I arrived and I didn't find anyone actively offering pre-arrival orientation tips or any info about what I should do/expect - how to select classes, reservations, etc. Most of what I learned (good and bad) I learned from you - fellow trip advisor commentors. That's a loss on Miraval for allowing others to own the conversation.

Shuttle
Appreciated the shuttle from the airport. Our driver, who was wonderful, did wait for a late flight so folks on my flight had to wait for the late arriving plane to land before we could depart for the resort. If the shuttle is going to wait for multiple flights that might be something the resort would want to communicate to guests in advance as we waited around for quite a bit.

Rooms
I stayed in the "100" block. The room was clean, albeit dated. (More of an early 90s feel.) That didn't bother me as I didn't spend much time in the room. If enjoying your patio is important to you, consider your room selection as some patios face the common area and you may not have acceptable levels of privacy. Also, my room was on a corner by a walkway so I heard a lot of the morning and evening conversations as people walked by. Again, not a big issue as I wanted the proximity the 100s afforded. There was a water pipe issue impacting my room prior to my arrival and they were going to put me in a different location. I was a bit persistent in noting that I wanted to be in the 100s and the guest services agent and I eventually came to a resolution.

Classes
A+ on the diversity of the classes. Given I was a first timer I only know of the way it was offered - some classes have fees, some allow you to use your daily resort credit, some require advance reservations, some don't but fill up, etc. I can only guess that there is no easy way to manage all this. I had no issue with how the "classes" are offered. I was frustrated that I had to figure it out on my own though. MIRAVAL'S SECRET WEAPON: I felt all my instructors were passionate about their respective areas. The diversity in the classes (and I sampled a huge variety) and instructors make the Miraval experience in my opinion.

Environment
The natural surroundings are spectacular. Peaceful. The grounds are exceptionally well-mantained. All the pools are great. The buildings all have their own personality. The Agave Center feels exactly right for the type of classes offered (yoga, meditation, etc.) The fitness facility is a gym, albeit nearing a slightly dated feeling.

Spa bldg.
Beautiful bldg. Great ambience. Be sure to sit on the deck outside the spa and have an "integrated" Miraval experience. (That's code for make sure you just unplug for a few hours.) To me, the spa services themselves were inconsistent - both actual spa services and customer service. That being said, spa experiences are very personal.

Restaurant
Some commentors complain about the portion size and/or the fact that calories are listed on everything. I applaud the info. My choice if I want more servings or extra calories. That being said, I felt the hours for the restaurant and the juice/coffee bar should both be extended. Breakfast ending at 9:30 is a bit early. As a solo traveler I could only book my dinner reservations the day of but observed and was told that groups could book dinner a day in advance. That didn't seem right to me. That being said, I wound up eating dinner in the bar most evenings and found that incredibly relaxing. B-fast and lunch were both primarily buffets. Offerings for vegetarians were surprisingly borderline light.

Solo traveling
I can't think of an easier environment to go solo. You can find groups if you want and you feel completely at ease being on your own. The restaurant does offer a 7p community table.

Onsite store
Good loot. Fair hours. (Needs better lighting.) Dangerous distraction:)

All inclusive
Kudos on the no tipping policy. Some staff commented that they liked it. I hope that's the case because as a guest I found it a relief not to walk around with cash. I think Miraval is an industry-leader in this arena.

Customer service
Overall it was inconsistent. Some folks I gave a five star ranking (truly being the very best ambassadors Miraval could hope to have) and others folks made me feel I was a bother. On several occasions I received mis-information, which can absolutely happen, although I didn't get apologies. Several time some folks offered to followup with me on an open item and I wound up having to chase them down for updates. Example: Someone promised to deliver something to my room. It didn't show day one or day two, despite phone calls. When I called to ask that the item be delivered, the agent said "...since you'll likely be going back to that building can you just pick it up?" Totally minor but not smart from a customer service standpoint.

A few specific additional examples of poor customer service:
1) There is a trip advisor post on the daily resort fee. Concerned about this fee I called Miraval before my arrival to ask if I would see any kind of resort fee listed on my bill. I got the names of the two booking agents who told me in very clear terms that there was and would be no resort fee of any kind on my bill. I even referenced the trip advisor commentor who posted a comment on it. Upon checkout, there it was a huge daily resort fee. (Daily. Times seven.) To be clear, the fee didn't increase my quoted price in any way but it was still called out as a daily line item. I called and asked to speak with a mgr., who was unavailable. I asked that the mgr seek me out before I departed and he did not. I did find him, noting again that the issue was discussed on trip advisor and gave my feedback. The mgr said it was something he'd address with the reservation agents.

2) I completed an online survey I received after I departed praising the resort, noting I wanted to return and stated I was conflicted based on some inconsistencies in customer service. I gave my telephone number and requested someone call me. No one has yet to follow up.

3) Still contemplating returning I saw a black Fri/cyber Mon special on the Miraval site. The special ended the day before my next planned visit and I asked for it to be extended by one day for a repeat customer. I was given a quick and harsh "no" by the telephone agent. I asked to speak with her supervisor. The phone agent committed that someone would return my call that day; it didn't happen. When I went to ask another question, the telephone agent told me she was very busy with customers. (Missing the point that I am an existing customer.)

Overall value
Yes, it's pricey but for overall value I do give it high marks in so many areas, Tips, food and a resort "credit" included make it a really good value.

Miraval mgt. - Running a world-class destination is a tough job. Congrats on your impressive overall work. You have some amazing staff members. To me, the weak spots are in retention marketing and consistency in customer service.

Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
9 Thank AnnFran20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2013

Miraval provided exactly what I was seeking. Some contemplative time to restore and reenergize. The service was excellent but most impressive was the comprehensive menu or activities, both physical and spiritual. Unlike many spa's the food was excellent as were the lectures, accomodations, treatments and ammenities. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tnieves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
1 review
Reviewed December 3, 2013

The Miraval spa and resort exceeded my expectations once again! My all inclusive stay included exceptional services such as complimentary valet, unlimited access to the juice, coffee, and tea bar, exceptional dining services, a no tipping policy, and a plethora of spa and wellness amenities. I slept in the most luxurious bedding imaginable, and the food was uniquely exquisite tapered for the health conscious soul. The spa has been remodeled since my last trip (to the tune of 8 million) and I was pampered by Ella with the Ayurvedic body balancing and detox treatment. Mckinlay was our gracious host who helped us feel at home upon our arrival, and pampered us like royalty the entire trip. Her enthusiasm and knowledge for the property was very impressive. I began my morning with Yoga in the scenic Agave room surrounded by the captivating Catalina Mountains, and my day ended in a tantalizing steam room and whirlpool. I am a seasoned spa and resort traveler and this is definitely one of my favorite spas.

Room Tip: rooms have been recently remodeled
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank krisha d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spacificallyspas
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2013

This was my second visit to Miraval and it exceeded my first stay - leaps and bounds.

My visit this time was with intention. Whether you are looking for a little adventure, r&r or deep soul searching there is something for everyone.

I love "It's Not About The Horse", Wyatt Webb leads this and he also is the founding father of this experience/therapy - because for alot of people it winds up being very emotional.

The resort offers 3 meals a day, snacks, juice, tea, water. Bar is cash. You get a certain amount of money / credit toward some services others are additional money. It's not about the horse", is additional money.

My first trip was a girl getaway, this trip was a couple getaway and business.

Resort/Destination Spa great for Corporate retreat, team building, friends. Minimum age I think 16. Really not a place for families with young children.

Room Tip: I would get a room with a patio that overlooks the mountains.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spacificallyspas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MiravalGM, General Manager at Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Hi Eileen - Thank you so much for writing about your recent stay. I'm glad that you enjoyed It's Not About the Horse with Wyatt Webb. He's been working with our guests for 18 years! We look forward to welcoming you back on a future visit.
Regards,
Michael
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Business Hotel in Tucson
#23 Romantic 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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