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“Miraval mostly wonderful”

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Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 128 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Miraval mostly wonderful”
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........

  • Liked — the challenge activities
  • Disliked — the management
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank parker111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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950 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
chicagoshopgirl
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — New, comfortable rooms, Great meals
  • Disliked — Unable to get into the activities I wanted
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
14 Thank chicagoshopgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
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:
Food:
The smoothie bar is great. I liked the cookies too.

Now for just a few of the negatives:
Food:
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.

  • Liked — smoothie bar
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
30 Thank travelerchicag0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
92 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2007

My girlfriend and I decided to reward ourselves with a nice 5 day/4 night stay at Miraval. We did the "Bring A Friend Special" making the vacation, dare I say, affordable (comparatively speaking). We participated in many activities...learning proper form in Pilates, splashing around and laughing our butts off in the water classes (the teachers are GREAT!), screaming, crying and conquering fears in both the Swing and a Prayer and Quantum Leap II (both must dos) and relaxing. Ahhh, the relaxing. We spent a good chunk of time in the spa, not necessarily getting treatments, though we each got 1 treatment a day (more on those next). We got steam, sat in the hot tub, read a book in the quiet room with a warm cup of tea. I'm a bit of a prude so I will advise for the other like minded people, beware, women soak in the hot tub naked. The spa treatments were great, with one exception. I got a relaxation massage with Dana-AMAZING!!! I felt incredible afterward, floating on a cloud good. Then the Shiatsu was AWESOME!!! Never had that before and I really enjoyed, but I hear the Thai massage is even better. I also got an 80 minute detox facial...really luxurious and cleansing. The last treatment I got was an Auryvedic treatment, Herbal cleansing, not too wild about it and after talking with a few other people, they seemed to have felt the same way. I did feel like a goddess with all the oils and rubbing, but it seemed a bit wasted and too expensive for what it was. Now on to the service!! Stellar. Everyone was so happy and pleasant and eager to please. I was really impressed with the entire staff, including the activities teachers, maids, servers, smoothie makers, front desk, spa, maintenance workers, shuttle drivers, etc.

Highlights: mountain biking, massage, shiatsu, quiet room, pilates, breathing class, swing and a prayer, quantum leap II, hiking, yoga, our room

Not a highlight, but not awful either: "Tea Here Now" class (because she didn't make time for the Chinese tea ceremony, which would have been the highlight)

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jjbenitez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duncan, OK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2007

Stayed at Miraval in July '07 with my mother, who is in a wheelchair (motorcycle accident). We were warned that it was monsoon season, but the monsoons were actually quite nice - the clouds seemed to build during the day, then poured for 30 mins to an hour during late afternoon or evening. It seemed to keep it a little cooler - the Arizona summer was not as hot as I had assumed. Anyway, we had a wonderful time at the resort. The spa treatments were sublime, each a different experience. The only spa service I did not love was a make-up consultation (hoping to learn a few new tricks) - it was actually a lesson on how to use their (pricey) mineral make-up. I'm not used to paying for someone to sell me something! The hot stone massage was fabulous, the Ultimate Avyredic (sp?) was wonderful, the duet massage was perfect for both of us (I received the deep tissue and Mom received the relaxation), and the facial/ EmerginC peel made my face feel so soft and clear, benefits that have lasted! Spend some time in the Quiet Room, which I ended up taking a picture of to remember to be mindful (more of that later). Most of the food was quite good, although some of the dishes were not anything I would order again (some entrees in the 100-calorie range), but there were different choices to choose from. It made both of us realize that we can eat much healthier and still have very tasty food. The fresh berries and fruit were abundant, and you could get freshly juiced juices whenever you wanted (and I threw in a shot of wheatgrass everyday for good measure!). Service was really good and the perky hostess for breakfast and lunch was wonderful! Try the Equine Experience - probably counted for 10 therapy sessions in one 2.5 hour session. I definitely will go back, but probably not with Mom. While the grounds are accessible to wheelchairs, it is spread out over 400 acres and not easy to get everywhere. I just kept telling myself how this was helping shape my backside. Everyone was very nice, however, and helped whenever they could, including getting her onto massage tables, etc, so I could have a some relaxation as well. The only bad thing about the trip was coming home and getting into my bed, rather than the thick fabulous bedding they had...definitely encouraged me to trade up to better bedding. Enjoy!

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank kimweaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2007

We had our 4 night stay @ Miraval in June and I have to say it was one of the nicest places I've ever stayed at. The experience was amazing! I would totally recommend it for great get away of solitude,peace and a way to reconnect with yourself. It's the whole mind, body, spirit experience. i'm trying to think how soon i can return!
It was fabulous! We went there to get away, to relax, and have some massages, but we got so much more out of it. Loved everything about the place. The rooms were so nice, the beds were so comfortable...with feather down pillows/ comforter. The food was so good! I was impressed and I'm a picky eater. We did a lot of fitness things too..desert walks/hikes, photography and horse back riding.
The spa treatments were great. I had the tragger massage and the hamman wrap...my skin has never felt so smooth and soft. I also did the Vie facial. All wonderful. I heard great things about the Thai massage. I'll have to try that next time.
Overall the staff were very nice and friendly, the food wonderful and the experience was amazing. I'm looking forward to going back next year...it's worth every penny and more!
Loved it!


  • Liked — Clean, tranquile. The desert was so pretty, and the place is set against some beautiful montains
  • Disliked — a little expensive, especially in the winter, but June suites me fine!
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank BooClarendon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AZ
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2007

My three weeks in May at Miraval, where I had chosen to go for a much needed physical and spiritual convalescence, were among the happiest of my life. I wasn’t there to work out or take part in group activities; I had no interest in socializing or dressing up or even wearing makeup, just wanted to have time to myself with no responsibilities, no fixed schedule, no distractions. Miraval provided all of that and more... the best beds and bedding I’ve found anywhere, fabulous healthy food three times a day, superb friendly caring service always (never saw a face that didn’t smile), and beautiful grounds with lots of privacy to wander through. I had many spa services which I loved, tried treatments new to me and each was a winner... also discovered acupuncture and liked the results so well that I’m integrating it into my new wellness program.

I’ve read earlier reviews on this site and see that there are some people who haven’t enjoyed their Miraval experience. My take is that expectations can be too high--this is not a glitzy place and the accommodations (which I found perfect for the spirit of the resort)--are simple though of very high quality throughout. The cottages are scattered around the grounds and the living desert is very much present at every turn, and that includes cactus, critters and lots of birds. Nature lovers will adore it, others may not feel so comfortable.

My favorite Miraval things include the labyrinth, the outdoor dining rooms, the sound of running water everywhere, the total lack of staff “attitude” (I did see some of that however from guests, especially in the reception hall), and an ambience that I can only describe as deeply peaceful. I find myself thinking about the place most days and am so grateful for the life-enhancing experience and lessons in mindfulness it provided.

  • Liked — I felt cosseted and cared for...
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank primrose87
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 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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