As I reflect upon my time at the Miraval Resort & Spa in Arizona, I am thankful for the great food, amazing massage, and luxury accommodations. Service was great and I enjoyed the time with my wife. That said, I don’t think this is a resort for me.
This trip was a last-minute decision. I’ve been gone a lot lately and wanted to spend a couple days alone with my wife. After my parents (happily) agreed to take Augustine for the weekend, I booked the room the night before and was thankfully able to confirm space…try asking for a last-minute room in January or February and you’ll just be laughed at. Last-minute airfare in Tuscon was ridiculous and the I figured flying into Phoenix, renting a car, and driving 2.5 hours to the resort would be almost as time consuming as just driving from LA. Some drove…
We ended up arriving on Friday evening and staying until Sunday evening. An extra day would have been nice, but at this point in our lives we’ll take what we can get. The resort is truly off the beaten track, well off the highway and down several quiet roads and streets. As you pull up, the gate will be closed: press the button on the little intercom box and you will be connected to the front desk, who will buzz you in.
As we pulled up outside, a check-in agent came out to greet us and offered assistance with our luggage.
Miraval Arizona Guest Room
The agent recognized my Globalist status in the World of Hyatt program and announced that I had been upgraded to a “very, very nice room”. He wanted to send us to the new room in a golf cart, but my wife declined…with the exception of a brief stop for lunch, we had been sitting in the car for seven hours.
Our room was in the 600’s village, which mean we had a quite a walk from the lobby. The common areas are beautiful–very desert-like, but green even in the heat of late summer.
But we had no trouble finding the room, which was more like a (small) villa than a hotel room. It wasn’t a suite, but there was plenty of room to move around, with a large living room with sitting area and table. Let me say here how wonderful the bed was. I don’t usually like soft beds, but this was a nice break from our firm mattress at home. The lovely bedding was thick and plush.
Here’s a look at the room in daylight:
The bathroom featured both an indoor and outdoor shower as well as a huge bathtub, dual sink, and water closet. All of the shower and soap amenities featured an orange scent.
My favorite feature of the room, however, was the beautiful terrace outside. The view of the mountains was unobstructed and picturesque.
There was no minibar in the room, but room service is complimentary…sort of. It is available during meal hours only and any order delivered to the room incurs a $15 delivery fee. As an environmentally-friendly resort, there are no plastic bottles of water. Instead, tap water is placed into a water filter that looks like a pour over coffee device and placed in your refrigerator. Unfortunately, the room has a disgusting Keurig coffee machine…the worst of all coffee machines.
Miraval Arizona Dining
The Miraval is an all-inclusive resort. Consequently, all meals are free (including tip). In the Cactus Flower Restaurant, breakfast is served from 6:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M., lunch from 11:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., and dinner from 5:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style while dinner is served a la carte.
A key emphasis on the food here is that it bio/organic, farm-to-table, and freshly-made. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you will not go hungry here.
The breakfast buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, bread + pastries, salads, pancakes and scrambled eggs. You’l also be able to order a number of hot items off a menu.
The huevos rancheros were excellent. I also enjoyed Greek yogurt with nuts and chia seed as well as fresh berries.
A warning: my wife and I agreed the coffee here was horrible. That’s sad because the hotel even has a barista coffee bar which I’ll describe below, but the coffee is horrible. In fact, I’d call it pathetic. And someone needs to instruct the hotel on how to make cappuccinos because this is what they served me for breakfast:
If you want to take food back to the room, there is always take-away containers available at the buffet.
Lunch includes a buffet with several hot vegetables and a large salad bar. There’s also dessert, fruit, and cheese. Each day, there is a special of the day that is served. My first day it was shrimp and my second day it was chicken. I’d say the best part of lunch and perhaps the best dish of the weekend was the pozole, a Mexican soup.
Every night the dinner menu changes. Upon arrival, I ordered a soup with chicken with mole sauce while my wife had salad with salmon. The chicken was not very good and I thought…oh no, the food is going to be bad here. But thankfully that was the only mediocre meal and every single meal for the rest of my stay was excellent.
You can order as much as you want, though the portions are decently-sized. We tried a charcuterie board the second night and probably should have skipped it–it was enough for a meal in itself. I tried to stay away from my usual propensity to order steak and tried duck instead…it was very good.
The dessert menu doesn’t change includes a number of great options, though I think the best dessert is simply a bowl of berries.
From 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. you can enjoy a Starbucks-like experience in a coffee and smoothie bar. Smoothes and coffee are made to order and light snacks are available as well.
The following breakfast and lunch items were adversities on the wall, but when I asked for a sandwich about 4:00 P.M. one day, I was told there was nothing left.
Self-serve coffee, tea, and water are always available:
Miraval Arizona Spa
The spa is a spacious facility and very busy throughout the day.
For award stays (we used our free credit card sign-up nights from Chase [not the anniversary nights]), each guest receives $175/day in resort credit. For our first day, I used that credit for a 50-minute wellness massage. Nick was my massage technician and did a great job pinpointing pressure points of pain in my upper back. Truly, I cannot think of a more excellent massage in recent memory. It is such a relief to leave a massage feeling loosened and better, not in more pain.
The spa includes a gender-segregated whirlpool, sauna, and steam room which I enjoyed using even in the 110ºF heat outside. The locker room is not luxurious as say, the Wynn in Las Vegas, but included snacks, drinks, and toiletries.
Miraval Arizona Postural Assessment
I wanted to go back for another massage the second day, but my wife pushed me to do a postural assessment instead. My posture is still fine, but bad posture runs in my family and we’d both like to prevent me from having back/posture issues later in life.
The assessment took place in the gym and I spent about an hour with Mylene, who developed a plan for me to take breaks and stretch my back during the long days I sit in front of a computer.
Miraval Arizona Pools
The hotel includes two pools, one more geared for relaxing and the other geared toward exercise. The more leisure-oriented pool includes a cocktail bar (drinks for purchase).
Miraval Arizona Fitness Center
I loved the recently renovated fitness center, which featured Hoist equipment, a brand I had never experienced before for strength resistance training, but one that pivoted with you, providing an excellent workout.
Miraval Arizona Cell Phone Usage
The resort is somewhat serious about its no-cell-phone policy. You are free to use your mobile phones in a courtyard nearby the lobby or in your guest room. I was (nicely) reprimanded for using my laptop in the dining room and my wife was rather rudely scolded for using her mobile phone in the gym, even though she was the only guest in the gym and was just listening to music.
To encourage you to stay unplugged, a cell phone sleeping bag is placed on your nightstand.
Miraval Arizona Esoteric Programs
When you check-in, you’ll be given a rather large booklet listing all of the resort’s program, both free and for purchase. If you do not want to spend money, there are all sorts of exercise activities that are complimentary.
What surprised me, however, is how esoteric so many of the activities and treatment options were. I mean, take a look at these examples:
These sorts of programs were a huge turn-off for my wife and me: we believe that these sorts of programs are not helpful in encouraging human flourishing. You can see full list of all programs and activities (which change weekly) here.
Had we stayed longer at the resort, we might have tried programs like tight-rope walking or horseback riding:
Anytime you want to schedule appointments and activities, you can visit the lobby:
Miraval Arizona Parking
Parking is valet-only, though your car is always nearby the lobby if you need it. If drive a Tesla, there are three chargers available.
Note that if you fly into Tucson airport, the hotel will pick you up and take you back for free. The ride takes about an hour.
Miraval Arizona Tipping
This is a strict no tipping resort. Don’t bother to try it–your tip will be refused. I love it.
Miraval Arizona Female-Friendly
Finally, let me note that this is a very female-friendly resort. I dedicated a separate post to that topic.
> Read More: Miraval: The Only Man in The Village
The Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa is a beautiful resort in the Arizona desert. I appreciated the comfort of the room, resort amenities, and the excellent food. It’s not a very convenient place to get to, though. I also do not do very well in environments that encourage unplugging. Next time, we’ll return to the Hyatt Carmel Highlands.