"Bring the Spa Home: Challenge Yourself with Miraval" by Peter Greenberg Online
Dreaming of a summer escape at the spa? Even if you can't afford that five-star resort, you can recreate the spa experience at home...and not just with a DIY facial. We're talking about complete relaxation as well as personal growth. One tool to check out is Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa's new Mindful Living Miraval, a month-by-month guide to help you more fully celebrate each moment of your life.
"The power of challenge is that it takes you beyond your day-to-day norm," says Neil McLeod, head of the Outdoor Adventure Program at Miraval. For Miraval guests, this can mean leaping from a plate-sized disk 25 feet in the air, working their way across a desert tightrope, or climbing an oversized ladder with rungs five feet apart. Almost anyone would admit that these activities go beyond the day-to-day norm, but Neil, who worked as a river-rafting guide and with Outward Bound before coming to Miraval, expands his definition of challenge to include "anything that gets you out of your personal comfort zone. For some people the Equine Experience is a challenge. For others it might be something like the Spirit Flight, or even taking a fitness class like Zen Boot Camp that's going to throw you into a completely different kind of workout than you'd get back home."
"Best of the Best 2013: Spas: Miraval Life in Balance Spa with Clarins" by Mary Bemis
Opened in 1996, the Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., was a pioneer in the world of wellness. But in the years since the 400-acre spa resort debuted, first-rate spas that in many ways surpassed Miraval's own facility have sprouted up in resorts and city hotels worldwide. The completion of the new Miraval Life in Balance Spa with Clarins—which opened in May 2012 after a nearly yearlong transformation—has returned the 117-room resort to the fore of luxury spa destinations.
The transformative experience at the Life in Balance Spa begins long before you step inside a treatment room. The spa's soothing powers are evident at the entrance, where a long outdoor corridor welcomes visitors with the calming sounds of trickling pools and the fragrances of wild lavender and sage. Inside the 16,000-square-foot facility—designed by the Seattle-based architecture firm Mithun and New York's Clodagh Design—guests find tranquil treatment rooms, relaxation areas, and other nooks and alcoves that draw from the Sonoran Desert surroundings.
"A Spa With Just One Guest: You" by Andrea Petersen
Spas, even the most glamorous ones, can elicit their share of cringe-inducing moments. There's the awkward scene in the locker room. The forced "relaxation room" time with other robe-clad clients—some who want to party, others who want to sleep. Not to mention sauna etiquette conundrums (towel or no towel?).
Now, hotel companies are designing spas to give privacy-craving guests a spa of their own. These mini "spas within a spa" include their own bathrooms, showers, lounging areas and even Jacuzzis and steam rooms. People can pay to spend the day getting treatments and hanging out in a bubble of spa-suite seclusion.
Condé Nast Traveler Hot List: The Best New Spas of 2013
"Miraval Life in Balance Spa with Clarins, Miraval Resort & Spa"
What: An out-there, New Agey destination that chases massages and facials with chakra-reading seminars, holographic memory visualization, and healing ceremonies led by spiritual leaders—along with sunrise horseback rides and sunset drum circles. Overheard at the lap pool: "I felt like that psychic got me immediately."
The look: Slick but earthy—slate floors, walls of windows overlooking the snowcapped Santa Catalinas, and open fireplaces. The spa, gym, and juice bar are surrounded by cactuses and desert plants and have a bubbling hot tub and steaming pools.
"Journey to Peru with Miraval Resorts"
Pitched between the history pages of the Inca Empire in South America and the modern enclaves of Lima and Cuzco, Peru is a majestic bucket list destination that Miraval Resorts is proud to present as its Miraval Journey of the fall.
"Peru offers some of the world's most breathtaking visual, cultural and environmental treasures that inspire us to live life in the moment," CEO of Miraval, Michael Tompkins says, "which is exactly what Miraval Journeys sets out to accomplish."
Miraval offers a private 10-day tour of Peru, beginning in the culturally-rich city of Lima. Venture through ancient roads and broaden your historical palate with a city tour of the Plaza de Armas, Government Palace, the Cathedral, and the famed Larco Herrera Museum.
"The Miraculous Miraval" by Stacey Lane
When traveling throughout southern Arizona in mid March on a spring break I encountered a lovely discovery filled with personal exploration and bliss. The Miraval, located in northern Tucson, nestled in the Santa Catalina Mountains is a healing retreat dedicated to creating a new awareness topped with mindfulness. Mindfulness, a state of active and open attention to the present moment and where you will continually find yourself once upon the 400 acres this top rated all inclusive resort is perched.
The weekend I spent there was filled with experiences that incorporate the Miraval Life in Balance philosophy. Offerings included meditation and fitness classes, wellness lectures, workshops and a daily menu of activity options and challenges that guarantee an unforgettable experience. One of the things you will find with the Miraval is that not only do you have your own Aha moments, but you meet other people whose Aha moments create an everlasting impression on your own life.
"At Miraval spa, guests unhitch from stress, tackle biggest fears" by Kitty Bean Yancey
Oprah Winfrey had a big ahhhh! moment here, and Mel Gibson worked with cowboy-hatted therapist Wyatt Webb in the resort's famed "Equine Experience."
Miraval Resort & Spa draws celebrities who want to get their lives in balance or lose weight, but it also has gained a large following among the nation's wellness-minded.
Over President's Day weekend, Miraval was at capacity, and its renovated spa booked the most appointments in the resort's 17-year history. Thanks to more aggressive marketing and healthy word of mouth, Miraval is on the path to its best year ever.
The destination spa in the Sonoran Desert with the Santa Catalina Mountains as scenic backdrop is considered one of the finest, in the company of others that draw discerning U.S. spagoers including The Golden Door outside San Diego; Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico; and Canyon Ranch health resorts in Tucson and Lenox, Mass., to name a few. SpaFinder.com users recently anointed it their favorite destination spa in North America for the second year in a row, one of Miraval's many honors. It also was the 2012 SpaFinder favorite in the "Girlfriend Getaway/Bachelorette," "Going Solo" and "Outdoor Adventure" categories.
Miraval CEO Michael Tompkins says he gets "50 to 70 letters a month about how people's lives were changed" on more than 400 acres dotted with cactus and palm trees, gurgling stream and waterfalls, and chirping birds creating a soothing soundtrack. Guests range from groups of female friends, to couples relaxing, to the newly divorced or bereaved, to those trying to shed pounds or destructive habits.
"Just Your Type" by Dena Braun
Think back to when you first became attracted to the spa industry. Did you know all along that you would own your own spa? Did, in fact, the thought of working for someone else make you cringe? Were you overflowing wiht new ideas for a better spa and more innovative treatments? Finally, did you feel you were different from most everyone else in the industry? If your answer to each of these questions is yes, chances are you're a type E.
You may ask, "Type E—waht the heck is that?" After all, you're familiar with types A and B, but E? Type E individuals represent just 5% to 10% of the popluation and, according to experts, they have a different physiology, mental outlook and intuitive capacity from other people. The hallmarks of the type E personality are extreme creativity, energy, passion and risk-taking. E personalities are typically entrepreneurs, CEOs, athletes and artists.
It was through his work treating tens of thousands of individuals that psychotherapist Alex Giorgio "discovered" the E personality. Ever since, he has been bringing this new personality to light via seminars at places like Harvard, MIT and IBM—and at events like the Entrepreneur's Guide to Enlightenment, a four-day workshop held recently at Miraval Spa in Tucson, Arizona.
Facilitated by Girgio and his partner, Heidi Nobantu Saul, this workshop weaved practical education and Miraval's unique programming into a dynamic course. The goal was to help type E professionals balance their lives, create positive work environments with teams that mesh, and ultimately grow thier business.
"Cooking his way up the ladder at Miraval" by Kristen Cook
Justin Macy fooled his way into Miraval.
As a teen looking to earn money so he could pay for EMT courses, he called up the head chef of the exclusive resort and spa and asked for a job.
Macy figured he might have an in, since his mother worked there.
"I can do anything she can do," he brazenly said.
True, his mother did work in the Miraval Resort & Spa kitchen as a garde-manger, a cook who handles cold-food prep. And true, he had spent a fair amount of time there as a kid. What he failed to mention was that he preferred to hang out in the office. "I had no interest in cooking," he recalled.
Macy got the job. And he got punked. Regularly.
Once the longtime cooks realized his inexperience, they pulled all kinds of pranks. One doozy: They convinced Macy that the best way to clean mushrooms was running them through the dishwasher.
Not only did Macy stick it out, but the novice who spent several days cleaning and organizing the storeroom because he misunderstood what it meant to work pantry (he was supposed to be prepping the hot appetizer and salad stations) is now executive chef. He took over the post in September - 13 years after he started.
That's not a surprise to the chef who hired him.
"He was very eager to learn. He always asked for more," said Cary Neff, now vice president of culinary for Morrison Management Specialists, which provides food, nutrition and dining services to the health-care and senior-living industries.
"Stargazing at Miraval Resort" by Erika Allen
Just over 9,000 feet up Mount Lemmon in the Coronado National Forest sits the University of Arizona's SkyCenter, which houses the largest telescope in the southwest open for public observing. The university boasts an elite academic astronomy program, and the telescope is a Tucson treasure; scholars travel from around the world to spend an evening studying the far-off galaxies visible from the observatory.
The university recently teamed up with another of Tucson's big draws: the Miraval Resort & Spa, known for its experiential programming. Beginning in February, Miraval will offer its own, more grounded version of "space tourism," with excursions to the SkyCenter for stargazing, and to the university campus where visitors will be able to see some of the world's largest telescope mirrors being built.
"Reinvigorated!" by Beth Weitzman
Life is a marathon. But unlike a punishing 26-miler, the journey matters more than the finish. So if taking time to recharge seems "impossible," know this: Sourcing serenity is as easy as a quick trip to Tucson, Ariz., and a check-in to Miraval (miravalresorts.com). The luxurious destination spa lured me back, after two long years away, for the opening of its Life in Balance Spa With Clarins—the result of a new partnership between Miraval owners Steve and Jean Case (yes, the same Steve Case that co-founded AOL), and the namesake beauty brand. While it's likely you've been to this desert oasis—or have at least heard about it—erase your memories, as this ultramod addition exceeds all expectations.
Its mantra, "life-enhancing minimalism," informs all aspects of the revamped spa, and its luxurious environs a credit to renowned Mithun Architects and Clodagh Design. Stylish sustainability, shepherded along by a constellation of stunning indoor and outdoor spaces, seamlessly reconnects spa-goers to nature and nurture.