I recently had the opportunity to attend a work retreat at Miraval Arizona in Tucson. I am in the wellness industry myself, but had never been to a wellness resort before — I was always hesitant to spend the money or put myself in a situation where I felt I would be limited or too regimented.
The staff at Miraval from the very beginning were professional, welcoming, and overly eager to help guide you through your journey. Being the busy Type A person that I am, I ignored half of the emails and booked a few spa appointments and just figured I’d sit by the pool and relax between services.
I arrived on a Monday afternoon and there was a friendly Miraval staff member waiting to collect our things and drive us to the resort. Upon arrival, they kept our bags and told us they’d be waiting in our rooms when they were ready. Check-in was welcoming and efficient, and I was quickly off to the only restaurant for lunch. While I prefer a long breezy lunch over a glass of rosé on vacation, this felt more like a standard hotel restaurant. The food was healthy and the staff accommodating, but otherwise it was not overly impressive. You can order wine or cocktails though, if your “wellness journey allows” – mine did, of course, and that is an extra fee. Conveniently, though, it is all-inclusive, and no tipping is allowed throughout the entire resort.
This was truly a breath of fresh air for me. No worrying about carrying a wallet or filling out room charges. There was a grab-and-go café that was honestly the best part of the resort in my opinion. I opted to grab a breakfast sandwich two of my three mornings and got fabulous coffee and snacks at my convenience. There is a bar that serves a decent bar menu, and you can order from your room as well for an additional fee. The pool offers a nice poolside service, and that is where we spent a lot of our time relaxing.
The resort itself is lovely and very expansive. It could use some updating, but overall everything you need is there and the rooms are well appointed. The real beauty is the majestic mountains that are visible from almost everywhere; they are especially gorgeous from the balcony of the spa.
Speaking of the spa, it’s truly the heartbeat of this resort. Every service provider and staff member was incredibly knowledgeable and talented. I enjoyed every service I had, and their menu is truly impressive. The best part: No tipping, no checking out, and the amenities are lovely and comprehensive. The mountain vista is breathtaking and enhances the relaxing nature of the journey.
You’re encouraged to keep your cell phone in a “sleeping bag” and are reminded at every turn to pause, breathe, and connect with yourself. You don’t realize how dependent you are on your phone until you enter “no phone zones.” This was a gentle but powerful reminder that we need to slow down and look up more often.
By Day Two, I was starting to feel the effects of being in “Miraval Mode” and decided to sign up for a few classes. The next thing you know, I’m in a yurt having a “past life regression.” Many of my colleagues loved the swinging meditation and other activities such as trail running, equine therapy, clay making, sound bowls, smoothie classes, and other very unique and transformative experiences.
On the last day of my journey at Miraval, I decided to meet one-on-one with both an energy healer and medium. This is where my retreat went from lovely to life-altering.
My class with the energy healer was called Your Soul Journey, and I went in with an open heart and mind and no expectations. The healer was a lovely and extremely fit woman in her 60s, and I was immediately at ease with her. She detected with great accuracy my lower back and right leg pain and took steps to heal it. She sensed my frenetic life pace and offered meaningful meditation practices to help me achieve a more balanced approach to my days and used her intuition to pick up on some of my favorite activities, like swimming, dancing, and writing, and told me to get back to it. She knew things about me that I had long forgotten and inspired me to incorporate more of those joys back into my daily life.
The medium, who is recognized as one of the best in her field, was a beautiful older woman who you immediately knew was a special soul. She greeted me warmly and with a hug. She walked me back to the room and shared things about her family and made me feel instantly at home. I had been warned to bring tissues and that she was keenly accurate with her readings. I was hoping to hear from my father, who passed years ago, and he came through right away. She quickly scribbled names of long-lost aunts, uncles, and grandparents and was able to know their personalities as well.
Whether you believe it or not, there is an undeniable comfort in thinking your loved ones have arrived safely to the other side and are watching over you. She helped answer questions regarding business and family here on Earth and offered many positive and reassuring messages to help with my future endeavors. I left her feeling lighter than I had in a very long time, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Miraval’s logo is “Life in Balance,” and they live it from start to finish. Your soul and spirit are their priority, and it is a remarkable feeling to be so loved by people you’ve never met before. The quality of the programming and the staff is hard to qualify with enough enthusiasm; they are walking the walk for sure at Miraval.
If you’re reading this, I encourage you to take a few days and go on a wellness journey of your own and take some time to reconnect to the “you” that lies within. We live in a world filled with so much information and noise, that unplugging from the grid and having the opportunity to curate a wellness journey that is uniquely yours is a gift that keeps on giving.
I’m looking forward to getting back into Miraval Mode again!