Posts tagged destination spa
MIRAVAL - NOT JUST A SPA
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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining my sister-in-law to Miraval, a destination spa located in Tucson, Arizona.  I have to say I was skeptical that it could ever live up to my new high standards set by my trip to Mii amo.  However, I was more than pleasantly surprised.  I had a great time and returned home to my family quite relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to take on our family craziness with a smile on my face.

Miraval is not without its imperfections.  However, the pros far outweigh the cons.  This trip has confirmed for me how different each destination spa is, and how each spa caters to a different type of guest.  Miraval is awesome if you are traveling with family or friends.  There is a social vibe to it, where guests are comfortable dressing up for dinner and meeting in the bar for drinks.  It has around 150 rooms, so there are lots of people to meet.

 Miraval is much more than a place to unwind and rejuvenate.  If you want to work through personal problems, such as grief, divorce or life changes, then you need to go to Miraval.  They offer a plethora of therapy sessions.  You can have a private meeting with an actual medium who can help you communicate with deceased family.  You can meet with a horse therapist who can help you gain personal insight.  There is a session called Spirit Flight where the description of it makes me think that you are beaten with a feather until your demons leave.  There is obviously much more to it, but it is an example of the alternative therapy Miraval offers to individuals trying to heal.

You can’t discuss Miraval without mentioning their challenge course.  As part of their therapy session focus, Miraval offers guests challenges as a way to face and overcome fears in their lives.  You can walk a tight wire that requires you to trust your partner or fall.  You can jump off a pole 45 feet above the ground harnessed to a rope but scared nonetheless.  Miraval offers a zip line course as another way to face your fears.  These challenges are designed to help people gain confidence and trust in others once they return home.  

Miraval is large enough to accommodate guests with many different interests and needs.  In addition to the self healing focus, Miraval is also very attuned to the guest who is looking for physical growth and renewal.  They have a fabulous workout facility and lap pool.  There are numerous physical activity classes such as boot camp and hiking.  Their staff can also assist guests looking for nutrition, metabolism and exercise advise.

My personal favorite is Miraval’s Agave Center.  It is a cozy building that houses their meditation and yoga practice.  There are huge picture windows looking out to the Catalina Mountains.  I spent hours doing yoga and meditation - which is really an excuse to take long naps during the day.

The food is outstanding.  A different menu is offered each day.  I enjoyed every meal and never felt deprived.  They do list the calories which is way too much information for me.  The grounds are beautiful.  My room was huge and very well appointed.  Miraval has a new spa which is top notch.  I had wonderful spa services and spent much of my time there relaxing after my hard work at the Agave Center.  

Miraval also caters to the guests who just want to relax by the pool with a fruity drink in hand.  They have a few different pools.  They are beautiful, relaxing, and you can always find a few people floating on rafts.  There is also food and bar service at the pool.  With so many different activities, Miraval is great for a group of people with differing interests.  There is something for everyone.  

At first, the numerous choices to make can be overwhelming.  Each guest receives a book listing every activity offered each day of the week.  Everything Miraval offers is done very well, and there really are no bad choices.  The only real blemish on the trip was the spotty service.  The gentleman who gave us a tour seemed very checked out.  I also had two spa services canceled, and no real effort was made to help me reschedule them.  I wasn’t even told they were canceled until a few hours before the scheduled time.  If the guest cancels a service within 4 hours of the service, the guest is charged the full price of the service.  Such curtesy does not go both ways.  There were several other instances of spotty service, nothing that really affected my stay.  However, it was annoying enough to mention.  Overall, I loved my visit to Miraval.  It is a great destination spa, and I look forward to a return trip.

On my return home, I stopped at Canyon Ranch.  I had a tour of the resort and a fabulous lunch.  I am continually amazed at how different each spa is and how each spa caters to different needs of its guests.

Make your next trip to a destination spa, and call me to get the inside scoop on which spa is best for you at 314-608-4553 or julie@topflighttravels.com.

 

 
Mii amo - The Best Destination Spa
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This past December, during the increasingly stressful holiday season, I decided I needed a break - now!  Within 4 days, my bags were packed, and I was on a 5 am flight to Phoenix.  I rented a car from Enterprise and hit the road for Sedona. 

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I had decided to stay at a destination spa called Mii amo, which I am told is Native American dialect for "one's path, or journey."  I had quite a journey.  For 2013, Conde Nast's Travel & Leisure magazine rated Mii amo as the #1 spa in North America.   

The drive took about 2 hours but was so beautiful.  I had never been outside Scottsdale before this trip and now realize how much I was missing.  It is a beautiful drive.  

Mii amo is in Boynton Canyon.  While many destination spas have an Asian or fitness theme, Mii amo is located on Native American sacred ground and is very spiritual.  It is a "luxury spa experience where guests can find balance and harmony through our signature and traditional wellness therapies."  It was just what I needed.  There are only 16 casitas and more employees than guests.  

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When I arrived, I was greeted at my car and taken directly to my room.  I was told to focus on my needs and that they are there to meet my needs.  I put on my new Mii amo robe and slippers and headed straight for my first treatment.  Mii amo is all-inclusive and includes six spa treatments during your stay.  Before I arrived, the spa planned my "3-day Journey" with the body (spa), mind and spiritual treatments of my choice.  In addition to the typical spa treatments, Mii amo has such offerings as a Thai massage (I highly recommend), Dosha Balancing Wrap, Cranial Sacral, Meditation, wine tastings and Abhyanga Shirodhara (two therapists giving you a massage in sync).  I pretty much stuck to the basics, but every treatment was fabulous!  In addition to the six treatments included in your package, you can take as many fitness classes, escorted hikes in the red rocks and other "daily activities" as you can handle.  

Each day starts with  Intentions for the Day in the Crystal Grotto.  One morning I hiked with the most interesting group.  Every person had been to Mii amo multiple times.  One woman was on her 16th trip!  She goes twice a year, every year since she turned 40.  After the hike, it was so wonderful to slip back into my robe, have some lunch, steam and another treatment.  When not in treatments, I usually sat by the enormous fire next to the indoor pool catching up on my magazines or taking a nap. 

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The food is incredible.  Everyday, there are completely different menus.  The spa rotates these menus on a weekly basis, so you are never offered the same food twice.  Everything I ate was wonderful.  You don't go to Mii amo to lose weight.  They don't advertise their food, but they should.  It is divine. 

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Each evening, when I returned to my room, I found the lights  dimmed, the bed turned down, spa music on, fire lit and a present on my bed!  Each night they put a present on each guest's bed.  I received a journal, a Mii amo logo carry-on bag and bundled sage to burn.  With each return visit, the gifts become more elaborate and expensive.  On my visit, someone found a full size suitcase on her bed!

On my third morning, I had one last treatment before hitting the road for Phoenix.  It was such a wonderful trip, and I was able to enjoy Christmas in such a relaxed state.  Although skipping town right before Christmas might not be in the cards again, I will definitely be back to Mii amo.  Maybe in the Fall.  I hear it is one of the best times to visit. 

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