When Hyatt announced that Miraval was joining the World of Hyatt program, Laura and I pounced on the opportunity to use some Hyatt points at the property. While normally for two people it would cost 65,000 points for two persons per night for the all-inclusive resort, Hyatt is running an excellent promotion that rebates 50% of your points of your reservation, plus gives you $175 per person towards on-property activities during your stay. As a Globalist member, I was anxious to see how the benefits translated at the property for our one night stay.
A Stay at Miraval Resort, in Tucson, Arizona
Location and Arrival
While often Miraval is said to be in Tucson, it’s actually about 40 minutes north of town in Oro Valley, Arizona. The resort provides free transportation to and from Tucson airport (50 minutes), but we’re located in Scottsdale full-time so we just drove the two hours to the property, arriving around 9:20 AM.
The entrance is pretty non-descript, with just a simple sign. A drive up to the gate prompted us to buzz the intercom with our names. Only then did the gates open to the resort.
Entering the property, there’s a short driveway around an impressive fountain to the circular valet area. A woman came out and met us at the car, where she took our keys and asked us which bags we’d like in our room. No need to unload them from our car!
Inside we found the lobby area, which is a part of one of the larger activity complexes at Miraval. It consists of the lobby, departure area and store, Cactus Flower restaurant, Palm Court Café, Brave Bill Lounge, and some activity rooms.
There were two agents hustling around at check-in, so it took a minute or two to be seen. They confirmed with us at the desk our pre-booked activities, while handing us our welcome amenity of a refillable water bottle and tote bag, with a booklet of property activities inside. It took some prompting from me to ask about Globalist benefits, namely the suite upgrade and 4 PM checkout. I give them a break here, because the partnership is literally brand-new, but the agent found us an upgrade, so all smiles here! The room wasn’t quite ready, but no matter. The resort has hundreds of free and paid activities per week, and we had our day already planned out.
But First, Breakfast
We had some time before our first 10 AM activity, so we caught the tail-end of breakfast. The resort is all-inclusive for food (alcoholic drinks and some activities extra), so I was curious how the resort handled the food portion of the experience.
The Cactus Flower restaurant is the main dining room, and is where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served. Breakfast consisted of a menu with several made-to-order items and drinks like coffee and fresh-squeezed juices.
Then, there’s a buffet that you can use as your meal or to supplement the made-to-order items. Everything is made from scratch at Miraval, and from local ingredients whenever possible. The quality of the ingredients shone through, and the skill at preparation and presentation of the food was outstanding.
I ordered a fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and an avocado toast to start. Then, I went in to check out the buffet. The offerings changed daily, but things like vegan spinach scrambles, huevos rancheros, and other items could be had. Not surprising at a wellness resort, each item had a serving indicator with calories, proteins, carbs, fats, and nutrients next to it.
It’s all-inclusive, so when we were done, there was no bill to sign.
Our First Activity
Since I had a broken foot during our stay, Laura had to be the one to test out most of the exercise activities. Luckily, Miraval promotes a “whole body” wellness concept, so meditation and mental well-being is just as important to them. Therefore, there were lots of classes to teach us about how to manage stress through various methods. Our first chosen activity, free and not requiring pre-booking, was the “Mindful Stress Mastery” class, over 1 1/2 hours long in the property’s yurt building.
The class was outstanding, and enlightening for us novices. I can’t recommend the class enough, and it featured a good primer to what sort of mindset we needed for the rest of our stay.
But We Needed Lunch, Too
Meditation can bring on an appetite, and with our next activity not until 2 PM, we tried out lunch in the Cactus Flower restaurant. Keep in mind, the resort also features the Palm Court Cafe for breakfast and lunch, but it’s a “grab and go” style place in case you don’t have enough time between activities.
Lunch had no menu, but each day there was a special made-to-order plate. The first day was salmon.
I elected for the buffet.
Again, the food impressed.
To the Room
With some time to kill before our 2 PM activity, we decided to see if our room was ready. Luckily enough, it was, and we received our keys to room 419, located in a quiet corner of the resort next to the tennis courts.
The room we were upgraded to was absolutely massive. Entering you had two doors to either side of you.
One door led to your own personal exercise room, which I can only assume is also used for in-room massages. I actually had a chance to use the exercise bike, and thought this was such a cool amenity!
The other door led to the guest bathroom.
Then, the living room, which featured a wet bar with fridge, couch, chairs, a television, as well as a fireplace.
Further on was the patio, which overlooked the Santa Catalina Mountains. It had several chairs, but it’s summer in Arizona so we didn’t use it.
Then the bedroom, which had a gigantic closet, king bed, television, and sitting area. Near the sitting area was a Tibetan bowl and meditation pad for quiet in-room contemplation if you wanted.
Further on was the bathroom, with two sink basins, a small shower, the toilet, and an excellent spa tub with jets.
Absolutely one of the best upgrades we’ve ever received. Looking at the resort’s website, the room retails for over $420 more than our originally booked room.
Time For More Food
Next up was our 2 PM sauce making class, held in the resort’s kitchen. This 45-minute class took $45 of our $175 resort credit (each), but were very happy with the value. Led by the resort’s chef, we learned how different flavors are created and how easy it would be to replicate at home.
Laura even participated in the cooking of the salsa, which was later served in the Brave Bill Lounge. Absolutely delicious, and we even met the farmer that farms many of the ingredients. Served with the salsa was a Paso Robles syrah, which was outstanding. At the end of our recipe making, the chef grilled up some ribeye to serve with the salsa and wine.
We stopped by later in the Brave Bill to see our creation on display!
Then, a Nutrition Consultation
While Laura participated in a barre class, I took part in a nutritional consultation, which was $150. So, that maxed out my activity budget for the trip, but it was incredibly enlightening. They measured my body’s bone mass, muscle, fat, and water content, and then constructed a meal plan for me to lose some weight before our wedding. Above all else, the team was incredible knowledgable and I felt the value was there. It’s definitely something I wouldn’t have thought to pay for on my own- Laura even got hers done the next day.
Time To Stretch
Next, we went to the “Stretch and Relax” class, which I was happy to be able to participate in despite my foot problem. I’ve done stretching classes in the past, and I felt our instructor was great at telling us what we should be feeling to prevent injury.
Afterwards, we washed up for dinner. That night, the resort was having a “Lunar BBQ” in honor of the full moon, which we had to see before heading to our dinner reservation at Cactus Flower.
Dinner at Cactus Flower
Cactus Flower dinner requires pre-sign up. I’m sure that if you forgot to sign up, that you could walk in too, but we managed to find a time at 7:15. If you want a free glass of wine, consider the 7 PM “group dinner,” where you’d be seated with some fellow resort guests.
The dinner had several appetizers to order and some entrées. We were encouraged to order as much as we liked, but were suggested to order two appetizers and one entrée, as well as a dessert.
Butternut Squash Soup
Bread and Jalapeño Butter
The food, plating, and service were great! It’s hard to find fine dining in Arizona, but Miraval certainly delivers.
Day 2 began with a TRX class for Laura while I headed to breakfast. We then took part in the 11 AM “Mindfulness at Miraval” class, taught by the same lecturer as the stress reduction class the day previous. Again, an outstanding class and a highlight of our time at the resort. Afterwards Laura participated in her nutritional training.
We then grabbed some lunch. Today’s offering was a chicken dish, which was great!
We had planned on using the pool after lunch, but with thunder and lightning in the distance, and a drive back to Phoenix, we decided it was better to get on the road.
The check out process was quick enough, but no valet was sent for our car once we checked out, which resulted in us sweating for a few minutes waiting around. If I were to make one comment on the resort, I feel that the front desk agents need a bit more training. Other hotels I wouldn’t think anything of it, but at a $1,000+ per night hotel, I expect seamlessness.
Overall, Miraval is an excellent addition to the Hyatt portfolio. While it is more expensive on points, the $175 per night credit and 50% cost reduction this summer is entirely worth it. I got way more value out of this one-night stay than any of my Category 7 redemptions around the world, including the Park Hyatt Sydney or Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme. Miraval is truly a special place, and worthy of a special weekend away.
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