Miraval Arizona – Dining, Activities and the Property
This is the second post about my four day stay at the Miraval Arizona in Tucson. Read about my arrival and stay in a Sunrise King Room here.
All meals and snacks are included with your room rate at Miraval. Note that if you want to order room service, there is a $20 charge.
There are three dining outlets at Miraval Arizona all in the center building: Cactus Flower, Coyote Moon, and Palm Court Cafe. There is also a bar at the pool.
The main restaurant is Cactus Flower and it serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. My understanding is that prior to COVID, breakfast and lunch were served buffet style. During my visit it was full table service for all meals.
I took nearly all of my meals at Cactus Flower on the outdoor patio.
Reservations are encouraged for dinner but breakfast and lunch are drop in. The dinner menu rotates daily though about half the options are are always available. All the food comes in small plates; I was encouraged to pick two starters and one entrée but you can do it however you want. You can also make up your own meal with a choice of proteins, greens, grains and sauce or add any of those to a menu item. There are always plant based options. Alcohol is an extra charge.
All of the food I had was delicious, fresh and mostly healthy. The food comes out quick once you order; I am guessing with the limited number of options, they have them prepared and then plate them when ordered. But it doesn’t feel like cafeteria food; it is flavorful and presented beautifully.
A few examples of the dishes:
The soups and desserts were particularly fantastic.
If you want a quick breakfast or lunch, the Palm Court Cafe is a cross between a Starbucks and smoothie bar.
There is grab and go sandwiches and fruit left out when the cafe closes. I am not a huge smoothie or coffee person; I did try a smoothie and they are quite healthy — don’t expect your fruity Jamba Juice options.
Coyote Moon is only open in the evenings. It serves the same food as Cactus Flower and also has a full bar. I never dined at Coyote Moon, but if you didn’t want to make reservations or didn’t want table service, this could is an option.
Spa and Pools
The Life in Balance Spa is located at the center of the property. The spa is open until 9pm while the pools are open 24 hours. Outside is the terraced pool area; starting at the top is a hot tub, then a small salt water pool, and finally the main large pool.
The spa building has large locker rooms with jacuzzi, steam room and sauna (turned off during COVID) and treatment rooms. Spa treatments are priced as you would expect from a high end spa, but you are able to use your resort credit for all treatments and there is no tipping. I used some of my resort credit on a 60 minute deep tissue massage that was $210.
Additionally there is a lap pool and hot tub at the Body Mindfulness Center located just above the Sunrise Rooms. There is also a full gym located int he BMC.
In addition to spa treatments, the Miraval offers a huge menu of both free and paid classes and activities. These include equestrian, challenge course, outdoor and indoor fitness, meditation, art therapy, bee keeping, cooking and educational lectures.
The one paid activity I signed up for was “All the Buzz”. For two hours our group met with the property bee keeper to learn about all things bee. We then donned protective suites and got up close with a colony. The cost for the course was $150 (I used the other half of my resort credit).
I took the Quantum Leap class in the challenge course where you climb up a 20 ft tall pole, balance on the top, and then jump off.
I also did a Mandala art therapy class, “Shoulders Set Free” physical therapy class, and a morning meditation. Typically I found one morning and one afternoon activity to be enough for me, but other people I talked with filled their day with four or five activities.
The best piece of advice is to sign up for the courses as soon as you can as the best ones do fill up. You of course can skip the activities altogether, but it is worth trying a few out — you can always cancel up until 4 hours ahead of time.
In addition to the challenge course, there are hiking and biking trails, a rock climbing structure, tennis courts and activity rooms.
The property is 400 acres, though most of the “developed” area can be covered in a 10 minute walk from one end to the other. It is well maintained and clean. It is relaxing to explore. Signs remind guests to relax as well as to keep your phones away. Art is placed around the resort. At night the property illuminated through up lighting; it gets dark but the paths are marked.
I found nearly all the staff to be professional and friendly. I talked a few times with the General Manager, Sheri, who has been with Hyatt for 20+ years. I bumped into her out in the back parts of the property taking photos of areas that she thought needed maintenance. She remembered my name and greeted me each time she saw me. The staff at the restaurants would remember my name and drink orders. You can tell that Miraval Arizona is a flagship property with high standards.
Guests are given the option of housekeeping on a daily basis (morning or afternoon) or less often if you want. During COVID they offer the option of skipping housekeeping altogether.
A number of people I spoke with during my stay were returning guests. The property is now 25 years old and clearly has some loyal customers. Miraval is a couple of steps up from Hyatt’s other all-inclusive brands (Ziva and Zilara). It will be interesting to see where Hyatt takes the brand; I have heard rumors of a Hawaii property and international options in the future. Mexico or Costa Rica would make a ton of sense to me.
With the Buy One Night, Get One Night Free points booking offer plus 25% points rebate, a stay at Miraval is a no brainer. I paid less than 17,000 points per night for a fantastic room, all my meals, activities and airport transfer. My bill upon check out was $33; I had one drink and my spa treatment was slightly more than my resort credit.
Have you visited one of the Miraval properties? What did you think?