I had such a great time on the weekend getaway I took with my husband Don to The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona earlier last month that I decided to head back again just last week for a little more desert R&R. I booked three nights at Miraval, a spa resort located just outside of Tucson, Arizona for a solo retreat. I’ve enjoyed traveling solo since I officially became an “adult” in my late teens, even taking myself on day trips and overnighters along the east coast when I was in college. As much as I love traveling with my husband and family, there is something uniquely special about solo travel. It allows me an opportunity to explore, learn, and grow in a way that only venturing outside the comforts and routines of home can do. When I choose to go on a solo trip, it’s usually due to the need to reconnect with myself. Whether I know it in the planning stages or not, this always becomes apparent at some point in my travels.
I’ve been to Miraval twice before, although my last trip was six years ago now. It is such a beautiful place, both literally and figuratively. The resort is set in an isolated (and super quiet) location, surrounded by gorgeous desert scenery, flora and fauna. I saw deer, rabbits, coyotes, and even a roadrunner during my stay! The grounds are stunning, with each building styled in subtle ways and widely spaced so as not to interfere too much with the natural landscape. The design of both the grounds and interiors are beautiful yet simple, allowing you the opportunity to enjoy without feeling overstimulated or overwhelmed by too much fussiness. The food is outstanding, made with the freshest ingredients. It’s the most indulgent “health food” I’ve ever had anywhere! The portions are appropriately sized to allow you to savor the flavors without overdoing it. The spa and pool area, both of which have been completely renovated since my last visit, are sanctuaries of tranquility. I have yet to have a less than stellar treatment there!
There is a lot of flexibility in how you can treat your stay at Miraval between all of the many physical and emotional well-being activities offered on a daily basis. There are exercise and yoga classes, guided meditations, hikes of all levels and intensities, seminars, and one on one consultations, just to name a few. Just look at one day’s offerings and you can see how much one can experience when at Miraval! Of course, everything is elective, meaning you can plan your own schedule to reflect your unique needs. Some people like to have jam-packed days filled with classes and experiences to learn from, while others prefer to spend their days quietly, resting by the pool, at the spa, or in the stunningly appointed rooms. I fall somewhere in the middle, opting for a few activities peppered with plenty of quiet time and spa treatments during my stay. One of my favorite parts about the Miraval experience is that I can have the best of both worlds there between outward and inward exploration. That is why I keep going back and will continue to do so whenever I am able.
While it is certainly on the more expensive side, staying at Miraval does include all meals and snacks with buffet offerings for breakfast and lunch and a new menu each night for dinner. There’s a great smoothie bar that puts out the most delightful cookies everyday after lunch, as well. Cookies at a spa resort? Yes, please! They are tiny, but delicious, and fall perfectly in line with Miraval’s approach to healthy nutrition: eat well and enjoy, just don’t overdo it. Most of the activities are also included in the price, with some additional charges for special offerings. For instance, I participated in the Equine Experience, which cost an extra $45. I would have gladly paid thrice that amount or more for that experience! Spa services are not included in the price, but most packages offer a nightly resort credit that can be applied to treatments. So, while it is pricey, you can really get a lot of bang for your buck if you make good use of your resort credits and activity selections. Plus, the experience is such a unique and amazing one that if I can swing it, I will book it, no question!
I share a bit from each day in this slideshow of pics I snapped with my iPhone (so handy for travel!) during my trip:
I did vlog a bit throughout my stay and go into more detail about my trip in the video below:
I hope you enjoyed this look at my solo retreat to Miraval last week. I feel so blessed to have been able to experience the beauty of the desert twice this year already. Arizona holds a special place in my heart and I know I will return again and again to experience the healing power of the desert.
* This is not a sponsored post. I am not affiliated with Miraval. I paid for all of my travel expenses. *