Miraval-Oct2014-Rach-Gina-smPassing through the gates at Miraval, one experiences an honest, authentic and almost unexplainable feeling of calm that takes over the body.  All of the stress of schedules, appointments and to do lists somehow magically disappear simultaneously with the gates closing. And it happens every time. My car seems programmed to stop immediately for my first wildlife spotting – Mr. Turtle.  I am always delighted to see him and even more so if I am bringing a first time guest.

Then it’s on to the warm, sincere, “lots of staff remember your name” greeting.  I know from that point on, it’s genuine smiles all the way and I honestly don’t have to carry a single thing unless I want to.  There is nothing harried, hectic, stressful or disconcerting about check-in. It’s handled – behind the scenes, in front of your face, all around you.  It’s just all good and that stress feeling you leave as you passed through the gates is impossible to conjure up.

On to the rooms.  Upon arrival at the room,  shoes come off and one falls into the welcoming arms of “THE BED.” The bed with a six inch thick down comforter and pillows to match. The bed with the mattress that makes it virtually impossible to not sleep well. The comfort bed that keeps on giving. Sometimes I think I spend a little too much time there being mindful!

Please stay with me as I attempt  to succinctly capture some of the other magical moments at Miraval without writing a book – bear with me.

The Spa Services: Five Stars to the  Restorative Deep Tissues Massage.  Trust me.  My daughter Katie is a massage oficionado. Her standards are honestly second to none. I scheduled her a massage with Manny, held my breath until she came out and was thrilled by her experience. “It’s the BEST massage I have ever had – ever.”  And she meant it.

If there is such a thing as Six Stars  that would be the Emerginc Organic Facial. Of course Mrs. Green would love this! It’s 100% organic, paraben  free and “I can attest to the results-oriented facial.”  For both my daughter Rachel & I, the time flew by, our  entire bodies relaxed and our skin glowed. We also appreciated that we weren’t advised to buy ten products. We did, however, appreciate what was recommended for purchase and why.

The Activities:  For my recent visits, my daughters and I attended three. Mindful Relationships with Anne Parker; Calm the Mind, Open the Heart: Discover the Ancient Ways of Healing with Pam Lancaster, and The Path to Peace about Money by Molly Stranahan. I could write in-depth entire paragraphs about each one. I learned from each one of them, I took copious notes which I have actually read and re-read and I would attend each one of them again because they were that good. You can’t absorb all that they have to share in one session and yet there were concrete takeaways and each led to more discussion through our experience at Miraval. My daughter Rachel and I wanted to repeat our session with Molly and hope to do that at some point in the future.

Miraval-Oct2014-food2-smThe Food – a picture is worth a thousand words. I took so many that I started driving people a little nuts. But the food is delicious, nutritious, beautifully presented in small, satisfying portions and delightful to photograph.  How do the Miraval chefs and their assistants delight their guests with variety and healthy meals and treats each and every day?  They are legend AND award-winning.

The Setting:  Nestled in a beautiful valley outside of Tucson, everywhere you look you see the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains. The grounds are spectacular, the wildlife sightings frequent and exciting and the art work and sculptures should be on your “take time to appreciate them all” list.  There really and truly are no words that adequately articulate how the very setting of Miraval itself almost demands intentional mindfulness – to live in the present moment.

And so we did. For anyone reading this who has not experienced the magic that is Miraval, I highly recommend placing a visit very high on your bucket list. And I would LOVE to hear your comments on my blog if you have a magical, mindful experience to share.