luxury travel experiences

Disconnecting to reconnect – the amazing world of Miraval comes to Austin

“You’ve got to be KIDDING me!”  That was my reaction when I checked into my room at Miraval and was handed a soft cloth ‘sleeping bag’ for my cell phone.

Just a short four hour flight from New York, Miraval shouldn’t feel that far away, but arriving there and being told that my constant electronic leash/companion/security blanket was going to have to stay in my room made me feel like I was on a different planet.  However, as instructed I set my intentions for my stay (break iPhone addiction, drink more water), threw on some yoga pants and flip flops and fully committed to the program.

Miraval is a well established spa and immersive wellness resort that recently opened their newest outlet in Austin, TX.  I was invited there as a guest to check out their programs and facilities in October.

Unlike some other wellness-focus resorts, Miraval does offer alcohol, making it a super popular option for bachelorette parties, mother/daughter getaways and other special and fun occasions.  However, there’s also plenty of space here for quiet meditation, holistic healing therapies and self reflection that make it perfect for those getting back to themselves after a life changing event.

The highlights of Miraval are plentiful – including amazing food and beverage outlets (all meals and non alcoholic beverages are included in your stay) that are thoughtfully located and offer delicious and healthful options throughout the day.  For example, one therapist suggested to me to grab a yogurt and granola on the way back to my room in the evening so that I could sleep late in the morning and not miss breakfast.  It was a great tip and the “grab and go” bar had plenty of other guilt free options for late night and early morning snacking.

The resort boasts two pools with phenomenal views; one more social with a great bar and cafe, and the other more intimate and quiet, located behind the spa.  And the spa!!! Definitely the centerpiece of the property, this lofted tranquil space defies description, after the magicians there render you speechless with their expert treatments, you curl up in a decadent lounger with a tea overlooking mountains and valley and have to fight to keep your eyes open – that’s how relaxed this place makes you feel.

The fitness and meditative offerings are too plentiful to enumerate; amongst the most popular are floatation meditation (done in the yoga barn where you are suspended from the ceiling on silk scarves), their “horse of a different color” equine therapy in which you finger-paint directly onto a horse’s flank, and guided visits of their working farm and apiary where you can literally pick what you’ll eat for dinner that night.

The rooms are spacious and airy, the food is nutritious, plentiful and lovingly prepared and the vibe is luxurious, contemplative and fun.

PS By the time I was zipping up my suitcase to go home, I was going as long as four hours without checking my emails!  I slipped that “cell phone sleeping bag” into my carry on to bring some of my newly found inner peace home with me.

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