I knew Miraval was a special place when my colleague had told me of how she became sober after attending Miraval’s equine experience in Arizona. I was intrigued enough that I had decided to book my Babymoon there back in 2019.
From NYC, it takes a full day of travel to get to Tucson which is why I had opted to transit through Chicago and spend a couple days there prior. Besides the food scene, what primarily drew me to Chicago was to catch the broadway Hamilton, as tickets were much easier to score than in NYC. (But now that it’s on Disney +, everyone should watch it there!)
Anyways, back to Miraval. As soon to be parents, I felt like Miraval would be the perfect place to connect with ourselves as we embarked on parenthood. Miraval is known for supporting individuals on their journey (not the destination) to creating a life in balance, something I knew we would need to embrace in this new stage of our lives.
The main highlight would obviously be the equine experience with the legendary Wyatt Webb. I like to say he’s more of a people whisperer, than a horse whisperer. Aptly named, “It’s not about the horse”, it really felt like his workshop was like twenty hours of intense group therapy packed into one experience. And what made this that much more special, was the intimate group who become so vulnerable with essentially a group of strangers. It’s really hard to put into words how life changing this could be, without first hand experience. So I’d encourage anyone, who is looking to address either general or more specific relationship issues to take this session. Otherwise, there are so many other great programming to take advantage of. Another favorite was the Aqua zen experience at the spa, where my body was stretched in floating water and left me feeling the lightest I’ve ever felt throughout my whole pregnancy.
Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to see Miraval’s expansion into Austin and now their new gem in the Berkshires. I often get asked what the differences are between the Miraval’s, and I have to say each is so unique to their own and shouldn’t be compared to one another. But the consistency lies in the people who make the experience. They bring so much knowledge and passion, that it’s really them who make it so special.
Miraval’s third opening in the Berkshires fared relatively well in a pandemic due to an increase in demand from the domestic market. They stayed busy throughout the summer and I was lucky enough to stay with them recently this winter.
My sister treated me to this getaway as she knew how much I missed being out on the road. We didn’t venture out too far, taking into account that as both new moms, we couldn’t be gone for too long. Only about 2 1/2 hours from NYC, it was such an easy drive. Coming from outside of MA, we were both required to take a COVID-19 test with a negative result taken no longer than 72 hours before our arrival.
We were truly impressed with all the safety precautions the hotel took. Upon arrival, the front desk was sanitized after each guest checked in and the rooms clearly communicated all the protocols they were taking to ensure the guests’s safety. We happened to arrive at the peak of the cold and unfortunately due to the weather, our first planned activity of hiking got cancelled. But Luke, who oversees the programming at Miraval, was gracious enough to take us on a personalized tour of the farm and barn where we could get up close and personal with the animals. (You have to go meet their adorable donkeys!)
Luke’s positive energy was contagious and we loved hearing his personal story and how he ended up at Miraval as well as learning all that he’s gained and learned from his own experience with Miraval. When I’m asked about my favorite hotels, it often stems from the people who made my stay. Not the bed or the amenities. (Although the bed at Miraval does feel like clouds!) And I have to say, this was the general consensus throughout our stay. It was the people and the passion they brought to the experience that made my stay so memorable.
There was a takeaway with every activity I participated in. Something as simple as the “Blend’ N Balance Smoothie” class opened up my eyes in how much nutrition we can absorb straight from the source instead of relying on medicine or processed foods. Infamous for not cooking, smoothies also introduced me on ways I can easily incorporate more nutrition for my growing baby as well.
Some other notable sessions were the Avian Adaptations by Jen and the Winter Elixirs by Nick. Both activities came highly recommended by the property and I can see why. Jen made us realize how much we can learn from animals and realize how connected we really are. While Nick was able to introduce us to a whole new world of infusion. I never considered myself to be a fan of bourbon until Nick showed us how to bring out the flavors by infusing it with all sort of herbs, spices and tinctures. Felt something along the lines of being in a potion class at Hogwarts.
As for the food, all meals are included in the stay (besides alcohol) so it makes sense to try one of everything. The chefs highlight local, seasonal ingredients and keeps it fresh. The highlight of our meals were always trying every ice cream flavor after each meal.
Although it was a short stay, it definitely left me wanting to come back for more and experience all that Berkshires has to offer. And now I feel as if I have friends who are locals who can share all their insider tips. As Miraval also has so many offerings, it can be difficult to navigate so that’s what I’m here for! At a time when it’s been a difficult time for many, Miraval is the wellness getaway we all need to bring perspective and most importantly gratitude.