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Miraval has a number of outdoor pools one for lap swimming, one for watsu and another – shown here in the spa – for lounging and lunching


First person: Liz Terry, Editor, Spa Business


M


y fi rst impression of Miraval is of a place with a sense of


purpose. It’s a resort which is being reborn, as the shiny new Clodagh-designed facilities – which suit the location so perfectly – replace the original much-loved, but dated, parts. I stayed in an older-style room which is scheduled for an upgrade and although it was spacious, comfortable and clean, things like wonky wooden louvre doors on cupboards don’t make the grade these days and it will be great when the last of the old has been swept away. The day at Miraval starts at dawn, with a range of desert hikes which ensure you’ve had a good dose of stretching, cardio and fresh air before breakfast. Personal choice reigns and guests are encouraged to go at their own pace, so some I met were undertaking activities on the hour every hour, while others were stretched out by the pool with a good book.


I mixed treatments, activities, classes and educational sessions and met quite a few peo- ple who were there to learn how to take better care of themselves so they could cope with stress – effectively seeking a body manual for living and carrying bulging folders of notes. The new spa is simply beautiful, with great spaces and facilities. I had a mixed bag with the treatments – one of the best massages I’ve ever had, for example, but also a very average one. However, I understand the ethos of Miraval is to match guest and therapist with care and I arranged my second treatment on impulse without time for consultation, so this could ex- plain the less than great fi t with the therapist. There’s an occasional lack of attention to detail in housekeeping: the tea tray which was so kindly brought to me on my late arrival was still in my room when I checked out, for exam- ple, but there’s so much right about Miraval it would be churlish to dwell on this. Overall I enjoyed the experience tremen-


dously. The service is friendly and effi cient, the place spotless and the location – with the wild desert and the backdrop of the mountains right


outside your door – takes you out of yourself and connects you with nature at the very deep- est level. There’s even a juice bar that squeezes to order: my idea of heaven. I opted for the Equine Experience – time spent with a small group, a horse and a thera- pist in a quest for self-knowledge – and found it extremely thought-provoking and unusual. A friend who’s also experienced it remarked to me that anyone who had would always remember it and I agree completely. Being in the desert, it’s unrealistic for Miraval


to offer organic food, and although the food’s beautifully presented and delicious, I was a little disappointed by the lack of whole foods. However, when I queried this, I was told almost all guest are on special diets, so had I asked, it would have been provided. I’m going back to Miraval soon for an update and am looking forward to it tremenously.


From Spa Business Issue 4 2012, p60


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