As winter temperatures rise in the Lone Star State and the sun sets a little later, Texans anxiously await spring’s arrival and blankets of bluebonnets for miles. This iconic state wildflower colors the landscape between mid-March and April, while teaching us lessons about resilience through nature.
Even after the harshest of freezes, the hardy flower emerges from the ground and reaches toward the sun. What better way to celebrate than to immerse yourself in a world-class wellness experience at Hyatt’s Miraval Austin Wellness Resort and Spa.
A mere 30 minutes northwest of Austin, bordering Lake Travis and the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Miraval Austin is perched at one the most pristine and unspoiled areas with an Austin zip code. Taking in the beauty of the season, guests enjoy clusters of bluebonnets nestled along native stone pathways lining a collection of farmhouse-modern architecture. Reflection pools, peaceful fountains, fire pits, labyrinths, and sculptures abound. Hammocks gently sway beneath a canopy of oak trees providing shade and shelter, so you can truly unplug and commune with nature. Miraval is designed to disconnect from the daily grind while becoming digitally mindful in device-free zones. Put your cell phone to sleep in its own little bed (they even give you a “cell phone sleeping bag” at check in), as you sink into your luxurious private suite overlooking the Hill Country.
In addition to their full service spa and ample space for relaxation, Miraval Austin (there are two other Miravals in the US: Arizona and The Berkshires of Massachusetts) offers what feels like endless options of activities.
Voted a 2021 World’s Best winner by Travel & Leisure and Reader’s Choice Award by Conde Naste Traveler, Miraval Austin completely nourishes your body, mind, and spirit. Emerge from Miraval in full bloom, after soaking up a few extra special offerings at their Bluebonnet Festival, now through March 31st.
Begin your visit with the Bluebonnet Festival’s Wildflower Meditation Experience in Miraval’s Serenity Garden. This walk through the wildflowers invites you to be fully present, practicing gratitude, while ending with a peaceful meditation in the center of a natural sanctuary.
Continue your mindful practice at the Life in Balance Spa, by pampering yourself with the Bluebonnet Festival’s featured Signature Petal Pecan Pedicure, featuring organically grown products from Miraval Austin’s own farm. A scrub of crushed local rose petals smooths out the rough spots, while a mask of honey, peaches, pecans, and chamomile rejuvenates your skin and delights the senses. Finish off your treatment with a “sole massage,” and you will be ready to relax by the crackling fireplace over a healthy five-star dinner at Hilltop Crossings Kitchen. Also available as part of the Bluebonnet Festival are the Essence of Miraval Facial (featuring the seed-to-bottle Miraval Skin Collection by Laurel Skin) and Miraval Grounding Massage (which focuses on head, hands and feet; really, what more do you need?)
Outside of scheduled spa services, don’t forget to soak up all the spa amenities at any time during your stay. Bring some reading material to unwind before a wall of windows in the Quiet Room, and pack a swimsuit to soothe your tired muscles in the hot tub (both indoor and out), sauna, and steam room. Load up on vitamin D as you lounge by the outdoor (heated) infinity pool, and ramp up your circulation with a few refreshing laps.
Miraval’s other featured offer for the Bluebonnet Festival is all about tapping into your creative side and finding beauty in imperfections. The traditional Japanese pottery class, “Kintsugi,” at nearby Cypress Creek Farm, where the bluebonnets also thrive. Kintsugi involves reassembling shattered pieces of pottery with a rich, gold lacquer. While you cannot bring home the bluebonnets, you can create this keepsake, reminding you to embrace your own imperfections while putting the pieces back together into something beautiful. While the Kintsugi class is exclusive to the Bluebonnet Festival at Cypress Creek Farm, you may also elect to learn about raising chickens, bee-keeping, and honey tasting.
Back at the main retreat, choose from a wide array of classes including slow-flow yoga, floating meditation, reiki, equine therapy, pilates (try a reformer), and even nature hiking through the nearby preserve. Tune into the moon and stars through guidance on astrology, tarot, or mindfulness beneath the night sky. Get outdoors to try your hand at hatchet throwing, and stay tuned for the up and coming Hill Country challenge course for a total body workout.
Or, sharpen your culinary skills by learning to build a tasty and thoughtful charcuterie board, expand your wine-tasting horizons, or learn how to make your own sweet and healthy treats from the resort’s own registered dietitian.
Your all-inclusive stay includes three meals daily with flexible dining times and both indoor and outdoor seating options. Prepare your taste buds for bursts of flavor with healthy seasonal dishes such as the Winter Salad, with roasted sweet potatoes, candied pecans, chevre, and honey dijon vinaigrette. The Hemp Seed Meatballs are served with zucchini noodles and a balsamic reduction. And the Tamales include local favorite poblano peppers, roasted mushrooms and ancho mole. Protein lovers can make the rounds with dishes such as Marsala Chicken, perfectly Grilled Sirloin sourced from nearby 44 Farms, and Antelope with cauliflower puree and fresh berries.
For breakfast, items can be ordered from the menu, but most opt for the buffet-style dining with evolving selections to provide for plenty of variety and opportunities to sample new foods. The Migas seem to be everyone’s hot breakfast favorite for sure, so be on the lookout for this treat. Lunch is buffet-only.
No matter how you customize your Miraval visit, the resort specialists will assist you in customizing an itinerary to feed your body, mind, and spirit with the key ingredients you need to leave the gates of this life-altering place and continue to bloom into the world. While any time at Miraval is magical, don’t miss the most wonderful time of the year in this neck of the woods to bask in the wildflowers and make lifetime memories.
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Cover photo courtesy Miraval Austin
Contributing writer Dana Kent Maass is an occupational therapist who lives with her husband Brian and dog Chester in Round Rock, TX. Also an AirBNB host, she is a lover of travel, food & wine, nature, fitness, theater, music, and community service. Maass volunteers with Sacred Heart Community Clinic and co-facilitates the “Still Standing” amputee support group, through St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center. Follow her on Instagram at dana_maass_adventures.