#TravelTuesday: Great Escape — Miraval Austin

by Marika Flatt on February 9, 2021 in Travel, Austin,
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In the Texas Hill Country west of Austin, with an unassuming stone gate, you give your name to an attendant via a speaker and are let into an exclusive property. Miraval Austin, now owned by Hyatt, is all about
intentional
health for mind, body and spirit. 

Note that at the time of writing this article, wearing masks at Miraval Austin is required for all indoor classes and spaces. You are allowed to take your mask off at your dining table. You’ll find hand sanitizer throughout the property. But, most important, you’re encouraged to really slow down and notice the beauty around you, such as the birds singing in the trees and the rosemary growing along the path.

Miraval Austin is about creating a life in balance, healing the whole self, and engaging in the present moment. Photo James Baigrie

Design your personalized itinerary upon arrival with the concierge (aka Experience Planner), if you didn’t do so beforehand. You must sign up for all activities. Keep in mind that it’s great to try classes that you’ve never experienced but don’t fill up your schedule so that you can’t enjoy the property and the downtime at the pools. You’ll also sign up for dining reservation times.

Peaceful In Room Vibes

We all know how important sleep is to our overall health. The beds at Miraval are like soft clouds, sinking into their marshmallow abandon. Honestly, the Princess & The Pea that I am when it comes to beds was quite impressed; the slumbering perfection makes it hard to roll out when your alarm goes off to make your first class. 

Miraval’s peaceful rooms are quiet sanctuaries for guests to pause and reflect before, between, and after activities. Rooms at the Miraval include the Dreamcatcher and Hill Country rooms. Or, consider a suite. Photo James Baigrie

I also loved the large stone-tiled open showers in the bathroom, the dimmed lighting and the porch overlooking the forest. But the cutest part of the room was the cell phone sleeping bag which tucks snugly in the wooden cell phone bed on the chest-of-drawers. 

Healthy Dining on Deck

The restaurant is called Hilltop Crossings Kitchen, a throwback to the original property which was a wellness retreat called The Crossings (later, followed by Travaasa).

Just as with any good restaurant, you’ll check in with the hostess and be seated (eat on the back deck if weather permits). You’ll be given a paper menu which is broken down into small plates, entrées and desserts. The food is fresh, healthy, delicious and hearty—you will not feel like you’re being denied as with some health retreats. 

Conscious cooking is at the core of how Miraval Austin approaches food. Relish seasonal menus, cooking demonstrations, and immersive workshops with tips for pleasing the palate, balancing the body, and minimizing food waste. Photo James Baigrie

At breakfast, try the avocado toast or the vegan chocolate chip banana pancakes (that are truly a luscious dessert). For lunch, enjoy a starter of smoky pumpkin hummus, followed by mushroom fajita tacos and end with a chocolate pecan tart. At dinner, enjoy a starter of burrata, served with fresh tomatoes, toasted walnuts and berries on the side, to top on grilled sourdough.

Other dinner entrées feature hemp seed meatballs (vegetarian) served with zucchini noodles, a hearty mushroom risotto full of flavor, or chicken served with hominy grits and sautéed farm greens, followed by a chocolate date pie. Another dinner option would be a small plate of antelope bruschetta, followed by a striped bass entrée and ending with a berry cobbler.

Class Action

Here are a few of our favorite classes, workshops and activities:

Low Back Love

Hop in the van and drive a short distance down to the farm which includes a garden, the chicken coop and the beautiful Cedar Creek that runs behind the property. There are aerial A-frame setups where you’ll be guided through a basic aerial class to do inversions and monkey poses, basically hanging upside down to take the pressure off your lower back. You’ll stretch out and give your lower back that love it needs while listening to the babbling brook and the clucking chickens.

The Cypress Creek Farm near Miraval is as environmentally “weird” as Austin itself, with its diversity of plants and produce that are beyond organic. When you visit the farms, you get the opportunity to meet the farmers, meet the hens that provide the fresh eggs served every morning, and even have the option of taking courses in chicken keeping and mushroom cultivating. Photo James Baigrie

Yin Reiki

Within this yin yoga class, you will do only three basic stretching poses while giving your body time to rejuvenate and restore itself. While you’re in those three poses, the instructor will walk around the class and put healing hands on your back to utilize the energy called reiki. This class is truly a restorative gift to your mind, body and spirit. At the end of the class, you will say these mantras out loud: “Just for today, I will let go of anger, let go of stress, be kind to all living beings including myself, be grateful.”

Digital Mindfulness Workshop

There are a variety of workshops offered to center yourself and improve your self-care. You will be encouraged to live in the moment in this workshop where you are reminded to be less reactive, more resilient and practice less multitasking. In the age of constant connectivity, the statistics show that the average person swipes or clicks their phone 2,600 times per day!

At Miraval Austin, enjoy swimming, sunning, or exercising in two outdoor seasonal infinity pools and hot tubs, for all your relaxation and fitness needs.
Photo James Baigrie

Floating Meditation

I recommend you sign up for this class at the end of the day, offering one of the most beautiful ways to calm your mind and body. Using the aerial silks, you’ll essentially crawl into the silk and gently swing back and forth for approximately 40 minutes, enjoying this hammock hug.

Spaaaahhhh

Do take advantage of Miraval’s amazing spa, ideally booking your appointments towards the end of the day. Head over there with plenty of time to do your short intake and tour, and have time to curl up in your robe and enjoy the relaxation lounge with a good book. 

Miraval Spa has many different massage options to help you relax. These include the Miraval Deep to alleviate tight muscles, the Miraval Relax, a Swedish massage with essential oils, the Jade Meridian of traditional Chinese practices, a Tibetan Bowl massage for creating peace, and many more styles for your specific needs. Photo James Baigrie

Treat yourself to a spiritual warrior facial or deep tissue massage which will both be a gift to your body that you ask so much of on a daily basis. Outside the spa, there is a tranquil outdoor pool that looks over the hill country, with a hot tub nearby. The quiet setting adds to the relaxing ambience of the spa experience. (Prices: Deep tissue massage, 60 minutes, $235. Spiritual warrior facial, 60 minutes, $220.)

Now’s the Time

Ideally, you’d honor yourself at least once per year with a 2 or 3-night experience at Miraval Austin, to revive and rejuvenate your overly taxed body, mind and spirit. Now is an ideal time for a reset and this jewel is just a drive away. 

Rates: Starting at $579 per person, per night with all meals, $175 nightly resort credits, and complimentary wellness activities included.

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Cover photo courtesy James Baigrie

Marika Flatt is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. Hear her “Weekend Trip Tips” on the statewide NPR show, Texas Standard. She enjoys taking a time out to restore her busy mind, body, and spirit.

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