Destination spa, relaxed, culinary
13500 FM2769, Austin, Texas 1 855 234 1672 www.miravalaustin.com
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At a Glance
Sister property to the flagship in Arizona, Miraval Austin is a warm, casual destination spa in Texas Hill Country.
- Delicious, healthy food that is locally sourced.
- The Challenge Course, where you can face your fears by walking a balance beam and tightrope 30 feet in the air.
- The gorgeous Yoga Barn, with its soaring ceiling and walls of windows
- Unique activities, like the sublime floating meditation (in which you are suspended in silk fabric hammocks while Tibetan gongs play), cardio drumming and hatchet throwing.
- Visits to the on-property 10-acre farm for equine activities and beekeeping
Miraval first gained a following for its much beloved destination spa in Tucson, Arizona, which is known for its relaxed ambience and superb practitioners, especially for those interested in spirit work. Recently purchased by Hyatt, Miraval is now expanding its reach with a new destination spa in Austin, which opened in late 2018, and a third in the Berkshires in summer 2019. All will share the hallmarks of the flagship property: a wide range of activities, delicious and plentiful food, and the liberating notion that everything is optional.
Miraval Austin is set on 220-acre nature preserve in Texas Hill Country, close to Lake Travis, where guests can go kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. The landscape is forested with cedars and red oaks, providing a serene sense of seclusion in nature. The 117 rooms and suites are set in two-story cottages with a modern aesthetic. Rooms, done in neutral tones, are comfortable and well-sized, but somewhat corporate in feel. The beds are topped with feather beds and duvets, which, for those who like softness, feels a bit like sleeping in a cloud. (For those who prefer a firmer mattress, the feather-bed top layer can be removed by request.) Marble bathrooms have rainfall showers but no tubs. The rooms have small balconies with two chairs, where you can look out over the forest. Public spaces, including the Yoga Barn, the Body Mindfulness fitness center, and the 20,000-square-foot spa, are gorgeous, with soaring 30-foot ceilings and plenty of natural light. Guests tend to congregate by the two infinity pools, one of which has a snack bar.
Like its Tucson sister property, Miraval Austin offers a wide range of activities, about 30 or so a day (one to three per hour). About a third of these have an additional fee, which can make you feel a little nickeled and dimed, even though a daily resort credit is included with your room. Classes are limited to eight to 15 people. Activities range from the usual mindfulness and fitness selections (yoga, meditation, spin class) to more playful choices like Texas line dancing or cardio drumming. Just down the hill from the main area is a lovely ten-acre farm, with horses, chickens and bee colonies, that supplies the dining room with fresh eggs, produce, herbs and honey. A farm tour is a must and you can even sign up to be a beekeeper for a day. Spa services are extensive and include more esoteric options like Ayurvedic massages.
Meals are taken in the main dining room, which has a 30-foot ceiling, a wood-burning fireplace, and a large terrace with a very pretty view of the surrounding hills and the lake below. There is also a snack bar called The Nest, where you can get kale smoothies, artisanal teas and coffee, and snacks like herbed popcorn or lettuce wraps with sriracha chicken. Unlike some destination spas, Miraval embraces wine; indeed, Indagare highly recommends the wine-tasting classes led by Edward Morgan, the food and beverage manager and sommelier. He is a fabulously engaging storyteller and his passion is contagious. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style, with lots of fresh fruits, lean proteins and hearty salads, including plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free options. In addition, there are daily specials that manage to feel decadent in spite of maintaining low calorie counts. A special for breakfast might be a poached egg served on frisée with a dash of yogurt hollandaise, toasted sourdough croutons, and crispy lardons. At lunch, you might be offered fresh local trout with grilled asparagus or Texas-inspired dishes like tacos on freshly made tortillas. Dinner options can be chosen from an appealing fixed menu. All food and beverages (except alcoholic ones) are included in the room rate, so there are never any chits to sign. It is also a non-tipping property, which creates a nice ambience.
Hospitality is where Miraval shines. The team is extremely warm and friendly and everyone makes an effort to connect with guests.
Who Should Stay
Someone who wants a relaxed getaway either solo or with friends. Children under 18 are not allowed. It is not best for someone looking for a boot camp-style spa or a huge number of fitness classes.
It’s about a 40-minute drive from Austin airport.
When to Go
Austin is best enjoyed in spring and fall. Summer can get quite hot and humid. In winter, you would miss out on enjoying the pool and outdoor seating areas. (There is no indoor pool.)
About half of the activities offered require advance sign up, so Indagare strongly recommends that, immediately after booking a room, you work with your Indagare Trip Designer to sort out the activities you prefer and sign up for them; this is best done at least six weeks in advance to avoid disappointment. A word of caution: Longtime fans of the Miraval Arizona property know that a big draw there is the expert practitioners, like spiritual guide Dr. Tim Frank and cowboy Wyatt Webb. Understandably, it will take a few years for the Miraval Austin property to develop a team with a comparable level of specialized talent; they know this and are working on it.
The Challenge Course, floating meditation, hatchet throwing, farm tour.
Indagare Plus Amenities
- One complimentary $100 resort credit per person per stay
- Complimentary Breakfast
- Upgraded Room Category on Availability at Check-In
- Late Check-Out on Availability
- Complimentary WiFi Internet Access