The warm winter
retreat of many
Resort & Spa in Arizona.
Thanks to the ringing endorsement of Chicago influencers (Oprah Winfrey and star couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic, to name a few) as well as the enviable winter climate of Tucson, Arizona, Miraval Resort & Spa has become a magnet for Michigan Avenue snowbirds in search of mind and body downtime.
“October to May is the most popular time for our Chicago guests,” explains resort CEO Michael Tompkins. And no wonder: “Daytime temperatures average between 75 and 85, so those coming from the cold of Illinois literally feel like they are stepping into summertime.”
From plush, desert-inspired suites, guests can create their own tailor-made escape by signing up from a vast roster of diversions: equine therapy (where participants routinely break down in tears of self-discovery); Swing and a Prayer (Oprah’s favorite, which involves being hoisted from a height of 35 feet); and everything from painting classes, yoga, and acupuncture to one-on-ones with visiting clairvoyants.
The Rancics have notched up more than six stays (kickstarting 2013 with a New Year’s retreat in January). “The place is spectacular,” explains Bill of the resort’s tranquil setting in Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains. “The one thing Giuliana and I always do is one of the challenge courses. We really try to take ourselves out of our comfort zone. The great thing is that you can spend the morning doing activities like hiking or mountain biking and then spend the afternoon at the spa getting a massage.”
The spa in question is the stunning new 16,000-square-foot space with Clarins, which opened in May 2012—a haven of 23 Clodagh-designed treatment rooms interlinked with shady walkways lined with fragrant sage and wild lavender. Another welcome addition is last year’s promotion of Justin Macy to executive chef; he has taken the food (all included in the price of your stay) to a new level (think mesquite-smoked wild salmon and corn-bread-stuffed quail). Even Bill admits his only room preference is that it be close to the restaurant.
Book it: Double rooms start at $ 375 per night on an all-inclusive basis. 800-232-3969