After a $60 million resort-wide renovation, the Miraval Life in Balance Spa Aviara (www.parkhyattaviara.com/miravalspa/) had a grand reopening in September 2023. This showcased the expansion of Miraval Resorts’ mindfulness experiences to a new location in Southern California. Featuring an expansive spa menu, the spa fuses ancient and modern techniques together to deliver transformative and rejuvenating spa services to its guests.
Comprised of spa treatments, wellness activities and culinary workshops, Miraval Life in Balance Spa Aviara focuses guests’ attention on the present moment. Drawing inspiration from Ayurveda, the spa offers energy and Eastern services including sound bathing, chakra balancing, breathwork, meditation, traditional massage, body renewal rituals, reflexology, craniosacral and reiki practices.
To learn more about the facilities new offerings after their major renovation, WellSpa 360 spoke with Angee Smithee, Miraval director of spa and wellbeing at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa; and Jacqueline Berry, director of spa and wellbeing at Miraval Resorts and Spa.
What unique amenities set the spa apart?
Smithee: The capstone of Park Hyatt Aviara’s $60-million-dollar resort-wide renovation, Miraval Life in Balance Spa Aviara celebrates the coastal California setting of the resort with amenities that support guests in creating balance and cultivating mindfulness. Exclusive to Miraval Life in Balance Spa Aviara, the Batiquitos Sanctuary honors the neighboring Batiquitos Lagoon with indoor and outdoor treatment spaces, and the Indoor Solarium Quiet Lounge serves as a respite for reflection and rejuvenation. Additional amenities include a Pilates studio complete with state-of-the-art equipment from Balanced Body; a spacious studio for yoga and meditation; a sauna, steam room and whirlpool; and a fully redesigned fitness center with TechnoGym cardio and strength training equipment.
How do you choose the treatments for your spa menu?
Berry: Miraval Life in Balance Spa Aviara’s menu was intentionally designed with treatments and well-being experiences that support guests in cultivating balance and mindfulness, and connects them to the coastal destination of Park Hyatt Aviara. Our eclectic menu of spa services honor ancient and timeless techniques that pair nicely with creative new approaches and natural therapies.
Energy and Eastern services include the Miraval Life in Balance Spa exclusive Vasudhara, an award-winning, transformative water experience and Naga, which is a Thai-inspired deep-tissue massage facilitated by a provider suspended in hanging silks. Treatments also include traditional and prenatal massage, skin care services, nail care, reflexology, craniosacral and reiki practices.
What is your most unique wellness offering?
Smithee: Aviara offers two exclusive experiences that cannot be found at any other Miraval Resort or wellness spa. Our Ocean Song treatment is a body renewal ritual that takes inspiration from Park Hyatt Aviara’s location along the coast of Carlsbad by invoking the vitality and peace of an ocean wave. It starts with a rosemary sea salt exfoliation, followed by a soothing sweet birch and magnesium soak and a full body massage. The experience concludes with the harmonic vibrations of a singing bowl and sounds of the sea to center the soul.
The Warrior’s Recovery is designed to ease tension and rejuvenate the body, and is ideal following a recreational experience at one of the resort’s many standout facilities. During the service, the body is prepared for a deep-tissue massage with warm herbal poultices and advanced stretching techniques to create a synergy that leaves the body and spirit feeling relaxed and recharged.
How do you train and hire quality staff?
Berry: Our colleagues truly make the Miraval experience, so we take great care to recruit not only for excellent technical skills, but also great passion for what they do and an ability to make connections with our guests. We train in house for our exclusive services such as Naga and Vasudhara. In addition, we also work with colleagues to further hone their own mindfulness skills, so they can understand how they can create a healing space for themselves as well as our guests.
Trainers are qualified in their area of expertise and can provide their specialty in a unique manner that follows the Miraval guiding principles. To continue to be the leader in the wellness industry, our staff maintains credentials and certifications to further educate themselves in the well-being space.
What is your most popular offering?
Smithee: Miraval Life in Balance Spa Aviara offers an array of experiences designed to create a personal journey of well-being. In addition to traditional spa services, we also offer specialty fitness classes such as bungee, Pilates and floating mediation. Guests can also partake in unique culinary classes such as Cocktails in the Kitchen and our Creative Expressions class, Intention Bracelets.
How does Miraval create all-encompassing wellness experiences?
Smithee: The intention of the guest is at the core of the Miraval Life in Balance Spa Aviara experience, as our goal is for guests to leave feeling transformed, enriched and inspired in mind, body and soul. Our itineraries are designed to support the intentions of each guest and foster balance, relaxation and serenity—the three- and five-day sample itineraries serve as a beginning point for experiences that can be fully customized to align with the intentions of each guest. They include a thoughtful balance of spa services and well-being activities, as well as the opportunity to explore the destination.
How do you stay competitive in your area?
Smithee: We stay competitive by providing personal journeys of well-being curated with intention for individuals to achieve their desired results. We encourage guests to explore new experiences to provide inspiration.