Creating a structure that could better convey the indigenous appeal of Miraval’s surroundings—the desert foothills of the Catalinas outside Tucson—was the team’s guiding principle, according to Marxer. “That’s a huge part of what guests come here for,“ he says. “They arrive from the East Coast, and they feel like they’re on Mars.” Hence the new spa’s simplistic indoor lounges (where the focus is centered on mountainous views), reflecting pools and the tribal fire bowls that are set ablaze in the al fresco lounges come nightfall.
Another crucial objective? Getting guests to turn their focus inward. To that end, the team devised a deceptively large, labyrinthine space meant to help transition guests’ attention from the outside world to the here-and-now. There’s even a “portal,” flanked in reclaimed barnwood, dividing the reception area from treatment rooms. “In our old facility, there was no transitional space between the lobby and treatment rooms, which have totally different energies,” Marxer says. “Here, we try to gradually alter the setting with lighting and furnishings as you proceed into the treatment area, so guests can really become present and connect with their breath before they get onto the table.”
The advent of the new spa also gave the team reason to seriously up its sustainability ante. Many a piece of repurposed furniture has found a home in the new spa, and when the team did have to seek new furnishings, they employed materials such as Resista, a wood substitute made from rice husks, and Floorfolio, cushioned flooring made largely from post-consumer recycled materials. “Without a doubt, guests are now looking for these things,” Marxer reports. “They want to connect with a spa brand whose values align with their own.”
All 70 of the spa’s therapists can speak to these upgrades knowledgeably. “It’s something they’re all trained to discuss,” Marxer says, “because service providers are the ones talking to guests. They are our greatest ambassadors.”