|Each room has a little patio|
|Panna cotta with fruit|
|There are lots of small gardens and interesting water features|
|The view from the restaurant|
|Entrance to the spa|
|Sunset from the restaurant patio|
|This is the layout of the accommodations. There are about twelve buildings with about twelve rooms in each.|
For my birthday, I went to Miraval Austin, which is a wellness resort and spa, about 40 minutes from downtown Austin. The property is breathtaking. The layout is campus-like with small buildings for the dining facilities (Hilltop Crossing), spa, yoga barn, Pilates/gym, pools, meditation spaces and more. It is on a hill overlooking Lake Travis and the rolling oaks of Hill Country. The resort stresses having electronics-free time, so I didn't take my phone out of my room, except to sneak a few pictures.
I started my day with "Mindful Grooming" which was a meditation with horses. There are many types of equestrian programs, including riding. I enjoyed the hour relaxing with the horse - just petting and brushing. It made me very happy.
I then had lunch, which was a fabulous spread of salads, soups and amazing cookies (white chocolate/goji). The attentive staff serves drinks and there are also lunch specials that are served as individual entrees. The food is amazing and it is all included. After lunch, I wandered around the property and took a class, which focused on shoulder stretching and relaxation. It was a great class and I learned several new stretches. The teacher was very welcoming and motivating. There are so many classes and activities to choose from. There are usually three activity choices every hour for the entire day. Some classes are walk-in, some require advanced booking and some require an additional fee. There are many unusual classes such as aerial meditation, probiotic cooking, beekeeping, stand-up paddle board, chicken keeping and much more.
There are two pools on the property. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the quiet pool, adjacent to the spa. It is an infinity pool and has a wonderful view.
Dinner was also an ample buffet of an amazing variety of vegetable-forward dishes. (There are some meat offerings, as well.) There were also menu offerings and I had the chevre panna cotta, which was savory and topped with fresh fruit. There is a full-service bar, next door, called "The Nest" with wine, cocktails and mocktails. I had a great berry mocktail and sat out on the patio and watched the sunset.
It was hot, being Texas in September. I had to sleep with the air conditioning on, which I don't like. The room had a divine bed, spacious bathroom and a nice sunrise view. Each room has a private patio and entrance. It was so quiet!
Breakfast was also wonderful and then I went to the spa for a massage. The spa services are pricey ($185 for 50 minutes), but the facilities are lovely with a hot tub, dry and wet saunas with outdoor and indoor lounges. I ended up spending a few hours after my treatment.
My room was over $400. I thought it was a good value, because it included all meals and there are lots of activities that are available without additional charge. There is a separate resort fee of over $100. This type of billing annoys me, because it is just tacked on at the end and isn't obvious when you make your booking. It is now a common practice at resorts, so beware.