Miraval Arizona: A Trove of Epic Culinary Experiences

Unbeknownst to many Tucsonans, Miraval maintains an exemplary culinary program that includes a variety of experiences like multi-course private dinners and hands-on, one-of-a-kind demonstrations and workshops in cooking, menu-planning, nutrition, and much more.

There’s no getting around the fact that a stay at Miraval Arizona is anything but a typical resort stay. People from all over the world visit the world-class resort year round, guided by Miraval’s experience planners who aim to ensure that each guest’s experience is carefully scheduled in alignment with Miraval’s mantra, “life in balance.”

Aside from the grounds which are centered around an audibly flowing man-made stream bisecting the property, there’s equine therapy like you’ve never heard of, hands-on beekeeping, hiking, biking, pools, a full spa, and much more. There really are no words to describe the world class service and experience Miraval creates. The intent is to help get grounded and gain fresh perspective in a peaceful, serene atmosphere. Talk to anyone who’s been there and you’ll hear nothing but praise.

A small stream flows through Miraval

A small stream flows through Miraval (Photo Courtesy of Miraval)

But that praise doesn’t end with Miraval’s spa services. Unbeknownst to many Tucsonans, Miraval also maintains an exemplary culinary program that includes a variety of experiences, ranging from a multi-course private dinner in one of Miraval’s luxury villas, to hands-on, one-of-a-kind demonstrations and workshops in cooking, menu-planning, nutrition, and much more.

For starters, there’s no beating around the bush – it’s pricey. In fact, until now, there’s really been no option to experience Miraval’s culinary offerings apart from a packaged stay, which can cost thousands of dollars. If you’re able to indulge in one of the higher end stays, it’s highly recommended and almost guaranteed to be a life-changing experience. We’ll get to those details in a little while, but Miraval has rolled out a number of interactive culinary workshops that can be bundled into a longer stay package or purchased as a less expensive day package.

Miraval's chefs host a hands-on cocktail workshop

Miraval’s chefs host a hands-on cocktail workshop. (Photo courtesy of Miraval)

I know I said this already, but there’s nothing really like a stay at Miraval Arizona. It’s not the kind of place you want to zip over to for a quick workshop, eat, then jet. However, Miraval does offer a few different day packages at different price points which include unlimited participation in daily activities. Now, there’s only so much you can actually do in any given day, especially if it’s culinary focused (and you’ll for sure want to also experience some non-culinary Miraval offerings), but if you’re looking to experience Miraval in a way that’s easy on the wallet, here’s how.

Budget-Minded Miraval Experiences

Miraval Day Packages ($249 and up)

The way it works at Miraval, regardless of if it’s a day package or longer stay is resort credits. Resort credits determine how much or how little you can do. Every course, experience, activity, or workshop, is worth a set number of resort credits and all packages provide guests with an allotted amount of credits to use up. Fortunately, Miraval’s experience planners take the chore of most of this decision making off your hands as there are countless offerings to choose from at a wide range of price points.

With that in mind, here are a few potential ways you might spend a day at Miraval Arizona if you’re looking to keep the cost down. All of these experiences include lunch, full use of facilities, and everything necessary for the course. And the courses also include plenty of opportunity to amply sample the end result.

Plant-Based Cooking at Miraval

Plant-Based Cooking at Miraval (Photo Courtesy of Miraval)

Mindfulness & Health

This workshop heavy day includes full use of the entire property, including spa. In between courses, you can lounge at the pool, take a light hike, or simply lounge about. These four courses are heavy on the conscious and mindfulness side of what Miraval stands for and will leave a guest feeling refreshed and renewed.

  • Eat Well, Live Well. Join Miraval’s master chefs and lead dietitians as they explore the food, wine, and environments of the cultures that have begun to uncover the secrets to longevity. Includes dishes from each region.
  • Blend ‘n’ Balance Smoothie. An educational smoothie-making experience. Learn which ingredients provide the most balanced nutrient absorption and health benefits. (45 min)
  • Plant-Based Cooking. This hour-long class takes place in Miraval’s Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen. Learn to create and cook satisfying plan-based meals.
  • Conscious Cooking. Immerse yourself in Miraval’s cooking philosophy as you learn to use leftover pieces of vegetables, fruits, and meat to cook creatively and reduce food waste. Recognize the power and importance of being a conscious cook.

Learn more about Miraval Day Packages

Honey: A Sensual Journey at Miraval

Honey: A Sensual Journey at Miraval (Photo Courtesy of Miraval)

Honey, Wine & Chocolate

If mindfulness and consciousness sounds a little too hippie-dippy for you, remember, it’s all about balance at Miraval. While everything you’ll experience at Miraval typically includes some element of mindfulness, the following offerings are a bit more on the indulgent side of the spectrum.

  • Honey: A Sensual Journey. Join local beekeeper (and close friend of mine) Noel Patterson, who believes that tasting honey is as sensual an experience as tasting wine. To fully taste the honey, you must use all five of the body’s senses.
  • In the Spirit of Grapes. Forget what you think you know about wine tasting. Wines capture a sense of the places they are grown in a uniquely expressive and vibrant way. Learn about the philosophy underlying agriculture and its methods.
  • Appreciating Chocolate. Uncover secrets and varieties of different chocolates. This interactive experience shares techniques to prepare truffles and tempering.

Learn more about Miraval culinary workshops and experiences

Unique chef-created offering at Miraval

Unique chef-created offering at Miraval (Photo Courtesy of Miraval)

Dinner & Drinks

This indulgent day package experience is at the opposite end of the spectrum from pure mindfulness and consciousness, but who knows – maybe that’s just what you need. For this day package experience, you could choose to show up a little later in the day, but hopefully not too late so that you can still experience some of the other property offerings like the spa.

  • Cocktails in the Kitchen. Join the Miraval culinary team for hands-on a chef-created appetizer and cocktail while you learn about Miraval’s food and beverage philosophy and hear about healthy cooking tips and tricks.
  • Just Cook For Me. Enjoy the culinary creations of Miraval’s talented chefs with their most intimate dining experience in the heart of Miraval’s kitchen. Savor selections from the daily menu as well as freshly-formulated, exclusive dishes paired with world-class wine. This multi-course, full dinner offering is designed for the adventurous foodie.

Learn more about Miraval culinary offerings

Culinary-Focused Overnight Stays

Miraval Packages ($700 and up)

The only regret you may experience with one of Miraval’s day packages is wishing you stayed a little longer. If you’re ready to take your Miraval experience to the next level, you’ll be wanting to stay at least one night, and ideally more than one night.

Miraval's many workshops are hands-on experiences

Miraval’s many workshops are hands-on experiences (photo courtesy of Miraval)

All Miraval packages are for the most part all-inclusive, with meals, many activities, and full property access included, however many workshops require resort credit, of which $175 is included.

One Night in Paradise

A single night at Miraval Arizona will leave you feeling plenty rejuvenated. There’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy, either. You could go full-on culinary experiences only or mix it up a little. Here are some of the things on the culinary side that your experience planner might select with you. Keep in mind that for the most part, all activities are available to guests regardless of length of stay.

  • Mindful Pastry. This hands-on experience provides attendees with innovative techniques required to recreate Miraval’s pastries served in the Cactus Flower Restaurant. Learn how to prepare a variety of pastries including pistachio cookies, avocado brownies, and many more delicious treats.
  • Beyond Bisque. This interactive class will guide you through the development of flavors and textures to bring Miraval’s healthy and homemade soups to your table.
  • Eating With Intention: The Yoga in Nutrition. Join Miraval nutritionist Nancy Teeter as she shows you how to unite concepts of yoga with the act of mindful eating to live a nourished life.
  • Cooking With the Chef. Join Miraval master chefs for an exclusive interactive culinary experience. Go behind the scenes in our main kitchen, cook alongside professional chefs, and learn nutritional and mindful cooking techniques including knife skills, sauté, and grilling. Plus, learn how to creatively address dietary restrictions, alternative cooking methods, and more. Anyone from the novice to the advanced culinarian will leave with elevated skills for entertaining and creating delicious dishes.
  • Just Cook For Me Chef. Enjoy the culinary creations of Miraval’s talented chefs with their most intimate dining experience in the heart of Miraval’s kitchen. Savor selections from the daily menu as well as freshly-formulated, exclusive dishes paired with world-class wine. This multi-course, full dinner offering is designed for the adventurous foodie.

Learn more about Miraval’s stay packages

Miraval's Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen is the result of a partnership between Miraval and Williams-Sonoma

Miraval’s Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen is the result of a partnership between Miraval and Williams-Sonoma (Photo courtesy of Miraval)

Multi-Night Stay

By the time you’re heading back home from your overnight at Miraval Arizona, it’ll probably hit you – I should’ve stayed two nights.

While there’s plenty to do and keep busy with during a single overnight stay, you’ll be able to get a much more well-rounded experience over two or more nights. As food-focused of a publication as we are, some of the non-culinary experiences are an important part of that refreshed perspective you’ll gain.

In addition to taking full advantage of the spa, here are some of the experiences you can also take part in.

  • All the Buzz. Don a beekeeper suit, complete with gloves and gaiters, and join Miraval resident beekeeper Noel Patterson at Miraval’s beehives for an opportunity to view the bees up close and learn more about how they work and survive in today’s world.
  • Ask the Farmer. The bulk of Miraval’s eggs and produce come from local farmer Richard Starkey, who picks everything at 5am and delivers fresh produce straight to Miraval’s kitchen from his 2.5 acre farm up the road. Farmer Starkey cultivates Miraval’s on property garden and provides weekly garden tours where you can learn how to create a robust garden of your own.

Check out any daily schedule of events at Miraval

Culinary Immersion

Join Miraval Arizona’s master chefs for an in-depth cooking immersion. Cook alongside the culinary team and gain insights into their recipes, innovative ingredients, and conscious cooking practices. This educational experience includes four-full days of healthful cooking sessions followed by a private group graduation dinner in the Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen. This immersion will help guests gain the confidence and culinary techniques to entertain friends and loved ones.

  • DAY 1: Education. Meet th culinary crew and learn basic knife skills, sauté, braising, roasting, grilling.
  • DAY 2: Nutrition. Plant-based cuisine and culinary medicine.
  • DAY 3: Entertainment. Learn the techniques and methods used by Miraval to provide an exceptional experience at home.
  • DAY 4: Reflection. Savor healthful breakfast dishes as you reflect with the chefs on your new culinary insight and conscious cooking practices.

Learn more about Miraval’s Culinary Immersion

Miraval's private villas feature dining areas overlooking the Catalinas

Miraval’s private villas feature dining areas overlooking the Catalinas (Photo courtesy of Miraval)

Private Villas

If you really want to take the world-class Miraval Arizona stay to the next level, you’ll want to stay in one of the private villas. The beautiful villas are high-end private townhouse-like suites on the edge of the property situated right at the foot of the west side of the Catalinas. The villas feature amenities made for movie stars, like wrap-around, remote-controlled fireplaces, accordion glass-door walls that fully open to the outside, and private pools and hot tubs. Be prepared to pony up a little more for this baller experience. You’ll still be able to take part in any of the activities described above, but you’ll have the opportunity to do some of those activities – like the private, multi-course dinner – in your private villa’s, cozy dining room.

Learn more about Miraval’s Private Luxury Villas

Miraval is currently taking all precautions in line with CDC recommendations and local ordinances. One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is cell phone use is strongly discouraged while in the public areas. This is to help guests unplug and be more present. You’re still able to bring your phone and use it, but you’ll want to back off a little during your stay.

If you’re ready to explore all that Miraval has to offer, head over to miravalarizona.com. From there you can check out room options, packages, daily activities and much more.

Miraval Arizona is located at 5000 E. Via Estancia in Tucson, Arizona, between the town of Catalina and Catalina State Park at the base of the Catalinas. For more information, please visit miravalarizona.com. This article was created in partnership with Miraval Arizona. Learn more about working with Tucson Foodie.

Adam Lehrman started Tucson Foodie in late 2008 as a way to track his search for the best food Tucson had to offer.