MIRAVAL RESORT & SPA
CLAIM TO FAME: After an enjoyable de-stressing experience at Miraval, AOL co-founder Steve Case bought the hotel in 2004. He has preserved the resort’s renowned Equine Experience, in which guests work with horses to overcome various non-horse-related fears. Oprah Winfrey is such a fan she made the resort the site of her show’s “Live Your Best Life Spa Week” in 2007.
DESIGN NOTES: From the main road in north Tucson, it’s hard to even tell that Miraval exists—which is deliberate. The rooms are located in a series of low-slung adobe buildings, many with their own noise-muffling courtyards. The prevailing auburn color scheme blends right into the shadows of the towering Santa Catalina Mountains. All that camouflage is aided by the resort’s mesquite and palo verde trees—which also help keep guests cool from the blazing desert sun.
IDEAL GUEST: This cloistered, 117-room resort is perfect for those who want a little respite from the chaos of daily life. But while the spa, pool, aromatherapy and yoga classes are top-notch, it doesn’t have to be all Zen all the time—there are also ziplines, mountain biking and a climbing wall to get the heart pumping.
AMAZING AMENITY: The mountain and desert views from the pools and bar are certainly terrific. That said, no view is more spectacular than the one from atop a wobbly 25-foot pole you’ll scale—and then jump from—when you participate in Miraval’s harrowing-but-safe “Quantum Leap” program.