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Eco Chic | Miraval Spa & Wellness Retreat, Tucson, Arizona

October 2, 2011

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Miraval Spa and Wellness Retreat in Tucon, Arizaona, is more than a mere resort for healing your mind and body, it also working to protect the earth. Developed by Miraval’s master plan Mithun, they add new buildings to the older buildings for wellness, meditation, yoga, outdoor treatments, and guest rooms. With rammed earth buildings, respect for the desert, mindful use of water and energy, Miraval is certainly a place for eco inspiration as well as for your soul.

Accommodations are luxurious, the 118 guest rooms decorated in a contemporary Southwestern style, with all the modern conveniences. Some feature fireplaces and patios with stunning views of the surrounding Sonoran desert and the Santa Catalina mountains.

Meals are included, and the cuisine is suitably health-conscious, using fresh natural ingredients, and cooking classes are available for those who wish to take a bit of the Miraval dining experience home. The focus on health and relaxation brings with it certain austere measures — there’s no smoking allowed, and alcohol is served only after the day’s activities. Children are not permitted, and though there’s no minimum stay requirement, it’s recommended that guests stay several days in order to take advantage of all Miraval has to offer. All in all it’s a remarkably thorough escape — just half an hour from Tucson and two hours from Phoenix, it nevertheless feels a world apart.

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Miraval are constructed of rammed earth, which serves as thermal mass keeping the interior cool during the day and emitting heat at night. Clay adobe bricks were made on site with local materials and used to build the outdoor showers, while branches from local saplings were used to screen in the mechanical areas. Decomposed granite paths meander throughout the resort and aid in drainage during the rainy season.

The guest rooms also feature a number of other eco and energy efficient materials like low voltage lighting, high content recycled concrete counter tops, high performance windows, and non toxic, low VOC paints. Landscaping surrounding the guest rooms, like the entire resort, makes use entirely of native plant species that do not require irrigation. The resort also has plans to build an on site treatment plant that will reclaim waste water for landscape and irrigation use. Overall the resort and its facilities tries to highlight the close connection that we have to nature and Mithun worked to do the same in all of the elements they included in their design.

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Inspiration: Architecture-View

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