Though Miraval's footprint remains relatively small, the
luxury wellness brand says it has managed to create an outsize presence within
the hospitality sector.
"We're obviously smaller than our competitors, but we
punch way above our weight," said Marc Ellin, global head of the Miraval
Some of the brand's clout can be credited to Hyatt Hotels,
which acquired the Miraval Group for $215 million in 2017. At that time, the
brand's hospitality portfolio had just one resort, the 146-room Miraval Arizona
Resort & Spa in Tucson, which opened in 1995, and a second location in
development, the 117-room Miraval Austin in Texas.
Ellin credited Miraval's dedication to holistic well-being
and personalization with helping to bolster the brand.
"Part of the secret sauce is taking into consideration
the mind, body and the spirit," he said. "We have programs across all
modalities, be it spa offerings, challenge courses, culinary experiences, etc.
Our guests are able to, with our help, design an entire personal journey while
they're with us."
Now, with the Austin property officially opened in February
and the 102-room Miraval Berkshires set to debut in western Massachusetts next
year, Miraval is quickly evolving to embrace a new generation of wellness
"When Hyatt bought Miraval, our core demographic in
Arizona was about 85% women between 35 to 65 years old," Ellin said. "Now,
in addition to seeing those guests continue to come, we're seeing more
millennials and more men. And we're seeing more men and more couples, in
particular, coming to Austin, and I think that will apply to the Berkshires, as
This shift toward a younger, more male contingent has led
Miraval to tweak operations. Millennials, for example, have proven somewhat
more likely to flout cellphone guidelines.
"We talk about phones during the pre-arrival experience
and have guests sign our policy when they come to the front desk," Ellin
said. "But people tend to either forget or ... you know, life happens. We
are realists and know that [disconnecting] isn't for everybody."
Miraval's policy currently asks that guests use their phones
only in their rooms or in designated areas. But Ellin said the brand has
re-evaluated its phone strategy, putting together internal training guidelines
to better communicate with "digitally distracted" guests without taking
too strict a stance.
"We want them to use the phones to take pictures of
memorable experiences," Ellin said. "If someone's talking on their
phone, we have to give our colleagues the tools to be able to go positively
engage that guest and say, 'Hey, can I escort you over to that area where you
can use your phone?'"
In an effort to better cater to men, Miraval has expanded
its focus on physical fitness and challenge-course offerings as well as playing
up the fitness aspects of some of the brand's more popular activities.
"Cardio drumming is one of our signature opportunities,
and women typically love it," Ellin said. "But we're making sure we're
telling men, 'Hey, this is fun, and, by the way, it's pretty cardio intense.
This is actually a workout.'"
Meanwhile, with wellness trends continuing to dominate the
hospitality space, Hyatt is eyeing additional expansion for Miraval. Ellin
cited the Pacific Northwest; Mexico and the Caribbean; and the Carolinas or
Tennessee as markets that Miraval could pursue. He emphasized, however, that
the brand won't be expanding at a breakneck pace anytime soon.
"You're never going to see a Miraval on every street
corner," he said. "We've been very focused at Miraval to embrace our
mission and our DNA. We've got the ability to take this wonderful brand and
create awareness through World of Hyatt."