A wellness-minded retreat in Orange County

24 Treatment Rooms

Miraval Life in Balance Spa may be the new wellness-minded spa on the Southern California coast, but it’s far from unseasoned. In fact, it’s the second (and only) location of Tucson’s renowned Miraval Resort & Spa, a place that pioneered the mind-meets-body philosophy so prevalent in luxury spas today. Devotees of the brand will recognize the deluxe menu of spa treatments and personal growth programs that seek to make life more enjoyable when physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual components are in balance.

Located within Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Miraval debuted 24 beautifully appointed treatment rooms, a shop, a healthy cuisine café and a luxurious new spa menu — expect 70 wellness treatments calibrated to relax, refresh and renew your mind, body and spirit.

The 30,000-square-foot Orange Country spa (equidistant between San Diego and Los Angeles) aims to rejuvenate and revitalize you physically and emotionally through the healing traditions of the meditative sessions and innovative spa services. The plush amenities don’t hurt, either — while the day away in the spa’s steam room, sauna, whirlpool, tranquility lounge and lap pool.

The Look

As you step into the spa’s entryway, you’ll experience a sense of calm. The thoughtful, enveloping décor features low ceilings, warm lighting and long corridors hewn with different shades of light and stones set in horizontal bricks. The architectural details meld with honey-toned wood paneling and creamy-beige walls.

Orange is said to represent happiness, joy and pleasure, and you’ll see pops of the color in the plush seating area adorned with tangerine-colored pillows. Succulents and cacti, native to California and the surrounding states, add a natural piece of the desert throughout the interior.

Hallways are no afterthought here — soft, relaxing nature sounds are played through the sound system and alluring earthy scents like cedarwood, mint and lemon waft through the air.

The Treatments

After a long day of sunbathing and surfing in the Pacific Ocean, nothing soothes the body and mind better than a massage. The most popular treatments first developed at the spa’s flagship location in Tucson are available here, too, as well as a crop of new services featuring coastal-inspired ingredients such as crystal salt stones, algae and marine mud. 

Unique options include Signature Miraval Treatments that draw on ancient therapeutic practices, such as the 80-minute Shamana-Karma, an Ayurvedic-inspired ritual intended to purify the spirit and increase immunity while releasing tense muscles and energizing the mind. During this treatment, first you breathe in a rich blend of lemongrass, mint, nutmeg and cloves; a therapist then massages coconut, ginger and rosemary essential oils into the skin. The service ends with an aromatic wrap and cleansing scrub meant to leave skin vibrant and refreshed.

While there are quite a few facials to choose from, we’re partial to the Sea Oxygen Facial, which uses sea minerals to restore balance to skin. Another treatment inspired by the spa’s oceanside setting is the Sea Salt Serenity, which involves a sea salt and oil scrub, a massage using crystal salt stones and a therapeutic scalp massage.

You’ll also find plenty of top-notch manis and pedis, couple’s experiences, sports-themed treatments (think deep tissue massages), maternity and even teen-specific services on the spa menu.

The Activities

The Pacific Coast setting is an idyllic backdrop to activities encouraging mind and body strength and balance, whether the path begins in the spa’s yoga studio, culinary café or with assistance from a personal trainer.

Participate in private workouts designed to achieve personal goals or join a group session, of which there are many to choose. Sign up for mindful spinning, a beachside boot camp or cardio drumming, which blends aerobic movements with the rhythm of drums.

Meditation classes, both private and group, teach you how to reduce stress and live more mindfully. There are a slew of innovative Pilates and yoga classes, too — think doing yoga on top of a paddleboard or taking a Pilates class designed specifically for golfers.

The Packages

Couples or guests in wedding parties are in for a blissful retreat with Miraval’s tailored packages. Highly trained aestheticians and staff will guide groups into a refreshed state of mind with treatments that range from makeup application, manicures and pedicures to a private happy hour yoga and full access to spa amenities.

And couples seeking to be pulled closer together can sign up for a combination of activities like a Mindful Relationships program, a relaxing spa retreat and private partner aerial yoga.

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Spa

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Spa