Miraval Life in Balance Spa at Monarch Beach Resort & Spa (Dana Point, CA)

Although for years there has been talk of Miraval Resort & Spa (Tucson, AZ) opening a second location, it wasn’t until this past April that the idea actually came to fruition with the debut of Miraval Life in Balance Spa at Monarch Beach Resort (Dana Point, CA). Trading a desert landscape for a beachy vibe, the new spa goes beyond replicating the experience spa-goers get in Tucson to delivering a wellness-inspired journey immersed in the oceanside setting. “The serene coastal location of Monarch Beach Resort made it a natural choice for the new Miraval spa,” says spa director Michelle Frye. “Although many of Miraval Tucson’s signature treatments and programs will be offered at the new spa, we’re drawing on the spa’s local surroundings to create activities, lectures, and treatments that stimulate an authentic connection to the physical and spiritual serenity of the coastal location.”

In addition to attracting fans of Miraval, the spa is also enticing locals who want to experience the great programming and resort guests who are interested in a topnotch spa experience. “The new Miraval Spa harnesses the power of the ocean to create a peaceful haven for those looking to create balance and change their lives for the better,” says Frye. “All the senses and all the elements have been considered as guests relax into the intimacy and simplicity of a floating meditation or enjoy a signature treatment powered by the healing touch of a skilled therapist.”

Fortunately, it wasn’t necessary to start from scratch when it came time to conceptualize the treatment menu. “The Miraval Life In Balance Spa at Monarch Beach Resort offers more than 70 of the signature treatments developed at the company’s flagship, and each is designed to awaken the senses, create balance, and promote a sense of wellbeing,” says Frye. Spa-goers will find many familiar offerings, such as Naga ($215, 50 minutes; $295, 1 hour 40 minutes), a deep-stretching treatment with silks, and Shamana-Karma ($250, 80 minutes), an Ayurvedic ritual that purifies the spirit and boosts immunity. The latter involves an inhalation, a massage with hand-wrapped poultices, and an aromatic wrap with a hibiscus scrub. “Miraval Resort is a renowned wellness brand, and being the first spa outside of its signature Tucson location, we wanted to offer the best of the signature treatments developed there,” says Frye.

Because the spa incorporates so many treatments from the original Tucson location, it made sense to offer some of the same product lines, such as EmerginC and Deborah Lippmann. Like the flagship, the new spa features a Deborah Lippmann Salon, where spa-goers can get one-of-a-kind nailcare rituals.

However, it was also important to introduce some new offerings, such as a DryBar for guests who want a blow-out, and to tap into the seaside locale. “In a balanced blend that combines the best of both locales, the spa also offers a selection of new treatments that use coastal elements like algae, crystal salt stones, marine muds, and sea salt,” says Frye. Some new lines were then needed to fit the ocean-inspired services. “We chose Osea, as not only is it a company based on the California coast but the line is also dedicated to using 100 percent pure, active ingredients from the sea, which is a perfect fit for this spa’s philosophy and location,” says Frye. ESPA was also chosen, as it features many of the sea-related elements that Frye and her team wanted to incorporate into the menu.


The ocean-inspired offerings seem to be hitting their mark. According to Frye, the Sea Salt Serenity ($375, 1 hour 50 minutes), a sea-salt scrub and massage, is proving to be one of the spa’s most popular services. Spa-goers are also gravitating toward the Personalized Massage ($200, 50 minutes; $290, 80 minutes), which is a combination of aromatherapy, hot stone, deep muscle work, Balinese, and Swedish techniques. It gives spa-goers a taste of a variety of massages.

The coastal connection goes beyond the treatment room and extends to the spa’s activities, which include Beachside Meditation; Zen Boot Camp on the Beach; Sunset Yoga; and Authentic Connections, an in-depth dialogue guests have on the beach with a Miraval specialist. Each takes advantage of the spa’s oceanfront locale and incorporates the spa’s mindful philosophy.

With 83 employees on staff, the spa is able to accommodate approximately 200 services each day. “Our biggest challenge is making sure we stay true to what the Miraval brand represents,” says Frye. “We have spent a lot of time sending our spa experts to experience Miraval Tucson to ensure we continue to offer true authentic Miraval experiences.” Fans of the brand will also be happy to hear that an East Coast location is also is the works. Miraval Group recently announced plans to purchase and expand Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort (Lenox, MA). The historic Berkshire property will be renamed Miraval-Lenox and spread the message of mindfulness from coast to coast.

Owner: KSL Capital Partners

Spa Director: Michelle Frye

Opened: April 2016

Client Base

84% female

16% male


30,000 square feet; 23 treatment rooms

Product Lines

Deborah Lippmann, DryBar, EmerginC, ESPA, Oka B., Osea, The Mansfield Robe Company


Oakworks, Resort- Suite, Silhouet- Tone, SpaEquip, Technogym

Steve Fierce, cofounder, TFO Architecture (Los Angeles)

Interior Designer

Rodrigo Vargas, principal, Rodrigo Vargas Design (Los Angeles)