For many a Bostonian and New Yorker, the Berkshires is a sought-after nature getaway. It offers fun outdoor adventures during all times of year, including skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and leaf peeping. But what about some much needed R&R from the hustle and bustle of these two east coast cities? If you’re looking for a wellness reTREAT like no other to calm your mind and body, the Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa has got you covered.
I recently visited the Miraval Berkshires and was amazed by its upscale amenities and unique activities. It’s set in the rolling hills of the Berkshires, one of the coolest New England getaways. However, it’s worlds apart from the typical Berkshires accommodations. Unlike the historic inns and estates that dot the Berkshires, Miraval offers modern comforts inspired by the surrounding landscape. Add to that its impressive 29,000-sq.ft. spa and outdoor pool area, and you’ll see why this resort exudes a feeling of calm and tranquility at every turn.
But beyond the resort’s charm and aesthetic, Miraval Berkshires has no shortage of fitness and mindfulness-oriented activities that you won’t find anywhere else. The spa is, of course, a big hit. But my favorite part was the meditation, yoga, adventure courses, breathwork classes, and other fun activities on the property. This makes Miraval not just a hotel, but an experience.
During my three-night stay at Miraval Berkshires, I was able to experience the best that this resort has to offer. Here were the highlights:
Miraval Berkshires at a glance
Nestled between gently rolling hills and tall pine trees, Miraval Berkshires is an oasis for the mind and body. It’s located in Lenox, Massachusetts, a classic New England town just a couple of hours from Boston and NYC. This spa resort caters to professionals escaping their work lives, yoga enthusiasts looking to clear their chakras, and everyone in between.
Miraval is an all-inclusive resort. This means that food, drinks, and experiences are included in the nightly rate (excluding alcohol and some classes). With hundreds of activities, workshops, classes, and other experiences to choose from—focusing on everything from breathwork and meditation to exercise classes and alternative modalities like sound bathing—it’s hard to believe that such a place exists in New England. I always thought you had to go to places like Tulum or Bali to find such a restorative wellness experience. Boy was I wrong!
Miraval Berkshires also has an award-winning spa that offers pretty much every spa service imaginable from the west and east. In addition, you’ll find steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs, and an indoor-outdoor pool here.
Beyond the daily programming, Miraval Berkshires has a chic vibe that you won’t find in most other wellness resorts. It’s decked out with greenspaces, a meditation garden, a working farm, and quiet indoor spaces where you can read, contemplate life, and mindfully eat healthy food from the hotel restaurant and café.
In addition to the Berkshires, Miraval has other locations in Tucson, Arizona and Austin, Texas. It’s worth noting that Hyatt owns the Miraval brand, and they opened the Berkshires resort in July 2020. They kept it open during the pandemic despite the hefty financial losses – evidencing their long-term commitment to health and wellness.
Unique experiences at the Miraval Berkshires
I had high expectations going into this trip. Having attended a Wim Hof retreat in Iceland and a Dr. Joe Dispenza retreat in Colorado, I am no stranger to breathwork and meditation. The moment I went on the Miraval Berkshires website and noted their intentional use of language—including phrases like “renewing your mind, body, and spirit” and “let us assemble a unique plan to light your path”—I could tell that this would be a deeper experience than the typical wellness resort.
From outdoor adventures to soothing indoor activities, here were some of the coolest experiences I had at the Miraval Berkshires.
Syncing Breath & Sound: A Neurodynamic Breathwork Journey
For me, this was the most awakening activity at the Miraval Berkshires, hands down. It was led by Mark Gerow, a former U.S. Air Force survival instructor with a diverse background in alternative therapies. He was the perfect guide for this transformational experience, as I’ll touch upon below.
This 2-hour session gave us a taste of holotropic breathing, an intense therapeutic practice that helps with emotional healing and personal growth. It entails putting on headphones with tribal music, laying down on our backs, and breathing in and out with intensity and intention for a prolonged period, as to stimulate the nervous system and release energy trapped in the body.
What the breathing journey looked like
From the moment we began the session, Mark’s kind and gentle demeanor made each of us feel comfortable with the journey ahead. He told us how to do the breathwork, and most importantly, what to expect after all this deep breathing. He gave each of us headphones, where he would lead us through a brief guided meditation before beginning the holotropic breathing.
I don’t want to give away any surprises, but I’ll leave you with this…by the end of the session when our group had a chance to reflect and integrate what we had just experienced, each person in the room was overcome with emotions – crying tears of joy, feeling a sense of wholeness, and the like. A woman in our group with a chronic autoimmune condition felt hopeful that she could fix it through this work. Another person in the group, an investment banker from New York, had a breakthrough moment where he realized that he “needed to let his son be his own person rather than the person I’ve always wanted him to be.” To say that this was a transformational experience would be an understatement.
On my own inner journey, I’ve found that breathwork is just as important as grounding. It has a remarkable ability to break through the ego and penetrate the subconscious mind to achieve healing, clarity, and growth in our lives. When I go back to Miraval Berkshires, I will definitely be doing this again!
Warrior Challenge at Miraval Berkshires
Miraval is all about pushing guests out of their comfort zones, and there’s no better place for that than the ropes course suspended high in the trees.
It was here where our fearless leader Luke Bloom, Director of Integrated Wellness, told us that fear means False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR). He then assured us about the safety of the adventure course and harness, before giving us some helpful tips to challenge our perceptions on things and get the most out of the experience. From there, we set off on a ropes course adventure that lasted nearly two hours.
High in the canopy of the trees, we explored 15 unique courses at heights of 35-50 feet. These elements ranged in difficulty, requiring a mix of balance, strength, and critical thinking to make it through. With a slight fear of heights, I kept reminding myself that I was safe and there was no danger. I would then turn my attention to my breath and the obstacle at hand, and mobilize my mind and body to get across. It was such an exhilarating experience!
Lastly, our energetic guide Luke took us over to the Leap of Faith, offering us another opportunity to challenge our perceived limits. From the top of a 50-foot tower, we experienced a 25-ft. free fall before gently descending the next 25 feet at 6 ft/s. For me, this was scarier than the ropes course, which made overcoming it that much more rewarding.
An outdoor excursion with a deeper message
Luke not only guided us through these obstacles, but also integrated this experience with a deeper message of overcoming our fears and staying present. It was such a fun way to spend an afternoon. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys adventure and personal development!
The Way of the Archer
Looking for a fun hands-on experience at the Miraval Berkshires? Give archery a shot.
Nowadays a sport, archery was used in warfare from 10,000 B.C. It involves using a bow and arrow to shoot at recreational targets. However, in a deeper (Miraval) sense, archery offers an opportunity to practice mindfulness—combining intention, focus, presence, and stillness to hit the target.
As someone who enjoys physical fitness, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Archery is a technical sport that requires significant strength—particularly in the arms, chest, shoulders, and core. In addition, you must hold the draw for a couple of seconds, which puts tension on these muscles. Learning about this sport and getting live feedback from Greg, our instructor, made this a worthwhile activity.
Beyond the physical aspects of archery, it’s also very good for the brain. Archery is a form of meditation, which can improve the mood, lessen anxiety and depression, and enhance mental focus.
The most profound part was at the end, when our instructor gave us balloons to fix to the target. Then, we were instructed to think of a limiting belief that was no longer serving us, and aim our arrows to strike and pop the balloon (in turn, striking down our limiting belief).
From improving focus and concentration to feeling a sense of accomplishment when hitting the target, archery was such a fun and meaningful activity. I would definitely say that it’s one of the more unique things to do at Miraval Berkshires.
Quick note: Though the Miraval Berkshires website shows images of outdoor archery, it was held indoors. It’s my understanding that for much of the year, archery can’t be done outside because of the nearby driving range.
Vibrational Sound Chamber: Among my favorite things to do at the Miraval Berkshires Resort and Spa
Even if you’ve done a sound healing before, you’ll be blown away by the vibrational sound chamber at Miraval Berkshires. Led by Rudi Bach, a sound therapist with decades of experience, this vibrational sound healing was the perfect way to cap off the night.
Rudi uses bronze Himalayan bowls that are 100-400 years old, to create harmonic sounds throughout the room. Each of us were instructed to lie down, relax, and follow the sounds of these singing bowls. The aim is to let these sounds retune the body, mind, and spirit, while promoting relaxation and healing.
For anyone who finds meditation difficult, sound therapy is a great way to keep the mind occupied while your body promotes healing. Our mind always wants something to do. So, intentionally following the sounds brings a sense of calm and stillness to the mind.
Is this one of the top activities at the Miraval Berkshires? Absolutely!
Country Road Ride in the Berkshires
Bike riding through Lenox was another highlight of my visit to Miraval Berkshires.
Led by Zeke, an outdoor enthusiast from the Berkshires, this guided bike tour took us up some pretty steep hills to Laurel Lake and Downtown Lenox. Along the way, he challenged us to be present and “suffer better” as we climbed steep hills in the countryside. Zeke warned us about the “ego” in our heads telling us to give up and grumble about the steep hills. Thankfully, I encountered no such resistance, but some of the older participants on our tour did and greatly appreciated the way Zeke reframed the obstacle in front of them.
I really like the way each of the Miraval instructors provides a mindfulness perspective of the activity at hand. In this instance, we weren’t just on a bike ride, but on an inner journey to overcome ourselves!
Some of the best biking in New England is just steps away from the Miraval Berkshires, and I couldn’t be happier that I was able to experience it.
Floating Meditation – A unique Miraval Berkshires class
If you find it difficult to get into a meditative state, floating is for you. Dangling gently above the floor in a silk purple hammock, we were able to let go of life’s worries while allowing in a feeling of peace and calm.
During this meditation, we were lightly rocked back and forth to the soothing sounds of singing bowls. It definitely helped me release a lot of tension in my body and racing thoughts in my mind.
Led by “Chill Will” Boyce, a gifted meditation specialist, this floating meditation truly soothed the soul. Will has more than 20 years of experience in eastern yogic and meditative practices, and he was the perfect person to lead this experience.
Sacred Sounds Massage
The Life in Balance Spa at Miraval Berkshires is second to none. It’s 29,000 square feet and has 28 treatment rooms, making it one of the largest spas in Massachusetts. With so many spa services to choose from, I went with the Sacred Sounds Massage. This treatment entails aromatherapy breathwork, vibrational sound therapy, and a full-body massage.
This 50-minute massage totally put me in a state of zen. In addition to the amazing massage and aromatherapy, the masseuse also put sound bowls on my back which vibrated throughout my whole body – exuding even more peace and relaxation.
Here, you can also get the typical Thai, Swedish, or deep tissue massages. But the more exotic ones that pair sound and mindfulness are the way to go. Definitely add this experience to your bucket list!
Other amazing activities at Miraval Berkshires
My itinerary was jam-packed during my 3-night stay at Miraval Berkshires, and here were some other activities I thoroughly enjoyed:
Meadowview Equine Meditation: A unique form of meditation with horses
Sun Salutations: A gentle 25-minute class where you get to stretch and welcome the day ahead
Qigong: An ancient Chinese practice that uses breath and exercise to move around energy.
Cardio Drumming: An exercise class where you drum to the beat of the music.
Miraval Berkshires Honey Tasting Experience: An interactive class where you get to taste and mindfully analyze different kinds of honey.
Dining experiences at the Miraval Berkshires Resort and Spa
One of the best parts about traveling is the food, and the Miraval Berkshires has no shortage of amazing, locally-sourced dishes. There are three food venues onsite, all included in the nightly rate:
Harvest Moon Restaurant
This is the main restaurant at the hotel. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, offering both a buffet and daily menu options. There are tons of food options that meet all dietary needs, including farm-to-table offerings like mixed green salads and grass-fed steak.
Tip: The dinner entrée portions are quite small. So, I recommend ordering two (nobody will judge you for it – all the guests figure this out sooner or later!)
This is a trendy café inside the resort where you can grab coffee, smoothies, snacks, and sandwiches. At night, it’s a popular place to enjoy drinks and cocktails. The homemade muffins and smoothies are out of this world!
Located inside the Wyndhurst Mansion, this is the fancy restaurant on the property. It’s only open Thursday through Monday, but if your visit doesn’t fall in this timeframe, don’t fret! You can put in an order at the Harvest Moon restaurant and get it delivered to the terrace where you can enjoy an epic sunset overlooking the Berkshires.
The room – Miraval Berkshires Accommodations
Miraval Berkshires, along with the historic Wyndhurst Manor & Club, offers 100 guest rooms and suites.
I stayed in a standard guestroom in the main part of the hotel, just steps from the pool and restaurant. The bed was incredibly comfortable – perhaps one of the coziest I’ve ever slept on. It honestly felt like sleeping on clouds.
Inside the room, there’s a Tibetan singing bowl, stacking stones, and a meditation cushion. In addition, there are in-room meditation channels. Such a soothing spot to spend a few nights!
Best time to visit Miraval Berkshires
The answer to this question will, of course, depend on your personal preferences. But I would say that fall is the best time to visit overall. The fall foliage in the Berkshires is absolutely stunning and the prices tend to be cheaper, particularly in November, the shoulder season.
During the spring, you’ll also find some great deals. The winter is a cozy time to visit, and you’ll have interesting activities like cold immersions that aren’t offered during other times of year. The summer is the busiest and most expensive, but for good reason.
READ NEXT: Fall in the Berkshires
Do you tip at Miraval?
Miraval Berkshires is an all-inclusive resort with a no tipping policy. So, the only tip necessary is a warm “thank you” to the staff and specialists who work there!
Do people go to Miraval Berkshires alone?
This question was asked more than once on my Insta stories, so I figured I would include it here.
In my experience visiting Miraval Berkshires, a large chunk of the guests were visiting the resort by themselves. This included young working professionals who were escaping the 9-5 as well as retired people looking for a relaxing getaway. Solo travelers are absolutely welcome here, as there are plenty of fun group activities to meet people!
Miraval Berkshires Review – Summary
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Miraval Berkshires Resort and Spa. It’s crazy to think that such a wellness retreat exists in New England, and I couldn’t be happier that I was able to experience it.
During each activity, I loved that the instructors gave us guidance on how to get the most from the experience. This included how to set intentions, be present, and overcome the ego. The specialists were all so passionate about their jobs and the Miraval brand, and they truly made us feel welcomed and at ease throughout our stay.
The only major opportunity for improvement, in my opinion, was that the main pool area didn’t have a hot tub. This would come in handy, particularly during the cold winter months. Of course, you can order a spa package to use the whirlpool there. But it would be nice for there to be one for general use.
Have you ever been to a wellness resort? Have any questions that relate to this Miraval Berkshires review? Let me know in the comments below!