Miraval Spa

International Spa Association Innovate Award Recipients 2013

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 | Destination Spas, Miraval Spa, well-being, wellness | No Comments

“My view is there’s no bad time to innovate.” ~ Jeff Bezos

I love being part of the spa industry for so many reasons and was thrilled to hear about the ISPA Innovate Award.  Members submitted their successful spa-related innovations for the chance to be recognized by their peers and the celebration will take place at the 2013 ISPA Conference & Expo this October.

““ISPA is excited to highlight some of the very talented and innovative spa professionals we have within our association,”” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. ““Not only would we like to applaud these individuals for thinking inventively, but as an association, we would like other members to hear about these winning ideas and perhaps this will grow even more innovative ideas.””

Congratulations to all of the ISPA Innovate Award recipients noted below.  The future of the spa industry is now, the possibilities for growth are unlimited and I’m inspired by these innovations.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, located in Lantana, FL
Innovation: Successful retail program that raised profits and increased employee morale
Represented by Catherine Warren, Spa Director

Fayez Spa, located in London, Ontario, Canada
Innovation: Marketing that positively impacted multiple stakeholders and dramatically increased retail sales
Represented by Fayez Tamba, Owner

Four Seasons Maui, located in Kihei, Hawaii
Innovation:  “‘Seniority”’ system for massage therapists that empowered therapists with priority booking
Represented by Pat Makozak, Senior Spa Director

Glen Ivy Hot Spring located in Corona, CA
Innovation:  Quality operating system that defines processes for continual improvement
Represented by Cristen Stier, CFO

Hiatus Spa + Retreat, located in Dallas, TX
Innovation:  Affordable monthly membership program tailored to guests personal needs
Represented by Casey Evans, Regional Director

Hutchinson Consulting, located in Sonoma, CA
Innovation:  Interactive website at the electronic heart of the global spa community called Our Spa Community
Represented by Lori Hutchinson, Founder and Co-Owner

JW Marriott San Antonio- Lantana Spa, located in San Antonio, TX
Innovation:  Farm-to-treatment table spa experience
Represented by Travis Anderson, Director of Spa

The Marsh, A Center for Balance and Fitness, located in Minnetonka, MN
Innovation:  Creation of trunk show partnerships with local artists for revenue generation
Represented by Arlene Robitshek, Retail Director

The Mirage Spa, located in Las Vegas, NV
Innovation: Integration of yoga program with a separate attraction that raised profits and hotel awareness
Represented by Stephanie Doud, Director of Spa, Salon & Pool Operations

Miraval Resort & Spa, located in Tucson, AZ
Innovation:  Online questionnaire called MyMiraval.com that generates recommended spa services, sessions and activities
Represented by Michael Tompkins, CEO

Phytomer Corporation, located in Salt Lake City, UT
Innovation: New process to treat waste water using a natural, sustainable resource
Represented by Lenette Casper, Phytomer USA’s President and CEO

School of Resort and Hospitality Management at Florida Gulf Coast University, located in Fort Myers, FL
Innovation:  Student-managed and operated on campus spa lab
Represented by Mary Wisnom, Professor and Spa Management Coordinator

Spa 4 the Pink, located in Denver, CO
Innovation:  Developed on-location spa days coupled with mindfulness at cancer centers
Represented by Julie Bach, Executive Director

The Spa at Charleston Place, located in Charleston, SC
Innovation: Cause-marketing campaign that promoted sun safety and skin cancer awareness for school children
Represented by Annette Sandford-Lopez, Director of the Health Club & Spa

The Spa at the Peabody, located in Orlando, FL
Innovation:  Initiatives that raised community awareness of ovarian cancer
Represented by Bill Toth, Spa Director

The ISPA Conference & Expo Innovate Sessions will be held on October 21 at 4 pm and October 23 at 3:30 pm at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the award recipients will share their innovations with ISPA Conference attendees.

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Miraval at Natirar – A destination spa comes to New Jersey

Saturday, August 24th, 2013 | Adventure, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, fitness, healthy living, wellness | 1 Comment

Arriving at Natirar
The anticipation continued to build as I made my way to Natirar in Somerset County, New Jersey, formerly owned by the King of Morocco.  Brimming with excitement I drove past the stone pillars and finally arrived at what will soon be Miraval at Natirar by early 2015.

Growing up in New Jersey I never ventured out to this lush and beautiful 500-acre park and it was such a pleasure to explore what Bob Wojtowicz, Founder of Natirar and Kim Wojtowicz, have created.  It was evident from first meeting both of them that it’s a labor of love and the passion for their vision was evident.   Knowing Miraval as well as I do, it was clear to me that both visions are aligned for wellness and life changing experiences.

A few days prior to visiting Natirar in Peapack-Gladstone, I had the pleasure of meeting with Michael Tompkins, Chief Executive Officer of Miraval Resort & Spa and he shared his excitement for the New Jersey expansion. “With so many of the Miraval Tucson guests residing in the Northeast, Natirar’s proximity to New York City and the surrounding region coupled with the extraordinary physical setting made it a natural choice for Miraval,” said Tompkins.  “Although the new property will offer the same level of luxury and authenticity as the Tucson property, each location within the Miraval brand is unique to its setting and will offer its own authentic experience.  We’re excited to be poised for growth, and are actively evaluating additional select locations across the U.S. at this time.”

Plans for Natirar
Plans include an 86-room luxury hotel, including restoration of the mansion suites as well as the addition of villas.   As my tour with Bob Wojtowicz began and as we approached the mansion I felt transported to another place and time and the protected view of the vibrant green rolling hills from the mansion was spectacular.  Plans for restoring the mansion to its former grandeur will soon be underway.  The mansion is rich in history as it was originally completed back in 1912 by architect Guy Lowell, known for his many designs including the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The hills will soon be alive with a new 20,000 square foot spa with plans for a grass roof, a unique feature (in my opinion) to integrate nature even more as well as an infinity pool/water feature as you enter the spa. Continuing our tour we visited the expansive swimming pool and activity area and Miraval at Natirar will also include a yoga center.  One of the other features with Miraval at Natirar is the river that is about two-miles and meanders below the property, great for fly-fishing and winter-sports are possible too, like cross-country skiing. Miraval at Natirar will also offer activities that Miraval is known for including nutritional counseling, wellness classes, the Miraval Equine Experience and other signature activities.

Ninety Acres (left)

Anise Hyssop at the farm (center)

Cucumber Gazpacho (right)

The Farm
After touring the property with Bob Wojtowicz, I met with Kim Wojtowicz who runs the farm and what a farm! The 12-acre farm supplies Ninety Acres Culinary Center.  They also offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) vegetable box for members (offered from June to November).  Kim shared that the chefs like different kinds of herbs and vegetables from German striped tomatoes, to Adirondack blue potatoes to anise hyssop, which I tasted (big anise fan).  Natirar’s farm also raises sheep, pigs and chickens in a stress-free environment.  Organic berries and an abundance of herbs and beautiful flowers make up other areas of this 12-acre sustainable farm that will provide ingredients for both Miraval’s spa restaurant and Ninety Acres, their farm-to-table restaurant.

And, if you’re wondering about the name “Natirar,” it is an anagram for the Raritan River.

For more updates about Miraval at Natirar, stay in touch on Facebook @Mindful Adventures.

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Summer Spa Specials – Explore the Possibilities!

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 | Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Healing, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, Zipline, fitness, healthy living, joy, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments

It’s been a hot summer so here are some cool savings at some of our favorite destination spas!

A Spa Getaway offers opportunities to focus on healthy living – engage in new fitness classes, improve your Yoga or Pilates practice, meditate, relax and reconnect with yourself.  Anything is possible at a destination spa.

Below is a sample of the summer promotions being offered at several of the top destination spas in the U.S. (and one just across the California border!).  If you’re ready to take the next step, please see the contact info below and let’s get started!

Canyon Ranch – Tucson, AZ
Special:  Students and Grads
Travel Dates:  Through August 31
Brief Details:  The first person pays the regular single occupancy rate and the student/grad stays free.
Spa/Services:  A spa allowance is included for the full-paying guest and may be shared between both guests.*
* Allowance varies based on number of nights and package chosen.

NOTE: Canyon Ranch offers other promotions including one for new guests (two sharing a room) as well as for Teachers, Nurses, Solo Travelers and local residents.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.

Miraval – Tucson, AZ
Special:  Discover Miraval Package
Travel Dates:  Through September 19, 2012
Brief Details:  If you’re new to Miraval or thinking of returning and enjoying more of the activities vs spa services, then this is a great value for you.  Double occupancy rates start at $299 (plus tax & resort fess) per person per night and Single occupancy rates start at $349 (plus tax and resort fees) per night.
Spa/Services:  A spa allowance of $50 per night of stay is included.

Note:   Additional promotions including the 5-th night free is offered through 9/19 – based on availability.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.

Rancho la Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
Special:  Family Weeks
Travel Dates:  August 4-11 and August 11-18

For Families with children 7-17 years of age – Your promotion:
Brief Details:  The rate for adults is $3000 per person (plus 8.14% tax) and the rate for children (ages 7-17) is $500 per child (plus 8.14% tax)*
*Each adult can bring up to two children for $500+tax each, staying in the same room. The third (or more) child per adult is $1000+tax each. Some restrictions apply.
Note: The regular schedule will be available as well as additional classes/activities for children.

For Adults traveling without children during these two special weeks – Your promotion:
Brief Details:  The rate is $3000 per adult (plus 8.14% tax) and includes -five- 50-minute massages*
* Not valid with Four-Hands massage

If you’ve been wanting to go to Rancho la Puerta on your own- this is a great opportunity for the summer since it’s open to all, not just families.  The regular schedule will be available.

Note:  If these dates don’t work for you, we can review other possible opportunities for other dates through 2012.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.

Red Mountain Spa, Ivins, UT
Special:  Last Minute Savings
Travel Dates:  Through August 31, 2012*
Brief Details:  Midweek rates begin at $200 per person per night for double occupancy ($230 per person per night (Thursday, Friday, Saturday).  Single occupancy rates begin at $230 per night/midweek and $250 per night (Thursday, Fri, Sat).
*Based on availability and may not be available between 8/5-18 due to limited space/high occupancy
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.

“The journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Let’s get started!

donna@mindfuladventures.com for more details and to inquire about your travel dates.
You’ll also receive our bonus for stays of 3-nights or longer (7-nights at Rancho la Puerta)

Life is a journey…travel!

Have you heard about the BFF promo at Miraval Arizona?

Friday, February 24th, 2012 | Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Miraval Spa | No Comments

Are you ready to go to Miraval with your best friend?  Now is the time as this is a short term promotion that offers a savings for both of you.

Promo:  The first person pays the single occupancy rate and the second person pays 50% of that rate.
The total rate is then split equally so both friends pay the same.

This offer is available for stays through May 17, 2012 and based on availability.
It is also based on the Deluxe room or higher and other terms apply.  There’s a lot more information at this link – check out the full details.

While at Miraval, consider some of my favorite activities like Reflect and Transcend with Coach Leigh; Cultivating Resilience with Anne Parker and any of Tejpal’s classes.   I actually love all of the Experts at Miraval…and the food…and the classes and well, I could go on, however this is about you going with your best friend.

For services, have you tried Spirit Flight?  How about Taiz Sensorium?  Two highly sought after services at Miraval that require pre-booking.

Questions?  Send me a note as I’m happy to offer my insight.

See you at Miraval.

Coming soon at Miraval Arizona

Saturday, February 4th, 2012 | Adventure, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Relaxation, healthy living, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments

Miraval, a destination spa located in Tucson, AZ near the Santa Catalina Mountains is getting close to unveiling their new Life in Balance Spa this May.  And I am so excited and really can’t wait to experience it.   With a focus on sustainability, balance and mindfulness, I have no doubt that the new Life in Balance Spa will exceed expectations and continue to be a place for serenity and rejuvenation.

And, as if a new spa isn’t enough to ‘wow’ me this year, Miraval is also releasing their new cookbook, Mindful Eating.  The cookbook, also debuting in May 2012, is a long awaited tool for my healthy kitchen and for those of you that have been asking Miraval about a cookbook and awaiting this release, now is the time to pre-order Mindful Eating

If you’re looking for more information and insight on Miraval or another health-focused spa, feel free to ask a question in the comment section of this post or e-mail me for personal feedback.

As always, enjoy your journey!

Photo Credit: Donna Adinolfi  / Copyright 2010-2012

New Year, New Chapter, New Journey – Are you ready?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 | Abundance, Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Manifesting, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Prosperity, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, joy, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Many of us are contemplating what we’d like to bring in to our lives as we enter 2012 as well as what we’d like to let go.  I for one am working on letting go of the fears that hold me back and the disappointments, frustrations and things I can’t change.  I’m focused on what I can change, choices that will get me from where I am to where I want to be and a focus on taking action rather than over thinking.  And, first and foremost, I’m grateful for my family and friends.  These are just some thoughts that come to mind as the dawn of 2012 approaches.

And,  I also believe that 2012 will be another year of reinventing and redefining who we are.  Our ‘to do’ lists will be different, however I believe we have a common goal of being the best we can be.  Have you started your creation list for 2012?  Each year I find there’s a bit of a ‘rollover’ from the previous year and then a few new goals.  I’m finding a greater sense of urgency to accomplish these goals the older I get and it sometimes feels like a 2×4 is hitting me to move toward the direction of these dreams vs getting stuck in just thinking about them.  It’s so empowering to reach even the smallest of goals and so with that said, here are a few plans I’m getting ready to work on for this new chapter, new year and what I hope will be an amazing journey moving forward.

1 Planning: This is an annual tradition – the purchase of a new day planner.  A place where I can enter as much as possible for the new year.  Birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, appointments and goal setting.  If it’s written down, I find the odds are in my favor.   I still have a book called, “Write it Down and Make it Happen,” and it works.

2. Vision Board: A must have moving forward.  If you have one, you can easily refresh yours with new photos and new words, phrases and/or symbols.  If you don’t have one, consider creating one that you can view every day.  It works and I’m excited to see how the new one will unfold.

3. H2O: Yes, every year I make an effort to drink more water and I have to say that 2011 worked out okay, however I must refocus on this one.   If this isn’t on your list, think about it.  Are you getting enough water to stay hydrated and healthy?  I picked up a water carafe to help me out – always keeping water on my desk ensures I’ll stay with this.  For more on the benefits of water, perhaps some things that you haven’t thought about, check out this article.

4. Spa Cooking at Home: Let’s face out, going out to dinner is fun, great for socializing (outside the four walls) and it’s relaxing, however this year I intend on cooking at home more.   Since part of my business is working with destination spas, I know how simple, healthy and enjoyable ’spa cooking’ can be and it’s really about cooking healthy – fresh veggies, organic products where possible and portion control.  With that said, I’m going through my Spa Cook Books and staying in more…and will hopefully shed a few pounds.  Check back here from time to time for some healthy spa meals, photos of my efforts and notes on how they turn out.  And with the help of my new KitchenAid blender, healthy spa-like smoothies are on the menu!

Here is one Spa cookbook to consider from Canyon Ranch, a destination spa:
Canyon Ranch: Nourish: Indulgently Healthy Cuisine

And, if you’re a fan of Miraval Arizona, their much awaited Mindful Eating Cookbook will be available in May 2012.

5.  Journal: This is always on my list.  I have a Gratitude Journal and another journal for ideas, and day to day entries.  I keep both the Gratitude journal and the Idea Journal by my bed.   Begin yours by entering what you’re thankful for each day – it could be one, two, five or more things.  A sunny day, connecting with an old friend, drinking your water, anything and everything you’re grateful for.  A Gratitude Journal is about awareness – reflecting on what we’re thankful for keeps us in a positive mindset and that is what will help us move forward.   Your journal can be a notebook, however if you’d like something special, consider this one Gratitude: A Daily Journal

If you’re looking for a journal that will help guide you to rediscovering yourself, this may be another to consider Soul Catcher: A Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are

These are just a few of my personal thoughts, plans, ideas for 2012.  What is on your list?  Perhaps one of these will inspire you to Plan to Cook More at Home, Begin your Gratitude Journal, Create a Vision Board and Drink your Water.  And, a carry over for me from 2011 is to write my book…looking forward to taking the first step to chapter one.  (And, yes, exercise and moving more are always on the list!)

“The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu
What step will you take today to begin this new journey in your life?

May 2012 be a year of good health, joyful living, new adventures and much prosperity!  Believe in yourself, continue to have faith and trust that you are exactly where you’re meant to be.  Happy New Year from Mindful Adventures.

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The links for the above are also on the home page.

Photography by Donna Adinolfi.  Copyright 2010.

Top 7 Favorite Gift Ideas from Mindful Adventures!

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 | Abundance, Adventure, California Wineries, Canyon Ranch, Destination Spas, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Peace, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, joy, well-being, wellness | No Comments

‘Tis the season and as much as I think about buying gifts earlier, I never do.  So join me for a few minutes and review the latest Mindful Gift Giving ideas from Mindful Adventures for anyone else on your shopping list.   Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays!

1.  Shop locally
Now that I live in Michigan I’ve been paying more attention to what I can send from this area.  Michigan is one of the largest producers of cherries and for that reason, I like Cherry Republic, located in Traverse City, otherwise known as ‘The Cherry Capital’ of the world.  Cherries are also healthy and one of my favorites is the Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries – double dose of goodness.   And, I must not leave off another Ann Arbor, MI institution – Zingerman’s!  There’s still time to send out some delicious treats and you’ll love the choices – so many to consider.  Both of these Michigan options are offering flat rate shipping.

2. Tea
Do you enjoy tea?  This is another favorite gift because tea is more than a beverage to me, it’s ceremonial and all about mindfulness.  Think about the old Tea Houses and Afternoon Tea.  Nothing is rushed.  It’s a time to be in the moment and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea with friends or on your own for a few moments of solitude.   Check out Tea Forte for some last minute ideas and consider one of my favorite books Tea Here Now.

3.  Nourishing & Natural Body Products
Most of you enjoy chemical-free, natural products and one of my favorites for this is Burt’s Bees.   Their Cranberry & Pomegranate Sugar Scrub is great for this season as well as the Bee Pampered Spa Set.   There are great gift ideas for everyone and they’re affordable and so well received.

4.  Uplifting Books
Another favorite gift is a Day Book.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving year round because each day there’s an uplifting message and when I find one I like for myself I often gift it to friends, family or colleagues.   One of my personal favorites is by Mark Nepo titled The Book of Awakening.

And, if you or a loved one is going through a difficult time due to the loss of a loved one, or other personal loss, this one came into my life and helped me and I feel compelled to share with others, especially at this time of year.  It’s by Susan Barbara Apollon and is titled Touched by the Extraordinary and her second book, Book 2: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope

5. Wine & Dine with a different twist
These are some of my favorite vino finds.  Some can be ordered online and others can be found at your favorite wine store.  In addition to giving the gift of wine, consider making it more of an event – include a note to enjoy a wine-pairing dinner that you prepare at home, or perhaps a private wine tasting with your friends. These aren’t new ideas, however perhaps they’ll spark another idea for a last minute gift with more meaning and an opportunity to get out more and enjoy the moment with your friends and family.  Okay, the list… Tres Sabores Vineyard – I love their Red Zinfandel; Husch Vineyards – check out the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; and Cline’s Cashmere – this one has a limited supply available for both the ‘09 and 2010.    And how about an added link for some wine pairings for that special wine & dine gift at your house!

6. Gifts that Give Back
The best gift is the one that keeps on giving.  These are few to consider:  Rails to Trails Conservancy, Feeding America, Bread for the World, American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

7. Relaxation and Rejuvenation
Well, this one is on my list every year – it’s the gift of spa.   A gift card to their favorite day spa to enjoy a relaxing massage or revitalizing facial, or perhaps a year of Yoga or Pilates.  There are so many options to give the gift that enhances their health and rejuvenates their body, mind and spirit.   Another favorite is a destination spa – an opportunity to immerse into a week or so of activities, healthy meals, hiking, fitness and services that uplift, rejuvenate and inspire.  If you’re looking for more insight on a destination spa like Miraval Arizona, Canyon Ranch, Red Mountain Spa, Rancho la Puerta or other last minute ideas, e-mail me at donna@mindfuladventures.com.

There you have it – a short list with some ideas to get you going or help you finish up your holiday shopping.  Thank you for stopping by. – DMA

Oprah and Miraval – Together again

Thursday, April 21st, 2011 | Adventure, Destination Spas, Miraval Spa, wellness | No Comments

Are you busy this afternoon?  Can you spare an hour?  If so, treat yourself to the Oprah show (4p EST and check your local listings) and get a taste of Miraval Arizona as today’s show is dedicated to “25 Years of Oprah and Gayle’s All-Time Best Adventures” and what a fun hour it will be.

Miraval offers more than a spa experience as you’ll see on Oprah and if a friend is unable to go on an adventure with you then consider a solo-adventure, my favorite way of experiencing Miraval.


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Ahh! A Lesson in Breathing. Tune in to the Dr. Oz show for more.

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 | Adventure, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, fitness, healthy living, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Breath in.  Breath out.  Are you using breath work as part of your wellness?  Both Dr. Weil and Dr. Nicolai will be on the Dr. Oz show today and they’ll discuss Integrative Wellness and a breathing technique to reduce stress.  Tune in to the show and you may be able to ‘tune in’ to some other ideas to improve your own health.

The Dr. Weil Integrative Wellness Program, under the direction of Dr. Jim Nicolai, is fairly new at Miraval Arizona.   It really is about our body-mind connection and taking responsibility for our health and it’s so empowering when you take the step toward optimum health.

I’ll be watching.  Check your local listings.

Be Mindful.  Enjoy your Adventure!

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Top 10 *Really Last Minute* Ideas for Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 | Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Miraval Spa, Red Mountain Spa | 4 Comments

For many, Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year.  We lavish our loved ones with gifts of chocolate, lingerie, jewelry, or a romantic dinner.  And there may also be a weekend getaway involved or a romantic couples massage.  All continue to be sought after and certainly any gal (or guy) looks forward to the the 14th of February. 

Below is Mindful Adventures Top 10 list for ‘Really Last Minute’ ideas forValentine’s Day…some travel, some spa, diamonds, dinner and love, always love!  And, they’re useful for any other special day where you want to show your loved one how much you care.  (** Move way down for a bonus idea!)

1.  A Destination Spa:  Yes, this is number one because there’s so much wrapped into a place such as this.

Heart Healthy dining, Heart pumping Fitness, an intimate Couples Massage, and so many other activities you can do together.  Some destination spas offer sessions to enhance and deepen your relationship and intimacy.   And, the best part of this heart-felt gift is that it can be given on Valentine’s Day and taken when you’re both available to travel, either way, it’s sure to be a gift that will last long after February 14th. 

Here are a few to consider:
Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ
Red Mountain Resort & Spa in St. George, Utah
Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ

2. Wine or an evening at a Wine Bar - There are so many great wines available from around the world and an evening at a Wine Bar where you can enjoy a ‘Flight’ of wines is so much fun and romantic as well.  Anything two people can do together can be romantic!  One of my personal favorites is Cline’s Cashmere and I love it because it’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre and is so smooth and luxurious.  It offers a long finish and you can pick up the lingering flavors of cherries and chocolate.  Cline Cellars also sponsors Breast Cancer Network of Strength.

3.  FlexFlops – For those of you not in the know yet about this fabulous item, here’s the skinny.  They’re compact footwear!  Whether you’re going for a pedicure and want to use your own flip-flops, or you’re traveling to your favorite wellness spa and don’t want to walk barefoot going through airport security (yes, practical as well), or just want a cute gift (for Valentine’s Day), this is something that will be appreciated.  It’s one of those Aha! gifts.  They also come with a matching pouch and different designs are available.

4.  Dark Chocolate – Yes, well, chocolate is always going to be on any Top 10 gift list I do due to the health benefits.   Dark chocolate, with higher cocoa levels, is best due to the phytochemicals so it’s heart healthy! If you’re going to give chocolate (or buy for yourself), make it dark chocolate!  Dark chocolate is so luscious, silky and smooth when it melts in your mouth and you’re doing something good for yourself…even one piece of dark chocolate a day can be beneficial.   A couple that I like include Bissinger and Ghiradelli Chocolates. (Check back here soon for more Dark Chocolate ideas!)

5. Golf and Spa – These just go together.  And this list isn’t just about what to give the guy in your life, it’s about what to give your gal and with Golf and Spa, you’ll both be happy (see, this can go either way…who is the golfer, perhaps both of you!) .   This part of the list could get rather long with all of the locations I’d love to include, so here are just a couple (more to come soon on this topic).

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is offering golfers a chance to improve their game (and who isn’t looking for golf-improvement).   This event is being held March 27th – 28th, 2010.  It’s a two-day golf program an includes room accommodations, golf school and lunch.    It’s being led by Jeff Johnson, the Director of Instruction, PGA Tour mental coach and author of Zen Golf and Dr. Joe Parent.  

And for an east coast option, consider  the Kiawah Resort at Kiawah Island in South Carolina (a few miles from Charleston, SC).  Nothing could be finer, than going to Carolina!  And, if you’re considering something for Valentine’s weekend, there are a few packages to consider including The Beach and Breakfast Romance Package ($289 per night) includes luxury accommodations, rose petal turndown service, and breakfast for two.    If you’d like to travel later, than consider giving on Valetine’s weekend and enjoying later.  This resort is one of our country’s top resorts and has five championship golf courses, including The Ocean Course (soon to be host of the 2012 PGA championships) and a top-rated spa (par for the course!).   

6. Romantic Dinner for Two  - Amore! And, Ristorante Cafe Cortina in Farmington Hills, Michigan says it best.  This is by far one of the best Italian restaurants in the country (not only my opinion, also in LA CUCINA ITALIANA magazine and Food Network’s Best of…Pasta).  The Risotto I enjoyed (devoured) was amazing…the best I ever had.  An intimate dinner at Cafe Cortina is like dining in Rome, Italy and they get 5 stars from me (Thanks to Adrian, the owner, and his team!)!  If you’re not in Michigan, take a look at their online market (not the same, but an option until you’re in Michigan!).   And, when you can get to Michigan, this is a must-do dining event.  Bellisimo!

7.  “I Love You” stones -  If you’re looking for something unique, this is a great idea.  I came across them while looking at Red Envelope (cool gifts that are unique and personal) and I think they’re great.   Who wouldn’t love finding this in their pocket or under the pillow.  One side says “I love you” and the other side has a saying such as, “…for always getting my jokes,” “…for being so giving,” “…for your honesty,” and more.   As of this writing, they’re not available for delivery until March 19, 2010, however I just had to include them.  They’re great for a birthday or anniversary as well.

8. Diamonds are (still) a Girls Best Friend! – There had to be something with Diamonds included here and this is a simple and beautiful piece of jewelry (and affordable).  It’s also from Red Envelope and it’s the Diamond Heart Necklace.  It’s a sterling silver heart pendant and is channel-set with 33 full-cut diamonds.    

9.  Dinner at Home! – With temperatures as cold as they’ve been and record high amounts of
snow in the mid-Atlantic, perhaps dinner at home is sounding even better for this Valentine’s Day.  Spend less time on making dinner and more time enjoying it by getting most of the ingredients delivered. Check out Al Dente pasta options and their Wine and Connoisseur basket.  It includes 3 bags of Al Dente pasta, 2 jars of Sauce and more.   Add your favorite bottle of wine (see # 3 above for an idea), a loaf of Italian bread, and a your favorite music (perhaps Andrea Bocelli’s Romanza).

10. Celtic Woman – Songs from the Heart Concert – Their music is beautiful, inspiring, full of hope and touches your heart in so many ways.  There’s a feeling you get when you listen to Celtic Woman sing and going to one of their concerts is truly awe-inspiring as their melodic songs touch your soul and open your spirit to feel more love.  It’s how I can best describe how their music touches me.  They’re currently touring the United States and there are many opportunities to experience their music.  Listen! 

 Final notes:  I hope you find something helpful on Mindful Adventures Experiential List of Valentine’s Day ideas for your significant other, family member or for yourself.  Share your love and Happy Valentine’s Day!

You found it!
11. A couples massage (or solo massage) – There’s still time to get an appointment for Saturday, Feb. 14 at many day spas (as well as resorts).  Check with your favorite spa and if you don’t have one, find one and take time to relax and rejuvenate.   If you’re in southeastern Virginia, check out JonBre’ European Spa; if you’re in New York City, check out the spa at Mandarin Oriental Spa; if you’re in Utah, check out Golden Door at Dakota Mountain Lodge and if you’re in Sedona, AZ, check out Mii Amo Spa (at Enchanment Resort).  These are just a few from east to west.  For an extensive list, visit ISPA (International Spa Association).

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