Miraval Berkshires is known for many things: a holistic approach to wellness, a device-free setting that helps people disconnect from technology, beautiful rooms and grounds, and an adults-only setting free of kids.
But that last one is about to change — at least for a week — when the Berkshires outpost of Hyatt’s much-loved Miraval brand hosts its first-ever “Family Connection Week” April 14-21.
Family Connection Week, Miraval says, will welcome guests 8 years old and up for an experience that will “elevate mindfulness and healthy habits within families, [support] children and adolescents in building a strong foundation for a balanced life and [create] moments for family bonding that will leave a lasting impact.”
To do that, families will be invited to participate in various activities, from hiking and ropes course experiences to mindfulness sessions, cooking classes, yoga, floating meditation, farm and barn exploration, painting, pottery, and more.
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Understanding Family Connection Week
As big fans of Miraval here at TPG, our ears perked up, and we were intrigued about the catalyst for offering a family-friendly week at a famously adults-only resort, what it could mean for guests with existing reservations not expecting kids around, and what it could mean for the future of the resort as a whole. So we sat down with the Miraval Berkshires’ general manager, Gilbert Santana, to find out.
“I do a lot of things from left field,” Santana told TPG, “[but] something I do from right field every day is I listen to our guests.” And, as he explained, many of those guests were saying the same thing: They wished they could share the Miraval experience with their kids.
Santana explained he and his team realized that wellness has no age limit and there’s no such thing as “too young to start your well-being journey.” In fact, he added, maybe giving kids a well-being experience now will be an entire “well-being journey that starts very, very early.”
They took into account practical considerations, like selecting a week around spring break when families would already be traveling — a week that is typically slower at Miraval, considering the property is typically “scratched off” for families looking to travel during that time because, well, the kids out of school weren’t allowed to visit.
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They also seriously considered guests who already had reservations with the assumption the resort would only be open to adults. “We reached out to those guests and explained to them that we were going to do the family week [and] I want to say that everyone was very receptive.” But for folks who weren’t so keen, Santana offered guests an “out.”
“Say you want to move your date — we would do that for you at no cost. If you want to completely get all [of] your money back? Absolutely, and we will work on all the details. And if you want to come back and you’re frustrated that we’re doing this, we would also make sure that we take care of you in the future,” he explained, adding that open communication is key at Miraval.
What to expect
For folks interested in attending Family Connection Week, Santana wants you to know that the experience is a “lighter” version of the Miraval experience but a “more family-rounded version.” That will include sessions for the entire family, sessions for kids 13 and up (without parental involvement) and special activities for kids younger than 13 that require parents to be present — all staying true to Miraval’s brand ethos.
A great example, Santana explained, of how that ethos will be infused into the experience is at the ropes course, where kids can learn how to be competitive without being overly competitive. It’s about setting “intentions and actually modifying that conversation to be able to articulate it to a child,” he said.
Santana was also quick to note that the programming also allows, in certain instances (and depending on the child’s age), the opportunity for parents or caregivers to still have time and experiences to themselves. “Ultimately, our goal is to be able to have the parents infuse with the kids and the ability to separate them in certain aspects, right?”
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As for the younger kids who still need time to run around and be kids, Santana isn’t worried. “We have 400 acres; you can separate to the point where if we have kids outside having fun and screaming a little, you won’t take away from the experience inside. We think we’ve covered it all.”
Now the question remains: Will it stick? “I will tell you that if this went well,” Santana said, “I wouldn’t be opposed to doing this every year at the same time frame, possibly multiple times in the year if it works,” adding that he hopes to develop the program slowly and ensure that his team doesn’t “make major mistakes and take away from the ethos of the hotel.”
How to book
For families considering Family Connection Week, rates begin at $679 per night, and reservations can be made by calling 844-713-0402. Additionally, World of Hyatt members can book using points by calling.