Lake Austin Spa vs. Miraval Austin

Which all-inclusive escape should I go to, Lake Austin Spa or Miraval Austin? This is the number one question I get asked when ladies want to know where they should do a day-trip staycation from their family (ha!) alone or with girlfriends. I have had multiple experiences with different friends and family at both and finally have a specific answer. 

I was first invited to Lake Austin Spa to write a review about my stay, and then I went a few more times — once with my friend Leslie visiting in the month of October, another time with my mom and dad for my dad’s 80th birthday, and most recently for one night in May. Since my first visit, the resort has seen room renovations, and while that didn’t even matter to me, I LOVE their cottage-like feel under the canopies surrounded by lots of lush brush, plants, and shade. When I went with my parents, our room even had an outdoor hot tub, such a fun treat to dip into before our lakeside dinner.

My first visit to Miraval was for two nights on assignment for Tribeza in 2021, and I got to bring my best friend Tracy who flew down from NYC to enjoy a little getaway and time together. Turns out it was just what I needed at that time in my life as I hadn’t been feeling like myself, and we enjoyed a special flower photography class, yoga, the pool, cardio drumming, etc. I most recently went back with my friend Carly with a day pass and not spending the night is truly just a different wavelength of jolting yourself out of real life and jumping right back in too quickly. 

Below, I’m going to break down what I like most about each and a few anecdotes from my times!

I LOVED going to Lake Austin Spa with my parents for two nights in the fall. The leaves were changing, and we took a boat ride wearing light jackets, but thankfully, it was still warm enough to swim in the lake. I loved that my dad tried yoga for the first time on his 80th birthday. This is the hardest my mom and I have ever laughed, especially when all of a sudden all of us ladies were in Shavasana, and the teacher called out to my dad to ask what was wrong since he was standing up looking around the room. Imagine if it was your first time hearing any yoga lingo, and everyone is just lying down and the teacher is truly speaking another language. I love him so! I’ll never forget this special trip we had together where we didn’t have to have any dinner reservations or activities pre-planned or make any decisions. We just got to enjoy each other’s company at our own leisure, and there was something for all of us. My mom treaded water with me while my dad took photos on his fancy camera. My mom and I did another workout class while my dad had a massage, and we enjoyed our meals looking over the water.

My last time at Lake Austin Spa, in May 2024, the place really got an upgrade! I noticed the new bath products, and they have a new quick facial called Plump It Up, that was done by the sweetest French woman who is so knowledgeable in skincare. I had never sat up in a chair for a facial before, but she made it work. The goal is to increase skin plumpness, reduce puffy eyes, and deliver an instant lift. We also participated in the new Hydro Circuit Add-On, which is a self-guided mud mask you apply to your body, then rinse outside in the rainshower, and then cold plunge. My friend and I had so much fun ending our trip with this and stayed in the plunge for 4 minutes for two rounds. My absolute FAVORITE activity at Lake Austin Spa is the AquaStretch Myofascial Release class taught by the most wonderful and world renowned teacher from Mexico City. This is one of the most effective ways to release muscle or joint pain, and it’s underwater in the Pool Barn where she teaches “manual pressure to free fascial adhesions that restrict your flexibility.” You can book a private session, which I’d like to do someday or sign up with the group activity as an overnight guest. While I prefer spending the night because I like the food better at the main house, plus the access to all the work out classes and water deck activities, such as paddle boarding, aqua jogging bike, and boat ride, it can be pricey, so there is the option for the day pass. However, I don’t like the food at the spa (although this isn’t why you are here anyway), but they have The Studio at LakeHouse fitness calendar now, and we did the Balance & Strength Yoga class that helped us strengthen and stretch our feet, toes, ankles, core, and I highly recommend this!!

The first time I spent the night at Miraval, I really enjoyed the thought classes with therapists, and the array of activities like photography and acrobatic yoga, as well as the cute sleep sack you put your phone in at night to not distract you. For the day pass, we did a fun acrobatic yoga class on the farm. I’ve never done anything like this, and while we were sweating in the hot sun, it forced me to be present, trying to pay attention to the directions of folding myself up and down in the purple scarf and even going upside down. I loved the Yoga Sculpt class and ended up missing the Ring of Life ritual since I chose to go to that class instead, which would have been a fun intention setting and burning of old things to let go of. I decided I could do that at home (but I did not). That’s why I think it’s better to stay overnight, so you can book activities on both ends of the trip. They also have a cool portal online where you book directly vs. signing up when you arrive. Their food selection is a buffet for the most part, compared to Lake Austin Spa, where you order dishes off the menu, although they are unlimited at both places. The food used to be better at both and is now forgettable. I am not complaining, as I would rather my senses be heightened by all the healing and love the grounds have to offer, but I just don’t want anyone to be disappointed. 

Overall, I have to choose Lake Austin Spa because it feels more cozy and like this is my actual home for the night or two, with quiet lush grounds and huge trees and greenery overlooking the lake. I’m more of an outdoorsy and active gal, so this is why it is for me as it feels more wholesome with the environment. Miraval feels more like condos with a lot of concrete, but might have more activities and workshops that you’ve never been exposed to before, so that is exciting! I hope this helps in your decision — you really can’t go wrong.