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Test your limits at Miraval Spa

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

A favorite pastime at Miraval Spa in Tucson is the Quantum Leap -- you climb a shaky 25-foot wooden telephone pole, then jump. And you thought spas were supposed to be stress-free. Of course, you're tied to a rope, but it's just another guest at the other end. Miraval is part of a new active-spa trend, where adventure and self-realization are as much a part of the program as beauty treatments. Less anxiety-producing is Desert Journey Adventure, an imaginary walk over stones, across streams, and through woods to heighten sensory awareness and team communication. You can skip activities that force you to meet your fears and simply hike, bike in the mountains, swim, or take yoga and fitness classes. Miraval also believes in pampering -- there are seven kinds of body wraps and more than twice as many massages. Meals, no time for deprivation, include delicious southwestern-influenced dishes like blue-corn crepes or lobster-stuffed salmon. Typical desserts are pumpkin cheesecake and flourless chocolate cake. Just don't climb one of those poles when you're done.

Miraval Spa, 800-232-3969 or www.miravalresort.com (daily rates range from $370 in the summer to $570 in the winter; prices include meals, classes, and one spa service per day).

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