Exclusive: Miraval to buy historic Cranwell Resort in Lenox for first East Coast resort

by Jane Kitchen | 14 Jul 2016
Cranwell is a great fit for us – it’s a large property where we can create the Miraval experiences
– Chevis Hosea

Destination spa Miraval is set to buy the historic Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts, marking the brand’s first East Coast location and the first “full-blown” Miraval outside of Tucson.

“Cranwell is a great fit for us – it’s a large property where we can create the Miraval experiences,” Chevis Hosea, Miraval Group vice president of development told CLAD. “It’s got a great history, great architecture – the Berkshires are full of history, art and music, which fits our model very well. This will be our New England anchor.”

Miraval hopes to start redevelopment as soon as planning is approved in the next few weeks, and aims to have the resort open by late 2018 or early 2019.

The location is just a few miles from fellow Arizona-based destination spa Canyon Ranch, which operates a resort with a 100,000sq ft spa complex and resort less than three miles away.

“If you’re going into New England with a wellness resort, obviously Lenox is a well-known destination already,” said Hosea. “We just want to add to that experience. (Lenox) could be a real wellness destination.”

Hosea said Miraval’s decision to open a location in Lenox was based on extensive market research, and the fact that the Northeast US is a key market for its Tucson location. And while most guests fly to Tucson, Lenox is a driveable location from big urban centres like New York and Boston.

Set on 380 acres, Cranwell features several “cottages,” including a historic hilltop Tudor-style mansion, and a home once lived in by Harriet Beecher Stowe – famous for her anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin – which remains part of the resort and is home to some of the hotel’s bedrooms.

Miraval plans to renovate every building on the property and “bring them up to Miraval standards,” said Hosea.

“Protect and preserve is the key there,” he said. “It's great at any resort to have some history to be able to celebrate.”

Four key new buildings are also planned.

A new lodging building will add 43 bedrooms, bringing the resort’s total to 148, and Miraval will also build an new 18,327sq ft (1,703sq m) spa with 35 treatment rooms from the ground up. The existing Cranwell spa will be converted to a fitness facility.

There are also plans for a new-build 12,003sq ft (1,115sq m) mindfulness and wellbeing building, which would house seven movement studios, 12 consultation rooms and seven clinic rooms, as well as an activity hub building. An organic farm for farm-to-table dining is also planned on-site.

Hosea said the Cranwell location will be modelled after the original Tucson resort, with the same extensive programming and most likely a few site-specific offerings.

Miraval recently opened its first location outside of Tucson at the Monarch Beach Resort in Southern California, though that is a Miraval Life in Balance resort rather than the full Miraval experience.

Miraval Group president & chief executive officer Steve Rudnitsky told CLAD then that the company had an aggressive expansion plan.

“The primary emphasis in terms of expanding the Miraval brand will be with other destination resorts, a la Tucson,” said Rudnitsky. “We know that we can easily adapt this experience to the California wine country, the Colorado mountains, parts of New England, Hawaii, as well as parts of Florida.”

In the next five years, Rudnitsky said he’s “very confident” there will be another five to seven “full-blown” Miraval resorts in North America.

Miraval  Cranwell Resort  Lenox  Massachusetts 
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FEATURE: Spa people – Steve Rudnitsky

Destination spa Miraval is set to buy the historic Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts, marking the brand’s first East Coast location and the first “full-blown” Miraval outside of Tucson. “Cranwell is a great fit for us – it’s a large property where we can create the Miraval experiences,” Chevis Hosea, Miraval Group vice president of development told CLAD. “It’s got a great history, great architecture – the
Miraval is planning an extensive renovation of the 380-acre property, as well as the building of four new buildings, including a stand-alone spa, a mindfulness and wellbeing building, an activity hub and additional lodging, as well as an organic farm
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