THE SPA VILLAGE at Hamat Gader is an extravgant luxury that is worth experiencing..
(photo credit: TALY SHARON)
Spa Village in Hamat Gader is a tropical paradise where you can immerse in the 37º natural hot springs pools surrounded by palm trees and flora, bathing in the light of torches. Pamper yourself with a message, sit in the sauna, relax by the pool and spend the night in a magical atmosphere at an ultimate retreat.
We went to Spa Village for a winter spa vacation. It is a must to book in advance, as the hotel is very small and gets filled quickly. Once we got to Hamat Gader, we were directed to a VIP parking area designated for the hotel guests. Since driving is not allowed inside Hamat Gader, a golf cart picked us up from the parking lot and took us to the western edge of the park where the entrance to the village is located. The moment we stepped into the hotel, it was evident that it is a very unique place. The décor radiates elegance and style. At the reception, we got the “uniforms” of the village – white bath robes! There are 31 wooden bungalows in Spa Village surrounding a 37º mineral pool.
The village is well groomed and features all the facilities that one might need for a perfect vacation – a complimentary tea and coffee corner, a dining room, sauna and 10 massage rooms just off the pool. If you feel you need more action – there’s a couple of workout machines and a billiard table.
Each bungalow is spacious, immaculate and well-equipped: a wide room with a sofa corner, a private bathroom and all the amenities (cable TV, espresso machine, etc.) but the diamond in the crown is the huge private Jacuzzi that can accommodate four people easily. Connected to the mineral spring water system, it pumps warm natural spring water into the Jacuzzi so that you can have your own private mineral pool! Spa Village is restricted to adults only most of the year (it is open for families during the summer), which makes it especially tranquil and serene. The hot water lowers the blood pressure so that everyone is calm here, talking quietly by the pool and resting. The Blue Bar restaurant located near the pool offers buffet-style dairy meals. With everything in convenient reach, we did not have to worry about anything! At night, the lighting changes and instead of streetlights, they light torches here. This gives the village a romantic ambiance; bathing in the dim light is magical! One of the advantages of staying the night at Spa Village hotel is that we could enjoy Hamat Gader early in the morning before it gets crowded. We were practically alone there! There are three pools in total – two large pools with jets, Jacuzzi beds and a waterfall that gives you a massage, plus the hottest bath – a covered 42º bath with a pebble floor. If you enjoy mild heat, it is a warm and relaxing experience; the water is clear and gentle music is played there.
Hamat Gader is the largest natural hot springs resort in Israel. The water is pumped here from a two-km.-deep hot spring that is and rich with minerals (zinc, sodium, magnesium, calcium, etc.) and sulfur (which is why they smell so strongly). The waters are healthy for the skin, joints, respiratory system, blood flow, they reduce stress, and more.
In addition to the hot springs, there are also things to do here such as to visit the crocodiles and the animal farm, watch a parrot show, go fishing and explore the antiques. There is an active excavation of the ancient Roman baths and an old synagogue, both in work now to prepare to open them to the public (meanwhile they can be viewed from the outside).
Staying at the Spa Village is not cheap.
The room rate starts around NIS 800, including a buffet-breakfast, but the value is high. If you can’t afford the stay or don’t have more than a day to spare, there is a day package starting from NIS 185, including use of Hamat Gader and Spa Village facilities, light refreshments, bath robes, towels and lockers. The village has stylish public showers.
Hamat Gader is located near the Sea of Galilee, to its southeast.
Information: Spa Village, www.spavillage.co.il/en/, Tel: *6393 The writer was a guest of Spa Village.