Calm down

Enjoy a relaxed, luxurious and romantic spa experience in Eilat. Just in time for the ‘after the holidays’ blues.

By JACOB ASHKENAZI
September 8, 2010 21:17
3 minute read.
The Herods Vitalis spa hotel

Herods Vitalis spa hotel 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Herods Vitalis spa hotel is a unique boutique hotel experience within the Eilat holiday scene. While part of the larger Herods hotel complex (of the Fattal chain), at the Vitalis you won’t find any families with bundles of children running around or loud music acts by the pool. The 50- room spa hotel is designed for couples on relaxed, romantic getaways. The atmosphere is quiet, discreet and luxurious.

There is no smoking in any of the public areas; guests are not seen talking on cell phones; and, as a stark contrast to the surrounding hotels, there are no throngs of loud families; just peace and quiet, hearty, healthy food, and a high-quality spa with the peace and serenity you would expect of a spa resort.

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The concept of the Vitalis spa hotel is to combine luxury, romance and spa into one experience; an island of calm as a contrast to the rest of Eilat hotel experience. A VIP van picks you up from the airport, and the moment you enter the Vitalis you know you have entered a quiet island in the bustling seaside resort town.

The hotel staff greets you at the door, and from then on you are in their expert care.

Everyone from the manager down, the room staff, waiters, the masseuses, personal fitness coaches and diet consultants are super friendly and professional.

I have been to many spa resorts around the world and the quality of the treatments and amenities at the Vitalis ranks high, without having to take anything to the extreme (no detox treatments for instance); just a luxurious, romantic spa ambience that reminds you that you are here to relax.

The spa treatment area is serene wood-paneled enclosure with calming music and herbal scents wafting through the air.



I received a seashell massage treatment, which I am told is unique to Vitalis in Israel. Originally developed in the Philippines and the south Pacific islands, hot seashell massage combines deep tissue work with relaxation as the smoothed, oiled tiger-striped shells work their way through your body firmly, but with oily ease. What makes them hot? The masseuse inserts herbal compositions of your choice into an opening at the bottom of the palm-sized shell, and then adds an activation liquid gel made from natural minerals, which, within seven minutes, gives the shell heat and keeps it hot for about an hour.

The the aromatic-oiled shells, when guided by expert hands, glide along the contours of the body and expedite muscle relaxation, and it is an especially enjoyable treatment.

Because the shells are organic and natural, and contain a lot of calcium carbonate, when they are heated they release calcium into the skin – the calcium assists the regenerative qualities of the skin – adding another therapeutic, exfoliation element to the massage. Proponents of seashell massage attest to the shells’ positive vibrations as an added healing component.

Many seashell massage therapists consider seashells energetically uplifting.

Massages are also sometimes given outside on the roof with a stunning sea view.

Before and after massage you can relax at an indoor or outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi, dry or wet sauna, or, my personal favorite, a hot or cold waterfall cascade pool under which you can lie and let your body receive a “natural” massage from the falling water. This is quite an experience and highly recommended. The hotel has a fully-fitted gym, where you can also take yoga and Pilates classes taught by expert teachers.

The food is prepared with an eye to health and detail, but doesn’t take it to the extreme. You can enjoy hearty meats and fish, as well as fresh vegetarian dishes. The Shabbat buffet is vast, and the wine selection is good. During the day, the lounge area is always stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks and light meals. All in all, a highly recommended experience for couples looking for a romantic, luxurious and healthy getaway just a short flight from Tel Aviv.

The writer was a guest of the Herods Vitalis.

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