A trip to Thailand at Sheva Spa – no flight needed

The spa provides an authentic Thai experience, tuned to Western preferences.

 The Sheva Spa provides an authentic Thai experience, tuned to Western preferences. (photo credit: EDEN SHARON)
The Sheva Spa provides an authentic Thai experience, tuned to Western preferences.
(photo credit: EDEN SHARON)

Sheva Spa at Hilton Tel Aviv is an authentic Thai spa – get ready to spend a couple of hours feeling like you’re in Thailand, no flight needed!

There are many spas in Israel, some very good ones, but besides the pampering facilities, we’re always looking for new things, better experiences and more excitement. Sheva Spa is exactly that, while it provides the same basic facilities, it delivers an entirely different experience. It is unique in the décor, massage style and ambience. It resembles a trip to Thailand, even if just for a few hours!

Sheva Spa was founded by Naomi (Nam) Horowitz, a Thai massage therapist who married an Israeli. Horowitz knows the spa business from the inside out and was involved in every detail of the design and functioning of the spa. The spa provides an authentic Thai experience, tuned to Western preferences. Horowitz gave the spa the name Sheva (Seven) because it’s her lucky number.

The Thai artifacts at the lower level of the Hilton are a small promo of what’s behind the door. As we entered Sheva Spa, an Asian hostess wearing authentic clothing greeted us with “sawadika” – hello in Thai; this was a quick transition! The spa’s reception area has classic far-eastern décor featuring dark wooden furniture with bright colored cushions and Asian elements such as elephants and sculptures – all imported from Thailand. The walls are decorated with Asian artwork, and there are orchids everywhere!

After a quick welcome the hostess took us to the changing rooms, where we changed into white robes and slippers. The bathroom included dry and wet saunas, showers and makeup corners. These facilities are separate for men and women. There we could warm up and get our body ready for the treatment in the showers and saunas. The spa also features a well-equipped gym with a sea-view.

 An exotic and multi-sensual experience. (credit: SHEVA) An exotic and multi-sensual experience. (credit: SHEVA)

At the set time, we headed to the reception area to meet our massage therapists. They took us to a massage room for couples – a beautiful room painted dark red and decorated with Asian art. Two wide wooden massage beds with towel swans waited for us; but first, we were invited to sit in large armchairs for the traditional washing ritual, which transitioned us into relaxation mode. There is also something royal about that ritual, where one sits on an elegant armchair while being pampered.

We had the Thai oil massage, a mixture of techniques that merges East and West. It combines diverse massage techniques including Thai massage, classic oil massage and the addition of hot stones. The petite massage therapist appeared to have sturdy hands and surprising strength. She climbed on my legs and back while pressing her palms on her legs or knees.

During the oily massage part, she used coconut oil and, at some point, infused a small amount of herbal essence. These scents, together with Thai meditation music in the background, made the experience exotic and multi-sensual.

After the massage, the therapists took us to the rest area, located in front of a spectacular view of the Mediterranean. The room has a one-way glass wall facing the sea, where they served us water, herbal tea in a traditional pot, nuts and dried fruit.

This is where they give foot massages. The massage therapist used her hands and wooden Thai tools to press key points on the foot; this can be powerful or tingling, but it is a great supplement for the full body massage. After it, I was ready to get back to face the real world.

Sheva Spa offers different packages, and a visit there can be combined with breakfast at  the Hilton or independently at one of the many restaurants nearby. Whichever one you pick, this spa is outstanding!

Sheva Spa, Hilton Tel Aviv, 205 Hayarkon St. www.sheva-spa.co.il, (077) 996-6777, [email protected]

The author was a guest of the spa.