Time Out: A luxurious experience

The Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem now offers first-class hospitality and an excellent new spa.

The Duo Spa 370 (photo credit: courtesy)
The Duo Spa 370
(photo credit: courtesy)
Sometimes getting a massage is like psychological therapy. Your aching body cries out for healing, and if the therapist knows how to deal with you, all you have to do is relax and enjoy.
That was the experience I had recently at the new spa at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem. After filling out a health form and being taken on a short tour of the Duo Spa by the friendly receptionist, I requested that the therapist focus on my back, which is usually like a brick wall due to my sitting at a computer most of the day.
Using a Chinese method he called tuina, the therapist – a student of Chinese acupressure massage – gave me a hot-oil, deep-tissue treatment that simultaneously relaxes and energizes. It’s the kind of massage that you don’t want to end, and I felt thoroughly indulgent for every minute of the hour-long session. I hardly noticed the strange Asian music that was playing in the background or the small candles lit in the massage room. Once my eyes were closed, I was immediately transported to another world, a world in which there is no stress and no hurry. At the end of it, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to sleep or go for a run; it was a nice mixture of feeling calm and energetic at the same time.
The small spa, which opened two months ago, offers a range of treatments, from 45 minutes of classic, Swedish, shiatsu or Thai massage for NIS 290 (90 minutes is NIS 410) to specialty therapies such as hot stone massages for NIS 380 an hour.
The Duo Spa, which has separate shower facilities for men and women, as well as a dry sauna and a professional gym, also provides a variety of cosmetic treatments.
If you are ever in downtown Jerusalem (it’s across the road from the Great Synagogue on King George Avenue) with an hour to spare, I highly recommend a visit.
Breathtaking view
The Duo Spa is part of an overhaul that is taking place at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel. The $20 million renovation is due to be completed by March 2013. Four floors of the hotel have already been completely renovated and upgraded.
On a recent visit to the hotel, we were taken to see the suite on the 19th floor.
It must be one of the most invested suites in Jerusalem. Designed by Moka Hausman, the suite measures more than 100 square meters. It has a fully furnished living room, luxurious bedroom and bathroom, a kitchen and dining area that can seat a dinner party of 12 or accommodate a cocktail party for 20, and the best view of Jerusalem you could ask for. Prices start at $2,000 a night.