Time Out: Cool break

Take time off in the middle the week to relax and rejuvenate at a spa in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Beautiful pool  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Beautiful pool
(photo credit: Courtesy)
When thinking of a spa, a city center location is not the first thing that comes to mind. But earlier this month, just before the holiday craze, on a midweek working day, I did just that when I checked into the Carmel Forest Spa of the Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv Hotel for a few hours of total relaxation, pampering and head clearing.
The Isrotel Royal Beach Tel Aviv Hotel is located on the Mediterranean coastline, within walking distance from the center of the bustling city, offering hotel guests and visitors alike a haven away from the busy streets.
The spa is situated just opposite the entrance to the beautiful swimming pool area, located a few meters above sea level, offering a magnificent view of the beach but built in a way that there is always a cooling sea breeze, plenty of shaded areas and numerous lounge chairs and a small café-bar that offers light meals and soft drinks.
But I was there for the adjoining spacious Carmel Forest Spa. I was greeted by a receptionist, given a locker key and, after changing into a terrycloth robe, I waited in the treatment area for my masseur.
There is a vast selection of treatments and massages to choose from at the spa, such as deep tissue, aromatic and extremities massage, peelings, shiatsu and reflexology. I chose the deep tissue and got a really good, professional 50-minute massage. Later I took my time in the relaxation room, where free green tea is offered and guests can rest quietly on the beds.
The spa offers daily packages for visitors who come in for the day. Most packages include a choice of the hotel’s rich breakfast buffet at the West Side restaurant or a dairy lunch in the lobby, a 50-minute treatment and use of all the spa facilities, including the Turkish bath (hamam), dry sauna and more, and the use of the swimming pool (NIS 430 per person). An additional NIS 200 includes a 45-minute training session at the Cloud 9 gym with a personal trainer, and there are more options that include peeling and facials.
After a visit to the hamam and the sauna, another cup of green tea and more rest, I went up to the Cloud 9 gym, overlooking Tel Aviv. It is an amazing gym, arguably the best in Tel Aviv, where a team of experienced professional fitness instructors is always on hand to assist guests. The manager, Bibi Reches, graciously showed me around.
The gym is “worth driving in from the other side of the city,” said a very busy businessman who was just finishing his daily workout. “The equipment is cutting edge, the training is done under close supervision of the highly professional fitness instructors, and the atmosphere is fantastic.”
I felt the same way.
The spa packages only apply on weekdays. An additional NIS 90 per person will round the day off with dinner at the West Side restaurant.
For more options and reservations, call (03) 740-5070.
The writer was a guest of the Carmel Forest Spa.