Pastoral at Kfar Blum

When my husband and I were invited to spend a night at Kfar Blum, we originally turned down the offer. That's because we had stayed there several times in the distant past, and weren't in the mood for very small, very simple rooms and an outdated lobby. But after being assured that all had changed, we relented. We were glad we did. The whole enterprise, today operated purely as a business and called Pastoral, is far more of an upscale hotel than a kibbutz guest house. The lobby is elegant, spacious and multifunctional. All of the original rooms have been renovated, enlarged and modernized, while the newest rooms are five-star quality: spacious and absolutely beautiful. I loved our lodgings: a spacious two-room suite in a new building. The suite came complete with a large bathroom containing a Jacuzzi, double bathroom floor rugs, double sinks and double entrances. The suite's paintings and décor were superb. It rained while we were there, so instead of a morning walk we headed for the gym. It was disappointing to find it ugly and old-fashioned, a far cry from the hotel's piece de resistance: a stunning and very unusual spa that isolates you completely from the commotion, noise and worries of the outside world. Besides the sauna and the Turkish bath, the spa boasts some very unusual attractions: freezing cold tubs of water that you dump on your head for cooling off (I'm told Russian visitors love it!), great foot-tub Jacuzzis and my favorite, the rainfall cave. The treatment center is separate from the rest of the spa and it was there that I enjoyed a professional massage that offered me temporary relief from chronic back pain. Afterwards, I was taken to a "relaxation area" - lounge chairs with comfy mattresses located directly across from a picturesque window. When I arrived, I found a mellow hubby waiting for me. I barely waved hello before lying down and falling asleep!