The well-established adult-only boutique spa hotel Herods Vitalis Eilat exudes luxury, peacefulness, calmness and pampering.
Located within the Herods complex but separated from it, the hotel has 53 rooms and suites in its high tower. The spa spans over two floors, and next to it, fine culinary services are available throughout the day, so guests can unwind and relax on a full stomach. Add to that the stunning weather and view of Eilat, and who needs more than that?
As soon as we entered Vitalis through its separate entrance, the bellboy made sure we parted from our luggage. Check-in is done seated, over a drink. Immediately afterwards, the bellboy arranged to bring our belongings to our suite on the 11th floor.
There are only a few rooms on each floor, so it is especially quiet here – also because Herods Vitalis is an adult-only hotel, and it is forbidden to talk on cellphones in the public areas and spa. The uniform here is robes; clothes are required only at the dining room and in the lounges.
At the hotel’s entrance level there is the reception, a small lobby and a spa office, and it is also where most of the spa facilities are located: a huge Jacuzzi, wet and dry sauna and an outdoor massage pool with hot and cold waterfalls.
The waterfalls, in my opinion, are the highlight. The gravity of the water gives a strong and pleasant massage to all parts of the body; all that is needed is just to lie down and direct your body towards the waterfall.
On the second floor is the Vitalis pool, which is in the shape of a dumbbell – half inside and half outside, with a water passage between the two sides. It is well heated inside so it is easy to enter and spend time in it even now during the winter. Pool noodles are provided for the benefit of swimmers, and they seem to be very popular here. Those who want to swim can do laps along the pool or go to Herods’ huge pool located in the complex.
The highlight of the spa is the variety of treatments. Among them is the hot stone massage, the most pampering treatment for winter. The therapist demonstrated impressive skill to relax and soften my muscles. As an avid massage therapy enthusiast, I know how to distinguish a professional therapist, so I highly recommend it.
Although the hotel is over 20 years old, it is well-maintained and accessible. Every corner of it has charm with architectural touches in the spiral staircase and plenty of art in the hallways. The massage-room area is a Japanese wooden style with patios.
Further along the corridor, there is a fully equipped gym overlooking the views of the Red Sea, where the spa relaxation room is situated, offering a selection of herbal tea. When not in the water, it’s fun to walk around and explore its different corners.
In most of the spa hotels I’ve stayed in, the rooms are of a high standard. Some of them have a Jacuzzi, a rain shower or some other treats. But none of them compares to the rain suites of Herods Vitalis!
The suite itself is very spacious; it includes a seating area, a canopy bed, a desk area, additional seating next to the balcony and of course, a balcony.
The highlight here is a huge 24 sq.m. bathroom connected directly to the room without a separating door. The décor of the bathroom combines turquoise colors, tree trunks for decoration with garden lighting and a French window with a view. The bathroom is equipped with a large Jacuzzi and a huge shower with a built-in bench and two separately operated rain shower heads.
A couple can bathe at the same time, and we joked that there is room for the entire family here. There is also a double sink and, of course, a separate toilet (with a door ;-). There are no words to describe the indulgence of this bathroom.
From the balcony of the room on the 11th floor, the view is stunning. From it you can see the Herods complex with its pools, a side view of the Red Sea and the Aqaba Mountains in front. Those who want to enjoy a panoramic view can go up to the 13th floor where there is an open balcony overlooking Eilat, the sea and Aqaba.
Currently, the stay at Vitalis is based on half-board plus two lounges for drinks and light meals/desserts, which are open throughout most of the day. Breakfast is served at the Lawrence restaurant, Vitalis’s main restaurant, until noon, so there is no problem sleeping late. Breakfast is a combination of a high-quality buffet and a served menu that includes a selection of eggs, coffee and freshly squeezed juices. Before drinking the coffee, it’s worth looking at it – it often comes with a “good morning” message on top or a cute drawing.
For those who didn’t have time to eat or are already hungry for lunch but don’t want a full lunch, from noon, a light complimentary dairy buffet is served at Lawrence, which consists of a cold and warm buffet including hot fish dishes. This buffet changes in the late afternoon to an impressive dessert buffet.
In addition, from noon until the evening, Vitalis guests have access to the Herods lounge on the 11th floor with a stunning view for a snack, wine or beer, or a selection of alcoholic beverages in the evening.
Vitalis guests can choose between dinners at the Lawrence, at the Herods dairy Italian restaurant or have at the Herods hotel buffet; all are kosher. Thus, when staying a few days one can vary. We ate at Lawrence and the Italian restaurants, and they are both excellent.
Dinner at the Lawrence is fabulous; it is a high-scale chef restaurant with gourmet food and immaculate service. The menu includes plenty of options, so you can eat something else here every evening.
We started with bread and dips, an excellent beef carpaccio (highly recommended!) and gnocchi. For the main course, we ordered filet medallions au gratin. It was a huge portion of three mellow medallions made accurately to order, with a touch of sweet berry coulis sauce. Desserts did not fall short as well. The lemon tart we had was fabulous.
The other evening, we ate at the Italian restaurant. It has a casual trattoria style with red checkered tablecloths but with a high-scale service. The meal is à la carte, with each Vitalis diner getting a first course, main course and dessert.
We ordered focaccia with dips, fresh Caesar salad, arancini, four-cheese gnocchi, fish with risotto full of mushrooms, and for dessert, tiramisu and pistachio crème brûlée. The main dishes were superb – homemade gnocchi with a rich thick sauce and grilled fish filet served with a risotto full of fresh mushrooms of different types. The desserts are huge and very tasty!
In summary, it is highly recommended to come for at least two nights, even three, to relax and properly enjoy what the hotel has to offer!
The author was a guest of the hotel.