Fancy Ein Ya'acov?

Chateau Prestige is the embodiment of relaxation, sporting extravagance deserving of any special occasion.

Dudi Ettedgi had always aspired to move to thecountryside and open up a chic getaway in the north of Israel, wherecouples can set aside their troubles, swim and gaze out across miles ofbeautiful countryside.

In May 2008, the 34-year-old from Kiryat Yamfinally found what he considered the perfect location, a plot on theedge of Ein Ya'acov, 10 minutes from Ma'alot in western Galilee.

Ettedgi took six months off of work and dedicated himself tobuilding three luxury suites, an outdoor hot tub and a small swimmingpool at the foot of his new home. With the help of a building team the"tzimmer" was already up and running by December.

And what a job he has done. Chateau Prestige is the embodimentof relaxation, sporting extravagance deserving of any special occasion.

We arrived at Ein Ya'acov as it was getting dark inthe late afternoon, having picked up our Chevrolet Aveo from Best CarRentals in Talpiot, Jerusalem, that morning. The three-hour journey wasmade a bit easier due to the convenience of not having had to go intothe center of town to hire a car.

Taking the sharp left into the moshav and driving round the perimeter we finally found ourselves outside the Chateau.

It felt like a totally different world from the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem we had left behind.

Ettedgi met us at the entrance and gave us a quick tour of thefacilities, and the view - both the pool and hot tub sit on a viewpointwhich juts out of the hillside, allowing guests to chill out whileenjoying the stunning landscape.

The pool isn't open during the winter months, but the hot tub is available all year round.

When we entered our room we were struck by the attention todetail. Not only was there a plasma television hanging from theceiling, but also a DVD player and a selection of movies to watch, ifdesired.

Each of the three suites is decorated in a different style. Ourroom featured curtains in calming shades of beige and an array of comfychairs next to the large window.

The kitchenette included a full set of cutlery, an espressomaker (the use of which Ettedgi handily demonstrated), and even a smallelectric burner and saucepans in case guests decide to make themselvesa meal.

The bathroom has two sinks and there are two showers in thesingle cubicle, giving couples ample space to pamper themselves instyle.

And then, of course, there is the Jacuzzi, a large tub whereguests can let their concerns slip away while enjoying thecomplimentary bottle of wine.

The quiet and calm atmosphere of Galilee is contagious, and Chateau Prestige only accentuates this.

This is a romantic vacation spot created for true indulgence,with a full menu of relaxing massages and treatments on offer,including four hands massage and a hot stone treatment. Prices are notfor every pocket, though, with a room running NIS 800 a night duringthe week and NIS 1,100 on the weekend.

There isn't a lot to do in the evening in the immediate areabesides going out to one of a few eateries within a short drive'sdistance away, although once you arrive at Chateau Prestige it'sunlikely you will want to do much more than relax.

During the day, however, Western Galilee is full of walkingtours and various other activities including ATV rides and horsebackriding. Brochures providing useful information about these options werehandily available in the suite's chest of drawers.

After a short dip in the Jacuzzi we drove out to Ma'alot for abite to eat in the excellent Hadarale French restaurant before turningin for the night (see box).

Although we had been warned of the incredible views, we werestill surprised by the beauty of the scene which greeted us the nextmorning. It truly was breathtaking.

We had arranged for breakfast to be brought to the room at 9:30 and it came right on time.

The meal was typical of those offered in Israeli cottages,including an array of cheeses and bread, omelets, jams and fresh juices- healthy and tasty.

As we sat on the veranda enjoying our morning coffee the wifeand I agreed this had been one of the better short stay vacations wehad experienced.

Unfortunately our busy timetable meant we didn't have time totry out the outdoor hot tub, but it looked just as inviting as the miniswimming pool, and we made a mental note to make sure we have an extrahour or two next time we are in Ein Ya'acov.

The writer was a guest of Chateau Prestige.