Taking a pause

Up north in Nahariya is an oasis of a spa called Pausa ("Pause"), which I was recently sent to check out. It was a two-day trip to see the sights of the North and be pampered silly. The trip was arranged by Pausa, and included two separate treatments in their day spa and an overnight stay in nearby and very quaint cottages. We were also treated to a gourmet dinner with a local chef in Kfar Vradim and a stop in Klil, a unique village populated by an eclectic group of artists, where we were entertained with a musical feast. Pausa is hidden unobtrusively and almost unidentifiably in a residential neighborhood. Apart from its little sign, one would think it was just another house. Our Pausa experience started with royal treatment on our train ride from Tel Aviv, with pre-reserved seats, coffee and cake. We arrived at the spa and were warmly greeted by the staff, who gave us our itineraries, sweet flavored tea and an impressive Israeli breakfast set up in their tranquil, manicured garden with its Gondon tree and water feature. I could already feel my mood lighten, and some of the stress I had brought with me from Jerusalem float away. Attention to every detail is what made this spa so memorable. They have created a relaxing, well-designed environment. As you enter the spa, you are welcomed to a little sitting area where there is soothing music in the background, the gentle sound of trickling water and aromatic candles flickering across the room. Platters of nuts, dried and fresh fruit and flop-in comfortable couches completed the indulgence as we waited for our private treatments to begin. A very friendly hostess welcomed us and showed us to a room where we were each given a soft toweling gown and slippers. We were also offered the use of their outdoor heated whirlpool and their sauna, which was just delicious in the wintry chill. This is an intimate spa that is cozy, romantic and ideal for couples who want to relax and enjoy being spoiled together. The spa offers a wide variety of massages, and I went for the classic deep muscle kind. After a full hour of being kneaded, oiled and softened, I came out feeling serene, calm and revived. Our second day at the spa was just as relaxing, this time with cosmetic treatments. Pausa has chosen the renowned Phytomer range of cosmetics & treatments which are aquamarine based and of the highest quality. For my treatment, the focus was on the classic facial. My face was gently warmed with washcloths and cleansed. The best part was that none of the typical painful extractions was performed. (No one likes to talk about it, but it's never a pleasant experience.) Instead, my face was covered with a healing mask which was followed by toning sprays. It was possibly the most relaxing facial I have ever had. I could tell that their focus was on my spirit and well-being, as opposed to a beautician's mechanical approach. As far as a spa goes, I wish I had one just like it at the end of my road. They have thought of every detail, and nothing is too small for them to do to ensure your complete relaxation and enjoyment. With its team of professional and experienced therapists, as well as its tranquil and peaceful setting, you'll be giving yourself a real gift. A day at this spa starts at NIS 365, which includes a 60-minute treatment, a light and healthy lunch and access to the sauna and hot pool for the day. They have a wide variety of treatments and packages for singles and couples. For more information, see their Web site: www.pausa-spa.co.il.