The top five hotel pools and spas in JerusalemJerusalem may sit on the edge of the desert, but that doesn't mean you have to stay dry. Many of Jerusalem's hotels now offer expansive pool, spa treatment and health club facilities. indeed, it's now almost expected of hotels above the three-star line - meaning that the city is rife with opportunity for all manner of aquatic good times.
Jerusalem may sit on the edge of the desert, but that doesn't mean you have to stay dry. Many of Jerusalem's hotels now offer expansive pool, spa treatment and health club facilities. indeed, it's now almost expected of hotels above the three-star line - meaning that the city is rife with opportunity for all manner of aquatic good times.
And while nothing beats a well-appointed pool for cooling down after a hot day spent taking in the sights, the pool complexes at Jerusalem's top hotels offer much more than swimming: You can work off lunch in expansive and modern gym facilities, work out stress with a message or a therapeutic spa treatment, and schvitz your cares away in a modern wet or dry sauna or a traditional Turkish-style Middle Eastern steam bath. So treat yourself to a perfect day at one of Jerusalem's best pool-spas.
The Inbal Hotel Health Club
The Inbal's spa, recently re-designed, renovated and expanded, is the only one in Jerusalem with certification from the International Spa Association - and truly, it is a health club of international caliber. No perfunctory collection of aging exercise equipment here - the Inbal Hotel's spa features brand new, state-of-the-art gym machines, certified personal trainers to shape your workouts, a fully decked-out spa, and a cadre of professional masseuses with magic fingers and wide-ranging knowledge of treatments. Relax in either wet or dry saunas, take a lap in the pool, or treat yourself to a body peel or a Swedish, aromatherapy, warm oil or Thai massage - you're guaranteed to walk out relaxed. As Inbal health club manager Ran Bibi tells GoJerusalem.com, having a top-notch spa in Jerusalem "has become a part of the hotel culture. Guests want to feel that the hotel is providing for all their needs."
The David Citadel Hotel Spa
The David Citadel's spa complex is pure class as it is, but the facility wins extra points for creative pool design: situated outside, at the top of one of the building's wings looking out over the edge, you'll feel like you're swimming in the sky, floating above the Jaffa Gate and the Old City's walls. Your gym back home can't offer that. The rest of the David Citadel Hotel's health club facilities, re-opened following an extensive renovation project in the summer of 2009, are similarly premium in nature: "Ayurvedic" and "chakra" are the bywords in the spa, with treatments meticulously arranged according to holistic principles. There are even napping rooms for when the relaxation becomes overwhelming. "What we offer is a pampering atmosphere where our customers are guests - not clients," explains Guy Nadler, the spa's director.
The Mount Zion Hotel Spa and Fitness Center
Like the David Citadel, the pool at the Mount Zion Hotel (located within the hotel's immaculate gardens) offers an incomparable view. From your lofty elevation, you'll be able to take in the titular Mount Zion, the dramatic Valley of Hinnom and the sweep of the Old City, all mid-backstroke. But as slick as the pool is, the real attraction at the Mount Zion Hotel's spa is decidedly more old-school: one of Jerusalem's only remaining Ottoman-era hammams (Turkish steam baths). Fully modernized for demanding guests, but retaining every ounce of its Old World charm, you'll feel like as pampered as a pasha as you relax in the traditional Jerusalem manner. "There is a spiritual element to it," Avi Chavi, the Mount Zion Hotel spa's director, explains to GoJerusalem.com. "Upon leaving the hammam, visitors can sit in the jacuzzi, which overlooks the Old City - or just walk in the hotel gardens. The fact that the Old City is there opens you up, allowing for a spiritual experience."
The Ramada Hotel
Perhaps you're not much for the touchy-feely side of things, or skeptical about the ultimate health benefits of weighing down your chakra points with Ayurveda-approved stone weights while someone pipes chamomile into the room? Hey, that's cool too. For the guy or lady who's in the market for the classic health club of yesteryear, the Ramada fits the bill, with full-sized indoor and outdoor pools, well-equipped gym, ping-pong, a sizable playground on a large green lawn outside, jacuzzi inside, both sauna and steam bath. Why fix what ain't broken?
The King David Hotel
While the facilities at the original Jerusalem luxury hotel are certainly nothing to sneeze it, the selling points at the King David are the immaculately manicured grounds and the rarefied air of classic luxury. The King David has been spoiling its guests since the British Mandate (1931, to be precise), and they've picked up a trick or two in the intervening decades. So float in the shade of the hotel's towering palm trees and bask in eight decades' worth of hospitality expertise.
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