Jonas Rask Eilersen
Ahava Day Spa HaTachana
HaTachana ("The Station"), Tel Aviv, Israel
24th September 2015
Spa Background
One of Israel’s best-known brands, Ahava, has recently opened up a Day Spa in their flagship store in Tel Aviv. A logical brand extension for the popular skincare brand, the swanky new Spa is located in HaTachana, the revamped old railway station originally built to serve the Jaffa – Jerusalem line, and now rebuilt as an outdoor shopping mall with some of Israel’s best brands, including Daniella Lehavi and Ronen Chen. The Ahava Day Spa is just a minute’s walk from Neve Tzedek and another few minutes’ stroll to the major beach hotels, such as the David InterContinental. We checked it out.
If you’re looking for a full- blown spa experience with relaxation areas and ice fountains, you’ll be disappointed: this Spa only has one treatment room. For pedicures and manicures, a makeshift treatment room has been set up at the end of the corridor - not good enough for a brand of Ahava’s standing, in RASK’s opinion.
The room décor is very Ahava - muted colours and natural materials. There are no separate changing rooms, but a well-stocked shower cubicle (with a rain shower) is cordoned off from the main part of the room. In the middle of the room: a large treatment bed covered with soft towels.
The reception staff, (who double up as shop staff) were friendly and welcoming. RASK felt that the introduction was slightly too lengthy – our friendly female therapist explained the process in great detail, and then we signed the paperwork.
RASK tried out Ahava’s signature treatment – a full body scrub, using Dead Sea salts. The therapist covered most of RASK’s body with a luxurious smelling salt paste. Although the massage was incredibly relaxing, the salt paste itself was a little itchy and sticky – much like a swim in the Dead Sea, in fact. The back massage section of the treatment however was much more comfortable as the therapist switched to a liquid salt oil. RASK was then sent into the shower cubicle for a rinse – which took longer than anticipated due to the resistance of the salt paste. The result though, was incredibly soft skin – definitely worth the hassle.
It was time for a hot stone massage next. The therapist used a cooling massage lotion to calm down my skin, and then placed hot, smooth lava stones in each of my hands. With great care, she massaged my back, legs and feet with several sets of hot stones. She even put small, heated stones between each of my toes, which was very relaxing. The remainder of my treatment continued with several more rounds of hot stones, and finished with a face massage.
A true gem of a Spa. Having just one treatment room available lends it an air of exclusivity. The treatments itself were first class, and the therapist had great intuition, understanding exactly when to small talk and when to simply massage! The products used are excellent, and some of them, such as the salt oil, quite unique. RASK’s only gripe is the lack of a relaxation area to spend time pre- or post-treatment – the small garden outside would have been perfect.