Saturday, August 8, 2009

Oooh La La Spa: Hotel Mizpe Hayamim

Who knew? Relais & Chateau, the luxury French hotel group, now includes Israel's Hotel/Spa Mizpe Hayamim (Meez-PAH Ha-YAH-meem). From the terrace of my spacious room, I had a beathtaking view of the Sea of Galilee and the rolling hills of Rosh-Pina.

A masseuse named Kineret, which is the Hebrew name for the Sea of Galilee, expertly kneaded my tense muscles into humus in a candle lit room nestled in the garden. Talk about being in Paradise! This is the migration route for hundreds of species of birds, so the air is always filled with their song. The healthy, gourmet cuisine comes from animals and produce raised on the hotel's organic farm. The spa menu includes Shiatsu, Reiki, Feldenkreis, Reflexology, Cranio-Sacral, Acupuncture & Thai Massage.

Monday, August 3, 2009

San Miguel: The Beat Goes On

If you're a fan of Frida Khalo or want to honor Jack Kerouac's last tequila, head on down to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Discovered by The Beat Generation in the 1950's, San Miguel remains a center of culture, cuisine and craftsmanship. I stayed at Casa Luna, an enchanting B&B filled with Mexican folk art, antiques, gardens, fountains and a rooftop terrace for sunning and knocking back fresh fruit margaritas.
By day, go to the Indian Market for regional crafts and roasted corn seasoned with chipolte and lime. Or take a weaving or a Spanish course at Instituto Allende. Every night, the entire town gathers in the park for strolling mariaches, ice cream and flirtation. Want to avoid Mexico City? Fly via Houston to Queretaro, Mexico, an historic colonial town 40 miles from San Miguel.