Jerusalem of Gold – and Sweat By Dr. W
We are starting a new series: finding gyms while vacationing. As always, would love some feedback from you the readers. We will be visiting New York City, Tel Aviv, Rome, London and Paris. Get your sneakers and gym shorts ready.
First stop is Jerusalem, where I just got back from visiting and trying out the gym scene. The city has grown to 850,000 residents but gym facilities that are worth trying are slim pickings. Top of the list is the Akasha gym at the Mamilla hotel which is open to the public at large. This gym, designed by internationally acclaimed, Italian interior designer Piero Lissoni, is worth the visit. Although it is small, with locker facilities that are cramped, it is the epitome of high style design. Equipment is high end and it offers a wide range of classes including spinning, yoga, Pilates, TRX training and body sculpting, with morning and evening schedules. Instructors are all young, fit and exciting. The Spa and steam room area are a treat. Biggest sell is the largest, softest towel you have ever draped yourself in.
For the more adventurous there is the Studio Mati gyms with two Jerusalem locations. I prefer the original one at Teddy Stadium. Talk about energy. The place is bustling with Jerusalemites of all ages. Zumba and spinning are a must try. The spinning equipment is old and overused but the energy in the room is sensational. Move over Soul Cycle. It has morning, afternoon and evening sessions of everything. Three spin instructors are worth mentioning. Michael, American born, is what some women call “hot” and he struts about knowing it. During his army service, I am told, he won an award for best body build. He has a great ear for music and his classes are jam packed. Yochanan is the gym’s charmer. Cool, and in demand, his classes are over-subscribed and for good reason. Best is Tomer who is a sensational biker and teacher. Zumba features two talented Russian emigres. Choose your pick- male or female. They must have some Spanish blood. Did the Russians ever invade Spain?
Mati runs a new enormous gym in the Hadar mall. It attracts hundreds of people in the evening-young and younger. It is quite a scene. It offers great equipment and spacious exercise rooms. However, if the changing room and showers were any smaller, I would mistake them for a closet. Go figure what inspired the architect. Gym is ala Manhattan, if you are looking for nightlife. Worth trying.
Other gyms include a more modest version of Akasha at the David Citadel Hotel. Also designed by Piero Lissoni, it demonstrates that the man has never set foot in a gym in his life. Call it tight. Last worth mentioning is a place called Body and Soul. I list it because that is what Jerusalem offers up-plenty of activities for the soul.