INTERVIEW: DALE HIPSH
and the meditative Retune Yourself experience combining lomi lomi massage and a gong bath. But Hipsh wanted to further elevate the brand. “It’s a great name,” he says. “But what does it mean, what does it smell, sound and taste like? What is the experience and where are the SOPs to back that up? We started to flesh out the brand and explore what a Rock Spa should and could be.”
More Zeppelin than Zen At the core of Hipsh and Sepielli’s efforts are the signature Rhythm & Motion treatments which make up what Hard Rock refers to as “the world’s first fully immersive, music-centric spa menu”. The 50- or 80-minute Synchronicity massage, Face the Music facial, Smooth Operator dry brush experience and Wrap Remix envelopment are available at 12 select Rock Spas and cost US$150 (€132, 113) or US$210 (€185, £158), respectively.
Marketing images are intentionally cool and sexy (above); the Rhythm Stick massage uses bamboo rods (right)
Each treatment utilises Hard Rock’s differentiator – music – and connects it with the artistry of spa modalities. Therapists, for example, synchronise movements with an expertly curated playlist. Hipsh says “getting the music right was the hardest part” as he goes into great depth about mixing Louis Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side with tracks from Bobby McFerrin and even Dale Hipsh: personal file the Beverly Hillbillies to tell the story of strolling Film: A Star is Born – “oh my god, it’s amazing” He adds: “Our strapline through an Aspen forest is more Zeppelin than in autumn. The team is Book: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien Zen.” To this end, now working on ‘train Place: Marrakech energising touches journey’ and ‘beach walk’ Season: Autumn with the falling leaves include pops of colour soundtracks to add variety. Type of treatment: Deep tissue in the interiors, verbena “We really worked Lynn Curry massage – “I’m a stressed-out executive rather than tuberose scent on elevating that sound and I want you to beat it out of me” and bold marketing images of men experience,” says Hipsh. “I’d Advice: If you have to ask yourself ‘is it with tattoos. “It’s meant to be cool and gotten past drippy ‘ding dong bong’ the right thing to do’, it almost never is sexy,” says Hipsh. “I know this has always spa music and in this data driven, Admire: My uncle, who was been taboo in the spa industry, but grow always-on approach to life we felt able to take an idea and a dirt up – this is not what we’re going to do.” today’s spa should leave you wanting floor and build a fortune Perhaps the most obvious example of to hit the dance floor – not relaxed.” thinking outside the box, however, is its vibration-inducing massage beds and overhanging sound domes which send pulses through the body to amplify the music spa experience. “I told Sylvia I wanted our massage rooms to be like a sound recording studio and she said ‘oh my god, that’s an amazing idea’,” recalls Hipsh. At first conversations led down an expensive path with costs exceeding US$15,000 a bed. Undeterred, they looked to the attractions industry for affordable solutions. The sub-woofers embedded in the LEC-customised beds are the same devices Universal uses in its rides to replicate the roar of a jet Colour, lighting and scents give spas an uplifting feel engine, while the sound domes are used for audio experiences in museums. 50 spabusiness.com issue 2 2019