26 Jun 2019 Spa Business: uniting the world of wellness
 
 
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Beauty Therapist
Salary: Competitive
Location: Knightsbridge, London, UK
Company: Urban Retreat



Therapist
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: London, UK
Company: Strip Wax Bar & Boutique



Hair Specialist
Salary: Competitive
Location: Knightsbridge, London, UK
Company: Urban Retreat



Spa Sales and Reservationist
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Spa at The Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London, United Kingdom
Company: The Bulgari Hotel London


Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Fawkham, UK
Company: Brandshatch Place Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Fawsley, Daventry, UK
Company: Brandshatch Place Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: St Helier, Jersey
Company: Grand Jersey Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Sutton Coldfield, UK
Company: New Hall Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Ingliston, Edinburgh, UK
Company: Norton House Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Redhill, Surrey, UK
Company: Nutfield Priory Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Brockenhurst, Hampshire, UK
Company: Rhinefield House Hotel
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Nantwich, UK
Company: Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Wetherby, West Yorkshire, UK
Company: Wood Hall Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Wetherby, West Yorkshire, UK
Company: Wood Hall Hotel and Spa
Spa Therapists
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Guernsey
Company: St Pierre Park Hotel and Golf Resort




in this issue

• Virtual reality massage centre to launch in LA
• Underground spa for The Langley






News headlines
Piscina & Wellness Barcelona announces competition to build seaside aquatic centre  
Piscina & Wellness Barcelona announces competition to build seaside aquatic centre

By Andrew Manns

Piscina & Wellness Barcelona (PWB) has launched an international contest for architecture students to conceptualise a new aquatic centre. According to the company, the future leisure facility will be designed for public bathing and will occupy a tract of land on Barcelona’s waterfront, between “Drassanes Quay .... more>>
GOCO Hospitality to create advanced medical wellness destination in Kazakhstan  
GOCO Hospitality to create advanced medical wellness destination in Kazakhstan

By Jane Kitchen

International wellness consultancy, development and management firm GOCO Hospitality is working on a wellness resort in a heritage property in Kazakhstan that was once one of the most advanced sanatoriums during the Soviet era. Now, the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan has .... more>>

Glamping resort Shinta Mani Wild opens luxury spa  
By Lauren Heath-Jones

Bensley Collection - Shinta Mani Wild, a luxury glamping resort in Cambodia, has opened a new spa which fuses alfresco riverside treatments with ancient Khmer practices and products made .... more>>
Okura Tokyo to bring Annayake brand to Japan with new 27th floor spa  
By Jane Kitchen

Hotel Okura Tokyo Co., Ltd. has announced that The Okura Tokyo, due to open on 12 September 2019, will offer the Okura Fitness & Spa Annayake beauty and wellness facility. This new .... more>>
 Lotte New York Palace to be home to first American ila Spa  
By Jane Kitchen

Lotte New York Palace has partnered with luxury, organic-grown skincare and lifestyle brand ila to open its first branded spa in the US. The 7,000sq ft ila Spa at Lotte New York Palace .... more>>
 Wellness Tourism Association introduces new  
By Jane Kitchen

There was business as well as wellness on the agenda as the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) held its second annual membership meeting at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, US, from 29-30 .... more>>
Troon Pacific unveils US$34m wellness mansion in San Francisco  
By Andrew Manns

California-based real estate group Troon Pacific has completed “Residence 2646” a US$34m (€30.1m, £26.7m) wellness-orientated mansion in San Francisco. Conceived by the company’s in-house .... more>>
China’s ‘city of the future’ will have wellbeing as its focus  
By Andrew Manns

Design firms Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and TLS Landscape Architecture (TLS) have teamed up to masterplan a wellness-focused city in a recently incorporated district of Hebei, China. .... more>>
Cornish spa to reflect the area’s rich mining history  
By Jane Kitchen

A multi-million pound spa is set to debut on England’s most southerly coast this summer. The Mullion Cove spa – at the hotel by the same name – will feature expansive views over .... more>>
Guests to sleep in ‘Human Cocoons’ at upcoming Mexican resort dedicated to the search for happiness  
By Jane Kitchen

A new project in Mexico will be focused on a transformational travel experience designed to increase guests’ level of consciousness and help them live a happier, healthier and more abundant .... more>>
Mindbody appoints new European managing director  
By Jane Kitchen

Wellness industry technology platform Mindbody has appointed Phil Coxon as managing director of Mindbody Europe. The company said Coxon’s role will see him take the lead on managing all .... more>>
Private lagoon watsu treatment, detox elixirs: Le Sereno St Barths debuts new spa  
By Jane Kitchen

Sereno Hotels has unveiled a new spa at Le Sereno St Barths following damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The expanded spa and wellness area includes a menu from new treatment .... more>>
 

Click here to visit the ISPA Conference & Expo website>>
 
The future of medical spas explored in first-ever Swiss Medical Spa & Hospitality Think Tank  
By Jane Kitchen

The EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH) hosted the first Swiss Medical Spa & Hospitality Think Tank on 6 June 2019 in Chur-Passugg, Switzerland. This one-day forum saw .... more>>
GWI Initiative names top hot springs trends worldwide  
By Jane Kitchen

The Global Wellness Institute has released the top five trends in hot springs as identified by the GWI’s Hot Springs Initiative. The new forecast draws attention to World Bathing Day, a .... more>>
First renderings revealed for Front & York Residences in Brooklyn's DUMBO district  
By Andrew Manns

Morris Adjmi Architects have unveiled the first set of renderings of the Front & York Residences, a resort-style residential development currently taking shape in Brooklyn’s DUMBO district. .... more>>

Features
Training & education

Software:
Training & education


From bespoke training programmes to 24/7 support teams and company super-users, how are software suppliers helping spas get the most out of their systems?
The Spa at South Lodge, UK

New Opening:
The Spa at South Lodge, UK


Katie Barnes visits the new purpose-built, £14m spa by the owners of Pennyhill Park
Book4time

Promotional feature:
Book4time


As Book4Time celebrates its 15th anniversary, we talk to founder and CEO Roger Sholanki about his passion for the spa and wellness industry
Dr Tom Stubbs

People profile:
Dr Tom Stubbs


Dr Tom Stubbs talks epigenetics tests and spas
Jungle VIP

Spa Design:
Jungle VIP


Kim Megson ventures deep into Mexico’s jungle to discover how two Chablé resorts with Mayan spas are aiming to redefine wellness
Bone loading

Fitness:
Bone loading


Spas can help guests avoid and reverse osteoporosis says Liz Terry
Dale Hipsh

Interview:
Dale Hipsh


The senior VP of hotels at Hard Rock International tells Katie Barnes why its music-centric spa menu is striking the right chord with consumers and the media
Iyashi Dome

Promotional feature:
Iyashi Dome


Iyashi Dome: the original Japanese far infrared sauna experience
spa-kit.net

Product Innovation:
spa-kit.net


Product and equipment launches
Neil Jacobs

People profile:
Neil Jacobs


Neil Jacobs reveals what the IHG buyout means for Six Senses


News:

Jim Root to head up wellness at Enchantment Group; Adrian Zecha’s Azerai brand expands; Aman ventures into medi-spa
John & Karina Stewart

Interview:
John & Karina Stewart


The inspirational couple behind Kamalaya in Thailand talk to Neena Dhillon about emotional therapies, why stress-busting is the new detox and how they’re evolving the concept
Comfort Zone

Promotional feature:
Comfort Zone


Skincare brand Comfort Zone has partnered with Wellness for Cancer to create a new programme of spa treatments for people touched by cancer. Barbara Gavazzoli tells us more
Spa product news

Aromatherapy Associates x Aera collection encourages users to be at one with nature

Aromatherapy Associates x Aera collection encourages users to be at one with nature

FROM SPA-KIT.NET

Aromatherapy Associates has partnered with Aera, an innovator in scent and microdroplet technology, to create a series of fragrance capsules.
 
Saltabilty opens new head office following significant growth

Saltabilty opens new head office following significant growth

FROM SPA-KIT.NET

Saltability, a specialist in Himalayan salt stone massage, has relocated to new headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida after significant company growth.
 
Ferrari designer Ken Okuyama reveals 'most technologically advanced' massage chair on the market

Ferrari designer Ken Okuyama reveals 'most technologically advanced' massage chair on the market

FROM SPA-KIT.NET

DreamWave, developers of luxury full-body shiatsu massage chairs, has launched the DreamWave M.8.
Beauty product news

New Phytomer Marine Mist transports users to the seaside

New Phytomer Marine Mist transports users to the seaside

FROM BEAUTY-KIT.NET

French Marine skincare brand Phytomer has launched a new professional facial spray that will become an integral step in all Phytomer treatments.
 
Caudalie Suncare range protects the skin and the environment

Caudalie Suncare range protects the skin and the environment

FROM BEAUTY-KIT.NET

Caudalie has created a suncare collection that protects both the skin and the environment.
 
Vinésime launches Élixir Du Temps to combat signs of ageing round the eyes

Vinésime launches Élixir Du Temps to combat signs of ageing round the eyes

FROM BEAUTY-KIT.NET

Vinésime, a professional vino-cosmetics brand based in France, has launched a new eye emulsion that is designed to combat the signs of ageing.
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Video gallery

Book4Time
The most Innovative Spa Software tailored to grow and drive any wellness business and effortlessly manage multi-locations spas or activity based wellness centers.
Visit website>>

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Click on a catalogue to view it online
 

 
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Company profile
Crown Sports Lockers

We design, manufacture and install bespoke timber furniture, including lockers, freestanding benches, vanity stations, treatment room furniture, washrooms, cubicles and reception desks.

Founded in 1990, Crown Sports Lockers specialise in the manufacture of bespoke timber changing room lockers and furniture.
View full profile>>
 
Featured Suppliers
Can your spa uniforms take the heat?

Combining comfort and style is never easy, but when it comes to the demands of life as a spa therapist in a hot climate can your spa uniforms take the heat?
  Can your spa uniforms take the heat?
Get ready to EVOLVE at #ISPA2019

The 2019 ISPA Conference & Expo is headed back to Las Vegas between 11 and 13 September 2019.
  Get ready to EVOLVE at #ISPA2019

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06-07 Jul 2019

In Your Element Festival

Monte-Carlo, Monaco



Click here to visit the Gharieni GmbH website>>

Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd
Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
Interview
Dale Hipsh

Katie Barnes talks to the senior vice president of hotels at Hard Rock International about creating a music-centric spa concept which strikes the right chord with both consumers and media

By Katie Barnes | Published in Spa Business 2019 issue 2

By his own admission, Dale Hipsh concedes that spas contribute only a tiny amount to the bottom line of the 28 hotels he oversees for the iconic music-related leisure brand Hard Rock International. In fact the vast majority of income for its Native American owners, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, comes from gaming revenue (see p52).

Yet this has done nothing to quell his love for spa and wellness. “It’s [a] very small [part of operations], but it’s my passion. It’s the jewel inside the lotus,” Hipsh says, referencing a Buddhist mantra. With his senior vice president hat on, he also lays down the business case for the group’s 21 spa facilities. “A luxury spa is expected when you’re in the proper side of gaming. If unique and individualised enough, the experience can drive return visits and they’ve been integral to the expansion of our brand in the luxury market.

“Another reason they’re super-important, besides the fact that I like the spa environment, is because they drive incremental gaming revenue,” he says, explaining that an extra massage or sauna session could be all it takes for someone to extend their stay and ultimately spend more on gaming.

But how has Hard Rock brought its distinct music background alive in its Rock Spas® and what adaptations will it make as it moves into wellness? And what will this mean as it switches from just owning to managing hotels and expands into gateway cities?

Learning from a spa maestro
It’s difficult not to be captivated as Hipsh, an animated storyteller, recounts his 30-plus years in hospitality. Originally from Pensacola, Florida, his family were ‘saloon keeps’ who ran a series of restaurants so a career in hotels was a natural step. His roles have been many and varied – from butler and assistant housekeeper, to front office manager and specialising in projects and development. “I really built my career opening hotels and giving away big chunks of my life to passion projects and another dollar more and another promotion,” he says.
Prior to starting at Hard Rock in 2002 he worked for Hyatt across the US and gained international experience with Ritz-Carlton in countries like Seoul, Singapore and Bali. It was while opening the Grand Wailea, once a Hyatt property, in Hawaii that his paths crossed with renown industry designer and consultant Sylvia Sepielli and his love affair with spas began. “Immediately I was in love with spas, a devotee,” he says. “I’m so grateful to have fallen into her orbit. She’s the spa maestro and I’ve just learned a tremendous amount from her.” Unsurprisingly, she was Hipsh’s first choice when he turned his attention to Hard Rock’s wellbeing offer in 2010.

The group’s Rock Spas already had a distinctive style with treatments such as the energy boosting Rhythm Sticks massage performed with bamboo rods 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.

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 the Beverly Hillbillies to tell the story of strolling through an Aspen forest in autumn. The team is now working on ‘train journey’ and ‘beach walk’ soundtracks to add variety.

“We really worked on elevating that sound experience,” says Hipsh. “I’d gotten past drippy ‘ding dong bong’ spa music and in this data driven, always-on approach to life we felt today’s spa should leave you wanting to hit the dance floor – not relaxed.”

He adds: “Our strapline is more Zeppelin than Zen.” To this end, energising touches include pops of colour in the interiors, verbena rather than tuberose scent and bold marketing images of men with tattoos. “It’s meant to be cool and sexy,” says Hipsh. “I know this has always been taboo in the spa industry, but grow up – this is not what we’re going to do.”

Perhaps the most obvious example of 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 engine, while the sound domes are used for audio experiences in museums.

Warmly received
It’s been four years since Hard Rock revealed its Rhythm & Motion treatments and the reinvented Rock Spa, so how ‘successful’ are they? “Anytime you do something really different in an industry, you need to brace yourself for harsh criticism – but we didn’t have that,” explains Hipsh. “Treatments have been very warmly received and we’ve had wonderful reviews from both journalists and customers.”

At launch only one specialist Rhythm & Motion room was introduced to facilities, but hotels are now adding more as the demand for the treatments grow.

Yet as much as Hipsh appreciates the value a spa can add to a property, he says there’s not always a market for it – “it breaks my heart!”. For every new locale, he relies on spa consultant Lynn Curry to judge the setting. “She does everything for us,” he says. “She tells me what the competition is in a new market, what the benchmark is. And then we’ll start working on the design – do we need two treatment rooms or 20, what budget is there for the design and moving forwards she’ll help with the SOPs and revalidating whether emerginC is still the best product partner for us.”

Some of its newest openings include hotels and spas in the US and Switzerland. In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Hard Rock acquired the Trump Taj Mahal and gave it a US$500m (€440.4m, £377.7m) facelift “the spa was an integral part of getting that property stood back on its feet and differentiating it,” says Hipsh.

In Davos, the offer sits at the higher end of the Hard Rock portfolio. “I’ve never seen anything like Swiss quality,” he says, adding that the group collaborated with Raison d’Etre on spa design. “We’ve got a jewel of a hotel with 110 rooms, but then a spa [with hydrothermal facilities] what would support a 300/400 bed property so it’s got a lot of horsepower.”

Broader wellness
Outside the spa, Hard Rock has introduced wellness into guestrooms with its Rock Om® yoga experience.

Rolled out in January 2018, the programme gives Hard Rock guests access to three yoga videos in their rooms on-demand, or via its website. The sessions are for those who want to ‘play hard and purify harder’ and feature original tracks mixed by DJ Drez – who’s collaborated with artists such as Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas – and his yogi wife Marti Nikko. It’s also partnered with leading yoga brand Manduka for mats.

“We have to find touch points that always relate back to our DNA of music and yoga was something that really resonated,” explains Hipsh, hinting that this isn’t the end of Hard Rock’s take on wellness. “Right now we have two [wellness] things we’re doing really well, but we are working on another idea. There will be three legs to the stool.”

The third offering he reveals will expand on Hard Rock’s existing city guides, where local artists talk about their favourite things to do – but with a wellness angle. “We’re just talking about how we bring that from paper to a real life experience.”

Owning and managing
Looking to the future, Hipsh announces that the biggest change on the horizon is to manage as well as acquire hotels – the group only operates one out of the 28 properties it owns. “And if we’re managing a hotel, we’re managing the spa,” he says.

Another clear goal is to be more strategic when it comes to expansion. Hipsh explains: “Up until three, four years ago the hotel division evolved opportunistically – ‘Maui? Sure, sounds like a good place; Singapore? Why not?’ – Now we’re focusing on big gateway cities.”

Imminent new openings are scheduled in London and the Maldives. While hotels in Madrid and Budapest are due to open later this year and sites in Amsterdam and Dublin are on the cards in 2020.

Although not every hotel will have a spa, Hipsh feels it’s still a vital element to the Hard Rock offering. “A few years ago the spa industry went through a bit of a wane. But I knew spa and wellness was always going to be part of anything we were involved with and it has to be something pretty special if you’re innovating in a down cycle. And now it’s coming back, I think it’s definitely trending the other way.”

Dale Hipsh: personal file

Film: A Star is Born – "oh my god, it’s amazing"

Book: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Place: Marrakech

Season: Autumn with the falling leaves

Type of treatment: Deep tissue massage – "I’m a stressed-out executive and I want you to beat it out of me"

Advice: If you have to ask yourself ‘is it the right thing to do’, it almost never is

Admire: My uncle, who was able to take an idea and a dirt floor and build a fortune

Iconic music brand owned by Native Americans

Hard Rock International has embodied the spirit of rock music for more than 47 years. It started out as a themed restaurant, the Hard Rock Café in London, in 1971 and is now one of the most globally recognised brands known for its music memorabilia – it has an eclectic mix of 81,000-plus pieces ranging from Eric Clapton’s guitar to a Jimi Hendrix pouch and metal bikini and jewellery set once worn in a music video by Rihanna. These are showcased across its portfolio of 185 cafes, 28 hotels, 12 casinos and live performance venues.

In 2007 the Seminole Tribe of Florida acquired Hard Rock for a reported US$965m (€853.6m, £737m) from Rank International. Close to 3,300 Seminole Indians live on and off reservations throughout Florida. Its business operations include cattle ranching, citrus production, tourism promotion, sports management and tobacco sales, but it excels in gaming. Analysts believe it operates one of the most profitable gaming enterprises in the world and up to 90 per cent of its budget comes from this side of the business.

Hard Rock is targetting gateway cities as it grows globally. Next to open is a hotel in central London
Tuning in: Rock Spa’s treatment rooms have been inspired by recording studios
Sylvia Sepielli
Marketing images are intentionally cool and sexy
Lynn Curry
the Rhythm Stick massage uses bamboo rods
Colour, lighting and scents give spas an uplifting feel
Hipsh describes the new Rock Spa in Switzerland as one of the best
Expertly curated playlists accompany choreographed treatments
Rock Om, an in-room yoga experience, launched last year
Hard Rock is part of the first integrated resort in the Maldives which opens in June
 


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©Cybertrek 2019

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