Careful, Hard Rock's Rhythm And Motion Massages May Give You A Spagasm
When Hard Rock introduced their Rhythm and Motion spa treatments earlier in the year, we, along with everyone else in possession of common sense, heard the “gimmick” klaxon. “The world’s first fully immersive music-centric spa menu utilizing amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns, as the foundation of its treatments,” heavy-breathed the press release. “Bass vibrations ripple through the massage table as treble beats come from above, sending pulses through the body and leaving guests feeling energized and invigorated.” What rot, we thought. Vibrating, titillating rot.
And then we tried one.
A couple of weeks ago, I stayed at the Hard Rock Palm Springs, one of the first to get “the dome” (the treatments are referred to as taking place “under the dome”). Being a massage fiend, I wanted to see what the pulsating “Synchronicity” massage was like. First impressions weren’t great: the spa is small with just four treatment rooms and a tiny, not very atmospheric, relaxation room. The signature Hard Rock pre-treatment guitar on the bed was fun, but “the dome” looked like one of those hair-setting bowls at old lady salons.
The massage started to a soundtrack of chill-out music, and just a hint of a vibrating bed underneath me. Just as I’d thought: gimmick. Rub, dig, swirl, should have chosen a normal massage, rub, dig, swirl, stop trying to identify the music, rub, dig, swirl OHMYGODWHATISHAPPENINGTOME.
For me, it kicked in about 10 minutes into the 50-minute massage, and boy did it kick in. The combination of vibrating bed (only to the beat, so it’s not rhythmic enough to get used to) and therapist’s hands confused my body so much that she was able to dig right into areas of chronic back and shoulder pain without so much as a flinch from me. Because I was so disorientated, my muscles weren't tensing, so she could go even deeper while I lay there wondering whether I was having an out-of-body experience or maybe a stroke because I genuinely couldn’t work out what was going on. When she asked me to turn over, it took several seconds to remember just how to move my limbs. When she’d finished, I felt catatonic. Pinky swear, it was one of the most extraordinary spa treatments I’ve experienced.
Granted, it might not feel as superlative to everyone – I have a wonky nervous system (which could account for the out-of-body thing), and chronic back problems which mean massage is usually excruciating, so the difference is probably bigger for me than it would be a recreational massagee. But even so, I’m pretty sure everyone will get some kind of spagasm from it. If only all gimmicks were as revelatory as this.
The Synchronicity massage costs $155 for 50 minutes or $205 for 80 minutes. Right now, there's a promo that gives you 20% off on a Monday. Disclosure: Julia was a guest of the hotel.
[Photos: Julia Buckley for HotelChatter]