Interview with SPA Expert, Martin Roehle

February 7, 2017

Germans say “practice is what makes a master” and Martin Röhle can definitely fit this German proverb taking into consideration his long career in the SPA business.

A technical expert, Martin Röhle, joined the field of architecture in 1986 where he worked close with the Arch. Herbert Waibl on a variety of 5 star projects around Austria, Germany, Italy and Turkey.

Later in 1997, he dedicated his career to the SPA industry where for many years he worked together with Mr. Heinz Schletterer on hospitality, residential and cruise line projects on all four continents. (Center Parcs – UK, Marriott Son Anthen Golf Resort & SPA – Mallorca, Atlantis Resort – Bahamas, Silver Sand Hotel – Cancun,  Cruise Line Disney Wonder and Disney Magic – Italy, Cruise Line Queen Mary II – France and many more). At present, Martin is residing in Dubai, UAE and it is one of the shareholders of The Wellness, holding the position of Chief Technical Director and overlooking all projects in the MEA Region and abroad. Having been on this role for the past 2 years, he is in a continuous enthusiasm about the company’s growth in the region. Some if his current involvements are projects such as Ritz Carlton in Cairo, Kempinski Riyadh, Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Viceroy Hotel Palm Jumeirah and many other emblematic hospitality developments.


MM: Hi Martin. You have been working in the SPA industry for over 20 years.

What attracted you to this industry at first?

Martin Röhle: Mainly it was an upcoming market when I started and only a few companies were globally involved in this.

It was the challenge of developing and doing something different in a niche market and changing challenges from project to project and country to country.


MM: Can you say how the SPAs have evolved during the past 20 years? (from a technical perspective)

Martin Röhle: New and better materials and methods of installation had to be developed. Also the development in controls made big changes.


MM: What was your most challenging experience/projects?

Martin Röhle: Each project was a challenge of ist own as I never had to repeat things and could even develop new things with the team. A highlight of course was working for Disney Cruise Lines and the Queen Mary 2 as far as Cruise Ships are concerned. The big Center Parc Projects in the UK, the Gand Bretagne Hotel in Athens, the Valparaiso Hotel in Palma de Mallorca were for sure some outstanding project that I was involved in.


MM: How would you suggest to improve the life of the SPA Equipment within a SPA?

Martin Röhle: First of all the quality of the products as well as the quality of the installation are the key for a longlivety of a spa. But good preventive maintenance is the must for all owners and needs well trained technicians.


MM: What are the Dos and Don’ts when building a SPA?

Martin Röhle: Good technical planning is the key to the spa success, so invest in this and you will have no hassles later. Never use domestic equipment in a commercially used spa as it is not made for the long lasting daily use.


MM: What element/feature should not be missed in a SPA?

Martin Röhle: It is not so much about a specific feature than respecting the users expectations. Hotels that have a lot of Northern European clients will need a Sauna. The more traditional Hamam in the MEA regain is a must here. But I have even made traditional Temazcal Mexican Saunas in Mid America as it is a must there.


MM: How do you see the SPAs in the next 10 years? 

Martin Röhle: There will be more integration of controls and individual explanations via screens in future spas that will give better guidance to even spa-unexperienced users a better understanding of the different features.


MM: Do you feel the MEA region is educated enough towards the SPA industry?

Martin Röhle: Definitely yes, the problems are more in the construction side as still thermal insulation, sound-proofing, water-proofing or good structural pool planning is often not enough respected due to missing experience of many contractors in the MEA region.


MM: How do you see the SPA industry in the MEA region in the following 10 years?

Martin Röhle: The spa industry will develop strong alongside with the tourist industry. The spas will be more individual and distinct in regards of their marketing approach and the users different expectations.

MM: Thank you for your time Martin!

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