If you’re not familiar with the name Six Senses, it’s time to get acquainted with one of the world’s most well-kept travel secret. Known for its luxurious resorts in far-flung places that include Zighy Bay in Oman and Con Dao islands in Vietnam, Six Senses recently opened its first city hotel in Singapore (and also where we decided to shoot the gentlemen of The A-List 2018).
While Duxton might not exactly be the kind of obscure location that Six Senses tends to go for, the company’s CEO Neil Jacobs is very familiar with the area; he’s lived in Tanjong Pagar for the past two decades.
One of the key tenets of Six Senses is its commitment to “authenticity, sustainability, and community”. It doesn’t trample on a neighbourhood; it works with it instead.
When embarking on a project, Six Senses first works with local suppliers and vendors for products and services before it expands the search overseas. Similarly, from a design perspective, the brand gathers inspiration from the surroundings rather than using a templated aesthetic.
For the Duxton property, Six Senses tapped on the talents of British designer Anouska Hempel to harmoniously design the hotel in such a way that it blends in with the traditional row of shophouses that you see all over Tanjong Pagar. The result is a hotel that features a diverse mix of Chinese, Malay and European elements.
Large golden fans from Hempel’s personal collection and calligraphy-themed wallpaper welcome you when you first step into the lobby. Walk further in and you’ll discover communal black lacquer tables littering the place and modern Chinese wood and glass screens that divide the various sections of the ground floor.
The surprise continues when you check in.
None of the 49 guest rooms are the same. Room categories feature locally and historically inspired names such as Nutmeg, Shophouse and Opium (pictured above), and you’re guaranteed a surprise with every return visit, assuming you book a different room each time.
Environmental advocates will be glad to know that Six Senses Duxton minimises the usage of plastic. There are no plastic linings for trash bins, no plastic drinking straws, and no plastic water bottles. There are also no paper cups used nor cut flowers for decorative purposes.
As much as possible, the hotel refuses single-use plastic and reduces waste. Styrofoam boxes are sent back to the suppliers to be reused and recyclable materials are segregated in-house.
The hotel also produces its own still and sparkling drinking water. Its state-of-the-art mineralisation machine creates stable nano-artesian water that has zero carbon footprint.
In our opinion, the draw of Six Senses Duxton has to be the wellness activities for its guests. In line with its vision of working with the community, the hotel engages a Traditional Chinese Medicine physician Professor Zhang Mao Ji of Long Zhong Tang to offer consultations and dispense herbal medicine.
There are also walking tours where guests can discover the neighbourhood, and fitness and cultural classes with neighbouring partners and studios. During turndown service, guests also receive a wellness bag that includes po chai pills, a Tiger Balm bottle, brain teaser toys and puzzles, an adult colouring book and more.
There’s a lot more to love about Six Senses Duxton but we highly recommend that you book a couple of nights yourself to discover what it has to offer. The company is planning to open a second city hotel at the Maxwell area too.