Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has given two old beauties a complete restoration as part of a remarkable conservation project in Singapore. Ideally situated in the island city-state’s central district, the project is located in the eclectic heart of Chinatown where socializing, dining and nightlife take center stage.
Six Senses Singapore is split across two buildings that are an easy wander apart. Six Senses Duxton and Six Senses Maxwell will mark the brand’s first city hotels, celebrating local Singapore culture and history while adding a touch of playfulness to the heritage properties. There is a diverse mix of Chinese, Malay and European elements in the buildings including neo-classical lion head motifs, Chinese porcelain-chip friezes co-existing with Malay timber fretwork, French windows, Portuguese shutters and Corinthian pilasters. Guests can make full use of all facilities and outstanding service in both, as well as the rich local community in between. No matter where you sleep, guests can sign for services at either hotel and will consider both locations – their home away from home.
Along with always infusing a touch of quirkiness into each property, a priority for Six Senses is its commitment to authenticity and responsible preservation. In recognition of this, both properties have received the Urban Redevelopment Authority Architectural Heritage Award. Six Senses Duxton is due to open in April 2018, followed by Six Senses Maxwell three months later.
“Such unique properties do not come to market often and we are delighted to be working with Satinder Garcha and Harpreet Bedi of Garcha Hotels on this project,” said Six Senses Chief Executive Officer Neil Jacobs. “The buildings will be the last heritage hotels of this quality to be developed in Singapore. Each building has its own distinct personality, but what makes Six Senses Singapore so special is that guests can enjoy all the offerings of both locations plus the neighborhood when staying with us . It’s all about community and being part of the rich, local culture of Singapore.”
Six Senses Duxton
With its colorful past, Duxton Road in old Chinatown’s Tanjong Pagar, is also known as Jinrickshaw Place named after the rickshaw pullers who used to gather by the station. In the not-so-recent-past, this colorful section of town was home to opium and gambling dens and places of even less reputable vices. Today the site features a row of trading houses that have been sustainably restored under the designer Anoushka Hempel, acclaimed for her Hempel and Blake’s hotels in London.
In harmony with a rich Asian history, yet still presenting her luminary vision, Anoushka has given each of the 49 guestrooms and suites a unique individuality so that no two are exactly the same. Guests are in for an eccentric, elegant surprise as they enter the hotel which includes large golden fans and strong hues of black, gold and yellow, layered with Oriental screens and calligraphy wallpaper from Anoushka’s personal collection. Gold takes center stage in the restaurant, which will offer a fine dining menu of classic and innovative Chinese cuisine. Adjacent is an antiquarian library themed lobby bar serving up the hotel’s signature house cocktails.
With Singapore being Asia’s crossroads and interchange to the world, Anoushka has worked within the restrictions of a heritage building and variations of room size to successfully express her vision throughout the hotel. From a magnificent Kimono Suite to smaller spaces that she refers to as petit grandeur, elegant bespoke furnishings and the designer ambience typify the experience in every way.
A property highlight is the appointment of a traditional Chinese doctor offering readings, health recommendations and a medicinal herbal dispensary.
Six Senses Maxwell
Maxwell Road was originally a nutmeg plantation before 14 three- and four-story colonial-style buildings were constructed and later joined together as a single entity. The diverse characteristics have been carefully conserved and the property features 138 guestrooms and suites, a Six Senses Spa, outdoor lap pool, Champagne bar and lounge, whiskey bar, boardroom and club lounge. A verandah lined with lush tropical foliage follows the length of the building and will be the ideal spot to meet for refreshments and alfresco dining.
The interior design is by French architect and designer Jacques Garcia. It reflects the authentic decor and furnishings of the era in which it was built, but with a stylish modern twist. Jacques has infused a Western sensibility along with a timeless ambience, as he has done with La Mamounia in Marrakesh, Hotel Costes in Paris and NoMad in New York.
His attention to detail is showcased throughout the 50 unique room types, from the brass, lacquer and marble mini bars to the handmade Lafroy Brooks bathroom fixtures. All rooms feature handmade mattresses by Naturalmat and organic bed linens to support Sleep With Six Senses, a key pillar of the group’s Integrated Wellness philosophy.
Special looms were constructed to hand weave 13 x 20-foot (4 x6-meter) silk rugs for the public areas of the hotel. The interior spaces, which are all different, meld together in respect of the architectural styles of the original buildings and add to the hotel’s charm.
Colonial meets modern Europe in the restaurant, where the mouthwateringly indulgent yet health-full menus represent the brand’s pioneering approach to fresh, local and seasonal food and drink: Eat With Six Senses. Six Senses Spa will offer specialty treatments while the external lap pool offers a refreshing escape to complement Singapore’s tropical weather.
In addition to the environmental considerations implemented in the redevelopment of both properties, the hotel will also participate in a program that will make them carbon-free after purchasing United Nations-certified carbon credits, while standing to save up to 20 percent in energy costs. This continued focus on sustainable practices is also evident in the seven new resorts and two further spas opening under the Six Senses brand from now until early 2019 – watch this space!