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What's the story of Six Senses?

We’ve grown a bit since our story began in 1995, but we’ve always based our growth on the same ambition: to take you beyond destinations into new experiences and cultures, so you feel the purpose behind your travels. Whether you’re a guest at one of our hotels or resorts, a residence owner or spending time at one of our spas, you’ll see that being environmentally friendly and socially responsible is not just a vague promise. These elements are the magic that brings them all to life, while promoting personal well-being, and the health of our planet.

Yao Noi Thailand Ocean_Panorama_view
Laamu Maldives Private island SSL_R

Baby steps

The Six Senses ethos was first established in 1995 with the opening of our first resort and a whole lot of questions. What if we could take people beyond destinations and reawaken their senses so they can disconnect, yet be reconnected … to themselves, others and the world around them? This consciousness around personal well-being and the health of our planet flowed through everything – from the way we designed our buildings to the way we prepared our food and treated our guests and hosts.

Ninh Van Bay Vietnam Spa_Organic_Garden

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do

As more properties opened under the Six Senses brand, they all shared the same commitment to balancing economic, environmental and social profitability. They were created with a vision that was both meaningful and measurable and resolutely harmonious with local communities and ecosystems.

We worked with our property owners to make smart use of the land topography, orientation and renewable building materials to create spaces that were vibrant and alive. We also started to bottle our own still and sparkling drinking water. By building onsite filtration and bottling facilities we could eliminate the transportation impacts and use of plastic bottles.

It also made sense to dig an organic garden, providing each resort’s kitchens with fresh herbs, fruit and veg as well as a range of ingredients that could be used in spa treatments. Before long, hens were producing eggs from their comfortable coops (equipped with surround sound) and goats and camels were keeping our breakfast bars stocked with fresh milk.

As part of our regenerative travel philosophy, we aim for small-scale developments, where our investments to help preserve the natural areas and support for local communities outweigh our impacts on them. Everything is considered in terms of reciprocity and our responsibility for future generations. We are careful to employ and source locally while respectfully endorsing brilliant local trade, from ancient Da Qin minorities in China to the women’s club of Koh Yao Noi and Rise Beyond the Reef in remote Fijian communities.

Six Senses Spa Meditation hanging nest rest

Healthy investments

From the beginning, we recognized the role that pioneering wellness could play in our story. Early on, we had incorporated a Six Senses Spa into each of our resorts and at prestigious properties other than our own. Over the years, we have expanded both our international footprint and our offering, building on our reputation of delivering holistic treatments and locally inspired therapies. We introduced yogic programs and smart technology and developed advanced anti-aging and multi-day wellness programs as part of our overarching Six Senses Integrated Wellness philosophy.

We also saw the opportunity to take wellness out of the confines of the spa and infuse it into the entire Six Senses experience. To this day, Sleep With Six Senses is one of our most innovative sleep initiatives in guestrooms, incorporating smart tech and techniques to reduce anxiety and promote peaceful slumber. And nutritional guidelines don’t just belong in detox programs but are incorporated into all menus so that guests can enjoy the same great taste as always in Six Senses restaurants, just healthier. With the dawn of Eat With Six Senses, taste and color are in, while flavor enhancers, lectins, lactose, gluten and glucose are out!

  • Off to play with the pandas

    Off to play with the pandas

    Turning (temporarily) away from pristine beaches and tropical paradises, Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain marked the brand’s entrée into China in 2015. It was created to complement the UNESCO World Heritage & Natural Cultural site at nearby Dujiangyan.

Six Senses Douro Valley from the west panorama

New places, new spaces

From a mountain to a valley. In 2015, we arrived at a 19th century quinta (wine estate) in the UNESCO heritage-listed Douro Valley in Portugal. This was our first venture in Europe and first non-villa offering.

We also expanded our Six Senses Residences offering from Con Dao in Vietnam to the world-famous French ski resort Courchevel. Since then, Six Senses Residences are available for purchase in further locations such as Fiji, Seychelles and Turkey, with many more in the pipeline including New York, Austria, Switzerland, Ibiza and Grenada. Each one represents a synergy of simple design and beautifully spacious lifestyle investment with the potential for appreciating returns in years to come as well as immediate in-resort benefits and additional exclusive benefits when staying at other Six Senses resorts worldwide.

Yao Noi Thailand BK _

Earth Lab and Grow With Six Senses

In 2017, we took sustainability one step further with the launch of Earth Lab. Every property started to showcase their sustainability efforts to reduce consumption, produce locally, and support communities and ecosystems. The venue was named Earth to celebrate our home and source of all life, and Lab for laboratory, experimentation, innovation, and exploration. But it’s not so much about what it’s called as what it does in terms of eliminating our impact on the planet and providing hard data to show us how we can continue to improve.

By 2018 grownups were stepping aside so that kids could gain useful life skills and knowledge through Grow With Six Senses. The approach was to learn through natural play and a host of physical activities, yoga and mindfulness, local culture, sustainability and social experiences were specifically designed for each resort.

Zighy Bay Oman Paragliding

Never taking ourselves too seriously

Although we never joke around when it comes to our environmental responsibility or community projects, there’s also plenty of time for fun. From our paragliding Father Christmas at Six Senses Zighy Bay to turtle hatching at Six Senses Laamu or the Songkran water festival at Six Senses Yao Noi, our Guest Experience Makers come up with endless ways to put a smile on your face and laugh in your belly, staying true to our “fun and quirky” core brand value!

Section

When the only constant is change

On February 13, 2019 Six Senses became part of the IHG family of brands. Joining forces with IHG means we can use a wealth of systems and operational excellence, which we are incorporating as and when they make sense to do so.

For all of us, 2020 was a year like none other, and rather than revisiting all the negatives let’s just say it was an eye-opener. With international travel at a standstill, Six Senses remained resolutely solution-oriented to continue to support your resilience and physical and mental well-being – at home. In-house experts and the wellness board reached out to you (and into your living rooms) through a cornucopia of At Home With Six Senses digital content.

Videos, tutorials, articles and advice to support the pillars of Mindfulness, Eat, Sleep, Move, Live Naturally and Connect were shared via Six Senses corporate and resort social media channels, newsletters and online. We offered proactive and pragmatic ways for people to care for themselves and people they love in a range of formats. Everything from loving kindness meditations to a demonstration on how to wash a camel and a full 10-week Junior Marine Biology program was on offer!

While the tourism industry continued to face a bumpy ride, guests could still plan their next trip with confidence through special Plan Now, Play Later Certificates, which are valid for three years.

As spring turned to summer, the Six Weeks of Summer campaign added six bonus chapters, focusing on wellness, eat, grow, sustainability, sleep and from the heart experiences.

Popular weekly talks with our Friends of Six Senses, continued to take place every Tuesday with leading experts from around the world ready to share their insights and practical tools.

  • “I never thought after nearly 35+ years in our industry that I would be using words at work like empathy, gratitude and love but that’s how we evolve and the excitement of what we do.” Neil Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer

Ninh Van Bay Vietnam Bicycle through resort

Reconnect With Six Senses

Just as 2020 may have had a profound impact on people in terms of a greater awareness and mindfulness about life and the “new normal”, for Six Senses, the second half of 2020 was an opportunity to challenge our brand vision: To help people reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them.

With more and more resorts opening, our Reconnect With Six Senses work embodies how this vision will develop into 2021. It deepens and broadens our wellness and sustainability offerings, makes them more accessible, celebrates the culture of the amazing places where we have properties and manifests a different kind of impact on our guests … so they leave our hotels resorts in a better place than when they arrived.

The process is entirely personal, which is why we offer lots of choice about how deeply our guests want to immerse. Rituals maintain timeless connections to ancient traditions and cultures while taking a moment to reflect, respect and give thanks. Reconnection Experiences offer close encounters with our local wildlife and communities and timeless ways of living in tune with the natural world. Wellness Days help build a stronger body, boost your brain power and look inwards to reconnect with your heart.

Panorama Pool Villa outdoor terrace

New openings

Over the next months and years, we’ll be opening properties in surprising locations, from the serenity of the Mantiqueira Mountains in Brazil to a desert hideaway in Israel’s Negev Desert, a 14th century restored fort in Rajasthan, a vibrant community in Ibiza, our debut resort in the Caribbean and our first project in North America, a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles located in Manhattan’s West Chelsea neighborhood and along the High Line.

Additional projects are also underway in Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Iceland. There are so many, in fact, we must remember to come back and update our story!

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