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What's the story of Six Senses?

We’ve grown since our story began in 1995, but we’ve based each chapter on the same ambition: to journey 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 you’re 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.

Baby steps

The Six Senses ethos was established in 1995 with 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? Our vision flowed through everything – from the way we designed our buildings to the way we prepared our food and treated our guests and hosts.

Sustainability at the heart of what we do

As more properties began to open under the Six Senses values, they all shared the same commitment to balancing economic, environmental, and social profitability, 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 to eliminate the transportation impacts and use of plastic bottles.

It also made sense to dig an organic garden, to provide each resort’s kitchens with fresh herbs, fruit and veg as well as a range of ingredients that could be used in our 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. With seasonality paramount, our dedicated sustainability teams worked with our chefs to build partnerships with local farmers and producers who are responsible and authentic in how they care about their farm and community, ensuring veg is picked to order and delivered in plastic-free packaging.

As part of our regenerative travel philosophy, we have always aimed 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 in Thailand and Rise Beyond the Reef in remote Fijian communities.

Healthy investments

From the beginning, we recognized the role that pioneering wellness could play in our story. Early on, we started to incorporate a Six Senses Spa into each of our resorts and at other prestigious properties. Over the years, we expanded both our international footprint and our offering, building on our reputation for delivering holistic treatments and locally inspired therapies. We introduced yogic programs and developed advanced longevity programming, biohacking tools, and multi-day retreats 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. Conceived in 2014, our innovative Sleep With Six Senses initiative has brought about a whole range of benefits, including incorporating smart tech into guest rooms to reduce anxiety and promote peaceful slumber. With the dawn of Eat With Six Senses in 2015, menus have become even more delicious and nutritious, with guests enjoying great tasting food, just healthier. Having an amazing time away and focusing on one’s health or weight were no longer mutually exclusive. In fact, dedicating time and space to focus on wellness goals have proven impacts long after the vacation is over, especially when connecting with like-hearted people and supported by a personalized aftercare program.

  • Off to play with the pandas

    Off to play with the pandas

    Turning (temporarily) away from the pristine beaches and tropical paradises of our established resorts including Six Senses Samui (2004) and Six Senses Yao Noi (2007) in Thailand, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay (2004) and Six Senses Con Dao (2010) in Vietnam, Six Senses Zighy Bay (2008) in Oman, and Six Senses Laamu (2011) in the Maldives, Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain marked the brand’s entry into China in 2015, on the doorstep of the UNESCO World Heritage & Natural Cultural site at nearby Dujiangyan.

New places, new spaces

From a mountain to a valley. In 2015, we arrived at a 19th century quinta (wine estate) in Portugal’s Douro Valley. This was our first venture in Europe and our first non-villa offering. Of course, we always like to have one foot in the sea, so it wasn’t long before we were lured back to the coral-fringed beauty of Six Senses Zil Pasyon (2016) in the Seychelles.

We also expanded our Six Senses Residences offering from Con Dao in Vietnam to the world-famous French ski resort Courchevel (2015). Since then, Six Senses Residences have been available for purchase on islands (Fiji, Seychelles, and Belize), in cities (London, Dubai, and Bangkok), in year-round mountain locations (Crans-Montana and Kitzbuhel) and beachfront communities (Kaplankaya, Turkey), with many more in the pipeline. Each represents a synergy of simple design and space 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.

 

Earth Lab and Grow With Six Senses

In 2017, we took sustainability one step further with the launch of Earth Lab at every property to showcase their measurable impacts in terms of reducing consumption, producing locally, and supporting 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.

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.

Never taking ourselves too seriously

Although we never joke around when it comes to our environmental responsibility or community projects, there’s always been 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!

Two more islands caught our eye, with Six Senses Fiji (2018) and Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali (2018) joining our family. It was then back to Europe, with the launch of our two Turkish sister properties, Six Senses Kaplankaya (2018) followed by our first urban resort, Six Senses Kocataş Mansions (2019).

When the only constant is change

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

We also sought out-of-the-ordinary locations, from the back-to-nature tropical hideaway of Six Senses Krabey Island (2019) in Cambodia to our most ambitious project yet: a magical circuit of five lodges, positioned like gemstones throughout the Kingdom of Bhutan’s western and central valleys, collectively referred to as Six Senses Bhutan (2019).

For all of us, 2020 was a year like no 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. Firstly, in terms of sustainability, Six Senses was one of the first signatories of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, which unites the sector behind a common vision with targets to address plastic waste and its root causes. Six Senses committed to the intentionally over-ambitious goal of eliminating plastic from its hotel and spa operations by end-2022, going beyond single-use plastic and packaging and researching every plastic-free possibility (from computers to plug sockets – all innovative ideas welcome). Six Senses continues to innovate in the fight against single-use and virgin plastics, kickstarting new and creative solutions, one day, one guest, one story at a time.

Secondly, in terms of our guests, we found ways 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 live At Home With Six Senses digital content.

Our virtual platform became a safe and social space, enhanced further in 2021 and 2022 with an expert-led masterclass series to tackle all the universal issues that continued to prey on our minds. From women’s empowerment with the Kung Fu Nuns to psilocybin with the scientist, the shaman and the soprano, we learned the power of collaboration, kindness and curiosity.

 

  • “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

New horizons

We also opened new properties in surprising locations, starting in 2021 with Six Senses Shaharut, a desert hideaway in Israel’s Negev Desert, followed by Six Senses Fort Barwara, a 14th-century restored fort in Rajasthan, and the vibrant Six Senses Ibiza, which espouses community, spirituality, and celebration. Six Senses Vana followed at the turn of 2023, our first dedicated wellness retreat, where Ayurveda, Yoga, Tibetan Medicine, and Natural Healing Therapies combine with a kind-hearted team and personalized support.

With recent years shining a light on how precious “we time” is with family and friends, in 2023 we’re ensuring guests don’t waste a moment through the quality and diversity of our properties and enhanced experiences.

A restored palazzo in the center of ancient Rome (Six Senses Rome), a tropical paradise encompassing three white-sanded private islands in the Maldives (Six Senses Kanuhura), and ski-on/ski-off suites and residences in the stylish Swiss village of Crans (Six Senses Crans-Montana) all entice guests to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and wellness lifestyle our brand continues to promote. In late 2023, Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea marked our entry into Saudi Arabia, one of two inland locations that together with coastal and marine initiatives form The Red Sea Project.

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