Luxury hotel brand Six Senses is planning to expand its portfolio over the next few years while also ramping up its integrated wellness offerings across all properties, Luxury Travel Advisor learned during a recent visit by Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs to our New York offices.
"When my [private equity group, Pegasus Capital] bought Six Senses [five years ago], we saw the opportunity to really draw on the ethos of the company and re-engineer a little bit to take the group out of being just a resort group in Asia and the Middle East and take it global," Jacobs says.
The brand currently owns and operates 12 hotels and 33 spas worldwide but that number is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years with new properties in the works.
Increasing Brand Recognition
Recently, Six Senses saw the successful launch of its first European property in Portugal, as well as the addition of a lavish new property in the Seychelles and a village-style retreat in one of China's most sacred locations. Looking forward, Jacobs says the group's main focus is to increase brand recognition worldwide. To do so, the brand's portfolio is growing to encompass resorts in North America, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, and more.
On the topic of brand recognition, Jacobs noted, in the past, Six Senses was never on the average American's radar. "When we took over the company, the American market was virtually minimal," he says. "The previous owners didn't really know the United States and they were more focused on Europe. The top three markets [for the company] had always been England, Germany and France."
In the years since acquisition, Jacobs and his team have taken the American market from nonexistent to No. 4 on the list of top Six Senses markets. He credits this to the brand's continued growth. "The brand is in Vietnam, Thailand, the Maldives... places where Americans travel," Jacobs says. "Now that we're building in New York, the Caribbean... the brand recognition will continue to go up."
Six Senses Bhutan, Bhutan
- Five lodges
- 86 rooms collectively spread out in the towns of Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro
- Opening 2018
Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia
- Expected to open in 2018
- Set on its own private island, which is 20-minute boat ride from Sihanoukville
Six Senses Fiji, Fiji
- 24 rooms
- 70 residences
- Slated to open first quarter of 2018
Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
- Expected to open in late 2017, early 2018
- 28 sky villas, 62 one-bedroom villas and seven two-bedroom villas
Six Senses Zhiben Hot Springs, Taiwan
- Opening late 2018
- Comprising 50 suites and villas
Six Senses New York, USA
- Opening 2019
- First North American property
- Two towers set between New York's Highline and the Hudson River
Jacobs tells us there is a possibility of a few projects developing in popular beach destinations, such as Cabo, Sayulita, Careyes and Tulum, Mexico; South America and Turks and Caicos in the future; although discussions are still in the beginning stages.
While launching several new properties over the past couple of years, the hotel brand has also launched their own version of integrated wellness.
"When people come to our hotels, they have this kind of biometric testing done where they place their hands and feet on plates and we're just testing the makeup of moisture in the body, which allows us to analyze things," Jacobs says. The Six Senses team then uses the results of the analysis to recommend lifestyle changes and what a guest should do at the property, and so on and so forth.
For a multi-faceted approach, the brand is integrating Sleep with Six Senses and the soon-to-be Eat with Six Senses. Sleep with Six Senses is "extremely involved, if you want it to be," according to Jacobs. The concept stems from the two biggest elements that impact quality of sleep: light and heat/body temperature. To improve guests sleep quality, Six Senses offers blackout curtains, moisture-wicking bedding, sleep ambassadors and a resident sleep doctor, Dr. Michael Breuss.
Six Senses is also in the process of launching Eat with Six Senses. Guided by nutritionist, Dr. Steven Gundry, the program centers around awareness of ingredients. "We have smoothie bars, we do Bulletproof coffee, we have a raw food chef. We have it all." Jacobs says.
Regarding Sleep with Six Senses and Eat with Six Senses, Jacobs says, "this is not really what hotel people do but we just love it and we see it as highly differentiating from our competitors. It gives us a strong narrative that were not just another luxury hotel doing what luxury hotels do."
Moving forward, Jacobs and his team will be on the look out for what's "hot" in the travel market. "We're all kind of out there with our eyes open and it's strategic," he says. "It's not like, 'Here's a deal, there's a deal.' It's more like 'Where do we want to be? What is creative?' We're always looking for something new and interesting."