August-September 2018


A glimpse inside two of the newest – and quirkiest – hotels to hit Singapore; plus, an old favourite gets a refurb.



I t’s clear as you pull up to the restored row of traditional shophouses that make up the newly opened Six Senses in Singapore’s ultra-cool Duxton Hill neighbourhood, that this isn’t your average hotel. The entrance is an Art Deco-style porch of stained glass and rattan chairs, and parked outside is Singapore’s only London black cab. Instead of an expansive lobby, you find elegant nooks with Chinese screens, antique furniture and objets d’art . The hotel’s signature look – a moody, elegant combo of black and gold – is from renowned UK interior designer Anouska Hempel. (For trivia buffs: she once starred in a Bond film!) The deep sense of history isn’t just for show: a focus on conservation during the development stage saw Six Senses Duxton bestowed with a prominent architectural heritage award. Thanks to the differing layouts of the original shophouses, the 49 rooms are unique: one is a two-storey suite with a spiral staircase; another has a sitting

room beneath a glass skylight; and the Pearl Suite features cabinets embellishedwithmother- of-pearl. I was in anOpium Room – a nod to Singapore’s notorious dens of the past –

fascinating chat with the doc about everything from qi deficiency (ginseng is a good fix, I’m told) to the notion of “dampness” in the body. Every guest is given a wellness bag as a welcome gift, too, containing iconic Tiger Balm, Po Chai pills for indigestion, nutmeg oil for soothing aches, a health and fitness diary and more. I was busy with dinner events during my stay, so I wasn’t able to try in-house restaurant Yellow Pot in the evenings, but my two breakfasts there were sensational: a chili crab omelette with mantou buns one morning, and a healthy grilled salmon bowl the next. A sister hotel, Six Senses Maxwell, will soon open just a short walk away (probably around October). It will be bigger – 120 rooms – with additional facilities such as a spa and pool that guests from both properties will be able to access.

though I swear my brilliant sleep was less about narcotics and more about the bed’s Naturalmat organic mattress! A shout-out to the mini-bar: it’s a beautiful bit of bling, with mirrored walls, cocktail shakers and boutique booze and tonics. Other interesting in-room touches include an old-school rotary telephone, a Chinese calligraphy brush that you hang on your door for privacy, and drinking water produced by the hotel’s state-of-the-art mineralisation machine. Sustainability is a focus of the property, with a percentage of revenue going to support local environmental projects. Wellness is also a key at Six Senses Duxton; for example, guests are offered a free reading with an in-house Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. I had a

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