A visit to Singapore shimmers with all the possibilities imagination can give it. The tantalizing mix of European, Chinese, Malay, Indian and other ethnic influences plays out in the arts, the shopping, the architecture and design and, of course, the exquisite culinary adventures to be had. And now, a visit to Singapore can be anchored in incredible luxury that is infused with a stay at Six Senses Duxton and its stunning sister property, Six Senses Maxwell – the first city hotels in the precious portfolio presented by Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. Both properties are members of the Hidden Doorways exclusive collection of hotels and resorts.
Six Senses Duxton opened in April in the island city-state’s central district, right in the middle Singapore’s vibrant and chic Chinatown. In December, that property will be complemented by Six Senses Maxwell a short, five-minute walk away. Both properties are stunning remakes of preserved 19-century heritage buildings and each bears the signature of an internationally renowned designer. At Six Senses Duxton, that is Anouska Hempel, whose recognizable works include the Grosvenor House, Blakes, the Franklin, and the Hempel in London, as well as other international treasures.
High Design on Duxton Road
The hotel’s 49 guest rooms and suites evoke a variety of locally-inspired themes, such as Nutmeg, Shophouse, Opium and Pearl, with décor that ensures no two rooms will be the same. It’s a romantic narrative laid out in dark lacquered hues, striking metallic accents and natural lighting, with details invented by the designer or restored from the existing shophouses. Among them is the nineteenth-century spiral staircase complemented by bespoke furniture with matching curves.
A look at the Duxton’s Skylight Suite reveals a “solar” room with a living room placed under an existing domed glass skylight that lets the morning sun pour through the room. Contrasting the dark hues, the yellow and gold accents, and the sharp lines of some of the other guestroom themes is the Pearl Suite. Here, Hempel gives into the brightness of whites and blondes, accented by curves and arches and lightly veined white marble.
Gold is in abundance in the restaurant, which offers a menu of classic and innovative Chinese fine dining. Guests can start their culinary journey in the adjacent antiquarian library-themed bar with a signature Yellow Peril house cocktail of hot whiskey, brandy and absinth, crowned with a yellow chrysanthemum.
Six Senses Duxton’s exotic east-meets-west narrative continues with cultural programs developed around the local community. For instance, guests can indulge in traditional Chinese medicine consultations with a local expert, or tea appreciation classes at a nearby teahouse as well as walking tours and yoga sessions. The hotel welcome packet presents guests with a bag full of gifts that includes Tiger Balm and puzzles.
As a measure of commitment to sustainability principles, Six Senses Duxton produces its own drinking water –still and sparkling – and minimizes plastic usage by doing away with plastic bag trash liners, water bottles and straws.
Marvel at The Maxwell
In similar style, the new Six Senses Maxwell brings an intense fusion of art and style to the deep-rooted sensibilities of place. Located in a second heritage building only steps away from Six Senses Duxton, guests of both hotels will have privileges across the two properties. Six Senses Maxwell’s design marks the work of French architect and designer Jacques Garcia (Louvre’s 17th- and 18th-century decorative arts galleries, Place Vendôme Parisian townhouse for the Sultan of Brunei, Hôtel Costes Paris, NoMad New York City, and L’oscar London) and his deep attention to detail showcased across seven room categories and 138 guestrooms and suites. Special design details range from the brass, lacquer and marble mini bars to the handmade Lafroy Brooks bathroom fixtures. All rooms offer handmade mattresses by Naturalmat with organic bed linens prescribed by Sleep with Six Senses, a pillar of the hotel resort company’s integrated wellness philosophy.
Six Senses Maxwell resides on Maxwell Road, which was originally a nutmeg plantation before 14 three- and four-story colonial-style buildings were constructed on the site and later joined together as a single entity. The rambling structures, diverse in their comely details and characteristics, have been carefully conserved and further enriched with a Six Senses Spa, an outdoor lap pool, a Champagne bar and lounge, a whiskey bar, a boardroom and a club lounge. A verandah, as one might imagine or see in period films, brings a refreshing relaxation zone of lush tropical foliage that follows the length of the building as a place for refreshments and alfresco dining. The Rose Lounge & Bar offers top-shelf champagne as well as wines and spritzers. And, of course, as this is Singapore, the hotel has a signature cocktail: the Rose Bellini.
Six Senses Maxwell brings five food and beverage concepts to the fore. Among them is Murray Terrace, a classic European-style brasserie, and Cook & Tras, a social library restaurant and bar influenced by heritage Straits cuisine. Also of note is Max’s Edible Garden on the rooftop, adjacent to the 82-foot rooftop lap pool and gymnasium.
Six Senses Spa Pods will open this summer and can be enjoyed by both Six Senses Duxton and Six Senses Maxwell guests alike. Guests will enjoy signature massages, facials, and beauty treatments as well as relaxation technology available on So Sound Loungers.
Singapore is a city to be savored and explored. A crossroads to centuries of eastern and western trade, the visitor can be entranced by lush botanical gardens, worldclass museums, stunning viewing sites and seductive shopping opportunities. And that is to say nothing of the culinary discoveries to be made.
Perhaps sparked by the storming success of “Crazy Rich Asians” that was filmed in this iconic city, westerners are putting Singapore on their bucket lists and finding a city of clean, safe streets with a host of must-do’s.
Among the things to do in Singapore:
The National Gallery of Singaporeis one of the crown jewels of the art world. It is housed inearly-20th-century Supreme Court and City Hall buildings supported by Corinthian columns and accented with glass. The museum owns the largest public collection (8,000+ works) of modern art in Southeast Asia, from the 19th century to present day. On a given day one might be able to enjoy a traveling collection from the Musée d’Orsay, as well as permanent collections of curated Chinese calligraphy and Vietnamese lacquer painting.
The Maritime Experiential Museumreopened its doors last year with new interior designs and futuristic interactive exhibits while continuing to showcase the history of the famous Maritime Silk Route that connected Southeast Asia to the Arabian peninsula and Europe. Now find holographs and life-sized props that make the experience immersive and include a plethora of Instagram-worthy backdrop sets.
The Singapore Flyeris always a must with 28 air-conditioned pods that can each accommodate up to 28 passengers. At 541 feet, it had the title for tallest until the 550-foot High Roller opened in Las Vegas. Still, it remains the best place to get a bird’s eye view of the Lion City and beyond.
Shop for luxury brands at Dover Street Market, a converted former British army barracks that opened in 2017. Find a subterranean labyrinth of discount stores and notion shops on famous Orchard Road or find interesting souvenirs in Chinatown, Arab Street or Little India.
Catch orchids in bloom at the National Orchid Garden, a part of the lush landscapes and rainforest trails to be found at the Singapore Botanical Garden.
And when it’s time to go, hang out at the airport. Changi International Airport (SIN) is a destination in its own right with an artsy outdoor gastropark opening to more than 30 food stalls, food trucks, craft beer vendors and live music. The airport offers a butterfly garden, a swimming pool and a movie theater and soon to come: a 10-story, glass-and-steel mixed-use connecting space between terminals that will house the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and walking trails.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) recently relaunched non-stop service from key US gateways, now fulfilled by more fuel-efficient Airbus A350-900ULR, creating, at just under 10,000 miles and 19 hours from Newark, the world’s longest non-stop route. Comfort is a premium on these long flights and premium economy comes in quite spacious with a generous 38 inches of legroom. The two-cabin aircraft contains 67 full-flat beds on board in business class and 94 premium economy seats at the back. To add to the the comfort factor, Singapore Airlines partnered with Canyon Ranch to create culinary, sleep and exercise experiences onboard that can ensure wellness during the flight and optimize relaxation and contentment during the long trip.