Rejuvenate your senses at this eccentric yet elegant city hotel, which pays homage to its storied past.
While Six Senses has always been synonymous with scenic, far-flung destinations, its first city hotel in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown brims with a unique charm that’s all of its own. Six Senses Duxton, the first of two Six Senses Singapore properties to open, stands out as a row of heritage trading houses sustainably revamped by acclaimed British designer Anouska Hempel.
Guests are first greeted by a spacious patio framing the hotel’s entrance—perfect for people-watching or afternoon tea, before stepping foot into an eccentric wonderland of black and gold. Here, Chinese folding screens, oversized golden fans, and calligraphy wallpapers contrast beautifully with black lacquer tables to create a sense of understated elegance. Drawing inspiration from Chinese, Malay, and European elements, the hotel’s unique design pays homage to the city’s diverse heritage and multi-racial culture.
Home to just 49 guestrooms and suites, the hotel showcases ingenuity when it comes to making the most of its limited space. We stayed in the two-story Duxton Duplex Suite, which features a restored and original spiral staircase from the heritage building. Sun-lit and airy, the suite had a lounge area on the lower level and a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom on the upper level. The color palette of the suite was moody yet sensual, with dark mahogany tables and plush black sofas complementing subtle gold accents. Apart from the Duxton Duplex, seven other themed room categories are available — featuring historically-inspired names such as Nutmeg, Shophouse, Opium, and Pearl. Guests will find that all rooms feature items that delight the senses, such as bamboo screens, Chinese calligraphy brushes, gold trimmed decorative pillows, and a singing bowl sourced from Tibet.
Six Senses Duxton manages to seamlessly meld luxury and sustainability. The rooms and suites take advantage of passive cooling, with shutter panels that create shade to reduce the need for air-conditioning. Plus, the hotel produces its own drinking water in stylish glass bottles, which are offered complimentary in all rooms.
The hotel’s striking gold-and-black palette extend to its only dining establishment, Yellow Pot, a modern Chinese restaurant and bar guided by the philosophy of balanced living and healthy eating. Our evening here kicked off with a couple of cocktails at the bar, with our favorites being the signature Escape to Kaifeng and Hong Long Choc. The former is a refreshing gin-based concoction bursting with the floral flavors of chrysanthemum, while the latter is an inventive take on the classic old fashioned, featuring lapsang souchong (smoked tea). At dinner, I was amused by the sheer number of yellow pots (in all shapes and sizes, no less) within the space—Hempel’s cheeky reference to the restaurant’s name.
To start, we had a lovely appetizer of organic vine-ripened tomatoes infused in sour plum, before indulging in the wok-seared organic grass-feed beef tenderloin. Yet what stole the show for me was the simple yet comforting stir-fried mee sua (thin noodles), which reminded me of my mother’s cooking, but elevated with tiger prawns and scrumptious Hokkaido scallops. Best of all? You won’t find MSG (monosodium glutamate) in any of the dishes even though it is so often used in Chinese cooking, as the chefs make their own broths and sauces from scratch.
With wellness being such an essential part of the Six Senses experience, one wonders how Six Senses Duxton does it—sans spa or fitness center. Yet, the devil’s all the details. Upon checking in, I was warmly welcomed with the singing bowl ritual, which involved me standing inside a giant singing bowl and feeling the reverberations calm my senses as a staff struck the bowl. Working closely with the local community, the hotel offers a line-up of wellness experiences that include neighborhood and nature discovery walking tours, outdoor yoga, tea appreciation workshops, and more.
The most interesting of all has to be the TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) consultation, which is complimentary for all guests. After chatting with physician Zhang, who has over 40 years of practice, I learnt that my yang (related to body heat) was suppressed due to my insatiable love for cold desserts. Consultations aside, guests will also receive two bottles of complimentary tinctures formulated by the physician each day—each with a host of benefits including improving one’s appetite and preventing insomnia.
During turndown service, guests will also find a well-curated bag of goodies including nutmeg ointment, coloring sheets, a fun brain teaser toy, and more—truly a lovely way to end the day.
More information here.