9 Exceptional Six Senses Retreats You Need On Your 2020 Bucket List

Globally recognised as the leaders in sustainability for the hospitality sector, Six Senses have been dominating eco-friendly wellness breaks for more than two decades—and they show no signs of slowing down. With more innovative eco-initiatives and new resorts opening every quarter, Six Senses has no shortage of inspiring and rejuvenating wellness retreats on its rota. Check out the Six Senses resorts, old and new, making our 2020 wellness wanderlust bucket list. 

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Douro Valley

A Sustainable Holiday: Six Senses Douro Valley

The award-winning Portuguese retreat in the vineyard-covered slopes of a UNESCO World Heritage site just beyond Porto is the incarnation of all of Six Senses sustainable philosophies. While all of the brand’s properties follow eco-conscious protocols in their own way, Douro Valley’s efforts in recycling, going plastic-free and funding social enterprises have been part of its core values since its inception. 

Six Senses Douro Valley is one of three locations to launch Six Senses new ‘Grow a New Body’ programme, a wellness concept that fuses neo-shamanic philosophies with cutting-edge neuroscience. In collaboration with Dr Alberto Villoldo, a Shaman, healer, medical anthropologist and psychologist, the programme pushes the boundaries of how we approach wellness by both embracing and rejecting technology, in the right measures. Anna Bjurstam, VP of Spas & Wellness at Six Senses, explained: “The step into Sacred Energy Medicine will enable our guests to embrace both what can and cannot be seen, connect with the field of magnetic energy to clear toxic emotions, and ultimately switch on longevity genes to live healthier, longer.”

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Fiji

An Active Adventure: Six Senses Fiji

Skydiving, sailing, jet ski safaris… The turquoise waters of the Pacific hold endless opportunities for adventurous sporty types. Take surf classes with TropicSurf or try your hand at wakeboarding; kayak and snorkel, scuba dive with bull sharks through idyllic coral reefs, or take to the skies and see Fiji from above in a helicopter ride. End your action-packed day with a well-deserved massage or enjoy the sunset by the pool while you unwind in this tropical oasis.

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Shaharut

A Digital Detox: Six Senses Shaharut

Is there anywhere better to get away from it all than the desert? Think open starry skies, vast sand dunes—the only thing you might want a phone for here is to capture the whole thing. Opening in Spring 2020, Six Senses Shaharut is nestled deep in the south of the Negev Desert in Israel’s Arava Valley. A boutique retreat of 58 suites and villas, the architecture employs local rock and wood materials to blend seamlessly into the landscape: natural is the name of the game here, so while there’s nothing making you ditch your phone it’ll certainly enhance the experience. The on-site Earth Lab will give you a little taste of Six Senses resort-specific eco-initiatives, while activities like overnight desert camping, jeep safaris, hiking and extreme adventure sport mean there will never be a dull moment or a chance to miss your tech. 

Of the new resort, General Manager Manish Puri said, “Six Senses Shaharut marks a new milestone for Six Senses as the brand enters yet another unique destination. I am very excited about this new opening which will bring the Six Senses ethos of sustainability, local sensitivity and wellness together with the desert culture and traditions.”

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

A Beachside Haven: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay 

Recently renovated, this multi-award-winning luxury resort just outside of Nha Trang is a holistic escape with a lot of soul. Post-facelift, the resort boasts state-of-the-art wellness facilities, including a fitness centre, meditation shala, Six Senses Wellness Screening equipment, ‘flying’ yoga studio and a spa with six rejuvenating treatment rooms, and invites guests to join from a selection of Six Senses signature holistic programmes: sleep, yoga, fitness and detox. Like all Six Senses resorts, Ninh Van Bay pays particular attention to sustainability, but as a coastal resort, you’ll be privy to see incredible ecological efforts in action. The new Coral Propagation Programme helps restore coral reefs and protect the natural underwater habitats, and guests are invited to join in. If coral reef-building isn’t your thing, there are also programmes in monkey conservation and tours of the onsite Earth Lab to get involved with too. 

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Image courtesy of Six Senses New York

A Modern Retreat: Six Senses New York

The brand’s first foray into North America is turning heads for all the right reasons. Located by Manhattan’s Hudson River in The XI, two state-of-the-art ‘twisting’ towers designed by architect Bjarke Ingels, this contemporary urban retreat is a blend of modern convenience and pared-back luxury with suites designed by Parisian firm Gilles & Boissier. “This project is a fascinating and exciting contrast to the typical Six Senses locations where we operate resorts in settings with azure waters, UNESCO heritage listings and lush rainforests,” said Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs. “Six Senses New York will have the same touch-points and DNA, with some creative adaptation of course, but with no compromises on our commitment to community, wellness, sustainability and design.”

The wellness highlight here is the spa, so whether you’re checking in for a day or a week, make time for integrated therapies that combine “high-tech with high-touch” for the ultimate blend of cutting-edge technology and holistic therapies. Add this one to your list for early 2020, as it opens in the New Year.

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Krabey

A Detox Destination: Six Senses Krabey

It’s never easy to stick to a diet, but being island-bound by cerulean waters off the coast of Cambodia might make it a little easier. With benefits like weight loss, increased energy, and reduced bloating, a detox retreat at Six Senses Krabey is the perfect way to reset your body, and put yourself into a mindset for healthier living. Gentle yoga and meditation classes are offered on-site, along with luxurious and relaxing spa therapies to keep you occupied while you cleanse inside and out. 

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Uluwatu

A Yoga Getaway: Six Senses Uluwatu

Offering three types of yoga retreat—Discover Yoga, Yogic Sleep, and Yogic Detox—this clifftop property on Bali’s southern-most tip is a gorgeous getaway for a bit of yoga-infused R&R. All of the yoga programmes here include a yoga consultation and personalised yoga session, along with a variety of focused yoga sessions and spa therapies: the Yogic Sleep programme incorporates Yoga Nidra, while the Yogic Detox retreat includes non-invasive detoxing activities like the Yogic Intestinal Cleanse. If you’re newer to yoga, Discover Yoga is the perfect option: get personalised advice and tuition to improve your yoga posture and get properly aligned. It doesn’t hurt that there’s also unlimited ice cream at Six Senses Uluwatu—it’s all about balance, right?

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Singapore

An Urban Immersion: Six Senses Singapore

No time? No problem. For busy business travellers, weekend escapes and those in a hurry, Six Senses Singapore promises a little zen in the city. For this urban retreat—two decadent heritage properties five-minutes apart on the outskirts of Singapore’s bustling Chinatown—wellness is subtly woven into every aspect of your stay, from the singing bowl ceremony when you arrive to the wellness-themed turndown service. The property offers complimentary yoga every Thursday and Sunday, and can help guests organise a Traditional Chinese Medicine experience with a local TCM doctor and tea shop tasting. Once you’re back from a long day of exploring, unwind in one of the spa pods or take a dip in the rooftop pool at the Maxwell property. 

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Barwara

An Ayurvedic Escape: Six Senses Fort Barwara

Another ‘first’ for Six Senses, the new Fort Barwara resort is the brand’s first location in India. Three hours south of Jaipur in Rajasthan, the resort is being designed by conservation specialists on the site of a 700-year-old fort, preserving the original palatial structure and updating it for a five-star experience with a 30,000 square foot spa, two swimming pools, a fitness centre and two on-site restaurants. Exploring Indian’s ancient wellness traditions and one of this year’s biggest wellness trends, the resort’s wellness focus will be on Ayurvedic programmes, along with meditation, yoga and sleep retreats. As if you needed any extra incentive to visit this historic resort, it’s just a 30-minute drive to Ranthambore National Park, where guests can embark on safari tours to spot tigers, leopards, sloth bears and monkeys.

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Rebecca Cairns

Editor & CCO

Hong Kong-based Rebecca Cairns is the editor for Compare Retreats, and has formerly written on travel and wellness with Hong Kong Tatler and The Culture Trip. As a NASM-certified personal trainer, Becca is interested in all things fitness. An avid runner, she enjoys running 5K, 10K and 21K races and is currently training for her first marathon. When she's not travelling, she's planning her next trip, taking hikes to the beach or scribbling away in boutique coffee shops. You can follow her travels on Instagram @jetsetcreate.

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