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Inside the New Six Senses New York

Condé Nast Traveler logo Condé Nast Traveler 9/14/2020 Erin Florio
© Illustration: quickhoney

This story is part of our New Standard series, examining where travel is headed. Read more about how we define the New Standard here.

“Translating our values into an urban environment is a particular challenge,” says Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs, of the luxury wellness and sustainability brand's New York debut, the first foray into North America by the company known for spa-focused properties in places like Oman and Thailand. That challenge grew with COVID-19, forcing the team behind the Bjarke Ingels-designed retreat on Manhattan's High Line to rethink its approach to programming and social spaces—and bump its opening to 2021. Here, a few key shifts.

The wellness we need

The spa incorporates every current well-being trend, from Ayurveda to Chinese medicine, but in a first for Six Senses, the focus will be on immunity boosting and medical wellness. “We know that COVID-19 is making people take a more proactive approach to their wellness,” says Rebecca Soloff, Six Senses' director of sales and marketing. On the menu? Diet and lifestyle tips for preemptively fighting illnesses and a biohacking program to help guests optimize their workout goals, like equipment specially built to cut exercise times.

Socializing, reimagined

The pandemic wasn't going to stop Six Senses from launching its new social club, Six Senses Place. “One of our brand missions is to connect, which is a big word emerging from this crisis,” says Jacobs. Overlooking the Hudson and spread across the hotel's fifth floor, the 45,000 square-foot area combines rooms for health seminars, co-working areas, and stylish spots for martinis. “It is being designed for distancing without compromising a sense of community that is protected and private,” says Soloff.

Changing how we connect

After closing its properties, the company launched At Home With Six Senses, allowing would-be guests to livestream yoga classes from the company's Zighy Bay retreat in Oman and for their homebound kids to learn about coral life in the Maldives. Programming at Six Senses Place will include talks on business leadership and social-entrepreneur seminars that stream inside the 132 rooms, should guests decide that, in the end, they just want time to themselves.

This article appeared in the October 2020 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.

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