*Editor’s note: As of 31 May 2020, Six Senses Duxton and Six Senses Maxwell (collectively known as Six Senses Singapore) have ceased to be managed by Six Senses Hotels Resorts and Spas, and will reopen in 2021 under Marriott’s Autograph Collection and be renamed as The Duxton Reserve Hotel, Autograph Collection and The Maxwell Reserve Hotel, Autograph Collection respectively.
In August 2019, I checked into the Maxwell Junior Suite at Six Senses Maxwell, set in a block of colonial-style heritage shophouses in Tanjong Pagar amidst the neighbourhood’s dining and nightlife bustle. The 138-room hotel is the second of two heritage buildings (the other being Six Senses Duxton) which together form Six Senses Singapore, and the two hotels have the distinction of being the first two city hotels from the acclaimed Six Senses luxury hotel and spa group. The hotel is across the road from the famed Maxwell Food Centre, a stroll away from malls such as 100AM and Tanjong Pagar Centre and minutes away from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station.
This would be my second stay at this hotel, and my first since Six Senses was acquired by the InterContinental Hotels Group and the property underwent changes and room classifications. I had previously stayed at the Maxwell Studio back in December 2018.
Another notable hotel in the area would be Sofitel Singapore City Centre.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Elegant European calm in Tanjong Pagar.
The must-dos (if any): Enjoy the soothing soundtrack of the Six Senses in-room advertisement as you relax in your comfortable lodgings, go for a spa treatment and make use of one of their Spa Pods, enjoy breakfast at either Yellow Pot or Cook & Tras Social Library.
SIX SENSES MAXWELL
Designed by French architect and designer Jacques Garcia, the hotel is decidedly different from its sister property in its aesthetic sensibilities. While the latter goes for dramatic, bold opulence with oriental flourishes, Six Senses Maxwell plays it more classic European in persuasion, featuring velvet chairs, pleated silk lampshades, hardwood flooring and stone tiles salvaged from Italian medieval institutions. There are two distinct room themes across its room categories (oriental dragon-skin red and peacock-feather blue), and even within the same room category the rooms may come in different design configurations (e.g. skylight, balcony etc).
The sprawling heritage cuisine-influenced Cook & Tras Social Library serves as the hotel’s de facto bar lounge, with guests able to peruse or even borrow any of the tomes from the library during their stay. In terms of wellness, the spa on the 4th level offers relaxation rooms for various spa treatments and therapies as well as Spa Pods equipped with So-Sound Legato Healing Loungers which enable guests to recline back and allow soothing sound vibration technology to relax and ease bodily tensions and blood pressure. Elsewhere, a fully-equipped gym as well as a 25-metre outdoor rooftop swimming lap pool are available for guest use.
A retail concept at the entrance of the hotel stocks wellness products, accessories and souvenirs.
MAXWELL JUNIOR SUITE
Located on the 4th level of the building (which requires guests to walk up a flight of steps as the elevator only goes up to the 3rd level), the 34sqm Maxwell Junior Suite plays it all blue velvet surfaces, mahogany writing desks and hardwood floors, with its most notable feature being the embroidered peacock-feather headboard which marks the most dramatic deviation from the room’s otherwise classic European intentions. Skylights welcome energizing natural light into the living room, bedroom and bathroom spaces. The space is cosy and intimate, and as the soothing soundtrack which accompanies the looping Six Senses advertisement on the television plays, you are quickly lulled into a sense of calm.
The minibar is one of the most visually impressive minibar setups I’ve ever seen, with the stunning William Yeoward glassware catching and reflecting the minibar illumination in a most glorious manner. Aside from a curated lineup of spirits and tonics, the minibar also offers various local snacks, Nespresso facilities as well as Chinese teas from teahouse partner Yixing Xuan Teahouse. The hotel’s drinking water comes in recyclable glass bottles, with both sparkling and still options provided.
The decidedly compact European-style bathroom features expensive-looking Lefroy Brooks fixtures as well as a partitioned rainfall shower area clad in stone, with bathroom amenities from The Organic Pharmacy which make you want to writhe in evaporated milk and become a glass of bandung (rose syrup milk drink).
Breakfast is served at Cook & Tras Social Library, the all-day Straits Chinese-influenced dining concept which also doubles up as a library and bar lounge. Guests are able to choose one main from the a la carte menu, which includes hearty breakfast classics such as Spiced Buckwheat Pancakes, Shakshuka, Avo & Egg and Chicken & Waffle. An interesting feature of Six Senses Singapore is that hotel guests with access to breakfast may opt to dine at either Cook & Tras Social Library or Six Senses Duxton’s Yellow Pot (their chilli crab omelette is a revelation). After hours, the space takes on a decidedly more adult vibe ideal for masculine post-work stories or flirtatious whispers, with the restaurant serving sharing plates such as Nonya Style Chicken Meatballs, Steak Chimichurri and Iberico Pork Sate to go with their range of tipples.
European concept Six Senses Brasserie serves Southern European dishes in a space which conveys classical European woody steakhouse vibes amidst a warm orange glow. The restaurant offers brunch on weekends as well as dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.
Rounding up the F&B concepts are bubbles-centric Rose Lounge & Bar and broody spirits bar Garcha’s on the ground floor, as well as the Ice Cream Tricycle serving homemade ice cream and sorbet on the verandah and the upcoming rooftop edible garden & bar Max’s Rooftop Bar.
The two Six Senses Singapore properties offer two very different guest experiences. While Six Senses Duxton slightly edges out Six Senses Maxwell overall based on the strength of Yellow Pot as well as its compelling and distinctive design narrative, this property does offer the more complete guest experience in terms of the spa, pool and gym facilities as well as the variety of F&B options available. For its quality, the hotel offers some of the most appealingly-priced rooms in the country, and its inclusion in the IHG Rewards Club programme gives hotel loyalty enthusiasts even more reasons to visit. Highly recommended.
Six Senses Maxwell
2 Cook Street