Six Senses arch executive Neil Jacobs invests in wellness

Mr Neil Jacobs looks surprisingly well-rested for a male who spends many of his time on a road.


The arch executive of a oppulance Six Senses sequence of review hotels spends 70 per cent of his time travelling for work, going between opposite properties and cities for meetings and site visits. But a residue of his time is spent relaxing and invested in wellness, which, he says, is what keeps him grounded and gives his life balance.

The agreeable 67-year-old quips that his loose feeling is interjection to a week spent during a wellness shelter in Austria before streamer behind to Singapore final Monday. He spent days eating healthily, omission ethanol and removing in 10km walks around a scenic countryside.

“I’m a large follower in a significance of wellness and creation time to reconnect with yourself and your surroundings,” he tells The Straits Times in an speak during a Six Senses’ new hotel in Duxton Road, that is a review chain’s initial civic property.

“When we get time off, we try and go on a wellness shelter or concentration my appetite on choice and normal medicine such as Indian ayurveda and normal Chinese medicine.”

It is clear that he is a male who walks a talk.

How we correlate with a village is critical when it comes to building a business with sustainability in mind. Our joining is towards building a people – we sinecure internal where probable and we allot half a per cent of a income to at-large village projects. We call this a Social Responsibility Fund and dedicate to that income remaining local.

MR NEIL JACOBS on a significance of respecting and enchanting with a communities in that a Six Senses code operates

Known for a eco-friendly sensibilities and properties in far-flung destinations, Six Senses was started some-more than 20 years ago by Indian-British hotelier Sonu Shivdasani, yet was bought over by private equity organisation Pegasus Capital in 2012.

Mr Jacobs, who has some-more than 30 years of knowledge in a liberality attention and also owns a tiny interest in a company, came on house as arch executive as partial of a acquisition.

When he took over a business in 2012, a code was famous for a organic and country resorts and had 11 properties in especially isolated areas such as Con Dao island in Vietnam.

Since then, it has revamped and now has 15 properties, with some-more than 50 projects in a pipeline. This year alone, hotels will be opening in Bhutan, Bali and Cambodia.

The association is formed in Bangkok and also has an bureau in London, yet Mr Jacobs works out of Singapore, where he lives with Sandra, his Singaporean partner of 12 years.

He initial changed to Singapore in 1998 when he took on a purpose with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts as comparison vice-president of operations for Asia Pacific and finished adult staying for 14 years.

And yet he did leave for New York for a brief army after, he says he was happy to pierce behind to Singapore when he got a event to conduct Six Senses.

The brand’s Singapore hotel, that non-stop final month with another Six Senses Maxwell opening in a third entertain of this year, outlines a initial incursion into a city hotel – a pierce it skeleton to continue by opening in cities such as New York, where a hotel is slated to open by a finish of subsequent year.

“When we acquired a code in 2012, we knew we had to make changes relocating forward, including holding it from being a South-east Asian code onto a some-more tellurian platform. Part of that pierce was to have some-more civic executions for a Six Senses brand, that gave us participation in pivotal cities that charity a convenience component,” says Mr Jacobs.

Besides venturing into worldly areas, he also saw a significance of elaborating a demeanour of a hotels to turn some-more design-centric.

Compared with a country vibe of a code before a acquisition, a new properties are most some-more design-focused to support to a expectations of business who compensate some-more than US$1,000 (S$1,340) a night during some of them.

In Singapore, a code brought on house eminent British interior engineer Anouska Hempel to pattern a Duxton property. Alongside their Maxwell property, a dual will collectively work as Six Senses Singapore. Both properties are located in birthright shophouses owned by internal real-estate developer Satinder Garcha.

“Opting to work within charge properties ties behind to a joining to sustainability,” Mr Jacobs says. “Instead of building a mint hotel in a built-up city like Singapore, we saw intensity to re-engineer an existent space and re-imagine how it can be used.”

For him, a Six Senses brand’s expostulate towards tolerable practices is something he is unequivocally invested in.

“For many hotels, perplexing to be tolerable means putting adult a label to remind we not to put your towels on a building if we wish to use them again a subsequent day. But we need to do more,” he says. “It’s not easy. You mostly need to scapegoat some of your income to do things with a apart destiny in mind. But it is critical and a consumer is also apropos some-more aware. Today, sustainability and wellness go hand-in-hand.”

For a father of two, it is his knowledge in a liberality attention that has clued him in to a final and desires of a oppulance transport consumer. His son Kieran heads growth for a Hilton sequence in Southeast Asia and his daughter Talana recently left a pursuit doing marketing, sales and operations for boutique oppulance hotel Chiltern Firehouse Hotel in London to start her possess media and selling agency.

While Mr Jacobs was with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, he was obliged for a operations of 16 hotels in a Asia-Pacific region.

Besides handling hotels in places such as London, Rome, Sardinia, Paris, Sri Lanka, Bali, Barbados and Los Angeles over his prolonged career, he has also dabbled in hotel skill growth as good as private equity, where he helped attorney deals within a industry.

Having this 360-degree bargain of a liberality universe is what has helped him home in on a needs of today’s traveller.

“Luxury, to me, is all about refinement and knowledge – charity a guest a possibility to correlate with a village around them in a proceed that feels genuine and authentic,” he says.

“Our purpose is to make a disproportion in people’s lives where they feel complacent and rejuvenated and leave with an stretched universe view.”

It was this same passion to learn some-more and see a universe that desirous his possess incursion into a universe of hotels. He says flourishing adult in London in a colourful 1950s fuelled his childish curiosity, sparking a enterprise to learn new languages and evade a accoutrements of a “conventional” life. He is smooth in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Bahasa Indonesia.

The hotel attention became his entrance to see a universe and enhance his adore of language.

Today, he depends people like Mr Adrian Zecha – a Indonesian owner of Aman Resorts – as both impulse and competition.

“There are few hotel lines that trade in a kind of world. we cruise brands like Aman, Rosewood and Auberge both impulse and foe to us. But I’m unequivocally unapproachable that Six Senses has unequivocally combined a niche for itself and pushed brazen in a areas of wellness and sustainability, that is partial of a DNA today.”

Mr Murray Aitken, 48, ubiquitous manager of Six Senses Singapore, says it is infrequently easy to forget that Mr Jacobs is their boss.

“He is so thorough and down to earth that he never comes opposite as a trainer per contend – someone who we would demur to approach,” he says. “He’s some-more like a guide, unequivocally someone who includes us in discussions and is an instance to follow since he truly lives and breathes a ethos of a brand.”

And, indeed, for Mr Jacobs, it is a creation of flourishing a code that continues to enthuse his work, 3 decades on.

He is discerning to boot any notions of retirement. “When we work in this industry, we work with people and knowledge a cut of their life. That adrenaline of not meaningful what is going to occur that day is what keeps me going.

“Plus, there is so most some-more we can do and so most some-more event for us to grow and get improved – so because stop now?”

Correction note: This essay has been updated for clarity.

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