SALT GOES TO: SIX SENSES DUXTON
A spot of wellness in the heart of the city’s bar and restaurant scene.
At the newly-opened Six Senses Duxton, the first thing that strikes me is the location. It’s right smack in the middle of a prime drinking/restaurant district, where I have spent many nights putting alcohol and far too much food into my body. So it somehow feels like a fitting respite, given that Six Senses group has always had a wellness slant.
Even then, it’s not some hippie retreat with vegan menus and meditation foisted upon you. The hotel takes mindful cues from its surroundings and history. The interior is designed by (one-time Bond girl) Anouska Hempel, who has dressed everything with a heady blackand-gold scheme that’s supposed to conjure a opiate haze, as a nod to the building’s past as a opium den. The decor? It somehow manages to have elements of a clean, modern chinoiserie, bits of art deco, and nods to Singaporean nostalgia—all at once.
Even though you’re surrounded by temptations of food and drink; you’ll want to hang around the hotel to experience the activities and service that they provide: whether it’s a diagnosis by an experienced TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) practitioner, or a tea appreciation workshop.
Come dinnertime, resist going out again (there will be plenty of time for post-dinner drinks as many of the best bars in town are close by), and instead have pre-dinner cocktails at their restaurant/bar Yellow Pot. Options include the house signature Escape to Kaifeng, a concoction of chrysanthemum cordial and Tanqueray that almost feels like a tonic (didn’t mom always say that chrysanthemum tea dispels heatiness?).
Chinese chef Sebastian Goh has crafted a menu in line with the groups Eat With Six Senses programme, which champions “natural ingredients, local and sustainable, and less is more”. Expect traditional Chinese dishes given contemporary touches — organic, grass-fed beef tenderloin is wok seared and spiced with Tellicherry peppercorns and honey; while steamed locally-reared barramundi comes with ginger-scallion pesto.
83 Duxton Road. Singapore 089540 www.sixsenses.com