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Fri 22 Aug 2014 01:45 AM

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Six Senses eyes UAE cities for new urban resort brand

President of Bangkok-based hotel operator seeks to launch new brand in key gateway cities

Six Senses eyes UAE cities for new urban resort brand

Bangkok-based Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is planning to launch an urban resort brand to be located in key gateway cities, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi among the possible destinations.

The company, which traditionally operates hotels in fairly remote areas, such as Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman, is looking to bring its wellness annd sustainability focus closer to its customers with the new concept, according to president Bernhard Bohnenberger.

“We are in discussions in quite a remote place in Abu Dhabi, as a strategy as a group we also want to go into cities,” Bohnenberger told Hotelier Middle East.

“We want to help people to reconnect wIth themselves in the city. You can come to us once or twice or three times a year to Zighy, or to the Maldives or Vietnam, but for your daily life we also want to give you some of our culture close to home.

“It’s an urban version [of a Six Senses]; it would absolutely not look like any of our urban competitors, it would have a lot of the Six Senses DNA in terms of sustainable materials, being dfferent, playful, fun, quirky, not serious, relaxed,” explained Bohnenberger. “You could have vegetable gardens on the roof or a beehive on the roof... or you could have hydroponic vegetables growing in the restaurant and being harvested in front of you.”

He said: “We are under very close discussion in New York and Paris, we are targeting the big gateway cities where we already operate some Six Senses Spas but not yet as where you can stay.

Bohnenberger said that he believed the concept would appeal to developers seeking to offer buyers or customers a “lifestyle” and added that Six Senses would also “absolutely” consider moving into the branded residences segment.

“Particularly when there’s residential involved, developers want to offer a lifestyle.” he said. “And the lifestyle that people are really looking for is exactly what we offer – reconnection, getting people away from it all on a daily basis, having great wellness, great personal training, great fitness, you can get healthy great tasting food, it’s an oasis in the city.”

Bohnenberger also revealed plans for more Six Senses Resorts, including five lodges in Bhutan, that will enable the company to offer a “circuit” of the country, and resorts in China, Seychelles and France, that are already under construction.

The progression of these new projects has been facilitated by Six Senses’ owner Pegasus Capital, which acquired the company in June 2012 with the aim to develop the small operator into a global hotel management company.

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