Thursday, June 8, 2023

Six Senses Resorts Redefine Sustainable Travel, Plus the 22 Bucket List Destinations


When it comes to sustainable travel, Six Senses is leading the way with its eco-friendly resorts.

There’s no getting away from it, travel has an impact on the planet. From the flight we take to visit a destination to where we stay when we get there, it all adds up.

The hospitality industry, in particular, puts a major strain on the environment, and we’re not just talking about emissions (which are significant), but also food waste, energy use, and water consumption. In fact, research suggests that globally, hotels use more than 219 billion gallons of water every year.

Six Senses Punakha, Bhutan | Courtesy

But, by choosing sustainable, eco-conscious accommodation, it is possible to explore the world and limit our environmental impact at the same time. And if you’re looking for luxury, Six Senses have to be at the top of the list.

Here’s more about where to find some of the chain’s most exquisite resorts and hotels. But first, let’s dive into why Six Senses is one of the most sustainable choices in luxury travel.

Are Six Senses resorts sustainable?

Founded back in 1995 by Indian-British hotelier Sonu Shivadasani — who is also the co-founder of Maldives’ resort chain Soneva, alongside his wife, Eva Malmström Shivdasani — Six Senses has always been about giving customers an immersive travel experience that doesn’t come at the expense of the environment. 

But for Shivadasani, it has never been enough just to reduce the impact of his resorts and hotels, he also strives to enhance and support the natural world around Six Sense’s various locations. 

In India’s Fort Barwara location, for example, the company is working to conserve, protect, and rewild the surrounding area. In Seychelles, it also works to protect native habitats by restoring indigenous trees and plants and is actively supporting the conservation of critically endangered hawksbill turtles. 

Six Senses Svart
The Six Senses Svart will be the first energy positive hotel. Courtesy Six Senses

And in Kaplankaya, in Turkey, the Six Senses resort is also home to organic farms and gardens, where it grows most of its own food to reduce transportation emissions. Plus, it has its own in-house compost machine for food waste.

“We believe that a company must have a clear purpose beyond turning a profit,” the hotelier told Travel Asia Now in January 2023. “It must serve and contribute to the society in which it operates and should not negatively impact the environment in which it is located.”

And coming in 2024, Six Senses Svart location in Norway is expected to be the world’s first energy-positive hotel. It will be entirely off-grid, running on solar power.

“To enhance the vision of Svart, we have established a Net Zero Lab, a vehicle for developing and taking to market the technology created by us in a joint effort with Six Senses to reach the common goal for net-zero travel,” said Jan-Gunnar Mathisen, CEO of the project’s owner and developer.

Neil Jacobs, Six Senses’ CEO, says the hotel is “pushing boundaries.”

“The concept has become bigger than the project itself, as it will provide a futuristic showcase for what can be achieved in terms of sustainability and energy solutions, and therefore a blueprint within our hospitality industry and the development sector in general,” Jacobs said in a statement.

Six Senses’ sustainable resorts

If you’re in the market for a sustainable, and exceedingly luxurious, vacation, then Six Senses has everything you need at its current 22 locations. From Asia to Europe, there’s a destination for everyone. And keep an eye out as new locations are in the works now, too in the U.K., Saudi Arabia, and the Maldives, along with the Norway location.

Six Senses Bhutan

1. Bhutan

From the historic Paro Valley to the spectacular rice fields of Punakha Valley, Six Senses has the magnificent landscapes of Bhutan covered. There are five lodges to choose from, and all are dedicated to “preserving and protecting the world’s only carbon-negative country.” (According to Global Vision International, 70 percent of Bhutan is covered in trees, making it a haven for carbon sequestration.)

six sense fiji

2. Fiji

If dreamy crystal clear water and perfect white sand are more your vibe, then look no further than Fiji, an archipelago country in the South Pacific. Six Senses resort, with 24 pool villas, is located on the volcanic and serene Malolo Island. There, it takes great care of the native Fijian crested iguana population and has 39 of the animals safely protected inside its own forested area.

six senses india

3. India

Six Senses has two locations in India, and which one you choose depends on what vibe you’re looking for. Its Vana spot is more of a wellness retreat, where you can practice yoga, learn about ancient medicine, and heal and connect to yourself. Fort Barawa is also a sanctuary, but this is a location for lovers of history and culture, as it’s placed next to the 14-century Barawa Fort, which used to belong to the Rajasthani royal family.

six senses switzerland

4. Switzerland

For ski lovers, Six Senses’ Switzerland hotel is perfectly situated in Crans-Montana, the nation’s sunny ski capital in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Treat yourself to stunning views while you reset and restore from a day out on the slopes. 

six senses italy

5. Italy

Six Sense’s Roman hotel resort is one of its newest locations, and it absolutely does not disappoint. Take in the ancient city views from the rooftop, and after that, head to the Roman garden and enjoy a restful yoga session. The day has to be finished off with some high-end cuisine at the Bivium Restaurant, where half the menu is plant-based. 

six senses turkey

6. Turkey

If Turkey has your heart, then Six Senses can offer you two unique and equally sensational spots in the country. For the hustle and bustle of the city, try Six Senses Kocatas Mansions in Istanbul, and for secluded relaxation near the Aegean Sea, head to its own private escape in Bodrum, a port city in the southwest.

six senses seychelles

7. Seychelles

For those in search of tropical paradise, then Seychelles will always deliver. The water is the perfect shade of blue, the sand is white, and the sky is always clear and sunny. Six Senses wants to keep it this way, which is why its resort actively supports the natural environment by helping to plant local, endangered plants.

six senses ibiza

8. Ibiza

Located on the tranquil northern tip of Ibiza’s crystalline Cala Xarraca Bay, you’ll find residences, mansions, pool suites and beachfront caves submerging you in the rich local culture, music, art, and food that has become synonymous with the island.

six senses maldives

9. Maldives

Laamu is the only resort on the tropical atoll, surrounded by coral reefs and stunning blue lagoons. Watch dolphins play, relax in the warm waters, dine on local cuisine, and connect with the inescapable nature. The destination is renowned for its award-winning marine conservation initiative in collaboration with three partner NGOs: The Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation and Olive Ridley Project.

six senses samui

10. Thailand

Take your pick in Thailand: the Koh Yao Noi hotel is situated in Phang Nga Bay — one of the world’s most spectacular seascapes. A short 45 minutes from Phuket, you’ll find yourself deep in nature for an unparalleled stay. Spend time with the local hornbills the hotel is working to protect, lounge at the pool, or enjoy one of the wellness treatments. Six Senses Samui Koh resort offers a vast infinity pool and sweeping views of the Gulf of Thailand. Enjoy the on-site garden and out-of-this-world accommodations.

six senses portugal

11. Portugal

Change your scenery at the forest-situated fully restored 19th-century Douro Valley manor high on a hill overlooking vine-covered terraces and the river below. Immerse yourself in the surrounding forest, enjoy seasonal food and fine wines from the valley, and a retreat like no other.

six senses bali

12. Bali

Enjoy the views of the breathtaking cliff-top Balinese-inspired resort at Six Senses Uluwatu, where local culture and tradition meet modern comforts and wellness bar none.

six senses oman

13. Oman

Zight Bay, located in Oman’s dramatic Musandam Peninsula, surrounds you with rugged mountains and shimmering waters lapping up to the soft, sandy beach. Enjoy the range of villas, suites, beachfront retreats, your own private pool, and hours of relaxation.

six senses israel

14. Israel

Step back in time at the Six Senses Shaharut resort in Israel’s Negev Desert. Situated within the cliffs of the region, you’re surrounded by the otherworldly panoramic views of the desert scape where you’ll never want to miss a sunset. Enjoy fresh food from regional farms, soak in the pool, and soak up the views.

six senses france

15. France

Book your next ski trip to the heart of the French Alps to the Six Senses Residences Courchevel in the Three Valleys where tradition and contemporary co-mingle in harmonious luxury. Spend a day on the slopes and then enjoy the well-appointed rooms, the Six Senses Spa, and Japanese restaurant Sumosan.

six senses cambodia

16 Cambodia

Get back to nature at this tropical island getaway with 40 private free-standing pool villas hidden in the lush canopy of trees. Enjoy traditional Khmer massage and Cambodian healing treatments. Watch the local wildlife and keep an eye out for the birds and butterflies that call the resort home, too. 

six senses china

17. China

The Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain spa resort is steps from the UNESCO World Heritage & Natural Cultural site in nearby Dujiangyan. Marvel in its regional architecture and landscaping, and enjoy the award-winning spa’s focus on Taoism’s healing powers aimed at aligning your qi.

six senses vietnam

18. Vietnam

Two Six Senses resorts make Vietnam a must-visit. This breathtaking setting takes you inside a protected national and marine park and the first top-rated luxury beach resort in Vietnam’s archipelago islands. Six Senses Con Dao brings contemporary design to the region while embracing the traditional village culture. Sink your toes into the golden sand beaches and find yourself in the silky blue waters. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay resort boasts impressive rock formations, a white sand beach, and a mountain range for good measure.

Related on Ethos:


How The Seychelles Is Bringing Eco Luxury to the Indian Ocean

The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label, the debt-for-nature swap, and the Renewable Energy Project are just some of the island nation's efforts that demonstrate its commitment to sustainability.

2 Royal Caribbean Ships Will Run on Biofuel This Summer

Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Apex and Royal Caribbean International's Symphony of the Seas are set to make waves in the cruise industry with their upcoming extended sustainable biofuel tests in Europe this summer.

In Season 2, National Geographic’s ‘America’s National Parks’ Explores 5 Stunning Ecosystems

In its second season, National Geographic's America's National Parks explores five new locations and the critical efforts to protect these vital ecosystems.

Mickela Mallozzi’s ‘Bare Feet’ Travel Philosophy Might Just Make You a More Responsible Traveler

For Mickela Mallozzi, host and executive producer of the four-time Emmy Award-winning PBS travel series Bare Feet With Mickela Mallozzi, traveling responsibly – and in bare feet — has always been the only way to see the world.

Bask in the Sunshine State: The Eco Travel Guide to South Florida

South Florida is teeming with sustainable hotels and trendy plant-based restaurants—an eco traveler's dream.