Where sustainability and wellness merge – Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs about authenticity at HITT 2021

Where sustainability and wellness merge – Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs about authenticity at HITT 2021

Bangkok (June 11, 2021). “Sustainability has to be honest”. Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas (photo), knows it. The wellness pioneer of the global wellness scene sells his guests wellness, health and now follows their new lifestyle. Neil Jacobs opens the second day of the HospitalityInside Think Tank (HITT) on 14 September.

Sustainability does not only touch materials, building designs or recycling cycles; its social core is equally important – making it a leadership issue of utmost importance in the service industry. When Six Senses came into being in 1995, a new type of resort was born: a wellness oasis with an eco-friendly touch and many local elements, involving local craftsmen and artists and, of course, locals as staff from the very beginning.

Those who landed by seaplane on the Maldives island of Soneva Fushi, the first resort of Six Senses, were immediately asked to take off their shoes and walk barefoot on the sand island. The shoes were later found in the wardrobe, packed in a linen bag with the inscription “No shoes, no news”. The shoes stayed in there, until departure.

While the guests appreciate such unobtrusive relaxation to this day, staying in stone houses with private pools, enjoying spa treatments in bamboo huts, feeling freshly prepared natural cosmetics on their skin and being able to switch off in nature, the expanding group asked and still asks many questions in the background. Among other things, what influence does sustainable action and behaviour have on one’s own business model?

Seeing the platform, living the spirit

Neil Jacobs comments: “Wellness and sustainability are now merging on a common platform,” he says – and it is becoming scalable. “Wellness involves the land, the property, as well as the community, a ‘healthy’ building and ‘healthy’ materials.” A veritable wellness economy has emerged in recent years, with wellness real estate becoming its most promising profit pillar, especially in the US. Corona is now giving this pillar a special push.

Living wellness like sustainability means having internalised a certain attitude. That’s why the wellness trend is also changing the sustainability trend, and vice versa. Both are flowing together in the emerging lifestyle of people: “Live, Work and Play” are merging and many a loose community is now becoming a club of like-minded people – across generations.

Six Senses has been thinking about urban resorts for several years, and the first of its kind is being built in New York. In their own Cubator and a Think Tank, the Six Senses team is working on the touch points between them and the guests, them and the employees, them and the investors. And no path is too far for them and no idea too exotic.

Currently, and strengthened by Corona, Six Senses is dealing with mental wellbeing. Insiders believe that mental wellness – as opposed to physical health – has huge business potential worth billions. How does the management team itself adjust to such highly complex and new topics? “We have been coached by neuro-scientists about the nature of thoughts, about how they change our balance,” Neil Jacobs already reported in an interview with hospitalityInside.com in January this year. And the spa boss was drawn to North and South American shamans to learn from them about energy management, among other things.

Now it is “only” a matter of bringing this spirit into all resorts and urban resorts… What a challenge. But as Neil Jacobs says: “Sustainability has to be honest”. Authentic. Just like wellness. / map


JOIN Neil Jacobs, CEO, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, on the second day of the HospitalityInside Think Tank, 14 September 2021 at 9.45-10.45 h (CET).

His HITT Impulse: Authentic Sustainability, the new Wellbeing. How real estate creates communities and meets with people’s new way of living, working and playing. Insights of an industry pioneer.

Neil Jacobs’ vita can be found here.


The big topic of the HospitalityInside Think Tank 2021:

The Decade of Action: How Sustainability leads the agenda,
how Digitalisation enables it.

You can find the complete programme directly on www.hitt.world or in the attached pdf below.
On the HITT website you will always see all updates, as well as detailed information about the other impulse speakers and all sponsors.

And here you go directly to the registration!

HITT, the HospitalityInside Think Tank 2021
on 13/14 September in Munich,
LIVE in a relaxed co-working space and VIRTUAL,
in English language.


Logos: companies / Top photo: Six Senses