Hotels

Hotel review: Six Senses Maxwell (it didn’t look like the pictures)

Harriet Jayne Morris

Harriet Jayne Morris

Often the photos on a hotel’s website will give the viewer an enlarged idea of how grand the property really is.

And who can blame them? We live in a highly visual society with a saturated online market where an Instagram account can make or break a business.

It’s no wonder every hostel, Airbnb or five-star hotel worth its weight in ‘likes’ aims for a highly-curated, polished online presence.

The Maxwell, however, is a rarity in which no photo gallery could adequately portray the level of elegance that exists inside its freshly refurbished walls.

With perhaps what is the true mark of luxury, it’s the features only the eye can pick up in person that makes this hotel so exquisite.

The materials used throughout the interior by celebrated French designer Jacques Garcia and the elaborate design flourishes are the true stand out, and only get more impressive the deeper into the hotel one ventures.

Six Senses Maxwell [2]

Six Senses is renowned for its string of exotic resorts around the globe. However, the opening of two properties in the heart of Singapore’s bustling Chinatown was an unprecedented move.

Trading in sandy shores for the jungle-clad cityscape with the Maxwell and Duxton properties, Six Senses was inspired create the ultimate urban oasis, incorporating themes of relaxation and wellness into the hotel experience.

It could be a gong bath on arrival – standing eyes closed in a Tibetan singing bowl as the sound vibrations wash over you. Or a consultation with a traditional Chinese physician, offering personalised recommendations from the in-house herbal dispensary at Six Senses Duxton.

Six Senses Maxwell [3]

 

Getting there and location

From Singapore’s Changi International Airport, it is a 20-minute taxi ride to the hotel. Alternatively, take the efficient MRT line to Tanjong Pagar Station. From there, it’s an easy eight-minute walk to the hotel.

Located on the corner of Maxwell and Cook Street in the vibrant Chinatown precinct, there are coffee roasters, a teahouse, bookshop, antiques store and incredible dumplings all within a one-kilometre radius.

 

Sustainability

In 2019, sustainability has become a pillar for any discerning traveller – a fact not lost on Six Senses in its restoration of the Maxwell.

The property has undertaken many eco-initiatives to ensure it is meeting the global need for conscious travel. Below are some of our favourites:

  • Toothbrushes made from corn starch and 100 per cent biodegradable.
  • Breakfast is a la carte, hugely reducing the waste normally produced from buffet-style dining.
  • Max’s Rooftop – the hotel rooftop has a garden of micro-greens and herbs selected to flourish in Singapore’s tropical climate.

 

The room

The theme of modernity melded with old-world glamor extends effortlessly into the Maxwell’s rooms. With ethically-sourced Wenge hardwood floors and Italian hand-made rugs unique to every room and a mahogany writing desk, it is the perfect place to unwind from the city hustle.

Each of the 138 guest rooms is presented in either a rich palette of reds or emerald green, with unique art pieces gracing the walls.

Six Senses Maxwell [5]

 

The best nearby: dine like a pauper or a prince

For when you do leave the sanctuary of the hotel, Singapore offers foodies both the height of refinement and the affordable but delicious street eats side by side.

Wander less than 30 meters and find yourself at the Maxwell Hawker Centre, where one stall holder has recently done battle with Gordan Ramsay and come out on top.

The Tian Tian Chicken stand has a queue wrapping around its modest shopfront, serving up its victorious Hainanese Chicken and Rice for as little as $3.50.

Hainanese Chicken from Tian Tian
Hainanese chicken from Tian Tian

When it’s time to ramp it up a notch, look no further than Yellow Pot at Six Senses Duxton. It’s the perfect locale for an exquisite meal and atmosphere, and only a short stroll around the corner from the Maxwell.

Yellow Pot offers signature cocktails and a modern take on Chinese cuisine set in another incredibly designed interior, this time by British Designer Anouska Hempel.

Wok-fried Hokkaido scallop, Six Senses Duxton
Wok-fried Hokkaido scallop from Yellow Pot

Yet again, somehow the pictures cannot quite do justice to the look and feel of the Yellow Pot, the bar and foyer at the Duxton, with an aura of mystique and a striking black and yellow palette fit for a Tarantino film.

Six Senses Duxton

 

Special features

The Maxwell is home to a thoughtful collection of concept restaurants and social spaces to relax and socialise.

Max’s Rooftop allows visitors to escape the Singapore heat and cool off by the pool serving up organic delights from its very own edible garden.

The classic décor at The Cook & Tras Social Library creates a warmly intimate atmosphere set in a fully curated social library with richly textured custom-designed furnishings.

Add into the mix a boutique whiskey bar, Garcha’s, all-day brassiere Murrays Terrace and Rose Bar & Lounge, and you could quite happily spend your entire trip on the premises!

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