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23 Apr 2024

Six Senses unveils urban wellness retreat in Kyoto inspired by Japanese Zen culture
BY Megan Whitby

The Six Senses Spa exudes a tranquil ambiance, boasting minimalist interiors accentuated by serene wood and stone elements

The Six Senses Spa exudes a tranquil ambiance, boasting minimalist interiors accentuated by serene wood and stone elements
photo: Six Senses

Six Senses Kyoto opens its doors today, marking the eco-luxury hotel and spa operator’s entry into Japan and a new addition to its urban collection.

Situated in the historic Higashiyama district, the 81-key hotel is designed to offer guests an urban sanctuary in Kyoto – thought to be the cultural and historical heart of Japan and famed for its temples and shrines, tea houses, cherry blossoms and mountains.

Hotel GM, Nicolas Black, said: “We’re thrilled to announce our debut Six Senses opening in Japan. There couldn't be a more fitting location than Kyoto in the cultural heart of Japan, where age-old sustainability traditions thrive and wellbeing is deeply ingrained in the way of life”.

A holistic wellness journey
Inspired by Kyoto’s Zen philosophy, the hotel’s spa integrates traditional healing techniques with modern science.

With a light and airy vibe, Six Senses Spa Kyoto is characterised by minimalist interiors and soothing wood and stone details.

Therapies are conducted in four treatment suites inspired by the senses; one for couples (Smell) and three single treatment suites (Sound, Sight and Taste).

Facilities include male and female changing rooms fitted with wet areas, a sauna, a steamroom, showers, lockers and an onsen bath house. A sensory studio for yoga, meditation and aerial yoga and a Biohack Recovery Lounge are also available to help support guests’ wellness goals.

Six Senses has completed the offering with a Japanese and Herbal Tea Lounge, an indoor pool, a Watsu pool, a 24-hour gym and a welcome area with a spa boutique.

Guests can begin their journey with a signature Wellness Screening, which analyses key health biomarkers in minutes, allowing Wellness Practitioners to make personalised recommendations tailored to individual needs and goals.

Programming highlights include integrated wellness programmes ranging from a half-day to six days for both hotel guests and external visitors, with a focus on Sleep, Detox, Yoga, and Fitness.

Design inspiration
The hotel's design draws inspiration from the Heian period (794-1185), when Heian-kyo (now Kyoto) was the capital of Japan, considered by many the golden age of art and culture.

This heritage is reflected in the hotel's modern interpretation, incorporating elements of traditional arts to create an elegant ambience. The hotel’s biophilic design, evident in the usage of wood and natural materials, along with meandering paths through inner Japanese gardens, further connects guests with nature.

This design narrative extends to the guestrooms and suites to offer guests a sanctuary for contemplation.

All bedrooms feature Sleep With Six Senses, promoting peaceful slumber through bespoke organic mattresses, temperature-regulating pillows, duvets and organic cotton sheets.

For those seeking to further optimise their rest, sleep aids and programmes are also available through personalised sleep consultations that integrate insights from guests’ sleep trackers combined with calming spa treatments, nutritional guidance and low-intensity training.

Sustainability and the community
Six Senses has worked meticulously to ensure its commitment to sustainability permeates every aspect of the property. From eco-centric design to operational practices and local partnerships, sustainability is the beating heart of Six Senses Kyoto.

Guests can join a sustainability tour, explore interactive workshops at the Earth Lab, or create natural body products at the Alchemy Bar, all designed to foster a deeper understanding and connection with local culture and sustainable practices.

In addition, a dedicated Sustainability Fund – supported by 0.5 per cent of the hotel’s revenue – is in place to support locally based organisations, Biotope Network Kyoto and Council for Kyoto Traditional Forest Culture, in regenerating, conserving and educating younger generations on forestry revitalisation and its cultural value.



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