Sensual Synthesis

yoga on the deck
The spa offers meditation, Pilates, yoga, personal training and the services of a wellness consultant.

Journey to the Sixth Sense

A doting staff, unique location and one-of-a-kind service menu go a long way toward attracting guests, but it’s the pronounced focus on health that makes this spa a veritable one-stop shop for clients. Six Senses employs a wellness consultant, who designs personalized detoxification programs for guests, whether they’re in town for a weekend or are devoted locals (many of whom sign up for seven-, 14- and 21-day cleanses).

These programs, says Escobedo, have soared in popularity since the spa’s opening. “Our clients want to take care of themselves, and the organic and detox focus has been really popular,” she notes. “We offer a Detox Massage [50/80 min./$253] with natural algae that guests love. And in the retail section, whenever clients see the word ‘organic,’ they want to try and buy those products—they’re viewed as safer.”

My full tour of the facilities revealed a spa compactly built over two floors but without a cramped feeling, thanks in part to the expansive panoramic views. The spa experience began, as recommended by staff, in the wet area, where I flitted from sauna to steam room to tub; afterward, I was delighted to find a water extraction machine in the well-maintained, spacious vanity area to help remove excess water from my bathing suit—genius! Meanwhile, a changing room in the neutral-toned locker area provided desired privacy. And after being treated, I left feeling Zen and completely rejuvenated. (Christina was immensely skilled and personable, and had an intuitive way of finding the kinks in my back and then gently kneading them until my entire body was blissfully knot-free.)

This attention to detail and customization are qualities that are instilled into the entire staff, says Escobedo. Some employees arrive fully trained, having relocated from other Six Senses locations, and others are selected through a battery of interviews and testing. Once hired, each staff member enjoys one of each type of treatment to become familiar with the offerings, and in slower seasons is invited to try more, ultimately making staff recommendations more meaningful for guests.

Complementing the international influence at the spa (including several treatments that are inspired by Thai and Indian techniques) is a diverse staff representing a range of nations including Thailand, Sweden and Uruguay. Escobedo keeps her employees focused and team-oriented via an open-door policy when it comes to concerns and questions, and by hosting regular get-togethers at which each staff member is encouraged to bring a dish from her homeland, encouraging connection on a personal level.

Though a regular stream of guests would seem a given based on this spa’s hotel location, Escobedo saw a significant downturn in appointments starting around the time the financial crisis hit the United States. This encouraged her to reach out to locals. In 2008, a new public relations team helped the spa enact special promotions for holidays; a monthly newsletter featuring health tips and a “Know Our Team” page; a robust mailing list; newspaper and magazine advertisements; and an active Facebook presence—all of which helped the spa gain significant local appreciation. Escobedo says that boosting the percentage of local clients is a primary team goal at the moment but that, given the daily sights of smiling clients and positive reviews, she’s optimistic about Six Senses’ future.

“The views, excellent therapists, personalization and ecological perspective make the difference for us,” she says. “Between our wellness programs, the wet rooms, chromatherapy and top-notch services, we ensure that every guest leaves our spa having had a beautiful experience.”