An Interview with Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses

Neil Jacobs is the chief executive officer (CEO) at Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. With over three decades in the hospitality industry Neil is passionate about wellness, sustainability, inventive design, food and experiential travel. Six Senses Residences latest offering is in Courchevel 1850, with the interior furnishings designed by Morpheus, and represents the first Six Senses Residential Alpine offering within the brand’s collection. Alex Isaac talks to Neil about the inspiration, motivation and challenges behind this new venture.

“Neil, this December sees the opening of Six Senses Residences Courchevel, your first residential Alpine offering. Can you tell me what attracted you to Courchevel and what you are hoping to achieve with this new venture?”

Courchevel is certainly a one of a kind destination and a perfect environment for Six Senses’ entry into Europe to an Alpine destination. The image and location of Courchevel 1850, coupled with architecture and interior design reflective of our brand values made this a simple decision for us.

“There must have been challenges to overcome in developing an Alpine project in a location such as Courchevel. What were the main differences you encountered compared with developing previous beach hotels or residences?”

Well aside from the winter weather, no outdoor showers, central heating instead of air conditioning and layers of winter clothing rather than linen shirts it’s been fun. Development is development regardless of the jurisdiction and there are always challenges with schedule, budget and suchlike. In many ways though given the professionalism of Promocour the owners, the process has been smooth. I’m now a self proclaimed expert in French real estate law with visibly more grey hair.

“What attracted you to commission Morpheus London as interior designers for your signature apartments at Courchevel?”

We have known the Morpheus folks for a while and have always been impressed by the variety of their work and their understanding of European residential markets. Equally as important is how they listen to their clients, studied our brand and interpreted our brand values into a highly saleable product.

“How important was it to work with an interior design studio that supported your brand values and ethos?”

More than important it’s essential for us to work with interior designers that both understand and genuinely buy in to our values which are then reflected in the design through the planning and material selection. Non negotiable for Six Senses.

“Morpheus sourced a lot of the fabrics and bed finishes from Lalibella, a not-for-profit organisation that supports African artisans ethically producing luxurious products. How important is it to Six Senses that these type of initiatives are supported in line with your brand values?”

Six Senses values are based on a strong platform of sustainability in construction, materials used and a huge look at community. Fabrics and finishes sourced by yourselves are totally in sync with our belief set and how we conduct ourselves when doing business and its not always simple to find collaborators that think, feel and act the same way. We are delighted.

“The resident’s club lounge designed by Morpheus is an integral part of the six senses experience at Courchevel. What were the key design considerations for this communal space?”

Six Senses talks a lot about community so it was important for us to create a space where residents could come together for breakfast or a glass of mulled wine. A place to socialise or be alone and quiet. The lounge is a private space for residents only and an important part of the overall Six Senses offering, featuring warm, contemporary and comfortable design that again embodies our Six Senses values.