The second and larger of two shophouse conversions by Six Senses in Singapore’s Chinatown, the other being Duxton, the brand new Maxwell occupies the site of what was once a nutmeg plantation, later turned into a row of 14 colonial shophouses.
The 1929 building has been lovingly and artistically restored as a stylish boutique hotel with warm chestnut woods, rich velvets and wall-length bookcases, giving the feel of a grand private residence or historic library.
It’s all designed by Jacques Garcia, whose other work includes New York’s NoMad Hotel and Hôtel Costes in Paris, and, with its sister property, marks the initial urban presence for Six Senses, best known for high-end, back-to-nature resorts.
It nonetheless continues its core ethos of sustainability, a strong sense of place and lays on a quirky arrival ritual, complete with gong banging.
There are 138 artfully designed and comfortable guest rooms with more than a touch of chinoiserie in the DNA. They are artistic and functionally well planned, but definitely on the cosy side. Beds are superbly comfortable with linens from Beaumont & Brown and duvets from Hanse. The minibars are about as maxi as you can get, with beautifully lit William Yeoward crystal glassware.
Food and Drink
The entire ground floor is devoted to a series of cosy salons, each of which has its own bar – some of which also double up as private event spaces. The main lounge area is the Cook & Tras Social Library, which has more than 3,000 books and a drink list nearly as long. Murray Terrace is a capacious European-style brasserie with a strong focus on fine wines.
We loved the long narrow rooftop lap pool and those outrageously tempting oversized minibars with the perfectly lit crystal glasses.
It’s hard to choose between Maxwell and the smaller Six Senses Duxton, with its sexy black and yellow oriental design scheme by Anouska Hempel. But this certainly has more scale, and more light.
And if the refined elegance of Singapore’s most lavishly fitted out boutique pad becomes all a bit too much, you also have the city’s most iconic hawker centre, Maxwell Road, on the doorstep for hearty, 24/7 local fare.
Date visited: December 2018