I’m writing this post at 30,000 feet in the air as our group flies on Bangkok Airways from a remote island to Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. We’ve spent the last three days in Koh Samui, an island off the eastern coast of Thailand. Koh Samui is probably most well-known for its honeymoon villas, half/full moon parties, and breathtaking views. After flying in from various destinations around the world on Friday, we convened at our hotel, Central Villas Samui, and officially kicked off our trip.
During our first night together, we stayed at the hotel resort and enjoyed a delicious group dinner, got to know each other better, and attempted to fight off impending jetlag. We learned that many members of our trip are traveling to Asia for the first time (including myself). Many of us also have varying interests for attending this trip – learning about real estate development in Thailand, experiencing the culture of Thailand, and getting to know other CBS students in an exciting and foreign place. But the resounding commonality among all of us was clear – we are all eager to see and learn about business development, economic trends, and the culture of Thailand through the eyes of Thai natives and fellow students. Our three trip leaders, Monrat, Arcan, and Theerayoth, are from Thailand and were gracious enough to plan this Chazen trip and invite us to experience their country with them.
After a restful first night of sleep, we woke up to a sunny and warm morning and prepared for our first company visit to Six Senses Samui. Six Senses is a global luxury resort, spa, and hotel chain. Founded in 1995 in Koh Samui, the company’s mission is “to help people reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them.” Headquartered in Bangkok, Six Senses was purchased in 2012 by Pegasus Capital, a private equity firm, and has since expanded rapidly – it currently operates 11 resorts and 31 spas in 20 different countries.
The company has sought to curate exceptional experiences for customers centered around sustainability, wellness, and education. Six Senses operates on the premise that clients are looking for an exceptional experience and not just a typical hotel stay. It therefore selects remote and exotic destinations and builds stunning, world class facilities in a sustainable way. Each of its facilities uses eco-friendly chemicals, locally sourced foods and beverages, and minimal packaging. It has created integrated wellness and sustainability programs at each of its locations.
The rooms and villas are exceptionally designed. During our site tour, we visited one of the executive suite villas – the villa included a private infinity pool and massive outdoor shower. The price tag? Over $1,000 a night (USD). I guess I have something else to save up for!
The on-site chefs prepare delicious low-sugar, low-gluten, low-soy, and low-lactose meals. We had the privilege of dining at the Six Senses Koh Samui restaurant, where we enjoyed probably one of the best meals I have ever had – it was an entirely vegetarian four course meal that included inventive Thai recipes.
Along with the villa tour and lunch, we toured the Six Senses on-site farm. The farm is very robust and impressive – the resort grows its own produce and raises chickens, ducks, and goats. Keeping with its sustainability corporate value, Six Senses operates major recycling, compost, and desalination programs. It recycles, composts, and reuses pretty much everything. Moreover, guests can take official walking tours through the farm to learn about the Six Senses sustainability programs and efforts in the “Earth Lab.”
Along with sustainability, Six Senses offers personalized wellness programs. The programs curate exceptional experiences for guests that include high-tech science, ancient healing traditions, alternative therapies, and holistic spa treatments. As their website boasts, “we don’t follow fads. Instead, we focus on giving you the tools to create lifestyle change so you leave us feeling better physically, emotionally, and spiritually.” There are four official wellness programs – Sleep and Resilience, Trim and Fit, Cleanse and Detox, and Full Potential. Our group toured the spa at Koh Samui and did a meditation and relaxation class – I think the class helped cure some of our jetlag!