Neil Jacobs, CEO at Six Senses: The Art of Welcoming
It is my pleasure to share with you my interview with Neil Jacobs, the Chief Executive Officer at Six Senses, about the art of hospitality and the Six Senses brand.
Neil Jacobs is the CEO at Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. With over three decades of experience in the operation, development and transactional side of hotels and spas, Neil is passionate about wellness, sustainability, inventive design, food and experiential travel.
Prior to joining Six Senses, Neil spent five years at Starwood Capital Group as president of global hotel operations where he was responsible for the development of two innovative new brands, Baccarat Hotels and 1 Hotels, both debuting in 2014.
Neil spent 14 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts most recently serving as senior vice president operations for Asia Pacific since 2003. Based in Singapore, he was responsible for the operation of 16 hotels throughout the Asia Pacific region with 10 additional properties under development in China, India, Vietnam and the Indian Ocean. In this role, he managed four regional vice presidents and was responsible for the human resources, finance and sales and marketing disciplines in the region.
His career prior to Four Seasons included key leadership roles with New Europe Hotels NV, IDG Resorts, Grand Champions Resort Corporation and Venture Inns of America. He began his hospitality career in Food & Beverage with Trusthouse Forte and his spirit of adventure has taken him to exciting postings around the world including London, Rome, Sardinia, Paris, Sri Lanka, Bali, Barbados and Los Angeles.
Neil attended Westminster Hotel School in London and received a diploma in French Civilization from La Sorbonne in Paris, France. He is fluent in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Bahasa Indonesia.
What is your business approach of French art of welcoming? Do you think that French art of welcoming is a differentiating factor for luxury hotels?
The traditional French art of hosting and service, art of welcoming, is ingrained in the way we prepare for and welcome guests, but Six Senses is less concerned about formality and strict rules and more focused on the individual needs and wishes of our guests.
One of our six core values is called Emotional Hospitality. This approach to service begins with empathy and a desire to understand the guest’s needs and wants, both spoken and unspoken. We understand that people are driven by emotions and our intuitive approach to service means that every guest receives a richer and more personal experience.
Two examples to further illustrate how we approach the guest welcome is how we make someone feel like they are being welcomed into our home.
On arrival at one of our resorts, we invite guests to remove their shoes. They are placed in a cotton bag and guests can select not to wear shoes until they are ready to depart. We want guests to relax and walk freely through the sand, if that is their desire. Shoes do not have to be worn in restaurants. Our guests still select to dress well and look stylish, but in a casual, relaxed way.
We have experienced sommeliers at all resorts who share their knowledge of wines and encourage our guests to samples various vintages before deciding on which bottle best complements their meal. We take away the formality of selecting and serving wine and make lunch or dinner a relaxed celebration.
Discover my Interview with Neil Jacobs, CEO at Six Senses
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.