Ultratravel U.S.

Fall 2015

Issue link: http://www.ultratravelusdigital.com/i/587160

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In the thin air high atop Qing Cheng Mountain, Master Wu demonstrates the famed White Crane Spreads Wings stance. The tai chi expert moves delicately in the shadow of the temple that is said to be one of the birthplaces of Taoism, China's most practiced religion. Olaf Kotzke—the affable guest experience manager of Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain—stands to the side, watching the Westerners struggle with the intensely demanding tai chi moves. "You guys look good out there," Kotzke says with a laugh. Kotzke has been in China since he was a young man, and in Chengdu for the past four years, drawn to the natural beauty and the proximity to the Longchi National Forest. He's in charge of finding experts like Master Wu, as well as local traditional painters, calligraphers and meditation experts. Tai chi classes are usually held at the resort, but Kotzke often sets up tailored experiences like this one. It's not really that far to Qing Cheng Mountain. Just a flight on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, then a transfer to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, where a driver in a Tesla Model S whisks you to the gateway of the mountains, near both Chengdu and Dujiangyan, just an hour long drive away. Okay, maybe it's a little far, but once arrived, you realize that Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain is so worth the trip. Six Senses is a rapidly expanding resort brand. Launched in 1995, the Bangkok- based company now has eight resorts in remote locations. But the 113-suite Qing Cheng Mountain property—which debuted this summer—is rumored to be one of the best the brand has opened yet, built in keeping with the surrounding area and deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rooms are homey, private and serene, with a sustainable timber interior inspired by the local architecture and furnished in calming taupe, fawn and mushroom tones. Beyond the exotic locales, the brand's signature is their world-class spa treatments, including Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain's Daoyin Tao massage and Chinese reflexology. The spa also hosts open-air meditation sessions, as well as the aforementioned tai chi classes. But what remains the main attraction for visitors to Qing Cheng Mountain is the peacefulness of the area. Six Senses exaggerates that tranquility, creating an enclosed community that encourages strolling around the grounds—which include both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, restaurants Farm2Fork and 28Zodiac and the Square— a common area at the heart of the resort, featuring snack shacks, a teahouse and the cozy Moon Bar. It's at the Square where Conny Andersson, the property's executive chef and group executive chef for the Six Senses, proudly shows off his new toy: a coffee roaster, which he has been using to experiment with beans from around the world. He's currently waiting on a shipment of organic beans from the Yunnan province of China, a place seeing a spike in popularity for its coffee beans. Andersson is committed to locally sourced food, and there are even working gardens within the resort's grounds where they hire local farmers to grow many of the vegetables for their restaurants. Says Andersson, "We're trying to get you to forget you're not at home." Contact Your Travel Agent to book your Six Senses escape. 40 ultratravel THE TaO Of RElaxaTiOn Six Senses strikes a fine balance at Qing Cheng Mountain. BY MAXWELL WILLIAMS HOT PROPERTY The resort's wood-paneled indoor pool offers relaxation. PHOTO COURTESY OF SIX SENSES HOTELS RESORTS SPAS

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