Six Senses Rome: the luxury hotel’s special brand of wellness has arrived in the Eternal City
Where is it?
Its Travertine exterior adjoins the Church of San Marcello al Corso, whose attractive Baroque façade by Carlo Fontana (pop inside to see the miraculous crucifix which survived the 16th century fire and is believed to have intercessory powers) dominates the little Piazza of San Marcello, set back from the busy thoroughfare of Via del Corso.
The Trevi Fountain is a five-minute walk from the hotel in one direction; the Pantheon (which will soon start charging an entrance fee) is five minutes away in the other direction.
Once the Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini, this historical building dates back as far as the 15th century and is named after the prominent families who were previously resident within its ancient walls. With the original, monumental staircase restored, as well as the façade (and that of the neighbouring church, as the first sustainability project of Six Senses Rome), interiors by Patricia Urquiola contrast, with a cool, contemporary, minimalist approach.
Layered textures and muted colours throughout draw on locally sourced Travertine limestone and rugged, traditional, Cocciopesto plasterwork, imbuing an immediate sense of place. High ceilings and natural light lend an airy feel to the whole whilst various views of Rome from terraces, windows, balconies, and the impressive rooftop chime with the brand’s emphasis on authenticity.
Food & drink
Step inside and you are soon engulfed in the BIVIUM Restaurant-Café-Bar. A buzzy space which stretches almost the length of the ground floor, and spills outside, bringing the all-day dining concept to Rome and its locals. Cuisine, with Chef Nadia Frisina at the helm, is modern Italian with Rome at its core and an emphasis on plant-based options.
Start with something from the crudo section such as oysters or purple prawns with botanical herbs and chilli oil. Dishes include an enticing selection of thin, crispy, homemade pizzas, made with stone ground flour, from ancient, organic, grains. Try the delicious pistachio pizza but save room, or another meal, for my highlight which was the risotto with smoked artichoke. Worth returning for that alone.
Breakfast offers kombuchas, healthy smoothies and juices alongside overnight rice porridge or truffle omelette. Avocados, due to their negative environmental impact, do not feature on the menu, but if you ask you might receive.
The rooftop terrace, NOTOS, offers small bites and an excellent wine list to explore. Very much the place for an aperitivo, with panoramic views over the eternal city.
One of the pillars of the Six Senses group is wellness, which here nods to its location by introducing traditional ancient Roman bathing. Three plunge pools offer a 60-minute journey through a calidarium, tepidarium and frigidarium to reduce inflammation and aching muscles. There are five treatment rooms, a Hammam, biohacking and meditation rooms, a fitness room, and an outdoor yoga deck. A signature treatment is their hour-long sound journey where sacred bells transport you into a deeply meditative state, from which you wake remarkably refreshed.
A range of cultural experiences are currently being prepared which would take the visitor behind the walls of some of Rome’s most important galleries, like the Borghese, to glimpsing hidden water channels underneath the Trevi Fountain.
There are twelve different categories across the 96 rooms and suites but if money is no object one of the three top suites will give you a gloriously luxurious Roman experience. They come with vast outdoor terraces, views all over the city and bath tubs as well as the showers the rooms come with. But all rooms come in the same muted colours, with corrugated wood panelling, plastered cocciopesto walls, taupe throws for the beds and Travertine stone in the bathrooms. Mini-bars provide a range of healthy drinks.
Couples who want a relaxed city break in Rome, dipping in and out of the capital as and when they want with a base which provides everything, from relaxing therapies to that little gem of a wine from Lazio you have never heard of.
Doubles from €850 a night. sixsenses.com