Rome is a city of layers, Elisa Serra, Six Senses Rome’s marketing executive, told me. We were strolling through the hotel’s sun-soaked lobby, which connects seamlessly into its restaurant, Bivium. It was a warm afternoon in the middle of autumn, and a scattering of well-dressed locals and tourists alike were reclining on the low sofas and plush armchairs, murmuring over drinks, reading the newspaper.
Here to declare another layer upon the Eternal City’s millennia of history and culture is Six Senses Rome, the brand’s first urban outpost. Located within a formal noble palazzo built in the 18th century, and gorgeously designed by the acclaimed Patricia Uriquola, the luxury hotel has somehow managed to achieve what many have attempted, and – unfortunately – too many have failed: to establish a modern institution of today, while paying genuine and authentic homage to the heritage of the city of Rome.
From the use of cocciopesto – a material used in Ancient Rome that does not contain chemical or plastic ingredients – across the property, to the utterly wondrous rooftop bar that showcases panoramic views across the city including the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, this is a hotel experience that truly celebrates one of the most outstanding cities in the world, while providing that classic Six Senses hospitality and ambience.
There are 96 rooms and suites across the hotel, ranging from deluxe double bedrooms to lavish suites. Spread across three floors and connected by a grand marble staircase, these spaces reflect the Six Senses ethos of creating environments for its guests to truly immerse themselves in wellness and serenity.
Despite being located right in the heart of Rome, the rooms are blissfully quiet; thoughtful little touches I appreciated include written tips placed by the bed on how to enhance sleep. Spacious and minimalist – without, it is important to clarify, feeling bare – guests appreciate the slice of tranquility after long days of exploring the city.
We recommend booking out a suite that comes with a terrace for gorgeous views across the city. The two-bedroom Lata Suite, the only suite that includes secondary access for service staff, features a large living area, a kitchenette – in which guests are encouraged to organize private dining with the restaurant’s chefs – and a wonderful, hugely spacious terrace where the city vistas and floral greenery combine to feel utterly romantic.
Beyond its historical and cultural offerings, Rome is – of course – one of the world’s leading gastronomical locations. Beit fine dining or street food, the city is something of a Mecca for foodies across the world. It is tempting, when on vacation, to stray from basecamp, but overlook the hotel’s offerings at your own loss.
Yet again Six Senses Rome has flawlessly combined its company philosophies with Rome’s history with its flagship restaurant Bivium. Stylized to reflect Roman numerals and derived from the Latin meaning of ‘having two ways,’ the ambient dining space is spread across the ground floor, including both inside and outside seating.
The extensive menu, which is wholly Italian (and largely Sicilian), is excellent. As would be expected, the produce is sourced from local farmers and suppliers, and one can truly taste the freshness upon their plate. Notable highlights include the flank steak, served with arugula crust and cherry tomatoes, the clam linguine, and the fine de claire oysters.
It will come as no surprise for those who have been guests of Six Senses before that one of the highlights of an already spectacular hotel experience is the spa. A core tenant of the brand, the wellness spaces within the spa are huge, ranging from various workout rooms, yoga studios, spaces for doctor consultations to a hamman and an alchemy bar.
The spa menu is long and extensive; treatments and workshops are all balanced on a spectrum from holistic wellness to pioneering technology. Regarding the former, I fully enjoyed a sound journey meditation after a long day of traipsing round the city.
Yet it is the pool space that is, perhaps, the most impressive. Directly inspired by the rituals of the Roman Baths – so much so the pools are named after it – the caldarium (hot water), tepidarium (warm water), and frigidarium (cold water) rejuvenate the senses and recalibrate both mind and muscle, all within a setting that is as beautiful as it is soothing. The Romans would be proud.
Perfectly located mere minutes from the famous Trevi Fountain, and a pleasant stroll from Roman landmarks such as the Coliseum and the Pantheon, Six Senses Rome is perhaps one of the best-placed hotels across the entire city. One doesn’t even have to stray further than the front doors to find awing history; adjacent to the hotel is San Marcello al Corso church, a mesmerizing UNESCO site that Six Senses renovated as part of its neighborhood sustainability program.