When I was tasked with the very difficult assignment of staying in and touring some of the best hotels in Rome this summer, the Six Senses Rome topped the list of properties I was most curious about.
Six Senses — which IHG Hotels & Resorts purchased in 2012 — is a luxury brand usually found in resort locations. It only recently began expanding into major cities. Further, IHG bought Six Senses along with Regent Hotels & Resorts so the conglomerate could obtain brands posher than InterContinental, which had been its most high-end brand to date.
I popped in for lunch and a tour of Six Senses Rome. It’s clear this is where wellness aficionados will thrive in the Eternal City, whether they’re die-hard IHG loyalists or just simply travelers on the prowl for a decadent, tasteful getaway.
Meet Six Senses Rome
Labeling a hotel or a home a “sanctuary” might be a cliche, especially after setting foot in the Six Senses Rome. This is now the textbook definition of sanctuary in the city, and anything else is an imposter (at least in my mind, anyway).
The ultra-luxurious brand made its first foray into a big city this year with the opening of this latest Six Senses iteration. The hushed hotel resides in a former 15th-century palazzo and is an engineering marvel considering its location on the bustling Via del Corso thoroughfare, where tourists mix with Romans just heading to work. It’s just up the street from the Altare della Patria (better known to some as “the wedding cake” or “the typewriter” building).
You’ll certainly leave feeling like nobility, whether you visit just for a scrumptious alfresco meal at Bivium Restaurant-Cafe-Bar or a multiday respite in a sprawling suite and multiple treatments at the Six Senses Spa.
My lunch and tour happened during my two-night stay at the Hotel de la Ville, a roughly 15-minute walk away. Six Senses Rome is down a few side streets from both the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain; I was beginning to wonder if this was a bad development call, given the noise and throngs of people all over the streets. However, it was a true case of yin and yang from what was happening outside and what was going on within the walls of Six Senses Rome.
The hotel’s main entrance is set back from Via del Corso, and it’s clear you need to have a reason to set foot in the hotel. That doesn’t mean you can’t pop into Six Senses Rome for a fabulous dinner or cocktail, but this isn’t the kind of place to just loiter in the lobby all day while working from a laptop. This makes it a significantly more relaxing space than the lobbies-turned-de-facto-coworking places found in so many hotels around the world these days.
Minimalist decor dominated by cool stonework, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a courtyard dining area and plenty of comfortable seating areas make this space the perfect launch pad for a weekend packed with wellness treatments — or one meant to just luxuriate with plenty of room service and wine.
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In addition to providing an ultra-luxury atmosphere, the Six Senses brand is a leader in sustainability. The hotel uses reusable — and gorgeous — containers throughout the property, so you won’t be taking home any branded plastic water bottles or mini shampoo bottles. But the large stone containers holding shampoo, conditioner and soap sure are pretty to look at.
There’s clearly a hotel industry push to see how high they can charge rates without customers buckling — especially in Rome during the peak summer tourist season. For perspective, I found the Six Senses Rome’s sister property, the InterContinental Rome Ambasciatori Palace, to be a bit of a luxury “bargain” by “only” charging around 1,025 euros ($1,100) for a junior suite. You could find entry-level Classic rooms starting at 626 euros ($682).
By comparison, the Six Senses Rome has rooms starting at 1,224 euros ($1,314) per night for a September weekend. The two-bedroom Lata Suite I toured is going for 9,694 euros ($10,403). If there’s a silver lining, it might be the IHG One Rewards availability for those looking to book an overnight stay. The drawback? It cost nearly 300,000 points per night to reserve a stay — and this wasn’t for a suite, either.
There’s stunning, and then there’s jaw-droppingly stunning. Six Senses Rome falls into the latter with its guest room and suite layouts.
The marble, travertine stone aesthetic coupled with earth tones continues into these spaces, making the property the perfect retreat from the sweltering Roman heat. The temperatures surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during my time in Italy, and I was grateful for even an afternoon tour in the cool space.
I toured the two-bedroom Lata Suite, a spacious 1,356-square-foot space featuring a 1,033-square-foot outdoor terrace.
While entry-level guest rooms are still very spacious and refined, the Lata Suite might be the aspirational place to lay one’s head in the Eternal City.
The views of Altare della Patria and San Carcello al Corso Church are breathtaking. Two king-size bedrooms and two bathrooms (one with a walk-in shower and the other with a soaking tub and walk-in shower) are luxuriously appointed with a pillow menu and Naturalmat organic mattresses. There’s also a half-bathroom off the kitchen.
The suite’s living area was a dreamy, modern space for entertaining or relaxing on the runway-length sectional sofa while reading a book (or simply basking in your own fabulosity). The kitchen featured high-end appliances like a Smeg espresso machine and a high-top table to feast on whatever the Six Senses chefs whip up. (You can book the chefs for a private cooking demonstration in your suite.)
Modern hotels in historic cities can sometimes go overboard with being the new kid on the block, but the Six Senses design team — under the leadership of designer Patricia Uriquiola — did a fantastic job fitting the decor into its surroundings. This is on display with the stone basin in the half bathroom and the Roman artwork throughout.
Downstairs, you’ll find a preserved baptismal font (dating to the fourth century) beneath a glass window just outside the hotel’s Earth Lab — a space where the Six Senses team showcases its local sustainability efforts.
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CAMERON SPERANCE/THE POINTS GUY
My tour included a complimentary lunch at Bivium Restaurant-Cafe-Bar. The hotel’s extensive and multifunctional main dining area has various stations (wood-fired pizzas at one section, grilled meats and vegetables at another, cannolis and other sweet treats closer to the coffee bar) to visit based on your stomach’s desires.
Despite the heat, I went with a table outside in the courtyard, as it was a gorgeous intersection of industrial, greenery and Roman chic. There was a special running during my visit: a fresh salad with herbs, hummus and grilled octopus for 35 euros (about $37). The meal also came with a glass of wine, a cannoli, a fruit tart and an espresso. Service was friendly and helpful but removed just to the right degree, allowing me to soak in the space.
Inside, Bivium has a fun wine dispenser where you can use your keycard to get a pour of a vintage of your choosing.
While it wasn’t open during my tour, the hotel also features Notos Rooftop that serves small bites like artichokes in olive oil or panna cotta, as well as a mix of signature cocktails. The roof, which I did tour, has a lovely mix of seating areas that felt all the more intimate thanks to so much greenery and plants (some of which are the herbs you’ll be eating at Notos or Bivium).
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CAMERON SPERANCE/THE POINTS GUY
The Six Senses Spa
The showstopper of the property is obviously the Six Senses Spa. The facility features five treatment rooms, a steam room, a sauna, a solarium, a nail bar, a yoga studio, a meditation room and a biohacking room for offerings such as compression therapy and Roman baths.
How’s a Roman bath any different from a hot tub or pool back home? Six Senses says: “Roman baths were part of day-to-day life in ancient Rome, a place to see and be seen, network and make business connections. Everyone just happened to be naked (a tradition we will not be taking forward)!”
Do as Caesar would have done (just don’t forget your bathing suit) and book time with a Roman bath day spa; it includes an hour to soak followed by a 60-minute massage or exfoliation. The Six Senses Spa team is also on hand for health consultations, so you can get the most out of the spa’s highly extensive menu of treatments.
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CAMERON SPERANCE/THE POINTS GUY
Why book a stay at Six Senses Rome
There are a lot of new, luxurious hotel contenders to choose from when you start thinking about your next trip to Italy’s capital. The Six Senses Rome sibling InterContinental Rome Ambasciatori Palace, the nearby Rome Edition and the Hotel de la Ville are other formidable players in Rome’s luxury hotel scene.
Six Senses Rome is perfect for the guest who’s seen all the sights and wants to say “veni, vidi, vici” to their health and wellness in a decadent environment.
But don’t confuse health and wellness for strict, either. There’s plenty of fun (and high thread count) at Six Senses Rome while you tackle that neck tension on the massage table.