Review: the exceptional Six Senses Rome hotel, part of IHG One Rewards
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This is our review of the brand new Six Senses hotel in Rome.
It is our first review of a Six Senses resort, which since being acquired by IHG back in 2019 is slowly integrating with IHG One Rewards. Slowly is the key word though, with many properties still not participating as negotiations with owners continue.
This is a shame because Six Senses, at its best, is a ‘true’ luxury hotel group. It competes with the likes of Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental rather than IHG’s other luxury brands, such as (and I mean this in the nicest possible way) InterContinental or Regent.
I won’t beat around the bush: this is not a cheap hotel. As far as I can see, it is consistently pricing at over €1,000 per night. Even on points, you can expect to pay 200,000+ per night. Quality doesn’t come cheap.
IHG offered us a room to review, and we though it would be interesting to take a look at what Six Senses offers – and what sets it apart from IHG’s other luxury brands.
Where is the Six Senses Rome hotel?
One of the reasons for the hefty price tag is, undoubtedly, the hotel’s location.
It is on Via Del Corso, which puts it slap-bang in the middle of the area around the Forum (including the Colosseum), the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Altar of the Fatherland.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure you could find a better spot. All the major central tourist destinations are within 15 minutes’ walk. That’s not something you can say about the many hotels around Via Veneto, including the soon-to-open InterContinental.
Traffic permitting, it is approximately 30 minutes from Rome Fiumicino Airport by taxi which is a €50 flat-fee. I would recommend this over Rome’s patchy public transport and particularly unreliable buses, which are basically all that is available in the city centre itself.
The closest metro station is probably the Colosseum – a bit far if you have luggage with you.
Despite being on the Via Del Corso, the hotel doesn’t feel crowded thanks to its set-back location next to a church, with a little piazza in front. In fact, the entrance is rather discreet:
Inside Six Senses Rome
The Six Senses Rome is steeped in history as a conversion of three historic buildings, one of which was a former bank. You are greeted by 600-year-old columns in the main entrance and a small, airy atrium with a centrepiece table resting on a unique sculpture of a face:
The reception is just to the left, where I was quickly checked in:
Behind the reception is a large, historic marble staircase:
Meanwhile, a modern extension in the courtyard adds some much-needed light as well as a lounge:
Half the courtyard has been retained as outdoor space, which will be particularly pleasant in the summer.
Rooms at Six Senses Rome
No two rooms are the same here, thanks largely to the unique constraints of the building with all its historic nooks and crannies. Of the 96 guest rooms there are four main types, as well as a handful of suites above, with rooms ranging from Classic (28 sqm) to Superior Deluxe (between 29 – 32 sqm).
As you can see, the size of the rooms does not vary hugely. I was told the major difference between room types is mostly the aspect and view. All rooms have the same amenities.
I was given a Superior Deluxe room on the third floor (there are four floors in total). It featured a fairly standard hotel room layout, with the bathroom to the left. This was clad, floor to ceiling, in travertine stone:
As you can see, there are two wash basins on a smoothly sanded piece of travertine stone. A large shower and toilet with bidet were in cubicles separated by reeded glass.
Toiletries were Six Senses own-brand, in beautiful earthenware pump bottles:
Two fluffy brown-grey bathrobes were also provided. These were by far the nicest hotel bathrobes I’ve ever used and I got very close to taking one home with me as my old one is getting a bit ratty!
The lights were very smart and would dim on slowly at night, whilst coming on at a higher brightness during the day.
Opposite the bathroom you have wardrobes with reeded mirror doors. Inside, you’ll find the usual bits and bobs such as luggage storage and hangers:
On the far left is the mini bar:
This is fully stocked and, bar the alcohol, complimentary. Items included various juices and soft drinks, water, almonds, dark chocolate and more. There’s also a Lavazza coffee machine and a funky kettle.
You then have the main room. On the right is a sofa, arm chair and small dining table / desk against a limewashed wall:
A Bluetooth speaker is also provided, as is a lamp (which I couldn’t figure out how to switch on!)
You then have the bed, set against reeded wood panels:
On either side of the bed were these funky bedside tables:
Both sides featured European sockets and USB ports, as well as bedside lamps.
Opposite the bed was a large wall-mounted flat-screen TV as well as two windows overlooking the roof of the church:
Overall, it’s hard to convey just how well done the rooms are. The photos don’t do it justice and don’t reflect the quality of the finishes either, which include travertine stone, wooden panelling and limewashed walls. The entire hotel showcases natural materials almost exclusively – no veneer here.
Taken together, it is a beautiful, warm design that feels connected to Rome’s history. It certainly felt like one of the most luxurious rooms I’ve ever stayed in.
Roman Baths and Spa at Six Senses Rome
Whilst you won’t find a rooftop pool here, what the hotel does offer is a big Roman Baths complex in the basement, reproducing the calidarium, tepidarium, and frigidarium circuit from Ancient Rome.
Like the rest of the building, it goes all in on the travertine, this time with beautifully carved stone walls:
There are three types of pools ranging in temperature from hot to cold, plus a steam room, sauna and tepidarium, as well as a handful of experience showers and a space to relax in.
The baths were perfect for a rainy April day before the sun beat back the clouds and are open from 10am until 8pm daily. It is free to use for guests, although you do need to book a reservation.
There’s also a lovely terrace on the roof of the building.
Breakfast at Six Senses Rome
Breakfast is served in the modern extension in the courtyard. This is the main restaurant / bar / cafe in the hotel and is called BIVIUM.
There is scope to eat outside in good weather but not so on chilly April mornings. It is quite a big space, centred around a finishing kitchen, with some unique features such as this large coworking space under an artificial skylight feature:
Of course, the majority of tables are dining tables:
There is a small buffet supplemented with an a la carte menu. The buffet includes some local hams and cheeses:
A selection of fruit, including pre-peeled mandarins:
Plus pastries, bread, cereals and more:
The a la carte menu features classic items such as eggs benedict or pancakes with a twist, priced between a surprisingly affordable €12 and €14.
For example, instead of serving the poached eggs with salmon, it comes with hummus and salsa verde, allegedly for sustainability reasons. In fact there is relatively little meat on the menu – the best you can do is parma ham in the buffet, streaky bacon as a side or smoked mackerel.
I’m aware this won’t be to everyone’s taste and – to be honest – I fancied some salmon myself, but the poached eggs with hummus was delicious in its own way.
Anyone expecting an expansive hotel breakfast buffet here will be disappointed, but that’s clearly not what Six Senses is going for.
Six Senses Rome is a seriously impressive hotel that delivers on virtually every metric.
I was sorry to leave the hotel behind and say goodbye to the beautiful rooms and stunning spa. The location is phenomenal too, and I now feel slightly spoiled for any future visits to Rome!
The service everywhere was friendly and attentive, albeit not quite as intense as a Four Seasons where the staff tend to know you by name after a day.
Of course none of this comes cheap, but if you can afford it then this is well worth a visit.
You can use IHG One Rewards points here. For a random night in June I was quoted 275,000 points per night against €1,444 for cash. At 0.47p per point this is actually above our 0.4p target valuation of an IHG point but it still feels like a huge number of points to hand over.
You can find out more on the hotel website here. Thanks to IHG for arranging my stay.
IHG One Rewards update – June 2023:
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