Six Senses Rome, Italy

Posted in Projects on 20 August, 2023

Honouring its own historic past, this restored palazzo is now an ideal spot to consider ancient civilisation in tranquil comfort.

A peaceful haven nestled in the heart of the Eternal City, Six Senses Rome opened its doors in the historic Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini in March. The event also marked the completed renovation of the magnificent façade of the adjacent San Marcello al Corso Church, the first sustainability project sponsored by the hotel.

There are Roman hints throughout the hotel’s 96 guest rooms and suites, from ‘cocciopesto’ (a type of Roman concrete) on the walls to the extensive use of local travertine. Some rooms feature terraces with iconic triclinium-style marble seating – a traditional couch for reclining at mealtimes that extends round three sides of a table and is usually in three parts.

At the same time, state-of-the-art, in-room technology is subtly incorporated along with ground-breaking Sleep With Six Senses standards of bespoke homemade and organic mattresses, cotton bedding, pillows, and additional amenities to promote a good night’s sleep. With a selection of 12 accommodation categories, including three individually designed signature suites, the options include secluded rooms with courtyard views and suites facing the bustling Via del Corso and neighbouring San Marcello al Corso Church.

While enjoying a prime position in the heart of the city, the sense of calmness and tranquillity is ever present. The palazzo building is close to the Fontana di Trevi and Pantheon. The prominent luxury shopping streets of Via Condotti, Frattina and Borgognona are within walking distance. With Via del Corso converted to a semi-pedestrian area, Six Senses Rome welcomes guests on Piazza di San Marcello. This quiet and colourful oasis is named after the 16th century church layered on 4th century foundations.

Following the brand’s entry into Singapore, New York and London, Six Senses Rome will live by all of its values with a particular emphasis on wellness, delicious food, community and sustainable design. Highlights include a spa, restaurant, events terrace, outdoor courtyard garden and rooftop terrace with a 360-degree view of the city and monuments. Studying ancient civilizations doesn’t get much more atmospheric than this.

The restoration has been carried out with the sensitivity befitting Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini, which was built in the 18th century by Tomaso De Marchis, who adorned it with beautiful windows representing the epitome of baroque motifs for Cardinal Mario Mellini. It was constructed on the site of an original palace of Cardinal Giovanni Michiel, nephew of Pope Paul II, built in the late 1480s.

Over the centuries the palazzo served as a residence for the São Marcelo cardinal-elders, Salviati, Cesi and Mellini (hence the long name) before it was passed to the Aldobrandini family and on to the Order of the Servants of Mary.

Protected by the Roman municipality and UNESCO listed, the main façade, which overlooks Via del Corso, has been restored to its grand origins. The central staircase has also been preserved.

“As stewards of such a cultural and historical site, we are responsible for celebrating its past and conserving its potential for future generations,” said Neil Jacobs, chief executive officer, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. “It also speaks to my heart. I studied culture and art in Florence and feel at home in Italy. This is more than a building to me. It is a human project, which is why we teamed up with architects and designers who feel as passionate and excited as I do. We want this to be a place of harmony and connection for our guests, sprinkled with a lot of love.”

The interior design is by Patricia Urquiola, who was awarded Order of Isabella the Catholic by King Juan Carlos I of Spain and inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2011. Mindful of the building’s authentic heritage, the design gently fuses a contemporary vision of hospitality. The ground floor is a social area for gatherings, meetings, performances and events. The open kitchen trattoria and bar leads to a gallery and seating area complete with travertine, marble, oak and bronze. Outside is a botanical garden filled with plants that promote well-being.

The central floors house the guestrooms and suites, many with high ceilings. A key feature is the range of quirky room types, staying true to how Six Senses likes to keep things original. The crowning glory is the large rooftop terrace with panoramic views, complete with an organic fruit and vegetable garden for recreating Roman banquets.

The building is a treasure trove of wonders, from the monumental marble staircase with its decorative skylight to the newly restored 600-year-old columns in the main entrance. The large baptismal bath dating back to the fourth century was uncovered during archaeological excavations at the beginning of the 1900s and is now visible beneath glass floor tiles within BIVIUM restaurant-café-bar, the spot where all paths cross.

What’s fascinating about the soul of the palazzo is how classical elements blend in harmony with the contemporary, sustainable design. When combined with an abundance of plants from the entrance to the rooftop, these create a strong sense of reconnection with nature both inside and out.

Aurelia the She-Wolf is the hotel mascot. Deeply rooted in Rome’s history, the She-Wolf is the symbol of the city. According to the local legend, she nursed Romulus and Remus, the newborn twin founders of Rome, and became an iconic symbol.

Guests can learn more about the hotel’s sustainability efforts in the dedicated Earth lab while building their knowledge through interactive talks and hands-on workshops.

A sanctuary of wellness, Six Senses Spa Rome offers a holistic experience that is far from ordinary. The 60-minute Roman bathing circuit is a modern-day take on the ancient ritual, reproducing the calidarium, tepidarium, and frigidarium to reduce inflammation and muscle recovery by heating the body up and then cooling it down. It is a sociable and immersive experience for balancing mind and body. Other highlights include the healing herbal Hammam and sensory immersions at the Alchemy Bar.

“After almost three decades away from my hometown, it is a joy to be back to lead such an incredible project,” said Francesca Tozzi, general manager of Six Senses Rome. “It makes my team and I feel very proud to open the first urban Six Senses property in Italy. We are working hard so our guests can experience memorable stays in an authentic, fun, and quirky ambience.”

Tepidarium Roman Bath

Orion Real Estate Fund V, sponsored by Orion Capital Managers, was the principal investor in the refurbishment of Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini. Rami Badr, partner and managing director of Orion Capital Managers, said: “As a real estate private equity firm with a strategic focus on owning and developing on behalf of the Orion Fund’s prime sustainable assets throughout Europe, we are extremely proud to see Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini open its doors as the new jewel of Rome hospitality. An exceptional team was gathered for such an accomplishment, with Six Senses as a hotel operator, CDS as a general contractor, Starching as project manager, and Patricia Urquiola as designer.”

Corrado Trabacchi, partner and investment director of Orion Capital Managers, added: “An incredible 15th century building has been brought back to life and returned to the city, after a sophisticated refurbishment following a philologic approach which respected the several layers of history while adding a soft modern touch. This deal perfectly represents our investment philosophy: urban regeneration, value creation, and ESG responsibility.”







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