Luxury Hotels

ROME – 2

Six Senses Rome might be monumental – see a view down the main staircase above. But into this historic city shell Six Senses has put its usual magic. Room 403 was really a large terrace, with fullsize trees in pots and really comfortable seating for about 20 total. It also, fortunately, happened to have an integral bedroom.

This boasted all the expected brand goodies, from super-comfy bed to yoga mat, as well as the unexpected. The coloured-glass-inside minibar invites you to concoct a variety of health drinks, non-alc and all free (add alcohol, for a fee). A welcome tray had a bio Mercier bubbly, with, thoughtfully, a stopper, and cork-topped glass jars held marinated artichokes through to not-sweet cookies. A Roberts-type radio allowed soothing music. The overall design is monumentally ‘natural’, with some walls all Travertine limestone, and it’s a bit difficult to hang towels up for re-use when the designer does not seem to like hooks.

Never mind. Girlahead’s Girl Guide training came to good use, as it did at the spa. What a surprise – here in Rome it seems at least two entire floors have been given to wellness. The female changing room has wood fixtures and keys (no more frustratedly trying to remember a code). Put on swimmers, which Girlahead did not have – OK use your imagination – and be escorted to another floor for a Roman Bath journey. There were cold, tepid and warm pools, knee-high water but you could lie and splash. There were hot and cold rainwater showers and a bowl of ice, and a hammam and a couple of different-heat saunas. With no clock around you guess the time but body clocks seem pretty accurate and after about a five minutes’ relaxation lounge snooze the hour was up.

Next up was a 45-minute one-on-one session with meditation specialist Anna.  The sound-proofed room had, hanging from the ceiling, three maroon ‘sculptures’, not instruments of torture but wrapped-up gear for aerial yoga. Today, the ‘patient’ lay on her back, eye shade on, and Anna went through a carcophany of bells, cymbals, klaxons and goodness knows whaat else. Several times it built up to crescendoes and then subsided. For every patient, and every time, it is unique, said Anna. The overall effect was extremely saatisfying.

Checking out of the hotel Girlahead passed the six bells which she had been invited to choose, and ring, on arrival. The arrival already seemed a lifetime away.  Six Senses has that effect. Girlahead cannot wait to return, when the rooftop – see below – is properly open.