PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRUNO AVEILLAN
If all roads lead to Rome, it is of no surprise that the Six Senses latest outpost is at the intersection of luxury hospitality, style and sustainability.
Redefining the idea of sustainable tourism, the storied hotelier brings conscious travel to one of the worlds most renowned urban settings in the Piazza di San Marcello. Until now, adventurers traveling with a lighter footprint have headed to far flung locales in the jungle or along sandy shores, but as the world is faced with the critical need to bring sustainable practices to every corner of the world, Rome’s bustling city center has proven the ideal place to start.
Luxury, intention and purpose informs every detail in the restored 15th century Unesco protected palazzo, where a 1,700-year-old baptismal font dating from the 4th century is respectfully, and seamlessly integrated in to the current architecture of Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini. Introducing the modern day amenities expected of a five star plus property while coexisting with the formidable constraints of a UNESCO-protected project. Guests are literally enveloped by integrated sustainable materials, sourced from both historic practices and modern innovation: Italian travertine stone, and the ancient Roman lime plaster, cocciopesto (free from plastic and industrial chemicals) decorate rooms alongside modern innovations like curtains made of recycled plastic bottles, and the building itself 100% powered by renewable energy.
Most visitors to Rome lose themselves in the infinite historical sites and its Dolce Vita romanticism, but how does one forge a new and truly luxurious experience? By tapping in to the potential for a sustainable, less traveled path. After all, true luxury can only be achieved without compromise to our planet, and as Six Senses curates it’s guest experiences with sustainability in mind at every turn from food, to art to the interiors and materials, it is renewing the culture through community and environment.
Illustrating impact beyond its own doors, 0.5% of the hotels revenue is dedicated to its Sustainability Fund, used for community-based environmental and social projects. One example of that being the restoration of the San Marcello al Corso Church located next door.
ART: The palazzo is the ideal canvas for an equally extensive and impressive curation by art advisor, Federica Sala, of one of a kind commissioned works, each one unique to Six Senses Rome. Using multiple mediums from sculpture to painting and textiles, to recount the story of Rome from its rich past to its colorful present. Of note are the glass powder paintings by artist Marco Emmanuele made from crushed glass bottles left on the Roman coastline, to Daniele Accossato’s sculpture of caged wing inside a crate.
FOOD: “Nature is the Mother of all forms of art”, says resident chef Nadia Frisina, one of Italy’s youngest female Executive Chefs. Frisina’s philosophical approach to nature and food is what brought her to Six Senses, where their common beliefs in seasonality, waste free and local sourcing inform the culinary experience in a city renowned for its food. Frisina visits every local farmer to ensure responsible and ethical standards of both farm and community. With a menu that is more than half plant based and fifty kilos of food waste being composted on site, environmental stewardship is just as important as breathtaking bites.
While its footprint is global, Six Senses has local community at its core. The Earth Lab, a signature in every location, with the one in Rome to function as a hub for guests and local stakeholders to meet and help inform what a more sustainable future looks like. Perhaps going so far as to redefine what the idea of culture can be beyond the history, food and art. Culture is after all, defined as the manifestations of collective human achievement, in this case the achievement is to put people and planet first without ever compromising the ideals of a luxury experience.
This vision was manifested one evening last spring, on the Six Senses Noto Rooftop where leaders, change makers and innovators shaping the culture of sustainable and regenerative experiences in style, hospitality, academia and science converged. With a through line on community, the focus was on amplifying the various endeavors underway in all respective areas, and how this community can come together collectively to move innovation in to action in a faster and more scalable way.
Romes appeal lies in most things ancient, but it is the future forward thinking of a mission driven stakeholder like Six Senses that will serve the city well in rejuvenating and sustaining its place as a coveted destination for years to come.