Sinner, Paris, France
Monastic yet modern, irreverent yet elegant, this Parisian pied-à-terre makes for an intoxicating stay at the heart of Le Marais. Don’t be fooled by the ecclesiastical atmosphere, Sinner hotel lives up to its name.
23 March, 2020
When was your last confession? No clue? Nothing to repent? Following a stay at Sinner a pit-stop at a confessional might be a clever move - luckily (or possibly by the grace of God) there's a mahogany booth adjacent to the reception desk for such eventualities.
At Sinner, the vibe is a mix of monastic and modern. Those who won't take kindly to a 90:10 secular-to-sacred set-up would be best advised to find other lodgings. Those who identify with Madonna (the iconic British pop star that is) on a deep and spiritual level, this is your place. As Madge herself would say "papa don't preach" about the rest…
And so to "the rest". You'll be greeted by cassock-clad staff who will lead you by lantern along dimly lit halls flanked with stained-glass windows to your boudoir. A mystical soundtrack and the smell of incense will follow you through the hotel's public spaces, swooping down the corridors and into the double-height lobby making for a truly intoxicating experience.
Now, how many hail Marys do we have to say to come back next weekend?
Deluxe rooms are filled with chic objets, original artworks and a plethora of coffee-table books. The colour palette is soothing and restorative - have we risen to heaven? - erring on the virginal (just). Wood is mostly pale, walls generally white and softened tones of pink, orange, blue and green appear in spurts throughout the room - take the patchwork-and-ombre chairs and a multicolour lamp dreamed up by a cubist fanatic as two points of reference. Decked out with vintage Roberts vinyl turntables and a desk space for writing letters from your temporary Parisian pied-à-terre, your room is sprinkled with design-first delights. In the wardrobe, you'll find gym equipment (yoga mat, free weights, etc.), a maxi bar filled with delightful decadences and, erm, a riding crop. Bathrooms are kitsch-cool with a red-and-white colour palette to rev things up a little. The shower unit is big enough for two, while the toilet unit comes with a miniature library.
What's for breakfast?
Breakfast is served until 10.30am - or in your room until 12pm. Take a devil-may-care approach when it comes to your order - go full-on glutton with the scrambled eggs with truffle and, to really commit, add a side of pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon.
How about lunch and dinner?
Chef Adam Bentalha helms the hotel restaurant - his menu (which celebrates exotic street-food culture) reads like a daring expedition through South America, North Africa, Peru and Brazil. Try the sea bream with shiso and passion fruit or scampi ravioli, while making sure that your order also includes some interesting vegetarian dishes, such as the tabbouleh-style Peruvian quinoa and seasonal vegetables. The clay-baked beef confit and Berber tagine with octopus are both sinfully good, as is the side order of aubergine curry. Feeling full? Don't skip out on dessert - the classic French fancies are crafted by patisserie chef extraordinaire Yann Brys.
Is there a bar?
The bar is the beating heart of Sinner's social life. Open until 2am, it plays host to live DJs who spin out most nights. Sip on Latin-inspired cocktail creations - try Flos, an elixir of gin, lemon, apple juice and coconut - and nibble on fusion finger food. Surrounds are equally seducing; plush blush-velvet seating areas back onto raspberry-hued walls offset with table toppings of periwinkle-tinted ranunculi, altar candles and mahogany crucifixes. Amping up the atmosphere, dry ice is pumped through the lobby area come evening, creating a confounding blend of 70s disco meets Sunday mass.
Hidden behind a studded door is Ablutio, the hotel's spa, steam room and hammam. Jimmy Jarnet, a celebrity masseur and personal trainer, has designed the body treatments - try the Unio (provided you're cool with blindfolds and aromatherapy) or the Aurum (provided you've no qualms about being smeared in 24-carat-gold oil). Facials use Orveda products, a skincare range made with all-natural ingredients and based on the principles of Ayurveda. Ablutio also harbours a petite, surrounded-by-arches pool which takes inspiration from Greco-Roman baths.
Things you should know
Pets are welcome but can't be left alone in your hotel room. If you want to venture a little beyond the confines of the district, borrow the hotels' BMW i3- it's electric, so you'll be forgiven for opting not to walk.
Within a short walk you'll find…
You're in the Marais, one of Paris's oldest neighbourhoods, so you won't be hard-pressed for things to do. Discover contemporary art galleries, go shopping, stop for a second breakfast somewhere… the area is yours for the taking. Plus, unlike many other neighbourhoods in Paris, most businesses are open on Sundays here.