France’s renowned EVOK hotel group have unleashed their sexiest place yet.
And it’s just what Paris’ queerest neighbourhood, Le Marais, has been waiting for.
Where is it?
Rue du Temple, which is Le Marais, which is probably where you ought to be anyway. Sure, you can go all fancy-pants in the 16th (check out Brach if you do. Philippe Starck designed it, the restaurant’s sexy-as, and the roof gets all the best views of l’Eiffel T’) or go all nouveau street-walker down Pigalle, but Le Marais is still the rinkiest, dinkiest, most gorgeous, most LGBTQ-est neighbourhood in Paris, with the boutiques, patisseries, bistros and well-cut pantalons to match.
Why so lovely?
We could just say ‘location’ three times, throw in an exclamation mark, and be done with it. But Sinner ain’t no shrinking Le Marais also-ran. The third hotel from the EVOK group (Nolinksi and Brach – the place we mentioned up there – being one and two, with literally-just-opened Cour des Vosges making it a juicy four) has gone all fantastical on our back bottoms. Playful yet seriously five-star, Tristan Auer is pulling in all the Blue Peter badges with his fantastical interior design; decadent and pitch-perfect, with ecclesiastical nods here and ‘70s flourishes there, it’s the high-concept hotel Le Marais’s been gagging for.
Time your Eurostar arrival just right (like seriously, who would fly when you’ve got practically door-to-door leg room, fizz on tap and cheeky-as service?) and walking into Sinner will be like walking into a Bonnie Tyler video. Because correct us if we’re wrong, but we’ve never seen dry ice pumped from the ceilings of a hotel lobby, cascading down expensively draped walls, as bellhops in Catholic-adjacent garb lead you to check-in and beyond. And boy, beyond is seriously delicious.
And the accommodations?
If downstairs is full-on theatre, upstairs is the discreet after-party. From the very elegant classic chambres – oaky four-posters and writing tables with sage lamps that make your words pop – to the bright ‘n’ crisp ‘n’ roomy deluxes with their cloud-like duvets and devious splashes of red (among the other hints of naughtiness), then way upstairs to the sultry superstar Suite with its merlot-coloured wet room, Roman busts, and rows and rows of very clever books.
And the food?
There’s a lot of showing off going on, both from the chefs and the people chomping down. We’re barely months in but already Sinner’s sunken restaurant is a go-to, must-be-seen-in daytime bruncherie but it’s at night, as the lights dim and the candles flare and the DJ holds his left ear just so, that anyone who is anyone (and some people who are no-one at all. Maybe they slipped in through the dry ice) pile in for Adam Bentalha’s North African-cum-Middle-Eastern-with-hints-of-South-American-and-is-that-Malaysian? menu which is, even before the crazy-strong vodka martinis have kicked in, seriously impressive.
What is there to do?
Hard to say in just 50 words but Place des Vosges (the prettiest square in all of Paris) is a five-minute (ten in heels) walk that way, turn the other for an as-easy walk over to the Pompidou then a little further to the museum-/boulevard-/park-heavy 1st Arrondissement (Louvre, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Tuileries) and that’s before we’ve even waxed cliché about the charms of Le Marais.
And the gay bit?
It’s Le Marias, le gayest bit of all of gay Paris. Cox, Open Café, Le Duplex, Raidd… they’re all still at it, for which we salute them. And if LGBT+ tomes are your thing, Les Mots à la Bouche is legendary (though rumour has it, it’s closing down soon. Le Marais wept.)