Please note that we visited the hotel in the carefree days before coronavirus.
PARIS — Upon entering the lobby of the chicest new address in the Marais, it was hard to imagine that such a sexy sanctuary was once a staid office building. Leave it to French hospitality group EVOK to see the potential in the space from the first impression it gives off from the front desk: an eclectic lounge outfitted in pink hues beneath a vibrant stained-glass window reminiscent of Mondrian.
That vast lounge and bi-level dining area brim with religious overtones: swank candlelit interiors, vaulted ceilings, high columns, and antique wooden doors that together create a mischievous mood befitting the hotel’s name. Through these details, interior designer Tristan Auer recalls the history of the Haut Marais neighborhood that was home to religious orders (the hotel is even located on the rue du Temple) before the aristocracy moved in, followed in modern times by creators. In this opulent and provocative hotel, breaking the rules seems de rigueur.
Room key in hand, I passed what looked like a church confessional and entered the dark elevator onto a lantern-lit corridor. It felt like a members-only club: soft music wafting through the air, the hotel’s spicy signature scent lingering in my room. Behind a bright red door, my dark suite contrasted the blue skies blocked by the drawn curtains. I settled into the mood of my new home, taking a visual tour of the curated artwork highlit by dim lighting. Pleased to find a record player, I tested my DJ skills while sprawled on the massive, cloud-like bed.
Back downstairs, an actual DJ mixed tunes at dusk. I made my way down to the well-appointed restaurant for dinner, stopping for a restorative pause at the lower-level spa Ablutio, a sanctorium that’s home to a Romanesque pool and hammam.
My husband joined me for dinner at the restaurant, Universe. Or was it a dance party? After ordering an array of shared plates from a South America-meets-North Africa menu, the convivial waiters broke out in dance. Prodded by a DJ spinning French and English pop, I wanted to join the show, but left it to the well-rehearsed staff. Electric energy filled the multi-level space even after the minutes-long entertainment ended. Chef Adam Bentalha’s global concoctions, including a selection of signature ceviche and a Berber tagine with grilled octopus, were eagerly consumed, and we ended the meal with decadent pistachio red velvet cake by pastry chef Yann Brys.
The night still young and the scene lively, we hit the ground floor bar and found a perch on the velvet couches. Crimson Heart and Memento cocktails made from ten homemade infusions made the perfect nightcaps.
Rates from $608.
A nondescript street in the center of Paris’s creative and chic Haut Marais.
Sleek design inspired by the 14th century, the era of the Knights Templar, with a nod to the playful 1970s.
This Place Is Perfect For
Couples looking for a romantic refuge or singles in search of a scene.
What’s on Site
An in-house restaurant and bar. The Crypt is home to a cabinet of curiosities. Ablutio, the small spa on the lower level found behind a door studded with nails, includes a heated pool, hammam, and one double treatment room. A personal trainer is available by request. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The cocktail bar serves finger foods.
Number of Rooms
43 rooms, including one suite with five adjoining rooms.
Free WiFi and bespoke bathroom products. A record player with an eclectic assortment of vinyl.
The lighting is dim and the restaurant and bar are animated on the weekends.
The candlelit crypt opposite the reception and gothic-inspired candelabras throughout the hotel. Talk about setting a mood.
Le Haut Marais, one of Paris’s most fashion-forward neighborhoods, has streets lined with local designer boutiques, art galleries and museums, as well as many trendy cafes.
What to Do Nearby
Walking distance are Museum of Hunting and Nature, Metiers Art Museum, Centre Pompidou, Picasso Museum, and Park Square du Temple. Cafes Strada, Gramme, and The Broken Arm are minutes away, as is Paris’s oldest covered market, Marché des Enfants Rouges, which offers a selection of international eats.