This Tristan Auer-designed Paris hotel gives off sexy convent vibes

In the realm of French luxury accommodation, artistic quirks have very little leeway. There is a certain expectation that one has of a five-star Parisian hotel, for example: bright rooms, polished parquet, custom-made furniture, gilded woodwork, mirrors and crystal chandeliers. This expectation rarely includes things like smoke machines, sexy nuns, or bondage.

Welcome to Sinner Paris.

Located in a narrow, nondescript alley in the Marais district, EVOK Hotels Collection’s new hotel concept sits somewhere between the medieval Catholic convent and the dungeon of modern-day dominatrixes. Interiors – by the notable and lauded Tristan Auer – feature lantern-lit hallways, cassocked staff, doors with suggestively carved knockers, and a hall that houses both a confessional and crypt. And don’t forget the smoke machine that blankets everything in a soft, sultry mist at night.

The rooms themselves are open, spacious, and modern, with naughty touches here and there, ranging from suggestive photography and up to erotic reading material in the toilets. (Anatole Desachy, an independent bookseller, collected rare books from various fairs and museums across Europe for the hotel’s collection.)

Downstairs, a lively bar and restaurants serve guests late into the night; on weekends, the lobby turns into a dance floor, with guests, celebrities, and the well-heeled sipping expensive cocktails behind thick velvet curtains.

We spoke with Emmanuel Sauvage, co-founder and managing director of EVOK Collection, about Sinner Paris’ bold design choices.

Tell me a bit about how the idea for Sinner Paris came about, and how the brand has evolved and grown since its launch.

When we decided to open a hotel in the heart of the Marais, the main idea was to capture the energy and dynamism of this historic district while giving a nod to the elements of society that were once considered prohibited or acts of sin. We wanted to create a dedicated space where freedom meets bold elegance. That’s Sinner’s goal.

Since launch, we have continued to deliver unique experiences for visitors during their stay through partnerships with like-minded brands and individuals. For example, we’ve started a new partnership with Swiss skincare brand La Colline to offer rejuvenating face and body treatments at Ablutio to complement our spa’s indoor pool inspired by Greek and Roman baths. We also held a special photo exhibit with Michel Giniès last winter, showcasing a curated collection of photographs that captured Paris in the 70s and 80s.

The pandemic has changed everyone’s outlook on work and travel, among other things. Suddenly, Airbnb’s appeal faded and hotels suddenly became more desirable due to the safety offered by industry standard hygiene practices. How do you see Sinner Paris fitting into this back-and-forth movement, in one of the most popular and busiest cities in the world?

Since the pandemic, we have been operating more like a “Maison de Luxe” rather than a “luxury hotel” to provide a feeling of “home from home” while applying the appropriate hygiene measures to provide the safest accommodation. to our customers. Thanks to our exceptional team, we ensure that all our spaces remain as clean as possible, with regular attention to high-touch surfaces and compliance with specialized COVID disinfection protocols. We also continue to provide sanitizers in common areas and rooms.

Let’s talk about the hotel’s unique design concept. Can you explain to me how the concept started with interior designer Tristan Auer and what it was based on? Is there a historical narrative basis for the concept?

Tristan Auer was the perfect partner to bring Sinner’s bold DNA to life. Inspiration came from the surrounding Marais district, often referred to as “Old Paris” and now a hub of creativity. Tristan was also influenced by memories of his childhood and the frivolity of the 1970s, favoring an expressive clash of style and era. With the neighborhood’s religious and aristocratic history, Tristan incorporates arched archways, Gothic-inspired candelabras, and stained glass windows to evoke a monastic aesthetic while using clean lines and playful prints in rooms for a contemporary touch.

The attention to detail in the hotel is truly next level. Can you tell me some of your favorite design details of the hotel? What is something (an element, part or something related to design) that can only be found in Sinner Paris?

One of my favorite details is that each room has a striking red door with a knocker featuring an installation of chained metal pipes suspended from the elevators, inspired by the porches of horse-drawn carriages. I also particularly like the confessional that sits in the hotel lobby. This piece was custom made for the property and is a nod to its name but also to its playful and provocative décor which so skillfully captures a sense of forbidden temptation.

Additionally, throughout the hotel there are fine selections of stained glass, inspired by those often found in religious buildings. The stained glass windows, especially in the bar, create an intimate atmosphere that encourages locals and guests to sit down and relax for an evening of refreshing drinks on the comfy pink sofas.

Was there a particularly difficult design concept that required a lot of hard work to understand? (For example, keeping the hotel in such dim light at all times; or the smoke in the lobby, etc.)

Our hallways are intentionally designed with dim lighting and red accents to capture Sinner’s sensual and mysterious soul. In creating this design element, we were challenged to think critically to achieve our atmospheric vision of a space perfectly balanced between sensuality and accessibility. Care has been taken to execute this design detail with precision because, done incorrectly, lighting can turn off an individual rather than attract them. We are quite proud that the lighting, together with all of Sinner’s design details, served to attract visitors and give the hotel its unique and alluring identity.

What about the art chosen for the hotel by Amélie du Chalard? How did Amélie organize the hotel’s collection and what are the most remarkable pieces?

Amélie du Chalard, who established the Maison d’art in 2015, has meticulously curated exquisite contemporary and antique works of art as well as unique pieces of furniture that combine Sinner’s elegance and religious heritage. She has collected special works from all over the world, including Spain, Austria and Korea. Highlights include an oryx horn chair by Helmut Palla and a beautiful linen and wire woven armor by Nadine Altmayer. Amélie chose to mix these contemporary pieces with older works of art such as suggestive 17th century illustrations and vintage photos by French photographer Pierre Molinier.

What do some of the guest comments sound like? What do people really like about the hotel, the properties and has there ever been a case where the reviews inspired you to add/remove something? (It can either be something practical or something design-inspired!)

Sinner is particularly appreciated for its unique atmosphere and vision. Located in the Marais, Sinner is in harmony with its neighborhood, both artistic and daring. A place like no other, we often find young couples and friends lounging at the hotel bar, for example on Thursday evenings, to enjoy the lively music in an atmosphere that is both trendy and elegant.

Our design is very specific and every detail is intentional. We haven’t received any feedback that would require us to remove or add design elements; however, we often hear that it is our design and the environment we have created within Sinner that brings out a certain energy and desire to party in our visitors that they only feel here.

Finally, what’s next for Sinner Paris in 2022 and beyond?

For 2022, Sinner Paris can be expected to continue its development as an art abode, with more exhibitions to come.

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