Just a short hop from the Comic Opera of Paris, the doors of the Hôtel Saint-Marc open onto a universe conceived by Milanese design agency dimorestudio. Travelers are welcome into a building that was constructed in 1791 on the site of the private residence of the Duc de Choiseul. From being once the headquarters of the historical newspaper ‘Le National’ to the famous Italian restaurant Le Poccardi, after serving a number of years as an office building, the building has now became a modern boutique hotel. The Milan-based studio was chosen to bring life to the Hôtel SaintMarc in a manner appropriate to modern times yet respectful of its long heritage, mixing vintage furniture with made-to-measure creations.
The visitor is welcomed by a subtle alliance of black and white marbles in the purest of French tradition, walls delicately powdered in rose shades and rich and sumptuous velvets. Wide sofas—designed by dimorestudio—encourage relaxation immediately on arrival. The metal and glass of the side tables lighten the roundness of their lines, and a sense of warmth comes from the wooden console tables with their brass supports. Lighting by the Fontana Arte lamps and wall lights, also designed by dimorestudio, creates a warm and cosy atmosphere.
In an extension of the reception lobby, the lounge has been designed in the spirit of a club bar, with bookshelves, small Art Deco-inspired armchairs in velvet and gilt metal, and low brass and glass tables, all designed with lightness in mind. Here, guests will find the honesty bar with its selection of wines and of champagnes kept in a refrigerated wine cellar.
Breakfast is taken in a large room with graphical lines of distinctly Art Deco inspiration, where at other times of the day the visitor can spend a quiet moment away from the lounge bar. The area is enlivened by the light, both direct and indirect, of the lamps in polished white glass and brass that hang over each table. A wide window opens onto a newly-created patio. The cobblestones and the graphic black and white of the low walls that recall the Buren columns in the Palais Royal place the visitor in an environment that is unquestionably Parisian.
On the upper floors, rose-coloured walls and deep carpet flamboyantly decorated in waves of palms guide guests to their rooms in an experience that is both visual and tactile. The intimate and peaceful atmosphere introduces further styles of décor which surprise the traveller by their elegance, the combination of noble materials, the soft and sumptuous palettes of colours and the graphical lines that draw their inspiration from the Art Deco era.
The Hôtel Saint-Marc has 25 bedrooms from 20 to 40 sqm (about 215 to 430 ft²), and a suite of 56 m² (about 550 ft2). They have been designed as private apartments and to an immediately evident high standard of luxury, within which the traveller can create his or her own level of intimacy. The bedrooms of the Hôtel Saint-Marc are decorated in six styles, differentiated principally by their colours and materials. Mustard yellow, Burgundy red, pine green and sky blue form the backdrop to a range of decorative and artistic objects designed by artisans of the town of Murano.
The carpet by Louis de Poortere, bedside lamps, bedheads and doors in mirror and brass, together with the various varnished wooden elements are all ingredients of an unexpected alchemy which is enhanced by the soft and intimate lighting. The bright and spacious bathrooms continue the sensation of comfort and elegance in a vintage ambiance of black and white.
The top-floor suite is another world altogether. Alternating deep and pastel colours, the richness of the velvets and the mix of wooden and metal furniture create a contemporary atmosphere with vintage touches, such as the brass bedhead that came from Osvaldo Borsani. The pink marble bathroom is an invitation to relax: it offers both shower and large bathtub, and also has small built-in cupboards as might be found in a private apartment. The suite has been designed so that the traveller immediately feels at ease, that he has returned home to his own Parisian pied-à-terre.
all images © Philippe Servent