If our hedonistic readership is feeling a trifle guilty after overdoing the merry-making during the festive period (and we certainly hope you did), the Hotel Gabriel, Paris, might be the answer to your prayers. A place where all sins will be forgiven. A place to absolve yourselves.
This relaxing hotel, a pleasantly timid sheep of the Design Hotels flock in the Marais district, has been designed around a healing philosophy for both body and mind. Conceived and delivered by Axel Schoenert Architectes Associés, it seems as though all the stress has been sucked out by a giant cosmic vacuum cleaner, leaving a calm and tranquil environment which it is hoped will provide guests a detoxifying experience.
White and pale pastels are the order of the day here. Gabriel takes the edge off, in a literal sense – walls curve, doors slide softly. Little is artificially lit directly; instead LED backlights tucked discreetly away give the place a harmonious glow. Even the ballerina motifs that recur throughout the guest rooms tip-toe around with elegant pointe work. But if all your good intentions go out of the window, don’t worry. There’s a big bar downstairs and a mini one in each room.