Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Wacky, fun, and over-the-top, celebrating sinfulness
The Hotel Vice Versa is one of a kind, a trip into an alternate universe. With decor spearheaded by a fearless lingerie designer, the hotel has it all, from tricked-out light switches to ceiling quotes to lobby chairs with abominable-snowman-like fur upholstery. Each of the seven floors is dedicated to one of the seven deadly sins. The pure white lobby represents heaven, and the archangel-sized wings at the entrance suggest St. Peter may be inside, shaking up a cocktail at the honor bar. The hotel elicits smiles, even in "hell" -- the basement Hammam, where guests can steam out the previous night's excess in the red-and-black-tiled spa. The breakfast room is like being inside a bakery case, with candy colors, checkerboard floors, and sweet treats painted on the walls. The hotel is clever, sexy, and unexpected, a true Paris original.
Plain residential neighborhood out of the city center, near the convention center
The Hotel Vice Versa is very close to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, making it convenient for business travelers. However, tourists may find the residential surroundings a bit dull and lacking the classic, old Paris feel. The neighborhood and hotel exterior are unremarkable, but entering the building is something like falling down a psychedelic, French rabbit hole -- a nice balance. Guests who prefer to be near major sites may be frustrated by the time required to travel from the 15th arrondissement to the center of things in the 7th -- about 30 minutes by rail from the Boucicaut metro station, which is about a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Round beds, sparkly tubs, wacky lamps, and satellite TVs
Rooms at the Hotel Vice Versa are different according to theme, but each is fantastical in its own way. "Greed" rooms have money (glued down) everywhere, and gorgeous wood and tile bathrooms. "Anger" rooms are red and black, with revolver-printed carpets and a knife sticking out of the wall. In "Lust" rooms, even the lampshades lace up the back. Some rooms have round beds (designed to resemble giant macaroons). Deluxe rooms have opulent freestanding tubs, while more basic rooms have nice showers. TVs have satellite channels, and minibars come with full-size bottles of champagne.
Hammam, honor bar, breakfast
The Hotel Vice Versa features a red and black, Turkish steam room in the basement, with a skull tiled into the floor to reinforce the hell theme -- despite the heavenly feeling of a good steam after a long day of work or sightseeing. The honor bar in the lobby has cocktail shakers and a few helpful recipes meant to inspire guests to shake up something new. Continental breakfast costs extra, and the breakfast room is like something out of Willy Wonka, with lamps made from teapots, and seat backs resembling ice cream sodas. There are many restaurants and cafes serving lunch and dinner within walking distance of the hotel.
The Hotel Vice Versa is a 37-room concept hotel whose theme is the seven deadly sins, one per floor, with heaven in the lobby and hell (with steam room) in the basement. The creative, over-the-top decor is by lingerie designer Chantal Thomas. The hotel is fun, playful, and occasionally daring -- body-shaped chairs, skull motif spa floors -- but never takes itself too seriously. It's all tongue in cheek, and guests who can laugh and appreciate quirkiness will have a memorable stay. Those looking for for a design hotel that's a bit less extravagant could try Hotel Du Parc.