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The whimsical style of Bambi Sloan

Conde Naste Traveller have today announced the 2012 hot list of new hotels in the world. Two Parisian hotels really stuck out for their sensitivity to the history that the original properties arose from, and show that you do not need to create a carbon copy, but rather inject the inspiration of the past into the modern day.  The first one was Le Maison Champs Elysee, for which I posted an article on back in March (at last I am ahead of the game!!). The other has had a new lease of life injected into it by Paris based designer Bambi Sloan.

Bambi Sloan

Bambi Sloan - in amongst the antiques

Bambi Sloan is certainly not your average interior designer.  The child of an equally eccentric New York Advertising Man (immediately my mind moves to “Mad Men”), – she tells a story of how her father bought home a picture of a child carrying a deer when she was born and announced that her name would be Bambi – Bambi moved to Paris in the early 70’s. Her Parisian apartment is a bold statement to say the least The three-bedroom, top-floor apartment that Sloan has created is described as “a riot of colour, pattern, eras and styles, and is lined – from its trompe-l’oeil puffy-cloud ceilings to its leopard-print floors – with unexpected pieces of furniture and bizarre objects.”

St James Hotel Paris

Bambi’s latest project was the redesign of St James Hotel in Paris.  Where she has shown sensitivity to the past stories of the building whilst bringing it into the present day. Bambi was engaged specifically for her “poetic and wild eyed vision”

The original site of the hotel used to be an airfield where hot air balloons rose from.  In 1892 the wife of the French President had a foundation built in honour of his memory.  This is now the only standing Chateau hotel of the capital.

Hot Air Balloon inspired garden

Bambi has been sympathetic to the site that the original building stands on, taking inspiration from the flight of the hot air balloon.  Creating an almost fairytale element. I love the wallpaper, and the fact that she has the courage of her own conviction to place something so whimsical in the grand hall of a hotel.  I would also be equally happy with a nice cocktail in the garden imagining a flight over the romantic city of Paris.

The black and white of the hallway leads into the colourful, individually designed and thought out guest rooms.

Les Chambres

Each of the 48 rooms has been designed with it’s own story, inspired by French greats such as Rene Magritte and her favourite designer Madeleine Castaing, ensuring an experience rather than just another room. (images sourced from

Junior Suite

Delux Suite

Delux Suite


The reason (one would hope) that someone buys into historical property is because they want to appreciate the stories that are within the walls.  Undoubtedly it is never a cheap option to restore history, and many have come unstuck under the battle of trying to do so.  We also have to factor in modern day lifestyle and comfort factors to the renovations, but it is certainly a shame if we cannot embrace the stories and design with their deep history in mind. But as the following shows, you don’t have to reproduce, just take the inspiration of the past and reinterpret and celebrate it in the now.

This definitely has to be added to my top ten wants for hotels to stay…… better start saving up!!! I hope you enjoy the whimsical style as much as me!

On with the colourful journey…….

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