During my last stay in Paris, for the Paco Rabanne Be A Rockstar event, I had the immense pleasure of staying at Mama Shelter. The latest in the trend of budget design hotels (like Hoxton Hotel London, Hudson Hotel NY, etc), this hotel features small but highly practical and perfectly designed rooms without the heavy price tag.
Mama Shelter’s interiors are the work of design-god Philippe Starck, whose golden touch seems to make any of his hotels a place to be lately. The rooms are small but cater to every modern need: they all feature a 24inch iMac, which can be used as computer, tv, radio, free wifi and movies on demand, photobooth), there’s a small kitchenette, a bathroom stocked with gorgeous Kiehl’s products, and tons of little design touches. The lampshades are made of Batman masks (my neighbour’s room had Asterix and Obelix), which make it all the more fun to pose for the iMac’s Photobooth pictures – which are then saved into a slideshow for the following room-inhabitant to admire. The furniture and accessories are all by Mr. Starck of course.
The rest of the hotel is equally amusing, with that ever-so-slightly childlike vibe. In the bar/restaurant the ceilings are scribbled full. Light fittings are made from blow up swimming tubes, there’s a little shop which sells those masks and other unnecessary but wonderful items, Mama Pizza serves thin-crusted pizzas on plastic red-checked tablecloths until 1.30am, which makes this the perfect after-drinks-munchy place to be. The Parisian Pizza East, if you will. The cocktail bar serves a selection of homemade creations (the basil and white pepper mojito is to die for), and the staff is uber-helpful and bizarrely dressed in robe-style uniforms.
The location – I don’t know Paris very well – is a little off the beaten track, but just around the corner from Père Lachaise, which made for an interesting hour of trying to find Jim Morrison’s grave.
Prices start from €99 for the Mama Room (my images are from the Mama Luxe room), which makes this my new favourite place to stay in Paris.