Launched in 2008, MAMA Shelter was founded by Serge, Jérémie and Benjamin Trigano; philosopher Cyril Aouizerate; and designer Philippe Starck, who wanted the freedom to choose their hotel locations only in their favorite places. Naturally the French capital was one of them and so MAMA Shelter Paris was born, the first of the group’s six hotels.
Located in the Saint Blaise district in the 20th arrondissement, it seems an unusual location for visitors to Paris, even for MAMA Shelter’s young, hip millennial crowd. However, the hotel describes the area as “authentic Paris,” and MAMA’s founders may be right. Although the 20th is not the only authentic area of the city, it’s definitely one of the most up and coming, and certainly less trodden with tourists than Montmartre or Le Marais.
Close to Père Lachaise and Le Petit Ceinture, and of course never far away from a metro stop, MAMA Shelter manages to offer a different view of the city as well as plenty of nearby sights to explore, and also plenty to do in the hotel itself.
Bigger than it first seems, MAMA Shelter offers 172 rooms of various sizes, but all designed entirely by the famed Philippe Starck. Like some of his other designs they may divide opinion with their dark, urban feel, but satin cotton sheets and bio bath products add a touch of comfort, whilst the cartoon character masks dotted around the room, often seen in the hotel’s Instagram posts, add to the feeling of fun and informality.
Offering a “Business Corner” downstairs in the lobby and a slick 27’’ iMac in each room, the hotel’s high tech facilities also fit in with the ultra modern room design, however it is when MAMA is being playful that she does best, with good old-fashioned entertainment encouraging friends to meet and have fun, even if they’re not staying the night.
The lively, informal restaurant includes a wood-fired pizzeria as well as a menu created by Guy Savoy, offering casual home-cooked food designed for sharing with friends. There is also breakfast each morning for guests and brunch on a Sunday for everyone. The huge bar, known for its cocktails, even comes with its own giant fooseball table, adding to MAMA Shelter’s friendly feeling that you can hang-out as long as you like. Live concerts, cabaret shows, and DJ events take place every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the year, and in summer guests can also head up to the rooftop terrace for a view of Paris. Downstairs there is even a shop to buy MAMA merchandise. Together it all adds to the MAMA Shelter experience, which offers a fashionable but fun stay in the often formal French capital. It also makes MAMA Shelter a key destination point in Paris, and another reason to head to the 20th.
MAMA Shelter, 109 Rue de Bagnolet, 75020. Tel: +33 (0)1-43-48-48-48. Website: www.mamashelter.com/en/ Rates as low as 79 euros per night.