REVIEW: Mama Shelter [Paris]
Mama Shelter boasts ‘shelter from the intrusions of the outside world’, and their hip and fun-loving style definitely suggests there is a different world inside their walls.
The boutique hotel has become a brand in its own right, speaking to the younger generation with its new and interesting outlook. It prides itself on being a living space and a refuge for those looking for a lively and friendly experience, rather than just beautiful modern rooms. Although Mama Shelter Paris is further out from the city centre, they still manage to keep up with the fast-paced streets by offering fresh and modern dining and hospitality.
Catering for everyone, they have rooms of all sizes put together by talented French designer Philippe Starck, each quirky in their own way with quotes scrawled across the walls and carpet, and cartoon masks which I think are meant to inject some fun into the rooms but I found them somewhat creepy – mainly because I woke up in the middle of the night to find one staring at me. The check-in process was smooth and we got a mini tour of the hotel before a nice fella took us up to show us around our haven for the weekend, they even brought us a welcome fruit bowl and some cookies! We stayed in the corner room which had huge windows looking out onto the glorious view of the 20th district streets, bathing our room in natural sunlight every morning.
The room came equipped with a safe, a hairdryer, a huge umbrella and a microwave, no kettle though – maybe that’s just a British thing? There was also a well-stocked minibar, beware though, once you pull out a drink you cannot put it back in and you’ll probably get charged so choose wisely (I learnt this the hard way). And let’s not forget the 27” iMac mounted onto the wall which provides all the information you could ever need about the hotel, TVs are sooo last year. You can also borrow a keyboard from the reception if you need to get some work done using the desk and free Wi-Fi. Work definitely wasn’t on our agenda so we used the iMac to kick back and watch free movies on demand, you can also broadcast wirelessly from your iOS devices and make memories using the photobooth function – remember, what happens at Mama stays at Mama!
The lack of lighting in the room created a mysterious and sensual vibe which was quite a contrast to the bathroom which was very sleek and white. The shower was wonderful and the best thing to come back to after a long day of exploring, that combined with the ‘5 star bedding’ ensured we had a good night’s sleep. There was a selection of Mama’s own skincare range that we could use, everything from face & body cream to soap and shower gel. And if you really like it you can purchase more from their shop at the reception which sells a range of fun and quirky designer products. They’ve collaborated with numerous artists and companies to create gift ideas and many are customised with Mama’s signature logo.
There are few things I love more than a good breakfast buffet and Mama Shelter sure did deliver on that front. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we headed downstairs to find table after table laden with fruit, cereal, bacon, tea, eggs, pancakes, toast, cheese, pastries, juice, the list goes on! Just ask at the bar if you fancy a luxurious hot chocolate or particular kind of coffee. There’s no room service but you can wander into the open-plan dining area and lounge for food if you’re willing to splash the cash. The restaurant proposes simple, homemade cuisine and the choice is varied and vibrant with no less than ten food and drink menus created by triple Michelin starred chef Guy Savoy, there’s even a pizzeria which serves into the early hours of the morning.
During sunny days, the food can be enjoyed on their beautiful rooftop or terrace which unfortunately wasn’t an option for us due to visiting Paris during their heaviest snowfall in 30 years – sod’s law! The graffiti theme continues into this vast area which is packed every evening from their regular DJ set events which brings in crowds from all over Paris.
Attention to detail is something that we can all appreciate, each floor had a large mirror with ideas for what to see on that day, events to go to, the weather and other tips and tricks which I thought was a nice touch.
With all this in mind we can see that diversity is the true aim of Mama Shelter, with the intention to open its arms to people of all ages and backgrounds Mama Shelter cultivates a unique and vivacious encounter. The staff were enthusiastic and happy to go above and beyond to meet our needs so you can be sure that you will be well looked after by Mama.
Mama Shelter has venues in many locations across the world, make sure to check them out here.