Par Margaret Kemp
It took seven years to create Mama Shelter, a unique urban hotel concept. "We wanted to create a hotel that is equivalent to a pair of jeans
", explains Serge Trigano (former president of Club Med). With his sons Benjamin and Jeramie, designer Philippe Starck, philosopher Cyril Aouizerate and architect Roland Castro, they acquired a 7-story disused car-park in a grungy part of town, and got to work.
Mama Shelter launched last September. 172 "digital" rooms, 5 colour schemes and Starck’s signature. On arrival choose automatic check- in, or help from multi-lingual staff dressed by couturier Anne Gelbard, trained by Jean- Claude Elgaire, former chief concierge at the Plaza Athenée.
Rooms have 24- inch Apple iMac TV’s, Skype, internet access. Expect 100% satin cotton sheets, coffee machines, microwaves, Kiehl’s products. Daily events, noted on white- boards are located by the lifts. Meditate in the Yoga-Room or rent electric scooters, motorbikes, Fiats and Smarts. The 76 bus stops outside, goes to the Louvre via the Bastille..
On street-level, an outsize BabyFoot, built-in TV monitors and sheltered terrace.The I-Booth system allows visitors to take instant photos which can be relayed all over the hotel. Pick a prêt-a-manger snack from cold cabinets or eat in the hip ground-floor "cantee" style space. The menu, by super-chef Alain Senderens, includes "grandmother’s" soup: Casseroled free range Landes chicken with lentils. Roast pineapple with madeleines, vanilla ice-cream. Drink Morgon Côte de Py (28€ - 7€ glass) Viognier Esprit de Serame white (20€ - 5€ glass).
Then party at La Fleche d’Or bar opposite, the former Charonne rail station is famous for indie-electro-rock concerts La Fléche d'Or.
Photos : Francis Amiand
Foodie Diversion :
La Mere Lachaise
Hip cafe/ wine bar near Père Lachaise Cemetery (Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf etc).
Retro decor, " French tapas
" great atmosphere.
78, Boulevard de Menilmontant - 75020 Paris.
Metro: Pere Lachaise
Tel : 00 33 1 47 97 61 60
109, rue de Bagnolet - 75020 Paris.
Metro: Alexander Dumas
T : 00 33 1 43 48 48 48
Rooms from 79-299€
Lunch & Dinner about 38€ + wine
Come here for: Not only a place to spend the night, but to experience a modern kibbutz, a laic monastery, a place to gather around the table, share a meal.