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Phillippe Starck's Unique Hotel: Mama Shelter, Paris
I heard a lot about Mama Shelter which opened several locations around the world including Rio, Bordeaux, Paris and and Los Angeles, Marseille and Lyon. Everyone says that Mama Shelter is a special hotel, that's why I had to put it on my list. Indeed, it looks like nothing I've tried before. Designed by Phillipe Starck, this hotel is a masterpiece of art and fun - a great example of a hotel and restaurant, 2.0.
The first impression: It's not a place for kids.
The famous package of added values:
- Rooms offer free television, movies and pornographic movies. I believe this is a world premiere.
- All rooms are equipped with 27 inch iMac computers on which you can share your phone via airplay, and surf the net.
- Rooms are equipped with two mirrors, one on each side making the space look infinite.
- The parking has a car wash and a car charging area.
- You can take photos of yourself with the room's television. Remember to buy masks at the reception.
Good to know: The hotel has a parking underground priced at €25/day.
At the reception, be welcomed by a funky staff member covered with tattoos. It's dark in here! The ceiling of the entire lobby and restaurants is made of a black chalkboard where colors and writings add fun and enjoyment. Facing the reception, choose one of several items you can buy and take home and to the right you'll find a large working table with Apple computers. I was given my keys to discover the room.
The room is small for a superior. A queen bed, two mirrors, a small bathroom, grey walls, design items and funky writings and unfortunately not enough lighting. It's claustrophobic, so I went up to the roof where coffee is served until six then the place is turned into a restaurant after seven. I like the details, the ping-pong table, the baby-foot, the books and board games as well as the colorful umbrellas.
Down at the lobby is where food is served at one of the two restaurants. A pizza bar to the left with a load of high stools and the restaurant on the other side. The restaurant is nice! A low ceiling, half a hundred tables, a thousand items to decorate it, millions of letters on the ceiling, a bar, an open kitchen and the famous communal table. That communal table with colorful floats you can find around Google images. The restaurant also hosts a stage where a band plays every night. It's as dimmed as all the other parts of the hotel but I like it here.
The restaurant: Red candles decorate the black tables, wooden and metallic chairs that are not relaxing at all, several sofas for groups, carpets thrown here and there.
There are three different menus where Mama suggests food and drinks... and a terrace. I loved the open kitchen and its utensils pending from all sides.
The menu is developed by Guy Savoie, a triple starred chef. Complicated plates to satisfy all choices from green salads to sharing platters, chicken and beef, tuna, salmon but there are no burgers.
I slept well after the loud music from the restaurant stopped. I recommend you boo a room on upper floors. On the second, I felt the band playing over my head.
An original hotel indeed. Some rooms even have three beds pushed together as one... any idea why? This place is made to let go, for parties and unique experiences and more. I love the free Internet, the service and attention but it's honestly too funky and too hip for my usual taste in hotels. I usually like my hotels calmer with more light.
The last impression: A wide smile, a pleasant goodbye and an email sent making sure you left happy and that your experience was memorable.