Stay here on your way to the Landes Coast: Mama Shelter
French sand, via the finest Parisian living.
Autumn is a fine time in Europe. The last embers of summer burn down and the air gradually freshens. But let us be specific; We’re talking France. Hossegor, Capbreton, right up to Biarritz. Still enough warmth for little more than lycra to cover the abundance of golden skin on the sand, but enough autumnal conditioning to compose surf breaks worthy of international travel. Though, before you get to all that, you’ll likely fly into Charles de Gaulle. And if you choose not to go immediately coastal, instead opting for a few days in Paris, Stab passionately recommends you stay at Mama Shelter.
Like all the world’s best accommodations, Mama is a bar first, and hotel second. Despite its location in the perfectly gritty 20th arrondissement, many travel away from the Seine just to party here – any night of the week. Vincent Cassel dines here. Connan Mockasin stayed a few nights on his way to play Primavera Sound in Barcelona. On any given evening you’ll find models flirting with handsome bartenders, intimidatingly-well-dressed young people spilling Negronis over foosball tables, and suave, silver-haired groups in engaged conversation on the verandah making non-smokers want to smoke. All of this amid wafts from a kitchen that serves not only some of Paris’ best pizza, but a varied and localised grazing menu. And, soundtracked by a seamless mix of funk, 90s hip hop, disco edits and soul hovering gently on the edge of dance floor-inducing, and atmospheric perfection.
Then there’s the hotel itself. Mama Loves You – a fact you’ll be reminded of for the entirety of your stay. Philippe Starck has created a hotel chain (the Parisian location of which was the first) that is both chic and affordable. The rooms vary, depending on your purse and palate, but all come standard with well-curated minibar and wall-mounted iMac that will act as a local guide. A nice touch is the encouragement of guests to use the Photo Booth app on their room’s computers – don the masks that double as lampshades, pose and capture, then spot yourself in the slideshow that runs on all the main screens throughout the hotel. Walls are deep charcoal, crisp white, or polished concrete. Huge mirrors open up the rooms. The beds are clouds. And do enjoy the line of Mama skincare that’ll be re-stocked every morning of your stay.
Finally, we mustn’t forget the open-air bar atop the building, accessible in the summer months. Even the coldest heart will find warmth on a well-soundtracked Parisian rooftop. All Stab can do is recommend, with much gravitas, that you experience this for yourself. Mama really does loves you.
More Mama Shelter here.
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