05/08/2012 07:09 am ET Updated Jul 08, 2012

Tres Chic And Magnifique: Mama Shelter In Paris

So you are going to Paris...

You set the dates, you purchased flight tickets, maybe you also saved some frequent flyer milages, just in case. You wrote your to do lists, your "where to eat" and "what to buy" lists and you told the whole world that you are going to Paris.

Paris, in spite of all the cliches, is still the most romantic city in the world. If this is your first time in The City of Lights than this post is not for you (yet) and I suggest you bookmark it and read it for your next time. If this is your second or third time in Paris, and you are looking for a place to stay, then you are on the right page.

Mama Shelter Hotel
Mama Shelter Hotel, designed and owned by Philippe Starck, is located in the 20th arrondissement. If I didn't have the exact address, I could easily confuse the facade of the hotel with the cultural center and public library next door. But maybe this is the whole idea of the hotel, which wants to give its guests a homey feeling and a sense of security, or at least a feel of being close to mama. This is also the reason for the logo of the hotel (mama hen legs) and why the concierge and the staff of the reception are wearing aprons with portraits of mamas.

The hotel was opened in September 2008 by the Trigano family who also owns Club Med. The Trigano family has hired Philippe Starck to design the hotel and its concept and later on he became one of the owners himself. The vision was to create a hotel that combines an urban concept with a homey atmosphere, a hotel where the guests come to relax, hence the less central location.

There are 172 designed rooms in the hotel, all designed in an urban look with an unfinished grey concrete wall. The highlight of the design is the plastic masks that serve as reading lamps next to the beds. The masks were purchased by Starck as there was no budget left for "real" reading lamps. With time, the masks became very popular among the guests who tend to take pictures of themselves wearing these masks.

There are two bars and a pizza bar by the well known chef Alain Sendernes, an outdoor terrace that serves brunch and a BBQ on the roof in the summer. The design of the main bar space is eclectic and combines long common tables and colored stripped sofas with the portraits of the mothers. In the lobby of the hotel you can find a small gift shop to buy some unconventional souvenirs from Paris. The hotel is a great solution for those who already know Paris and want to have a different experience.

Mama Shelter, 109 rue de Bagnolet.

Directions: Get off Alexander Dumas station (line 2) or Gambetta station (line 3)

If you are in the neighborhood, visit Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, which is the largest cemetery of Paris, established in 1804 and look for Oscar Wilde, Honore de Balzac, Frédéric Chopin, Camille Pissarro and other well known graves. As the cemetery is located on the high hills of Paris, you can catch a great view of the city, which is highly recommended especially during dusk hours.

Bon voyage...

To read more about Paris and the Design scene in the City of Light, please read the following post on my blog