There are places on this earth I love and get giddy and excited sharing them with my friends and loved ones, knowing just how much they will love them, too. Then there are the places I LOVE and selfishly want to tell no one about because it’s just so amazing that I want it to be all MINE. I really did debate keeping the hotel I stayed in Paris greedily all to myself, but I figured people would eventually stop believing “The Bell Tower of Notre Dame” as a legitimate accommodation option. The secret’s out, my friends. IfMama Shelter were a boy, I would have fallen so head over heels, I would have wanted to marry it and have a billion of its babies. Lucky for me, it’s just the most amazing hotel I have ever stayed at. Here’s why:
Location, location, location:
The Phillipe Starck designed Mama Shelter is located on Rue Bagnolet within a 10 minute walk of three metro stations; Porte De Bagnolet, Alexandre Dumas and Maraichers, and directly behind a bus stop that will take you straight to the Louvre. The hotel is also about a three minute walk to Pere Lachaise and within moments of some of the best Parisian bakeries and patiserries you will ever find. The location of the hotel will provide you with the most authentic Parisian experience with all the tourist destinations a short metro-ride away, i.e. the best of both worlds!
I arrived at Mama Shelter after a night of uncomfortable sleep, a six hour train ride, a few subway and bus stops and a bunch of luggage-schlepping neighbourhood laps around the block. To say I looked like I arrived straight from hell would be an understatement and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t mortified of how awful I actually looked to the super chic and fresh-faced beauties that work concierge at Mama Shelter. But my fear of being judged completely washed away the moment I said my first ‘hellos’. The amazing staff went out of their way to ensure a smooth check-in process and explain all the perks of this marvelous hotel. Their genuine interest in ensuring I had a great stay made me feel nothing less than total rock star material and they went out of their way to answer any questions I had, whether it was to direct me on the best subway route or suggest restaurant ideas. Judging by the staff Mama Shelter employs alone, I could already tell this hotel will be hard to top.
My 7th floor Mama Luxe room was pure modern-chic bliss. The cozy rooms, complete with a 24 inch imac television with free movies, a microwave, a mini-bar and free wifi, provided for the perfect recluse after a busy day out exploring Paris. The bed was so comfortable, the most difficult part of staying in the room was wanting to leave. The bathroom was equipped with the most heavenly shower and kiehl’s bath products! For added amusment, be sure to browse through everything the imac television has to offer and definitely set the television’s wake-up call alarm. Hearing the sound of the morning alarm will make you feel like 16th century royalty. Trust me on this one.
Judging by the well-dressed boys and girls that descend upon the hotel each night, Mama Shelter’s bar is clearly the place to see and be seen. Patrons can cozy up to the round island bar and request some of the city’s best mix-drink concoctions (I highly recommend “On The Road”). A large terrace on the side of the hotel tends to get quite animated and busy as the night progresses, as guest djs and artists from around the world entertain the public on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. On the night I decided to stop by the bar, the Jacques Daoud Revue was holding court and entertaining a packed bar. This funk/soul/r&b ensemble blew my mind and I felt like I had been transformed into a completely different era (my very own Midnight in Paris moment). Just amazing.
Because this hotel can do no wrong, let me also gush about its food. For an extra 15 euros a day, treat yourself to the best hotel breakfast buffet you will quite possibly ever have (and I’ve eaten brunch at Tokyo’s Park Hyatt, so I should know). Mama Shelter’s dinner is highly sought after, so make sure to make reservations in advance and enjoy the ambience of the atrociously cool bar and dining area. As for one of the biggest perks of being a guest at the hotel? When the restaurant is at full capacity, you can always order a box of pizza and a glass (or bottle – I don’t judge) of wine and enjoy in the comfort of your amazing room.
I simply can’t get over the most amazing hotel stay of my life. And I’ve stayed at a lot of great hotels, but Mama Shelter just goes above and beyond anything else. The whole experience is pure magic and it would be just silly not to stay here. Especially since I’ve been so generous, choosing to reveal one of my favourite things about Paris. Thanks for being so amazing, Mama Shelter. I can’t wait to be back!