I had already fallen in love, years back, with the Paris one. It proved so successful that other branches have opened – Bordeaux, Marseille, Istanbul and… Lyon where I stayed just a week ago. A little empire yet slightly against the trend. Boutique hotels, these days, take pride in decorating each room in a unique style. Travellers have tired of soulless chains, providing the same environment everywhere you go. Yet, this is exactly why you will want to stay at Mama Shelter in different cities – to get the exact same happy bubble. At first, your mind only registers the polished concrete walls, the sober palette of colour. Then the spider lamp, the neon cupboards, furniture that could belong to a modern fairy-tale book… Well, the decoration was handled by Starck after all, it could only be extraordinary. It is a Shelter. Leave the outside world at the door!
The ground floor is particularly festive. On the black-painted ceilings unroll quotes, lyrics, philosophical thoughts in a variety of calligraphy styles and metallic hues. An urban constellation… The restaurant – where you can also enjoy live music and cocktails in the evening – has quite an eclectic collection of funky chairs, vibrant cushions and even superhero or tree trunk stools. Visitors always end up wandering towards the table football near the kitchen. But ask anyone what the best feature of the room is and there will never be a hesitation – the fun inflatable beachballs hanging on the fluorescent lamp tubes!
Same feeling in the upper floors. It’s all in the details. Grey and white for the rooms, with rather fun, luxurious carpets. Comics or cartoon masks – always a hit with the fans who wonder which ones they will find at their next visit. You just have to take a selfie. A few smiles here and there, at the back of a chair, on the toiletries. My room even had a balcony. A long sentence, painted in silver, danced on the walls and the ceiling, intriguing. No bedside lamp – look, the headboard itself lights up! Bonus points for the microwave, which proved handy. And for the giant Mikado game which brought sunshine to a rather cold and rainy afternoon. I never even considered I may have had neighbours – it just felt like home. I only realised the following day at breakfast. Quite a feast by the way – hot dishes, charcuterie, cheese, yogurts, cereals, freshly pressed juice, real hot chocolate, crepes Suzettes and brioche marbled with praline rose, the local sweet. Oh, to have enough appetite to try everything!
The secret to happiness, Mama Shelter style? You do not need to be a grown up here…
♥ Mama Shelter Lyon ♥