When I was looking into my Paris trip, Mama Shelter was recommended to me by multiple tweeps so I knew that I was in for something cool. And by cool I mean seriously hipster. Mama Shelter specialises in the concrete and black carpet look that just screams ‘I have a beard, bow tie and always pack my air drums’. I will start this by saying that I got a press rate when I stayed at Mama Shelter, which was roughly equivalent to getting free upgrade from a Mama to a Mama Luxe. As always my opinions are my own which you will gather as you read on and discover I threw a lime at a waiter. Oops.
When I arrived I thought that the receptionist was just being super friendly because she knew I was a blogger (these thing happen), she gave me a quick tour of the restaurant, sang the praises of the Sunday brunch and then helped me work the lift (you needed ninja like reflexes to get your card in and out). But when I was wandering through reception later on this seemed to be how they treated all guests. Very unusual in any big city to get this level of chilled out perkiness in a hotel check-in team, but lovely to see.
They won my heart forever when I walked into my room and saw Clark Kent and Darth Vader masks just to make my selfies more interesting when taking them on the iMac strategically placed on the wall. Biggest perk of travelling alone? No one to question you when you spend half an hour jumping on your bed in a Clark Kent mask pretending to fly. Sometimes you just have to do these things.
Anyway back to the rooms. The darkness was cool and all but more suited to a bat cave than a hotel room because it was seriously painful for getting ready. I was taking the chance of wearing bright lipstick while in Paris and I needed a seriously good light to colour within the lines, cue awkwardly smudgy lipstick. But the bat cave was super snuggly when I packed it in at 4:30pm on Saturday night and decided to eat treats and watch movies. Oh yeah, that fancy iMac has oodles of free movies. So as the young party animal that I am I watched Pitch Perfect, Silver Linings Playbook, Star Trek (the one with Sherlock), and The Worlds End. Exactly the sort of cultural fodder that you can expect in Paris.
The lime throwing incident… yes. I was so shattered the night I arrived that I just wanted to eat in the Mama Shelter restaurant. I had been told earlier that since it was just me I would be able to eat at the bar without a reservation, so I rocked in got sat at the bar and…waited. And waited. And waited. It was 20 minutes of me watching the bartenders serve other people, clean glasses and chat. I was so angry that I flicked a lime wedge that was next to me. What I didn’t realise was just how much of a violent lime flicker I am…what I intended to be a one inch flick was actually an Olympic quality citrus of death flick that hit one of the bar staff. Mortified does not begin to describe it. But they finally noticed me and brought me a cocktail…so win?
While we are talking food, the breakfast blew my mind. Normally in France you can expect a full on European breakfast; cold meat and cheese, bread and some cereals. Mama Shelter had ALL THE FOOD. There was bacon, eggs, cold meats, breads, pastries, a few types of fruit salad, coffee on tap or special order. It was amazing. The only difference between the Mama Shelter breakfast and what you would see in an American hotel was no pancakes, but with all the pastries on offer they were really not missed.
If you are unfamiliar with Paris Mama Shelter looks like it is not in the centre of town, but it has three metro stops just a short walk away so as a weekender its perfect. For the extra win there is a late night supermarche just down the road, and the best patisserie I have been to on the opposite corner. I mean, what more do you want?
And the best bit about Mama Shelter (ok this might sound a bit weird), the shower. It was one of those rain showers, the ones that never quite live up to expectations. Honestly I have tried them in a few hotels and they are always just like a normal shower without the added bonus of directionality. But this beast, holy shit it was amazing. Like standing in a full tropical rain storm. I wasn’t planning on washing my hair (curls are a flipping nightmare on holiday) but that shower made me go out and BUY shampoo in Paris…it was that good.
The verdict? If it weren’t for the bartenders (again, sorry about the lime) and if it had a few more lights in the rooms it would be close to the perfect Paris hotel. I really recommend it for a weekender in the magical city that is Paris.