Lyon: Mama Shelter

This cheeky French chain of value-driven, design-forward hotels owned by Accor exhibits all the comforts of home with less attitude than you’d expect. Designed by Philippe Starck, the 156-room Mama Shelter is one of 13 in the world, including one in both London and LA.

Vibe: “Mama is more than a building; it’s a lifestyle.” True to its word, the hotel is a haven for the young and artistic—and the young-at-hearts—creatives from the worlds of media, music, film, art and design. Created by the same family that invented Club Med in the 1950s, it is atypical to say the least, a dizzying display of design-rich eye candy absolutely everywhere, including the chalkboard ceilings.

Rooms: Simple, straight-forward comfort comes with a whimsical cheekiness in the form of cartoon character masks. White walls, lamps and desks, and neutral flooring is accented with pops of bright orange and lime green in the open closets and fridge nook. Throw in 100% cotton satin sheets and organic bath products, and you’ve got a “bare maximum” situation. The rooms all sport smart TVs: watch free movies on demand as well as regular TV, listen to music, surf the internet, Skype and access the digital concierge. The penthouse terrace includes a ping-pong table.


F&B: The restaurant at Mama Shelter is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, a swirl of colour and light, almost overwhelming. Artful, Asian-inspired cuisine carries through all food menus, with a few French classics thrown in—you’re in the capital of French gastronomy after all. The cocktail list is cool and the wine list is huge, even for France.

Extras: Free of parabens, PEG, phtalates, synthetic perfume and colouring agents, the organic Absolution bath products are certified by Ecocert Greenlife and made in France. “Mama loves you from head to toe.”

Off-Site: The hotel is a 12-minute walk from the Rhône River, just a bit southeast of the centre of Lyon. It is a 10-minute drive to the central quartier of Les Cordeliers and the old city. The Jean Macé Metro station and above-ground rail station are both a five-minute walk away.

Rate: $$

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