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Usually, Mama welcomes us into the world. But in just a few short weeks, we’ll be welcoming a new Mama into the world—Mama Shelter Los Angeles.
We’ve been waiting for Mama to open for quite some time, pretty much since we sniffed out her address last summer (at the corner of Selma and Wilcox in Hollywood proper.) Now, after a few delays, Mama Shelter will be hugging guests tight to her bosom on July 1.
The LA Times recently ran a pre-opening piece on Mama Shelter, focusing on the colorful chalk artwork that adorns the ceiling of the ground floor lobby which packs in an extended bar, a check-in area, a business center, an oversized foosball table, a coffee shop and a small restaurant.
But last week, we were able to walk through the entire property, including the rooftop, with Mama Shelter
papa owner Benjamin Trigano, who in addition to heading up the U.S. expansion of his family’s quirky hotel collection, also owns the M+B Gallery in West Hollywood.
Although he’d never take the credit for it, Trigano completely embodies the spirit of this Mama Shelter—which is art-centric but super casual; innately cool, but extremely friendly; Hollywood, but real Hollywood, not the celebrity kind; and provocative, but a little silly. Indeed, he's pushing forth all of these attributes with a single goal in mind--to have fun.
"It's really about creating a real welcoming environment," Trigano said. "We stress this all the time with our staff, with everybody we work with, we're not trying to be the coolest, we're just trying to be a fun place to hang out and have a good time."
And there will no be shortage of places to have a good time here.
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Like most dreams, we forget about them when we wake up in the morning. So it's understandable that we've forgotten all about the Dream Hollywood Hotel since first hearing about it in 2011. But lo and behold, here's a snapshot of the Dream sequence, er, construction, rising up on Selma Avenue in Hollywood.
When it's all said and done, the hotel should have 182 rooms, spread out over 10 stories. And as you can see from this rendering posted on Curbed.com, there will some sort of rooftop experience as well.
Which means that while you're on top of the Dream, you'll also be able to wave to the people dining and drinking (and working out) on the rooftop at the forthcoming Mama Shelter Los Angeles which is half a block away. (Mama will be opening in a few weeks; stay tuned next week for our sneak peek.)
Also in the neighborhood, just a few small blocks away, will be Thompson Hollywood which was announced the other week. At long last, Hollywood won't just be a trendy branding fad, but instead, it will be a neighborhood you can actually stay in. Cheers to that.
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Voilà! At last, we have a room photo of the forthcoming Mama Shelter Los Angeles located in the heart of Hollywood.
Room rates will start at $139 a night on May 15. Currently, booking is not working on the hotel's website but we expect that to be in action very soon.
The ground floor of the hotel is set to be a free-flowing reception area, lobby, bar and restaurant (from chef Benjamin Bailly of LA hotspots, Petrossian and Fraiche) while upstairs there will be just 70 Thierry Gaugain-designed rooms spread out over six stories, but tricked out with king beds and 27-inch iMacs which will serve as the room TV. As you can see, the rooms are very much like other Mamas, complete with those funky nightstand lampshade masks. (Hello Burt and Ernie!)
Mama Shelter Los Angeles will also have an outdoor rooftop gym which we kinda can't wait to see in action. #workoutselfieoverload
Want to learn more about this Mama? She's already "written" you a "letter." Here it is in full below.
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The site, a block south of the happening Hollywood Boulevard, looked very much like it did in August, except there was some serious filming going on (maybe TV, possibly a movie.) Upon getting closer to the building we could see that significant work has been done on the facade and that serious construction is continuing on the inside.
So progress is indeed happening, but a February opening is laughable. This mama is going to be late! Which is typical of Hollywood stars. Ugh.
However, Mama is looking for some Mama's helpers as evidenced by this jobs posting. Looks like they still need a sales manager and an F&B director. Interested?
You can read more about what this Mama Shelter will be about here.
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Under construction in August.
Mama Shelter Hotels are on a roll right now. First, there came the news that you can bring Mama home with you in the form of skincare products. Then, Accor Hotels acquired a 35 percent stake in the Philippe Starck-designed hotel collection, and within that announcement, we learned that the first U.S. house for Mama, Mama Shelter Los Angeles will open in February 2015. That's just a few months away!
Sadly, there's not much else to report other than the opening date. The hotel is still hiring key positions and it's still under construction. We pray that this will all be finished by February.
In the meantime, we did stumble across this description of the hotel by its developer, Benjamin Trigano in LA Confidential.
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While we wait for Mama Shelter to open in Los Angeles (more on that in a second), some major news came out about the future of the funky brand last week: Accor Hotels, the French mega hotel group, has acquired a roughly 35% stake and is planning on making Mama much bigger.
Mama’s current five locations (Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Istanbul, and Bordeaux) will be joined by another twenty over the next five years. That’s a lot of groovy and affordable hotels to welcome, and the destination list looks very good: New York, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Seoul, Mexico City, Zurich, Lille, Paris round two, and of course, Los Angeles.
Little word so far on specific locations in each of those cities, but we will keep our ear to the ground. First addition will likely be Los Angeles, which we’ll have to be patient for until February 2015 unfortunately. Go here for our snaps of the Wilcox Avenue building in Hollywood from back in August.
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As you know, we like a good cocktail over here at HotelChatter so we’re always on the lookout for the best bevvie to order when we’re hoteling on the road.
Located right in the heart of things, Mama Shelter Bordeaux’s bar is one huge space resembling the basement rec room in your parent’s house when you were growing up but with more technology lying about. Wooden tables and chairs, wooden posts with screens attached to some of them to show off your digital pics, and a long wooden bar the size of Baja California, take up most of the space. The boho crowd is young-ish and, like the bartenders, ready to have fun. There’s a DJ on hand every Friday and Saturday night.
We had the Mama Tai for €14 ($18), which included rum, Cointreau, lime juice, sirop d’orgeat, and had a luscious black cherry garnish. Now, you can sip on that cocktail in the newly-opened rooftop bar/restaurant.
It looks like Mama Shelter's offbeat design and budgety prices have worked well enough in Paris to warrant an expansion. Mama Shelter Marseille will be opening on April 12 with 127 rooms starting at 69 Euros a night.
From what we can gather, the concept in this city by the sea will be very much like the Parisian original. Once again, designs in the casual common area will have the touch of Philippe Starck while up in the guest rooms you will find 27" iMac TVs, satin cotton sheets, free WiFi and those eerie nightstand masks.
Details on the website are scant and there aren't any photos up yet but there will be also be a Mama Shelter restaurant downstairs with food by Alain Senderens. If Mama's house in Marseille is anything like Paris, expect DJs at night, live music on the weekends and fingers crossed, a geeky cool iMac photobooth.
For our review of the original Mama, go HERE!]
[Photo: think moto/Flickr]