You won’t believe it, but it’s in Hollywood. You still won’t believe it’s from the same family who created Club Med.
Mama Shelter, a new hotel just blocks from the trappings of the Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, doesn’t look like it belongs in this pocket. Cornered in a district that L.A. once labeled as blight, you can’t miss it—the six story, all-white building cleans an otherwise gritty street view.
And it works. While the neighborhood heaves with shops touting plastic souvenirs, and where pedestrians—few local—brandish selfie sticks, Mama Shelter is a refreshing zeitgeist; a purveyor of riff amongst riffraff.
Inside, low ceilings marked with illustrations by Angeleno artists remind guests they’re in a city with a colorful imagination; down the middle, a svelte marble bar encourages everyone to stick around to see it in action. It’s clear that you’re welcome to hang at Mama Shelter—at times, you’ll get the feeling that you’re in a hometown friend’s basement party that’s been curated with the best of retro finds: a large foosball table, gum-ball machines, and Mexican blankets, all in balance with contemporary touches.
You’ll find the right amount of contemporary clutter in each room, too. Oversized motifs pattern the floor, balanced by the brazenly black ceiling; the safe wastes no space, doubling as a bedside table. There’s quirk, too, with a well-controlled kitsch: cartoon masks cover the lampshades, traditional stationary rests on the desk (almost too normal, but appropriately old school when it’s paired with its adjacent iMac), and the lighting is set on brilliance, often in bright hues reminiscent of Dan Flavin. And the best part might just be its roof, which just opened up to a view of the Hollywood Hills (and yes, that infamous sign), offering fresh air, and a signature touch of whimsy.
The 70-room hotel was designed by Thierry Gaugain alongside the Trigano family (the same clan behind Club Med, as well as Mama Shelter’s international locations, which started in Paris).
Benjamin, one of two Trigano brothers, has lived in L.A. for over a decade and helms the local M+B Gallery you’ll see his influence in the property’s contemporary installations.