As hipster favored hotel brands go, Mama Shelter is slightly outpacing the Ace in terms of methodical expansion. Indeed, both have opened ten, but the former has two more on the way before year’s end.
Its 10th has just opened this week, in a city that is currently one of our absolute faves. In fact, we recently made our second visit to Lille, France, for the dynamic Lille3000 art festival, and honestly can’t wait to get back. The city itself is located north enough to share an aesthetic with the Flemish half of Belgium (though it’s just an hour from Paris by TGV), and so tends to drink more beer than wine, for one. But its cultural cred has also been growing exponentially.
Mama Shelter Lille is tucked away down a quiet cul-de-sac, but just a moment’s stroll from the buzz of Vieux Lille (the oldest and busiest part of the city) and the Euralille railway station. It bears all the playful, exceedingly socially disposed hallmarks of the brand: a wildly designed restaurant, complete with communal table and international cool-kid menu (impressively created in collaboration with many-Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy), a sprawling outdoor terrace, rentable ateliers – should creative inspiration tend to strike you in sudden, spontaneous bursts – and a 46-seat theatre for screening the latest French indie cinematic masterpieces.
Jalil Amor’s charmingly audacious design extends to the 112 bedrooms, which are small but tech’d-out, with a sort of rustic-chic vibe, set off by boldly patterned carpets, and quirky furnishings. Special little touches include in-room chess sets and branded MAMA SKIN organic toiletries.
Opened in April, Lille3000 will actually continue on through early November, making the city an imperative side trip on your next visit to Paris – where the new Mama Shelter Paris West will also be debuting this autumn.