Design Destination: Listen to Your Mama and Stay at Mama Shelter LA

Every so often something comes from the other side of the pond that is sheer perfection for those of us in the U.S. We like to dive right in and get that morsel of European flavor here at home. This time it’s not another dessert craze or fashion line, but an aptly named boutique hotel. Say hello to Mama--Mama Shelter Los Angeles.


Quietly tucked away at the corner of Wilcox and Selma in the storied city of Hollywood, “Mama,” as the hotel is so affectionately called is a fun-loving traveler’s paradise. Arrive at the right time and you’re bound to encounter a host of people doing things that make them feel good--laughing, drinking, eating, chatting, playing chess, having photobooth fun. There’s even a foosball table in the lobby, which generates a lot of friendly competition.


Though the lobby space is small, it’s mighty, housing a full restaurant with an open kitchen, a lounging area (in front of a blacked-out fireplace and complete with “love notes” from visitors past and present), a coffee shop (happily brewing LA finest from Intelligentsia), a reception area and an expansive bar, where you’ll find the chess matches happening and folks sipping cocktails with names like “How I Met Your Mother” or  “Mom’s Night Out.”


Mama isn’t shy about what makes “her” great either. It’s the design done by Thierry Gaugain. As soon as you enter, your eyes are drawn to the chalkboard ceilings that are laced with pieces from local artists and messages galore. Think flowers, menus, smurfs with cigarettes and the occasional I heart my mom message is all scattered overhead setting the tone for a no holds barred kind of spot. The lobby mixes bold hues with more subdued tones, but it works. And it places with textures galore--white brick walls, wild rugs, burlap seats, rustic wooden tables and leather seating. With Mama you could say that anything goes.


Take a trip up to your room in a vintage elevator. Once you're let off at your floor and you find your room, you’ll be met with even sweeter style. The guestrooms feature a captivating black and white carpet that’s part stately, part surrealist. As for your sleeping situation, kick back in the crisp white bed that features two quirky lamps on each side. And what makes them quirky are the sequined masks strapped around (these are also sold in the lobby). Snatch off the masks and have some more photo fun. Each room’s television is an iMac with photobooth software for some real fun.


Aside from a photobooth, fresh design and a rain shower, you may find a full copy of the Pulp Fiction script for reading. Because that’s what you’ve always wanted to do and Mama knows it. If not, catch some shows aor enjoy a flick or two because each television is pre-loaded with movies of your choice. When you find yourself feeling like you need to clean up your act, head to the bathroom, perfectly done in farmhouse tile with a backlit mirror and wash up with Absolution SKIN for Mama Shelter (which can also be purchased along with Mama Shelter candles, Sexy Mama kits, books and more).


So when you hear the saying “Mama knows best” around LA just know it’s Mama Shelter that they’re talking about.


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