With quirky interiors, indoor gardens and a warm welcome, the luxury French establishment of Mama Shelter has had an East London makeover.
437 Hackney Road
If there’s one thing you can say about East London hotels, it’s expect the unexpected. When french hotel chain Mama Shelter announced that the location of its next opening would be the trendy Bethnal Green, the commercial brand and the coolest area of the capital seemed like an unlikely pairing.
However, the love child of the distinctly different cultures is an excitingly hip addition to East London; known for it’s antiquated and historical establishments. Instead, Mama Shelter opts for an amazingly chic exterior and a vibe that could rival the coolest European hostel.
"Its cartoon inspired-interiors and eclectic design giving a grown-up hostel vibe."
Responsible for many of the interior elements are Parisian designers Dion & Arles, whose design is said to inspire the comforts of the home. For instance, a hot drink stand reminiscent of days gone by is open to locals each morning, a special touch that brings the institution face to face with the local community. Dubbed Mama’s Kiss, the stand offers coffee and croissants to passers-by, hinting at the warm welcome you can expect when you enter.
Intimate rooms start from £79 per night, but don’t be fooled; no luxury is spared in the modern establishment, with wonderfully designed homely rooms that echo the wackiness of their lobby and bar area.
The bar area in itself is completely mad, but an utter delight. With mismatched lamps, a clash of colours and a disco dance-floor a couple of paces away from their luxury restaurant; you’d be forgiven for thinking that the designer of the ground floor made its blueprints after an inspired dream.
The ground floor consists of an open-plan restaurant and bar area, with its cartoon inspired-interiors and eclectic design giving a grown-up hostel vibe.
Mama Shelter also has a trick or two up their (or her) sleeve. Hidden behind bookshelves that house porcelain jaguars, old books and Victorian lampshades, lies one of our favourite of the not-so-secret areas of the hotel. Boxed completely in modern glass, the secret garden room is the perfect date and drinks spot. Surrounded by lush foliage and Mama Shelter’s signature weird and wonderful knick-knacks, the greenhouse-like bar area is an intimate and impressive hideaway from city life. Bring shades in summer to experience it in 360 degree sunshine.
If the indoor garden seems a little too grown-up or chill for you, Mama Shelter also offers the typical hostel experience a stylish reiteration of something that everyone has experienced when travelling: the karaoke bar. Available to rent at just £9 a head; the rooms take their inspiration from the traditional Japanese karaoke scene, perfect for a personal or work party.
In the walls of Bethnal Green’s latest hotel offering, meetings, freelancers and locals mix with its temporary residents; bringing a new lease of life and inspiration for the areas creatives and those passing through the capital. If you want to visit East London and live like a true local, then let Mama Shelter welcome you with open arms.
Words + Images: Hannah Crosbie