A French brand adapts to the California lifestyle.
It’s a story that could only happen in Los Angeles: a 1920s hotel plays host to the stars, from Ava Gardner to Jimi Hendrix; is later repurposed as offices for the Church of Scientology; and finally falls into the hands of the Trigano family—a clan famous for cofounding Club Med. Couple this colorful background with an unpredictable aesthetic, and Mama Shelter is the idiosyncratic result. The Los Angeles outpost is the brand’s first stateside hotel, with interiors designed by Philippe Starck’s protégée, Thierry Gaugain. The French designer has given the property a bold bohemian vibe, which is even more pronounced than in Mama Shelter’s European incarnations. Keith Richard’s biography sits next to the Bible in each of the 70 rooms, along with a movie script from a Hollywood film. Bert-and-Ernie-style headlamps adorn headboards, and Mexican blankets are slung over modish wooden seating. Despite the throwback references, in-room technology is thoroughly up-to-date. Abodes come with 27-inch iMacs, which double as TVs. But entertainment is even better in the hotel’s shared spaces, such as the restaurant and rooftop bar, where guests can enjoy pitchers of draft beer and foosball matches or sophisticated retro cocktails and a glittering sunset. Think of it as the hotel equivalent of a Tinseltown-made PG-13 movie: sexy, attention-grabbing, and irresistible.