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18 AUGUST 2023

Celebrating 15 years of Mama Shelter… and new locations to come

Mama Shelter has been on a global journey, starting from the first hotel in Paris which opened on 5th September 2008, to an international expansion comprising a current collection of 17 hotels.


Founded by Serge Trigano and his two sons, Jérémie and Benjamin, the family have pursued their passion for hospitality and paved their way to success by creating distinctive urban hotels around the globe.

Serge Trigano: The Founder.
The Trigano trio had a bold idea: to open urban hotels, true living spaces, places of diversity, encounters and celebrations. They aimed to bring together under one roof affordable rooms, excellent dining, bars and distinctive features: five-star quality bedding and sheets, excellent showers, foosball tables, cheerful, original and quirky decor. All of this in a joyful, cool atmosphere, with welcoming and smiling staff, and impeccable service.

“We wanted to establish ourselves in beloved neighbourhoods with a story to tell. We hoped that through the restaurants open to non-residents, locals would embrace Mama Shelter, and travellers would feel the city’s vibe and heartbeat,” says Serge Trigano.

The adventure began on Bagnolet Street in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, in a location that previously served as a parking lot. Mama Shelter Paris East quickly became the headquarters for the thirties of Belleville, Père Lachaise, and Buttes Chaumont – essentially the Right Bank – and also attracted business travellers, families and groups of tourists. With rooms starting at €70, Michelin-starred menus at €25, quality pizzas, burgers, brunches, and activities for both adults and children, it became a beloved destination. This was the first of an enchanting lineage for the welcoming brand, in harmony with its name. “Mama because a mother is the first woman we love and will love for our entire lives – the woman who loves you, pampers you, protects you and feeds you. Shelter, in English, means refuge, a sanctuary that envelops and welcomes you,” Trigano explains.

At 77 years old, Trigano’s passion for his urban “babies” remains as strong as ever. He personally tests and inaugurates each hotel, welcoming the staff, encouraging them and thanking everyone who contributed to its creation. “In my wildest dreams, I never imagined putting the name Mama Shelter on historic monument buildings,” Serge Trigano comments. “Rennes and Dijon, our two latest additions, are located in remarkable buildings in the heart of these two capital cities of their regions, Brittany and Burgundy.”

Cédric Gobilliard, The Accelerator.
“I am working alongside the Trigano family. It’s a case study, a genuine human relationship, without any interference, a vertical sharing of responsibilities. We are extremely close, bound by the values of Mama Shelter and its authenticity,” Cédric Gobilliard says. As COO of Mama Shelter, he shares the same vision. “My goal is to manage while preserving the Trigano imprint. I am here to protect them and continue developing Mama Shelter – and it’s working.”

Ultimately, Mama Shelter aims to have a portfolio of 50 hotels worldwide, which, according to Gobilliard, would form a cohesive and unique collection. Future openings include:

In 2024:
• Mama Shelter Dubai, scheduled to debut in early 2024, is a highly alluring gem in the desert, boasting 197 rooms and 204 apartments, multiple dining options, a terrace with 4 pools, an outdoor CinéMama, and many other amenities.
• Returning to France, Mama Shelter heads towards the French Riviera for the opening of Mama Shelter Nice in June 2024, located in the central Riquier neighbourhood, just 600 metres away from the legendary Old Port of the city. This vibrant hotel will offer 102 colourful rooms, a restaurant, and a rooftop with a pool.

In the coming years:
• Mama Shelter Medellin, in Colombia, located in the El Poblado district. It will offer 150 rooms, a restaurant, a bar, over 3,000 m2 of coworking space, 500 m2 of meeting rooms, and a rooftop pool.
• Mama Shelter Zurich, featuring 178 rooms in the Oerlikon shopping district. The hotel will include a restaurant, a rooftop area, 550 m2 of meeting rooms, and 3 karaoke rooms.
• Mama Shelter Casablanca, a pioneering lifestyle hotel in Africa with 92 design rooms and 49 apartments. It will have 2 restaurants, including one on the rooftop, 120 m2 of meeting space, and a large 47m pool.
• Mama Shelter Singapore, a boutique hotel located in the heart of Killiney Road, offering 115 rooms, a restaurant, and a rooftop pool.
• Mama Shelter Downtown LA, featuring 149 rooms, including four suites, 2 festive restaurants, one on the rooftop, and a coffee shop in the heart of the City of Angels.

Mama Shelter is, above all, a family. “I personally interview all hotel managers because they represent Mama Shelter on-site and embody its values,” says Gobillaird, “Evidence of this: all hotel managers attend each hotel opening. Serge Trigano delivers a deeply sentimental speech, like a father marrying off one of his children. It’s a celebration, a family gathering… a truly remarkable family.”

Benjamin El Doghaïli, The Designer.
Architect, decorator, and head of the Mama Design Studio, Benjamin El Doghaïli is now responsible for designing all the hotels. “I have the immense privilege of being chosen by the Trigano family to succeed Jalil Amor, the first head of the studio. They were daring to entrust me, a 32-year-old, with this responsibility,” recalls El Doghaïli, “Since the opening of my first project, Mama Shelter Rome, two years ago, I have been involved in each new project. I love playfulness, intricacy, artists, and drawings, and I design each hotel to retain its personality and style as it ages, always reflecting the soul of the city and the neighbourhood where it is located – it’s essential.”

Benjamin acknowledges the opportunity to develop new materials, collaborate with graphic designers, companies, and local artists capable of crafting custom pieces for Mama Shelter. “70% of the decoration is exclusive, born from my designs, while 30% comes from external sources like Pierre Frey, who creates custom pieces for each Mama. Today, on my construction sites, I take more into account the customer experience and the specificities of each region and country.” He shares two simple and illustrative examples, “In Rennes, inspired by the Odorico brothers, Italian artists who settled in Brittany and adorned numerous buildings with Art Deco ceramic works, I designed a counter in their style featuring a frieze of sausage and pancake galettes made of ceramic tiles. In Dijon, with the collaboration of artists, I recreated the polychrome tile roofs and the undulating vineyards nearby. I do the same in Dubai, Medellin, and everywhere else. Nothing repetitive or smooth, but always in the Art de Vivre, joyful spirit that characterises Mama Shelter.”

With its strengths, identity, and differences, supported by Ennismore’s teams, Mama Shelter is writing a new chapter in its history, the chapter of its presence on five continents: Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa.

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