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Sunday 27 September 2015

So you want to explore Bordeaux on a budget. Meet Mama Shelter.

So you want to explore Bordeaux on a budget. You are over hostels and don't want to splash out on five-star accommodation but want somewhere clean, central and with a funky attitude. 

Let me introduce you to Mama Shelter Bordeaux, one of a small niche chain of hotels that comes with plenty of attitude. Hipsters will feel very much at home. 

Don't expect huge rooms and 24-hour room service, but do expect the unexpected as the decor, as with all Mama Shelter properties, is done by renowned French designer Philippe Starck.

Right in centre of Bordeaux's pedestrian zone, and just a few steps from the Gambetta tram stop, this hip hotel (guests with tattoos and facial piercings will feel just as at home as family groups) is within walking distance of most of Bordeaux's attractions. 

The modern rooms feature desks, minibars and free wifi, as well as complimentary iMacs offering TV, radio, Skype and free movies on demand. There are sitting areas in larger rooms (pictured above) but you won't get these for the entry price of 69 Euros (around $110), although prices fluctuate according to demand. The chain is now part-owned by the Accor group.   

There’s a lively restaurant with good buffet breakfasts, a pizzeria and a seasonal rooftop bar with city views. There are free computers in the lobby and a huge game of table football for use by guests (one of the teams is painted in the colours of the local Girondins de Bordeaux team). 

One of the strengths of Mama Shelter, which started with one hotel in a disused parking garage in Paris but now extends to Marseille, Lyon and Bordeaux as well as Istanbul and Los Angeles, is the beds. They are extremely comfortable. 

I also particularly like the lobby shops, which sells everything from the essential (like toothbrushes and toothpaste) to the quirkily ephemeral (think toys no one would ever need) and the range of packages, which include deals offering everything from a bag of popcorn to a bottle of Champagne.

The restaurant menu features share plates and the likes of black sesame crust tuna with roasted hazelnuts  or veal al limone, and most mains weigh in at under 20 Euros. Pizzas start from 9 Euros.

Near the lobby is a Digital Concierge - touch the screen and start browsing. Service, meanwhile, can be described as "cool" or "icy" depending on your take. Whatever you do don't try to check in early. 

Mama Shelter Bordeaux, 19 Rue Poquelin Molière, 33000 Bordeaux. 

# The writer was a guest of Mama Shelter 


1 comment:

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