Bringing with it Mama Shelter’s first ever ‘Mama Skin Spa’, and Rennes’ first rooftop bar – slated for March 2023, Mama Shelter have announced their 17th hotel will be opening in Rennes, the French city where modernism and tradition meet. Here’s what we know…
Staying true to brand, Mama Shelter always seeks to open in cities and neighbourhoods that are on the rise, and Mama Shelter Rennes is writing a new chapter without overshadowing the previous ones. The hotel welcomes locals as well as visitors from abroad, and is ideally located in the centre of a square where passers-by can stroll and wander in. In this square, guests can enjoy the cocktail bar, the lounges and food shops, including a restaurant that are all
retailers independent of Mama Shelter. A natural extension of the city and a new district in the historic centre, city dwellers here can stock up on exceptional products or enjoy F&B offerings with the hotel’s guests, all in the confines of a friendly town square.
“At Mama Shelter in Rennes, our teams have successfully met two challenges: to establish a contemporary hotel in a renovated historic complex, many parts of which come under the Bâtiments de France jurisdiction,” commented Serge Trigano, Co-Founder & President. “We also wanted to soak up traditions in this region of Brittany, with its strong personality and highly sophisticated culture. Having completed the work, we are now looking forward to sharing Mama’s festive spirit with the people of Rennes and all those who love Brittany. To invite them to experience and feel the city, in its restaurants and bars, which subtly tell its story. We’re also looking forward to welcoming fans of Mama’s in the heart and soul of Rennes.”
Benjamin El Doghaïli, architect and head of the Mama Shelter design studio, has embraced Rennes’ vibrant heritage and designed the hotel to be at one with its environment. The 119 guestrooms vary in sizes and shapes, with some nestled under the roofing, and some carrying old mouldings and a fireplace. The bathrooms are timeless, with large black and white striped tiles, a large space for toiletries and organic beauty products from the Mama Skin range.
El Doghaïli, in this former banking property where currency was once minted, has drawn on the vibrant local culture.
The lobby is home to a large rounded counter adorned in a mosaic frieze of buckwheat pancakes, a classic delicacy of the area, in the Odorico brothers’ style, with salted-butter-caramel coloured walls. In the large brasserie restaurant offering beautiful views over the city, upholstered benches with a custom-made fabric evoke the popular saying ‘Vouloir le beurre et l’argent du beurre’ – meaning ‘to have one’s cake and eat it’.
One of the ground floor lounges is decorated entirely in pink and embellished with lobsters, mussels, seaweed and oysters, to evoke the delicacy of local seafood platters. Jumbo-sized Chinese umbrellas showcase the umbrellas mixologists decorate cocktails with, as a reminder that the Breton people are travellers at heart. The pattern on the carpet along the corridors represent the lace of the Bigouden headdresses, the stoat of the flag of Brittany, and the wolf, the fox and the weasel of a medieval song of Burgundy origin.
Guests can enjoy the rooftop with sweeping views of the city. The rooftop, a novelty in Rennes, provides an incredible view of the city’s well-tempered character, bourgeois 19th century buildings, ramshackle 16th century houses, and towers built just like the tapered bell towers of its churches. In the basement, several colourful karaoke rooms will be available to hire for groups.
Another highlight is the swimming pool, with disabled accessibility, a hammam and a sauna and a Mama Skin Spa – a first for Mama Shelter – a boudoir nestled under stone vaults. Absolution, a French organic cosmetics house, has partnered with Ho Karan, a Breton cosmetics brand renowned for its hemp-based treatments to offer various relaxing treatments.
Main image credit: Mama Shelter