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Mob Hotels

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Checking In: MOB Hotel Paris, where it all started

768 512 Hamish Kilburn

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Checking In: MOB Hotel Paris, where it all started

On the doorstep of Paris’ infamous flea market, MOB Hotel Paris – the original MOB – is designed ‘for the people’. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to see where the MOB Hotels story started…

In order to understand MOB Hotels’ style, ethos and energy you must first, in my opinion, meet the man behind the brand.

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Cyril Aouizerate, the CEO of MOB Hotels, is a gentleman who eats, sleeps and breathes MOB Hotels, which he created last year and believes that a great hotel is designed around great people. “My desire to was create movement,” he told me when describing the brand’s origins. “My objective is to use the hotels in our portfolio to create a new vision in the world that a hotel is more than just a bed for the night. That is why, for me, understanding the culture of each of our hotel’s location is so important.” That movement started in Paris and has since moved into Lyon as well as there being plans for a 2020 opening in Washington D.C.

Hidden among red and orange buildings, the entrance to the 92-key MOB Hotel Paris is surprisingly understated and worlds away from the stereotypical view of postcard Paris. Instead being among of chic neighborhood of shops and cafes, the hotel is in the heart of an urban adventure, located just south of the Saint Ouen, north of the city centre. It’s not immediately obvious that the two buildings, which were disused telecom factories only a few years ago, would shelter a quirky design-led boutique hotel. But expecting the unexpected is something that all guests should prepare when joining the MOB way of thinking.

Much like the Flea Market that borders the property, the architecture firm BBC Architecte created MOB Hotel Paris around the raw energy and creativity of the brand. The lobby inside is complete with wooden trunks as pod-like reception desks and very wears a bohemian personality. Simple yet productive, the space is a relatively empty shell that is curated only with stylish pop-up-store merchandise.

Image credit: Mob Hotels

The first real indication of Aouizerate’s unravelled creative mind comes when walking through the lobby and into the open-planned, lounge-like restaurant. With interiors by Kristian Gavoille et Valérie Garcia, the walls tell a story of comedy with fruits and vegetables being personified and remembered with plaques – my personal favourite among them being “R.I.P Mister Eggplant, who died for Baba Ganouche.” Furthermore, the large curtains that separate the restaurant from the conservatory, at first, look like they are printed references of The Last Supper. However, on closer inspection, all is not what it first seems. Famous faces in both the design world, from the likes of Philippe Starck, and significant figures in popular culture, such as Barak Obama, have been printed on the fabrics to add character and offer a further reference to Aouizerate’s involvement in the design process and decisions.

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Image credit: Aldo Paredes

Upstairs and although the comedy is softened, the style of each guestrooms is equally as edgy while also remaining thoughtful to the needs and requirements of guests checking in. In the bathrooms, which are tastefully positioned without creating too many unnecessary barriers, include Duravit fittings, Geberit WCs and Villeroy & Boch showers. Although the mustard yellow carpets and peachy pink walls in the guestrooms may not be to everyone’s taste, the unique headboards that are made to reference theatre stage curtains cannot be ignored as a quirky and unique feature to entice guests to tell their own narrative.

Complete with a Fatboy beanbag, low-level furniture from IKEA and mobile spotlight lighting, the guestrooms are idiosyncratic to say the least, but also balance within them a sense of play and can adapted to suit the needs of whoever is checking in. With a strong message to bring guests together, there are deliberately no TVs in each of the rooms, but projectors and iPads can be provided on request.

Sneak peak into the bathroom

Image credit: Mob Hotels

The dictionary definition of mob is “a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence.” Although the brand isn’t planning on causing any violence or trouble, it certainly is ready to cause a scene. With plans for the brand to broaden out as far as Washington D.C., the Paris MOB is also expanding. Just down the road, the skeleton of a new kind of MOB is taking form. MOB House, which is expected to open in January 2020, will pride itself on a sheltering a different style. The hotel’s interiors are being imagined by non-other than award-winning designer and long-term friend of Mob Hotels, Phillipe Starck.

Other suppliers

Furniture in the restaurant: Tonet/Drucker
Outdoor furniture: Fermob
Furniture in guestroom: Fatboy/Sempre

Main image credit: Aldo Paredes

Top stories of the week: MOB talks, Brit List countdown and celebrating Manchester’s decadent playground

Hamish Kilburn

With less than a week until interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers descend on BEAT London for The Brit List 2018, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down the top five stories of the week… 

There seems to be a lot of uncertainty in the air at the moment – mainly around the political situation in the UK. While the nation performs the political ‘Hokey Cokey’, Hotel Designs has been busy speaking to interior designers, hotel groups and architects on why Britain strongly remains a major international design hub. Celebrating Britain as wonderful incubator of ideas, we are counting down to our most anticipated event this year, The Brit List 2018. There are very limited spaces left, so if you would like to purchase your ticket to network with the industry’s leading designers, hoteliers and architects, click here. I look forward to welcoming you to the climax of our nationwide search to find the hotel design influencers in Britain today. Until then, though, here are the top five stories of the week.

1) Interactive hotel review: Checking in to Hotel Gotham, Manchester’s decadent playground

As Manchester continues to turn heads on the hotel design scene, I checked in to check out Hotel Gotham’s bold and decadent interiors – all sheltered within a former bank.

Ever since its bold entrance onto the unapologetically loud Manchester scene in 2015, Hotel Gotham’s alluring charm has tantalised many senses of those who have passed through its spectacularly framed automatic doors. I, for one, am one of them, and I hold my hands up proudly to say that I have formed a lust for decadence and luxury since checking in.

2) The Brit List 2018: One week to go

In seven days time, the UK’s leading designers, hoteliers and architects will gather at BEAT London for what is being dubbed the ‘after-party of SLEEP + EAT’ for a networking event like no other.

With just seven days until The Brit List 2018 is unveiled and the winners of the six newly launched events are announced, time for designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers to purchase their tickets to meet up with the UK’s leading influencers in international hotel design is running out.

3) MOB HOTEL speaks to Hotel Designs about expansion plans in Europe and the US

The hotel group, which launched last year with two properties, has announced large plans to expand its lifestyle portfolio in Europe and the US with a Washington hotel in the pipeline. I sat down with the CEO, Cyril Aouizerate, to find out more.

I predict a riot, at least in the hotel scene anyway. Since launching in November of last year, MOB HOTEL has started a revolution, proving that the centre of a city’s action does not have to neccessarily be geographically pinned in the centre of the city. The lifestyle brand has turned up the volume – and thrown in a bit of colour – in the mid-market sector with two quirky hotels; one located in a Paris Flea Market, the other situated riverside in Lyon.

4) IHG opens first voco on Australia’s Gold Coast

Following the exclusive unveiling of the new branding just five months agoInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the first hotel globally for its new upscale hotel brand: voco™. Owned by Australian property investment firm SB&G Group and located on the shores of the Gold Coast, voco™ Gold Coast is now open for guests to soak up the sun, sand and sea in Australia’s beloved Surfers Paradise.

voco™, inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, will combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. The public spaces of voco™ Gold Coast emphasise this social element, fittingly named Social House Café, which collectively houses a bar and lounge within the venue, offering a space for everyone.

5) Overcoming Grade II listed challenges to create £1.8m boutique hotel

Two derelict office buildings in Leicester – adjacent to the site of the car park where King Richard III’s remains were discovered in 2015 – have been converted into the 28-key boutique hotel, St Martins Lodge, which has just opened.

Building Services Design (BSD) provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for the Grade II listed Georgian buildings, with many of the original features being retained –including the hallway, with its chandelier and staircase.

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