From free porn to bespoke mustard, the Mama Shelter Dijon puts novelty and French culture at the centre of its approach to hotel design and guest experience. Nick Hendry reports

Opened in July 2023, and located in the capital city of the historical Burgundy region in eastern France, the Mama Shelter Dijon hotel has a 28-seat cinema for private screenings, two karaoke rooms, a wine library and a traditional pétanque pitch.

Dijon is located around 90 minutes by train from Paris, and is surrounded by countryside famous for producing fine wine, Kir blackcurrant cordial, and the mustard named after the city. In celebration of the latter, Mama Shelter Dijon has collaborated with local artisans Edmond Fallot to create a version of the condiment exclusively for sale at the hotel.Mama Shelter DijonMama Shelter Dijon has 120 rooms, branded from “Medium” (16 sqm-20 sqm) to “XXL” (35 sqm-62 sqm). Quirky features include organic solid shampoo bars, TVs loaded with free movies (including porn) and Tweetie Pie bedside lamps. Dogs and cats are also welcome but at an additional charge of €25.Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter DijonThere is also a patio bar and 202-seat restaurant serving local classic dishes such as Burgundian snail shells with parsley; pig terrine; cheese boards; “knife sausage with strong juice”; beef tartar with 3 Edmond Fallot mustards; and Coquillettes “MAMA’s style,” Mostoles ham, and organic soft-boiled egg.Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter DijonResponsibility for the aesthetic of the hotel fell to Benjamin El Doghaïli, lead architect of the Mama Shelter design studio. A listed, brutalist-style building from the 1960s, once home to insurance offices, has been transformed to match the brand ethos of Mama Shelter.

“My aim was to capture the Burgundian landscape and invite it into the walls of Mama,” says El Doghaïli. The carpets throughout the property have been designed to pay tribute to the vineyards of Burgundy, while the patterns and colours on the caning on the headboards reflect the glazed ceilings found around Dijon.

“This Mama is a spoiled child, playful, adorned with warm colours, terra cotta, powder pink, and green. Each of its rooms and suites is distinguished, for the first time at Mama, by separate toilets, Tom Dixon basins, large showers and, in some cases, baths.

“Further details that affirm its personality include: a charming bench, a desk with a chessboard-shaped top that can be removed to play… even in bed. But above all, they are flooded with natural light, generous, magical, which ennobles every corner, gives relief and depth, even to the concrete.”Mama Shelter Dijon Mama Shelter DijonDijon is the latest city to be home to a Mama Shelter hotel, with Dubai and Nice due to follow in 2024.

Serge Trigano, co-founder of Mama Shelter, says: “For almost 15 years, Mama Shelter has worked to anticipate its enthusiasts’ desires for discovery, encounters and happiness. Even more so after a pandemic that has turned the world upside down, shaken up our way of life, thinking and working, Mama has been ahead of society’s evolution, understanding the desire to see elsewhere, by setting up in towns, in regions, renowned for their gentle way of life, their traditions, their better ways of living together.”