Promising to honour the city’s artistic heritage, the décor of Mama Shelter Nice is inspired by the work of legendary painters. Rose Dykins reports

In June 2024, Mama Shelter will launch a hotel in Nice – the brand’s 11th location in France, and 18th worldwide.

Located on the Côte d’Azur, in Nice’s up-and-coming Riquier district, adjacent to the Old Port and close to the city’s historic centre, the property will have 102 rooms.

There will also be a rooftop with a pool, a bar and pizza counter and a restaurant, as well as two workshops, two studios and a breakroom.Mama Shelter NiceMama Shelter Nice will occupy three buildings, including one from the early 20th century with a preserved façade.

Cédric Gobilliard, general manager of Mama Shelter, says: “Nice and its neighbourhoods are ever-evolving, and are attracting young people and families more than ever. Our latest addition in France, the 11th Mama, will settle in this welcoming city where conviviality and creativity reign. Mama Shelter Nice“Within its walls, Mama Shelter Nice will tell both the ancient and contemporary story of the city – an inspiring story rich in flavours, maritime essence and artistry.”

Embracing Nice’s artistic heritage, Benjamin El Doghaïli, architect and head of the Mama Shelter design studio, has drawn inspiration for the hotel’s design from the works of painters who settled in the city.

Mama Shelter Nice’s look pays homage to the palettes, motifs, subjects, and collages of Matisse, Braque’s birds, and Picasso’s ceramics from the Vallauris period.Mama Shelter NiceOn the white walls of the lobby, hand-painted frescoes inspired by these artists will be illuminated by large mirrors alongside giant hangings by artist Kate Mary. The hotel’s carpets are being designed by artist Laureline Galliot, and celebrate pointillism, the technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of colour are applied in patterns to form an image.

Meanwhile, Mama Shelter’s iconic cartoon masks will hang on bedside table lamps, as they do across all of its hotels.Mama Shelter NiceMama Shelter NiceThroughout the property, vibrant hues of saffron yellow, red ochre, ultramarine blue and Nice olive green will be paired with with the smeared palettes of impressionist painters.

In collaboration with artists and artisans such as Lola Mercier and Beniloys, bouquets of Mediterranean fruits, vegetables and flowers – including lavender, sunflower and wheat poppy – will adorn the top of columns, evolving with the seasons, in the style of a Van Gogh still life. At the centre of the restaurant at Mama Shelter Nice, an olive wood is set upon terracotta tiles, while suspended luminous sculptures inspired by festive street lights lighten up the room.

Between the hotel’s buildings, there will be a verdant patio and flowered alleyway covered by a retractable glass roof. Meanwhile, the rooftop of Mama Shelter Nice will be home to a showstopping mosaic swimming pool with wicker screens, lounge chairs and a bar.Mama Shelter NiceThe large ground-floor restaurant will feature an open kitchen, slanted mirrors, cast iron columns adorned with frescoes where communal tables fill the space and create a convivial, friendly, laid-back atmosphere.

For lunch and dinner, guests can enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired Mama Menu – from sharing platters to salads – or opt for the daily special. There will be a breakfast buffet, and brunch options on Sundays.Mama Shelter NiceAt the rooftop restaurant, meats, fish, and vegetables will be prepared on a Big Green Egg barbecue, or  grilled in a Josper charcoal oven, while pizzas from the pizza oven are served by the slice.

The functional yet playful “ateliers” at Mama Shelter Nice will provide a space for seminars, product launches, meetings and events. The team at Mama Shelter Nice are on hand to co-ordinate activities, offer event support and organise customised aperitifs, lunches, and cocktails.Mama Shelter NiceAs well as welcoming renowned artists, Nice is a student city, with its universities and prestigious schools transforming its abandoned warehouses into art galleries, restaurants and bars overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The city’s  annual carnival is the most important winter event on the Côte d’Azur – a two-week celebration bringing the city of Nice to life with themed parades, art troupes and musical groups. In June 2025, ahead of the United Nations Ocean Summit, the carnival’s theme will surround the Sea and Oceans at the Port of Nice.

Serge Trigano, who founded the Mama Shelter hotel collection, says: “It was only natural that one day Mama would land in Nice. With enthusiasm and passion. Mama Shelter Nice is both a refuge for happy vacationers and passing nomads delighted to savour the sweetness and art of living in this beautiful city. But it is also for the people of Nice. Welcoming the residents of cities where Mama settles is one of its reasons for being.”