Philippe Starck, urban eccentricity and Batman masks are just some of the big ideas behind the new Mama Shelter hotel.
Think Istanbul, and think of an historic melting pot of a city situated on the fault line where East meets West (see Tom Barber's Istanbul travel guide). So where better to build a design hotel billed as an ‘urban bazaar’, a place which answers to the ‘deep desire of creating links between people for a pacified humanity’?
If all this concept-hotel talk sounds a bit too figurative, then here’s what it translates into: Mama Istanbul has got the quirky-urban thing down. Shunning all the trappings of luxury boutiques to give you something with a bit more hip-factor, its whitewashed rooms are adorned with kitsch talking points like graffiti strewn rugs and the occasional pop-culture icon. This kooky vibe extends all the way down to the bar and dining room, which serves Franco-Turkish cuisine and is decked out with inflatable swimming rings and a chalkboard ceiling.
Mama Istanbul's arrival follows hot on the heels of 2008’s Mama Paris opening, and is backed by the hotelier triumvirate of Philippe Starck, philosopher Cyril Aouizerate, and Club Med co-founders the Trigano family. And set in the old European district of Beyoglu, an area buzzing with regeneration, it’ll put you at the beating heart of modern day Istanbul.
mamashelter.com – rooms available from €69, opens March 1.
Words by Stephanie Soh