Finding an affordable hotel in L.A. might be the only thing harder than finding a parking spot. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with the latter, but for the former, there’s Mama Shelter.
You wouldn’t think that one of L.A.’s trendiest new hotels would also happen to be one of its cheapest, and they certainly haven’t spared much at the expense of its guests: there are iMacs in each room, Intelligentsia coffee at the takeaway counter, and a restaurant that is worth coming to even if you’re not staying the night. But with rooms under $200 per night, Mama Shelter has mastered the art of swank for steal.
What’s Hot: Mama Shelter’s rooftop just opened, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better view of L.A. for (almost) free. You don't need to be a guest in order to enjoy it; you just need to buy a drink, which brings us to our next point.
Best Feature: Truly, the hotel’s best feature is the new roof deck, but the happy hour is a close second. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., snag a seat at the bar and order a $6 well drink, a $5 glass of Californian wine, or share a $15 pitcher of Sangria with friends, and watch the sun go down.
The Rooms: The design breaks typical hotel form: lampshades might be covered with Looney Tunes masks; the bedside Bible might be hidden beneath Keith Richards’ autobiography (though, arguably a sort of bible); and your widescreen TV will be an iMac. The furnishings are almost akin to Jonathan Adler, but less glamour, more attitude.
The Food: The restaurant is where Mama Shelter’s communal vibe shines: long communal tables, bench seating, and comfort food served in hefty portions, all feel like they were made for sharing. Don’t miss the cottage fries and fried chicken for dinner, and the salted chocolate chip cookies, served warm alongside a creamy banana milkshake for dessert.
Who Will Love It: The hotel’s owners goal when designing Mama Shelter was that it would be a hotel that serves anyone and everyone -- and after one night there, you’ll see why. The crowd spans twenty-something men to middle-aged women, who all seem to mix in perfect harmony.
Who Might Not: Those seeking a more traditional hotel experience might shy from Mama Shelter. There is, intentionally, no bellhop or room service here; if these classic comforts are important to you, the Hollywood Roosevelt just around the corner is a nice alternative.
Nearby: You’re blocks away from a few of L.A.’s biggest tourist attractions, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater. Over the past few decades, this section of L.A. wasn’t so glamorous, but thanks to recent investments, Hollywood is on the upswing. Its culinary scene continues to thrive with restaurants like Beso (owned by Eva Longoria), the popular sushi joint Katsuya, and chef Brendan Collins' rustic eatery Birch, which serves rustic dishes like whole fried snapper with lemon and fennel and rabbit baklava. And, of course, there’s an In-N-Out in walking distance.
Deals and Special Offers: The true feature of Mama Shelter is its rates. Rooms are almost always below $200, and some nights you can find a room for as low as $160 -- already the best deal in town.
Getting There: 6500 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028