Mama London offers five-star urban luxury at bargain-basement prices (for London). Boasting stylish, modern rooms (from £99 a night,) a wacky, open-plan restaurant and Karaoke booths, Mama London is one of the most exciting additions to London’s underwhelming budget hotel scene in recent years. TLE recently popped by to see whether the boutique hotel lived up to the hype.
The area 8/10
Mama London is close to both Cambridge Heath (four mins walk) and Bethnal Green (12 mins) stations. Although Hoxton, Hackney and Shoreditch, popular hipster areas, are close by too. Here you’ll find speakeasy cocktail bars, rooftop terraces and cosy brew pubs a plenty. Plus heaps of independent restaurants, from burger joints to Turkish grills. So if you’re in London to explore the hip east-end, you couldn’t be better placed at Mama London. If you’re not, don’t worry, it’s only takes around 30 mins to get from the hotel to central London (via Bethnal Green).
The digs 9/10
Mama London’s 194 rooms, arranged into Small, Medium and Large, have a slick American 1970s motel feel. Think stripped-back neutral décor, mood lighting, colourful bohemian cushions and patterned monochrome carpets. Small rooms are exactly as they say on the tin… small but functional. Meanwhile, Medium and Large rooms come with a small chill-out area and marble table. Welcome notes on the mirrors read, “I hope you enjoy your stay, Mama loves you” and copy everywhere else is similarly quirky. What’s most refreshing, however, is that movies are free. Other features include international and UK plug sockets (sexy), natural Mama-brand toiletries, and weird animal plastic masks strung from mirrors.
Style & staff & stuff 8/10
Mama London has a wacky arty hostel-meets-private members club feel. Minus the drunk punters or pretentious elitists you might find at the aforementioned places. The lobby features an iconic chalkboard ceiling, which took 45 days for Mama Shelter’s answer to Michelangelo, Beniloys, to paint. The French artist, who works on all Mama hotels, aims to incorporate local quirks in each hotel he works on. This time, he’s covered the downstairs ceiling in ancient British laws like, “A pregnant woman is allowed to urinate anywhere in public”.
Food & bev 8/10
Mama London’s restaurant is an assault on the eyes. The outlandish décor ranges from bright peacock, floral and butterly-covered lamps to sizes to mismatched furniture that’s not always practical. Not to interior designers: nobody wants to sit on a sunken sofa opposite someone on a dining chair.
Three menus are available (brunch, lunch and dinner) featuring a range of dishes that are as eclectic as the accompanying décor. Choose from classic British options, like fish and chips and pie and peas, or something slightly less so in the shape of a burata salad or chicken kebabs (mains from around £12).
- Head around the corner from Mama London to Satan’s Whisker for a late-night cocktail in a cosy, candle-lit setting.
The boring stuff
Price: Double rooms available from £99
Address: 437 Hackney Rd, London E2 8PP
Adam was a guest of Mama London