Come to Paris and Leave Your Laptop Behind


I did it once, three years ago, for 10 whole days!

I was coming to Paris and knew it was going to be one of those out and about all day and half the night and with a side trip to another country kind of vacations. And it was January, which meant heavy luggage. What was I going to do, lug my laptop around with me? Leave it in a safe? Certainly not in the room!

And when, realistically, was I going to use it? Those café tables are hardly big enough for two beers. I knew from experience there was a computer in the lobby of my hotel where I could check my e-mail for X Euros per X number of minutes. So the laptop stayed home. It was not easy.

Now the days of deprivation of this magnitude are over, luckily for you! Prepare yourself for the Parisian dream geek vacation.

Mama Shelter, a luxurious hotel in the 20th arrondissement of Paris wants you. But why would you want to stay out on the eastern edge of Paris instead of in the heart of the Latin Quarter with the other 80 million tourists? Well, it is only a couple of blocks from the eerily beautiful Père Lachaise cemetery (one of my favorite places in Paris and where many of my favorite heroes, eccentrics and geniuses are buried: Oscar Wilde, Molière, Gertrude Stein, Colette, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison…).

But mostly because at Mama Shelter, they’ve done away with the TV entirely and put at least one 24-inch iMac in every room. Of course, the wi-fi is free. And every room has an office. The incredibly cool bar has live music and iMacs too.

Geek bonus: Wookie mask bedside lamp, the pièce de résistance.


Even though I’m more Star Trek than Star Wars, I adore this place already, and am planning a surprise getaway there with my husband. (At least it was a surprise till I posted this.)

Mama Shelter is the brainchild of the Trigano family (co-founders of Club Med) and French philosopher Cyril Aouizerate (only in France, right?). Its edgy interior was done by renowned designer Philippe Starck. Words cannot do this place justice. You have to check out the site. And then the hotel! Rates right now, since it’s off season, are from 79 € – 139 €. Totally affordable!

If any of you are going to be here for Le Web ’08 Paris in December, you might want to see if they have any room!


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