Travel: Hotel Spy

Mama London

French fun comes to Hackney


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The Hotel

This hotel’s reputation definitely precedes itself. OTT decor, reasonable room rates, great F&B… and this location definitely lived up.

The Vibe

We have to say, the reception staff here are WELCOMING. They seem to be having a good time! Which makes for a positive start to a stay. It’s bustling here as you’d expect a new hotel in Hackney to be, and we appreciated the old-school, loungey hip hop beats; definitely encouraged you to stay and hang and there were a lot of people doing just that. The restaurant here seemed like an updated Central Perk –  people setting up shop for the day, having meetings. We wonder if they, like so many others, will put screen use restrictions in place.

The Décor

You can’t talk about Mamas and not talk about the décor. There’s a lot going on here! Corridor merch units that are like XXL wire birdcages. A greenhouse-style bar that feels straight out of the Beverly Hills Hotel, with a touch of French brasserie. The main restaurant has so many influences – huge wire African lampshades; a painted ceiling; objects in cases; a foosball table; arcade games;  pillows; a stage – it all creates a busy but jovial vibe. UJ loved the sofa dining options.


Rooms are basic but great. It may have been the collegiate-style badges on pillows but this definitely reminded us of being in a (nice) dorm. Beds are comfortable, sheets are crisp, some rooms come with a table with banquette; there’s an (empty) mini bar, white tiled washroom and Looney Tunes plastic face-masks on the bed posts (is Tweety Bird kinky in France?), which can be purchased. Touches like homemade shortbread and water in the fridge were appreciated.

Food and Drink

The menu here won’t win a Michelin, but you’ll definitely eat casually, happily. Pizza, pasta, burgers, kebabs, tartares, pies – the chocolate creme brûlée stood out as an indulgent treat – and we hear they have a great new brunch en route. For breakfast, you can boil your own egg, or press your own juice. It definitely keeps the costs down for both parties.


Karaoke! The two karaoke rooms here are pure magic. There are a couple of screens, stand-up, old-fashioned mics, neon lights and waiter service. Stay at the hotel and get an hour free. Whoop!

Anything Else

We liked the merch – great logo. We also loved the fires, indoors and outdoors. And it was a fun place to have as a base for east London exploring; perfect for a staycation or for guests, especially with rates starting from £99. We’d like to try their Bordeaux property.

Originally published on
25th November 2019


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