Serge Trigano, co-founder of Mama Shelter

Serge Trigano, co-founder of Mama Shelter

“Life is flamboyant and sassy,” according to Serge Trigano, the co-founder of Mama Shelter. The entrepreneur is making his mark on the hospitality industry by creating a new lifestyle boutique accommodation concept. Here, he talks to HN about his brand and future projects.

What sets Mama Shelter apart from conventional hotel brands?
Mama Shelter was the first lifestyle brand in the hospitality business to be launched in 2008. It has paved the way for many others. The lifestyle segment now represents the fastest-growing cluster in tourism. Today, more than simply rooms and restaurants, Mama Shelter is a meeting space, a true urban refuge that is beautiful, modern and lively, as well as popular, friendly and sexy. After 14 years, we have 16 Mama Shelters, 2,161 rooms, 16 restaurants and 1,250 employees in 14 cities and nine countries.

What is the secret behind your success?
Mama Shelter is a family affair. In 2001, I went back to the family business. Joined by my two sons, I launched Mama Shelter, a completely fresh concept that broke the rules of the hospitality industry.Mama Shelter is a family affair. In 2001, I went back to the family business. Joined by my two sons, I launched Mama Shelter, a completely fresh concept that broke the rules of the hospitality industry.

How would you describe the Trigiano family legacy?
I am the son of Gilbert Trigano, co-founder of Club Med. I grew up in the hotel industry, which was an important source of inspiration in my life. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics from
the University Panthéon-Assas, I joined the family business. From 1970 to 1991, I worked for Club Med as a host (“Gentil Organisateur”) in Morocco. After gaining experience at Club Med, I launched my own companies: Serge Trigano & Sons, Town and Shelter, Altour (travel agency) and Moments of Life (corporate seminars). During this period, I collaborated on different missions for the Ministry of Innovation and Tourism. In 1998, my father published his first book, “La Saga du Club” about Club Med’s spirit. In 2008, with my sons Jérémie and Benjamin, we launched a new type of hotel: Mama Shelter. For this new concept, I was inspired by the Club Med experience and my sons’ vision to offer a new type of hotel with urban design at affordable prices. My sons and I agreed to sell Mama Shelter to Accor in 2021. Today, I still play a key role in Mama Shelter’s brand development. On the side, I also manage the Forges les Eaux hotel, part of the Partouche group.

How have you made each property in the Mama Shelter portfolio unique?
Mama Shelter is all about welcoming everyone: travelers and corporates alike. Traveling for business should not mean having to compromise on atmosphere and comfort. For this reason, each Mama Shelter — for example Mama L.A. and Rio — have ateliers, or meeting rooms, that can be booked for events, seminars and conferences. Depending on the Mama, there may be additional features, such as the CineMama in Toulouse, karaoke rooms in London, or the Mama Works in Luxembourg, Mama Shelter’s co-working space. Finally, to ensure that Mama’s warm spirit never dies out, events are regularly scheduled at each Mama. From Thursday to Sunday, live bands and DJs come to liven up the scene and entertain guests well into the night. Nights out are organized frequently, whether on a global or local scale. This is not only a way of introducing visitors to local bands and performers but to also attract locals. Mama Shelter is not about selling a material product: a bed, a room or a restaurant area for a quick breakfast. Mama Shelter is about offering customers an experience. Guests step into an alternate universe when entering a Mama, even if it’s just for a meal. This world is defined by the openness, quirkiness, sexiness, fun and warmth of Mama, which are amplified in the design, our restaurants (bars, terraces and rooftops), rooms and ateliers. Each of these pillars ensures that guests are always reminded of the values that make up the very essence of our group in whichever property they are staying.

What are your upcoming projects?
We have two scheduled projects: one in France – Mama Rennes, Dijon and Nice; and one outside of France – Mama Dubai, Mama Bucharest, Mama Zürich and Mama Medellin. 

Add to Favorites
About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *