Mama Shelter Lead
Credit: Mama Shelter Hollywood

The 70-room Mama Shelter Los Angeles is redefining hotel style in Hollywood. The French chain, whose rooms start at $159, just opened in early July and is already all the buzz. Along with a modern-retro vibe, the 1930s building on Wilcox and Selma offers an open-plan lobby and common area where anyone—even non-guests—can order coffee, have a bite to eat, and take a meeting. Like a college rec center, Mama Shelter is a place to hang out (or spend the night). Celeb-spotting—and wifi—are free. We asked French transplant and owner Benjamin Trigano how he goes native in La La Land.

Mama Shelter
Credit: Mama Shelter Hollywood

Where to get an authentic coffee: Bourgeois Pig
“It’s the opposite of the trendy, new places. It’s not far from where I live, so I go there very often. They really know how to make a good cup of coffee and croissant. It’s not super-beautiful and perfect. It’s like you walked into an old bar. I find it cool. And you can sit outside.”

Where to go for a run: Lake Hollywood
“I’m French, so this is like a super-American activity for me. There is the Hollywood sign and the lake and 1930s houses. There is a beautiful bridge with sculptures all along it, and the view is fantastic. It’s a great way to start the day: You’re in the city but completely out in the wild.”

Where to meet for brunch, natch: The Apple Pan
“It’s an institution. It isn’t frou-frou, it’s the real deal. You get a great burger that they just slap on the table. It’s the L.A. I love. No kale on this menu.”

Where to juice up: Beverly Hills Juice
“If I’m a mess and have a cold, I get a shot of ginger and it restores my health.”

Where to feel the wind in your hair: Motorcycle ride in Topanga Canyon
“I have a few bikes—I just got a BMW R90. I go there just to blow some steam off. It’s actually pretty relaxing. I go for at least an hour.”

Where to get a vintage cocktail: Sunset Tower
“It’s owned by a friend of mine, Jeff Klein, and Dmitri is the maître d’—he’s phenomenal. I feel like I’m in Old Hollywood when I got there, like an adult! You can’t walk in in T-shirts and jeans, so everyone is dressed and it’s something magical. And of course you have really great celebrity spotting there! I like the alcohol cocktails, but I order shrimp cocktail, too.”

Where to get a Mad Men-style meal: Musso and Frank
“I don’t know who doesn’t like Musso and Frank's. It's very much LA, and very aligned with our brand. It’s like an old school American steakhouse—I swear, you walk into the place and you’re in the 1950s. The waiters are dressed in red tuxedos. They are polite. I always order the steak with the lyonnaise potatoes. No kale here either, I can tell you that.”

Mama Shelter
Credit: Mama Shelter Hollywood