There is a growing buzz around Washington, D.C. about a new kind of hotel coming to the District. With two properties in France that have made big impressions in their neighborhoods, MOB Hotels has some exciting openings in the near future in Europe and the United States, including Washington, D.C. This is the latest hospitality project of philosopher-turned-entrepreneur Cyril Aouizerate. MOB – an acronym for Maimonide of Brooklyn – is a French labor of love, conceived and realized with passion and fierce conviction by the Paris-based hotelier. He is surrounded by other great minds, and has built MOB with the support of industry experts Michel Reybier, a successful entrepreneur and owner of the La Réserve Group of hotels; Steve Case, founder of AOL and Revolution LLC; renowned designer Philippe Starck; and Glyn Aeppel, founder of Glencove Capital and former partner at Standard Hotels.

“The United States represents for us the ‘big bang’ of counter-culture. That’s why we originally started our MOB movement as a restaurant in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, back in 2011. Putting our flag down in the United States – this time as a hotel – is a long-awaited return,” said Cyril Aouizerate, founder and CEO.

Watch Out Washington, D.C.

MOB will open its very first American establishment in the multicultural food haven that is Washington, D.C.’s Union Market neighborhood. The property will boast 144 rooms, a rooftop with views of Congress, live music, a cinema, restaurant, bar, and – of course – life, culture, and surprises galore.

“Washington D.C. has been a subject of obsession for me because this capital has seen such impressive growth recently. After having walked the streets of this city, I was in awe of the strength and culinary diversity of the Union Market neighborhood. I saw quickly that this was an authentic atmosphere, not a fake one. I knew we had to be a part of this community, so we decided to develop a MOB in this location,” added Aouizerate.

A Unique Methodology

Turning toward hotels, Aouizerate imagined MOB as a “dream republic,” a very real utopia where he could give tangible form to his convictions and feelings about travel in a lively, popular, and cooperative space. Set out to be more of a social movement than a hotel, MOB’s mindset appeals to a crowd of dreamers, artists, and entrepreneurs. After reflecting on the meaning of hospitality in the 21st century, MOB offers a new type of hotel experience – one that focuses on individual and community wellbeing, as well as on human progress. All of this is done while creating an affordable, social, fun and intellectually stimulating experience for all. Culture is champion here and considered in a broad sense, such as a kingdom where rooftop terraces are shared, communal vegetable gardens are curated, and spaces of meditation are available to all.

Current MOB Hotels

In March 2017, Aouizerate opened the first MOB Hotel in the heart of Saint-Ouen, a neighborhood in northern Paris known for France’s largest flea market, Marché aux Puces. Located on a residential street, the 92-room property is minutes away from the nearest metro station and mere steps from the sprawling Puces. Its spacious courtyard area offers visitors a summer bar, an ice rink during the winter, and an outdoor cinema.

Later that year, MOB opened its second property in Lyon’s Confluence district, a hotbed of creativity known for its ongoing urban development, buzzing nightlife, and arts scene. A block from the Saône River, the 99-room property boasts a striking honeycomb-like modern facade with a rooftop coated in lush green landscaping that is primed for relaxing, al fresco dining, and lively DJ parties.

Both properties were designed by designer Philippe Starck, a close associate of Aouizerate’s, with open environments created for free-flowing activity. Modern rooms come with iPads and smartphones; some feature sun-bathed balconies or patios. Rooms also include record players, projector screens, and fridges – plus tea and coffee makers – alongside complimentary WiFi. The reception areas feature markets that promote a rotating selection of local businesses and handmade goods.

Paris: | Lyon:

A Cultural Movement

Every aspect of MOB Hotels is meant to be conducive to the emergence of new ideas, the sharing of cultures, and the desire to move forward together. Activities range from meditation to cookery, dance workshops to film screenings, all serving to create lasting bonds between locals and visitors alike. Live stages welcome entrepreneurs, artists, and an eclectic mix of private showcase events from influential performers such as Wyclef Jean, Seun Kutti, and Mos Def. For those looking to take their participation one step further, a yearly subscription of EUR 49 grants guests at either location access to meetings, discussions, and debates in an effort to build new paradigms founded on local initiatives with universal scope.

When it comes to food, MOB Hotels fiercely supports local, cooperative, and fully organic agriculture. Wherever possible, MOB sources its supplies from local producers and co-ops, taking care to limit its carbon footprint and provide fair pay to farmers. Its 100% organic, vegan-inspired menus evolve according to the seasons and executive chef Aharon Politi’s insight – which is largely Mediterranean- inspired. By indulging in MOB’s menu, guests defend a more ethical and responsible way of consumption.

The Philosophy Behind MOB Cares

MOB’s vision of progress revolves around a changing humanity, a multifunctional space that evolves according to customer expectations as well as social, societal, and environmental shifts. MOB has been designed for and with its guests; its commitment is tangible, with only organic products in the kitchen and rooms, waste recycling, conscientious food supply chains, and other initiatives supported by the five-point “MOB Cares” credo below:

Conviction #1: Organic Is Not an OptionMOB is and will always be organic, natural, and respectful of both humans and the surrounding environment.

Conviction #2: Always Choose Direct & Short Food Supply ChainsWhenever possible, MOB gets its supplies from local producers, taking care to limit its carbon footprint. MOB is delighted to be able to continually source from agricultural co-ops and provide fair pay to farmers.

Conviction #3: Transform PracticesTo reduce the hotels’ ecological impact, MOB is eliminating plastics from the properties and choosing instead to use high-quality materials with a lifespan of more than just a few minutes.

Conviction #4: Educate & Make a StandDon’t look for TVs at MOB – you’ll be disappointed. On the other hand, the hotels do offer storytellers, paperbacks, literary talks, arthouse films, and much more. With MOB, culture is not just a DJ hopping about. Above all, it’s a reflection on new cultural paradigms: educational schemes, open-air cinema, comic book co-productions, and the launch of MOB radio.

Conviction #5: Discover and Support New AssociationsMOB is uniquely involved in supporting Casa Geração 93, a fair trade fashion school housed on-site, and in collecting donations for the Potosi Mission, a nonprofit which helps to supply educational materials to children from impoverished families in Bolivia. 

Future Plans

MOB plans to open eight additional hotels over the next five years, further expanding across France, Europe, and into the United States. Locations will include London, Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Amsterdam, with properties in Paris, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles slated to open first.

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