Marseille’s hotels offer everything from luxury suites with spectacular views to stunning on-site restaurants and, of course, the tastefully decorated interiors that you would expect from France’s southern coast. But only the very best hotels in Marseille cleverly marry elements of its vibrant city life with its seaside beauty.
For a five-star stay, book a room at C2 Hôtel Marseille
Many historical features have been maintained at the elegant C2 Hôtel | Courtesy of C2 Hôtel / Hotels.com
C2 Hôtel is housed in an elegant Haussmann-style building in the Opéra neighbourhood of central Marseille, just behind the Vieux Port. Originally designed as a 19th-century townhouse, many of the historical features, such as frescoes and sculptures, have been retained. There are now 20 luxurious rooms inside, as well as a full spa service and access to a private beach with sunloungers. The urban retreat also has a stylish bar and a restaurant offering five-star service.
Stretch out by the pool at Hôtel 96 | Courtesy of Hôtel 96 / Hotels.com
While this boutique hotel is technically in Marseille, it is about as far as you can travel before leaving the city limits and heading into the Calanques National Park, making it a real find for a remote stay near the town. Hôtel 96 is owned by a brother and sister who have turned their Provençal farmhouse into an oasis of calm with furnishings that are both sumptuous and modern. Relax by the pool or make the most of the hotel’s sauna and massage facilities.
Mama Shelter is situated in Marseille’s edgy sixth district | Courtesy Mama Shelter Marseille / Hotels.com
While Mama Shelter might not have a beachside location, it’s ideally situated in the heart of the edgy, urban sixth district of Marseille, with its cool bars, artisanal ice-cream parlours and great restaurants. Philippe Starck designed the two-star hotel’s quirky decor, blending industrial materials with kitsch furnishings and bringing lots of bright colour to the bedrooms and laid-back shared spaces. Its terrace is a good option for dinner, and it’s well worth trying the Sunday buffet (12pm to 4pm).
Stay in the heart of Marseille at InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu
Chain Hotel, Hotel
The InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu was a hospital for over 800 years | Courtesy of InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu / Hotels.com
The InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu was a hospital for more than 800 years before it became a five-star, luxury hotel in 2013, which just happened to be the year that Marseille was the European Capital of Culture. With views of the Basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde and a five-minute walk from the popular Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM), the hotel has one of the best locations to stay in Marseille. Public steps below the hotel lead down to the Vieux Port and are perfect for people-watching, and the Sunday brunch here is legendary.
Hôtel Le Corbusier is housed in the renowned Brutalist complex Cité Radieuse | Courtesy of Hôtel Le Corbusier / Hotels.com
As a response to the housing shortage at the end of World War II, French architect Le Corbusier built the Cité Radieuse in Marseille. The complex was designed as a city within a city, providing residents of the 300 flats with everything they would need – there are two shopping streets, a restaurant, a doctor’s surgery and even a small pool on the roof, which has spectacular sea views. The place is architecturally renowned for its Brutalist style and the way in which the design optimises light and space. Twenty-one of the apartments are now available to book as part of Hôtel Le Corbusier, with guests having access to all the facilities inside.
Walk to Marseille’s beach from Hôtel Marseille Centre Bompard La Corniche Future Mercure
The rooms at Hôtel Marseille Centre Bompard La Corniche Future Mercure are decorated in muted colour palettes | Courtesy of Hôtel Marseille Centre Bompard La Corniche Future Mercure / Hotels.com
A 19th-century villa, a modern motel and a townhouse have been combined in quirky fashion and arranged around a grand garden to create Hôtel Marseille Centre Bompard La Corniche Future Mercure. Set in the steep backstreets of Marseille, just a 25-minute walk from the city centre and close to the beach, the hotel makes a great base from which to discover the city. The communal spaces are perfect for escaping the bustle of Marseille or for enjoying evening drinks, while the on-site Albert Café serves healthy salads and sandwiches. The mid-range hotel offers 51 rooms decorated in muted colour palettes, which will suit varying budgets.
The view from the Sofitel in Marseille is unrivalled | Courtesy of Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port / Hotels.com
For a reliable, traditional hotel chain, the Sofitel in the Old Port of Marseille, with its modern rooms and attentive service, is a solid choice. The building itself is far from architecturally compelling, but its location is magnificent, with unrivalled vistas from its waterside rooms. The main draw is the bar and restaurant, which have views over Marseille’s impressive Mediterranean coastline. Rooms here are stylishly designed, with patterned headboards providing a focal point, and some have balconies perfect for an al fresco breakfast or evening drink.
Experience coastal living at Le Petit Nice Passedat
Hotel, Villa, $$$
Dine at Le Petit Nice Passedat’s three-Michelin-star restaurant | Courtesy of Le Petit Nice Passedat / Hotels.com
Le Petit Nice Passedat is a foodie’s delight – and it doesn’t scrimp on style either. The hotel lies on the Corniche Kennedy, which runs along Marseille’s coast, and was bought a century ago by the current owner’s grandfather, who originally started a café here. The place soon expanded, and the hotel’s restaurant now boasts three Michelin stars and offers 65 different varieties of fish. Inside, the hotel’s rooms capitalise on its brilliant location by the sea, with windows looking out to panoramas of the coastline.
Take in the sea at the nhow Marseille | Courtesy of nhow Marseille / Hotels.com
With its four-star rating and a fabulous spa, the nhow Marseille is everything you might want from a beach resort hotel. The bright and airy rooms feature large windows, offering stunning views of the nearby sea. Situated a little out of Marseille on the Corniche Kennedy, it’s private and secluded, making it perfect for a chilled-out break on the coast. However, the hotel is also ideally located for a trip into central Marseille, as it’s only a 10-minute bike ride to the city’s Vieux Port (consider hiring a city bike). The nhow Marseille also has a good restaurant on-site, indoor and outdoor pools and a well-stocked breakfast buffet.