Marseille is one of France’s oldest city, with parts of it that were colonized by the Greeks thousands of years ago. Nowadays it is a vibrant, multicultural city that has a lot of beautiful sights, excellent restaurants and fun bars. Its hotels, too, are worth noting, since there is a vast array of options for an exciting and unique stay.
The Panier neighborhood in Marseille is one of the most picturesque parts of the old town, and a definite must-see when in this wonderful city, so it is quite fortunate that this great hotel, which bears the area’s name, is located here. Au Vieux Panier counts a mere five guest rooms, but each is wildly decorated in a completely unique style by different artists, making staying in this 17th century building an ultra chic experience. The hotel’s rooftop area is great for watching beautiful sunsets and having one of the city’s best aperitifs.
Tourists who want a more classic hotel should head to MGallery Beauveau, a five-star establishment that is also centrally located by the fabulous Vieux Port and the lively Canabière. Upon entering this hotel, visitors will be able to admire fantastic period style décor, with antique furnishings that are reminiscent of royalty and aristocracy, with rich textures evoking past times. It has recently been renovated, so it is anything but stuffy. The first-floor bar has great views over the port and is a great first stop for a night out in the city or just for a great drink.
Dine at Le Petit Nice Passedat’s three-Michelin-star restaurant | Courtesy of Le Petit Nice Passedat / Hotels.com
This hotel is startlingly different from the previous one on this list; it aims for an elegant and sophisticated approach, with a typical Mediterranean villa feel, bright rooms decorated in neutral tones, and a great location. The hotel’s highlight however, is its three-starred Michelin restaurant, which is of course famous in the entire city for its excellent food and superb quality. It is the only eatery in the city with three stars, so it is the most distinguished establishment visitors can go to in Marseille if looking for an unforgettable sensory experience.
Located in Aix-en-Provence, which is a mere 16 miles from Marseille and is connected to it by train, this hotel has a clear cultural focus: the French artist Paul Cezanne. Apart from the hotel’s art collection, clients at this establishment will be able to enjoy access to Cezanne’s art studio, and they will be able to explore the town where many important French artists spent time painting, as well as being within short distance of Marseille.
This hotel also houses one of the best brunches in the city in the spectacular eatery that is located inside, Victor Café. Run by chef Jérôme Pollo, this café serves some of the most creative dishes in the city, all made with seasonal produce that is locally sourced. Here visitors will discover new types of vegetables combined with meat and fresh fish, and tender beef dishes or tuna steaks. To top it all off, the restaurant acts as an art gallery, enabling contemporary local artists to exhibit their work here.
The Vieux Port is also one of the most important areas in Marseille, where tourists flock to during the day to go on boat trips to the intriguing Château d’If, and at night to enjoy the city’s great bars, magnificent sunsets and buzzing atmosphere. The views of the harbor from the hotel are spectacular, and inside travellers will discover a great Mediterranean restaurant and a décor that was undoubtedly inspired by the 1950s.
The Intercontinental Hôtel Dieu is one of the most luxurious and elegant five-star hotels in Marseille, so it is only normal that its restaurant is simply excellent. Their upscale brasserie, Les Fenêtres, run by chef Lionel Levy, has an amazing selection of Mediterranean and Provençal cuisine, with a menu that ranges from black tomato gazpacho to vegetable cassolettes. The hotel’s grand staircases, vaulted ceilings and manicured gardens are representative of grand Mediterranean architecture; so all in all a stay at this hotel enables visitors to discover the area’s culture.
This cool hotel has one of the best brunches in the entire city, and an amazing bar that specializes in pastis, a typical Marseille drink. At the bar, visitors will be able to play with the giant chessboard that is floating in the pool, or go to the delicious brasserie. The hotel’s interior was completely designed by Philippe Starke in an urban chic style that is functional and fun without being pretentious. Black ceilings, graffiti and sex toys are some of the focal points of the unique décor, making this establishment one-of-a-kind.
Also situated in close proximity to the city’s fabulous harbor, this quirky hotel houses modern and stylish guestrooms and suites with terraces that overlook beautiful Marseille. Inside clients will discover the world of contemporary art, with numerous artworks scattered around the interior, decorating this establishment in a fun and lively way. The hotel’s rooftop swimming pool is great for France’s hot summer days, and the hotel’s restaurant and bar are excellent options for discovering some of the city’s best cuisine.
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 mansion, New Hotel Bompard houses several rooms in a bourgeois manor that is now a grand four-star hotel. Although its location is not as central as that of the other hotels on this list, the chic residential area in which this hotel is situated has some advantages of its own, since the city’s beautiful beaches can be easily reached on foot. The hotel’s stunning gardens are great for an evening stroll before visiting the Mediterranean restaurant and dining room, which are decorated with great pieces of contemporary art.