Saturday, 18 October 2014

Résidence du Vieux Port, Marseille in Provence

Résidence du Vieux Port, Marseille ©Solange Hando

This four star hotel boasts a great location on the Old Harbour quay, just 30 minutes from the airport and within walking distance of the railway station, the old Bohemian district of Le Panier, the main shopping avenues and the stunning new museum, MuCEM.

Guest rooms range from Superior to Club and prestigious Suites such as the 'Sky Suite' with its own roof terrace and panoramic views on the 8th floor.

Most rooms have balconies. All have tea and coffee making facilities, free WiFi and Occitane toiletries.

Relax in Retro Style at the Résidence in Marseille ©Solange Hando

But  above all, the Résidence is a luxury hotel with a difference, blending modern comfort and amenities with a 50s retro style draped in bright cheerful colours.

You find them in public areas, corridors and lift and slightly toned down in guest rooms where red might contrast with light walls, white linen and black lacquered tops.

Tapestry by Jean Lurçat ©Solange Hando

Even before you reach the brightest spaces, the reception surprises you with an original tapestry by Jean Lurçat, the famous French artist who revived this ancient skill in modern times.

With its warm colours and flowing leafy patterns, this superb work of art almost makes you forget you should be checking in.

All set for breakfast at the Résidence du Vieux Port ©Solange Hando

Breakfast is served on the first floor, indoors or on the terrace overlooking the harbour, while dinner is in the aptly named Relais 50 where in Parisian bistrot style, guests enjoy fresh seafood and Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by the finest wines.

A three course meal starts at 27 Euros but expect to pay 50+ for a traditional Bouillabaisse, consisting of three kinds of fish in a tasty saffron broth (order at least 24 hours in advance).

Marseille Old harbour and Notre-Dame de la Garde ©Solange Hando

 The Résidence du Vieux Port certainly claims a convenient location and unique décor but for many visitors, the icing on the cake are the superb views of the Old Harbour and hill top basilica, the city's best-loved icons.

It's breathtaking in brilliant sunshine but equally enticing at night when myriad lights twinkle along the quay. You may well be tempted to keep your curtains open as you drift into a pleasant sleep with one of the best views in Marseille.

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