Grand Hôtel Roi René Aix en Provence MGallery By Sofitel
What We Love
- Sumptuous restaurant and bar, and a courtyard with sunny terrace and pool
- Fantastic location just a short stroll from the historic center's shops, restaurants, bars and galleries
- Attentive staff that seems to anticipate your every need
What To Know
- Some renovations are ongoing — notably the pool and main entrance (but should be done by late Spring 2014)
- Some rooms overlook the relatively busy street
- Not for gym bunnies: no spa or fitness center on-site
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Behind the hotel’s grand façade is a sumptuous interior built around a pool and a large, sunny terraced courtyard. Inside, a soothing palette of gray, black, teal and deep purple is brightened by vibrant reproductions of rococo paintings, with the same colorful images repeated around the hotel corridors. The furniture and decor favor a bold contemporary take on classic themes, with chunky white chandeliers hanging over the breakfast buffet, and pillars covered with quilted fabrics. Velvet sofas and chaise longues invite you to take it easy in the bar.
Bed and Bath
The guestrooms are quite compact (the smallest category starts at 182 square feet) but cleverly designed, with superthin flat-screen TVs, small writing desks and plenty of storage that make good use of the space. Cozy carpets are sharpened up by the clean lines of contemporary furniture. Some rooms have a view of the hotel’s large courtyard and pool; some are streetside. The bathrooms (which have separate toilets) are no-nonsense and functional, with Roger & Gallet products and soft white towels. Suites have more personality, with bolder design choices in the living areas and more space.
The plentiful buffet breakfast is served in the restaurant, with fruit, pancakes, cereals, fresh bread, patisseries, dairy products and cold meats. Help yourself to eggs, sausage, bacon and the local speciality, ratatouille, from large Le Creuset iron pots. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and features classic French cuisine and more exotic dishes. Think salmon with wasabi to start, then guinea fowl with truffle followed by crème brûlée infused with local lavender, served by the attentive staff.
In the Area
Aix-en-Provence has attracted artists for centuries. Stroll down Cours Mirabeau, the main drag, and wander down the side streets to find out what inspired them; check out the dual-site Musée Granet to see some of the results. For shopping, you’ll find everything from American Apparel to Agnès B, as well as one-off boutiques and a whole bunch of bookshops. In the evening, try Le Formal for modern French cuisine. If you want to party, check out the town’s buzzing bars; Aix knows how to let its hair down. Then clear the cobwebs in the spectacular surrounding countryside.
How to Get There
We were staying at this hotel for 5 nights during our trip to Provence. The hotel is centrally located within walking distance to the old town.
As AccorClub member I did not have the chance to benefit from priority check-in as there is simple no sufficient place in the front desk area to provide such service (although a label "AccorClub" is placed somewhere at the reception). Nevertheless we received the room upgrade to a higher category. Despite the front desk being very small and always overcrowded by hotel guests, its staff is extremely efficient and helpful. We got great tips about the restaurants and the parking of the car was always quick and troubleless (the car parking of the hotel is not located in the building itself and there is a very efficient valet service to park your car and bring it back upon request). Breakfasts were excellent and the dining options in the hotel's restaurant were cool and not so pricey. Our luggage was brought to the room very quickly by the person who was taking care of the parking of our car. The same was experienced at check-out. This was about the positive aspects.
We were disappointed about the room arrangement and the cleanliness of the hotel. In my memory the hotel will stay as the place of (very) dirty and smelly carpets, both in the corridors and in the room. The word "dirty" does not reflect the reality of experience. Big stains, dust and dirt despite the daily use of vacuum cleaners by the staff, funny smell (in the corridors, not in the room) remembering the times before implementation of no smoking policy were part of our daily experience. I was happy to have my slippers with me as I would not dare to walk on my feet from the bed to the toilet. The room arrangement was also very simple. Although the (small) size of the room was known to us, we were expecting rather a boutique type of arrangement (Sofitel brand was an indication for this). Instead, we found very simple, IKEA-like furniture, similar to the one I experienced at Mercure in Bonn in the beginning of the month.
To sum up - the software is there (nice & friendly staff, good meals) but the hardware is lagging behind (tired hotel facility which has nothing to do with Sofitel MGallery standard). Quite disappointing for the roomnight price of over 200 euro.
This hotel surprised us on every level. The location was perfect and made everything accessible on foot. The rooms were perfectly appointed, clean and comfortable. The staff was professional, attentive and welcoming. Yes, their breakfast buffet was excellent, but kudos also to their restaurant, which offered a wonderful menu and service. I would recommend this hotel and look forward to staying there again in the future.
Beautiful hotel, welcoming and friendly staff who always went the extra mile for us. Hotel is brilliantly located minutes from the old city center, we never used our car once, as everything is walkable.
Breakfast was includes in our rate and was delightful. There was something for everyone on the buffett.
We couldn't have been more pleased with our stay and would most certainly return to visit.