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
- 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
Great stay. We planned a taxi to pick us up at 5 AM on the day of departure. On our day of departure, the taxi never showed and we were almost late to leave town. Very frustrating as we planned everything the evening before. Not a fan of having my mother-in-law push baggage on the street at 5 AM!!!
For €200 a night I expected more. The room was very small but clean. Very comfortable bed and good working a/c. The carpetting in the room and corridors need replacing: they look stained and old.
The breakfast is OK. It has a lot of pastries and furthermore very basic. Not worth the €27 pppd.
The location of the hotel is very good: everything is in walking distance.
I did not like that throughout the day the housekeeping would come into the room multiple times a day. Why?
I’m a bit underwhelmed as I would expect more perfection in the details for these prices. Things to improve upon: breakfast, cleaning (black fungus in bathroom, carpet), sufficient cutlery and plates at breakfast, suitcase holder in the room, iron in the room, shampoo was not refilled)
We hadn't booked anywhere to stay in Aix-en-Provence but what a delight to find this hotel. From first entering to final checkout it was perfection. The reception staff were attentive, helpful and informative and the room and facilities excellent. In the heat of the summer the pool was lovely. The hotel is close to the old town so a range of excellent restaurants are on the doorstep. Recommended.
The stay at Sofitel was average. The basics are good, the breakfast is actually quite good, and the staff was pleasant, but the hotels fails in the details. The hotel lacks any unique character or the polish of higher class establishments. The carpets are in poor repair and some of my friends needed to change rooms because it smelled of smoke and mildew. I requested a new pillow but it never came. The house keeping staff entered my room several times without knocking. There are no irons in the rooms. The food options after 10pm are very limited.
Overall I think it’s worth the €155 rate I paid, but the €560 rate posted at the front desk is insane.
Went for a wedding with six other people and none of us like it.
- First off there are no iron or ironing boards in the rooms, and there’s was only three available so we had to share between all our rooms. Not great when you’re preparing for a wedding.
- Two of the rooms smelled bad (maybe since they were on the levels permitting smoking? The hotel didn’t offer a reason or solution)
- Room service have very few things to deliver unless it’s lunch or dinner time. If you want a late lunch delivered or night food you’re basically stuck with a penne pasta covered in tomato sauce and a salad (no burger or sandwich?!).
- Room lacked tissues and didn’t replace when I put the empty box out.
So overall negative impressions. Staff are generally nice though and the drinks at the bar are good.
We got a special price since we’re part of a larger wedding group but if we didn’t I would say it’s very over priced.