Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port
What We Love
- The views really are some of the best in Marseille
- As the European Capital of Culture for 2013, the city is abuzz with arty events
- The enormous, beautifully furnished Le Carre bar for a cocktail (or two)
What To Know
- Coastal winds can make sunbathing a bit nippy
- Evening dining can get pricey
- It’s a 10-minute walk to the center of the port, but buses stop near the hotel regularly
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
A complete refurbishment in 2009 saw architects Marc Hertrich and Nicolas Adnet turn the Sofitel Vieux Port into one of the city’s hottest properties. Capturing the essence of Marseille (almost the entire hotel overlooks the harbor), the design incorporates elements of the sea, from the hundreds of tiny glass sea creatures that line the walls in the huge lobby to the elegant dangling lamps shaped like sea urchins in the Le Carre bar. Nautical references continue in the reception areas on each floor, with beautiful framed oil paintings of sailors’ knots. It’s like being aboard the world’s most luxurious yacht without having to find your sea legs.
Bed and Bath
Of the 134 rooms and three suites, 60 percent have jaw-dropping views of the sea (although non-sea-view rooms are perfectly suited to those looking for an incredibly comfortable night’s sleep). All rooms are elegantly designed in neutral and wood tones and come with sink-into beds clad in crisp white linens. There are velvet chaise longues in rich orange and deep turquoise to add splashes of color, solid silver lamps shaped like conch shells, and artworks in the form of embroidered coral or watercolors of boats. Luxury Rooms have their own private balconies. Bathrooms are equipped with double bathtubs or powerful showers (they have more buttons than a NASA spacecraft). All are stocked with huge bathrobes and tiny green emerald bottles filled with delicious-smelling Hermès products. Très, très chic.
Head up to the top-floor restaurant, Les Trois Forts, to experience fine dining at its best. Beautifully presented Mediterranean dishes are served in front of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the whole of Marseille, from Fort St. Nicolas to the bustling port. The impressive breakfast spread won the Prix Villegiature Award for best breakfast in Europe in 2011, and tables are laden with every conceivable breakfast item, from crepes to brioche Provençale with dried fruit to Marseille honeycomb. Downstairs, the Le Carre bar is a top spot for watching the boats bobbing in the harbor with a cocktail in hand. Further relaxation can be found at the So Spa, which has a sauna and hammam.
In the Area
Head to the Cathedrale de la Major, the Musée d’Archeologie Méditerranéenne, the Palais du Pharo and the Basilique de Notre Dame de la Garde to brush up on Marseille’s history. The city sees 300 days of sunshine a year, and the sandy Plage des Catalans is just a five-minute walk from the hotel. Boat trips to the stunning Calanques can be taken from the port, a 10-minute walk (or a short bus ride) away. Art lovers should hotfoot it to Marseille before 2013 is over, as this year the city has been crowned the European Capital of Culture. Try contemporary galleries Villa Mediterranée, FRAC and Panorama at Friche la Belle de Mai (which has a neighboring restaurant that dishes up mouthwatering steak tartare).
How to Get There
Everything was perfect, the room, the staff, the breakfast, the view from the rooftop....
All you can expect from a Sofitel can be provided by the Vieux port hôtel. It will be our choice of destination if we come back again to Marseille.
We stayed at this hotel in July, very nice hotel, spacious and elegant rooms, nice terraces but some traces of rust probably because close to the sea,
the breakfast is extraordinary because really complete,
the small problem is the size of the pool compared to the number of rooms, pool really ridiculous for a hotel of this standard,
Stayed here in a nice terrace room for the Bastille day weekend, the room phone did not work and could not be fixed over the weekend, the communications regarding the weekend travel disruption were extremely poor and access to the pool (owned by the Novotel) was blocked necessitating a journey via the basement, the road, and car park to get there.the attitude to these problems was dismissive for a hotel of this price (the concierge said, 'we are not 5 star only 4 star')