6 Best Places To Stay In Marseille

When I first went to Marseille, around 30 years ago, it was a
tough-looking city with an even tougher reputation. It certainly wasn’t
somewhere tourists were flocking to and it was known as somewhere
not
to go, rather than somewhere for a fun trip. But, thankfully, all that
has changed and while Marseille still has some rough-around-the-edges
elements, it’s now an interesting French city with a unique character
and some quirkiness. It’s also a university city and student life is
apparent if you go out in the evenings or wander around near campus. 

More Germans would travel by train but it’s too expensive, some residents say

More Germans would travel by train but it’s too expensive, some residents say

There are some great places to stay in Marseille, from spa hotels to
budget-friendly stays. Here’s my pick of the best places to stay in
Marseille, France.

Lounge area at Alex Hotel

Lounge area at Alex Hotel

Photo credit: Alex Hotel


1. Alex Hotel & Spa

Proudly boasting its status as the only boutique hotel in Marseille, Alex Hotel
is a cute little bed and breakfast with its own little spa. There’s a
large Jacuzzi pool, sauna, steam room, and treatment room for massages.
The roof terrace is a lovely spot for breakfast or to sit with a drink
in the evenings and watch Marseille life go by. There’s no restaurant
here, but there are restaurants nearby and the staff at the hotel are
happy to recommend places to eat. I love how individual this hotel is;
it’s a real find.


Location

The hotel is perfectly situated for anyone arriving by train as it’s
positioned just a few steps away from the entrance to St. Charles
Station. The area still needs some renovation and it does still hold
onto a little of its rough past, but it’s a characterful place for a
wander around and there’s plenty going on here. It gives you a feeling
of local life while also giving you a cute boutique hotel to stay in.


2. Nhow Marseille

Nhow Marseille
is a city hotel with a sea view. The décor inside is mostly Art Deco
and quite quirky as it jumps from one style to another, and from one era
to another, as you walk around. A big plus for Marseille is that
there’s an outdoor swimming pool with a gorgeous sea view. The pool is
saltwater too, so you feel at one with the sea and don’t get that
chlorine smell. There’s a small spa on site with Jacuzzis and an indoor
heated pool, but be aware that there is a charge to use this even for
guests of the hotel.


Dining And Drinks

The menu is quite short and when, at first glance, you see a Caesar
salad on the mains, it might seem like the options are limited. It’s
true, some of the dishes are small, but the food is really good and a
limited menu isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You definitely need all
three courses here and I’d suggest soup to start, the linguine for a
main, and the pavlova for dessert. If you want to push the boat out, the
wine list is really good with some excellent champagnes. There is also a
sky bar with a terrace that has fantastic views and is a lovely spot
for a drink after dinner.


3. Staycity Aparthotel 

Perfect for anyone who wants an apartment but also likes the amenities and security of a hotel, Staycity Aparthotel
is a cross between a self-catering apartment and a hotel. Rooms have
their own kitchens so you can cook in your apartment, but there’s also a
small café by the reception where you can get a light breakfast and
snacks throughout the day. There’s a gym on site and the reception runs
24 hours a day, so there’s always someone on hand if you need them.


Location

You’re in a great central location at this aparthotel, with
everything in easy reach. It’s a 10-minute walk to the train station and
10 minutes to walk to the port, so however you arrive in Marseille, you
can easily reach the hotel. It takes 20 minutes to walk to the beach
from here and 20 minutes to walk to Les Terasses shopping center. But if
you don’t want to walk, there are lots of taxis around to take you.

Breakfast at Hotel La Residence du Vieux-Port

Breakfast at Hotel La Residence du Vieux-Port

Photo credit: Hotel La Residence du Vieux-Port


4. Hotel La Residence Du Vieux-Port

At Hotel La Residence du Vieux-Port,
you get a room with a view — in almost every room in the hotel —
because the rooms all overlook the port and the city beyond. It is an
ideal position for sitting out on your balcony with a drink or enjoying a
coffee in the morning. Throughout the hotel, the décor is bright and
quite quirky, giving it a very modern feel. It’s a great location by the
port, and if you want to explore Marseille further, there’s a bus that
stops right by the hotel and takes you around town.



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Dining And Drinks

Continuing the theme, the onsite restaurant, Le Relais50, also has a
striking view. If you sit out on the terrace on a fine day, it’s a
beautiful spot to enjoy lunch or dinner. It’s quite pricey, but the food
is really good. I skipped the starters and went straight for the main
course. I chose the vegetable pesto pasta, which was very good. There’s
also a good filet steak on the menu and a list of side salads. For
dessert, I chose the cheesecake, which was also really good. They have a
“dish of the week” — which was a fish curry when we were there — and it
seemed to be offered at a slightly cheaper price than the rest of the
menu.


5. Hotel 96

Hotel 96 is a bed
and breakfast, so it doesn’t offer dinner, but it has a lot of character
and a relaxed tone to it. I think where this small hotel really shines
is in its attentiveness to its guests and how everything is done with a
lot of thought. It’s a pity they don’t offer dinner as the breakfast is
so good; I imagine dinner would be excellent. There’s an outdoor pool,
which is only open until 7 p.m., and is surrounded by lovely gardens. It
feels semi-rural and has a French farmhouse atmosphere to it. It’s a
lovely quiet spot for relaxing.


Location

This one is a little out of the city center, but it’s not far from
the hiking trails and beaches of Calanques, so it does give you the
option of both if you want to explore a little further from the busy
city. You can get to both easily by taxi, or you can walk to the
Calanques. It’s in a much quieter location than the city center hotels,
so it’s perfect for anyone who wants to visit the city but also someone
who likes some peaceful and quiet surroundings.

Meininger Hotel exterior

Meininger Hotel exterior

Photo credit: Meininger Hotel


6. Meininger

A bit like a cross between a hotel and a hostel, Meininger
is a budget hotel that’s popular with families. You can book a private
double room, like a hotel, or you can opt for one of the communal rooms
that have single beds and bunk beds in them, like a hostel. It’s a great
choice for anyone traveling on a budget or for large families. There’s a
big kitchen area, a laundry room, and a game room, and you can buy
breakfast on site at a really reasonable price. It’s a hotel if you want
it to be, it’s a hostel if that’s what you’re looking for, or it’s
both!


Location

Situated 15 minutes away from the old port on foot, the hotel enjoys a
good location for exploring the city. It’s central and within easy
reach of everything you’d want to see, plus there are plenty of
restaurants and bars close by. You need to use your key to enter the
building in the evening as the reception isn’t staffed 24 hours a day,
but it feels safe and is not a problem.

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