5 amazing places to stay for a cool Marseille holiday

·5-min read
Pavillon Southway, Marseille, France
Pavillon Southway, Marseille, France

Be it an urban bolthole on a dusty backstreet in old-world Le Panier, boutique hideaway with summer-chic rooftop eyeballing the comings and goings of the bustling Vieux Port, or a simple Le Corbusier-inspired cabanon (cabin) on the seashore, Marseille hotels cover all budgets and styles. A recent wave of openings fuse sassy contemporary design and an endearing retro simplicity with huge success. Here's our pick of the finest.

Tuba

‘Effortlessly cool’ sums up Tuba, a clandestine eco-conscious beach club planted on the rocks in an upcycled 1960s diving club. Views from its five cabin-styled rooms and fashionable terrace restaurant are mesmerisingly big and blue, and scenic hiking trails await in the neighbouring Massif des Calanques. The low-lying building is perched on rocks by the sea, in the quaint fishing village of Les Goudes.

From the occasional daring art projects it hosts, to the fun-loving local crowd packing out its sea-facing terrace, this is an address to kick back on life’s simple pleasures au bord de la mer. Guests can rent paddleboards and boats; lighting foraged from flea markets adds vintage chintz to minimalist rooms; and locally sourced food and craft cocktails can be enjoyed alongside spectacular views. Don’t miss the mosaic by French street art king Invader on the façade.

Doubles from £138; tuba-club.com.

Les Bords de Mer, Marseille, France
Les Bords de Mer, Marseille, France

Pavillon Southway

Not far from the contemporary art museum and Cité Radieuse in the artistic Mazargues quarter, this maison d’art is the striking creation of art curator and historian Emmanuelle Luciani. Akin to staying in an eclectic cabinet of curiosities adorned with colourful hand-painted wall frescoes, vintage fittings and unique art works, guests sleep in the elegant 19th-century townhouse-cum-artist collective as if it is their own home. They can use the kitchen and browse studios of resident artists, while rates include a guided tour with an art historian. Breakfast is not included, but there’s a fantastic boulangerie for fresh bread and croissants right next door.

Doubles from £102; southwaystudio.com.

Pavillon Southway, Marseille, France
Pavillon Southway, Marseille, France

Les Bords de Mer

Sensational panoramic sea views are the outstanding asset of Les Bords de Mer, which sits between the Corniche coast road and the Mediterranean. With swift access to the beach, an intimate subterranean spa and an outstanding restaurant, this four-star boutique property dazzles as a summer holiday destination. Its tall Art Deco building is cleverly designed and the clean, luminous décor creates a sense of space.

In warm weather you can while away hours, or even days, drifting between the rooftop cocktail bar, heated outdoor swimming pool and beach-level patio. Most of the neutral rooms have terraces or balconies; the rest feature enormous picture windows. For dinner, feast on the likes of tender grilled cuttlefish with lemon-chilli salsa and Camargue oysters with kumquat and fennel on a trompe l’oeil bed of salt instead of crushed ice

Read Telegraph Travel's full review here.

Rooms from

£ 185

per night

Check availability

Rates provided by Booking.com

Les Bords de Mer, Marseille, France
Les Bords de Mer, Marseille, France

C2 Hotel

Serene 19th-century classicism meets modern designer cool in an elegant townhouse, transformed by Claire Fatosme and Christian Lefèvre (the ‘two Cs’) into a five-star boutique hotel-cum-art gallery, music bar and all-purpose chic hangout. Inside, ornate period ceiling frescos and stucco vie with sleek pieces by 20th-century masters (Corbusier, Rennie Mackintosh) and cutting-edge contemporary designers. It does work, unless you’re a style purist.

The subterranean spa has a hammam, whirlpool tub and indoor swimming pool carved into the rock that’s just long enough to swim in. C2's star feature comes in the form of Île Fortin Degaby, its own private island and beach, which guests can sail to with a picnic hamper provided by the hotel (at extra cost). There’s a small terrace for breakfast, while in the evenings, tapas is served at the bar.

Read Telegraph Travel's full review here.

Rooms from

£ 153

per night

Check availability

Rates provided by Booking.com

C2 Hotel, Marseille, France
C2 Hotel, Marseille, France

InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu

Centuries of history get a creative modern makeover here in one of Marseille’s most beautiful landmarks, a palatial 18th-century hospital exquisitely restored to five-star standards. Ancient stone walls house a cool, contemporary, marine-themed décor. Wherever you look, there’s a striking artwork or remarkable period detail: a fragment of Roman mosaic dating back millennia, a graffito in Latin carved by 18th-century medics, a swirling staircase with wrought-iron banisters.

As a listed building, no outdoor pool is allowed, but guest membership can be arranged with a private swimming club across the Old Port and there is a Clarins spa with two saunas, hammams and an indoor pool. Just over a third of rooms and suites have Old Port views; others face the snaking backstreets of the Panier or an inner courtyard. The chic Michelin-starred Alcyone restaurant is slightly stuffy, but food here and elsewhere will excite: Lionel Lévy has been at the vanguard of Marseille’s gastronomic revolution (don’t miss his signature ‘milkshake de bouillabaisse’).

Read Telegraph Travel's full review here.

Rooms from

£ 150

per night

Check availability

Rates provided by Booking.com

InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu
InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu
  • For more inspiration on holidays in France this year, see our full guide

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