Bright budget base bang in the city centre.
Though France’s second city, Marseille – or its centre, anyway – is compactly-structured around the Old Port. And, at the Saint Ferréol, you’re pretty much in the middle of it. The hotel slots into the corner of a main pedestrian shopping thoroughfare and a bustling little side street.
Fewer than five minutes from the front door gets you to the Old Port or the main-drag Canebière, and the start of your exploration of Marseille. So, for a city-break of the wandering and shopping variety, the place is spot on. Indeed, fans of Kookaï have their favourite shop right under the hotel, which starts on the first floor.
It does so with a small, but warmly welcoming reception (quite a relief when you’ve managed the steps with your cases). If we’re being honest, the standard rooms are pretty small, too, but they’re clean, practical and bright with Provençal colours. Superior rooms are worth the extra especially if, like me, you don’t quite fit into southern French size norms. (Being near the sun has kept them small; in Lancashire, we had to stretch for the light.)
There are some nice art re-prints on the walls, and space enough in which to recover after a hard day’s leisure activity and before the business of dinner. There's no restaurant in the hotel, but a choice of dozens nearby. Let us be clear: this isn’t a luxury place for lolling away the days. It’s a central, affordable base and a friendly one, too. The smiles easily justify the third star.
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