Contributor/ Andrée Fraiderik-Vertino
Best Known For
The hotel is famous for its setting within Marseille’s landmark Cité Radieuse. France’s most famous architect, Le Corbusier, built the “radiant city,” in the late 1940s and early 50s, originally intended as a social housing complex. Today, it’s a fashionable headquarters for Marseille’s bourgeois, with apartments housing some original residents, shops, restaurants, and this 21-room hotel on the 3rd and 4th floors.
The Good Stuff
Comfort comes courtesy of a rough and minimalistic approach: classic Corbusier. But, owners Dominique and Alban Gerardine, more than make up for spartan surroundings with their generous, and can-do approach to hospitality. Dominique can fulfill just about any request. Anyone interested in understanding the mindset of this legendary architect will want to make this hotel, and indeed the self-contained Cite, part of a visit to Marseille. Corbusier designed five branches of his Cité Radieuse in Europe (four in France and one in Berlin), but, only the Marseille Cité Radieuse can boast a hotel created by the master himself. In other words if you want the full ‘Corbu’ experience it starts here.
It would be surprising if the hotel wasn’t crawling with architectural fans…designer Ora-ito launched an art and design series transforming the rooftop gym of the hotel into a contemporary exhibition space for young artists in association with Audi Talents Awards. The move has attracted a younger, hipper crowd of contemporary design devotees.
Inside the hotel – 7/10
Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the aptly named, Le Ventre de L’Architecte, which offers a magnificent view on the cityscape and the bay. Every summer, a world-class artist is invited to create a bespoke installation for the rooftop gallery. Last year Xavier Veilhan took the job, followed this year by Daniel Buren. Stop by Appartement 50, the property of Jean Marc Drut, of Comme des Garcons. It features original furniture designed by Le Corbusier.
Outside the hotel – 6/10
With all of this happening on your doorstep, it may be tempting to stay at Cite Radieuse, but Marseille is a city worth seeing. Wallpaper named Marseille one of the most livable cities in the world. Some of it’s design must-sees includes Mucem, a drink at the Mama Shelter Hotel designed Philippe Starck, CMA CGM Tower by Zaha Hadid, J1 a rejuvenated warehouse on the docks hosting cultural events, and the old districts. But I must admit that my best time in Marseille generally consists of a simple morning run on the beautiful beachfront.
Image courtesy of MAMO-BUREN-©VERONESE