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New Hotel of Marseille - Le Pharo, Marseille 

71 boulevard Charles Livon
Tel: 33 4 91 315 315
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

With its bold graphics and contemporary art, the 100-room New Hotel injects South Beach style into this old port city. Herb gardens that supply the hotel's Alain Ducasse–trained chef, Jérôme Polio, line the front steps and establish the hotel's studied character. The sleek reception area was created from a handsome nineteenth-century building, and in the adjacent new building, the art-filled bar and restaurant overlook a wood-decked pool. Compact white guest rooms are dominated by blown-up photos of sixties model Twiggy, wood furniture is stained battleship gray, and bathrooms are stocked with La Compagnie de Provence Marseille's toiletries based on the city's famous olive oil soap. The friendly staff, who wear black uniforms with lettering that identifies their duties—FRONT DESK; HOUSEKEEPING; FOOD AND BEVERAGE—add to the hotel's merry atmosphere. Though not in the city center, the quiet residential location at the entrance to Marseille's port is convenient—a downtown bus stop at the front door, and the Plage des Catalans is a five-minute walk away.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: June–July or September–October for the best weather.

Which room to book: Shell out extra for a Superior Room with a big terrace, like No. 412.

Amenities: Bar/lounge, Pool

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