The landscape of France’s second city Marseilles, woefully devoid of luxury hotels, has just received an update with the arrival of a new property, housed in a magnificent 19th century townhouse, a few steps away from the city’s old port. A onetime generational family home with a long and varied history, the building is blessed with a sweeping staircase, grand floor-to-ceiling windows and original frescoes. Called C2, after the owners Claire Fatosme and Christian Lefevre, the designers-turned-hoteliers retained the building’s original features, which they accentuated with an emphatically contemporary interior featuring a smattering of furniture by modernist masters including Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. There are 20 rooms - some with unobstructed views of the Notre-Dame de la Garde - a spa and a glamorous bar (with gold ceiling lights by Ingo Maurer), which spills out onto a sun-drenched patio. An ongoing programme of events from art exhibitions to music concerts – both classical and DJ sets –provides effortless entertainment and for those who want to get away, the hotel’s private island has views of the city not afforded to most.
Hotel C2, Marseille, France