Radiant-City-smallThis unique, stylish hotel, designed by the controversial architect and retaining many of its original features, won't be to all tastes. But it is an essential and memorable experience for anyone interested in Le Corbu and his modernist legacy.

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It's on the third floor of the Radiant City, the visionary apartment block (also known as The Madman's House by sceptical and irreverent locals) which was designed and built by Le Corbusier after the Second World War: click here to read more about The Radiant City.

The 20 rooms have either a west-facing sea view (which is slightly more expensive) or an almost as attractive one eastwards over the park, also designed by the architect.

Attentive to every detail, he also spent much care on the quality of construction. And, though the accommodation is compact, in the private apartments as well as the hotels, the sound insulation is excellent - even if the fixtures are, inevitably, showing their age..

Much of Charlotte Perriand's 1950s decor remains and some rooms still have their original kitchens (now non-functional, but retained out of historical interest). The smallest rooms have their own shower and wash basin, but share a toilet in a little lobby area with the one next door. Wi-fi access is charged extra, but parking is free.

Visitors tend to have polar reactions to this hotel. Some love its sheer originality and the fact that it's a beautifully preserved example of Le Corbusier's art. Others have found it cramped or shabby.

A further downside is that you are a good way from the city centre, though public transport is quick and easy (see below) and the hotel is incredibly convenient if you plan to visit the Vélodrome or attend an Olympique de Marseille match.

Le Corbusier's The Radiant City, Marseille: bedroomThere's not much else to see in the immediate neighbourhood. But you are strongly advised to set a few hours aside during your stay to explore the remarkable building itself, to which your stay at the hotel gives you privileged access.

Don't miss the futuristic roof terrace, with its fabulous views, little pool and super new modern art gallery.

There aren't too many places to eat and drink nearby either. But a funky football bar won't be more than a short walk away and the Radiant City itself contains a first-class restaurant, Le Ventre de l'Architecte.

Visited October 2010

Where: The Radiant City, 280 boulevard Michelet, 13008 Marseille. Tel: (+33) 4 91 16 78 00. Fax: (+33) 4 91 16 78 28.

How to get there: Metro line 2 (stop: Rond-Point du Prado), then bus 21 or a 15-20 minute walk. Book a room at the Hotel Le Corbusier

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