Near Saint Victor Abbey and the Old Port, Les Chambres de L'Abbaye is on the rue du petit Chantier ("little building site"), a steep side-street that lives up to its name. It's another Marseille B&B which conceals lovely accommodation behind a scruffy façade.
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Behind a nondescript, functional green iron door, an alleyway leads to a pretty, leafy terrace (detail pictured top) decorated with terracotta and ceramics. From there you enter a loft converted into a beautifully appointed B&B that's a haven of calm in the heart of the city.
Accessed by a staircase to the first floor, two unusually large rooms (29 square metres / 312 square feet) both contain a double and single bed. They would be suitable for (small) families: cots and child's beds are available on request.
The rooms are painted in modern, neutral shades of taupe and beige and lightly scattered with paintings and objets d'art that create a personalised feel without a sense of clutter.
But then immaculate decor is just what you'd expect, since the owner, Arlette Depieds, is a professional designer> She also conceived the look for a nearby restaurant, Le Saint Jacques (29 rue Saint Jacques 13006 Marseille), run by her nephew.
The rooms have television, heating and air-con, and balconies looking onto the terrace. Bathrooms come complete with bathrobes and have separate WCs. There's no lift / elevator.
Breakfast (included) is served on the ground floor in a shared living and dining area which also looks onto the terrace. There is a guest computer here and free wi-fi.
Les Chambres de l'Abbaye represents pretty good value for the standard of accommodation and location. It's in a busy, buzzing area that's well served with trendy bistros and restaurants (we recommend the Bar de la Relève or the Jardin Montgrand, both just a couple of blocks away).
If you are arriving by car, it's close to the entrance to the Old Port tunnel and has private parking (at an extra charge), indispensable if you're driving in this part of town.
Visited April 2011
Where: 8 rue du petit Chantier, 13007 Marseille. Tel: (+33) 6 09 75 87 12. Book a room at Les Chambres de l'Abbaye