Tourists on a tight budget would be hard-pressed to find better value than this comfortably scruffy hotel-hostel a stone's throw from Saint Charles train and bus station and just round the corner from the Holiday Inn and Ibis.
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This is a guide to the Vertigo Centre. Click here to read about Vertgio's sister hotel on the Old Port, Vertigo Vieux Port.
A few metres on the left along a side-street leading down into the Arab quarter, the Hotel Vertigo Centre is easy to spot, thanks to its snazzy sign inspired by Saul Bass's famous opening credits for Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 thriller.
Inside, a range of simply furnished accommodation caters to all purses and needs. There are (relatively) deluxe rooms with a private terrace or balcony, and little traditional Marseille-style cabanons (cabins) at the back with a bedroom, sitting area and kitchenette.
The Vertigo Centre also offers standard rooms with twin or double beds, but the real bargain for the solo traveller is the shared rooms - some with bunk-beds - for four or six people. Here, in the style of a youth hostel, you can share with other guests for a few €uros a night.
A small outdoor terrace is decked out with old advertisements and posters and flea market furniture. One of the previous owners, David Karoubi, who opened the hotel in 2007, has worked as a set decorator: he now runs the equally imaginatively designed, if rather more upmarket Pension Edelweiss just round the corner.
Inside the Vertigo Centre is a cosy, colourful sitting area with public computers (there's free wi-fi if you have your own with you) and shared kitchen facilities.
But it's hardly worth cooking when a couscous or Turkish kebab for 5€ or less can be had at one of the many backstreet restaurants a few minutes away.
Visited November 2010
Where: 42 rue des petites Maries, 13001 Marseille. Tel: (+33) 4 91 91 07 11. Book a room at the Hotel Vertigo Centre