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“Great hotel for an in-transit stopover”

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Holiday Inn Express Marseille-Saint Charles
Ranked #24 of 131 Hotels in Marseille
Perth, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Great hotel for an in-transit stopover”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

Spent a night at the hotel in late October 2012 because the B&B we wanted was booked out. The hotel is near-new and very comfortable although the bed was a bit hard. Breakfast was good which means I could get cereal and muesli rather than just croissants and baguettes. Best of all the hotel is across the road from the train station and the car rental agencies. WiFi was free which was another big plus.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank ski_bum2205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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Groningen, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Located next to the trainstation and within walking distance from the harbour, it is quite a nice choice. The staff is friendly, they have their own parking, even though it is a bit hard to find in rush hour, being surrounded by French in their cars hurrying home.
The hotel itself is actually quite nice, modern and clean. Little shops are around the corner, which is handy for any Holiday Inn Express.
Try to get one of the top rooms, you'll have a nice terrace and a large room.

Room Tip: Take a room on with a terrace (one of the top floors), so you can have a nice coffee outside after w...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2012

We were not expected too much from Marseille, but this was a good surprise for us. The location is great if you travel to Marseille by train, it takes only 1 min to walk from the train station to the hotel. The walk to Vieux-port or where most good restaurants were, was further away (about 30 minutes). The Hotel lobby was clean and modern. The lady receptionist was polite, helpful, and nice. The breakfast was average but it is good that we do not need to find a place for breakfast. Our room was comfortable, clean, and roomy. We were happy that our room was one of the corner room facing away from the train station (which we worried). Happy to see a tiny bit of the sea and Notre-Dame de la Garde! Though the city did not feel safe, we felt really safe and comfortable in our room/hotel. We enjoyed opening our window to feel the breeze while hearing the chapel's bells ring.

Nice bonus: a small supermarket is just a few doors up the street, where we can buy drinks and fruits easily.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank April t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Arrived after train delays and was already tired. Had to put up with the reception's (Franck was his name) lame jokes. He told me I'd be getting a bigger room. Turned out it was a wheelchair accessible room. I asked if there was another but was told that the hotel was full. Decided to check it out anyway. Disliked it because the water would get everywhere when bathing since there wasn't an enclosed area for the bath. The bathroom was also dirty. And the shower broke halfway whilst bathing. I had to bathe with a hose! The room itself was smelly and the air condition was so noisy. I am a heavy sleeper and fall asleep easily but I could not fall asleep with the noise. Called Franck and asked for a change of room but was told none again. Was advised to turn the air con on and off and if that failed to stop the noise, to open the window slightly so the noise would stop. Worked a while but the noise came back on. Went down to the reception to beg Franck for another room. Was told none for the 3rd time. Whilst talking to him, a couple came in through the entrance. He went up to them and asked if they needed a room! I couldn't believe it! I went online to check and rooms were actually still available at the hotel. It may not have been my type of room but the hotel could have let me know and ask if I would like to pay for an upgrade although most decent hotels would upgrade automatically. He did agree to change my room the next day and leave a message with the people on the next shift. He did not though and I had to explain my situation again. They agreed to change my room.

I also asked Franck for information about where to go in Marseille. He just gave me 2 maps to figure it out on my own. He was friendly but arriving so late and tired, listening to jokes like "we have a gift for you. here's a paper clip." was a bloody waste of time. It wasn't funny either and totally lame. When I asked Franck where would be a good place to try bouillabaisse which is a specialty of Marseille, he told me there's nowhere in Marseille that has nice bouillabaisse. Way to go with promoting your city Franck! When I checked into the next room on day 2 (around 4pm as the room was not ready when I left the hotel at 10am), I found that there was a safe which the wheelchair accessible room did not have (i thought that there were no in-room safes)! This made me rather upset as I was carrying around my heavy valuables the whole day whilst on tour. I'm not sure why this would be the case. Would people who use wheelchairs not need safes? Had I known there would be a safe available in my new room I would have waited a while to store my items before heading out.

Most of the male staff were not very welcoming. There was a lady at the reception, Janice, who honestly is the only saving grace amongst the staff. She was polite, gave plenty of information on where to go, where to eat bouillabaisse, assisted with the bookings, and provided an extra internet wifi code for my 2nd device as well. She did a great job and I left the hotel in a happier mood after talking to her.

Just saw a review below that the breakfast is free. Was told by Franck that it was not. Why the discrepancy?

To be objective, there are good things about this hotel. Most importantly - the location. Just opposite the Marseille St Charles station (and metro) so it was easy to use Marseille as a base for travelling around the area. The (new) room was clean and spacious. Wifi is free and there are coffee/tea making facilities. And one of the things I liked most was that there were dual languages for some channels so I got to watch some actual shows in English (compared to most hotels which have mainly just BBC and CNN).

Unfortunately the bad outweighed the good so I did not enjoy my stay.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jetsetter2332
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express Marseille-Saint Charles, responded to this review, October 28, 2012
Dear Jetsetter2332,

I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience regarding your stay at our hotel. I'm truly delighted you found our reception staff, Janice commendable. We strive to provide quality service to all of our guests and it makes us happy to read she has exceeded your expectations. Please accept my sincere apology for the shortcomings you experienced during your stay and I regret you received service which was less than satisfactory. I have taken note of your comments regarding one of our receptionist, Franck. This will be shared to our front office for review. I assure you that we will follow up with the staff to ensure similar incidents won't happen again. We take the confidence our guests place in us very seriously and work diligently to rectify any unsatisfactory experiences

Though I would prefer you had a better experience at our hotel, I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and I hope that you will consider us again on your next travel.

Sincerely,

Joel B
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Very well situated opposite the main Metro and short walking distance to the port. Rooms were good. Parking was available at extra cost. Reception very helpful and warned us about jewelry, passports etc. Breakfast was efficient and good.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shirley C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo
Level 5 Contributor
33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2012

This is an almost new ** (***) hotel, perfectly situated adjacent to the railway station of Marseilles and in walking distance to the city center and the old harbor. Service is good; breakfast is simple, but sufficient. And, not to mention; it is served FREE OF CHARGE for everybody. Free of charge was also the extra double bed, provided in our case for one child. The hotel has its own parking garage and charge € 12, - per 24 hours which seems fair. Rooms are well sized and well designed. We had a tremendous view of the city and the old harbor from the 8th floor. The air condition was turned off and only worked on fans; however the window was enormous and could be opened in full, which more than compensated for the missing air condition. A winning concept it seems like! Just until we went to bed on the first night just to discover why this was going to become a TWO NIGHTS, ZERO SLEEP NIGHTMARE! The mattresses were very thin and simply the hardest I have slept on, ever! A carpet on the floor would have served the same purpose! It is hard to understand the priorities of the hotel management on this matter. What is more important for the hotel guests other than having a good night sleep?!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelalotOslo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express Marseille-Saint Charles, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Dear TravelalotOslo,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your comments. I understand that having a good night sleep is important and it sounds like we fell below your expectations. I am sorry you for any inconvenience you experienced because the bed was a little firm for you. I understand the discomfort this caused you and regret that this impacted your experience at our hotel. While we understand that your stay was not 100% satisfactory, we would hope that you would give us another chance to make your stay as best as it can be.

If there is anything we can do to make your next stay more comfortable, please do not hesitate to ask the Manager on Duty.

Sincerely,

Ferdinand G.
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney Australia
Level 6 Contributor
390 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 528 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Marseille is well-known for its huge crime but what concerned me was the lack of direction by the authorities to do something about it.

The Holiday Inn Saint Charles, unfortunately, is located very close to the main Marseille train station and this increases the risk of either having your bag-snatched or your pocket picked. Even worse there's a chance you may even be mugged in this crime capital of Europe.

I don't write this lightly - whilst we were staying at the Holiday Inn we heard of three incidents that happened right outside the hotel including two bag-snatches, one from an occupant in a car! The thief rode away on a back of a scooter driven by an accomplice! Crime is well-organised!

We heard that on reporting this to the police they themselves are not prepared to walk the streets of Marseille alone - there are always two or three together ! This tells you something about how bad the situation is!

The Holiday Inn, itself? New, modern, adequate, nice breakfast included.
The rooms themselves are small with no fridge but adequate for the price you pay.
The hotel is doing it's best to warn guests about the crime-zone outside and it is a credit to them that they are doing so.
One would normally say that the hotel is well-located being a minute's walk from the station and the Metro and a good place to stay - what a pity!
In summary, if you are unfortunate enough to have to come to Marseille, then watch yourself, because there are numerous thiefs, rogues and misfits watching you!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank WellTravelledAussie2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Marseille-Saint Charles

Property: Holiday Inn Express Marseille-Saint Charles
Address: 15 boulevard Maurice Bourdet, 13001 Marseille, France
Phone Number:
Location: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > Bouches-du-Rhone > Marseille
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 131 Hotels in Marseille
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Express Marseille-Saint Charles 3*
Number of rooms: 120
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Holiday Inn Express Marseille-Saint Charles Hotel Marseille

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