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“If you have to be here, this is a reasonable choice.”
Review of Mar i Cel Hotel

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Mar i Cel Hotel
denver, colorado
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“If you have to be here, this is a reasonable choice.”
Reviewed January 20, 2011

This is a good choice if you're a French local in search of a cheap vacation, and would also be a fine choice if you have kids. Or, if you must travel near Perpignan but want something reasonably priced right on the Mediterranean, this is also logical. The room was small but adequate, the bed and bathroom were fine, and the hotel staff was absolutely exemplary: professional, helpful, and kind. English-speaking too, which in my case was a necessity.

This whole hotel seemed kind of dark and with tired decor. It was mostly populated with retired tour-bus trippers, although we saw these other guests only at breakfast as this was just the start of off-season. The breakfasts are way overpriced but the rolls were great. The coffee was, hands-down, the worst I have ever had, and since I'm almost 60 and have have practically been taking coffee intravenously for 40 years, this is a serious indictment. Fortunately, if you walk out of the hotel and go to the left across the main road, there is a restaurant on the far corner by the beach that has excellent coffee. Also, almost immediately at the hotel entrance is a tiny bar to the left as you exit that was open intermittently and served absolutely excellent sandwich tapas.

This hotel has a connected and separately-run exercise facility on, I think, the third floor, with a pool and exercise equipment and the whole bit--it was small but very nice.

This town is not too interesting--by the beach just high-rise hotels/apartments, but there's a merry-go-round and touristy beach stuff and even a casino next door. I did walk the entire town, and the best (and priciest) hotel did seem to be the Flamante Roses, but you should be aware that is on the very southern tip of everything and is extremely isolated. This hotel, in contrast, has an extremely good location.

For nearby sites, if you have a rental car and you're on vacation, stay out of Perpignan! Not that interesting either. But if you must drive in, you might do best with a GPS. I got lost so often in that town that it permanently colored my entire opinion of southern France and absolutely not in a good way, although I am extremely proficient with maps and north-south orientation. I had to take my husband in once a day for business to the middle of the old city. Thankfully there were signs and I finally got the route nailed, but if I deviated from it by one turn I immediately became hopelessly lost. The traffic was also almost always terrible--New York City terrible except one-lane. I have never used so many cuss words in my life as when driving there! At the end of our stay we left our hotel an hour and a half earlier than necessary solely to allow for getting lost while returning the rental car downtown and get to the train station (one block from the rental car place), but it was a close call. Yep, we became hopelessly lost after getting to the rental car place, simply by looking for its parking lot.

Now the French countryside is totally different and the highways and signs are great, and it seems like every town has an easily-located tourism office. I recommend driving up to La Barcare, another forgettable little port town except it's cuter and had the world's biggest flea market, and then cutting inland west through St. Hippolyte (love the name) to Salses le Chateau--a tiny and dusty little town where a Roman garrison was stationed when Hannibal landed. Just on the west edge of town is the amazing Forteresse de Salses, which is gigantic. It was built around the time of Columbus, when this portion of France belonged to Spain. Worth at least two hours.

Also, if you travel south down the coast, the next couple of towns down are just ok, but keep going until you get to Collioure. This was the port for Perpignan for centuries, and now it just about the most charming tourist town ever--tiny streets, a harbor with a fort on one side and a church and watchtower on the other, and the most attention to apartment landscaping I have ever seen. Adorable. I believe some Impressionist artists painted here, and it seemed obvious why. Tons of restaurants and great food and ice cream stands. If you go there be sure to take the north coast road in/out of town, and stop at the furthest north small fortress (there are two large parking lots on the sea side of the road, although you will not see the fortress until after a short walk from the upper parking lot), and be sure check out the Nazi bunkers nearby and a medieval wall below. Not hard to see why all of these military fortifications were located here--the view of the Mediterranean is mind-boggling.

So--a mixed bag! This is not the optimal vacation destination, but if you have to be here, a very reasonable choice.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank treeforest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
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English first
Rochester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2010

We drove all along the Spanish coast, across the border and into France in January for pleasure, with the idea of staying the night 'somewhere'. Most hotels and resorts were all closed up for winter, so when we arrived in Canet we went to the tourist information to find out what was open.

This 57 room hotel in the heart of Le Canet-en-Roussillon was the first we looked at, and almost next door to tourist information. As it was already 5pm, we booked a room on the 2nd floor, overlooking the roaring and thrashing ocean. It was very basic and although the thermostat control for the heating was in the room, we turned it up to its highest setting as it was very cold. The room didnt ever get warm, and reception had gone by 9pm so there was nothing for it but to wrap up warm, get a bottle of wine and some olives from the local supermarket and watch the magnificent Mediterranean thrusting its way up the shore... from the outside terrace! lovely.

We did see an ad in the lift for its Centre Balnéo Marinéo with swimming pool , sauna , solarium , Jacuzzi , as well as wellness treatments but we assumed that would be shut as well so didnt bother to ask.

Our bathroom (with separate toilet room) was sooo cold I couldnt bare to get undressed and shower! Horrer! I The water was hot, and we had plenty of towels (but no where to dry them). Breakfast wasn't mentioned at all so we assumed the dining room was closed. All the furnishings were shabby and we were glad we were leaving the next day. Yes, the location is everything for this place, and I would look for a better hotel if going to Canet again.

Parking was in the free public car park near the hotel, which I believe is incredibly busy in the summer season.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank minarety
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Canet-en-Roussillon hotels

Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2006

This hotel is living on past glory. It is tired and uncared for.
The staff were very young and whilst they tried hard could not make up for the fact that there were far too few of them for the number of guests. Anything you asked for you had to ask for at least twice - for example drinks with dinner or clean towels for the room. A two person room recieved one large clean towel each day. The towels were so worn that it was impossible to attempt the green policy of using them for more than one day.

The bedroom was unclean and unaired on arrival. The bed the absolute worst I have used in over twenty years of business and holiday travel. The fixtures and fittings were from the 1970s which could be verified by the photographs of the hotel in the dining room.

The buffet was insufficient for the number of guests and the main courses and desserts lacked variety. Starters were good two out of the four nights we were there.

The pool was unclean. The suana, gym, jacuzzi unavailable/unfound.

It in no way deserves a three star rating particulalrly by comparison with other hotels in the area some with an even lesser rating.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank LMPDB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mar i Cel Hotel

Property: Mar i Cel Hotel
Address: 8 Promenade de la Cote Vermeille | Place de la Méditerranée, 66141, Canet-en-Roussillon, France
Location: France > Occitanie > Pyrenees-Orientales > Canet-en-Roussillon
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 21 Hotels in Canet-en-Roussillon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Mar i Cel Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 57
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Also Known As:
Mar i Cel Hotel France/Canet-En-Roussillon

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