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March 2019

Hôtel Les Bords de Mer, Marseille. Plume Voyage Magazine #plumevoyage @plumevoyagemagazine @plumevoyage © F. SPIEKERMEIER


Reportage Françoise SPIEKERMEIER Photos F. SPIEKERMEIER et DR

Marseille taxi drivers remember it still. They talk about it with tremolos in their voices. « Before, it was called the Richelieu. It was a hotel from the 1930s, a beautiful address that had become a little outdated. There was also a restaurant, Eden Roc, which served a magnificent bouillabaisse. Its location is extraordinary!! ». Indeed, as soon as you walk through the automatic glass entrance door of the brand new Les Bords de Mer hotel, you have a 360° panoramic view of the Mediterranean: the Friuli archipelago, the legendary Château d’If, the Catalan beach below on the right, and a breathtaking view of the mythical building of the Cercle des Nageurs de Marseille founded in 1921 with its Olympic pool. From two (sea!) stars to 4 stars, following the transformation work undertaken by the Marseille architect Yvann Pluksva, its Art Deco silhouette has been given a clean, elegant and luxurious look with simplicity.

A dive into the sea.
A bath of local character. A family house in Marseille, on the Corniche. A room with a view in total immersion in the color blue. Nineteen rooms, nineteen liner “cabins”, with bays instead of portholes, for a motionless journey in Neptune’s arms, watching ferries, sailboats and pilots sneak between the islands. Wake up in the morning rocked by the gentle lapping of the waves.

The Hôtel des Bords de Mer opened in early January 2019 after extensive work.
The new owners, Frédéric Biousse and Guillaume Foucher, wanted to offer their customers the impression of returning to a family home. For this to be the case, every detail counts: the family holiday photos – old Kodak prints from the 60s – precious as a collective, cultural memory, hung above the bed in small white frames. Frédéric Biousse, who is a gallery owner in Paris, leaves his trace throughout the pieces of furniture in each room or the works of carefully chosen artists. « The works come from my gallery (the Galerie Particulière in Paris). These include artists such as Arnaaud Vasseux from Marseille, Laurent Millet, Agnès Sorel and Berni Searle from South Africa. » explains Guillaume Foucher. The works displayed in the corridors or strategic places of the establishment echo the presence of the sea. On the desk in each room, a selection of novels from the Folio pocket collection, to travel in literature throughout the duration of the stay. The new hosts have instilled the dimension of memory in homage to the former hotel, cherished by generations of Marseille residents who came to celebrate anniversaries, weddings and to its faithful travelers who invariably returned every year to spend a holiday there with their feet in the water. The idea of refuge has been carefully preserved and reinterpreted in a contemporary spirit.

A new impetus was given by the addition of a new floor and the construction of a 10m long heated swimming pool on the roof.
Incredible visual effect of the blue basin standing out against a Mediterranean background. A dream roof-top to do your lengths, recharge your batteries or have a drink while admiring the sunset and the most beautiful view of Marseille, a 5-minute walk away from the Old Port. In summer, the restaurant will have tables for lunch in the sun or under the sky.

To the left of the lobby, the restaurant room with its huge bay windows seems to be set atop the sea. The view is beautiful, when the sun shines on the sea with its silver reflections. The facade overlooking the street is hidden by black metal grids with Art Deco motifs.

All of the nineteen rooms of the establishment overlook the sea, some with balconies, others with a large slated terrace, outdoor shower and deckchairs for the sunbathing ritual. On the lower floors are the swimming pool and spa, dug into the stone. The treatment rooms curl up in the hollow of the wall, diffusing a pleasant natural freshness and inviting for the first time in France the English organic products, REN Skincare, and their treatment and massage protocols. The owners of the place have imagined a haven of peace for pleasure and relaxation. From the spa, you will soon have access to a terrace just above the Catalan beach to enjoy drinks and snacks throughout the day, including rosé wine from the vineyards of Domaine de Fontenille, located a stone’s throw from Lourmarin. The Bords de Mer is only one of the many beautiful jewels in a collection of resorts being built.

Frédéric Biousse and Guillaume Foucher wish to set up an “auteur hotel business” that differs from standardised chains. Their base line is the sharing of an authentic and meaningful experience. Top of the range but thought out in a simple, natural way and always anchored locally, each house is unique, restored with respect for the history and soul of the places that Guillaume and Frédéric are dedicated to bringing to life. Inaugurated in 2015, Domaine de Fontenille is an 18th century Aix-en-Provence bastide that also houses 19 rooms and suites, two restaurants, including a gastronomic one – Champ des Lunes, a contemporary art centre, a 38 hectare vineyard and an organic perma-culture vegetable garden, designed to provide the estates with fruit, vegetables and flowers.

It is the logo of this concept that welcomes you upon your arrival, printed on the glass doors at the hotel entrance: an enigmatic FTLL, as a profession of faith.
“We design our hotels as if they were our own house,” says Guillaume Foucher. We put everything we love in our private lives in it. In Paris, we love the restaurant Le Servan. So we invited sisters Katia and Taiana Levha to come and take care of the restaurant. The Chefs offer an acidulous, generous cuisine that does not leave you indifferent. »

Hôtel Les Bords de Mer
52 corniche Kennedy 13007 Marseille, France contact@lesbordsdemer.com

04 13 94 34 00


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