February 21, 2004
Hotel Mascotte is a pleasant but unexciting budget hotel with a matchless location at the Vieux Port, a few doors from where la Canebiere meets Quai des Belges. The Metro stop (Vieux-Port, two stops from the train station) is half a block from the hotel, buses connecting you with the main tourist sights run along both these main streets, the SNCM office – where you can get info about boats/tickets to Chateau d’If (of Count of Monte Cristo fame), Cassis, and Corsica – is just across Quai des Belges, banks and ATMs abound, and even the Tourist Information office is just across la Canebiere. The massive Centre Bourse shopping center is within two blocks. A nice little pedestrian area with lots of restaurants is located across the street from the south end of Quai des Belges, and this is a pleasant area to spend your evenings. I stayed here my first three nights in France, and it was a great location from which to get oriented and take care of setting-up-in-France business.
The lobby is narrow but nicely appointed, with shining floors, an attractive front desk counter sweeping back along one side, a couple of cozy chairs. There is a fairly modern elevator that was consistently in operation, although it’s rather slow so I often chose to take the stairs going down. The staff speak excellent English, are quite efficient, and were very helpful and pleasant to deal with.
My twin-bedded room was clean and tidy. The décor was basic and somewhat drab, although the bedspreads were made of an attractive brocade fabric. Fortunately, the room featured large windows looking out over a tiny square and up Rue de la République. If I leaned out, I could see a corner of the Vieux-Port. Despite the heavy street traffic below, the room was reasonably quiet at night. The bathroom was spacious and clean but dimly lit, with a narrow tub and shower with excellent water pressure. The TV had two English-language stations, which were good for keeping up with international news and checking out ads for vacations to Egypt. The little mini-fridge was well-stocked.
Breakfast costs €7 extra; there are also numerous cafés in the neighborhood where you can pick up a croissant and coffee if you prefer.
From journal Sunny, Spicy Marseille