The Intercontinental Marseille Hotel Dieu opens its gates (FR)

The official opening ceremony took place on 25 April as a celebration of a three-year renovation program to transform the ‘Hôtel-Dieu’ hospital into a five-star hotel: InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu.

Symbolizing the history of the hotel, a 12th century fragment of a roman antic mosaic discovered in the grounds was also unveiled to the public.

All the active participants of the transformation were present on the day. The investor, AXA Real Estate, acting on behalf of its client and represented by Pierre Vaquier, CEO, the developer, ALTAREA COGEDIM, represented by Christian de Gournay, CEO COGEDIM, the hotel operations group InterContinental Hotels Group, under the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand, represented by Patrick Cescau, Chairman of IHG (the ‘Consortium’). Also present of Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of the city of Marseille and Senator of the Bouches-du-Rhône.

In 2006, the Consortium won the competitive consultation tender organized by the City of Marseille. The architectural design was entrusted to the Anthony Béchu Architecture Agency, and to Tangram Architects, while the interior design was assigned to a group comprising the Nuel Agency, Tangram Architects and Volume ABC.

Prior to the transformation, archeological excavations were conducted in 2008 in order to preserve remarkable elements of the history of the building. These efforts were primarily concentrated in two areas: the 18th century bronzesmith’s oven and the 12th century Saint-Esprit hospital chapel. Excavated from the chapel's foundations in 2009, a fragment of an ancient Roman mosaic was unveiled on April 25th and is presently located on display in the hotel.

Since the hotel’s foundations were laid in 2010, a further three years were necessary to transform the Hôtel-Dieu hospital into a five star hotel. Investor, developer, hotel operations group, architects and interior designers have all implemented their specific expertise, quality requirements and knowledge of the history of the location to make this complex transformation successful.

During the presentation to the press, Pierre Vaquier, AXA Real Estate CEO declared: “Our will was to establish a dialogue between the past and the future of the site which is linked to the city of Marseille, and to restore to the Hôtel-Dieu its original nobility. The exceptional location of the site and the architectural quality of the building associated with that of its refurbishment, make of the Hôtel-Dieu a resort of exception that will contribute to the development of Marseille”.

The Marseille Hôtel-Dieu is only the second hotel reconstruction project to receive the new certification “NF Service Industry Buildings - HQE® Procedure, Hospitality Industry”. The project has also delivered 85 rental units and three retail outlets, which are linked to the historic ‘Le Panier’ district, as well as 57 parking spaces for the hotel and 165 parking spaces for the residential buildings.

For Christian de Gournay - Président du Directoire COGEDIM, “Everything is possible in Marseille. In order to transform the Hôtel-Dieu into this stunning 5* hotel it was necessary to work with a highly motivated team able to implement exceptional standards. ALTAREA COGEDIM is proud to have been part of the rebirth of an exceptional site. Marseille and the Hôtel-Dieu deserve it. I genuinely hope that the people of Marseille, as well as any other visitors, will discover the unique site with as much pleasure as we had while renovating it.”

As a reflection of the City's history the hotel has become a landmark to all inhabitants of Marseille.

InterContinental Marseille – Hotel-Dieu was designed to the highest quality standards for the discerning needs of an international clientele. Offering 172 rooms, 72 with a view of the Vieux-Port and the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica, including 33 with private terraces, 22 suites (15 Junior suites, 6 Prestige suites and 1 Presidential suite), a 1,000 m² conference center fitted with 10 modular meeting rooms capable of catering all types of meetings and seminars. The hotel features an indoor swimming-pool, a Spa with saunas, hammams and a fitness center. Restaurants and bars at the InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu will also offer authentic Marseille gourmet experiences:

- The bar ‘Le Capian’ welcomes you to cocktails within a cosy and relaxing atmosphere.

- The brasserie ‘Les Fenêtres’ blends Mediterranean cuisine and intimate design.

- The gastronomic restaurant ‘Alcyone’ will open its doors on September 3rd to explore local recipes with a twist.

“How thrilling it is today to see the doors of this fabulous hotel open to welcome our international clientele and to know that we too will play our part in promoting this vibrant city of Marseille, European Capital of Culture 2013” commented Didier Boidin - Vice President Operations Western Europe IHG.

Source: FTI Consulting

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