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Issue 1/2013

A stylish Thief 
On 9 January, Petter Stordalen‘s luxury design hotel, The Thief, opened its doors in Oslo. It is located in Tjuvholmen, an area known for its contemporary art scene and architecture. But it hasn’t always been such an idyllic part of town. Criminals and prostitutes were executed here during the 18th century and therefore the name of the hotel – ‘”The Thief.” It has 119 rooms (plus a suite) and each one of them have modern artwork by renowned artists such as Sir Peter Blake (who did the classic album cover for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), Magne Furuholmen (A-ha) and Albert Merz, just to mention a few. This is a dog-friendly hotel and your pooch will get a true five star welcome with services like dog sitting, dog walking, dog room service, dog menus and treats. The Thief is located next to the popular Aker Brygge with direct access to the Oslo Fjord, so as you can imagine, this must be the perfect summer hangout. We can’t wait to check-in and review this place next time we get a chance to visit Oslo. Have you already stayed in The Thief? Please share your opinion with us.

Wikivoyage
This week the Wikimedia Foundation takes on the travel industry by launching its new online travel guide, Wikivoyage, a wiki for travelers. It will be a free resource with practical information, hotel and restaurant recommendations (no advertisements) updated by volunteer contributors from around the world. What do you think? Hit or miss? Is there a need for additional online travel guides next to TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet?

Marseille – European Capital of Culture 2013
On 12 January, Marseille-Provence was officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture for 2013.  During the year there will be hundreds of exhibitions and events focusing on Mediterranean culture, from a contemporary as well as a historical perspective. Are you planning to visit Marseille in 2013?

 

Guide (in English) about Marseille, practical tips, news and events.

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Marseille, Mon Ami

A classic Bouillabaisse from Marseille

Hanna’s latest travel story is now published in National Geographic. Read the full blog post here: Marseille, Mon Ami

Lazy summer days in Marseille

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A Sofitel heaven in Marseille

Hotel Sofitel Vieux Port in Marseille is nicely located in the center, overlooking the old port. The view from the upper floors is outstanding and gives the visitor an immediate feeling of what this historical city has to offer. This hotel is definitely among the best the samandthedunes-team has ever reviewed.

Our room were tastefully and contemporarily decorated, if a bit smallish, but otherwise it provided all the amenities that one can wish for. The pool downstairs is big enough to keep guests happy and the sun-beds are plentiful. There is also a nice cafe outside the pool area where you can enjoy a gourmet lunch with some excellent wine or champagne. If it gets really hot during the day (which is often the case in the summer) try the sophisticated hotel bar inside, with a wide selection of snacks and drinks. In the evening, book a table at the hotel top floor restaurant Les Trois Forts. It is considered one of the best in the city and here you can enjoy mouthwatering dishes from the sea (the lobster was especially good) while gazing at the old port and the passing by cruise ships – an experience not to miss.

The service at Sofitel Vieux Port is beyond praise, attentive multi-lingual staff ensure that your stay is as pleasant as possible. If you are in Marseille for business, pleasure or just for a couple of days before starting off on a trip to Cote d’Azur, don’t miss this Sofitel experience. It’s a place of tranquility and luxury that will make you smile with appreciation.

A taste of the sea at restaurant Les Trois Forts

 

Enjoying Bouillabaisse in Marseille

Restaurant L’Annexe

Arriving hungry and tired in Marseille, the world capital of Bouillabaisse, it was never really up for discussion what to eat. We just had to try this traditional Provencal fish stew dating back to 600 BC, when the Greeks founded the city. Near the old port, next to a small fountain, we found a cool looking restaurant called L’ Annexe, which served this classic meal. But don’t worry if you cannot find this particular place, almost every eatery in Marseille has Bouillabaisse, a fish soup popular for centuries with the local fishermen and made out of class B fish (every chef insists on having the “right” recipe but you won’t find salmon or tuna in a traditional Bouillabaisse). To make it more filling, it is spiced up with potatoes, tomatoes, onions and garlic.

THE Bouillabaisse

In addition, you get a plate of croutons with saffron and garlic mayonnaise. Over the years Bouillabaisse became internationally fashionable offered in many of the fanciest restaurants in the world. However, eating the traditional one, in the old port in Marseille, is an experience hard to beat.

Looks yummy, doesn’t it?

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