Au Vieux Panier

July 10, 2012

This is a hotel room in Marseille — aptly named Panic Room — designed by Tilt, an internationally renowned graffiti artist. Part street, part minimalist luxury, it’s dizzying but calm at the same time, isn’t it?

If you’re craving a holiday where you can sleep inside an art installation, Au Vieux Panier is the hotel to book, with six guest rooms in total, each audaciously conceptualized by talented designers. I think I could handle the view from the rooftop terrace.

Would you ever? Are you usually bold in your hotel choices when you’re on vacation, preferring a wholly unique experience than your friends and family might choose, or do you lean toward location, practicality, and comfort? (My designer brain always chooses differently than my mom heart! And sigh, budget usually ends up being the biggest determining factor.)

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux July 10, 2012 at 6:28 am

Very cool hotel….yes, deciding on a hotel is always tricky…What I choose for 2 of us – is a bit different than when I choose for “Family” trips. For us having breakfast included is wonderful and these days internet is another bonus..but like you budget often is one of the final determinates…but one can always dream!


2 Janae @ Bring-Joy July 10, 2012 at 6:29 am

Yes, budget constraints tend to trump all, for our family!

That said, I tend to be on the more liberal side when it comes to spending money on things that are unique or will make a good memories, which is a good deal of what makes life worth living.


3 Design Mom July 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Well put, Janae! I totally agree.


4 Englandia July 10, 2012 at 6:37 am

Definitely a budget question. :) Although I thought staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam with the kids was different and cool, but if we had been alone we probably would have upgraded that houseboat significantly;)


5 Design Mom July 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm

A houseboat in Amsterdam sounds super cool!


6 Isabel July 10, 2012 at 7:29 am


i just googled “tilt.” well, played Google, well played.


7 Kristina July 10, 2012 at 7:35 am

whoa! That was pretty cool!


8 Design Mom July 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

You’re so rad for discovering that, Isabel.


9 how2home July 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm

after i read your comment, i had to google “tilt” and it’s so weird but cool!!


10 Kristina July 10, 2012 at 7:34 am

I am a member for JetSetter so I get their daily updates of cool hotels idyllically situated in beautiful cities around the world. It’s fun to fantasize about the romantic get-away, but in reality I’d rather use up hotel membership points and save up the difference for some fun souvenirs. :)


11 Genevieve July 10, 2012 at 8:01 am

It is always about the budget. But, then we end up in beautiful places like the Devil’s Garden Campground in Arches National Park or a KOA campground across from a wonderful travelling carnival. This is not to say that we don’t stay in hotels, but our camping experiences always provide something we wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.


12 Design Mom July 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

It’s hard to beat camping at Arches!


13 Caitlin July 10, 2012 at 9:30 am

If I had unlimited funds I would totally go for the crazy awesome rooms. Alas, I am but a poor grad-school-student’s-wife and cannot afford even the simplest of hotel rooms. We moved across the country last year and booked hotels as we went along and always ended up with the cheapest ones we could find (which makes sense since we only planned to stay at each one for about 7 or 8 hours), but I think it would be rad someday to do it again and stay at unique and inspiring hotels.


14 Design Mom July 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Yes! I say definitely do it again some day. How fun!


15 Erin July 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

We considered this hotel the last time we traveled there. Sadly, it was unavailable since we were there during the autoshow….this was all BC (Before Children). I’m sure our selection would be based now on where we could find the best rate for a suite!


16 Aarean July 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

oh my gosh that room is amazing…that is right up my ally!!!!


17 Lindsey July 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Funny, I interviewed Tilt about his work for the hotel for the New York Times! I don’t think I could stay there… a little bit too bold. BUT awesome.


18 Mills July 11, 2012 at 6:39 am

Looks fun! We stayed in the Cité Radieuse when we were in Marseille. We’re big fans of le Corbusier.


19 Lisa July 11, 2012 at 7:11 am

I honestly don’t think I’d ever want to stay in a hotel like that one. It’s a little too bright. When I go on vacation, I generally pick nice hotels that have a sense of calm because I’m trying to escape chaos. Yet, I’m willing to stay in an awesome hotel even if it’s the most expensive part of my trip.


20 Cassie M July 11, 2012 at 7:17 am

wowzers!i love this!i wish i knew about this palce when i went to the Marseille a couple of years ago.I would absolutely love stay there, but not more than 3 nights… i have a feeling i’d get a migraine after a while!


21 Cheri July 15, 2012 at 4:50 am

I have to admit, I choose my hotels based on comfort and whether or not I have my sweet 12-year-old Shih Tzu accompanying me on my trip. While I most likely would be able to sleep in a room such as the one above, I probably would not want to. Too loud and too much eye-clutter for my taste when I am awake! :)


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