The university city of Lille is sure to dazzle with 17th-century townhouses, Unesco-badged town hall and ancient markets. Make the most of your visit to this French city near the Belgian border by staying in one of these top hotels and inns – all bookable on Culture Trip.
Lille is just over an hour by train from Paris, and easily accessible from London thanks to the Eurostar, which makes it an ideal weekend getaway. Many come in September for the annual Braderie de Lille flea market. But if crowds aren’t your thing, a charming old town, thriving gastronomy scene and the Palais des Beaux Arts gallery, make the city attractive year round. Ready to explore? Read on for our pick of the best hotels and inns in the city.
L’Hermitage Gantois, in the heart of the city, just a 10-minute walk from both train stations, is one of the most prestigious hotels in Lille. Housed in a former hospice, the hotel has retained a traditional style, with guest rooms furnished with Louis XV-style oak panels, and original tiled floors and fireplaces, while Philippe Starck furniture and carrera marble bathrooms add a contemporary touch. There’s also a restaurant and a large spa with treatments from luxury French beauty brands Decléor and Carita.
Courtesy of Novotel Suites Gare Lille Europe / Expedia
With a selection of suites that come with added singles and sofa beds, Novotel Suites Gare Lille Europe is ideal for families and groups. For business travellers, it’s also handily located just a short walk from both train stations and a 10-minute walk from Grand Palais Zénith. After some downtime? The hotel has a fitness room and a bar.
Family-owned Hôtel Barrière is another of the most luxurious addresses in Lille. Guest rooms and suites have been designed in the contemporary Barrière style by acclaimed interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, and offer views of the city. The hotel has an impressive range of facilities, including a fitness room, spa, casino and even a theatre.
Expect views of one of the most picturesque spots in the city from this hotel, which overlooks the Place du Général de Gaulle – a wonderful example of Flemish architecture. It’s also only a five-minute walk from the old town. Inside, the rooms are just as impressive; a mix of antique-style furniture, heavy drapes and chandeliers reflect the historic surroundings, while a bright colour palette and sleek lighting adds a modern finish.
Mercure Lille Centre Grand-Place might be a perfect example of a traditional Haussmann building on the outside, but you’ll find surprisingly modern interiors with huge prints of giant tulips by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Base yourself at the hotel, just behind the Lille Opera and steps from the old town, if you want to explore the more historic side of the city. Travelling with a four-legged friend? The hotel can accommodate.
Moxy has taken over a beautiful historic building, just three minutes from the Palais des Beaux Arts, and given it a thoroughly contemporary makeover. Think sleekly designed guest rooms and well-thought-out extras, such as work stations and built-in USB ports. Downstairs there’s a buzzy bar serving a selection of local beers and Moxy cocktail creations.
If you’re looking for a more independent stay or travelling in a group, choose the Au 30 aparthotel, which has three hotel-style suites and two spacious apartments, the latter of which come with a separate living room and kitchens. In addition to the practical amenities, Au 30 also has some rather luxurious facilities, including jacuzzis, hammam showers and saunas.
One for gourmands, Hotel l’Arbre Voyageur offers two restaurants – Jane and Ma Reine – overseen by chef Jean Christophe Gille, who champions fresh local produce sourced from artisan suppliers. Look out for traditional dishes such as le welsh, a local meal based on Welsh rarebit, along with beef tartare and chocolate souffle. In the Patisserie Le Colibri, you’ll find a selection of desserts freshly prepared by the chef, bread from artisan bakery Silence, ça cuit, as well as wine and champagnes to take away.