A truly fascinating city, Lyon has a lot in the way of cultural attractions, culinary delights and buzzing bars, making it well worth the visit. What’s more, it has a large number of hotels that are as varied and interesting as the range of intriguing landmarks scattered across its beautiful cityscape. From the magnificent Place Bellecour, to the historic Vieux Lyon (the Old Town), we’ve selected the most interesting hotels in town.
Located just off the pretty little Place des Jacobins, a lovely square dominated by a beautiful fountain, Hôtel Elysée is well situated right in the center of the Presqu’île, in the heart of the more upper class shopping district. A 19th century building, this little boutique still retains traditional touches and has a particularly pleasant vaulted breakfast room. Modest and unpretentious, with a welcoming ambiance, this is a very charming place to stay.
Just round the corner from the pleasant Place des Celestins from which it takes its name, Hôtel des Célestins is an charming boutique hotel with a tasteful, traditional décor. The authentic French breakfast provided is a great way to start a culinary adventure in this gastronomic city, and indeed the hotel is only a few roads from one of the most buzzing strips of restaurants in the center, the rue Mercière.
Well-placed on one of the main pedestrianized roads of the Presqu’île (the area between the two rivers of Lyon), Hôtel Alexandra is a cozy and charming boutique that is modestly yet tastefully decorated and provides a sense of calm despite its proximity to the busy town center. The top floor rooms offer especially beautiful views across Lyon’s colorful rooftops, and the hotel has a lovely terrace on which guests can sample a truly fine breakfast.
Located in the heart of the Old Town, surrounded by a number of some of the best bars in Lyon, Collège Hôtel is ideally placed. This hotel is modest and simple, yet comes with an interesting quirk: the entire establishment is themed to resemble all things ‘scolaire’, that is, both university and school experiences – from wooden benches to dorm-room style rooms. The quirky old wooden desks complete with ink pots are neatly juxtaposed interestingly with the modern technology available in this unusual and interesting hotel, complete with its own roof garden.
Brilliantly located overlooking the Place des Celestins that contains the striking Théâtre des Celestins, Hôtel des Artistes is so-called because it has been favored by a number of people involved in performing arts throughout the years. The artistic, cozy décor makes this charming boutique especially stand-out and the balconies in the rooms are especially lovely, offering wonderful views of the iconic square below.
Just a few hundred meters from the stunning Place des Terreaux, from which it earns its name, and the fascinating Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Grand Hôtel des Terreaux is an enchanting converted 19th century town house. Its chic art deco style is married well with its historic setting and the indoor pool is a surprising and welcome touch in a hotel that is in such an urban area. The buffet breakfast is tasty and substantial and many rooms offer lovely views overlooking the buzzing street outside.
Situated on the banks of the stunning river Saône, on the edge of the Old Town, the Phénix Hôtel boasts magnificent views, especially at night, when guests can see how Lyon earns its name as the City of Lights— beautifully-lit buildings showing their reflections on the water. Dating back to the 16th century, this unique hotel with its Florentine architecture blends history with modernity and is a charming and unpretentious place to stay.
Located right in the heart of the unmissable Old Town, Cour des Loges offers five-star luxury in an historic setting. With its Italian renaissance architecture, it fits in well with the Mediterranean-influenced buildings around it and is perfectly placed for exploring the most ancient and most beautiful district of Lyon. Particularly worth noting is the Michelin-starred restaurant, boasting gastronomic excellence, situated in the idyllic, Florentine courtyard of this lovely hotel.
Situated on the extremely impressive Place Bellecour, the third-largest square in France, Hôtel Bayard is arguably one of the most centrally placed hotels of all Lyon, being five minutes’ walk from the Old Town and just opposite the main pedestrianised shopping street, Rue de la République. Many of its rooms boast fabulous views of the famous square and it also has its own pretty internal courtyard as well as several balconies, which are especially pleasant during the summer months, when the temperature in Lyon can get particularly high.
Originally an eighteenth-century convent, the five star Villa Florentine has a remarkable history and is in one of the best locations in Lyon. Placed on a hill overlooking the picturesque Old Town, there are few spots in Lyon that offer such magnificent panoramic views of the city. It is also just a few minutes’ walk from the iconic nineteenth-century Fourvière Basilica, as well as the grand, historic Roman amphitheatre, which hosts a number of events during the summer.