The Best Cultural Hotels In And Around Clermont-Ferrand
There is plenty to do and see in Clermont-Ferrand, the capital of France’s Auvergne region. Tourists can wander around the Michelin museum or experience the city’s medieval cathedral, and the more adventurous can set off to explore the Chaîne des Puys volcano range and take in various outdoor activities. Whatever your plans, make sure you stay somewhere with real character by choosing one of the cultural hotels or B&Bs on this list.
Described as Clermont-Ferrand’s first “lifestyle hotel”, Hôtel le Lion has a distinctive style that is evident throughout their 29 individually designed rooms and incorporates furniture and light fixtures from designer brands Moooi and Tom Dixon. The hotel’s brasserie follows suit with a striking design inspired by the pioneers of the new realism movement, the painter Yves Klein and art critic Pierre Restany. Hôtel le Lion is situated on the Place de Jaude, Clermont-Ferrand’s main public square, and is thus a prime location to explore the city from.
Hôtel les Hirondelles is found in Orcines, a sleepy village at the foot of the dormant Puy de Dôme volcano. Being in such close proximity to the Volcans d’Auvergne Natural Regional Park allows guests easy access to the area and the various activities on offer, like ballooning, paragliding, skiing, hiking, biking, and horse-riding. For those who want to take it easy, the hotel has a panoramic glass conservatory that houses one of its dining rooms and looks out onto the gardens.
Royat, the small town that Hôtel Royal Saint Mart is found in, is famous for its thermal springs. Roman baths have been discovered here, so as a spa resort it has been a destination for over a thousand years. Built in 1853 and run by the same family ever since, this grand hotel is within walking distance of a number of spas and also has its own, Mademoiselle Elysée Health & Fitness Center, on its grounds. Here guests can make use of a hammam and sauna and receive hydrotherapy, massages, and other wellness treatments.
Centered around a courtyard filled with vegetation, Le Petit Siam is a French B&B with a difference. Its owner Isabelle, an architect who spent time in Thailand, has decorated the entire premises in an Asian-inspired style. Authentic ornaments, teak furnishings, antique wall hangings, and Buddha statuettes are found throughout. Each of the five rooms, personally curated by Isabelle, are named after cities in Thailand: Bangkok, Nongkai, Sukhothai, Pimaï, and Ayuthaya. Close to the center of Clermont-Ferrand, Le Petit Siam offers a place of serenity within the city. Address & telephone number: 23 Rue des Vieillards, Clermont-Ferrand, France, +33 6 76 24 59 02
Villa Pascaline occupies a maison de maître (a townhouse built for the bourgeoisie) that dates back to 1870, but its interior has been completely renovated to provide a well-lit and modern space for its guests. Its stunning historic façade is more than matched by the chic design inside its walls, with five rooms that all have their own style, some of which have private terraces. The breakfast of homemade jams and other local produce can be taken in the ground-floor lounge area or outside on the terrace.
This former 19th-century winery has retained its rustic charm despite being refurbished, incorporating the original wooden beams and exposed brick of the property with the contemporary décor of the four rooms here. Clos Beaumont has been built out of Volvic lava stone, a distinctive material present in many of Clermont-Ferrand’s buildings. Descend the spiral staircase from your room and you’ll emerge into the B&B’s walled garden, which provides respite from the city without and features a wooden deck, sun loungers, and a Jacuzzi. Address & telephone number: 15 Rue René Brut, Clermont-Ferrand, France, +33 4 73 26 32 52