Most people think of Paris as being France’s home of fine cuisine, but it is the city of Lyon, southeast of Paris, that merits that title. Home to the legendary Chef Paul Bocuse, who is considered one of the city’s founding fathers, Lyon is a perfect stop for Michelin-starred meals, impressive farmer’s markets, and the popular Antiques District on Auguste Comte Street. This city is also the gateway to France’s Rhone Valley—home to spicy, rich and powerful red wines. Below are the most luxurious hotels in Lyon, reflecting the gastronomic roots of this French city.
The Most Luxurious Hotels In Lyon
Channelling the Roman history for which the surrouning area is famed, this five-star hotel has a distinctly Italianate feel – right down to the vaulted thermal baths with their impressive columns. Located on the former site of Antiquaille, birthplace of Gallo-Roman civilisation, this is certainly a place fit for an emperor. Offering panoramic views over the city, the sumptuous rooms feature designer decor, private terraces and marble bathrooms. The spa is the height of decadence and the gastronomic restaurant is Michelin-starred.
Hotel Carlton Lyon – MGallery By Sofitel
Situated on the peninsula between the Rhône and Saône rivers, this four-star hotel is ideally positioned for exploring the Unesco-listed city centre. Throughout the 80 rooms, the smart decor combines contemporary design with comfort, punctuated by the hotel’s trademark red. At the end of the day, kick back with a treatment in the spa or head to the cosy bar. Their signature cocktail, Lady in Red, with vodka, blackberry liqueur and strawberry and raspberry nectar, is highly recommended.
Intercontinental Lyon Hotel Dieu
Among the city’s most emblematic landmark buildings, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, this five-star hotel is a beguiling blend of history and the height of luxe. The rooms themselves have been designed in a contemporary style to the highest specification. Located on the peninsula, some of them have views over the river Rhône and the city, while others overlook hidden-haven courtyards. Fine dining is available in the hotel restaurant, Epona, or on its outdoor terrace.
Situated on a site that was once home to hermits, this hilltop hotel offers exceptional views over Lyon and the Monts d’Or. Nowadays, the emphasis at this four-star retreat is very much on well-being with a heated swimming pool, plus wellness and spa area, overlooking the valley. Be sure to visit the 14th-century hermitage next door, and soak up the scenery on the walking trails, before sampling the bistronomique menu in the hotel restaurant.
A romantic refuge where each room has its own entrance (they’re set on two sides of a picturesque hillside street), Le Gourguillon is one of the most luxurious hotels in Lyon for love. Beautiful rooms, or ‘cocoons’ as they’re known, are just that: comfortable, intimate spaces done out in materials like wood and stone, with sensuous fabrics and in-room whirlpool baths. Some also have private terraces. Breakfast is served in your cocoon, naturellement.
On a hilltop and surrounded by peaceful gardens, the Fourvière is just a short funicular ride from the Old City. The nineteenth-century former convent melds striking original features – like the magnificent Victorian Gothic reception in the chapel, with arches, painted ceilings and an altar – with a dedication to modernism. So comfortable guestrooms have wooden floors, clean lines and Scandi-style furniture. The inviting outdoor pool is shaded by trees.
The scholastic theme is approached playfully in this ’30s property: the reception desk is an old vaulting horse straight from the school gym; the tome-lined Salle des Professeurs has comfy retro leather chairs. Rooms are different. They’re stylish and white – really white, down to the lamps – relieved only by the odd splash of colour: a scarlet chair here or a painting there. Most have great city views. The leafy roof terrace is a summer asset.
Hotel Carlton Lyon
This MGallery property by Sofitel is located in the city center on Lyon’s Presqu’île (a peninsula that is the cultural and commercial heart of the city). Built in 1894, this historic space was where the celebrities of the era spent their time. Sip a classic cocktail under the frescoed ceiling at the hotel’s Le Bar du Carlton or tuck into the luxurious ambiance of the hotel’s Codage spa with hammam. The Memorable Moment package features a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the best of Lyon’s gastronomy.
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