Lyon is a melting pot of culture with its outstanding museums, vibrant nightlife, and gastronomic delights. The city is France’s foodie haven with its heady mix of Michelin starred restaurants and an impressive farmer’s market. Although the city doesn’t feature on most people’s list of places to visit, you’ll find plenty of hotels here. Many of the best hotels in Lyon, France, offer an exciting blend of history and luxury.
Boasting the oldest ancient ruins in France and beautiful Renaissance houses, Lyon also has a beautiful Old Town that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the top things to do in Lyon include explorations of its history, many people converge on the city to sample its famous cuisine.
If you’re in the city for a few days, you could also make a day trip to the beautiful city of Annecy, counted among the 11 Most Beautiful Canal Cities in The World. It’s just under a two-hour drive or a little over two hours by train from here. Annecy is so naturally beautiful that you may decide to prolong your stay. If you do plan to stay over in the city, check out our list of the best hotels in Annecy to make your search for an accommodation easier.
Where To Stay In Lyon
Lyon’s center is enclosed between the Rhone and Saone rivers and boasts of one of the largest squares in Europe, Place Bellecour. Getting around the center is pretty easy as it’s quite compact. Most of the city’s attractions are located in and around this area so a good place to set up a base for those interested in sightseeing is the Presqu’île quarter.
If you’re in town on business then you’d probably be better off at one of the commercial districts, although these neighborhoods also feature some of the best hotels in Lyon, France, that are more suited to tourists. Vieux Lyon, the UNESCO Heritage Old Town only has a few hotels, but if you can get a room in one of the hotels here, it’s worth it.
For those who love Roman antiquity, the Fourvière area is the place to be. Many of the best hotels in Lyon, France, lie in this area and offer stunning views of the Fourvière basilica and the surroundings. The trendiest area of Lyon is the Confluence neighborhood with its modern architecture and fancy restaurants.
Built in 1860, the elegant Haussmann townhouse which Hotel Silky occupies exudes historical charm and style. Inspired by the silk heritage of Lyon, the charming décor of the boutique hotel includes decorative silk bobbins and antique curiosities. Centrally located in the heart of Lyon’s shopping district, you’re in proximity to many of the city’s attractions.
A recent makeover has lifted the style of the hotel but despite the elegance, it has a homely, relaxed atmosphere. Spacious guest rooms feature high ceilings, big windows, and chic retro décor. The fifth-floor rooms have lovely, wrought-iron balconies that provide gorgeous views of the Fourvière basilica.
Complimentary tea and Nespresso coffee are available throughout the day at the lounge. You won’t find a restaurant in the hotel but the continental breakfast (not included) is pretty good. Whilst breakfast is served in the cellar, guests can enjoy a complimentary apero and tasty bites in the lounge or pavement terrace in the evenings.
Hotel Le Royal
Located on one of the largest squares in Europe, Place Bellecour, Hotel Le Royal stands out as an iconic landmark. Designed in 1895, the hotel opened its doors in 1912 as the Grand Hotel Bellecour which was later named Hotel Le Royal. The hotel is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Lyon, France, that has seen the likes of The Beatles and Sophie Loren grace its hallways. You can’t find a more central location than this. Shopaholics will delight in the fashion boutiques found along the surrounding streets.
Part of the MGallery by Sofitel, boutique hotel collection, Le Royal is all about period charm. Guest rooms sport a blue or red color scheme combined with whites and florals. Carpeted floors and contemporary furniture lend an air of sophistication while the ‘Cocoon’ bed ensures a peaceful sleep.
Continental and American breakfast are served for an extra fee in the Cote Cuisine each morning. If you’re interested in dining, the L’Institut offers delectable French contemporary cuisine.
Hotel Dieu Intercontinental
With over 800 years of history behind it and unmatched opulence, the five-star Hotel Dieu Intercontinental stands out as one of the best hotels in Lyon, France. Similar to its sister property, which is one of the best hotels in Marseille, the hotel began as a hospital in the 12th century and was gradually transformed into the grand hotel that it is today. However, the present building, designed by architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot, dates back to the 18th century.
In contrast to the historic façade, the interiors are chic and contemporary, the result of four years of painstaking restoration. Sophistication and comfort envelop the 144 guest rooms that are spread across three floors. Many of the original features of the building such as tall arched windows and hefty beamed ceilings are visible in guest rooms.
Le Dôme, the hotel’s bar under the historic dome is a clear standout. It’s probably one of the most impressive bars in the world and is constantly abuzz with people. Apart from this impressive venue, the onsite restaurant Epona is another destination in itself with its delicious food. Other perks that you can look forward to at the hotel are a well-equipped fitness room, a sauna and steam room, and various spa treatments.
Okko Hotels Lyon Pont Lafayette
Overlooking the Rhone River, the Okko Hotels Lyon Pont Lafayette exudes style and class. Like many of the best hotels in Lyon, France, this hotel occupies a historic 18th-century building that was the former home of the Préfecture de Police. The hotel is conveniently located to some of the more happening places in the city close to the water.
A splendid staircase winds its way up the six floors where the 85 guestrooms are located. Although there is a lift to the top, taking the staircase once is definitely worth the effort. Cocoon-styled rooms come with a good range of amenities. Large windows and high ceilings make them feel more spacious and bright.
Since this is an all-inclusive hotel, you can look forward to quite a few freebies, beginning with a lavish breakfast. Guests can also enjoy complimentary soft and hot drinks throughout the day at The Club and an evening ‘aperitivo’ accompanied by local wine, craft beer, or cider. On-site you’ll find a small well-being and fitness center on the first floor as well as a business center.
Villa Florentine is one of the many hotels in Lyon, France, housed in a historic building. Perched on a hill above the city, the former 18th-century convent provides stunning views of Lyon. Whilst many attractions are within walking distance of the hotel, it’s quite a climb to and from the Villa Florentine. That being said, if you want to awaken to the sound of birds chirping in the morning, this is one of the best hotels in Lyon, France, that affords you this tranquility.
A rich Florentine Renaissance theme pervades through the hotel with period furnishings and artwork. The frescoed entrance in the lobby is from a chapel that dates back to 1741. The hotel only has 29 rooms that differ in size. Most rooms provide excellent panoramic views of the Old Town. All come in a good range of amenities.
One of the best places at the hotel to take in the views is at the panoramic outdoor pool. There’s also a hot tub, sauna, and black chaise lounges on the idyllic rooftop. Besides this, you’ll also find a good fitness room, hammam, a second sauna, and a spa where you can indulge in massages and other treatments. Another star of the hotel is its Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant where you can enjoy an excellent two-course lunch menu or dinner.
Mob Hotel climbs to the top of the rankings of best hotels in Lyon, France, with its avant-garde style and excellent facilities. You cannot stroll by without being impressed by the eye-catching exterior, showcasing a striking color and metal lacework. The hotel’s location by the River Saône in the trendy Confluence neighborhood is an added advantage.
The reception area lures with its merchandise, like Mob t-shirts, printed totes, and other products. Tastefully decorated guestrooms have pastel-colored walls, designer lighting, and other quirky elements to enhance comfort. You won’t find a television in the rooms though, but if you want your daily dose of entertainment, an iPad can be rented. En suite bathrooms come with walk-in showers and herb-scented toiletries.
While you won’t find a spa or pool on site, the bar and restaurant are excellent spaces for whetting your thirst or appetite. During the summer months, the hotel’s terrace on the first floor is a great place to hang out.
One can hardly imagine the chic, modern Fourvière Hôtel was once an austere convent. However, despite the makeover, the four-star hotel still manages to beautifully fuse historic architecture with modernity. Many public spaces in the hotel clearly reflect the hotel’s magnificent past. If you’re looking for a novel experience, this is one of the best hotels in Lyon, France, that gives you just that. Besides the novel experience of staying in this historic building, you’re also well removed from the crowd. It’s a steep climb to the top from downtown Lyon but you can take the funicular if you’re interested in exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vieux Lyon.
Designed by the same architect who created the beautiful Fourvière Basilica, the red-brick building definitely stands out. Remnants of its past are visible in the cloister restaurant, the reception with the altar, and stained glass windows above the entrance. As expected, the guest rooms also showcase this history with minimalistic Scandinavian decor.
There’s a 25m-long heated lap pool in the gardens, a small spa with a whirlpool, steam bath, and ice fountain. You can enjoy excellent French cuisine at the cloister restaurant or have a drink at the bar that overlooks the courtyard. Breakfast is not included in the rate but the lavish spread is worth the extra fee.
Cour des Loges
Many of the best hotels in Lyon, France are housed in historic buildings that are oozing with style and character. The luxurious Cour des Loges is a five-star hotel spread across four Renaissance townhouses. Winding staircases, small passageways, charming verandas, and Italian loggias are part of the charm of staying here. It’s no surprise that the hotel lies on a quiet street in the heart of the Old Town. You’re surrounded by stunning medieval and Renaissance architecture which will leave you quite mesmerized.
Luxury and charm enwrap you at the Cour des Loges right from the public spaces to the guest rooms. Individually decorated rooms feature wood-beamed ceilings, antique armoires, and velvety fabric. Some rooms have hand-carved wooden headboards and fireplaces.
You can expect top-notch service right from the reception area. The hotel is also big on amenities with a well-equipped fitness center and spa. A whirlpool tub, hot tub, sauna, and steam room, and an indoor pool are also at guests’ disposal. If you love gardens, you’ll definitely be quite taken with the hanging gardens of the hotel. Apart from this, the other standout is the Michelin-starred restaurant, Les Loges that features a bold, creative menu. If Michelin fare is not your thing then you could try the neighboring Café-Épicerie for a classy bistro lunch in the shade of the trees.
Hotel de L’Abbaye
If you’re looking for conveniently located hotels in Lyon, France, with an intimate vibe Hotel de L’Abbaye is one of the best. Located in the historic district of Presqu’île, you’re ideally placed to explore the Vieux Lyon neighborhood and Bellecour Square.
This former presbytery is now a sophisticated boutique hotel that showcases tastefully designed interiors. The hotel is fresh off a renovation which is evident in the redesigned guest rooms. While the five Essential Junior Suites are the best, the other rooms and suites feature tasteful furnishings and designs. High ceilings and tall windows are what you can expect in all the spacious suites.
Breakfast is not included in the rate but it’s worth the extra fee with its good spread of homemade bread and crunch pastries. L’Artichaut the onsite brasserie serves up delightful market-inspired delicacies. There’s also a small Cafe that is open all day. Given the small size of the hotel, you won’t many other amenities here.
Hotel Carlton Lyon
Take a step back in time at the Hotel Carlton Lyon, housed in a building that dates back to 1894. With its Hausmann façade, period stained glass windows, and 1930s Roux-Combaluzier lift, this is one of the best hotels in Lyon, France, that tastefully combines heritage and luxury. The centrally located MGallery hotel puts you close to many attractions such as the Opera House and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. You’ll also find a metro station just five minutes from the hotel.
The palace hotel exudes elegance from the moment you enter with burgundy red dominating most of the spaces here. It’s been the hotel’s color since 1925. Guest rooms reflect the same color scheme with rooms adorned in shades of red and white.
Apart from the gorgeous décor, the other standout is the spa that has a steam room and hammam. One downside is that you won’t find an onsite restaurant though there are plenty in the vicinity.
One of the best hotels in Lyon, France, that allows you to put some distance between yourself and the crowds is Villa Maïa. Although it seems a bit removed from everything from its perch on Fourvière Hill, it’s still close enough to quite a few attractions. A 10 minute uphill, trudge will take you to the iconic Fourvière Basilica while it’s 15 minutes downhill to the UNESCO protected old town.
Everything about this intimate hotel oozes with charm and sophistication. Three renowned French designers collaborated to create this gorgeous contemporary space, inspired by the antiquarian heritage of the area. Most rooms offer sweeping 180-degree views of the city. As expected, the décor in the rooms is top-notch with a good range of amenities.
A clear standout at the hotel is its spa with a 20-meter long indoor pool, whirlpool tub, sauna, and steam room. There’s also a pretty good fitness center. When you’re in a city that’s so highly rated for its food, you can’t expect any less from a hotel with this caliber. Têtedoie, the Michelin starred restaurant tantalizes you with its delectable French cuisine. Breakfast which is included in the rate is a gourmet feast, enticing you to throw out those diets and indulge!
Recommended Restaurants/Bars in Lyon:
- Le Sirius – Instead of going to a regular bar, why not enjoy a drink on the river instead? This permanently moored boat serves a wide range of drinks until quite late in the night. If you’d prefer a more steady space, it also has a terrace on the banks. You can enjoy live music or tap your feet to the sound of the DJ.
- Lady Bao – Sometimes the best place to enjoy a meal is on the street. This Chinese street food spot specializes in home-made jiaozi dumplings and bao. You’ll find other main dishes to satiate other cravings and dishes to satisfy vegetarians and vegans too.
- Le Kitchen Cafe – Located in Lyon’s university district, it’s a great place to enjoy a good breakfast or lunch. However, the standout is the dessert bar, the only one in Lyon.
Recommended Activities in Lyon:
- Private Customizable Walking Tour Old District – Sometimes it’s better to discover a city on a private guided tour rather than getting lost in a crowd. This tour takes you through the enchanting neighborhood of Saint-Jean and other parts of the old district.
- Guided Sightseeing Cruise – Enjoy Lyon from a different angle as you cruise down the Saone River on this one hour tour. You’ll get a deeper insight into the UNESCO World Heritage Site as you marvel at the architecture along the way.
- Musee Lumière– Movie buffs will enjoy this museum in the family villa of the Lumière brothers, the pioneers in cinema. Their world-changing legacy is showcased and celebrated in this museum founded by Louis Lumière’s grandson.