In a gorgeously-preserved mediaeval city whose cobbled streets and ancient stones have won it World Heritage Site status, the five-star Cour des Loges offers visitors the chance to live the lifestyle of a mediaeval nobleman for a night or three in the heart of VIeux Lyon.
With rather more mod cons naturally; this beautiful hotel comes with thoroughly up to date plumbing and wide-screen TV, although the furniture and hand-papered wallpaper do their best to recreate the glories of pre-revolutionary France enjoyed by those with the means to commission them.
Rooms can vary in size – ours on the front was a little poky, but those overlooking the gardens at the back can be lavishly spacious; ask for the one Catherine Deneuve likes to stay in when she visits Lyon. Wherever you stay,expect features like clawfoot bathtubs in the bedroom and theatrically-curtained beds whose drapes afford bathers a little privacy.
This hotel is about more than the rooms; the great glory of the building is the fabulous colonnaded courtyard, in the heart of which sits the Michelin-starred restaurant, Les Loges. Arriving on Monday night, when it was closed, we instead ate an excellent meal at the hotel’s Cafe-Epicerie, an indoor-outdoor brasserie serving all the great dishes of the region including quenelles de brochet Nantua – heavenly pike soufflés – and volatile de Bresse, from where France’s best poultry emanates; the night we were there it was plump guinea fowl on the menu.
Guests do get to enjoy Les Loges for breakfast, which is a very ritzy affair indeed. Many kinds of fresh-pressed juice and an egg of the day; the poached egg served on a pesto crouton topped with slivers of ham constituted one of the best little breakfast dishes ever eaten in France.
There is a suitably dark and mediaeval bar, quite the local gathering place, and in the morning the gardens at the back of the property provide a delightful respite for the charming but often crowded streets of Vieux Lyon. Of the city’s many museums, one of the finest is practically next door – the Musee Miniature et Cinema, featuring fabulous movie props and dolls’ house as well as life-size film sets. Of the many souvenir shops, don’t discount the hotel’s own, selling local epicurean delights.
Those arriving by train from either Paris or the airport should note that Lyon-Perrache is considerably closer to the hotel than Lyon Part-Dieu. Those coming by car should be aware they will have to call the hotel via an intercom at the entrance to the road on which it sits and to which bollard-free access is only granted to guests with reservations.
Tell me more about the Cour des Loges Hotel in Lyon
Rooms from around £179
6 rue du Boeuf
Tel: +33 4 72 77 44 44
Getting to Lyon
Voyages-sncf.com serves Lyon from London from £89 return by direct Eurostar or £111 breaking the journey in Paris.