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The best hotels in Lyon

From luxury retreats in Renaissance townhouses to bright and cheerful design-on-a-budget boltholes, the best hotels in Lyon offer something for all tastes

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A vibrant, modern commercial hub with a UNESCO-recognised Old City, Lyon’s hotels match its diverse character. Whether you want to dine by candlelight in the Italianate courtyard of a Renaissance townhouse, stay in Belle Epoque grandeur or minimalist heaven, or look down on the Old City from a luxury hilltop retreat, you’ll find somewhere outstanding to stay in our selection of the best hotels in Lyon.

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The best hotels in Lyon

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Collège Hotel

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.  

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Cour des Loges

Lyon’s pull-out-all-the-stops five-star hotel combines sumptuous luxury with a location in four Renaissance townhouses in the Old City. Candlelit dining is in the stupendous Italianate central courtyard with a glass roof. Some of the rooms have wooden beams; most are in warm hues and many have luxurious fabric swags. Add in terrace gardens and a Sybaritic spa and you have just about everything.

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Fourvière

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. 

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La Gourguillon

A romantic refuge where each room has its own entrance (they’re set on two sides of a picturesque hillside street), Le Gourguillon is a hotel made 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.

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Hotel Bayard Bellecour

On central place Bellecour, the Bayard Bellecour makes the most of the original features of its nineteenth-century home, with mouldings, wainscots, beautiful, polished parquet and original fireplaces. Individually decorated, eclectic rooms (with looks ranging from cute flower-sprig wallpaper and stripes to dramatic charcoal paintwork with grey/gold wallpaper) blend antiques with modern furniture. Some larger rooms have bathtubs as well as showers.

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Hotel le Royal

With grand swathes of sumptuously patterned fabrics, liberal use of colour and big-pattern wallpapers, the central Royal – in a grand Belle Epoque building – puts a bold twist on tradition in its comfortable rooms. Parquet floors add a touch of classic class and bathrooms have Fragonard products – the kind of luxury you’d expect from a Sofitel hotel. Downstairs, the Côté Bellecour bar envelops you in louche deep-red from floor to ceiling. 

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Hotel Silky

Fresh, modern design (think full-length windows and bold use of colour) make the most of the restricted space (in standard rooms at least) in this cheery bargain boutique hotel. The reception area features lots of wood and – in line with the theme – large reels of thread. Free wine and appetisers are served each evening, at appropriately named Happy Time. The café has pavement tables and folding doors opening up the interior in good weather.

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Mama Shelter Lyon

A youthful, style-forward and cheeky joie de vivre are Mama Shelter’s hallmarks. Philippe Starck-designed rooms have sleek lines, with feature walls in polished concrete contrasting with feminine pale pinks or soft limes. All have iMac screens. Breakfast is a laidback, generous buffet in the sofa-strewn restaurant – well worth the 17 Euros. The decked roof terrace is a great place to hang out for drinks. 

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Okko Lyon Pont Lafayette

A smart design hotel beside the Rhône, bang in the city centre, Pont Lafayette’s USP is the comfortable, modishly furnished ‘Club’ – a large single space with a snack-filled kitchen, newspapers, computers, and a shop that stands in place of a reception area or lounge. Rooms are small but light and cleverly designed, with specially developed all-natural, anti-allergy bed linen, huge showers and Nespresso machines.

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Villa Florentine

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Old City, the sprawling, Italianate Villa Florentine – once a convent – is now a cosseting luxury retreat. There’s a huge terrace for summer dining (in a landmark restaurant) and a large rooftop pool, both with panoramic city views. Inside is a hammam and spa. Comfortable rooms are a mix of plush contemporary and others more reflective of the building’s history – some have wooden beams.  

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