Lyon is THE destination for foodies. Crucible for top international chefs, Lyon has a lively eating and drinking scene which continues into a post-restaurant-closing hours scene when the restaurant staff enjoy their own eating and drinking. As well as rich Lyonnaise cooking, this city is rich in culture, with plenty of history to uncover, art to experience, treasures to purchase, and even civilised strolling to be done. The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Lyon has something for everyone from the budget bolthole to the truly luxurious city pad with Michelin starred cuisine.
Lyon's stylish centre sits between the Rhône and Saône rivers, an elegant web of boulevards built in the 19th Century, on which you'll find cafes and boutiques.
Despite Lyon's reputation as a commercial and industrial powerhouse, its position between two rivers allows for plenty of opportunities for scenic strolling. The towpath along the Rhône's left bank is especially nice. If your idea of perfect French civility involves mature gentlemen playing petanque and boating lakes, then this is the promenade for you.
Unlike other cities, the oldest part of town isn't at the heart of the modern city - the cobbled alleys of the medieval Old Town is on the Saône's west bank. This is a slightly quirkier area, and if you're looking for something unusual then this area, and especially the Rue de Boeuf, is the place to come. The Old Town is also full of restaurants.
The really ancient bit of Lyon, the Roman bit - Lyon was once the Roman capital of Gaul - is best reached using the funicular from Vieux Lyon metro station. The highlights are the Roman ruins: there are two theatres here, capable of seating 13,000 people, and the Gallo-Roman museum.
Lyon's other great museums are the Musée des Beaux-Arts - which houses works by Renoir, Degas, Monet, Pissarro and Cezanne; The Musée Lumiere - where cinema began; the Musée des Confluences - an ambitious science and technology museum; and the WWII museum.
While Lyon's collection of art, historical treasures and architecture are certainly impressive, this city is really famous for its food. There's one stretch of riverside which just seems to be food market after food market.
Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, Lyon's purpose-built wholesale market, is a great place to start if you're here on a culinary pilgrimage. Bursting with specialist stalls and local producers with hundreds of years of experience, this covered market is full of goodies.
Treated like a giant pick and mix by the locals, who you'll find eating at the stand up tables, there are also some fancier options here if you want to sit down and be served. But don't worry, Lyon has plenty of enticing ways to keep you sated and more.
The bouchons, a sort of cross between a pub and a bistro, are great places to try the amazing local stews and sausages. They vary in decor and sophistication, but bear in mind that some of them have Michelin stars… Of course you'll also find fine examples of the latest international culinary trends here. In fact many of them were probably started here.
The 'newest' part of Lyon - because of redevelopment - is the Confluence. This is another good spot for restaurants and is best reached by ferry. Mostly because the views of the petanque parks and the city's architectural peaks are charming.
Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory plus the kind of gadgetry you might find at Google HQ. Super modern, super cool, super eclectic. Each room is different, each as fun as the next. The penthouse has access to the roof. City style for technophiles.
A gorgeous family home in hectares of parkland with an excellent Michelin star restaurant. Rustic chic bedrooms with attractive bedspreads and pastel wallpapers. Stunning grounds filled with ponds, raspberry groves, violet carpeted forests, and peacocks roaming the lawns. A romantic gourmet spot.
A glorious hotel spread across four traditional buildings in traditional villages with cobbled streets. Romantic rooms, family rooms and suites have four poster beds, fireplaces, stone floors, and attractive fabrics. Excellent regional cuisine and very good value.
Boutique hotel just 15 minutes from Lyon city centre with garden, wine bar and restaurant. Bedrooms are spacious with striking contemporary design and modern simplicity. A peaceful garden outside the city with lovely greenery. The restaurant offers a selection of seasonal dishes.
Striking 'school' themed hotel in central Lyon. Contemporary rooms all in white with great views over the city, some with private terraces. A 'Refectory' themed bar and restaurant. An excellent variety of meeting rooms make it ideal for business visitors looking for something less corporate.
Charming guest house with pleasant garden and outdoor pool just 10 minutes drive from central Lyon. Rooms are rustic yet sophisticated with white washed walls & stylish furnishings. For something completely different you can spend the night in a gypsy caravan! Plenty of great restaurants nearby.
Classical elegance with a modern twist at this centrally located hotel. Palatial rooms and suites with lots of white, red, and cerulean blue Toile de Jouy and all the modern gadgets. An excellent restaurant and lunch time cooking school. Very comfortable safe option.
A serene country mansion that combines the traditional and the contemporary. Rough stone walls, steel, glass, wood, fixtures and furniture for minimalist effect. Enormous swimming pool, gourmet kitchen, and luxurious rooms. Something different, very special.
A lovely country house on the banks of a river, not far from Lyon. Very romantic rooms blend traditional materials with contemporary finishings for chic effect. Family rooms and a gypsy caravan too. Excellent dinner by arrangement, lots of markets to explore, and plenty of Beaujolais wine tasting.
Set on the banks of the River Rhone and near a Nature Reserve. A hotel in a romantic location with riverside terraces and a gourmet restaurant. Charming rooms and suites in pinks, mauves and creams with private terraces. A haven for peace and tranquility.
Pavillon de la Rotonde has 5 stars for a reason. Its spa facilities allow you to enter a state of complete zen, as does its gardens. Interiors are a wonderful hybrid of 1930s and highly contemporary decor, and each room is delicately furnished to provide the perfect place to chill out.
A contemporary townhouse hotel in central Lyon. Huge comfortable rooms with lots of natural light, marble fireplaces, and gilt mirrors. A sophisticated city spot.
Recently renovated, this charming hotel is just 5 minutes from Vienne's city centre. Guestrooms and suites are spacious, with fresh contemporary interiors. The two restaurants have exciting and innovative menus and offer comfortable alfresco dining. A welcoming destination for food enthusiasts.
Nothing short of spectacular. A Five Star hotel with a Michelin restaurant. Classical elegance throughout constructed by artists. Think romantic Venetian landscapes and Italian opera framed with silk embroidery. Fabulous spa, rooftop garden, and wine vaults.
Contemporary design and Italian Rennaisance in an attractive former convent. Romantic rooms with private terraces overlooking Lyon. A gourmet restaurant, beauty treatments, and swimming pool make it a relaxing spot to explore Lyon from.