LIFESTYLE

Treasure Trove – Lyon’s Cour des Loges Hotel

A rich history, unrivalled comfort, and a Michelin-starred restaurant to boot: five-star hotel Cour des Loges is a rare find amidst Lyon’s labyrinth of Renaissance streets.

Lyon is known for its traboules – a vast network of almost 500 passageways, corridors, and stairwells that has borne witness to France’s fascinating and often turbulent history. The first traboules are thought to have been built in the 14th century as shortcuts for the city’s inhabitants and to shelter silk from the sun and rain – the city was a trading hub for the fabric. Venture into its Old Town (Vieux Lyon) along Rue du Boeuf and you’ll find Cour des Loges, which houses one of these secret thoroughfares, not to mention many other welcome surprises.

Part of the Radisson Individuals collection, the five-star hotel is an oasis hidden amongst Lyon’s narrow alleys. Once part of the street, the inner Florentine courtyard is a huge, cool space drenched in light pouring through the 17-metre-tall glass canopy. It’s theatrical too – each of the levels looks inwards like the upper stalls of a grand amphitheatre. Combine this impressive sight with the warm welcome of Cour des Loges’ ever-attentive staff and it’s no wonder the hotel makes such a lasting impression on everyone who walks through its doors.

Spanning four buildings originally constructed for merchants, bankers, and craftsmen during Lyon’s Renaissance period, the hotel is brimming with character. Each of the 60 rooms and suites is unique and presents something different while maintaining the same incredible standards – they pay homage to the past but are also refreshingly modern with high-spec touches. Take the Classic Florentine Room, for example – its plush upholstered silk walls, elegant chandelier, and hand-painted headboard create a truly romantic atmosphere, while the Superior Venetian Room oozes luxury – imagine taffeta fabrics and unique artworks. For creative souls, The Ateliers overlooking the central courtyard is set on three levels and has the ambience of an artist’s studio.

Cour des Loges’ suites, the largest of which spans 60 square metres and can sleep four guests, have the wow factor thanks to antique fireplaces, boudoir-style bathrooms with double sinks, and huge master bedrooms.

It’s impossible to mention the hotel without waxing lyrical about its Michelin-starred restaurant: Les Loges. Run by 39-year-old top chef Anthony Bonnet since 2004, the menu boasts bold, creative, and seasonal dishes inspired by local ingredients. The duck foie gras comes highly recommended, so too the breaded pigeon – both house specialties.

Café Épicerie’s epicurean menu and meticulous wine selection offer an entirely different dining experience, while anyone interested in sharpening their cooking skills can book an individual or group class in La Petite Loge, where Anthony and his talented team explain how to create iconic dishes in the hotel’s huge historic kitchen.

There are plenty of places to relax in Cour des Loges, whether it be the supreme comfort of the rooms or the well-stocked, retro “humidor cigar” bar on the ground floor (the cocktails are to die for), but the hotel spa – Pure Altitude – is arguably the best spot to decompress. The hamman, pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and relaxation room are always ready and waiting to cleanse and refresh guests after a day traversing Lyon’s steep street.

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