InterContinental Lyon - Hotel Dieu
We wake up after a perfect night, then we softly open our eyes on a breathtaking view of Fourvière, the Rhône river or the different charismatic courtyard gardens from the 17th century. We enjoy a quality breakfast directly in room or at Epona restaurant which offers a privileged access to its gardened terrace, truly enjoyable by the comeback of the beautiful days. Then, we go to the fitness centre... The most motivated can also go running along the Rhône river, on the banks, right in front of the hotel and cross over beautiful swans, joggers and cyclists, enjoying another great view of Lyon. Finally, we dress up and go to live the Lyon adventure, on the expert advice of our chef Concierge Cyrille Jombart, always aware of the latest essential addresses of the city not to miss!
Borrowing the historic corridors littered with stories of this 18th century historical monument, we are on our way to discover the Grand Hôtel-Dieu. Once again, this incredible space offers us a walk through the centuries, punctuated with shops of all kinds: restaurants such as Le Grand Refectoire, decoration and design shops such as Maison Silvera, cosmetics (Clarins, Aroma Zone) ... and a space dedicated to culinary art: Les Halles du Grand Hôtel-Dieu, bringing together the best of Lyon's gastronomy: La Mère Richard for cheese, Maison Voisin for chocolate, Maison Vianey for fish, Maison Pozzoli for the bakery... Before leaving to discover the historic district of the city: the Vieux-Lyon. A few minutes’ walk from InterContinental® Lyon - Hotel Dieu, crossing the Rhône river, we find ourselves teleported into the Renaissance Lyon, small steep cobbled streets and the famous traboules (local secret passageways) to discover… We then take the funicular to get a little height and admire the city of Lyon as a whole from the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Before walking down the slopes of the Croix-Rousse district, representative of the new "arty" and bohemian face of the city with its secret addresses and many concept stores, where life is good. The bravest will have after that the opportunity to make quality shopping in the heart of the peninsula. Bellecour square, République street, Gasparin street, Emile Zola street, Jacobin square… Taking the time to contemplate these architectures, very specific to the city of Lyon. The most athletic can ride their bike and go to the Tête d'Or Park, not far from the hotel, just on the other side of the Rhône river, which reserves number of pleasures (boat or pedalo on the lake, botanical gardens, outdoor yoga sessions...). Finally, Lyon provides a rich offer of monuments to discover for culture lovers: the Museum of Confluences in the modern area of the city, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Cinema, the House of Canuts and the authentic silk workshops…
By the end of the day, if the weather allows it, we relax on a terrace at the edge of the Saône river enjoying an amazing view on the Fourvière hill, or on the dynamic banks of the Rhône river. Back at the hotel to change our outfit, we sip a good cocktail at Le Dôme bar, housed under the incredible piece of architecture signed by Soufflot, just before going to dine in one of the famous "bouchons" of Lyon: the typical restaurants of the city where we taste the best cuisine the region has to offer. Then, as the theatre and shows enthusiasts we are, we go to the House of Dance to attend a ballet, or an opera in the opulent Opera House of the Town Hall Square, less than a ten-minute walk from the hotel.
A maternity hospital dear to Lyonnais
During WWII, the Hôtel-Dieu was damaged several times. On September 4, 1944, the large dome was completely destroyed by fire after a barrage of gunfire. It was only in the 1960s that funds were released for its reconstruction. First the southern facade and then the one overlooking the Rhône were restored, while the northern part of the Hôtel-Dieu, consisting of the Hôtel-Dieu covered passage, was replaced by new buildings. In the second half of the 20th century, the hospital continued its medical activity. A huge number of the births in all of hospitals across Lyon were recorded in the Hôtel-Dieu. The hospital closed forever in 2010.
The Confluences Museum
The newest arrival in Lyon offers a rather unusual environment with its modern, present-day architecture and urban planning. The mammoth of Choulans, one of the most interesting pieces in the permanent collection, discovered in 1859 a few kilometers away from the actual museum. An amusing fact about this remarkable animal, first displayed in the Guimet Natural History Museum: when first introduced, the tusks were inserted back to front! You really must visit this wonderful avant-garde monument that is strongly becoming one of the symbols of the city.
La Presqu'île, the iconic peninsula
World Heritage site by UNESCO, this neighbourhood is home to cultural areas such as the Place Bellecour, one of the largest pedestrian areas in Europe, as well as the Place des Terreaux and the superb Fine Arts museum. The concierge recommends: the Bartholdi fountain on the Place des Terreaux has been an important part of Lyon's heritage for a long time (Bartholdi designed the fountain before being called on an other project, the Statue of Liberty). Originally designed for the city of Bordeaux but considered too expensive, Lyon acquired it in 1889 during the World’s Fair.