24 Hours at the Cour des Loges, Lyon
Well, it is said that Italy and France are the most beautiful tourist destinations within Europe - at least when it comes to food, wine, beaches and culture of life. Actually I am a big fan of Italy and the South of France, however I have never been to any other part of France beside the Provence and Paris. So I was in for a surprise and ready to explore Lyon. Honestly I thought that the drive from Lausanne to Lyon can be done in 2 hours. Unfortunately I was so wrong: It took me 3 hours until I was near the hotel and another 30 minutes to get to the hotel - I can only remember one arrival that was as exhausting as this one. As soon as you miss THE only road, you are going to drive around town for another 20 to 40 minutes. Finally I called the hotel and the super friendly front desk lady stayed on the phone, helping me to find the right road - so as soon as the hotel was on the phone, everything was fine.
Of course due to the call, the bellmen was already outside of the hotel, waiting for me to arrive and everyone knew my name as soon as I entered the hotel. I love such arrivals! Normally I feel a little bit unwelcome when I have to say my name and what I want at front desk. Isn't it obvious when I arrive by car and have luggage with me that I am staying at the hotel? So the first impression was nice, however as soon as I arrived at the front desk I was offered a glass of Badoit and homemade Madeleines - a small cake. Then the friendly general manager came over to welcome me personally and I felt pleased to freshen up my french skills finally. Before I had even finished the small pastry, I was already on my way to the room. During the small tour I was impressed by the history and the beauty of the ancient building and it was impressive to see how it has been turned into a hotel over the years.
At first the hotel felt like a labyrinth, but after a while it becomes super cozy and familiar. Well, for everyone who might not have registered: The Cour des Loges is situated in the most central location of Lyon and it is a very ancient building, so it is definitely not the place to expect a super spacious room. Honestly, I was so excited for the design and the room layout and upon opening the door to my room, my expectations have been exceeded. Being a superior room, I was overwhelmed by the free standing bath tub from which you could even watch television. Furthermore the whole atmosphere was so cozy, like I only experienced it at La Mirande in Avignon before (probably it was also the smell of freshly cooked dinner which was there throughout of the hotel - and I really really love it! It is the sign that you are at a real french hotel with a super gastronomic experience). The toilet was separated with a bidet, while the shower was in a corner of the room. Although it might seem suspect, I found the red wall colours to be very tasteful as they were matching the whole interior and paintings.
All these little details were making me feel so welcome: From a box of house-made biscuits and chocolates to a small pastry created by the chef and fitting to the season (I had something with ginger bread) as well as a welcome letter and plenty of toiletries by the Sibuet Hotel's own brand. While many of you might think that I would prefer big and airy rooms, I have to admit that on some occasions I am absolutely obsessed with small and intimate boutique hotels. Of course I wouldn't stay in such a room in Shanghai or Dubai, but the room is just so French and you really get this feeling throughout the entire stay - and that's what it makes so extraordinary. Well, I think it is fair to say that Lyon has got a nice selection of hotels, however I would always stay again at the Cour des Loges as the atmosphere is unique in the entire world. It is the only hotel that has such an atrium, such cozy and typical french rooms and such a pole position in addition to that gorgeous dining outlets and spa offer, which I will present in the following paragraphs.
As mentioned before, one of the USPs and highlights of this hotel is the small spa, managed by Pure Altitude. They have a wonderful indoor pool, which is more an oversized jacuzzi, a very small gym, a cozy relaxation room, an area to lie after swimming sessions, a sauna, a steam bath and a hot tub with a glass roof. Generally there was a lot of daylight in the spa which I very much appreciated. While it was a little bit crowded before dinner, I was the only guest after breakfast and therefore it felt like a private spa.
After that little spa time, I had the pleasure to enjoy Cour des Loges' casual dining outlet: Cafe Epicerie which is directly accessible from the hotel. There is also the gourmet restaurant in the atrium of the hotel, but unfortunately it was already fully booked during my stay. However I did not regret my choice, as it was a truly wonderful dinner. It all started with a glass of wonderful champagne accompanied by freshly sliced salami and homemade paté. After that I chose the classic Foie Gras followed by an outstandingly perfect meat with the best mashed potatoes I have ever had - congratulations to the chef! The dinner was also accompanied by wines of the Sibuet Hotels which I found a lovely touch.
After a heavenly and super peaceful night (my room was facing the pedestrian street tough), I enjoyed the breakfast in the gourmet restaurant. The size of the buffet was absolutely perfect with excellent salmon, freshly cut Iberico ham, homemade jams and wonderful bread. I loved the fresh orange juice and there was also the option to order the "egg of the dish". I think that I missed the question of the staff for my egg order, so I ended up with scrambled eggs from the buffet, although I normally always prefer to order them and get them served in a nice way.
As mentioned previously I skipped the sightseeing through Lyon and saw the spa again, so that i could return to Lausanne in a super relaxed way. All in all it was a perfect stay and Cour des Loges is really well worth the price of around 250 euros a night. (Compared to La Mirande in Avignon, the Cour des Loges is a bargain and is absolutely the same at the same perfect location, just in a different city ;)).
Would I return? No doubts, I definitely would and it would be exactly the same room.
I was a guest of Maisons et Hotels Sibuet and therefore stayed at Cour des Loges for editorial purposes. However all above written expresses my own opinion and has not been influenced.