A romantic Rennaisance hideaway, full of hidden history...
Steeped in history and nestled within the heart of old Lyon, Cour des Loges is the perfect destination for those after a cosy romantic hideaway.
Tucked away within a maze of beautiful cobbled streets, Cour des Loges consists of four restored Rennaisance buildings converted into one magnificent hotel - an utterly authentic construction of interior courtyards, intimate secret passageways - or traboules - and winding spiral staircases, all with original ceilings and archways.
But there's a twist. A very modern, twist.
Describing itself as 'where the romantic Rennaissance spirit meets contemporary creativity' - not only will you find fantastic original features and old-style structures, but a vast array of modern art, theatrical furnishings and of course, five star facilities.
With 62 bedrooms, including four grand suites - all of completely individual size, layout and design - there's something to suit most price ranges. But due to the central old-city location - which incidentally is one of the highlights - don't necessarily expect a room with a view.
But then, when the interior decor is this beautiful, you won't have any desire to be looking outside.
With Lyon's world-renowned reputation as being one of the finest gastronomic cities in Europe, naturally, the dining is as big a part of the experience as anything else, and foodies will be in their element. Cour des Loges boasts two lauded in-house restaurants: for fans of the native cuisine, Les Loges - a traditionally Lyionnaise menu - or for the less conventional, Cafe-Epicerie - where you'll discover more unexpected, experimental dishes, served up by an award-winning chef.
And to top off an already relaxing stay, there is of course Spa Pure Altitude - which for hotel guests can be accessed through one of the many secret 'traboules' passageways to save you walking through the main lobby in your dressing gown and slippers.
Being a boutique hotel, there's not much space to play around with, but it includes everything you would want from a short stay spa - steam room, sauna, gym, treatment rooms and swimming pool.
So granted, it may not be the largest piscine you've ever seen, but the nifty current machine enables you to measure your swimming strength as if you were in an olympic-sized pool. (And after all the fine Lyonnaise dining you'll be enjoying, you might relish a spot of exercise!)
With a moody, atmospheric bar, an impressive wine cellar and relaxing hanging gardens - there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore within the hotel - or venture outside, where you're just a stone's throw away from all the cultural landmarks, high-end shopping and of course, restaurants, that the city has to offer.
A favourite among stars such as Michael Jackson, Oasis and even the Spice Girls back in their heyday, the traboules of Cour des Loges really are a must to explore for your next city break.
But finally, I must mention a special thank you to to the wonderful Gerard - hands down the finest concierge I have ever come across. And with the finest moustache, for that matter, too.
Getting there: we booked through Hotels.com
Cour des Loges, 2-8 rue de Boeuf, 69005 Lyon, France; +33(0)4 72 77 44 44: courdesloges.com/uk
Rooms from 240 Euros per room, per night.
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