Home > Hôtel Le Royal Lyon Review
Updated: August 15, 2020
Hôtel Le Royal Lyon – Belle Epoque charm and elegance in the heart of the Presqu’île.
A five-star member of the chic MGallery by Sofitel group, this grand property on central Place Bellecour opened as a boutique hotel in 1912 and has welcomed several famous guests, including The Beatles. Inspired by the grand bourgeois residences of the period, this charming hotel aims to give you a home in Lyon with corridors are designed to look like streets. The elegant rooms, redone by famous French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon in blue and red, feature lots of period style and contemporary touches such as Toile de Jouy wall coverings and vintage photos next to a sleek modern sofa and coffee table, and range from compact singles to dramatic circular junior suites with panoramic views. L’Institut restaurant is a real draw for foodies; here chef Cyril Bosviel works with student chefs from the renowned Institut Paul Bocuse to bring you fresh ‘bistronomique’ cuisine. Amateurs can even try their hand in the kitchen at the adjoining cookery school, École de Cuisine Gourmets.
Hôtel Le Royal Lyon – Location
- Address: 20 Place Bellecour, 2nd arr., 69002 Lyon, France.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Bellecour station is a 2-minute walk (0.1 mile) away.
- Area: Excellent central location, in the heart of the historic Presqu’île, the peninsula between the rivers Rhône and Saône, and overlooking the grand expanse of Place Bellecour. The hotel has soundproof windows that guests can open. Great shopping and food are all around. The medieval and Renaissance Vieux Lyon district (Old Lyon) is 11 minutes (0.5 mile) away, just across the Saône to the west; the Rive Gauche is 10 minutes (0.5 mile) across the Rhône to the east. An 18-minute walk takes you to the hill of Fourvière, with its ancient sites and panoramic views. Bohemian Croix Rousse is just over 30 minutes to the north (1.5 miles, 32-minute walk).
- How to Get There: From Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport, take the Rhônexpress tram shuttle; book your ticket online for a small discount. Switch to Métro A at the Vaulx-en-Velin la Soie stop and travel to Bellecour, across the square from the hotel. Lyon Part-Dieu is the main train station; from here, take Métro B to Saxe-Gambetta, then change to Métro D to Bellecour. From Lyon Perrache train station, take Métro A to Bellecour or simply walk 17 minutes (0.7 mile) to the hotel.
- Handy to: Vieux Lyon, Grand Hôtel-Dieu, Rive Gauche, shopping.
Hôtel Le Royal Lyon – The Basics
- Ages: Guests tend to be professionals and couples in their 40s, some with children, looking for a special stay. Bar is 18+.
- View: Rooms on higher floors tend to have lovely city views across Place Bellecour or Place Antonin Poncet. The nicest are the panoramic views of both from the corner junior suites.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: Laundry, dry cleaning, and ironing services are available (additional charge).
- Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi in all the rooms.
- Parking: Parking at a nearby location is available for €25 per night (reservation is required), with valet parking on request.
- Extras: Clef d’Or concierge and 24-hour reception desk. Complimentary mineral water, coffee machine, minibar, and hypoallergenic bedding in all rooms. Bathrobes and free toiletries from Fragonard in the bathroom. Newspapers, movies, and music available on request.
- When to Book: Book 3-4 months in advance for the summer high season, Easter, and Christmas/New Year holidays.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +334 7837 5731
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: sofitel.accor.com
Hôtel Le Royal Lyon – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: Three rooms are specially adapted and wheelchair-accessible. There is step-free access to the hotel through the restaurant and an elevator to all floors.
- For Families: Children under 12 stay for free in a crib or extra bed; otherwise, there’s a charge of €50 per night for a bed. A babysitting service is on offer. You can book interconnecting rooms; however, only the 20 Superior Double Rooms – City Side can fit extra beds.
- Activities: Cooking classes with chefs from the Institut Paul Bocuse; some include wine tasting. The hotel even runs occasional 5-day ‘Art de Vivre’ programs involving cooking classes and gastronomic excursions. The concierge will gladly recommend and organize activities for you in the city.
- Other Facilities: Pets are allowed for a €16 charge.
Hôtel Le Royal Lyon – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: L’Institut is part of the legacy of legendary chef Paul Bocuse. In the kitchen, chef Cyril Bosviel leads a team of students from the culinary school Bocuse founded; they offer fresh ‘bistronomique’ cuisine, based on local, seasonal produce. The space by Pierre-Yves Rochon is chic and modern, with an open kitchen, so you can see all the chefs at work. Open Tuesday to Saturday 12-1pm and 7:30-9pm. Reservations required. $$-$$$.
- Lounge/Bar: Côté Bellecour, a lounge in rich red and lacquered black, invites you to sink into a sofa and enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail; their signature is the Lugdunum with gin and rose liqueur. Open 11am-12am.
- Breakfast: The gourmet breakfast spread can be included in the room rate, otherwise it’s €27 per person. Served in Côté Cuisine on the first floor, a dining area which is decorated like a sweet French kitchen, or in your room (from 6am). Service is 6:30-10:30am on weekdays, 6:30-11am on weekends. Both continental and American breakfast food is on the menu, with hot food cooked to order, dairy products from Renée Richard, and home-baked Lyonnais praline brioches and other pastries.
- Room Service: 24-hour room service is available.
Hôtel Le Royal Lyon – Rooms
- Room Types: Classic Single • Classic Double • Superior Double – Courtyard Side • Superior Double – City Side • Junior Double Suite with City View • Junior Double Suite with Panoramic View
- Smoking Rooms: The Hôtel Le Royal Lyon is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The Junior Double Suite with Panoramic View on the fifth floor has unrivaled views, a king-sized bed, and a spacious sitting area. Its distinctive circular space feels like a cozy cocoon embracing you.
- For Families: No family rooms per se, but the 20 Superior Double Rooms – City Side will fit an extra bed to sleep 3 people each. It is also possible to book interconnecting rooms.
Hôtel Le Royal Lyon – Local Transport
- Walking: The hotel is in the heart of the Presqu’île, between the rivers, a great central location for walking. The main shopping districts are moments away to the north and south, as are some fantastic restaurants. Crossing the river to Vieux Lyon in the west will take about 11 minutes (0.5 mile), as will getting to the Rive Gauche in the opposite direction (0.5 mile, 10-minute walk). The nearest train station, Perrache, is 17 minutes (0.7 mile) south. The Musée des Beaux-Arts (0.8 mile, 17-minute walk) and the Opéra (0.8 mile, 17-minute walk) are both north; the bohemian Croix Rousse district with its fantastic food, cafés, and art is a bit further (1.5 miles, 32-minute walk).
- Metro and Bus: Lyon has good public transport, including metro, buses, trams, and funiculars, and Bellecour (0.1 mile, 2-minute walk) has particularly good metro links. Consider getting the Lyon City Card, which covers unlimited trips as well as free/discounted entry to lots of attractions. The metro connects with the airport shuttle, Rhônexpress, at Lyon Part-Dieu and Vaulx-en-Velin la Soie. From Vieux Lyon (0.5 mile, 11 minutes’ walk or 1 stop on Métro D), 2 funiculars can take you up the hill to Fourvière and St Just, saving you a steep walk. You can also access the city by bus, including Lyon Part-Dieu (C9 bus) and the Musée des Confluences (C10 bus) from the Bellecour A.Poncet stop (75m, 1-minute walk).
- Vaporetto: This ferry connects Saint Paul to the north with the huge Confluence Shopping and Leisure Centre, which runs the service, to the south. Get on at Bellecour/Quai des Célestins (0.4 mile, 8-minute walk). Also included in the Lyon City Card.
- Vélo’v: City bikes for hire are big here, and cycling down either river, it’s easy to see why. Pick one up from one of 350 docks, choose a plan that suits you, and drop it off when you want. Just avoid the cobbled inner streets of Vieux Lyon and the steep hills of Fourvière and Croix Rousse (unless you’re feeling very athletic). Special offers apply for Lyon City Card holders. The nearest docks are on Place Antonin Poncet (75m, 1-minute walk) and on the corner of Place Bellecour and rue de la République (0.1 mile, 3-minute walk).
- Taxis, Uber, Lyft: A taxi from Lyon St-Exupéry Airport to the hotel will take around 40 minutes (23 miles) and cost €50-60. One from Lyon Part-Dieu station will take around 15 minutes (2 miles) and cost around €18-30. An Uber is cheaper for short rides, at €50-65 from the airport and €6-8 from Lyon Part-Dieu.
Hôtel Le Royal Lyon – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Walking Tours: The tourist office based on Place Bellecour runs a variety of quality walking tours in English. Several focus on Vieux Lyon, Croix Rousses, their traboules or secret passageways, and Lyon as a gastronomic center. Prices start at €7 for a 1-hour tour and go up to €70 for a 4-hour food tour. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile)
Best Nearby Restaurants
No chance of going hungry here – Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France, with a unique culinary tradition centered on bouchons – small, friendly bistros serving hearty food. Be adventurous – they serve all parts of the animal here, head to hooves. There’s also an extraordinary concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants. Do check opening hours and be aware that many bars and restaurants are shut on Sundays and Mondays.
- Brasserie Le Sud – Part of the empire of Paul Bocuse but without the same price tag. Here, it’s all about the cuisine of the south – think bold flavors such as lamb with couscous – and the lovely river view. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Les Trois Dômes – High in the Sofitel hotel, you find elevated, Michelin-starred dining as well as delightful views. The seasonal menu is just €36 for 2 courses. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Bouchon Thomas – Chef Thomas Ponson has practically taken over the block with his restaurant, a tapas bar, a wine bar, and this lovely bouchon, as good as any in the city. In a tiny, wooden-beamed dining room, you can watch as the chef works wonders, and service is warm and friendly. Choose from 3-course menus that are Lyonnais (€27) or Ardechois (€21), paying tribute to Ponson’s home. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Flair – Fabulous ‘bistronomique’ French/Japanese fusion from local heavyweights Christian Têtedoie and Hiroyuki Watanabe. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Cinq Mains – Neo-bistro serving beautiful looking modern French cuisine. On a sunny day, opt for the outdoor seating with views of the river. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Burgundy Lounge – Fine dining for wine lovers – the restaurant’s quality is recognized by the Collège Culinaire de France. At the center are huge glass cabinets showing off the wares on offer. Choose your bottle from over 800 wines, then select food by Chef Axel Ruga to go with it. The lunch menu is a reasonable €29, while dinner is more pricey; e.g., a Menu Découverte with 3 wines selected by the sommelier will run you €102. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Daniel et Denise – Expect fantastic versions of hearty Lyonnais bouchon classics such as tablier sapeur (breaded tripe) and pan-fried calf’s liver, and an award-winning pâté en croûte (duck foie gras and veal sweetbread pie). No wonder the owner Joseph Viola holds the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Chef of the Year 2004). 12-minute walk (0.6 mile) to the Vieux Lyon branch on Rue Tramassac.
- Le Musée – Friendly, authentic bouchon, with closely-packed tables and plenty of atmosphere. Wait for the chef to come and discuss the menu with you. This varies frequently but may feature such delights as chicken cooked in vinegar and sausage with pistachios in a homemade brioche. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- PraiRiaL – Chef Gaétan Gentil promises ‘gastronomy without inhibitions’, built on organic produce, especially vegetables, modern techniques, and constant creativity, which has earned him a Michelin star. The venue is contemporary and chic, with greenery on the walls. There are several menu options, so you can go for lunch from €35 to a lavish dinner option at €94 (including wine). 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- La Meunière – Here, the classic bouchon lyonnaise gets a bit of an update by Olivier Canal and Franck Delhoum, but not too much. The traditional dishes and generous portions are there, and there’s even a machon (lyonnais breakfast) at 9am – a hot dish, cheeses, and ‘un pot’ (460ml) of wine for €25. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Restaurant Les Loges – The place to go for dramatic fine dining. Enjoy bold yet refined Michelin-starred cuisine by chef Anthony Bonnet – think a starter of black truffle, onion cream, and veal sweetbreads – in the glass-roofed Florentine courtyard at the heart of Cour des Loges. The stunning location is enhanced by candlelight. Reservations required. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- L’Instant Fromage – A cheese-lover’s dream – a bar built around cheese. There’s a small but good wine selection, beers, homemade desserts, but really, it’s all about discovering the cheese. Do ask the friendly staff for advice. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Café 203 – Trendy bar/restaurant that is always popular. There’s a pretty terrace, while the interior is all dramatic exposed stone and wooden beams. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) to the Vieux Lyon branch.
- Johnny’s Kitchen – You may be surprised to find an Irish pub in Vieux Lyon, but it works. There are Irish beers and ciders on offer, tasty pub food, and live music every weekend. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Brooklyn Bar – Come for a warm welcome, laid back atmosphere, and tasty cocktails – if you can’t decide, get the bartender to create something for you. Happy hour is until 9:30pm, with all cocktails at €7.50. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Le Comptoir des Buvards – Great little wine bar with a warm welcome on the southern edge of Vieux Lyon. Try one of the 100 wines on the fast-changing menu, all available by the glass or by the bottle. Do not miss out on the delectable sharing boards of meats and cheeses. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- La Cave d’à Côté – Intimate bar/wine shop in an 18th-century wine cellar, hidden down a tiny alleyway in the Presqu’île. The wine list is big on regional varieties – Côtes-du-Rhônes and Beaujolais – and even a Beaujolais Blanc from the owner’s own vineyard. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Les Fleurs du Malt – Vaulted beer cellar bar by the River Saône. The beer selection comes from around the world and the atmosphere is lively, with rock music playing in the back room. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- L’Harmonie des Vins – Charming bar in 17th-century stone where you can taste over 300 wines, accompanied by cheeses or a charcuterie platter. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Le Sirius – One of the best of the many bars moored on the left bank of the Rhône, with bags of atmosphere, and a cool venue for live jazz to boot. If you prefer your drinks on dry land, there is also a terrace on the dock. 16-minute walk (0.8 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Slake Coffee House – Specialty coffee, nourishing food, and home-baked pastries. The watchword is freshness, from the local ingredients to the locally roasted beans. There’s also a brunch on Sundays. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Puzzle Café – Friendly, chic, and modern place in the Presqu’île, serving carefully crafted coffees from beans which they source from the best roasters in Europe. You can even take your coffee knowledge to new heights by signing up for a workshop here. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- SoBell – South of Place Bellecour, the great shopping continues. Rue Victor Hugo (150m, 2-minute walk) is for high-street brands, while design and concept stores cluster on and around Rue Auguste Comte (100m, 1-minute walk).
- High Street and Designer shopping – The hotel has access to some great shopping stretching north from Place Bellecour. Find designers on Rue de Brest and the parallel Rue du Président Édouard Herriot, and more accessible fashion along Rue de la République, including the grand department store, Printemps. Start across Place Bellecour, 3 minutes (0.1 mile) away.
- Reynon – One of the best charcuterie and delis in town, and well-known across France. Serves hot food to take away as well as meeting all your sausage needs. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Le Village des Créateurs pop-up at Grand Hotel-Dieu – Bohemian Croix Rousse is a mecca for artisans and designers, and this summer pop-up brings 12 of them to the center, with wares from fashion to lifestyle. VDC supports a young community of 80 designers in the region, so you can add your support by shopping here. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Grand Hotel-Dieu – Once Lyon’s largest hospital, this palatial building on the Rhône has been completely renovated and is now a complex of restaurants, bars, and shops. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Boulangerie de Saint-Marc – Artisan bakery serving particularly delightful cakes and sandwiches. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Brochier Soieries – Lyon’s history as a centre of the silk trade is still alive here. The Brochier family has been in the trade since 1890, and still proudly weaves and prints arty scarves and ties in France, mainly in Lyon. A 6-minute walk (0.3 mile) to the branch in Grand Hotel-Dieu.
- Chocolaterie Bel – Philippe Bel is a star of the chocolate world and a winner of the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Master Chocolatier) in 2004. Here you can buy his amazing creations, which the chocolatiers make themselves from raw cacao of different origins. Great for gifts. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Musée des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs – Two museums in one, the first dedicated to the study and conservation of textiles and Lyon’s role in the weaving industry. The second collection is of furniture, pottery, and other decorative arts, displayed like an 18th-century interior. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Théâtres des Célestins – Spectacular 19th-century theater in a picture-perfect square. The dramatic red and gold auditorium attracts international companies and global stars such as Isabelle Huppert. You can also tour the historic building outside show times. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Vieux Lyon – Exploring the UNESCO-protected medieval and Renaissance old town is a must, whether you book a tour or go by yourself. It’s crowded, but a feast of Italian colors, where you can have fun finding traboules, secret passages mainly constructed by silk weavers to transport their goods. Highlights include the Maison des Avocats (House of Lawyers) on rue de la Bombarde, the Maison Thomassin on Place du Change, and the Tour Rose (pink tower) with its traboule at 16 rue du Bœuf. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Musée de l’Imprimerie – Celebrate Lyon’s history as a printing center at this engaging museum, where you can trace how the trade has evolved from the 15th century to the present. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste – At the center of Vieux Lyon stands its medieval cathedral, which evolved from 1180 to 1480. Inside the main attraction is a rare 16th-century astronomical clock. Guided tours are on offer every Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm. Be aware that parts of the interior are under restoration (planned to finish in 2022). Across the Place Saint-Jean is the cathedral’s treasury museum. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Musée Cinéma et Miniature – A unique, quirky space dedicated to 2 kinds of art – painstaking, lifelike miniatures and the artists of cinema before the digital age. The collection of sets, costumes, and props is unique in Europe, and includes highlights like the Alien and Gizmo himself from Gremlins. It’s all housed in the gorgeous Maison des Avocats. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Musée des Beaux-Arts – Aptly named the ‘little Louvre’, this museum holds the best French collection of art and sculpture outside Paris, spanning from the ancient world to today. Opt for a free audio guide to really enjoy your visit. The building itself is a gorgeous 17th-century abbey. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Opéra de Lyon – Lyon’s opera house is a dramatic combination of neoclassical columns and a modern glass-domed roof, added in 1993. A friendly public space, surrounded by cafes, it is home to an award-winning opera and ballet company with reasonably priced shows. In June and July, the Péristyle festival holds free concerts under the arches of the building, accompanied by themed food and a bar. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Street art – You can find more than 100 elaborate and charming ‘murs peints’ or frescos around the city, mainly designed by the company CitéCréation. The most famous is the ‘Fresque des Lyonnais’ (1 mile, 21-minute walk), featuring famous sons from the Roman Emperor Claudius to the Lumière brothers and Paul Bocuse. Nearer ones include: ‘Le mur du cinéma’ (0.6 mile, 13-minute walk), showing the history of film in the city from the Lumière brothers’ onwards; and ‘La bibliothèque de la cité’ (the city library), which turns a townhouse into a giant library with books by Lyonnais writers (0.8 mile, 17-minute walk).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Monoprix – Central branch of up-market supermarket. Good selection of groceries and essentials. 1-minute walk (50m).
- Les Halles Grand Hôtel-Dieu – Inside the shiny new Grand Hôtel-Dieu complex, Les Halles is less grocery more gourmet’s delight. 9 boutiques, all big names of Lyonnais food, have been brought together, including Voisin chocolates and La Mère Richard cheese. A good place to shop for gifts or a special occasion. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Marché alimentaire et fleurs Saint Antoine Célestins – Lyon’s biggest food (and flower) market and a favorite of both locals and chefs, runs by the Saône and invites you to stroll and explore. Do ask the friendly stallholders for advice. Open 6am-1pm daily, apart from Mondays. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).