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Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu, Lyon. One of the best Intercontinental Hotels in the world.

Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu is not just the most luxurious and stately five star hotel in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lyon, it’s one of the best Intercontinental properties globally.

Overall rating: 9.5/10

The monumental Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu is located right on the Rhone river in Lyon, France, and housed in one of France’s oldest hospital buildings which feels and looks more like a palace than a hospital.

For many just seeing the hotel is one of the top reasons for visiting the beautiful French city of Lyon.

White slatted ceilings in a large lobby with yellow wall paper walls in a hotel lobby in france
The stunning lobby welcome guests to the Intercontinental Hotel Dieu, Lyon France.

Style and character: 10/10

The 42,000sqm building itself is packed with striking, historically classic architectural features. It was designed by Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel, with AIA Architectes, RL&A.

There are towering, ornate ceilings with 17th and 18th century exposed beams, courtyards, huge windows that blend seamlessly into modern-day interiors with slick furniture, flawless technology and luxe architectural features.

Looking down on black and white tiled floors in a five star hotel in france
The spectacular Globe Bar in The Intercontinental Hotel Dieu Lyon has been named one of the top 5 best bars in the world by Forbes.

The facade is 280m long and was designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot (who is also credited with the striking Pantheon Building in Paris).

Classic old world building with cream arches, high ceilings and black and white floors, some yellow furnutire
The Intercontinental Hotel Dieu. Lyon seamlessly brings together the old and the new in terms of design and architecture.

It was Lyon’s hospital for some 800 years, (one in 3 of Lyon’s inhabitants was born there), and almost 5 years were spent renovating it into a five star hotel of unsurpassed luxury which opened in 2019.

It was a restoration and conversion project to highlight the spectacular architecture and heritage of this site which is a historical monument that dates back to the 18th century.

woman ouside large green doors with black and white floors
Renae at the large entrance to the Intercontinental Hotel Dieu, Lyon, France.

The interiors designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel (a lauded Parisian interiors expert credited with designing many of Paris’s best interiors within restaurants including Hotel Beach Croisette Cannes, and Le Clef Champs Élysées Paris) are contemporary, modern and fresh, but pay homage to the history of the building every step of the way.

The lobby itself is modern and spacious yet pays homage to the building’s history with medicinal books covering the wall in reception, and towering ceilings.

Epona Restaurant at The Intercontinental Hotel Dieu, Lyon, France where Lyonnaise dishes are brought into the modern world with spectacular results.

Colour palette is mostly timber, black, charcoal, gold, and blue with plenty of white walls and typically French white beamed ceilings in some rooms and suites. 

Food and Drink: 9.5/10

The hotel’s Epona restaurant is one of Lyon’s best with chef Mathieu Charrios producing extraordinary gastronomic modern Lyonnais cuisine. He showcases local produce and traditions throughout each dish, sometimes with a modern twist.

The food is packed with flavour, texture and colour. Easting his food is exciting, as you never quite know what will arrive after you order. Both local and international concepts and textures and presented as art.

chocolate call with hazelnuts and on a biscuit base beautifully presented on a plate
The hazelnut dessert at Epona Restaurant at The Intercontinental Hotel, Lyon, France.

The menu is pleasantly difficult to navigate as everything looks and sounds so good. The Lyonnais quenelles (carefully fried fish sticks) paired with a rock crayfish bisque are absolutely delicious.

The chocolate, hazelnut fondant is as stunningly presented as it is to eat. A gorgeous wine list full of surprising entries from small producers makes the whole experience exquisite and a must-do, even for guests to Lyon not staying at the hotel.

stunning chooclate wafers with cream inbetween making a pretty chocolate dessert
The textured chocolate dessert at Epona Restaurant at The Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu, Lyon, France.

In-house guests are lucky enough to be able to indulge in breakfast daily at Epona, where light floods in from the multiple windows facing the river.

A huge selection of dishes including vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian items, eggs cooked to order, charcuterie and the most extraordinary chocolate, hazelnut breakfast cake are just the start of this gourmet extravaganza.

A 32 metre high ceiling with white walls into a large, classic French dome
The 32 metre high ceiling at The Globe Bar at Epona Restaurant at The Intercontinental Hotel Dieu, Lyon, France.

The bar is one of the hotels most breath-taking features and has critics writing about the jaw dropping ceiling and the stately feel of the place across the world. It has ceilings almost 32 metres high, leading to a striking coffered dome. This is quite literally one of the most exceptional places to have a drink anywhere in the world, on every level.

woman in black dress with pretty pink cocktail with blossom on the side
Renae indulging in a sweet cocktail with blossom at The Globe Bar, Intercontinental Hotel Dieu, Lyon.

The bar is made of backlit alabaster, and even the heavy black marbled tables have been carefully selected to create an aura of grandeur and elegance.

Art work strategically places around the bar features gold leaf work, and fabrics of gold, and grey give a warm feel to the area. Fresh flowers are generously and strategically placed around.

Large screens have been fitted to avoid echoes and reverberation within the huge space, and they also keep it warm in winter and cool in summer.

Designing an upscale bar in a modern day monument can’t have been easy, with multiple challenges of surfaces, size and limitations like not being able to put speakers in the walls or run chords through the monument’s stately facade.

But somehow it has been done, and those limitations are nowhere to be seen. Music is piped in, the temperature is perfect and the feel is one of undeniable elegance and charm.

A central floral feature in the middle of the hotel bar is surrounded by seating angled perfectly to make looking up at the ceiling easy and accessible.  (Most guests find themselves gazing upwards for long periods).

Cocktails are sensational and feature local favourites, and modern, experimental designer drinks. Regional produce is a feature throughout the food and drink menus of the hotel, and the pink praline signature cocktail in the Dome Bar features vodka, pink champagne and lemon to -recreate the delightful Lyon confectionary, the pink praline.

There is a huge choice of international spirits, from the UK, the US, Japan and even South America, and the drinks menu is regularly refreshed. 

gold art feature in the light at the entrance of a restaurant with white slatted wooden ceilings
Mornings at restaurant Epona at Intercontinental Hotel Dieu, Lyon

Afternoon tea at the bar is served 3 pm-6 pm daily with extraordinary pastries and sweet delights, and is fast becoming one of Lyon’s must-do experiences. (But you must book to ensure you get in).

Bedroom suite in five star hotel with huge ceilings and a large double bed next to a tall window
A spectacular two-floor suite with large window overlooking the River at Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu

Location: 9/10

The Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu is located about 200m away from the main shopping area, and it can be accessed through the back of the hotel, s that the hotel is integrated within the city itself.

second floor of two storey suite at a five star hotel in Lyon, square windwo overlooking the river and grey wall, light floors and white wall
The duplex suite overlooks the river, a stunning location in Lyon.

Service & Facilities: 9.5/10

The fitness centre, Le Tigre offers yoga, boxing, a hammam and everything a health guru could want. It opens late though, from 8am, but the fitness centre/gym can be accessed earlier by guests.

square shelves which see through to a kitchen
The in-house restaurant Epona, at Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu is also not to be missed for its modern takes on Lyonnaise classics,

Rooms: 9/10

There are 144 rooms and suites, with either river or courtyard views. Silk beds and cushions await guests, and beautiful bath products are provided, created by Parisian Frederic Malle.

A spectacular two floor suite with large window overlooking the River at Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu
A spectacular two-floor suite with large window overlooking the River at Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu.

There are spectacular two-level suites on some floors, and everything from remote-controlled curtains to fresh herbals teas has been well thought through and provided for guests.

hall way with curved ceilings, small round table, natural light and arched doorways
There are seemingly endless Instagram opportunities at Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu

Instagram Opps: 10/10

There are seemingly endless Instagram opportunities here from the Le Globe Bar to Epona Restaurant, the lobby, the courtyard, the main doors and so on.

Huge living room in five star hotel with two acrhed windows letting in natural light, white ceilings and grey floors and furniture
One of the best suites at the monumental Intercontinental-Hotel Dieu

Insider tip; Restaurant Epona is not to be missed. A 3 course set lunch is served at Epona Monday-Friday for just Euro 29 per person.

To book a stay click here.

Insider knowledge; The Buddha Bar is on site, and a great place fro a drink. And don’t miss the set lunch menu – a bargain with magnificent, detailed food.

Renae  Says:

Who should Stay here: Solo travellers, couples, groups of friends, business or pleasure.

Who shouldn’t Stay here: Anyone would love this stately hotel.

Location: Ie the heart of Lyon, France.

Best culinary delight: The restaurant food is absolutely exceptional.

The Highlight: The architecture and interiors are extra ordinary.

The lowlight: It can be cold in autumn/winter walking to dinner venues, and many are too close for an uber, so rug up.

Awards: Best Hotel Design, 2019 Gold Key Awards.

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