France’s gastronomic capital will soon have a new luxury addition. The ancient city of Lyon—which is located at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône rivers—will be getting a major new InterContinental hotel at the end of 2018. What’s particularly remarkable about this property is its setting inside the Hôtel-Dieu, one of the oldest hospital buildings in France. Dating from the 12th century, Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon has been empty since 2010, as its functions were transferred elsewhere. The building is a classified historic landmark on the "Presque-isle", or peninsula, between the rivers—with a privileged perch overlooking the Rhône.
When it debuts next year, the InterContinental Lyon Hôtel Dieu will be part of the “Grand Hôtel Dieu” development which also includes a 2,500-square-meter conference center, retail shops, restaurants and residences. The luxury hotel is slated to have 143 rooms including one presidential suite. It will be the fifth InterContinental hotel in France, joining InterContinental Paris - Le Grand, InterContinental Paris - Avenue Marceau, InterContinental Marseille Hôtel Dieu and InterContinental Carlton Cannes.
The project to convert Lyon’s historic Hôtel-Dieu is reminiscent of the transformation of Marseille’s Hôtel Dieu into a luxury hotel in the culturally rich Mediterranean port. The hotel’s debut coincided with the year when Marseille was awarded European Capital of Culture (2013). With a destination spa and restaurants by star local chef Lionel Levy, the InterContinental Marseille Hôtel Dieu quickly secured a reputation as the place to see and be seen.