InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu France
InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu
20 Quai Jules Courmont 69002
IHG – InterContinental Hotel Group
Date of Creation
Newly opened on June 4th, 2019
Hotel General Manager
Madelijn Vervoord- After hotel and catering studies in Holland and two years spent working in a luxury hotel in New York (a city she particularly loves), Madelijn Vervoord – born in Holland – arrived in Paris at the age of 24. From 1990 to 2003, she worked for the finest hotel groups including the InterContinental Paris Le Grand. Appointed General Manager of the InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu when it opened on 26 April 2013, she actively participated in the transformation of Marseille as a cultural and economic capital, and witnessed the positive changes that this great city experienced. She is now General Manager of newly opened InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu. Opened on June 4th, this hotel is the new benchmark for luxury hotels in Lyon – world capital of French gastronomy. Ideally situated on the banks of the Rhône river, it is housed in one of the city’s most iconic 17th century building.
5 star Luxury / Luxury brand
To remain the landmark hotel for the destination of Lyon.
InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu
History & Story
Nestled in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the landmark InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu opened on June 4th 2019. Located in a former hospital that operated for more than eight centuries until 2010, the historical building has been lovingly restored to offer a contemporary haven in the heart of the city centre. The hotel’s 360-metre long facade overlooks the Rhône River, and the hotel’s breath-taking Soufflot Dome, towering 72 metres high, has been one of the greatest ever private renovations of a classified site in France since 2013, involving more than 800 craftsmen. The majestic Dome will be the heart of the hotel, boasting a magnificent bar, Le Dôme, which will act as a meeting place for hotel guests and locals alike. InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu offers 109 rooms and 35 suites, half of which have views of the Rhône River, while the others overlook the Fourvière or the Grand Hôtel-Dieu with its tree-lined inner courtyards. The Duplex Suites, accessed from the upper level, boast large windows extending up to the ceiling, honouring the original architecture of this historic building, and offering uninterrupted views of the Rhône River. The exclusive Presidential Suite, with its powder pink tones and elegant floral motifs, will be the largest suite in the city. The hotel’s interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, is an international leader in hotel design. Drawing on the history and background of the site, Nuel has created a decorative concept that manages to be, in his own words, both ‘monastic and sophisticated’, highlighting the building’s original contrast between the former hospital, and the striking richness of its exterior architecture. This contrast is particularly obvious in the decor of the Grand Dome; the choice of fabrics represent simplicity combined with luxury; delicate Lyon silks from the Maison Verel de Belval, contrast with less elaborate fabrics. The same juxtaposition can be found in other public areas and in the rooms. Today, the contemporary design emulates a sense of luxury which combines the history of the unique building and meets the expectations of global luxury travellers.
Newly opened on June 4th. Designer: Jean Philippe Nuel
Main Strengths, Special Touch
Historical building in the city center of Lyon, former hospital
Under its keystone of 32 meters, this majestic dome hosts one of the most impressive bars in the world: the Dome, whose name directly pays tribute to the place, signed Jacques-Germain Soufflot.
Located in the city center of Lyon a couple of minutes away from square Bellecour walking distance on the main peninsula in between the two rivers the rhone and the saone. Walking distance to major touristic sites in Lyon.
Key sites/activities in the area
Lyon, worldwide gastronomy capital, Lyon – Unesco City, Pre and post river cruises, Burgundy vineyards, Ski resorts , Lake of Annecy, Basilica Fourviere, Vieux Lyon (Old City), Saint Jean Cathedral, Light Festival in December, Tete d’Or Park, Music and Dance Festivals all year, museums of contemporary arts, traboules (hidden passageways), Croix Rousse District, Opera House, Fresque des Lyonnais etc…
The pont du Rhône – now known as the pont de la Guillotière
The Hôtel-Dieu ,founded in the 12th century, was designed to accommodate travellers and pilgrims. It was erected at the western end of the first bridge ever built on the Rhône ; a bridge that would afford easy access to Lyon, built essentially on the Presqu’Île. The main street of the Presqu’Île, back then, connected the Rhône bridge with another one across the Saône further north. The new bridge allowed travellers from the east and south to cross the Rhône for the first time ever, greatly simplifying mobility within the city and promoting economic development. The bridge, with its guard house formed part of the city’s overall fortification system.
Childebert et Ultrogothe
The two large sculptures adorning the main facade of the Hôtel-Dieu represent Childebert I, King of the Franks and his wife Ultrogothe. Together they founded Lyon’s first hospital in or around the year 545, on the right bank of the Saône. The 18th century sculptures (incorporated into the ornate facade created by Soufflot) destroyed during the siege of Lyon in 1793, were replaced in 1819.
François Rabelais (1494 – 1553)
It is most likely that the reputation of its printing press drew Rabelais to Lyon in the first place – here he began publishing his works on Hippocrates and Galen, as well as the adventures of Pantagruel. He joined the Hôtel-Dieu as a doctor, but due to his many absences and failing each time to notify his superiors, he was replaced. A plaque commemorating his presence at the Hôtel-Dieu can be found under the passageways of the cloister.
The layout of the Quatre Rangs (Cross-shaped structure )
Between 1622 and 1637 a new Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon was built according to plans known as the ‘Quatre Rangs’ (cross-shaped). This cruciform layout served to separate the men from the women and ensured that patients suffering from fever were kept apart from the wounded, thus limiting the risk of infection. The imagnificent high ceilings in both the wards and the dome provided proper ventilation, with stale air expelled and replaced by fresh air. And last but not least, the chapel set in the centre, beneath the dome, allowed each bedridden patient, in all of the four wards, to take part in the daily office. The large windows were stragetically placed high up so they could be opened without causing draughts for the patients.
The offices and the pharmacy, located on the ground floor, were encircled by passageways where people could stroll near a medicinal plant garden. Merchandise was stored on the second floor under the eaves,and laundry was also dried there.
When the project to restructure the 17th century Hôtel-Dieu in Lyon was undertaken, it went without saying that the construction of a church would be included. This edifice built in 1637, was funded by rich cloth merchants and the more prosperous people of Lyon. The Place de l’Hôpital was then embellished by the monumental facade of the church. The entry to the Hôtel-Dieu is highlighted by the elegant entrance pavilion with its wooden sculpture just the left of the church, leading unto the courtyard and the cross-shaped building.
The Council Chamber
Situated on the ground floor of the cross-shaped complex, this room was used as a meeting place for the rectors of the Hôtel-Dieu from the 17th century onwards. Today it has been fully restored and is now a banquet room available to rent for functions. A commemorative plaque can be seen near the cloister .
Donor plaques are found all across the site. For many centuries, the scrupulous management and moral reputation of the rectors would appeal to the generosity of the people of Lyon. The Hôtel-Dieu enjoyed almost full financial autonomy until the First World War. Local generosity was manifest in many different ways and on many different occasions. Basically the rectors personally financed the place with their own money and it was traditional for them to make an important donation at the end of their term. Then there were those who chose to donate all their worldly goods in exchange for board and lodging for life (in particular the hospital sisters) Fundraising campaigns were also very successful, especially that of 1787 undertaken at a time when patients were still two or three to a bed. This campaign was specifically intended for the purchase of additional beds to ensure one bed for each patient. The wonderful generosity of those times is manifest in the eight white marble plaques in the Grand Dome.
From the 15th to the 20th century, the hospital sisters were eyewitnesses to the enduring history of the Hôtel-Dieu in Lyon. Their dress was strictly regulated, made of heavy cloth in white, grey or black depending on the times. They wore the white head dress common among servants until the 1960s. Though they were generally known as hospital sisters, they were not bound by any religious vows whatsoever nor did they come under the authority of any religious hierarchy . Down through the years they held many functions : taking care of the sick, administering medication, feeding patients and staff alike, looking after convalescents and running the pharmacy. The rhythm and flow of the drapes in the Ballroom evokes the fabric worn by the hospital sisters.
The present-day facade of the Hôtel-Dieu
In 1737, the city’s consuls and the rectors of the Hôtel-Dieu entered into an agreement to fund this major project. The rectors received permission to expand the complex to the south. In return, the consuls insisted that the future facade, overlooking the quay, be both monumental and majestic, befitting the Hôtel-Dieu that would be the very first public building visible to those arriving via the Rhône bridge. A young 25-year old architect, Jacques-Germain Soufflot (1713 – 1780), accepted the project . He drew up the plans (still working on the principle of a cross-shaped building with a dome in the centre), designing, to the absolute delight of the consuls and rectors, a 350-metre long facade. Work began in 1741 but quickly came to a halt through lack of money. Only the south wing and the Grand Dome were erected. Soufflot, called to Paris to build the Church of Sainte-Geneviève, which would later become the Pantheon, never actually saw the completed façade. The work was finally finished in 1841, a century after it was begun.
The three domes of the Hôtel-Dieu
Three domes were erected in the Hôtel-Dieu :
The small dome situated in the centre of the cross-shaped structure, overlooking the City of Gastronomy, dates back to the 17th century. It features a double-sided altar as a reminder of the religious ceremonies. Italian plaster was applied to the cupola. It is accessible via the City of Gastronomy.
The 18th century Grand Dôme , with its coffered ceiling stretching to a full 32 metres in height, is naturally the centrepiece of the Hôtel-Dieu complex. Designed by Soufflot, but in actual fact, modified, it was bombed during the Second World War and rebuilt in the 1970s. It remains one of the most emblematic architectural monuments in the city of Lyon. It overspreads the hotel bar.
The 19th century Pascalon Dome is the least famous of the 3 domes. It was erected, under the supervision of the architect Paul Pascalon, (hence ts name) at the same time as the building complex on the rue de la Barre. It is accessible by means of an Eiffel-style iron spiral staircase. As it forms part of the offices, it is not open to the public.
Le Grand Réfectoire (The Great Refectory)
The Great Refectory completed in 1747, was used by the staff at the Hôtel-Dieu until the late 1970s. The lobby’s two large, black marble sinks are still in place today. The wood panelled vaulted chamber measures 340 square metres. It houses the Grand Réfectoire and its Officine bar on the first floor, both of which are separate from our establishment.
Numbers cut into the facade
From the 18th century onwards shops were rented to merchants. These shops were situated on both sides of the the entrance hall, on the ground floor and the mezzanine, and provided additional income. They continued to exist until the mid 20th century, when they were replaced by hospital related services. The shops, now re-installed , conjure up a picture of the original setting.
The Hôtel-Dieu covered passage
Opened in 1841, this covered passage, 126-metre in length, with its glass roof and elegant shops, was a popular destination on the Presqu’Île. It reached from la Place Impériale (now known as Place de la République) and bordered the Hôtel-Dieu to the north. Demolished in 1959 when the city of Lyon decided to standardise the layout of the rue Childebert, the passage was replaced by the current buildings.
World War II :
At the end of 1942, archives pertaining to the ‘Second Bureau’-the French army intelligence service dissolved in 1940-, were hidden in the eaves among hospital archives, to conceal them from the Germans. Following a denunciation, the Gestapo searched the Hôtel-Dieu and as a result several members of the staff were imprisoned.
The liberation of Lyon
On September 2nd, 1944, the Germans blew up the bridges of Lyon to cover their retreat. The destruction of the Pont de la Guillotière proved catastrophic for the stained glass windows of the refectory. Later, on September 4th, the Americans, called to the rescue by the French but unable to dislodge the Germans entrenched in the Grand Dome, peppered them with hand grenades.
The Grand Dome , in the grip of a spectacular fire, went crashing to the ground. As the roof was destroyed, temporary roofing was installed that lasted until the reconstruction of the Grand Dome in 1970. This time, Soufflot’s original plans were fully respected, even though the interior restoration didn’t take place until 1982.
The transformation of the Hôtel Dieu
The hospital closed its doors in 2010. The Hospices Civiles de Lyon (University Hospital Centre) launched an official competition with a view to full restructuing. In 2011, the entire complex was listed as a historical monument. 9 phases of excavations were carried out in 2012 and 2013 : restoration work began in 2015. Between 500 and 1000 workers laboured daily to reconstruct the site and give it a new lease of life. 1,400 windows were replaced and 14,00 square metres of facade were renovated. Names to remember : Didier Repellin, Chief Architect of Historical Momuments, Albert Constantin, architect in charge of the project, Jean-Philippe Nuel, interior designer, Eiffage and Générim, construction, and Crédit Agricoles Assurances, investor and owner (with the exception of the City of Gastronomy).
The walls and paving flags of dwellings in Chanin, a village first mentioned in the 13th century, were discovered in various locations on the site. Ancient remains dating from the 1st century AD, unearthed in various courtyards, proved there was a long-term human settlement on the river bank. Furthermore, a fresco from one of the digs confirmed it belonged to a wealthy residence built on high ground on the banks of the Rhône: it had been dumped following earlier renovations on the residence in question .
Five centuries can de seen in the Hôtel Dieu :
Today, the buildings erected over a period of four centuries are clearly visible within the site. The City of Gastronomy (formerly the cross-shaped building), the church and our meeting rooms dating from the 17th century, our hotel situated in the 18th century segment, the the 19th century area including the Pascalon Dome, and finally, the 20th century part on the rue Childebert (this being what replaced the former covered passage) and indeed there is the 21st century with the new buildings to the rear of the site.
Family rooms and Suites available up to 4 guests
Family kit available upon check in.
• Number of suites: 34 Junior Suites & Suites
• Number of Luxury rooms:
• 27 Superior rooms
46 Deluxe rooms
1 Family Suite
22 King Executive River View
14 King Club Room
4 Junior Suites
28 Duplex Suites
1 Prestige Suite
1 Presidential Suite
• Number of rooms, (keys) in all:
• 144 rooms
Restaurants & Bars
The Epona restaurant, located on the ground floor of the InterContinental Lyon – Hôtel-Dieu, gets its name from an extremely popular goddess of Gaul (Celtic) mythology, patron saint of horseriding and travel. It stretches from the concierge desk, all along the imposing facade of the building, embracing its historical architectural composition : stone floor, wood ceiling and plain plaster walls. The luminous restaurant, that traverses the building, seats 100 and is bordered by large windows opening onto the Cour Saint-Louis, part of the former Hôtel-Dieu. The wooded terrace, for all the world like a tranquil cloister, is actually the former medicinal garden! On sunny days, this timeless space can seat a further 100 patrons in a quiet, convivial atmosphere. In the kitchen, young chef Mathieu Charrois opts for a menu with a predominantly local flavour, featuring reivisited timeless Lyonnais classics. One of his most iconic dishes is the K’nelle, (a dumpling) a modern-day version of a tried and trusted regional speciality. Faithful to the spirit of the original recipe, this variation nevertheless adds a new, crisp dimension. And the customers themselves are invited to a hands on experience to complete this brand new variation of the dish. The same contemporary ingenuity is brought to the Lyonnaise salad.While all the usual ingredients are present, the Epona Salad takes the traditional recipe to a whole new gourmet level by adding eggs that have been perfectly cooked at a low temperature and bacon. Another local classic, the traditional frogs’ legs, greatly prized by the people of Lyon, are revamped with pig’s feet and a thyme emulsion.
The Bar — True heart of this historic building at the time, it is now the nerve center of the Hotel. Under its keystone of 32 meters, this majestic dome hosts one of the most impressive bars in the world: the Dome, whose name directly pays tribute to the place, signed Jacques-Germain Soufflot. The Dôme is a real hub and constitutes a space where the people of the city and international visitors meet and interact. The drinks’ menu offers a range of revolutionary, and imaginative drinks, interblending a strong local influence with international creativity.
Once again, Jean-Philippe Nuel through the choice of furniture, showcases with respect and taste the unique historical architecture while highlighting the new more modern identity, greatly boosted by paintings by Manuela Paul-Cavallier.
• Fitness center opened 24H/24H
The InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu, in partnership with the Spa Le Tigre, invites you to relax during your stay… The Spa Le Tigre is located within the walls of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu, you just have to follow the interior corridors, to discover a space dedicated to the well-being of 830m2 spread over three levels, offering various services: from the break gourmet groceries, through private yoga or pilates, to a rest room, 3 cabins of care provided by Deep Nature.
Any Hotel guest is assured of enjoying a privileged welcome, and benefits for any care treatment ordered of an unlimited access to the sauna and the hammam. In addition to this, the hotel guest will have access to the fitness room to indulge in running on carpets, cycling, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, or bodybuilding.
Corporate & Celebration Events
Within the Grand Hôtel Dieu, enjoy one of the largest conference centers of the Peninsula of Lyon, a convention area of 1500 m2 and reception perfectly adaptable: The Academy with its 12 rooms meetings spread over 4 levels, which benefit from natural light. L’Académie enjoys an elegant and vibrant setting created by Jean-Philippe Nuel, renowned interior designer who drew his inspiration from the soul and substance of the site : the former pharmecutical garden where medicinal plants were cultivated and where the concention centre now stands. Carpets, paintings, murals and colours evoke this healing plant heritage. Fully flexible and equipped with state-of-the-art technology (including new generation screens and sound systems, and smart televisions), L’Académie meeting room can be modified to suit all kinds of events : small, medium and large scale conventions for as many as 1,250 people. All this in an overall setting of sophistication and elegance. With its 12 characterful rooms, the Academy offers a wide range of options to best meet the essential criteria of your event. French ceilings, 17th century stone walls to the signature of the apparent craftsman, carpets illustrating the botanical gardens of the sisters of the time, floor-to-ceiling windows offering rejuvenating views of the tree-lined courtyards of the Grand Hotel Dieu, its domes, or the show of the City of Gastronomy … Welcome your guests with elegance and refinement.
Weddings, birthdays, children’s snacks, exhibitions … in accordance with your wishes and desires, we develop a tailor-made offer to make your event unforgettable. The meeting rooms are both modern and atypical owing to the distinctive characteristics of the Hôtel-Dieu. Each area retains traces of its history : from the marks left by the stonemasons to the period windows each more beautiful than the other.
The Salle des Conseils (Council Chamber) was once the rectors’ meeting room ; the Salle des Vieux-Livres (Ancient Volumes chamber) is the former library that held the hospital’s books ; l’Espace du Petit Dôme (Small Dome space) has a spectacular view of the perfectly-conserved altar in the centre of the cross-shaped building now housing the City of Gastronomy ; the windows of the Salle du Cloître (Cloister) overlook the exterior of the small dome and the century-old magnolia tree below.
Extra Notable Features
• Wine cellar for private wine tastings
• Club Lounge for private check in and all day drinks and food
Hotel and restaurant Awards
NA – Newly opened
Number of employees