We recently moved for work to Lyon from Sydney and arrived the week before the Lyon Lumiere Festival so long term accommodation was hard to find. We booked into the Cite Internationale Residences for 6 weeks across December 2012- January 2013 whilst looking for an apartment to live in. What were our very well considered thoughts?
1. Location is at the Cite Internationale Complex. Its a modern site, adjacent to the beautiful Parc de la Tête d'Or. Cant fault the Park. SHOPPING FACTS! - there is no supermarket even remotely close to the Hotel. The nearest 'supermarket"is located at Foch, or Part Dieu - approximately a 10-15 minute bus trip. That is the fact. Be prepared for daily travel to buy your groceries. There is very little else nearby. Once you accept that and adjust, life is easier :-)
We stayed in a "Equinox" 35m room which was modest on the 7th floor. We chose a park view which was a great choice. The park makes the place. The kitchen facilities are awful. A hotplate, a tiny fridge and an assortment of poor utensils. OK for a short stay - very difficult for us to endure for 6 weeks. We ended up buying our own pans and knives. Storage is very limited. We had to buy extra hangers and containers ourselves for our 3 suitcases of clothes.
Bed is a small 140cm bed (a small double for those of you used to the standard Queen/King) Bathroom was okay. Heating / AC was Ok. TV - a disaster if you need English. Just 1 x channel to watch (BBC World News) for 6 weeks. Everything else in French / foreign languages. I used to like BBC News but after 6 weeks of nothing else, I can't watch it now!
Hotel Reception helpful, open 24 hours, but very minimalist. You can buy breakfast there - but we never did. INTERNET is free WiFi and you can run several computers and collect several codes, but like many places, the internet is slow and intermittent.
Easy...there are 3 Buses you will use. The C1 - travels direct to the main shopping centre of Part Dieu (about 15 minutes) The C5 - travels to direct to the old city centre with the shops and beautiful buildings - about 15 minutes and the C4 which runs to Foch Metro and onward. Buses run frequently and there is a great bus stop with ticket machine near the hotel. Cannot fault transport from the hotel.
There is a UGC Cite Cinema complex right near the hotel which is great. Specially with no English speaking TV in the Hotel! Look for any movies with the letters ""V.O."" displayed. This means Version Original - so English speaking films are in English, Swedish in Swedish etc. A good tip.
WOULD WE STAY THERE AGAIN?
For short term accommodation maybe as we did whilst trying to find a longer term accommodation. For a vacation / weekend? Definitely not. Its much better to stay closer to the 2nd District and heart of the city. It does the job, and we made the right choice during a poor time to find a place to stay, but you can do better in Lyon. Consider this place a 2nd or 3rd choice...but it is acceptable.
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