Leaving Paris, my next destination was supposed to be the ski resort of Les 3 Vallées, the largest ski area in the world located in the south-Eastern part of France. After all what is a blog partly about skiing got to write about if the ski resorts are not in one of the destination? However that is quite a distance from Paris and as ski resorts usually go, they are not easily accessible. That was why I decided to break the journey into 2 parts, with an overnight in Lyon and a chance to explore a city I have yet to visit before. Arriving at the Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu in the east of the city, I reserved a room at the ibis Hotel nearby. There are a couple of ibis Hotel and this one is called the ibis Lyon Part Dieu Les Halles, located across the street from Auditorium Orchestre National in Lyon and the Part Dieu mall.
That meant the hotel was more or less within walking distance from the train station, allowing me to just drag my luggage through the mall in relative comfort. At night the hotel was easy to spot as it is one of the talle buildings in the area. Being an ibis branded hotel, I did not have much expectations but the hotel has a very inviting and cozy lobby. There is an open reception desk when I arrived with the sole receptionist checking in another guest as I waited. Check-in was quick since my room rate was just for accomodation only with no breakfast. As a hotel with limited facilities, there really is nothing for the front desk agent to elaborate upon.
With the key card on hand, I proceed to the elevator just behind the reception desk. Another short elevator ride later, I reached my room just across from the elevator on the second floor.
Room No: 204 Category: Standard Double Room
The location of the room was in the corner and I thought it was nice to get assigned a room close by the elevator without me asking. With an L-shaped layout, the hotel seems to have the same size rooms throughout based on looking at the floor plan. This is expected for an ibis property which I deem similar to a Four Points or a Holiday Inn Express.
Inside the room, it was quite small with what seems like a double bed. The bed might be alright for 2 adults but it can be a bit of a squeeze if you want personal space when sleeping.
With the limited space in the room, there is a small desk by the window and a plastic chair. I deem the interior to be a bit like inside an Ikea showroom so at least the colour palette was bright.
Across from the bed there is a wall mounted flatscreen TV and a thin shelf underneath for the room service menu. An open wardrobe behind the TV console has some hangers for clothes, and aside from that, the only place to store your belongings are the cubicles around the desk or two small bedside tables.
The tiny footprint of the room continued into the bathroom. With such a small space, there is no room at all for a bathtub. Thus the installation of a shower cubicle. Even then the cubicle was such a small space that it can be quite uncomfortable to take long showers if that is your thing.
Since the bathroom door opens out into the bathroom with the washbasin direct in its path, they also had to fit in a smaller washbasin. It felt like being in an airplane bathroom and that is not something I would say I enjoy. The only place to store your bath toiletries is perhaps on the wooden shelf above the toilet. If there was one good thing about the bathroom, it is perhaps the fitment of a window that grants it natural light in the day to make it less claustrophobic.
Being a budget type hotel in the Accor properties, the hotel has wall mounted bath toiletries unlike those found in the aloft Hotels. However they took it one step downward with a one-for-all shampoo. That meant a shampoo, shower gel, hand and face wash all in one container. Those used to the luxury amenities better bring their own.
Since the room is a corner room, there can be quite a bit of traffic noise but it does have a decent view. Fortunately it is not located in a busy junction and Lyon is not exactly Paris so the traffic noise is minimal at night.
As I mentioned earlier, the hotel has limited facilities. That means no swimming pool or fitness centre. It did have an on-site hotel restaurant though which offers room service. Though I believe it is not 24 hours and have a limited operating schedule. The small restaurant also offers breakfast for a small fee to guests and is located by the entrance so it is perhaps the first thing guests see when arriving at the hotel.
There are some vending machines by the elevator in the lobby and I also managed to get a travel adaptor for EUR10 as I had forgotten to bring my own. My favourite feature in the hotel has got to be the lobby lounge though which is a beautifully designed space for guests to sit down and work. This is definitely better than hanging out in the small hotel room!
Paying a rate of about $98 (~C$124), I did not find the hotel good value for money due to the limited space and the lack of amenities and facilities for guests. Furthermore, its location, while convenient for guests arriving by train, was quite far from the main sights of Lyon. It was a 20 minute walk from the hotel into the old town. The only reason I chose this hotel was for its location closer to the train station, as I only had a night to spend in the city before departing again via train to Moutiers. The hotel also made it convenient for guests to do some shopping or to grab dinner at the nearby Part Dieu shopping mall. However, if I were to have another layover, I would consider other hotels that are even closer to the train station.