Lyon, France

Villa Maïa

Price per night from$390.24

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR360.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Hilltop head-turner

Setting

Among Lyon’s Roman ruins

Villa Maia knows a thing or two about good taste, and so do the names behind it. In fact, the credits of this low-slung hilltop hotel read like a ménage à trois dreamt up by a francophile sect of Architectural Digest. Jacques Grange has applied his expert eye (after a fair bit of practice in the homes of Yves Saint Laurent and Princess Caroline of Monaco, mind) to Maia’s interiors, and outside, landscape designer Louis Benech (of Paris' iconic Tuileries) takes symmetry to great new heights. Overseeing it all is architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and what a job he’s done; classically inspired but meticulously modern, who said three’s a crowd?

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A glass of Château La Chaize each upon arrival

Facilities

Photos Villa Maïa facilities

Need to know

Rooms

34, including seven suites.

Check–Out

12pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £339.08 (€396), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.30 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast, which can be purchased at the hotel for €35 a person.

Also

In each room you’ll find a unique circular artwork from Normandy artist Charles Maze’s Anamorphoses series, which crystallise the city from a rounded-out bird’s-eye view.

At the hotel

Spa, gym, pool, manicured garden, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, minibar, bathrobes and slippers, hotel’s own Belle de Maïa organic bath products.

Our favourite rooms

All rooms are alike in style with charming interruptions of pop colour that compliment the interiors' otherwise sandy shades. Furnishings are sublimely sturdy; marble coffee tables, cocooning armchairs, dark wooden wardrobes, large padded headboards and a pile of soft down pillows topping the beds. And, though all categories are exceptionally roomy for a city stay, suites are ideal for romantic weekends with extra space for woo-ing and marble bath tubs big enough for two.

Poolside

The indoor pool is inspired by the hotel’s antiquarian heritage, and riffs off a classic Roman bath with large, arched windows overlooking the garden, Doric columns and curved handrails on each side. Diamond floor tiles cover the deck, where you’ll find cream loungers set up for a post-dip snooze. There’s a heated Jacuzzi built into the pool, too, and guests with accessibility needs can use the pool with an assisted electric chair.

Spa

At the intimate Belle de Maïa spa you’ll find two treatment rooms, rejuvenating wooden sauna and hammam. Turn back the clock with a moisturising facial or let volcanic pebbles lead the way to zen with a hot stone massage. Whatever you’re after, the hotel’s experts will be happy to advise. There’s also a small but well-equipped gym where you’ll find cardio machines, free weights and all kinds of yoga equipment; mats, foam rollers, gym balls – you name it.

Packing tips

A trusty pair of walking shoes for tackling the city’s cobbles and, if we’re honest, a pair of sized-up jeans to change into post-Bouchon.

Also

Villa Maia is serviced by elevators and there are three accessible rooms that feature roll-in showers, handrails and wide doors.

Pet‐friendly

Pampered paws are welcome for €35 and water bowls are provided. See more pet-friendly hotels in Lyon.

Children

Welcome. On the first floor, there are special rooms adapted for families with younger children with a higher, more defined balcony and space for a roll-away bed. Cots are available on request.

Sustainability efforts

Worthy of mention, plastics are substituted for glass when possible and all food is sourced seasonally from local producers.

Food and Drink

Photos Villa Maïa food and drink

Top Table

Head to the rooftop for unobstructed views of the old town as the sun puts on a show.

Dress Code

Understated summer dresses on the rooftop, smart-casual in the bistro and a slinky little number for the playful fine-dining space.

Hotel restaurant

Michelin-tipped Christian Têtedoie is something of a local celebrity around these parts. He’s also the mastermind of Têtedoie, the hotel’s on-site trio of restaurants. Under the same roof (and on top of it) you’ll find a fine dining outlet, bistro and seasonal rooftop spot. Head to the ground floor bistro for relaxed plates of risottos, pizzas and Lyon specialities in a bright, animated space set off by a smattering of light terrazzo floors. Things get a little more serious at the first-floor Michelin-star restaurant, as far as food is concerned, anyway. Though the dim-lit interiors are overall sleek and sexy, Têtedoie’s headliner has a fun side – the room is peppered with playful artworks, including a huge, illuminated fried-egg sculpture. To experience the chef’s full range, opt for the tasting menu where you’ll find dishes like nougat with snails, duck foie gras and pistachio or trout with almonds and sorrel to swoon over. Up on the rooftop, summertime unfolds amidst unbeatable views. Open from May to October each year, the menu changes every few weeks but you can expect, fresh, light plates of creamy burrata and heirloom tomatoes or grilled Spanish pluma bellota with aubergine, piquillos and gremolata relish followed by satisfyingly sweet helpings of strawberry tart served with lime mousse, redberries gazpacho and super-fresh sorbet. Understandably, it’s all very popular – guests are advised to book at least two weeks in advance.

Hotel bar

In the summer months, the rooftop bar is a fine spot from which to sip as the city lights shimmer down below. Behind the Saint-Just glass and polished nickel bar, Têtedoie’s skilled mixologists will craft you just about anything you fancy. For cosier tipples, head to the hotel’s charming library with its splay of burgundy seating, white marble coffee tables and a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf filled with hardbacks of all kinds. Opposite, you’ll find the lounge, a more convivial space where Pop-Art statement walls, crushed velvet banquette seats and a lit-up bar leads to an outdoor terrace overlooking the garden (the herbs from which are used in the bar’s cocktail list). Taste your way through the Château La Chaize wine list or get stuck into the signature Villa Maia cocktail, a refreshing mix of vodka fair, Disaronno, rose and lime, fluffed up with whipped egg whites.

Last orders

Breakfast runs from 7am to 10.30am (11am on weekends). Take lunch from 12pm to 2pm at Têtedoie (except Tuesday) or dinner from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Le Bar is open daily between 4.30pm and 11pm.

Room service

Drinks can be ordered to your room round the clock, and food during restaurant hours.

Location

Photos Villa Maïa location
Address
Villa Maïa
8 Rue Pierre Marion
Lyon
69005
France

Villa Maia is perched on the top of Fourvière Hill – a peaceful hilltop area (and former Roman settlement) just outside the old town where you’ll find ancient ruins, a handful of bars and restaurants and an imposing gothic basilica.

Planes

Lyon’s St Exupéry Airport just over an hour away. From here, the hotel can arrange transfers via Mercedes V class vehicles for €170 each way.

Trains

Lyon perrache is a 30-minute walk from the hotel (15 mins by car) and operates inter-city services to and from Paris, Marseille, Montpellier and Nantes as well as a number of inter-continental routes throughout Europe. Lyon Part Dieu, the city’s main station, is 50-minutes from the hotel – transfers can be arranged for €110 each way.

Automobiles

There’s round-the-clock valet parking next to Villa Maia, operated by staff for €39 a night.

Worth getting out of bed for

There’s a lot to get through in this Unesco-designated city, so let’s start from the (quite literal) top. At the top of Villa Maia’s praying hill, you’ll find the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, a formidable gothic church known by locals as ‘the upside-down elephant’ because of its four towers which, from a distance, look like legs poking out of a large, elephant-scale body. The basilica is an excellent example of late-19th-century French ecclesiastical architecture, lined with mosaics and achingly ornate interiors. Book a full tour to learn more about its fascinating history, and pop into the Museum of Sacred Art while you’re there. Making your way down the hill, stop at the Ancient theatre of Fourviere where you’ll find the remains of Lugdunum, an important ancient city in Roman Gaul. The ruins are picturesque but if you want to see them animated, visit in June for the Nuits de Fourvière Festival; a celebration of theatre, music and dance that’s seen everyone from Radiohead, Nick Cave and the Rolling Stones (who, by the way, chose to rest their weary heads at the hotel post-set) grace its stage. Straight down the winding cobblestone streets and you’ll end up in the old town, one of the oldest (and largest) renaissance districts in Europe where you can lose yourself for hours cafe-hopping and people-watching. Look closely and you’ll find many secret courtyards, staircase towers and tunnel-like traboules folded into the buildings – La Tour Rose in Saint Jean being one of the prettiest.

As you dally around you’ll notice an unusual amount of puppet displays; the main character, Guignol, is somewhat of a Lyonnaise mascot created by a dentist during the French Revolution to keep patients occupied during treatments. Visit the Maison de Guignol to see the marionette and his friends come to life at an intimate, antique puppet theatre. In Place des Terreaux, the city’s grandest square, the Musée des Beaux-Arts is housed in a 17th-century abbey, and houses the country's largest collection of works outside of Paris. Spread over 70 rooms, mooch your way through some 600 Egyptian artefacts, renaissance paintings and a fair share of Modernist masters too, from Renoir and Cezanne to Picasso and Ernst. Speaking of modernists, there’s an architectural revival bubbling in Lyon’s industrial district La Confluence, with avante-garden buildings and urban projects cropping up every few months. The Pantone palette and laser-cut facade of Le Cube Orange is one such example, but the jewel of the district is the geometric, chrome Musée des Confluences, a science and anthropology museum not dissimilar to Bilbao’s Guggenheim. And, if all that culture-vulturing has left you parched, the hotel has just the ticket. Thirty minutes outside the city in a historic rural estate, Villa Maia’s owner has a vineyard, Domaine de La Chaize, where you can sample some of the finest Beaujolais the region has to offer.  

Local restaurants

A short walk up the hill will bring you to Guy Lassausaie’s new opening, Bulle, a chic bistro in the shadow of the imposing La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière where Lyon’s best-dressed head for drawn-out lunches overlooking the city. Dinner is an elegant affair with locally elaborate dishes like royal flat-leaf parsley, frogs, porcini mushrooms and root parsley in yellow wine garlic emulsion. Tried and tested Café du Soleil is a must for more traditional cuisine. Tucked away in a cobblestone corner of the old town, this Bouchon Lyonnais offers an authentic taste of the city, but take note, with piled-up plates of sausages, coq-au-vin, duck pâté or roast pork on the menu, you may need to swap those post-dinner drinks for a half-hour sieste.

Local cafés

Ok, it’s more of a gelateria than a cafe, but ice cream can be breakfast too – especially if it’s Arabic coffee flavour. At Vieux Lyon’s Terre Adélice you’re likely to find any flavour, actually; Roquefort, African almond biscuit, pine nut, tomato and basil, pumpkin, gingerbread – if you can imagine it, they probably have it.

Local bars

Talk about grandeur, Le Florian has it in buckets. Think red velvet banquette seating, dark sultry wood, stained glass, antique oil paintings and ornate chandeliers lit up by candlelight. If Venice’s baroque San Marco spot springs to mind, you’re on the right track; this Florian is a gilded replica of Floriano Francesconi’s iconic cafe, though its offerings are a little more, well, boozy. Opt for the exotic Floston Paradise, made with aged Havana rum, mango, hydrolat hibiscus & jasmine, acid solution ginger and mint. But if gin is your liquor of choice, backstreet Cigale Lyon is a contemporary ‘gintoneria’ showcasing some of the best blue ruins in town.

Reviews

Photos Villa Maïa reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this bon goût hotel atop of Fourvière Hill and unpacked their hotel-branded candles and wheels of Saint-Marcellin, a full account of their tres chic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Villa Maia in Lyon


Far away from the madding crowd, Villa Maia is setting the bar high for Lyon’s hotel scene – and we mean that, quite literally. In fact, perched atop of the city’s ancient Fourvière Hill – a former Roman settlement – it doesn’t get much higher. With buckets of bon goût à la française the hotel trades in obvious quality and famously discreet yet oh-so-chic French style. Designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the building, though one of the newer hill-hugging structures, blends seamlessly into the landscape; terraces are set back to look, from the outside, like enlarged arrow-slit windows while antiquarian arches line the garden. Not just any garden I should add, but a Louis Benech garden, perfectly pruned and delightfully symmetrical. And the designer dream team doesn’t stop there: Jacques Grange, taste-maker to the stars (Yves Saint Laurent and Largerfeld among them) has devised elegant, oatmeal-toned interiors that pop in all the right places. Yep, it’s like a tick-list of French talent, especially once you add celebrity chef Christian Têtedoie into the mix, who helms the trio of on-site restaurants. The indoor pool, inspired by the hotel’s antiquarian heritage, makes a fine splashing spot after a trip to the spa, but it's the intimate atmosphere and finely-tuned attention to detail that make Villa Maia so special – art de vivre done right.

Book now

Price per night from $390.24