Postcard From Lyon

Where to stay and dine

THE BIG NEWS The redo of La Cour des Loges by Jocelyne and Jean-Louis Sibuet, owners of La Bastide de Marie (Departures, January/February 2001). The hotel, a collection of four Renaissance buildings in Lyon's historic quarter, already had dramatic architecture, including a central courtyard surrounded by three floors of arched corridors. Now it has striking (if rather ornate) decor as well: striped fabrics in deep burgundy, gray, black, and brown; murals in the downstairs lounges. The best rooms are number 56, with windows on Rue du Boeuf; number 37, a junior suite with a garden view; and number 52, an apartment with a fireplace (decorative only).

ALSO NEW The restaurant Les Loges, where executive chef Nicolas Le Bec's updated Lyonnais dishes shine—in particular his poached sea bass with almonds and fresh mint. A great holdover from the hotel's past life: concierge Gerard Ravet, who knows the best of the city. Looking ahead, the Sibuets are creating larger suites in the neighboring building. Rooms: $170-$440; dinner: $85. 2468 Rue du Boeuf; 33-4-72-77-44-44; fax 33-4-72-40-93-61;

A MORE INTIMATE VIEUX LYON HOTEL La Tour Rose, a complex of three 15th- to 18th-century buildings with 12 individually, extravagantly decorated rooms, each devoted to one of Lyon's silk manufacturers. The Chambre des Ennoblisseurs, one of the largest rooms, has a terrace. Other pluses: an internal Michelin-starred restaurant and a great bistro across the street, Le Comptoir du Boeuf (try the lentil terrine with chicken liver). Rooms: $185-$470. Dinner at Le Comptoir: $60. 22 Rue du Boeuf; 800-525-4800, 33-4-78-37-69-10; fax 33-4-78-42-26-02.

DON'T MISS Bocuse, Léon de Lyon, and Alain Chapel may be more famous, but the restaurant Pierre Orsi is best of all. One spectacular dish: ravioli with foie gras and truffles in a port jus. $150. 3 Place Kléber; 800-735-2478, 33-4-78-89-57-68; fax 33-4-72-44-93-34;

DON'T BOTHER For generations, Lyon restaurants have prided themselves on their female chefs. La Mère Brazier is perhaps the most celebrated of these restaurants, but despite its Michelin star, a recent visit proved disappointing: The Bresse chicken was dry, and its accompanying truffles had the texture of wood chips. $95. 12 Rue Royale; 33-4-78-28-15-49; fax 33-4-78-28-63-63.