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Adagio Access (Lyon, France)

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Aparthotel in Lyon, France.

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      12.06.2012 10:49
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      A comfortable base a short distance from the centre

      We travelled to Lyon as a group of 11 competitors and 3 judges for an international cheerleading competition. We were the only team not from France. It was kinda like we were representing Great Britain, except we'd not beaten out other teams to go there. All we'd done is decided we fancied it, booked flights and accommodation. This accommodation. Located in the 8th arrondissement, this was wildly convenient for the gym, and mildly convenient for town. We arrived at Lyon Perrache station on a train from Geneva and from there had to take a single tram to Bachut Mairie du 8ème, a stop that was then less than 10 minutes walk in a pretty much straight line from the hotel. When we headed out to explore the city on a couple of mornings, we took the tram back to Perrache (about Euro1.60 one way, less than 15 mins journey) as it was central enough for all the important things: the Funicular, McDonalds and so on. The transport system in Lyon is easy and we especially liked that from Perrache we had to get on in the direction of Bel Air. Cue proof than everyone from 15 to 30+ year olds can rap that infamous phrase "Yo home to Bel Air!" The local area has few attractions but lots of amenities. There are two decent supermarkets next to the tram stop, there are lots of smaller shops, bakeries and eateries, and there is a private hospital directly opposite the hotel, should you need it. The Adagio Access Lyon is an aparthotel that has both studios and one bedroom apartments, and we had a mix of these for our party. Our one bed apartment had clearly defined areas and I thought it was big enough for 4 for a few nights. There was a bedroom with a double bed, and this was a proper room that could be fully shut off from the rest of the apartment. The main area had a double sofa bed and a desk at one side, and then a table and chairs nearer the door. Round the corner was a kitchenette with fridge, microwave and 2 hob plates, and opposite this a large cupboard with rails and shelves which served as our wardrobe. The bathroom was beyond this and slightly off. There was a main area with sink, bath and handheld shower (so European...so unhelpful for hair washing) and then a separate room within the bathroom with the toilet in. I imagine this was to try to accommodate more people at once, but the fact the loo was only accessible through the main bathroom rather defeated this. I was in a room with 3 friends and much as we like each other, I can't imagine any of us would have wanted the others wandering in as we showered. I guess it would only really work with couples who don't mind that but who draw the line at peeing in front of each other, since the toilet was hidden away. Also, the toilet didn't have a lock on the door, though the main bathroom did. The shower had plenty of hot water and was powerful, though it liked to switch back to bath mode without asking you, but the bathroom had no window and got steamed up quickly, something they should have taken into account seeing as the rooms can accommodate 4 people, therefore potentially 4 showers in a row. We received some basic toiletries - shampoo, soap etc, -and the sink area was spacious so we could stash 4 cosmetics cases. We had one towel each though they scared us on the second day by replacing these not on the rack but in the cupboard under the sink so at first we thought they'd not left any fresh ones. In fact they'd left more that second morning - perhaps the 4 toothbrushes on display proved to them we were at full occupancy - so we had an extra one to use as a bath mat. This was really helpful as the floor was super slippy when wet. The main bedroom was made up, but the sofa bed wasn't, so I got to demonstrate exactly why I'm not a nurse by putting the sheets on in a rather haphazard fashion. We had only one small pillow each but in the end we were so tired each night we drifted off before we could notice this. The sofabed looked like it had been folded up for quite some time and was reluctant to change this. We pulled it out but the mattress refused to lie flat and instead had a wave effect to it. it wasn't quite roller-coaster, but it was close. It flattened out a bit over 2 nights but still wasn't perfect. It also was quite small for a double and full sized grown ups (as opposed to Cheerios) might have struggled. I worried the mattress might make sleeping difficult or waking up uncomfortable, but in the end it was fine, despite what it looked like. The room had a few odd design features. There was only one mirror, and this was in the bathroom. If they'd made the sliding doors on the wardrobe mirrored that would have made all the difference. The TV was in the living area, opposite the sofa bed which was as small for sitting on while folded as it was for sleeping on while unfolded, so there was little hope of relaxing to watch a film whatever position you took. The table would not comfortably have sat 4 for a meal, and in any case we only had 3 chairs, two there and one at the desk. It was almost like a hotel room with a few added touches rather than a fully functioning apartment. That said, having a fridge was very handy. We ate a picnic breakfast one morning, and a lunch a different day and made use of the crockery and cutlery provided though this was also rather random and included an odd number of mismatched pieces, a bit like a hall of residence that's seen years of student breakages and pilfering, with replacements based on what is available and cheap rather than what was originally there. The air con didn't work meaning the rooms were rather warm for our stay at the beginning of June. We ended up sleeping with window open and the blinds slightly up (to let in air) both nights, but as our room overlooked the back not the street, it wasn't noisy. The blinds were brilliant European ones that really do block out all light (except when you have to leave them a little open), meaning the light curtains also fitted were a bit of an unnecessary extra. We reported the broken air con to reception and the woman said she knew and they were trying to fix it, though it didn't get sorted during our stay, nor did we see or hear anyone working on it. I wondered if that was something they'd been saying for a while. I also spent time in a couple of the studio apartments. These had twin beds rather than our double and double sofa bed, and less space to move around, but also had the kitchen areas. They had shower rooms rather than bathrooms - with cubicles rather than tubs - but their other fixtures and fittings were pretty much the same. We took over one room to do a bed pyramid (Youtube the phrase if you're unfamiliar. Actual amazeballs) and managed to squeeze in about 10 people in one go without anyone falling off the desk or launching themselves out of the window. If you were just 2 people travelling, a studio would certainly be enough space, but there was no chance of fitting in a 3rd bed or cot, so larger parties or families with kids would need the 1 bedroom. We arrived about 7pm on the first night and reception was shut, though someone had already come to check us in so we didn't have the problems we'd had in Geneva the night before. There was one small lift which we piled in to, and the hotel also had a normal staircase and one that was mainly external, linking the walkway between the two sides of the hotel. This was rather unsheltered and not the place to be during one of Lyon's lovely rain showers, of which we had several. There were some things like an ironing board and hairdryer that were available but only from reception, so I'm not sure how that would have worked since we didn't see anyone there at all on Saturday night and we came and went a few times. On Sunday morning the receptionist on duty was pleasant and gave us a map, drawing on where we were, but there wasn't much else in the way of tourist information. I suspect given their location they are more set up for business travellers or those going out in the car for the day. The room wasn't really cleaned while we were there, though we got fresh towels so I imagine they gave the bathroom a cursory wipe and might have done the same had we used the kitchen at that point. I don't know whether they'd have liked to have cleaned but the look of the room, complete with 4 exploding suitcases, piles of matching t-shirts, a stash of medals and enough Peanut M&Ms to last a year (our odd but lovely participant gifts), may have put them off. The room was clean and tidy on arrival, though, and the rest of the hotel had a lived in but well maintained look. At one point there was sick outside the lift as we went out for dinner, but it had either been cleaned up or had sunk into the carpet by the time we returned. The rooms had telephones which were useful for internal (prank) calls to other rooms since we were travelling in such a big party. There was also basic in room information about how to use the phones, the hours for breakfast and so on. Wifi is available free throughout but you have to get an individual code for it from reception - one for each device. Once received the connection worked well though I had to log back in each morning (using my original details). This is a normal, interior corridor hotel (with just a small bit semi-outside linking the two wings) but those sure were some dark corridors. I can understand the cost and planet saving advantages of not having lights on all the time, but perhaps motion sensors would have made more sense. Instead, you had to switch on the corridor lights (on a timer so they would go off again, but not an obscenely quick one that left you stranded half way down the corridor). The issue was, each room also had a doorbell so it was hard to see (in the dark, of course) what each switch was for as they all looked the same and were at the same height. Again, not the most sensible design feature. The hotel has a breakfast room serving a buffet breakfast for about Euro7 which seemed good value, though we made do with 70c pain au chocolat from the nearby bakeries. There is also an attached restaurant though I couldn't see how to access this from inside the hotel. We went to a fast food place near the tram stop several times (great goat's cheese salads and pizzas) and also to Rouge restaurant next to the fountains which is far better than it looks from the outside and has some excellent value buffet and set menu options (even for vegetarians, of whom we know France is far from fond). We were comfortable here for 2 nights and it is a hotel I would recommend as even though you might not want to cook, having the fridge is very welcome, and the ability to accommodate up to 4 people in one room is a bonus. It may look far out on the map, but it's really not, and it's much better value than some of the more central places. The website http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-8418-adagio-access-lyon-ex-citea/room.shtml has some photos that look exactly like the rooms we stayed in - almost unheard of for a hotel website! Part of the Accor chain, there are several hotels with similar names in Lyon. For the exact one we stayed in, look up "Adagio Access Lyon (ex-Citéa)" We paid for this as part of the overall package so I don't know the exact charge, but a quick look online puts it at about Euro70 to Euro90 per room per night, depending on the size (studio or 1 bedroom) and date. This is room only but to accommodate up to 4 people it's not a bad rate and while not bang in the centre, the location is still convenient.

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