Meet the man who has been hailed as the world’s best concierge by Vanity Fair and nominated for multiple awards in the hospitality industry, Mr. Gérard Ravet. When you arrive in Lyon, a city that has been called one of the world’s greatest gastronomic destinations, you will surely have alot of questions and Mr. Ravet will be there to answer all of them. Want to know the best restaurant to visit for a romantic evening? He’ll make several suggestions. Want to know where to buy an antique guitar nearby the hotel? Mr. Ravet knows. Want to talk about the history of the city? He’s a living, breathing encyclopedia. Mr. Ravet is super friendly and always on hand to make sure your stay in Lyon will surpass all your expectations.
We sat down over some tea and pastries and asked Mr. Ravet questions about Cour des Loges and the city of Lyon itself:
The Gone Cat: How long have you been working for Cour des Loges?
Gérard Ravet: Since 1988, for more than 26 years.
The Gone Cat: Tell us some interesting history about the building and the hotel:
Gérard Ravet: The main walls of the hotel are from 1341, before Christopher Colombus was born! The very unique courtyard was built in the 16th century. Also, one of the salons was the laboratory of the “taumaturgist” (miracle worker) Maître Philippe de Lyon. Just a few of the reasons that Cour des Loges is the best location for the historical part of the old section of Lyon.
The Gone Cat: What are some of your favorite fun things to do locally in Lyon that you recommend to your customers?
Gérard Ravet: I adapt to each one what could be a matter of their own personal interest. It can be a guided Segway tour, a guided bicycle tour, a historical walking tour of the largest Renaissance area in France, as well as a jogging city tour. It could be fun to try exceptional simulators such as piloting an Airbus A 320 (www.aviasim.fr) or driving a real race car/simulator on hydrolic system that delivers the same sensation that a real one (www.i-way-world.com). You could go horse riding, as well as hot air ballooning. Cooking class as well as wine tastings downtown or all of the cultural events that you can imagine in Lyon which is the second major city of France.
The Gone Cat: What is your favorite time of year in Lyon?
Gérard Ravet: In fact it is all year round, as there is something new going on every week!
The Gone Cat: What are some good local events (nearby Cour des Loges) that you like to recommend to your customers?
Gérard Ravet: The biennale of Contemporary Art from September to January every two years, the Biennale de la Danse ( dance festival every two years on September and October which highlight is a parade gathering 4.000 locals who trained all year round for that show , generally on the second of September, at the end of which everyonepassing by, is invited to dance with them on the large square Place Bellecour ( among the largest in Europe), see “ Les nuits sonores” as a special event for electronic music, the film festival on October named “ Festival Lumière” , it can be the Renaissance festival generally in April named “ Les Pennons de Lyon”, gathering 400 people dressed like in the Renaissance time, with horses, games and flag throwers coming from Italy , also the Lights Festival ( la Fête des Lumières) brings into Lyon more than 5 millions visitors for a few days around the 8th of December every year ! I could go on and on for hours and hours as there is a new event on every week end or month… All of this is easily reachable from Cour des Loges.