The hostel is within the city walls situated half way up historic Micklegate and a large collection of pubs and bars (known to pub crawl aficionados as the ‘Micklegate run’) which inevitably at weekends can get a little raucous. This hostel is less than a 10-minute walk into the centre of the city and a 10-minute stroll to the railway station.
All air conditioned and almost entirely all en suite, the mixture of large 14 bunk-bedded dormitories down to smaller four bed dorms all come with individual reading lights, lockers and, more often than not, views of the city. Family rooms (four beds) and one private room are also available equipped with TVs, towels and dressing gowns. I visited the 10 bed dorm and found a period fireplace topped by a large mirror, the panelled walls decorated in rich burgundy and a view through the large window over Micklegate. A pleasant enough vista during the day but at night I did wonder about the potential street noise come the weekend evenings.
From the moment I entered, the Ace up the Ace’s sleeve, are its public rooms and facilities. Stone flagged floors, cooling pastel walls and a sweeping staircase are just the half of it. Some gorgeous coving and ceiling plasterwork, choice pictures and decorations really hint at former days as a well heeled private residence. There’s a comfortable bar with mirrored walls, marble fireplace and Chesterfield sofas as well as a separate computer room, while down in the enigmatic and atmospheric cellar, the refectory-style dining room is loomed over by a stag's head high above the former cooking hearth. Also amongst the long, white-vaulted corridor is a self-catering kitchen, sauna, laundry and games room. Outside there’s a narrow courtyard to the rear with benches. The ground floor bathrooms are well worth a look in their own right.
Eating and drinking
Breakfast is of the cold continental variety while the bar serves light bites, sandwiches and such-like alongside some very reasonably priced drinks. There’s a vending machine for snacks and, of course, food can be bought from the local supermarket, a few minutes' walk further down Micklegate, then prepared in the kitchen.
There is a small sauna (£2 per person), games room including a pool table, video and board games and nightly movie showings (It was a zombie splatter fest when I was there) on a big screen TV crowded in by a collection of leather sofas. There is also free WiFi throughout the building.
When I called in I encountered nothing but joviality, friendliness and a genuine passion for the building.
Who stays there
It's a hostel so is a draw for budget travellers, singles, families and young groups.
A continental breakfast is included and overall rates vary between winter (November to March) and summer (March to October). Prices are based on per person for a bed in the dorm and per room for private rooms. Rates like the rest of York, are dependent on days of the week, with Sunday through Thursday the cheapest times to stay. Car owners are best advised to park on nearby Tanner Row where 24 hours currently costs £18.
- High-Speed Internet
- Backpackers / Students
- Families with teenagers
- Seasoned travellers
- Stag / hen parties
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Great architecture and facilities
- A bargain for York
- Can be noisy at weekends