Not quite in the heart of things but still within the city walls next to a busy main road, the location is within easy walking distance of the train station and the city centre attractions just across Lendal Bridge. Those arriving by car will have them valet parked or can opt instead for public parking on Tanner Row.
I sadly missed out on a glance over the butler service included with the penthouse and some suites, but the rooms I witnessed were splendid. Warm creams and rich orange wallpapers dominate the decor finished off with deep grained wood furniture. Beds are wrapped in Egyptian cotton and are turned down every night, while in the bathroom Molton Brown goodies come as standard in splendid surroundings where the toilet gets its own separate room. Under-floor heating and controllable air conditioning are standard as, of course, are all the usual entertainment technology expected of this hotel class. Happily, free WiFi is also supplied.
A joyful celebration of Edwardian artisanship. All the original and exquisite Edwardian wood panelling, gilding, stone architraves, marble columns, tiled floors, parquet flooring and leaded glass are still here complemented by some lovely dashes of 21st-century art and kitsch. The reception area is particularly impressive as are the lounges with their intense colours and deep velvet sofas. Strangely though, I did find the decor in the restaurants slightly more muted than the extravagances seen elsewhere.
Eating and drinking
Food and drinks are served in a variety of places throughout the building; you can even get high tea on the roof terrace. HQ restaurant is the formal dining option specialising in British classics sprinkled with some creative interpretations much of which comes from the fields and seas of Yorkshire. There’s also a seven-course taster menu currently starting at £65 and, as expected, all is served by a legion of friendly and knowledgeable staff. A ground floor terrace offers some more great views of the city and is lovely for al fresco grazing and sipping, while the Whisky Bar has more than 200 different varieties according the lady serving in the ‘gentlemen’s club’ type environment.
A pool, plunge pool, sauna and steam room all reside beneath the vaulted arches. So too does a small gym alongside a team of therapists and beauticians and their plethora of well-being, guest-pampering treatments from the comprehensive menu. Admittedly, I’m a bit bamboozled by such things but was really taken with the collection of original walk-in safes cleverly incorporated into the spa rooms.
The staff encountered were super efficient and I was greeted with smiling, relaxed faces where ever I found myself.
Who stays there
Couples on leisure breaks, businesspeople on generous expenses, families with late teenage children and wedding parties.
Needless to say, it’s not going to be cheap. Price quoted is generally based on room only in the Classic category staying on a Sunday night. As the week progresses prices do rise and it should be noted that this, sadly, is one of those places requiring a minimum of two nights' stay if you want a room on Saturday night. For breakfast paid on the day add £16.50 for the full cooked options or £14.50 for a continental choice.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Special occasions
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Some super bedrooms
- Finery and fun throughout
- Minimum stay two nights' stay on Saturday
- Immediate area is a bit underwhelming