Just inside the city walls (access to the ancient rampart walkway is just a few steps away), this is not one of the most interesting areas in the city but it takes me only 5 minutes on foot to get in and amongst the history and beauty of York. Anyone arriving by train on the other hand would be advised to get a taxi (around £5) unless travelling light and feeling fit. Good value, covered parking is available across the street operating on a first come first served basis.
The rooms I visited are quite well proportioned, nicely lit and come with flat screen TV, hospitality tray, corner desk and that rare thing, free WiFi. Some also include a sofa bed to accommodate two children below the age of 12. No baths for those who like a soak but instead walk-in showers in small well kept bathrooms. A choice of Standard Double or King Bed options is available amongst the 100 rooms with both pretty much the same, though as the name implies beds are bigger in the latter. White, black and grey dominate a smart minimalist decor (no wall art) that combines rather well with striking striped carpets. Unfortunately minimalism can also mean a lack of storage space.
Modern lines and vivid contemporary art work still sets to my mind a somewhat sober and stark scene. The reception desk acts as an island, separating the brown chairs, sofas and solid wood tables of the bar and lounge from the slightly darker tones, leather maroon seating of the restaurant.
Eating and drinking
For a hotel, the bar and restaurant prices make for excellent value with a menu that mixes-up pub favourites with a few more creative choices. Hot and cold breakfast is buffet style, generally plentiful and quite good, though at busy times the restaurant can be cramped. The restaurant is closed at lunchtimes.
No spa or gym so it’s left to free WiFi for those with laptops and the TV to do the entertaining indoors and all of central York outside.
Reflecting the overwhelmingly young guests, staff too are fresh faced and affable.
Who stays there
Hotel 53 attracts predominantly youthful leisure and business travellers as well as young families.
An exasperating policy of some accommodation in the city, including this one, is a minimum two night stay when Saturdays are included. During York race meetings prices here can almost triple but it is worth checking during quieter times to see if any dinner inclusive or two-night stay deals are available. Expect to pay around £20 for a two-course dinner and an average of £14.50 for a bottle of wine. Good value parking currently £5 Sunday-Thursday and £10 Friday and Saturday. Up to two children sharing their parents room can stay for free.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Simple and stylish rooms
- Can be good value
- Cheap parking by York’s standards
- Restaurant closed at lunch time
- Public areas a little soulless
- Occasionally chooses style over practicality