Though just outside the city walls, I timed the journey at less than 10 minutes to walk across the river and into the centre of York. Another ace up its sleeve is the Royal York attachment to the train station meaning just a few weather protected steps to the reception desk. Drivers will find a car park with spaces offered on a first-come first served basis.
Divided between the main building and a newly built annex, all 167 bedrooms come with the usual technology and conveniences expected of this hotel rating (including power showers) as well as that little bit extra room to accommodate a work space for business guests. If possible aim for a club or executive room that will also come with broad views across the city. Standard rooms facing the rear are equally well equipped though don’t come with much of a view and are prone to the noise from the adjoining railway station. All rooms in the main building feature high ceilings incorporating chocolate, cream and plum are their primary colours. Popular with newlyweds, there are also four large suites loosely decorated in the influences of Art Deco and featuring tall windows overlooking the gardens and city beyond.
The swirling carpets and creams and browns of the large open reception greet you on arrival, dominated by some intricate iron work accompanying the grand staircase. Plenty of original features, though some of the large spaces can be a tad hollow.
Eating and drinking
Overlooking the gardens and city just beyond, The Tempus Restaurant is a formal, elegant dining, all candlelight and crease-sharp napkins to accompany a good choice of wines and food inspired by local, Mediterranean and eastern influences. In complete contract, across the reception, the Tempus Bar offers a more casual conservatory experience within its light tones and slightly 60’s retro furnishings. Beneath the retractable sunscreens, this is the place to head for light lunches, coffee and cocktails. Breakfast comes with plenty of choice including the substantial and a well presented full English fry-up.
The Royal York’s modern health and fitness club is one of the best in the city and includes heated pool, whirlpool spa, sauna, steam room and comprehensive gym. Experts are also on hand to provide one-to-one personal training.
Efficient and business-like as befits its heritage, ambiance and large dedication to meetings and conferences.
Who stays there
I’ve caught languages and accents from across the globe when I’ve been visiting with the location and facilities making it particularly popular with business and conference visitors, couples and families on leisure breaks and a large number of wedding parties.
Breakfast is generally included in the price. Currently car parking costs £10.00 per night Monday-Thursday, £6.00 per night Friday-Sunday which is good value by York standards. It’s worth noting that some nights require a minimum two-night stay and check in advance to see if there are any inclusive dinner, bed and breakfast deals available.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
- Mature travellers
- People watching
- Special occasions
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Station location
- Excellent leisure and business venue
- A little souless
- Some TLC needed
- Rooms at the back can be noisy