All 207 bedrooms, spread over six floors, are generous to a fault-even the entry-level Classics have space for a small party, and bathrooms feature baths as well as showers. They’re well-designed with good lighting, large wardrobes and with Nespresso machines in the Executive category and above.
Imagine a city with Roman roots and a Viking past. A city where ancient walls surround contemporary independent shops and vibrant eateries and there's a festival for every month of the year.
Welcome to York in the United Kingdom—the Original City Adventure!
Cathy and I love exploring this historic charming city as it is one of England’s oldest—founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. I personally relish the railway museum and all the culinary delights on offer.
So having the right place to stay is important and we love The Grand Hotel York.
Overview: The Grand Hotel York
This has to be one of the city’s top hotel locations. It’s less than five minutes walking from the station, a leisurely 10 minutes to the Minster and main shopping streets, 15 minutes to most other major sights and a hop, skip and jump from both medieval walls and the river.
True, it doesn’t have views, except glimpses of the Minster towers and rooftops from top-floor rooms, but you don’t choose to stay here for looking outside.
The colossus of a building was formerly the Edwardian headquarters of the wealthy North Eastern Railway Company which The Grand reimagined and opened in 2010, annexing a 1970s office block for more bedrooms.
Original features such as parquet flooring, hefty dark-wood doors, a sweeping stone staircase and wide arched corridors have been blended with a contemporary colour scheme of deep purple and charcoal greys plus swathes of velvet in chairs and sofas. It feels spacious and luxurious, if a little dark and masculine.
All 207 bedrooms, spread over six floors, are generous to a fault—even the entry-level Classics have space for a small party, and bathrooms feature baths as well as showers. They’re well-designed with good lighting, large wardrobes and with Nespresso machines in the Executive category and above.
The décor can feel a little corporate at times. Carpets and walls are neutral with conservative shots of colour in armchairs and throws, while furniture is solid and clean-lined. Black and white photographs of York’s architecture add a sense of place.
Service and Facilities
There’s a ton of doormen, porters and concierges, all universally cheerful and down-to-earth. And, like the rest of the staff-who pop up everywhere—they’re ready to help with every whim and request. Strangely, there’s no lounge other than the bar and a smaller, even darker whisky lounge. Suite guests have access to the White Rose Lounge, but other guests have to cough up between £30 and £50 for day access.
The original vaults have been converted into an Espa spa, which includes a pool and fitness room. Again, only certain guests (Executive and above) have free access unless a treatment is booked or a £15 fee is paid.
We usually dine out in Yorkshire’s prettiest city, but should you wish to dine in then it’s an odd choice—either a smart tasting menu in smart dining room Hudsons (five or nine course, £50 or £80) or a funky tapas-style menu in The Rise. The Rise is a breezy space with an open kitchen serving small plates, such as scallops with cauliflower or duck egg with mushrooms (average £7).
But the cooking in both is confident and stylish with a nice emphasis on Yorkshire sourcing. The main bar has creative cocktails, a gin menu and around 100 whiskies. Breakfast is comprehensive with an excellent cold buffet and buffet style cooked items. Special dishes such as eggs benedict are cooked to order (and cost extra).
All in all you will feel very special at The Grand and it certainly lives up to its name. Consider the hotel haven for your next visit to York.
For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.