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The finest hotels in York for a break in the historic English city

hotels in york
The finest hotels in York, as loved by GHYour Creative Sauce

If you’re planning a visit to this fine cathedral city in the north-east of England, you’ll need to know all about the best hotels in York.

OUR FAVOURITE HOTELS IN YORK

The walled town is famous for its imposing 13th-century gothic cathedral, with its medieval stained glass and bell towers. Visitors can walk along the city walls beside the River Ouse and explore York’s Roman history.

It also has Viking heritage – you’ll be able to learn all about the invasion at the Jorvik Viking Centre. Or spend your days shopping in the Shambles, a maze of timber-framed buildings, tea-rooms and boutiques, plus a market with more than 70 stalls.

Our favourite hotels in York include No.1 by GuestHouse York, part of a small group of hotels run by three brothers – this one is in the heart of the city, in a listed Regency townhouse that’s just a 10-minute walk from the minster.

Principal York
is one of the UK’s great station hotels – and it’s especially convenient for guests arriving by rail.

Or stay a little outside of the city centre by checking in to Middlethorpe Hall, with 20 acres of gardens to explore and a gardener who is more than happy to impart tips. These are the best hotels in York, with some reviewed and loved by us.

Principal York

Just steps from York’s train station, The Principal is a historic railway hotel with views of the minster and a superbly central location. It has been welcoming guests since the dawn of the railway age and the Victorian architecture has been preserved – there are grand columns, vast windows and corniced ceilings.

The Refectory serves up Great British classics, with much of the produce coming from Yorkshire – or God’s own country, as the locals like to call it (with good reason).

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Courtesy of the hotel

The Grand

This hotel was built in 1906 and it remains one of the most popular places to stay in York. It’s certainly somewhere to enjoy the finer things in life, whether you’d like to enrol in a class at its cookery school or plan to be pampered at the spa, set amid the vaults. Facilities include a swimming pool, steam room, Nordic sauna and gym.

The afternoon teas at the Rise have the added bonus of views of the city walls, with prosecco, champagne and G&T upgrades to your regular pot available.

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Middlethorpe Hall

Two miles outside of the city centre, but worth the distance for its beautiful 20 acres of gardens, Middlethorpe Hall is a National Trust-owned escape. The grounds include a walled garden with a dovecote that dates back to 1681.

The house has 29 bedrooms, a restaurant in the panelled dining room and a spa with a tiled pool and sofa.

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Courtesy of the hotel

The Fat Badger

Another hotel in York that’s set within the city’s famous walls, the Fat Badger’s building is equally historic. There are just 12 ensuite bedrooms, some of which have views out across the city.

The hotel’s pub serves excellent ales, lots of gins and seasonal, locally sourced food, in dishes such as smoked garlic hummus, goat’s cheese bon buns and red pepper risotto. There’s a beer garden for warmer summer days that’s visible from the path along the bar walls.

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hotels in york
Courtesy of the hotel

Hotel du Vin & Bistro

In the Mount area of York, the city’s Hotel du Vin is set within a Grade II-listed mansion. The 19th-century building is now home to the brand’s signature bistro, 44 rooms – some of which have roll-top bath tubs – and Egyptian cotton bedlinen, with some of the original features restored.

The hotel is perfectly placed for discovering York’s Roman, Viking and medieval histories; and other top sights, such as the Shambles and the banks of the River Ouse, are all also close by

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Guy Fawkes Inn

As the name suggests, this hallowed inn has a link to Guy Fawkes – York’s most famous son was born here in 1570 and baptised just across the street. If you’re here in early November, don’t expect any fireworks – as it was once owned by the Fawkes family, it is forbidden from celebrating Bonfire Night.

The medieval inn is in the foreground of the minster. Its candle-lit restaurant is as atmospheric as you’d imagine, with an impressive wine list and hearty British dishes.

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hotels in york
Courtesy of the hotel

Hotel Indigo

This boutique hotel on Walmgate gives guests a chance to stay within the ancient city walls. You’ll be able to enjoy craft ales, excellent cocktails and pizzas in the buzzy bar. The street once had no fewer than 20 pubs on it, but these days it is populated with independent restaurants, bars and boutiques.

Despite the hotel’s historic surroundings, the technology is entirely modern, with 40-inch smart televisions, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for your devices.

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Courtesy of the hotel

Clementine's Townhouse

Clementine’s Townhouse is a charming boutique hotel in a leafy part of town. Some of the rooms have four-poster beds, floral wallpaper and velvet chairs; or book the After Eight Suite for its chalet-style wooden walls and ceilings.

There’s no restaurant, but the hotel has all of the British bases covered, with full English breakfasts served every morning and just-baked scones to enjoy with cream and tea each afternoon.

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Courtesy of the hotel

No.1 by GuestHouse York

The GuestHouse group was founded by three brothers with the surname Guest, who were just destined to be hoteliers (nominative determinism in action). The York property has sister stays in Bath and Brighton.

The boutique hotel is set in a Grade II-listed Regency townhouse with all of the grand proportions you’d expect, as well as a sweeping staircase, sash windows and ivy-framed door. All of the city is on your doorstep, but first you’ll have to explore the hotel’s well-stocked pantry, the charming restaurant and the excellent spa, where the treatments have oils that are matched to the music and your mood.

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Courtesy of the hotel

Grays Court Hotel

There’s a lot of history to be discovered in York, so you may as well start with a stay at Grays Court, which is the oldest inhabited house in the city. Unsurprisingly, the manor has many tales to tell – it has hosted royalty and been the venue for the conferring of knighthoods. It is the only privately owned building in York with direct access to the city walls.

At the Bow Room restaurant, guests will be able to eat like kings and queens, with a nine-course tasting menu, plus wine flight. Luxurious touches in the bedrooms include a William IV four-poster bed in one and a double monsoon shower in another.

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Dean Court Hotel

Dean Court Hotel has one of the best positions in the city – it’s directly opposite the Minster, which you’ll be able to admire from the comfort of the restaurant. If you’re lucky enough to get one of the window tables come morning, you’ll enjoy a view of it over breakfast as well.

In addition to the landmark right in front of you, the hotel is well-placed for seeing more of York, with pubs, restaurants and shops all nearby.

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The Bar Convent

There’s plenty of history to discover in York and the Bar Convent is an excellent place to start, since the hotel has a hallowed chapel and library on-site. The 18th-century convent is just outside of the city walls, with an order of nuns still in residence.

The original dormitories have been renovated to create the bedrooms and suites. There’s a café for breakfast and a winter garden in what was once the courtyard.

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Jorvik House

Jorvik House is set within a Georgian townhouse, close to York’s historic centre. Its location is useful for anyone arriving by train, since the station is a short walk away, on the other side of the river. Close by, guests will be able to explore the city’s Viking heritage (hinted at in the hotel’s name), as well as the Minster. There are lots of tearooms too, including an outpost of the Harrogate favourite, Bettys.

There’s no restaurant at the property, but a continental breakfast will be dropped off at your door every morning.

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The Churchill

The Churchill is in York’s smart Bootham district. It’s a little out of the city centre, but you’ll be able to stroll in through the Museum Gardens along the river. The townhouse has a sweeping staircase, chequerboard floors, a grand piano and an atrium seamlessly blending the old and the new.

More period details in the listed building can be found in the restaurant, with its arched windows and plasterwork ceiling. There’s a beer garden dispensing deli boards and wood-fired pizzas to enjoy during the warmer months.

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