A five-star oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of historic York
Searching for a five-star oasis set amongst the hustle and bustle of a historic city? Look no further than the Cedar Court Grand in York.
Whether you’re after an action-packed sightseeing weekend, a romantic weekend away, or even a deliciously indulgent spa break, our new favourite city retreat ticks the boxes. And that’s not all. Not only does it have sparkling five stars (and believe us, you’ll soon see why) it’s actually the only five-star hotel in the whole of Yorkshire, which, for us, means it’s definitely worth a visit.
And after whizzing up the country by train one Friday evening (which, by the way, is incredibly easy) we’re certainly glad we made the trip.
Nestled – ideally – on the outskirts of the city, the imposing Grade II-listed building won us over in seconds. The former North Eastern Railways HQ, The Grand underwent a whopping £25 million renovation just last year, and from the wide sweeping staircases right down to the lovingly restored original doors, we must say, the result earns the hotel its name. Definitely rather grand.
But looks can be deceiving. Despite its historic opulence – think towering ceilings, never ending hallways and a stack of period features – it’s impossible not to feel right at home the second you walk through the door. The staff could not have been more welcoming and friendly, and had whisked away our cases and replaced them with glasses of champagne, within seconds of us stepping over the threshold. We guarantee you’ll be charmed.
The impressive décor is not just confined to the hallways – the hotel’s 107 rooms are all equally lovely. And from the roomy classic doubles to the ridiculously luxurious penthouse, they’re all individually designed, and no two are the same.
Bedecked in light neutrals with flashes of rich red, the look is period charm meets glossy, sleek and stylish, and from the immaculately made beds to the fluffy white dressing gowns, the attention to detail is faultless.
And the piece de la resistance? The hotel’s glittering spa. If it’s rest and relaxation you’re after, then this is certainly the place to start. Take a relaxing dip in the warm waters of the pool , ease away stress in the Jacuzzi and indulge in a cleansing stint in the sauna and steam room – or if you’re feeling particularly active, a trip to the gym. And if that’s not enough? Add some serious pampering to your list with a Germaine Di Capuccini massage or facial in the suite of soothing treatment rooms.
If getting out and about is more your thing, there are plenty of sights to see. And with just a five-minute walk to the city (the Grand’s lovely concierge was happy to point us in the right direction), it’s easy to get stuck straight in. The historic shambles and towering York Minster were first on our list, before a quick stop at one of the many tearooms in the city. Then it was on to the Jorvick Centre and super-scary Dungeons – armed with handy York city passes, which get you in to many of the attractions for free. (See www.visityork.org for more details).
And after working up an appetite with hard day’s sightseeing, what better way to end the day than with a meal in the hotel’s formal HQ restaurant (preferably via a quick pre-dinner drink in the sumptuous cocktail bar!) The full formal dining experience, expect chic décor, elegantly set tables and discreet, friendly staff – there’s certainly no stuffiness here. The mouth watering menu ranges from rabbit to venison and delicious belly of pork, and don’t even get us started on the deserts…
Details: The Cedar Court Grand Hotel and Spa, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GD (01904 380038; www.cedarcourtgrand.co.uk). Classic rooms start from £129, while suites range in price from £249 up to £529 based on two sharing.