The best hotels in York

Whatever you’re in town for – Vikings, steam trains or architecture – here are the best hotels in York
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© Chris Waywell York Minster
By Time Out editors |
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York is one of the most popular getaway destinations in the North – so no wonder you’re looking for a hotel here. With its much-loved collection of museums and historical sights, including Britain’s largest Gothic Cathedral, York Minster, and the Jorvik Viking Centre, as well as its beautiful, atmospheric old town, York is understandably one of the UK’s most popular city breaks. And when it comes to places to stay, it also has some spectacular offerings, from remarkable Victorian behemoths to 900-year-old boutique hotels and even a cosy convent. Here’s our list of the very best hotels in York.

York's best hotels

The Grand, The best Hotels in York
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The Grand Hotel & Spa

What used to be the headquarts of the North Eastern Railway Company is now Yorkshire’s one and only five-star hotel. And not for no reason. This magnificent Edward building has a total of 107 rooms, each an en-suite bathroom, and some with views of York Minster. You’ll also find a gym, pool and spa in the basement vaults and as far as sustenance goes, its cocktail bar, whisky lounge, and restaurant – the three AA Rosette Hudson’s – are a hit with guests and locals alike.

The Principal, The best Hotels in York
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Principal York

Another upscale York hotel, and one that conjures Britain’s golden age of steam-train travel. This 155-room railway hotel is, as you’d probably imagine, is just by York station. Seek out a room towards the top if you’d like views of the city. Downstairs, meanwhile, you’ll find a gym, pool and a business centre, plus The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace, which serves locally sourced produce, and the Chapter House Bar, which is great for a pre-dinner cocktail. Our recommendation? Afternoon tea in the Garden Room, it’s divine.

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Grays Court, Best Hotels in York
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Grays Court

In a town full of historical buildings, this is still a particularly old one indeed. An eleven-room house that dates back to 1080 and is completely soaked in history (it was given to the Duke of Somerset by Edward VI in the sixteenth century). It makes for a commanding presence beside York Minster and the city walls; similarly, the stone fireplaces, ancient timber and leaded windows make it feel truly unique. You’ll need to book to eat in the restaurant, and in summer be sure to eat in the garden, which, at night, features a resident owl.

Indigo, Best Hotels in York
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Hotel Indigo

Seeking out a more modern hotel in York? Try the 101-room boutique Hotel Indigo in Walmgate, York’s most up-and-coming area. You’ll be excellently positioned for many of the town’s top attractions, such as The National Railway Museum and The Shambles, one of the city’s most picturesque streets. Rooms are modern and come with complimentary snacks in the minibars, though if you’re hungry, try its restaurant and bar, No.88 Walmgate. It serves locally brewed beer alongside a menu that’s heavy on locally sourced produce.

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Hotel 53, the Best Hotels in York
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Holiday Inn

The York city centre branch of the Holiday Inn chain is a good choice if you’re in York to do some sightseeing: the Yorvik Viking Centre, York Barbican and National Railway Museum are all close by. Its 100 moderns rooms all have tea and coffee-making facilities, free wi-fi and en suite shower rooms. Step out the front door and you’re spoilt for choice on nearby Fossgate and Walmgate too.

The Bar Convent, the Best Hotels in York
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The Bar Convent

Okay, this one’s just a little out of the ordinary: it’s a working convent, and on top of that, the oldest one in the UK. The hotel is housed in a building that dates to the seventeenth century, near the train station and city walls. Given its Grade I-listed status, it’s little wonder that rooms can be on the small side (some have private bathrooms, some have shared bathrooms). But there’s free wi-fi throughout, and its terrifically good value. The resident nuns are happy to answer any touristy questions you might have, and you also have accesst to the on-site chapel. Plus, a shout-out has to go the award-winning breakfasts that are included.

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