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The Grand, York
As York's only five-star hotel, The Grand is well-named. The red-brick Edwardian building, across the road from the station, has all the pomp of the headquarters of the highly successful North Eastern Railway Company, which it once was: grand staircase, wide corridors, lofty ceilings. Bedrooms - with around a third of the 207 rooms in a newer wing - are spacious and creamy with a contemporary, understated style. Families are made particularly welcome - lots of treats - plus there's a spa and cookery school and excellent concierge service. With a crowd-pleasing restaurant, terrace, whisky snug, plus a VIP lounge, it has all the ingredients for an indulgent city-break.
The hotel is halfway between the architectural grandeur of the Minster and the mighty machines of the National Railway Museum, so culture and fun are both satisfied.
The Grand is a short stroll from York station, just inside the old city walls and 10 minutes from the popular Shambles shopping area.
By car: the hotel is 40 minutes from Leeds, 1 hour 30 mins from Manchester and 4 hours 10 mins from London. There is limited paid parking on-site and an NCP car park a few minutes' walk away. The concierge team can arrange a discounted ticket.
By train: London Kings Cross to York takes around 2 hours. The station is a 5-minute walk from the hotel. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Anyone who likes big hotels that still retain a grand style and personality - it's probably not for quirky boutique lovers or minimalists. We love the feeling of space, despite the fact it's a 207-room hotel, with its long, wide corridors, high ceilings and thick oak doors leading to lofty ceilinged rooms.
Service & Facilities
Find a quiet corner in the snug and contemplate the 60-odd strong list of whiskies - largely single malts but with a good selection of American whiskies too. Dogs are welcomed with a dog basket and bowl, and can sit with owners in the lounge at mealtimes.
- Swimming pool
- Cookery school
- Free Wi-Fi
Rooms on the higher-level floors have the best views, either to the Walls or over rooftops towards the Minster. All are American-style spacious so feel relaxing, and the black-and-white photographs of York help lift a sometimes bland décor.
Classic Rooms, Executive Rooms, Heritage Suites, Grand Heritage Suites, The Penthouse Suite
Facilities include: king size bed, ensuite with bath and/or shower, Molton Brown toiletries, spa access, TV, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities, fridge, water, room service
Food & Drink
The heated terrace with its igloo dome makes dining al fresco a real possibility - and with glimpses of the Walls. Breakfast has a good, set-you-up-for-the-day cooked selection including full vegetarian and vegan options as well as pancakes, eggs how you want and, of course, the full Yorkshire.
The Rise: informal, local produce, European and British dishes, open kitchen, terrace for outdoor dining. Open every day for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Mains from £16.
The 1906 Bar: vintage decor, cocktails, champagne, fine wines, premium spirits, whisky menu, local ales, bar snacks. Open every day.