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No. 1, York
Close by the city walls in the smart Bootham area of York, this handsome Georgian townhouse is a bit of a head-turner. And even more so when you step inside. Bold colours, an old-school charm, striking modern art and dollops of whimsy have created a warm, lounge-y vibe while still showing off the building's historic features. A model train runs around the walls of the fire-warmed bar and big sash windows flood the sunny-coloured lounge with light, while a black-painted stairwell leads up three floors to a glass canopy. Bedrooms are cool and minimalist - all with retro turntables - and the restaurant serves up Yorkshire comfort food. It's family- and dog-friendly too, and there's an intimate spa in the vaulted basement.
The hotel is close to the historic centre without being amongst the crowds, so you can easily retreat to a bit of peace.
It's only a 10-minute stroll into York city centre. En route, visit the Art Gallery, Museum Gardens or Treasurer's House.
By car: around 45 minutes from Leeds, 1 hour 45 minutes from Manchester and 4 hours 15 minutes from London. Parking costs £20 per day.
By train: London Kings Cross to York takes around 2 hours. The hotel is a 15-minute walk away. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
This hotel suits young city-breakers and families, plus it's handy for parents of students at both Bootham School and St Peter's. We loved the eclectic collection of artworks, from huge abstracts (inspired by the Minster) and contemporary portraits to still lifes and framed vintage DIY worksheets.
Service & Facilities
Time to 'fess up… our guilty secret is the number of trips we made to The Pantry with its jars of old-fashioned sweets, Yorkshire ice cream and crisps, soft drinks and freshly baked cakes… all free! Dogs are welcomed with a bed, bowl and treats and are allowed in most areas of the hotel apart from the restaurant; owners can eat with their pets in the bar.
- Board games
- Free Wi-Fi
The 'Small' rooms are cute and cosy. The turntables and selection of vinyls - from Led Zeppelin to David Bowie via Marvin Gaye - are music heaven.
Small Room, Room, Large Room, Bootham Suite, Cliffton Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, Nespresso machine, turntable, flat-screen TV, free snacks from the pantry, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The cocktail list is deliciously wicked - how about an 'Old Fashioned Parkin' with bourbon, burnt wildflower honey, clarified butter, spices, bitter chocolate and smoke? Breakfast is nicely offbeat with choices including Yorkshire apple bircher, smoked haddock omelette and French toast with treacle-cured bacon.
The Restaurant: elegant dining room. Local, seasonal produce. All-day menu, open daily. Afternoon tea served 12-5pm.
The Bar: cosy, atmospheric lounge. Serving bar snacks, signature cocktails and wines. Open daily.