York is a city with many appealing attractions to entice you to visit. From its historic architecture, enchanting cobblestone streets and historical landmarks, to tranquil cruises along the river Ouse or fabulous days out at the famous racecourse, and of course, its abundance of places to enjoy bustling nightlife. There is always a reason to experience what York has to offer and there is certainly something for everyone.  

Having this diverse city gem a short ride away from home, I have indulged in many of the above; some several times. However, on this particular visit, I was looking forward to enjoying some R+R at New Holgate Hotel, a recently refurbished boutique townhouse, which was once a pair of Grade II listed Victorian townhouses. The hotel is located in the Holgate area of York, a 15-minute walk from the city centre, York Racecourse, and the railway station. 

We arrived at the hotel and parked in the secure car park which was well equipped with EV charging points – a useful addition considering the popularity of electric vehicles these days. We passed through a quaint and well-manicured outdoor area before entering via the rear entrance of the building where reception was clearly signposted. 

The reception area is beautifully turned out with an air of opulence; the perfect mix of tasteful yet unique decor while perfectly preserving the building’s authentic history and age. Boasting Yorkshire stone flooring in the public areas and plush carpet throughout, the hotel oozes luxury from the moment you arrive. I noted the ground floor boasted further amenities including toilets, a stylish and private meeting room for an intimate business gathering and a clever little nook for anyone wanting to read a book in quiet comfort.

We were met at reception with a polite and accommodating gentleman; Ioannis, who provided us with our room key and breakfast leaflet to take away and ponder. Furthermore, we were served not a bottle of water, but ice-cold filtered water in a glass vase with cork top and a cold flask of milk. These little ecofriendly touches displayed the boutique’s sophistication from the outset – the devil is in the detail after all at luxury hotels.

We were asked if we would like a brief tour of the hotel, this was a pleasant surprise and we were happy to follow our host, where we discovered a space that felt like it was created just for me; more on that later.  

We were then shown to our room which was situated in the west wing of the hotel. A deluxe double room, on the top floor with a view of passersby. And it was deluxe. Stepping onto the plush carpet felt like walking on a cloud and we loved our spacious suite with bright and welcoming decor and two large Victorian windows. 

The room boasted character with a luxurious Hypnos bed and lavish headboard paired with cool-toned soft furnishings throughout. Adjacent to the bed is a wall mounted smart television and by the door a clothes rail and full-length mirror for convenience. Contemporary mood lighting lamps are placed on bedside tables and alongside this stood a desk with a cold beverage leaflet, evening sharer board menu and wifi information; all beautifully presented on recycled paper.  

I absolutely loved the sink-in settee where we indulged in a glass of fizz that the accommodating staff at Holgate brought to the room in an ice bucket. Further seating and a coffee table with all the obligatory amenities is positioned by the window for morning coffees – perfect!

Boutique Stay In York

Many hotel rooms lack the flexibility of movement, however, with this spacious suite we were in no hurry to leave our room. 

Our room housed a clean and comfortable en suite featuring a rainfall shower with stunning deep-toned tiles and a black shower door. Locally sourced and beautifully fragranced shower gel, shampoo, hand wash and creams are provided complimentary, along with hand towels, hair towels, body towels and separate floor towels. New Holgate has understood the importance of these small but principal items for a luxury washroom. 

Once settled in and having become accustomed to the taste of the New Holgate prosecco we made our way downstairs to undoubtedly my favourite spot in this magnificent boutique. The Gin Lounge! Situated in what I imagine having previously been the cellar of the grade II building.  

Passing through the elegant bar area are perfectly preserved brick walls, a gentle nod to the building’s heritage and jewel-toned decor with further mood lighting. We entered through an open and inviting space, comprising liquor cabinets, wine fridges and an opulent marble bar top, before heading into the Gin Lounge. 

Boutique Stay In York

Through a frosted glass door you’ll find a cosy snug with plush deep green velvet chairs and a built-in burnt orange leather settee which perfectly set the scene for stylish comfort. The room’s decor is completely captivating with a vintage fireplace, bright walls and rustic Mahogony wood-panelled features and tables. Soft relaxing music plays in the background, and we enjoyed table service from our hosts.  

While taking in the tranquil surroundings we indulged in a vegetarian sharer board, which was served to us on a black slate board with tapas style dishes and consisted of delicious roasted tomatoes, peppers, and gherkins. Mouth-watering cheeses, watercress, and tangy mango chutney. Flavoursome anchovies, crunchy ciabatta, and balsamic vinegar for dipping. A delightful and very palatable board indeed. 

Feeling pleasantly full and hydrated we ventured into the city, it was a little drizzly, but New Holgate were well prepared with umbrellas to hand, and more than happy to accommodate keeping us dry; a thoughtful touch given Yorkshire’s ever-changing weather. 

We wandered toward the river Ouse where we came across an inviting pub (The Tank & Paddle) with a live gentleman singer and guitarist. We enjoyed the entertainment on the covered veranda; overlooking the river and calming scenery. 

By now the lush hypnos bed is calling us and so we head to our home for the evening. A quick nightcap in the 24-hour lounge and we were climbing into what felt like the epitome of comfort. Lightweight, crisp, and fresh covers encased your skin, while sink in pillows had your head in a cloud and the mattress supported your body perfectly. We knew we were in for a dreamy snooze. 

After a restful night and noting we had not booked in breakfast until 8:45, we relished the lazy morning vibe with a coffee in bed, enjoying the soft breeze coming through the open window and the sun shining in.  

Feeling caffeinated and energised, the rainfall shower experience was invigorating. Utilising the locally sourced complimentary organic and gentle-to-skin washroom collection, we felt rejuvenated, and my skin was left soft and subtle. 

We make our way down for breakfast and opt for the window table overlooking the rear garden and greenery. To the right you can see the chef in his happy place, preparing our meals while we sit, relax and plan our day.  

On the table is a vase of fresh water, jams, marmalades, and honey, beautifully presented. Within moments we are approached for our drink requests by the same smiling face that greeted us upon arrival; Ioannis. A frothy cappuccino, creamy latte and two freshly squeezed orange juices with ice soon arrive.  

Before finishing our tasty barista-style coffees, our breakfast arrives. One vegetarian cooked breakfast and one full English cooked breakfast. Again, locally sourced, and fresh ingredients perfectly presented.  

The vegetarian dish comprised veggie sausage, juicy roast tomatoes, garden-fresh mushrooms, beans, a fried runny egg, the obligatory toast, and a delicious cheese melt creation; the second vegetarian cheese I have had the pleasure of dining on at New Holgate and it is a real treat for the tastebuds. 

Across the table was the full English breakfast, which consisted of crisp bacon, succulent sausage, roasted tomatoes, flavoursome black pudding, mushrooms, fried egg, and beans. A hearty breakfast indeed.  

Both dishes were delicious, fresh, and filling which fuelled us for the day.  

Boutique Stay In York

By now it was time to pack up our belongings and head on home. But not before a thank you, goodbye and a definite see you again soon to the very hospitable staff at New Holgate Hotel. 

My Conclusion….. 

An entirely unique experience personalised to our stay, unlike larger chain hotels. The boutique is personable, the staff are attentive and overall, the stay was a real pleasure. Their passion to be as environmentally friendly in their visions is refreshing and in-keeping with today’s principles. 

I always find myself ready to come home after a hotel stay, however, this is the very first time I have found myself wanting to prolong my time away. However, the daily grind awaits. 

I would highly recommend New Holgate hotel and it is a firm favourite of mine. I’m looking forward to returning, as I know the boutique plans to further develop its outside area and overall guest experience – not that there is much room for improvement.

Words By Hannah Parnaby 

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