The arrival of autumn just calls out for cosy weekends holed up in luxurious hotels and mooching about cobbled cities with hot chocolate and pastries. If you’ve never visited, York is the perfect candidate, with its winding alleys, quirky galleries, antiques shops and delicious eateries.
Merely a hop, skip and jump away from the station, the Principal Hotel is the grand dame of York and has hotel a hotel on the site for nearly 150 years, with views of the city’s Roman walls and the iconic York Minster from many of the windows, it’s as much a part of the city as both.
Bathed in light from the epic windows, the downstairs lobby and lounge are filled with plump, inviting armchairs, cosy nooks in which to curl up with a book or enjoy an afternoon tea. The masterpiece is a gloriously sweeping staircase, stretching up to the top floors of the hotel and hinting at its glamorous past. The decor is light luxe, all muted greys and creams, chic, elegant, and grand.
With Standard, Superior and Suites starting from around £125 a night, there’s something for all. Our Superior twin room was cosy and chic, with a welcome basket of local goodies to greet us and an inviting roll pop bath calling out for a soak. Suites include a living room area and views of the city, York Minster or the hotel gardens, all luxuriously spacious and in the classic colour palette shared with the rest of the hotel.
The Refectory is the Principal’s restaurant, a casual brasserie with a menu of favourites using fresh, seasonal, local in gradients from Yorkshire producers. We indulged in a fantastic Korean fried chicken burger with kimchi, gem lettuce and gochujang mayo in a pretzel bun and some seriously delicious sticky chicken wings, washed down with a couple of pretty excellent cocktails courtesy of the Chapter House bar. Five stars from us.
The hotel includes a pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and gym, all of which are free to use for residents, as well as treatments available from a local beauty partner Réflextions de Beauté. We popped down for an early morning swim and spa and while it was erring more on the leisure centre side than the luxury spa side, it wasn’t too busy and served the purpose.
A Summary of our stay at The Principal, York
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