“ 31 St.Marys / Bootham / York / YO30 7DD / Tel:+44(0)1904 628474. „
Over the weekend of 22nd to 24th September we spent an excellent weekend in York. We travelled up on the Friday morning, arriving just before lunchtime, and got the Sunday afternoon train back home. This gave us two evenings, one full day and a morning and an afternoon to enjoy this excellent city! We actually fell pretty lucky because we (quite unintentionally) happened to arrive at the start of the York Food & Drink Festival, so had food stalls, tastings and a 15 pub "Ale Trail" to occupy us; as well as all the usual sites on offer in York. But, this is all for another review
Our accommodation for the long weekend was booked for us by a friend from Portsmouth. We were travelling there separately, but there would be just over 20 of us meeting up to virtually take over a hotel! We were staying at the Alhambra Court Hotel, which can be found at 31 St. Mary's, York. We walked from the Railway station, via a drink at the Maltings pub for a drink on the way. The best way to get from the station by foot is to turn left out of the station and go across Lendall Bridge, go along Museum Street, turn down St. Leonards Place, turn down Bootham and go along there (past Marygate) and St. Mary's will be on your left. The hotel is a little way down this road and you can't really miss it!
I was really pleased with where the hotel was situated. It is only about five minutes from the Minster and therefore very close to the shops and historical sites of the city centre. Despite being pretty central it is also on a quiet cul-de-sac with very little noise at all.
~~~CHECKING IN AND OUT.
Due to our train being earlier we checked in earlier than the majority of our party. We arrived about 12.30 pm and the others were due in around 5pm. This was not a problem and the receptionist checked to see if our rooms were ready. Our room was and our friend's single room wasn't because they had started cleaning on the top floors and were working their way down. We checked in and dropped our bags off, while the receptionist offered to lock our friend's bag away safely until we got back. At this stage the receptionist told us that our room keys also unlocked the front door for "if" we didn't get into the hotel before 11pm at night.
Check out was painless even though the party organiser was paying for quite a lot of rooms in one go. Thankfully because he was doing this all we had to do was hand in our keys. Result! Rooms had to be vacated at a reasonable 11am too.
The Alhambra Court is a rather nice looking late Georgian building. The frontage is nicely painted with some rather nice flowers outside. There is also a decent size car park at the back, but we didn't have need for it having travelled up by train. The front door of the hotel is accessible by a few steps.
Once through the door you will find yourself in the reception area. There was a bell to ring for service and a smiling lady very speedily emerged to greet us. The reception area is open from 8am until 11pm, but there is an emergency number if you need anything outside those hours. The reception area which is nicely decorated, clean and furnished in a style in keeping with the age of the building, leads to the staircase with doors off to the dining room/bar, ground floor rooms and two sitting rooms.
The sittings rooms are large with comfy seating and are equally well and sympathetically furnished. According to the website the building was a Georgian gentleman's residence and I would say that the décor of these two rooms reflects that era well. The staircases to the upper floors are quite steep and when we arrived the lift was being serviced and we were a bit dizzy after climbing up the few flights to our bedroom on the third floor. Thankfully the lift (which is through a door to the rear of the reception) was working for the rest of our stay so we walked down and rode up!
The lift was small though and was a little old and claustrophobic.
Once up the stairs our room was down a short corridor. Our room was a double and was quite large with a bathroom facing the main door. The bed was large and comfy (it was actually two decent sized singles firmly attached together making the bed larger than a normal double but not quite a king size) with sheet, duvet and two pillows. There was a good sized wardrobe (with extra pillows and bedding in), a decent number of coat-hangers, dressing table with lots of drawers (one with a hairdryer in), two bedside lamps, television and tea and coffee making facilities. It was a nice bright room and an excellent base for our trip. Oh, yes and evening though the website says that some rooms allow smoking; there was a note in each room to say that smoking is not permitted anywhere now!
The bathroom was also a decent size with a toilet, basin and bath with fixed shower. I did find that the shower was too high up for me and would have preferred one that was adjustable because it was a little too high for me to shower comfortably and not easy to wash my hair with. The toilet had lots of toilet paper and there were the usual supply of shower gel and shampoo sachets which were topped up daily.
We were staying on a bed and breakfast basis, but the downstairs bar and restaurant opened in the evening. Evening meals needed to be pre-booked but we ate out because we didn't want to be tied to a specific mealtime ~ there is a sample menu on their website and the selection seems pretty good so we may have one meal there if we visit again. We didn't use the bar either because it didn't serve any Real Ale. The breakfast though was really good! It was waitress service and the waitresses seemed very friendly and generally quite efficient. Our only niggle was that they temporarily forgot us on our first morning. Once they realised they were very apologetic and our food was bought out very efficiently.
Breakfast was ordered from a menu but if you wanted anything specific they would try and get it for you. There was a choice of three fruit juices, several cereals, full English (that seemed the most popular choice amongst our party), lighter options (like scrambled, poached or boiled eggs with toast), toast with marmalade and tea or coffee. The food was piping hot, well cooked and served with a cheerful demeanour. My poached eggs were cooked just right, the toast plentiful and the fried eggs were runny. The only complaint anyone had was that the sausages weren't too great, as they were tasteless and seemed quite poor quality ~ they let down a generally good breakfast!
As I said before we didn't book the hotel ourselves and we did get a good rate because of the group booking. Prices for the rooms on a B&B basis are £27.50 - £52.50 for double or twin, £37.50 - £62.50 for single rooms and £32.50 - £57.50 for the four poster deluxe rooms. There are deals for multiple night stays and midweek breaks and cost depends on what time of year you visit. All this is explained on the website or you can ring the hotel for details, so I won't go on about all that!
I found the Alhambra Court Hotel to be friendly, comfortable and a good base for a trip to York. It was in an ideal location near to all the sites and not too far from the Railway Station, making the whole package ideal for our needs. The service was good and the staff friendly and helpful. We had to report that a fuse had gone in our main room lights and they were fixed very quickly. I wouldn't say it would be a good choice for anyone with mobility problems because the dining room is down stairs and it didn't look as if the lift went down there. The lift wasn't big enough either and there didn't seem to be any facilities for wheelchair users.
The hotel was great for us though and I will certainly be recommending it to friends. We are also planning to visit York again soon and will try and book into this place again. That is the best compliment I can give!
Alhambra Court Hotel