“ Address: St Denys Road / York / YO1 9QD / England „
After an incredible weekend away with my darling husband to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary, I have now decided to do my first and quite possibly my last hotel review!
Our destination of choice for this excursion was to be a place new to us, so of course the hotel had to be in a prime location at a price we could afford...fortunately we seemed to fall on our feet so to speak on both of these points.
Our destination, to be exact was York, and due to the sheer number of attractions available to us, we wanted a hotel reasonably central, or at least within walking distance of the few sights we wished to see.
After some extensive research, mostly through the designated York tourist board site, we came across the perfect hotel.
St Denys hotel, a small but very quaint hotel, housing 13 rooms only, but with it's own parking facilities, the only pre-requisite my husband demanded, was the perfect choice so I picked it, booked it and f***ked off..... Sorry, I went a bit Peter Kay then!
After initially contacting the hotel directly, I was advised by the receptionist that if I booked it through the York tourist board site, via the St Deny's link, I would be able to save myself a few pounds, be warned after checking on line, then again with the hotel itself there was a discrepancy of around £10 per room, per night, the fact it worked out dearer to book through the link was not the result I expected, so check with the hotel direct first.
When I finally booked the double en-suite room the receptionist was pleasant, and well informed. The rooms cost £79 a night, which compared to the relatively cheaper venue of Whitby, our usual weekend of choice, is bloody good value, knocking a good £20 a night off the final balance.
The hotel also kindly offer an early bird feature, this is aimed at people like ourselves who only go for a weekend, would rather not have to arrive at 3pm to check in wasting best part of a day. The hotel states that you can arrive anytime you wish, and although it is unlikely your room will be ready, you are allowed to park up your car and leave all your luggage behind a locked door, freeing you up for a wander of the area before booking in.
We were doubly lucky as not only did we arrive at 11am and have our luggage and car seen to, we were allowed to book in at the slightly earlier time of 2pm...bonus!
First impressions of the hotel didn't leave me disappointed in any way shape or form.
The hotel in it's heyday was once the St Deny's church rectory, the church still being there and providing a truly glorious view from your window in the morning, I have to say though, as the church is slapbang in the middle of a residential area, there were no peals of bells to be heard, though the bell tolls from The York Minster itself were much more regular!
The hotel, from the outside, was bright and cheery with there being an abundance of flowers and hanging baskets on display. The carpark I'm afraid was a different matter entirely.
The carpark was probably only big enough to hold 4 - 5 cars comfortably, but due to most of the guests coming by car they were all squeezed onto the carpark. So many were on there that after checking out to go home, we had to wait a good 20 minutes for the man who had blocked us in got up and got dressed!
The hotel however have another solution to this problem, but one my husband didn't really relish. The hotel requested that you leave your car keys with the reception, that way if anyone is blocked in the staff could move your car for you... not sure how our insurance company would have taken to that!
Check in was simple and smooth. When booking your rooms in the first instance the receptionist took my switch card details, this is to ensure that we don't cancel last minute and refuse to pay the deposit, upon checking in the switch card is placed into a chip and pin machine, this again is not to take payment but to cover the hotels backs incase you make a run without paying, they have your details so would be able to take payment.
The rooms themselves are spacious and have a feel of airiness about them. Decorated in neutral colours with the occasional flash of terracotta's, the room is decorated and kitted out perfectly.
In each room there is a wardrobe, complete with hangers, three towels each, which are replenished daily if required, a flat screen television, which is essential, something to watch when devouring the late night chicken kebab!
The bed is a standard double bed which for some is ideal, unfortunately my husband is 6ft 4", so hung off the end of the bed for the duration of the weekend, (easy tiger!).
There is a vanity table with a large mirror complete with a light and hairdryer, not only do you have the light but during the day there is the added bonus of the sunlight from the window next to it, that is of course if you are lucky enough to go on a sunny day....yes we were, pretty magnificent actually!
There is a small kettle provided with enough tea and coffee for four drinks, these are replenished every morning, though the kettle had definitely seen better day, it doesn't matter where I stay the kettle always seems to be held together by the limescale within, though this didn't seem to hamper the taste in anyway.
The bathroom again was large and airy, the only downside to the bathroom was the window, due to the size of it and the fact that it was normal glass, you could quite happily take a shower and give the clergy over the road something to go to confession for! Needless to say the large blackout blind at the window, was pulled down for the duration of our weekend, thankfully, again there was plenty of lighting in the bathroom, more than ample for our needs.
There were all the usual freebies, enough sachets for the initial shower, but one of the things that didn't get replenished, though there are not many of use that go to a hotel without any of the stuff they provide.
The wash facilities in this bathroom was a shower housed within a glass shower cubicle, there was a small patch of mildew in the corner of the cubicle, but probably no more than is present in my own bathroom.
The shower was powerful and at a constant temperature, well it was until I got in and changed the temperature setting, I like my showers scalding hot, of course that wasn't a problem until I forgot to change it back and my husband wasn't to impressed!
The shower had got a temperature gauge on it, but this is obviously changeable!
Security within the hotel was pretty stringent. During the day the front door was unlocked, but all rooms in the hotel had Yale locks on them.
After around 7pm the two outer doors to the hotel get closed, but on your arrival and alongside your hotel room key, you also get a key for the front doors.
There is a small bar located on the other side of the wonderful dining room/ conservatory area on the ground floor, drinks are served between 7.30pm and 10pm, though if you wish to purchase a drink a little later than this the staff are happy to serve you.
Breakfast is served between 8am and 9.30am, these are weekend times, as it is served a little earlier mid week.
I have to say this was my favourite part of the entire experience.
On offer is a selection of 4 juices to help yourself to, which I did and the orange juice I choose was chilled and delicious, just the thing for my dry and slightly furry mouth (I had had a bit of a heavy night the night before!).
There are a selection of around five types of cereal to choose from and a giant bowl of grapefruit segments in juice.
There was also unlimited tea or coffee there too but I think the service was the part that stuck out for me.
The only thing I had to fetch for myself was a glass of juice, the rest was brought to me by the lady situated in the dining room.
Alongside the food previously mentioned was of course, the obligatory full English breakfast and racks of toast, with marmalade and jam.
I can honestly say this was probably one of the nicest breakfasts I have ever had and the service was impeccable.
The only thing left to mention is checking out.... Boooo!
Checkout was a simple and smooth as checking in, either payment by chip and pin card or cash and away you go.
This was a truly lovely hotel, clean, cheap, pleasant staff, wonderful food and central to near enough every major attraction that York has to offer, put it like this we were 10 minutes walk away from the Shambles shopping street and Yorkminster itself, everything else was no more than an ½ walk, ideal.
This hotel was everything it claimed it was and I recommend it highly!
For more information visit either the York tourist board - www.visityork.org
Or visit St Deny's website direct - www.stdenyshotel.co.uk
Thanks for reading x
St Denys Hotel is located inside the old York city walls and within easy walking distance to the centre and main tourist attractions.